SDCC 2016: Warner Bros. Pictures Panel – DC Films Recap

WB’s massive presence was felt this morning at their Hall H panel. In front of over 6000 attendees, they treated fans to a few WB properties coming soon, but more than half of the panel was dominated by none other than DC’s slate of upcoming films. It was incredible.

The panel started when the hall unveiled a wrap-around screen. Not only projected directly in front, but a good portion of the left and right walls also played back continuing footage of whatever was being presented at the time. The panel began with a nice little sizzle reel of WB’s more famous franchises.

Late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien, who had been taping his Comic-Con special over the weekend, was introduced to moderate the event and immediately launched into their first presentation, which so happens to be the DC Extended Universe. It was an onslaught of DC movies from then on.

Projected on the screen, fans were treated to a sizzle reel of footage from Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman, and Suicide Squad, spliced with interviews with Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins, David Ayer, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder, and several other key players in the upcoming DCEU.

Conan introduced all the of the DCEU directors so far: Suicide Squad‘s David Ayer, Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins, Justice League‘s Zack Snyder, The Flash‘s David Famikuya, Aquaman‘s James Wan, and the upcoming Batman’s Ben Affleck. This being the apparent official confirmation of Ben Affleck as director of the upcoming Batman movie. It was really a sight behold, knowing that these individuals will be the architects of DC’s first interconnected live-action movie universe. What follows is a love fest for their respective characters and being able to participate in the DCEU overall. Patty Jenkins reminisces on watching the first Superman film, which she was deeply invested in and how she was inspired by it. She went on to say that Wonder Woman was her favorite superhero. James Wan, after showing some massive enthusiasm for his character via the use of profanity, went on to express how he will add some of his horror background into the movie. He also expressed excitement over exploring the deepsea and Atlantis.

They were quickly ushered off stage. The light went out and a sizzle reel for Wonder Woman was played. No real footage was played, mostly concept art in motion. Patty Jenkins was reintroduced, again expressing her delight about working on Wonder Woman, her favorite superhero. Jenkins then introduced Connie Nielson set to play Queen Hippolyta, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, and of course Gal Gadot. The trailer for Wonder Woman was then played. It was glorious.

After the trailer played, Gal Gadot was noticeably flustered after seeing the trailer and needed a moment to compose herself. She went on to express how it was really important to play the character correctly. The first of many rushed Q&A sessions began, and one fan inquired about Wonder Woman’s mode of transportation: Will the Invisible Jet make an appearance or will we see Diana fly? Jenkins admitted that the Invisible Jet will not be appearing in the movie, but that it has not been ruled out yet for future installments, stating that it is too early in Diana’s story for it to be done properly.

The Wonder Woman cast and crew were then ushered off stage. The hall went to black once again and lit up with the insignias of the Justice League. Zack Snyder was introduced, who in turn introduced our Justice League: Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Ezra Miller as Flash (dressed in Gandalf attire), and Jason Momoa as Aquaman. There was obviously somebody missing. Henry Cavill was then introduced last. THis was the apparent confirmation that Superman is alive. Suddenly, from seemingly out of nowhere, Hall H was treated to their first glimpse of Justice League.

Lots of shock and awe. Well, at least for me. Noticeably much more lighter in tone than BvS, despite what is likely a very serious threat to the world. It was an obvious attempt to address the criticisms. There were a great number of jokes. A few from Affleck and a few from Miller. Is this an indication that film will be more comedic? Or is it just for this trailer?

That was that for Justice League. The hall goes dark once more. The Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” hit the speakers and we are treated bright animation surrounding photographs of the Suicide Squad cast. David Ayer is reintroduced, who introduces the cast of Suicide Squad: Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Adam Beach as Slipknot, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Scott Eastwood, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, and Will Smith as Deadshot rounds out the very packed stage.

Will Smith was the most excited of the bunch. His shouts of excitement seemed to echo throughout the room, because of both the speakers and his volume. Smith emphasizes that movie will not be a classic “good versus evil” story and that Ayer makes it clear that it’s more of a “bad versus evil.” A question of stunts and physicallity is posed by Conan. The cast directed the question over to Margot Robbie, who explained that she had to learn how to do everything in a pair of heels. She also admitted that she learned to hold her breath underwater for 5 minutes. There was a question of choosing music for the movie, to which Ayer expressed the difficulty in it and not wanting to disappoint folks close to him, referring to Will Smith, who started to beatbox.

Another attendee questioned about their friends and family’s feelings about them after starring in a superhero movie. Will Smith quips that no matter what, he can’t impress his kids, but that this movie actually has them excited. Instead of continuing with that, Smith insteads begins to tell an anecdote about how Jared Leto’s dedication to the character really pushed everybody to step it up. Smith regales fans with a story about how a man walked in on them rehearsing, claiming to have a package from Mr. J. It was delivered to Robbie, who opened the box and discovered a live rat.

A new special Hall H Suicide Squad trailer was then shown.

Not a ton of new footage, but still a lot of cool stuff to see. The film features a little more of the plot than previous. Their objective is to enter a swirling vortex in the middle of the city somehow. The name Goliath is mentioned. And of course, Harley is the star of this trailer.

Following that, Will Smith brings to the stage a few Suicide Squad cosplayers. They meet and exchange niceties, before they are ushered off stage for the final DC film, LEGO Batman.

Instead of motion concept art or footage, we are treated to specially made footage of LEGO Hall H at LEGO Comic-Con, with LEGO Conan O’Brien moderating the LEGO Batman Movie panel. In it, you can hear the cast of the LEGO Batman Movie, Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis as LEGO Joker, Rosario Dawson as LEGO Barbara Gordon, and Michael Cera and LEGO Robin. The feature played to a cacophony of laughter.

The footage ended and out came the LEGO Batman Movie‘s director Chris McKay and its star, Will Arnett. The pair then introduce the first official trailer to the LEGO Batman Movie.

The hilarious new trailer introduces us to Michael Cera as Robin and surprisingly, Cera slays. He’s pretty damn funny. Aside from that, we’re getting a better sense of this universe’s Batman and his support characters. It’s all extremely entertaining.

Following the trailer, Arnett and McKay praise the cast, singling out Michael Cera and Zach Galifianakis, the latter of whom apparently did research and brought it with him when they convened at one point. One fan inquired about a possible live-action movie franchise for Arnett. The comedic actor made it clear that that’s not currently in development, but joked about how Affleck asked him the same question on his way out. Arnett expresses the desire for Conan to play the Joker in this hypothetical live-action franchise. Another attendee asked about the possibility of a LEGO Suicide Squad movie. The two on stage clearly don’t really have an answer for that, while Conan quips about how it’s “a question for lawyers.”

And that’s the end of the DC portion of the Hall H Warner Bros. panel in favor other titles coming up on WB’s slate of movies.

WB clearly seems intent on righting the wrongs of BvS, making everything much more lighter in tone, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although some would prefer to keep the stories serious, most people seemed welcome to the idea of a very jokey Batfleck. Either way, it’s a good time to be a Batfan. Or just a comic book fan in general.

Wonder Woman will hit theatres on June 2nd, 2017. Justice League will see its release on November 17th, 2017. Suicide Squad will be the first among the movies presented that we will be seeing, hitting theatres on August 5th, 2016. The LEGO Batman Movie make its way to the big screen on February 10, 2017.

Adam Poncharoen​sub

Adam Poncharoensub is a blogger, movie critic, and Born-Again Batman fan. When he’s not chained to his desk writing, he likes to spend his days spreading the gospel of the Dark Knight in the treacherous suburbs of Miami or working under Dropping Loads Productions, where he co-hosts a comedy podcast and produces sketches.