By Robbie Repass | @TrashmanReeps
San Diego Comic-Con has become a pop culture phenomenon. An annual event with humble beginnings has grown into a spectacle that now attracts over 130,000 attendees from around the world. While exploring the exhibit halls and encountering amazingly dressed cosplayers is worth the price of admission, those lucky enough to score entry to any of the major studio programs and panels are in for a special treat. Each summer these fortunate few are the first to see world premiere trailers and exclusive footage from some of the biggest films of the year to come. Thankfully, 2016 saw the major studios quickly release these trailers online for a global audience to enjoy. View the best trailers below and mark your calendars for the release of these awesome movies!
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Production Company: Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros.
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman
RW Take: Relatively unknown director Vogt-Roberts and Warner Bros. Pictures bring us this King Kong origin story that appears to be set in the ‘70s. The poster indicates this film is from the producers of the Godzilla reboot from 2014, and rumor has it Kong: Skull Island is setting the stage for an eventual Kong v Godzilla throwdown years down the road. This trailer shows the movie to have major potential and the visual effects look top-notch. Monster movies are back!
Production Company: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros.
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher
RW Take: DC Comics director of choice, Zack Snyder, returns to helm the long-anticipated DC Extended Universe answer to Marvel’s Avengers franchise. While this wasn’t technically an official trailer, the special footage that premiered at Comic-Con indicates a slightly more light-hearted affair than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as it largely focuses on the efforts of Bruce Wayne (Affleck) to recruit Aquaman (Momoa), The Flash (Miller) and Cyborg (Fisher) to join Batman and Wonder Woman (Gadot) in forming the Justice League. There is still over a year for the story to take shape over subsequent official trailer releases, but it can’t be as dismal and bloated as Dawn of Justice, right?
Production Company: DC Entertainment/Warner Bros.
Release Date: June 2, 2017
Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen
RW Take: Director Patty Jenkins returns to features for the first time since 2003’s indie sensation Monster with this Wonder Woman origin story. The trailer shows Wonder Woman (Gadot) brought to the civilized world to stop World War I after being discovered on her native island by a marooned American military intelligence officer, Steve Trevor (Pine). Leading lady Gal Gadot’s military background in the Israel Defense Forces lends authenticity to her badassery in scenes depicting Wonder Woman fighting against enemy soldiers. The long awaited big-screen feature treatment for this beloved comic book character promises to be a major summer blockbuster.
Production Company: Lionsgate
Release Date: September 16, 2016
Director: Adam Wingard
Starring: Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry
RW Take: This trailer was truly a comic-con surprise exclusive. The film, originally marketed as The Woods, was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con to be a direct sequel to the original found-footage horror masterpiece, The Blair Witch Project. We all remember the viral internet marketing campaign from 1999 that created so much buzz we were all bound to be let down by the eventual release. But boy, did it deliver the major scares and creepy imagery. The trailer for the sequel promises to bring back many of the images that haunted our dreams all those years ago. Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the woods. You can find me standing in the corner until mid-September...
Production Company: Marvel Studios
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen
RW Take: The second official trailer for the debut of Benedict Cumberbatch as the popular Marvel character provides more glimpses into the plot of the film. The images within the trailer evoke memories of Inception and this looks to be a mind-bending and visually compelling movie. The DC Comic Extended Universe keeps trying to level the playing field but with Doctor Strange Marvel continues to up the ante.
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Production Company: Heyday Films/Warner Bros.
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Director: David Yates
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Jon Voight
RW Take: Yates, who directed the final four films of the Harry Potter franchise, returns to direct this spinoff tale from J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Set 70 years prior to the story of the Potter films, when witches and wizards lived a life of secrecy, Eddie Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a writer, who journeys to New York and mistakenly releases a clutch of magical creatures. Those of us that yearn for more material from the Potterverse are eagerly waiting this movie!
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD
Production Company: Village Roadshow Pictures/Warner Bros.
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Astrid Bergés-Frisbey, Eric Bana
RW Take: British filmmaker Guy Ritchie takes a stab at the familiar tale of King Arthur and the sword from the stone, Excalibur. The trailer promises sword fighting, sorcery and the same gritty look we have grown to expect from a Guy Ritchie film, breathing new life into the classic fantasy tale. Hunnam, of Sons of Anarchy fame, stars in the title role following Arthur’s path to the throne.