DC Comics has recently announced that its virtual con is coming back for its second year to celebrate, inform and discuss all things DC with the fans. The virtual con arose last year to help fill the hole left by a canceled San Diego Comic-Con due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and is back again for its sophomore year Oct. 16, 2021.
Below we’ll take a look at the biggest panels and showcases to expect to see under the FanDome and a few we can only hope will make an appearance.
Expect: Black Adam
Filming of the “Black Adam” movie is finally underway, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson starring as the slave-turned-anti-hero himself. Earlier this year, in a very onbrand and over the top fashion, Johnson took over New York City’s Times Square billboards to reveal that the movie officially has a release date of July 29, 2022.
The film centers around a slave from the fictional country of Kahndaq, who is granted powerful superpowers that even rival those of Superman’s. The Anti-Hero will have run-ins with those in the Justice Society and several others from the DC Comics library of superheros.
Given the production schedule for this film, DC Fandome falls perfectly in the timeframe for the first trailer to be revealed. If there’s one thing you can count on at this event, it’s that The Rock will be hyping this movie up in full force and telling you all about how the hierarchy of power in the DC universe is about to change.
Expect: The Batman
Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” was the center of attention at last year’s Fandome event. The showcase included a short discussion with the director himself, a small blurb from Robert Pattinson, who stars as the caped crusader, and the film’s first trailer.
Overall, the showcase gave fans quite a good amount, the batmobile was shown in all its glory, the first good look at Pattinson in the Bat-suit, and we got a good grasp of the plot and tone of the film. I think it’s fair to say it was the highlight of the entire Con for a lot of people. The movie was initially supposed to be released in 2021 but due to the pandemic, has since been pushed back to March 4, 2022.
This puts it in a perfect timeframe for another trailer to be revealed, showing more of Batman in action but also possibly more of the side characters of the movie. We have yet to see Andy Serkis’ Alfred and have only had brief looks at Zoe Kravits’ Catwoman.
This could be a good opportunity to flesh out these characters along with Paul Dano’s Riddler, Colin Farrel’s Penguin and Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordan. This one is definitely a lock that you can expect to be getting more content at the Fandome, the real question is “what?” Personally, this fan is hoping to see a full Catwoman costume reveal.
Hope: The Ayer Cut
Of all the hopes on this list, sadly this is probably the most unlikely to come to fruition. If you didnt know, the “Suicide Squad” movie directed by David Ayer (End of Watch, Bright) was release back in 2016 to largely unfavorable views from the critics and fans alike. Throughout the subsequent years after the film’s release, more light has been shed on how studio interference seemingly changed not only certain plot points but the entire tone of Ayer’s film.
According to Ayer in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, “It’s frustrating because I made a really heartfelt drama and it got ripped to pieces and they tried to turn it into Deadpool, which it just wasn’t supposed to be… I made an amazing movie. It’s an amazing movie, it just scared the s— out of the executives.” After seeing the fans accomplish the seemingly impossible with getting the Snyder Cut of released, Ayer and his fans have been holding out hope that his 2016 release would get a similar directors cut treatment.
Ayer has said himself that his cut would be relatively easy to finish. In a different recent interview with Variety, WarnerMedia’s CEO, Ann Sarnoff tried to flat out kill all hope of an “Ayer Cut” of the movie, stating “We won’t be developing David Ayer’s cut.” While this seems to be a pretty clear answer, WarnerMedia could still change their minds would most likely depend on how they view the success of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” as well as the reception of James Gunn’s upcoming semi-sequel semi-reboot of the same name.
Expect: The Flash
Ezra Miller’s take on Barry Allen and the scarlet speedster is finally moving forward after various iterations, several directors exiting the project and multiple delays. It’s still unclear exactly what this film is all about, with both Michael Keaton’s and Ben Affleck’s Batmans (Batmen?) dawning their respective cowls once again, along with newcomer Sasha Calle as the last daughter of Krypton, Supergirl.
Unfortunately, while originally planned to be included in the film in some form, it doesn’t seem likely that Ray Fisher will get the chance to reprise the role of his breakout performance as Cyborg. Fisher’s and WarnerMedia are still very much on shaky ground after the actors accusations against several of the studio’s executives, producers and “Justice League” director Joss Whedon for their behavior surrounding the 2017 flop and the subsequent investigation.
This is quite a disappointing development as Fisher and Miller’s characters seemed to have quite an enjoyable chemistry together in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” Hopefully the right people can make the amends necessary with Fisher in order to include him in the film, but seeing as “The Flash” has already started filming, that ship has seemingly already set sail without the fan-favorite Cyborg actor.
Expect: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Just like its counterpart, “Black Adam”, the Shazam movie also appeared at last year’s DC Fandome event. Although one of the more forgettable portions of the Con, the Shazam showcase featured a short and lighthearted quip between Shazam himself, Zachary Levi, and some of his co-stars which left us with the title for the upcoming sequel. “Shazam: Fury of the Gods.”
That being said, it won’t take much for them to top last year’s panel. The sequel is set to start filming later this month which could give them enough time to throw together a teaser trailer reveal and first look at the upcoming film by the time DC Fandome rolls around. “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is slated for June 2, 2023.
Hope: Something Snyder
Zack Snyder. The director birthed the DCEU with 2013’s “Man of Steel”, followed up by “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and now “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.” The majority of the DCEU’s existence is synonymous with Snyder but has since branched out to encompass more films than the initial intended slate of the shared universe. The recent success, or failure depending on what source you choose to believe, of the “Snyder Cut” has not seemed to sway many minds over at WarnerMedia to continue Snyder’s original vision for the DCEU.
Recent comments from Warner executive Ann Sarnoff indicate that the studio has no plans to continue working with the director they once trusted to help them compete with the massively successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. Snyder’s films, while accumulating some pretty harsh criticisms, have also managed to garnish him quite a large and loyal fanbase.
It’s not an exaggeration that Snyder’s presence, or lack thereof, will be a makeorbreak for many fans at this year’s DC Fandome. Whether it be the announcement of “Justice League” 2 and 3 or some other DC project (possibly an HBO Max exclusive) that the studio is willing to let Snyder helm, it would be a good way to try to make amends with the director and his fanbase. Ultimately, this will be where we learn if the DCEU continues in some semblance of the path its father had envisioned for it or leave the man who laid its foundations behind for good.
Expect: Aquaman 2
The sequel to the massively successful 2018 hit “Aquaman”, starring Jason Momoa, Amber Heard and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II should be a guarantee to show up at this year’s DC Fandome. The first live action flick for the half-blood atlantean superhero was a box office smash, grossing over $1 billion globally and receiving somewhat mixed but mostly positive reviews.
James Wan is returning to direct the follow-up film and much of the original cast is confirmed to be returning as well. According to a new report, the movie is set to start filming in June in the UK. This gives a small window for the studio to throw together a small teaser and first look at the movie, but other than that I wouldn’t expect to be seeing too much of the film by the time Fandome hits.
On the other hand, I could very much see them showcasing the cast and Wan in a fun and lighthearted panel, similar to the way they had the “Suicide Squad” cast play an upbeat trivia game at last years event. Placing Momoa, Heard, Wilson (Ocean Master), and Wan front and center with a fun gag could be a good way to bring in some excitement for the sequel. “Aquaman 2” is set to be released Dec. 16, 2022.
Hope: A Plan/The Multiverse
Unfortunately, this seems to be a big ask that fans have been asking for from the WB studio in recent years. Plans for the DCEU have come and gone, some seen through while most have ended up on the chopping block and it has left many fans with a bad taste in their mouth and an important question on their tongue. What is the plan for the DCEU?
While not everyone might have been a fan of Zack Snyder’s initial plan for the movie universe, at least he did have a plan and that is cleared now more than ever after his cut of “Justice League” has seen the light of day. Sadly, so many DC movie projects have come and gone, some before making any real progress in getting made, that it’s hard to believe that any one project will happen until you are actually sitting before a screen watching it. What this DC fan would like to see from this event is a five year slate for the DCEU with all the projects intended to be made and, here’s the kicker WB, stick to that plan.
I understand things happen, filmmakers drop out, scripts fall apart, and sometimes there is no other option than to pull the plug. But this seems to be far too common for DC projects. One of the most important things when producing any sort of project with an already well established fanbase is trust, something Warner Bros is painfully lacking in. Fans need to believe in the studio’s ability to deliver the projects that the fans want to see. Now trust isn’t something that they can’t just roll out at DC Fandome for everyone to see, but there is something that has yet to be utilized well that can help push things in that direction.
The multiverse. The multiverse would be a great way for the studio to deliver something for all fans. Don’t like Affleck’s Batman, here try Pattinson’s, and vice versa. It’s a pretty basic tool that pretty much all DC fans and many in the general audience are familiar with and it can ensure there is something for everyone. The multiverse doesn’t seem to be utilized well by the studio at the moment but this could be changing as the multiverse will play some sort of role in the upcoming flash movie.
Lets just hope they stick the landing with it. There is a lot riding on this year’s DC Fandome, as it will determine the future state of the DCEU and DC related projects, it’s a tough road ahead for the studio and DC Fandome is where the fans determine if they are willing to strap themselves in or abandon ship.