Thoughts on DC Fandome

DC Fandome held it's second online event over the weekend, the first one in August 2020 was a success, and it had me excited for the event. Unfortunately, the 2021 edition of Fandome was a bust, I watched some of the material and I was not impressed. The trailers they showed and the behind-the-scenes stuff for the new material coming out was good, but the rest of the broadcast was not very interesting. The first Fandome had some excitement to it, the new one seemed to lack any excitement at all. Watching some of the footage I got the impression that nobody wanted to be there, it was boring, and I did not connect with the format. I think they should have had more surprises in the material they showed and made a huge splash announcement (like Man of Steel 2 or a Zack Snyder's Justice League sequel). I am not going to say the footage shown was underwhelming, but with the exception of Black Adam, nothing has made me more excited. I was already excited for The Batman, the Shazam sequel and The Flash film so the footage shown did little to change my excitement. We got a teaser for The Flash, a new trailer for The Batman, a behind the scenes look at Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, a Peacemaker series trailer and some footage of Black Adam. 

The first trailer shown for The Batman at last years event hit me more than the trailer shown at Fandome 2. The first Batman trailer had a great feel and style to it that made me think of Seven and The Long Halloween. The new trailer showed more footage, but nothing blew me away; there was nothing that surprised me about was in it. I am still not convinced that Robert Pattinson will make a good Bruce Wayne/Batman, I am open minded on his casting. When Pattinson was in the suit I kind of bought it, but I need to see him as Bruce Wayne before I will decide; his Bruce Wayne seems too brooding. Paul Dano appearing in the trailer was okay, but we did not see him do or say much; Dano is such a great actor and I think he was a great choice to play the Riddler. Colin Farrell is unrecognizable as Oswald Cobblepot (Penguin), Farrell who has consistently given great performances over the years could deliver another one here. Zoe Kravitz looks good as Selina Kyle (Catwoman), the big question surrounding Catwoman is will her and Batman have chemistry. If Catwoman and Batman lack a spark when they interact, I will be disappointed, the relationship between them doesn't feel natural it will be hard to salvage in future films. The Long Halloween is one of my favourite Batman stories because of the mystery and detective elements, The Batman appears to be using The Long Halloween as inspiration for the film. 

While we did not get a trailer or a scene from Shazam! Fury of the Gods I thought the behind-the-scenes featurette was very insightful. We saw footage, but it was not finalized scenes but rather the filming of scenes in the movie. Shazam was a film that I had low expectations for, but the film blew me away when I ranked the films of the DCEU I had it third. After seeing Zack Snyder's Justice League and The Suicide Squad I would rank it fourth with Justice League getting third and The Suicide Squad in fifth. Zachary Levi was a great choice for the role of Shazam, if anyone has watched the show Chuck, they could see why he was an excellent fit. Helen Mirren is joining the cast as the main villain, having such a talented actress on set can only be a good thing. We did not get a great idea of the story, but the film looks to have a bigger budget while keeping the heart that made the first film so amazing. It will be hard to get excited because the film is not scheduled for release until 2023, we still have 1.5 years to wait. I am curious about the release date since the film is done filming and is currently in the post-production phase I wonder if the film's release date gets moved forward.

The Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom footage was very similar to what was shown about Shazam! Fury of the Gods another behind-the-scenes look with no finished footage. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is still a over a year away from being released, but like Shazam! Fury of the Gods the sequel will be bigger and bolder. I was not a huge fan of the original Aquaman, I felt the film was a little too corny, but there was promise that gives me hope for the sequel. Some of the footage we see them filming makes me think that Patrick Wilson's King Orm will team up with his half-brother Aquaman at some point in the film. There are many reasons to believe that the Aquaman sequel will be an improvement, but the main reason for that lies with James Wan the director. James Wan has proven to be a very skilled director, and with is horror film background I think he brings a different vision for Aquaman. I hope the chemistry between Jason Mamoa and Amber Heard improves, I felt the dynamic between them was a little flat. I like the cast and the director, and I was happy we got to see something since the film is over a year away.

The Peacemaker series was something that appeared to come out of nowhere, the series was announced before The Suicide Squad even premiered. After seeing the movie, I understand why I think James Gunn felt the creative juices flowing for a Peacemaker series. Without spoiling too much about The Suicide Squad, I will say that Peacemaker is easily one of the most interesting characters in the film. I think John Cena can be a bit of a stiff performer, but as Peacemaker he embraced the humor and gave what I feel is the best performance of his career. I did think the trailer for the series was not good, the tone of the trailer just felt wrong. The trailer seemed to for a comedy series, I did not like the tone and look of the show. I hope the trailer was misleading, I know the show will be funny, but I want it to go a little deeper into why Peacemaker is the way he is. The show can be great if it is able to dig into who Peacemaker is, there is plenty of room for humor too. The trailer went big, we saw that Peacemaker will be teaming up with Vigilante, an Eagle, his father and some task force X employees. We are going to need to wait until January to see Peacemaker, despite a bad trailer I am still excited solely based on what I saw in The Suicide Squad.

The movie I was most excited to see footage was from The Flash movie, we got a teaser rather than a full trailer. One of the best comic book series of the past 10 years was Flashpoint, the book tells the story of how the Flash ends up in alternate universe where things are very different. The comic was amazing, and it spawned a very good animated movie, I know The Flash is not telling the same story, but it is using the comic as an inspiration. There were rumors for years that The Flash would be using Flashpoint as an inspiration, but when they announced Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck would both be suiting up as Batman in the film suddenly those rumors proved correct. The teaser did not reveal either Keaton or Batman, but we did see a Batman from behind wearing a suit eerily similar to the 1989 Batman suit. We also got a look at Sasha Calle as Supergirl, it happened so quickly I did not even notice until I saw it pointed out online. We also got a Batmobile tease as Barry Allen starts to pull a tarp off of a car and the screen goes blank as we hear Barry say "holy ....". The trailer revealed a look at the Flash's new suit which looks awesome, but we got not villain or idea about what is happening. The film is still over a year away and I can't wait, while I am not the biggest fan of Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, I hope he makes me eat my words. There are so many reasons to be excited by The Flash, Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, Supergirl, the original Batmobile, and a really cool looking Flash suit are just a few. 

The film that surprised me the most was Black Adam, not only did we see actual footage from the film, but we got a little behind the scenes look too. The Rock is such a charismatic actor that I was not sure how he would fit as Black Adam; the Rock is often cast as the hero it will be interesting to see him in something a little more villainous. We did not get a teaser, but we did get a scene that will likely be near the beginning of the film. The scene features a group entering a tomb and they unleash Black Adam, they charge him and picks up a guy and then electrocutes him until he turns to dust. It is a scene not typical seen in a comic book film, the main character killing someone in cold ash (sorry for the pun). The behind the scenes look shared a few images and storyboards that really stuck with me, I think I am going to like this movie. I was a little worried about how they would tackle the character, I wanted something true to his darker nature. If anyone has read 52 (a 52-issue series) the Black Adam storyline was something that could be used as inspiration for the movie. The scene gave me hope that we will see a true to comics portrayal of Black Adam, it also might be hard to live up to my now much higher expectations.

There were other noteworthy things during Fandome, but I focused on the stuff that I was looking forward to or something blew me away. There was a new Batman animated series announced with Bruce Timm on as showrunner called Batman: Caped Crusader. There was not footage shown but based on his work in Batman: The Animated Series there is no reason to believe the show won't be worth watching. There was more footage shown from Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights. Both look like amazing games that we won't play until 2022 and only if you have either a PS5 or an X Box Series X/S (I don't have either). There were other features, but I either was not interested or I want to wait until I see more, there was a weird moment where Jim Lee was talking and a lot of what he was saying was bleeped out. The Jim Lee was a tease that the DC movies might be building towards Crisis on Infinite Earths, if that is true, I hope they take their time building towards that. Fandome was lacking a big reveal, and there was a lot of content that felt unnecessary, I hope they keep the event going, but they use it to blow people away rather than a failed marketing attempt. I would advise fans to look at the content that was released on YouTube and avoid the setup stuff, there is a lot to be excited by except the execution of the event.

Thank you for reading and let me know what your favourite part of DC Fandome was.

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