This year, both Marvel Studios and DC have decided to take a digital route to showcase their upcoming projects, rather than exhibiting at Comic-Con@Home, the biggest comic book convention’s virtual turn due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The virus not only hampered the comic convention but also impacted the businesses of Hollywood. All studios were forced to delay their upcoming projects while the production processes came to a halt. Comic-Con@Home’s biggest offerings this year include Bill & Ted, Agent’s of Sheild (Netflix) Hulu’s Helstrom, What we Do In The Shadows, The Simpsons, Fox’s The New Mutants among others.
The decision to sit out of the convention didn’t come as a surprise apropos to the current scenario where studios don’t want to make a commitment in the uncertain times. However, it’s not bad news for the fans.
It’s the second time in the convention’s history that Marvel Studios is skipping Comic-Con@Home. The first time was the year before Avengers: Endgame, the studio chose to sit out to avoid any media or fan questions before the big release. Another reason to stay quiet was to avoid any kind of spoilers. However, this year Marvel has more reasons to exhibit than ever before.
Fans are eagerly waiting for MCU Phase 4 and it seems like they’d have to wait some more. In San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel President Kevin Feige presented the roadmap Phase 4 and 5. It included Disney+ series into the MCU and offered shows like WandaVision, Loki, Falcon And The Winter Soldier. Disney’s quarter 3 reports further affirmed the boom in streaming business in quarantine with Disney CEO Bob Chapek mentioning Disney+ ‘exceeding expectations.’
Watch: Marvel Studios & DC Skip Comic-Con@Home
Ideally, we should have seen the Black Widow movie and would have been following it up with Disney+ Falcon and The Winter Soldier. While SDCC Comic-Con would have released new trailers and material for The Eternals and WandaVision.
Now is the time to get an update on them. But Marvel owners at Disney have a different plan. It appears that fans will get their due update during the July 30th NBA event which will air on ESPN.
How? Well, Marvel owner Disney also owns ESPN. Hence the new trailers are expected to leverage the sporting event. Disney often takes the sporting events marketing route via NBA and NFL Super Bowl. Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther was famously introduced in a Super Bowl commercial.
It’s the pinnacle of superhero fatigue; fans are looking for some sort of official announcements from Marvel Studio. We need updates on the Falcon and The Winter Soldier which is rumored to be pushed back again, snowballing into impacting the release of Black Widow, because continuity is the key. However, it’s rumored that Marvel might give us two new Black Widow trailers. Disney+ WandaVision and The Eternals movie that finished production before the pandemic struck also deserve a teaser update.
However, Marvel Entertainment is showing up at the Comic-Con@Home. Their schedule includes a Disney+ documentary, Marvel’s 616, MARVEL HQ and, an X-Men crossover event comic, X OF SWORDS.
Come August DC will hold its own free, virtual fan event celebrating films, TV shows, books, and games. The online experience will be accessible for 24 hours at DC FanDome’s official website. Like a traditional convention, the event will include announcements for future projects, BTS footage, and panels featuring the cast and creators of DC’s films and shows.
Watch: DC FanDome Virtual Event Breakdown
DC has already got fans excited with some amazing stuff lined up. WB is aiming for a Multiverse live-action format for its DCEU coupled with multiple series for its newly launched HBO Max streaming platform. To start with, Zack Snyder’s Justice League got the green light. The director will be present at the FanDome event and fans are expecting unseen footage of either of Snyder’s Darkseid or Deathstroke.
Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 starring Gal Gadot which got delayed due to the virus will also be present at the FanDome. Fans expect another trailer release for the movie which is set to hit theatres now in October 2020.
Another anticipated presence is of director Matt Reeves’ The Batman. HBO Max recently teased a spin-off show for the movie which is expected to be based on the Gotham City Police Department set before Bruce Wayne comes of age. A lot of speculation is already out there about the show and the movie which plans to restart production next month in Chicago.
So are the days for cosplay and in-person conventions behind us? Think Not. Marvel and Disney’s new approach to reach a wider audience virtually is an unprecedented event. But in return, millions of fans around the world will get a lot more content.
So maybe, DC and Marvel sitting out of Comic-Con@Home isn’t that bad.