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Warner Bros. Comic-Con Panel Shows Off DCEU, BLADE RUNNER, READY PLAYER ONE + More

Warner Bros. Comic-Con Panel Shows Off DCEU, BLADE RUNNER, READY PLAYER ONE + More

Amid rumors of a Batman shake-up, Warner Bros. brought the entire Justice League to San Diego Comic-Con, looking for a Wonder Woman victory lap. Was it successful? Read on…

The extra-large surround screens opened up to get us all in the mood, as percussion boomed and a montage of WB genre fare from Harry Potter to The LEGO Batman Movie engulfed us; the biggest audience cheers, surprisingly, were for Batman V Superman, followed by Wonder Woman. Following this, Ready Player One was introduced by a massive display of an arcade, then a Tron-type grid loaded with pixels of pop-culture stuff flying by, from a One Crazy Summer video to the 1989 Batmobile. This was all prelude to Ernest Cline and Steven Spielberg entering the hall.

Cline said Spielberg’s movies were woven into his DNA, so having him make the movie was the greatest experience of his life. Spielberg said he really liked the flash-forward AND flashback elements, and said the virtual world is our future whether we like it or not. “I read the book and I said ‘They’re gonna need a younger director!'”

During the panel, Cline admitted he’d assumed it could never be made as a film, but that Zak Penn was a dream writer to have on the project because Last Action Hero inspired him so much. He’s excited that the movie may make virtual reality more popular. And when asked by a fan how he feels about predicting VR’s potential, he compared himself to Arthur C. Clarke coming up with the communications satellite.

To which cast member T.J. Miller added, “it’s a little bit more accurate than Lawnmower Man.”

Spielberg said he was most worried about putting references to his own movies in this one, as he thought he might get vilified for being too grandiose. Still, “The Iron Giant is a real major player in this movie,” Spielberg explained. And when asked what attracted him to the book, he said it was because of the duality of the real world and the virtual, and how the line is obliterated by the third act because sensor suits can approximate touch, sensuality, and pain.

Next up? Blade Runner 2049.

Perhaps the biggest news out of the panel is the new timeline. Apparently longer-living Replicants get introduced in the 2020, including one played by Dave Bautista. A massive electric magnetic pulse destroys technology, resulting in Replicants being outlawed, but not before Jared Leto’s character uses genetic modification to solve world hunger. Affluent humans move off-world, Earth reaches its capacity, and a class structure separates the poorest humans from the better-off Replicants.

Denis Villeneuve took on the movie because, “I didn’t want someone else to fuck this up.” He said the best way to work with Ridley Scott was “far away.” Scott gave him a lot of the background and then left him alone to do what he wanted.

Ford got involved because, “we had a really good script…it deepened the understanding of my character.” Asked if it answers any questions from the first film—like, say, if he’s a Replicant—Ford paused, then said cagily, “It doesn’t matter what I think.” Gosling said one of his favorite things from the first film was that he didn’t know how he was supposed to feel at the end. As a fan he was excited to hear there’d be a sequel, but being in it is, “like being on a football team with the Avengers.”

A clip was later shown of Ryan Gosling walking down a hallway lined with tanks of Westworld-ish generic human bodies. He’s guided by a female Replicant, who takes him into a room where memories are stored in crystal balls. She puts one in a computer, and it’s a closeup of Rachel (Sean Young)’s eye as she’s being tested by Deckard in the first movie. Gosling immediately notices Rachel’s attraction to Deckard given that her questions were trying to provoke him. The new Replicant says personal questions are invigorating, because it makes Replicants feel desire. She follows that with a pointed, “Do you enjoy your work, Officer?” He doesn’t rise to it, merely replying, “Please thank Mr. Wallace for his time.”

After the clip, Ford was asked by a fan if his life goal was to reboot every major franchise of his, closed out this segment by going, “You bet your ass it is!”

The DC Extended Universe panel kicked off with a lot of movie logos, including Shazam, Green Lantern Corps, and The Flash: Flashpoint. Then Jason Momoa walked down the full Hall H aisle wielding his trident (or five-dent). Next, he introduced a “special thing”: a message from James Wan introducing a short tease.

Though there’s no footage of it (yet), the teaser itself showed two fishermen in a boat as “Beyond the Sea” plays in French. One of them hooks something that drags his rod out of the way before an overhead shot reveals that underneath them in the water is a massive fleet of manta ray-shaped vehicles with blue, Tron-like lights and soldiers riding sharks. Cut to Momoa, somewhere else, shirtless: “I don’t suppose you want to talk about this, do you?” He pulls a sword and spins it. “I didn’t think so.” Immediately, “Purple Haze” plays as the “A” logo comes up.

This was followed by the whole Justice League cast coming out—sans Henry Cavill.

Ezra Miller commented that he just kept trying to touch everyone when they were in costume, and they had to tell him to stop. Affleck calls being Batman, “fucking amazing” and “I would be a fucking ape on the ground for Matt Reeves!” Says he’s excited for The Batman, strongly implying he is not done with the role.

Miller says the DC universe is the first comics universe. Asked, “Are there other comic houses?” Ray Fisher thinks that Flash and Cyborg bond by being the youngest group members and the two who got their powers by accident. Momoa describes Aquaman as hurt and sensitive inside—rejected on land and undersea—so he lives with the tides, and that’s what makes him a loner, but joining the League is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him.

Of course, the questions also shifted towards Snyder’s exit from the film‘s completion. Fisher said the reshoots have been brief and praised Joss Whedon—who took over—as a great guy. A fan asked who they’d like to share scenes with from the Suicide Squad, and immediately Momoa said Jai Courtney. Gadot: “I’d do Margot Robbie.” Miller says “the Fresh Prince is going down!” Fisher wants the Enchantress, for a science versus magic thing.

Fisher said the pajama-costume he wore on set helped find the character, because Cyborg is very self-conscious about how he looks.

But perhaps one of the most exciting moments to come out of the panel? Momoa revealing that the vehicles in the Aquaman trailer are Ocean Master’s army. “I’m gonna fight my brother.”

 

Images: Warner Bros.

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