Hey guys! I’m coming to you live from Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con. In a few moments, Warner Bros. will take the stage to give folks their upcoming slate of films, including Justice League and Blade Runner 2049. Stay tuned right here to live updates! If you can’t be in the room, I promise this is almost as good!
11:25AM – The panel is set to begin in five minutes, but if you’ve been with me before during Hall H panels, you know start times are more of a suggestion. Let’s see if we start on time!
11:29AM – Just been reminded not to take photos or videos of any of the exclusive coverage we’re about to see. Instead, you will be forced to rely on my stream of consciousness descriptions. Please send angry emails to Warner Bros. As always, the wifi is spotty as H*ck, so please bear with me, y’all.
11:30AM – Holy hell, we started on time! The crowd goes wild as the moderator comes on stage. But false alarm, he’s just telling everyone where the bathroom is.
11:34AM – Here we go with the first video. The Hall H panel has wrap around video screens the ENTIRE way around the panel. This is pretty insane. The crowd is losing their minds at the immersive experience this promise. We open with Kong and Harry Potter and oh my God the bass reverb is so loud my seat is shaking. Godzilla literally roared so loud my badge and chest cavity vibrated. I’m deaf but that’s totally fine. Biggest cheer is for the Wonder Woman footage.
11:38AM – Chris Hardwick on stage to start the panel. More immersive experience! Video of ready player one opens on a twenty-five cent coin slot that we enter into as the music gets intense as hell. The main character is holding the golden key in front of the egg before it collapses into digitized lines that look like Tron but spell out the Ready Player One title card. As the footage ends, author Ernest Cline and Steven Spielberg to the stage. Crowd is on their feet!
11:40AM – Steven Spielberg says, “The virtual world was amazing, when I read the book it was the most amazing flash forward and flashback at the same time to the 80s and the future that is out there awaiting all of us whether we like it or not. The digital world took two years of creation.”
11:43AM – We’re about to see more footage. Let’s see if I can write this fast enough. “A slight taste” says Spielberg. Open with WB logo with becomes digitized then onward to “I was born in 2025” voice over straight to Columbus, OH trailer city vertical called the stacks. “The missing millions” went missing because we went into the digital world. We see the VR go on the main character and he enters the oasis. The virtual world. A giant dance hall where people spin hundreds of feet in the air. THE IRON GIANT? A car spins around a fountain, a guy fights a battle on a giant mocha scorpion, Freddy Kreuger gets WRECKED by a dude in armor. Then we’re on to the robots entering the car race. Dozens of people get into their virtual cars and speed off. Cars getting wrecked, a torn cycle being sweet as hell, wrecking balls crushing cars from between city skyscrapers, a crystal key enters the lock and then fade to black.
Side note: The Ready Player One footage looks SO GOOD you guys. I was very hesitant about this film after the disaster that was Ender’s Game. But now I am ALL IN. Give me this movie. Mash this together with ‘Bright’ to give me the Shadowrun movie we deserve.
11:46AM – Tye Sheridan, the lead actor, says “I was obsessed with virtual reality and when I heard about this project I thought ‘Holy shit. Steven Spielberg is doing a VR movie? I can’t wait to see that!’” Audience laughs.
11:49AM – There was an ostrich from Joust in the trailer is so much classic video game stuff hidden in the trailer you could watch it over and over and find something new each time. If they keep that throughout the movie, it will have huge rewatch value. Sneaky. Smart.
11:54AM – Spielberg says “Will they let me get away with putting my other movies in this movie without getting called vain? What made me want to tell the story was the kind of world 2044 gives to people. It’s so dystopian, people were leaving the country and then VR comes along and gives people another option. A suit gives feedback that gives touch, sensuality, and pain.” It’s an interesting look at how people would adapt to this world. Not sure if he’s serious but he says the Iron Giant has a big role in the film.
11:56AM – BLADE RUNNER footage! “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.” Intercut the original film with Blade Runner 2049. 2019 Decker escapes, 2020 a new model of Nexus 8’s rushed out to keep the company viable, 2022 EMP detonated on the west coast, a disaster with global ramifications. In 2023, replicant prohibition goes into effect, 2025 genetically modified food technology from the Wallace Corp ends the food shortage after the blackout 2030 Wallace helps passed prohibition repeal. By 2049, Los Angels changed dramatically, life on Earth has reached limits, society divided between two classes, replicant and human with humans on the lower rungs. All humans that could have left Earth for the colonies. “Everyone had a part to play, sometimes to love someone you gotta be a stranger,” Harrison Ford says to Ryan Gosling.
12:05PM – Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford join director Denis Villeneuve on stage with the rest of the cast. Denis says he wanted to direct this because he “didn’t want anyone else to f*ck it up.” Ridley Scott helped Denis and then stepped out of the way and let him do his own thing but let Denis know he was there if he needed anything. It was the best gift Ridley Scott could have given him.
12:08PM – When asked if the sequel answered any lingering questions Harrison Ford had about his character, he paused for a second or two too long and then said “It doesn’t matter what I think.” Classic charmingly wry Harrison Ford. The crowd and the rest of the cast and crew on the stage dissolve into laughter. (Check my social media later for video of that moment!)
12:13PM – MORE FOOTAGE! Ryan Gosling and a lady in white descend into what looks like a yellow pyramid. “A gift from Mister Wallace to the world. The outer colonies would never have flourished without the technology.” The stairs have replicants — long life Nexus 8 models — on either side in glass cases. One of them moves inside the suspended goo. Now the camera is on a bunch of glass balls with damaged something inside from the blackout. The lady puts the ball in a computer and suddenly the screen lights up with Tyrell Archives. Harrison Ford’s eyeball in close up with static lines of dialogue “The photo of the girl” It’s lines from the original film. Ryan watches without emotion. The room is so cold, the woman has cold breath as does Gosling. Someone is trying to provoke Deckard. The lady is now hitting on Gosling, she is clearly a replicant. She works for Mr. Wallace though and Gosling is all business.
12:15PM – We’re moving into audience questions and there is still over an hour left, so they’re powering through this to get to DC Films obviously. I know we’ll see Justice League, but I wonder if they’ll show anything from Aquaman or acknowledge the Batman rumors. My money would be yes on the former and no on the latter.
12:22PM – Here we go with Justice League. The audience is losing it as the new Justice League logo recently unveiled plays out. The team is standing in digitized format as DC appears in huge letters. The trailer opens with WONDER WOMAN bursting through the window in her movie then goes to Flash before finally ending on Batman. Then it goes back to Wonder Woman, she is dominating this trailer. Short imagery or Aquaman and Cyborg and then straight back to Wonder woman. Warner Bros. knows what movie is buttering their bread. She is 80% of this sizzle reel. I don’t think we even saw Superman.
Aquaman, Shazam, Suicide Squad 3, The Batman, Justice League Dark With ZATANNA, Batgirl, Green Lantern Corps with Jon Stewart, FLASHPOINT, Wonder Woman 2. No second Superman movie. If I had to guess, they’re going to use Flashpoint to fix the mess that is Batman v Superman. And then we’re back to Wonder Woman and the Amazons kicking ass. Oh, there’s Superman. We opened with Wonder Woman and we end on her. AS IT SHOULD BE. Starting with Aquaman as Jason Momoa takes the stage, wielding the trident. “YOUR KING IS HERE!” he shouts.
12:30PM – Momoa is stoked to show us what they’ve been working on. 18 months away from the film but they cut something together for us. FOOTAGE. Opens with the director saying hello and then we see the Aquaman concept art of the guards, and Atlantis. It’s very high tech looking, to be honest. It’s kind of an origin story. Arthur and Merida on a boat, then a bunch of guys on sharks with saddles because hell yeah. It’s like battle ready King Triton’s castle in here. Opens with radio playing old timey music as two white dudes fish in a dingy. One guy catches something but it starts pulling their book. Music is very Fallout franchise. The boat is now diving under the water before fisherman finally gives up the pole and saves himself. But there’s manta ray looking ships floating just underneath. It’s a whole armada that looks VERY kraken-esque. You can see where sailors would think theses ships were sea monsters. Then we see Momoa without his armor but armed with a sword in a sunken ship that has red crystals? Again, it’s The Little Mermaid on steroids.
12:31PM – Ben Affleck and Erza Miller take the stage. Ray Fisher and Gal Gadot are also here. They are brave as hell because they’re walking down the middle row of Hall H. The whole team is here (except Superman, who is “dead”)! Erza is in cosplay as Edward from Full Metal Alchemist. I might be in love?
12:34PM – Oh sh*t, they’re going to talk about it. Ben Affleck says “I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest part and I’m so thrilled to do it. It’s f*cking amazing and I still can’t believe it after two films,” in response to the rumors that Affleck is leaving the series after Justice League. But he doesn’t say he WON’T be leaving. That was some masterful PR wordplay.
12:37PM – The Flash and Cyborg both get their powers due to accident and that bonds them together in their trauma and because they are the youngest members of the group. All these characters dealing with their personal issues are able to come together and save the world. And you find solace in people that are like you. Talking about “found families.”
12:39PM – Aquaman isn’t accepted on land or sea. He just lives in the tides and he’s sensitive and he covers it up. “He’s just a big onion, we’re peeling the layers” says Momoa. Ezra says the Batcave is safe space for Aquaman to be loved and wanted. And we’re moving back into footage. Stay tuned!
12:44PM – We open with someone going through a metal detector with a gun and briefcase. Then Wonder Woman busts in and dodges bullets like a champ. Someone hits her in the head with a gun and it doesn’t phase her. Then she’s at work working on a sculpture. “A world without hope” on the front page of the newspaper in the aftermath of Superman’s death. The Bat symbol is turned on and Batman answers the call. We move to an island, it’s Themyscirya. “Something is coming” and the mother box opens, suddenly Steppenwolf is here. Moving on to Aquaman and the throne, Cyborg in a broken window, a lakeside house with Batman inside, Flash breaking through a window, (the Justice League really hates windows, you guys) Steppenwolf using a fire whip and shredding the land. “Miss the days of exploding wind-up penguins,” says Alfred. “This is crazy,” says Aquaman. They’re having a meeting like they’re about to steal a fast car. The Flash has never been in battle “Just pushed som e people and run away.” “Relax Alfred, I’ll take it from here,” says Cyborg “Do I know you?” Alfred responds. Wonder Woman fighting Steppenwolf one-on-becauseusee she’s a DAMN GOD. The team standing together in front of what looks like City Hall, The Flash throwing Wondy her sword, Aquaman riding a winged henchman down to the ground like a BAMF. “That’s rude” says the Flash as the rest of the team vanishes while Gordon is talking. Oh no, Alfred is in danger. Wait, no. Alfred was sent to get Superman. UPDATE: It actually looks like Green Lantern. But which one?
12:52PM – “Joss is a great guy and Zack picked a great guy to come in and finish up the film,” says Ray about the reshoots in response to an audience question. They’re just about done with the reshoots. Cast being cagey about if Superman is alive. Come on, guys. Come on.
12:57PM – Jason Momoa is a troublemaker, it’s Ocean Master’s army in the Aquaman trailer. Aquaman is going to fight his brother.