By Ashley Pauls
Box Office Buzz
I’ve never been to Comic-Con in San Diego, but as a sci-fi and superhero movie buff, it remains on my bucket list. However, since I’m not able to go in person, I always appreciate Entertainment Weekly’s annual Comic-Con issue, which gives readers a sneak peek at some of the cool stuff appearing at Comic-Con. In what will come as a surprise to no one 😉 the section of the magazine I was most excited about was the information on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” There’s a lot of pressure riding on this movie. “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” is my all-time favorite movie, and I really, REALLY want “The Force Awakens” to rank up there with that film.
I really like what we’ve seen so far. The trailers have been great (admit it—what fan didn’t tear up a little at that first shot of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon when Han announces, “Chewie, we’re home”?). I also enjoyed the short behind-the-scenes video released at Comic-Con, especially seeing Carrie Fisher return as Princess Leia. “The Force Awakens” appears to capture the magic of the original trilogy while also taking the franchise in a new direction. Of course it’s way too soon to call it, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one.
Another major buzz generator at Comic-Con was “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” I’m cautiously optimistic about this one. I’ll admit it, I’m definitely more of a Marvel fangirl, but I’d like to see DC find success on the big screen as well. Regardless of how you feel about Ben Affleck as Batman, I like the new direction they appear to be taking the character. According to the Entertainment Weekly article, this film will offer an older, more world-weary version of Batman, who is perhaps not quite in his prime anymore. This type of portrayal could produce some thought-provoking themes such as, what’s it like to be a superhero with amazing powers who starts to lose some of that power and ability? What do you do with your life after being a superhero like Batman? What will happen to the world after you step down?
It’s also good to see Wonder Woman in this film, and I’m glad she’s getting her own movie in 2017 (note to Marvel: it’s definitely time for a Black Widow solo movie!). Women have been under-represented in superhero cinema for quite some time, and it’s nice to have Wonder Woman join the team and star in a solo film. My main concern for “Dawn of Justice” is that it could suffer from the same issue as this year’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”: too many characters and a little too much going on. DC needs to tease their Justice League film without trying to pack too much into this film.
Marvel’s big news is the release of a Deadpool movie in early 2016. Fan reaction to Comic-Con preview footage appeared to be very strong, which is a good sign. For a while, a Deadpool movie seemed rather unlikely. Fans and critics didn’t respond well to 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” where Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool had a brief appearance. Reynolds has had a bit of a rough ride at the box office since then, including the also not-well-received “Green Lantern” movie in 2011. It would be unfair to place all of the blame for that movie on Reynolds’ shoulders, but Hollywood is always looking for a scapegoat.
Even though Reynolds has experienced a bit of a fall from Hollywood’s graces, I still believe he’s a good choice to play Deadpool. He can handle action movies, and he’s a master of the snarky comeback. Judging by the article in Entertainment Weekly, the Deadpool movie will be dark, edgy and violent (and funny), which is what comic book fans want from this movie. It should play well after Netflix’s “Daredevil” success, which also pushed the boundaries of mainstream superhero media.
So, what film from Comic Con are you most excited about?