For a couple years now, Warner Brothers has been…how I should say…hard up. It’s not necessarily their fault. In fact, their failure is a marked result of their most admirable quality. They’re a studio willing to swing for the fences every time. They give real filmmakers the chance to do truly bold or daring things within the constraints of studio filmmaking. Sometimes that nets you Mad Max: Fury Road or Godzilla. Other times, it nets you Jupiter Ascending or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
But rather than go back on that promise, they keep taking chances with the hope that one year, it will pay off. If I may speak frankly, boy howdy does it look like it paid off this year.
It’s Nerd Christmas, in other words San Diego Comic Con, and our gift this year from WB was a number of kickass trailers that signal an awesome year in blockbuster entertainment ahead. More importantly, these may signal quite the turnaround. I’m interested in all of these, but because I feel the need to arbitrarily create competition, let’s rank them from least to most exciting.
Honorable Mention: Suicide Squad
Yeah, this is a cool trailer, but considering the movie comes out in two weeks, feels wrong to put it with the others. Movie looks like weird fun, especially with the increasing occult/Lovecraft overtones to the villainy. The Hot Topic aesthetic still puts me at disease, but the first time that DC may learn its lesson that we need to like its characters turns me back to feeling better.
5) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Yeah, my mind’s still not made up on this one. It feels to me like Harry Potter‘s version of The Hobbit, especially given that it’s already locked itself into a trilogy and I’m not seeing where the big story is here. I love the period setting, and Colin Farrell seems like he might quietly bring a lot of his recent acting prowess into this film, but to be the closest film on this list (minus Suicide Squad) and still seemingly so unsure of what it’s about gives me pause.
Granted, none of what I said matters, this thing is gonna make gangbusters. Its sequels? We’ll see. But this one? Scrooge McDuckian amounts of money.
4) King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
This is objectively the worst looking film on this list. The trailer is rough and all over the place and I’m not sure whether it’s a straight fantasy story or RockNRolla in Vaguely Medieval England. Charlie Hunnam also continues to be a charisma suck even in a 3 minute clip. That said, I’m intrigued enough by a Guy Ritchie take on King Arthur that I’m willing to give this the chance to surprise me.
I also feel like I might be more thrilled if this was good than Fantastic Beasts, just for the surprise factor.
Also, I really hope Jude Law chews all the scenery.
3) Justice League
I’m gonna be honest with you guys, this is only here because I don’t want to get hurt again. Most of the team from cinematic violation of the Geneva Convention Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is here, and this movie has a lot to prove before I’m willing to let myself get actually excited.
But dammit does this come close. Look at all the visual flair that seems to actually be serving character moments. Look at the fact that not only is the team talking, but they have legit chemistry…or at least Ben Affleck’s Batman does. There’s a sense of verve and fun that never came close to Batman v Superman in its earliest moments. There’s something to get legitimately excited about here that I need to see more of before I let down my defenses
2) Kong: Skull Island
Holy shit, this is gorgeous. I’m a giant monster fan, sure, but even if I wasn’t I’d be impressed. There’s a power to the way this movie is filmed, a sense of a foreign land and an ancient history we couldn’t begin to understand. Not to mention the brief glimpses we’ve gotten of King Kong (the biggest yet) call to mind the incredible displays that were pulled off with Godzilla.
I never knew I needed Apocalypse Now with giant monsters, but now I can’t wait until I have it in my lap.
1) Wonder Woman
Calling it now. The trailer of Comic-Con.
Badass. Witty. Epic. Graceful. That’s Wonder Woman and that’s this trailer. The film looks incredible, living up to years of expectation and beginning to carve out the space that Wonder Woman has always deserved and that we may be learning Gal Gadot does as well.
This movie looks like everything you can imagine and more. It feels like a reclamation of what worked about the character in Batman v Superman that lets her take ownership of everything. That theme isn’t just the beginning of the Doomsday fight. It’s Wonder Woman’s theme.
Wonder Woman feels like the truest affirmation of the fight to carve out space for women in geekdom. There is work to be done, but I’m excited for a generation of little nerds who will grow up with Wonder Woman and Gal Gadot as an idol.