DC FanDome has successfully launched its inaugural digital fan event, which has given the world a wealth of news and reveals about many upcoming movies and shows. The digital event is DC’s own distinct convention, much like Disney’s D23, which allows the entertainment powerhouse to promote only its own properties instead of competing for attention during Comic-Con.
Fully entitled DC FanDome: Hall of Heroes, this was a day of digital panels and Q&As meant to bring the convention experience into fans’ homes in a time when such events are no longer viable for large in-person crowds. It’s also just day one of two with the second day, entitled DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse, coming three weeks later. Hall of Heroes served to highlight DC’s biggest upcoming projects with individual panels shown one at a time, while Explore the Multiverse will have significantly more going on where participants will “choose their own adventure.” From the ever-evolving DC Expanded Universe to the reliably consistent Arrowverse, this first event certainly delivered on the hype element expected from such events.
With eight hours’ worth of streamed content, the FanDome was an explosion of news and reveals. There were simple teases for movies like Aquaman 2, Shazam 2, and Black Adam along with series updates for The Sandman, Batwoman, The Flash, and Titans. DC also released full blown trailers for Wonder Woman 1984, The Batman, and the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League, giving extensive looks at the films’ characters and stories. All of this resulted in a lot of new information for fans of the DC Universe to mull over until each show or movie finally comes out.
As Wonder Woman 1984’s delayed October release approaches, the film still contained one major element fans were still eager to see: Cheetah’s full animal form. Kristen Wiig had already appeared in the first trailer, but that was only as the human Barbara Ann Minerva. For a while, there was some speculation as to whether or not she would transform into the full cheetah-human hybrid, but the Wonder Woman 1984 FanDome trailer finally confirmed it, as Cheetah can be seen fighting the Amazonian warrior in what is likely the film’s climax. However, the clips are mostly shaky action shots and obscured by the darkness of night, so audiences will likely have to wait until the movie itself to get a better look at Cheetah.
Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel series The Sandman has been in some form of film or television production for years. Now, Gaiman has confirmed that Netflix’s production is slowly moving back into development after the quarantine shutdown, and that this version will be set in a different time period from the original. The comic mostly took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the show has been updated into the present day, which Gaiman promises will bring creative additions to the adaptation. This will have a noticeable effect on the characters, with changes to their individual natures as well as their genders.
Former Batwoman star Ruby Rose left the show earlier this year, but that does not mean the character is just going away. According to Executive Producer Caroline Dries, while Kate Kane has disappeared during Batwoman season 2, the character still has a role to play, with the suggestion her being MIA will factor into the storyline. Additionally, Dries shared more information about the show’s new lead hero, an original character named Ryan Wilder played by actress Javicia Leslie. Unlike Wayne or Kane, Wilder’s Batwoman is a street-level hero and does not really fit the Bat legacy but will instead make it fit her. A piece of promotional art for FanDome also seems to reveal a first look at Wilder’s costume, which closely resemble’s Kane’s suit.
The Flash season 6 was cut short by four episodes due to COVID-19, and the season concluded with episode 19. However, because they did shoot most of episode 20, the season 7 premiere will use that completed footage. A brief trailer for The Flash season 7 shows off some of this, including Barry’s plan to recreate the Speed Force. With the show likely resuming production later this year, Producer Eric Wallace confirmed that the next big villain will be Godspeed.
Titans season 3 will send the team to Gotham and bring some classic Batman characters to the streaming series. Dr. Jonathan Crane, also known as Scarecrow, will be an inmate at Arkham Asylum and cooperating with Gotham police. Barbara Gordon will also appear in her post-Batgirl years as the city’s police commissioner trying to deal with her father’s mistakes. Neither of these new characters have been cast as of yet. However, after leaving the young team in season 2, Jason Todd a.k.a. Robin #2 will return as the Titans season 3’s primary antagonist, Red Hood.
The Flash film finally got some early development teases after the movie’s long, slow road to its 2022 release date. The movie will feature time travel elements similar to its comic book inspiration Flashpoint, and it will help birth the cinematic DC Multiverse. This will allow multiple versions of DC’s film and TV characters to interact, such as previous Batmen like Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton. The first concept art from the project shows Ezra Miller’s Flash in a new suit as he fights alongside Keaton’s Batman. Flash’s new Wayne-designed suit is much sleeker than his Justice League outfit, but Batman looks just like he did in Tim Burton’s 1989 film.
It was a big day for Jame Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (a sequel/reboot to the 2016 Suicide Squad) that has previously had little information publicized outside of a list of confirmed actors without their specific roles. Firstly, a Task Force X roll call video showed off the 17 main cast members in costume with official confirmation of who exactly everyone is playing. The big reveals here included Michael Rooker as Savant, Idris Elba as Bloodsport (who is in prison for shooting Superman with a Kryptonite bullet), Peter Capaldi as The Thinker, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., Sean Gunn as Weasel, and John Cena as Peacemaker. Additionally, a sizzle reel video for the 2021 release also showed off brief glimpses of both BTS and actual movie footage, accompanied by cast and crew sound bites. Most notably, Producer Peter Safran described the movie as a 1970s war film combined with James Gunn’s comedy and character work.
A shocking announcement came from director/producer Reginald Hudlin during a panel about Milestone Comics. He said he has serious plans to bring the hero Static Shock, one of DC’s most prominent heroes of color, to the big screen in live action. Best known for movies like House Party, Bébé’s Kids, and Django Unchained, Hudlin is producing the film as part of the return of Milestone Comics over 10 years after DC Comics promised to integrate the Milestone characters into the larger comic book universe. This distinct line of comics set out to make superheroes from underrepresented groups, with Static Shock being the most popular creation. Unfortunately, Hudlin did not share any potential release date, story details or casting choices for the movie.
One of DC FanDome’s main hooks was the promise of exclusive details and a first full look at Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League, something forced to life by a dedicated fan campaign. Snyder explained that his edit will re-establish Cyborg as the heart of the movie after the theatrical cut left out most of his origin and emotional arc. The director also revealed that HBO Max will release his version in four one-hour pieces, then as one four-hour movie once those have all come out. The new Justice League trailer highlights restorations into Snyder’s cut, like the distinct 1.66:1 aspect ratio, the originally intended coloring, and key story changes.
Specifically, fans got their the first official look at Darkseid, better shots of Superman in his black suit, a return to the Knightmare future, a Flash rescue scene with Iris West, a close up of restored secondary villain DeSaad, the apparent death of Cyborg’s father, and Flash’s journey through time. While some of the CGI shows that Snyder’s team still has a lot of work before the 2021 release, this sneak peek clearly shows a distinct film and proves why so many people have pushed for so long to give Snyder a chance to make his version of the DC team-up movie.
Progress has been slow on the Black Adam movie since Dwayne Johnson started developing the character years ago, even before he was first announced to be playing the character in 2014. Now, a motion comic promo gives a first look at the character, with narration by Dwayne Johnson as the centuries-old Shazam adversary. During the stream, Johnson discussed his character’s motivations, sharing that Adam’s origins as a slave in the ancient country of Kahndaq greatly inform his vision of justice. He also revealed the Justice Society of America’s members in Black Adam through concept art showing off Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher. Black Adam is at times a villain and at other times an anti-hero, and he has both fought against and for the JSA. Given that the movie mostly follows Johnson’s character after a 5,000 year imprisonment, it is likely the 2021 movie will have a little of both.
DC is working on follow ups to their two surprise hit movies Aquaman and Shazam, with both sequels set to come out in 2022. Neither have begun shooting, so there were no dramatic trailer reveals, but they did get some early updates. Director James Wan said that Aquaman 2 will expand the underwater fantasy world with a little more serious tone and culturally relevant themes. More concretely, Patrick Wilson confirmed that he will indeed return as the villain Ocean Master. Not much was revealed on the Shazam side; however, the cast did share the sequel’s title, SHAZAM!: Fury of the Gods. Comedian Sinbad also crashed the panel and seemingly confirmed his involvement in the movie, which would be a big meta joke as he infamously did not star in a ‘90s genie-comedy called “Shazam” as some people believe.
The Batman now has a clear image after director Matt Reeves got to discuss his film, along with a TV show set in the same universe. He is co-developing the HBO Max series Gotham PD with Boardwalk Empire creator Terrence Winter, and it is set during this Batman’s first year as a crime fighter. The story will focus on the corruption within the Gotham Police Department and the battle for one cop’s soul. Reeves also listed his cinematic influences for the world, including Chinatown, The French Connection, and Taxi Driver, and one comic book inspiration in Darwyn Cooke’s Batman: Ego.
A lengthy first trailer for The Batman includes a lot of first looks for the film by showing off its distinct version of Batman, the Batcave, Catwoman, The Penguin, Jim Gordon, and (what is probably) the Riddler. On top of this, this sneak peak also helps convey the tone and atmosphere, which is significantly more serious and realistic than the fantasy-driven likes of Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam, Aquaman, and The Suicide Squad. The preview also drops multiple hints about the story, including an emphasis on the Riddler’s murders, a card hinting at the Court of Owls, and a lot of elements alluding to the corrupt past of Gotham and likely the Wayne family. Overall, The Batman went from being a mysterious outsider for DC’s cinematic future to a potential game changer.
DC accomplished something special by creating a fan-centric event that circumvented the traditional geek promotional frenzy that is normally Comic-Con. And it came, either accidentally or by design, at just the right time after DC Entertainment’s dramatic layoffs and downsizing. With the overwhelming quantity of revelations and teases about the brand’s future, things are looking much brighter than they did just a few days ago. And the fun is not yet over, as DC has promised over a hundred hours more content when the FanDome returns on September 12, 2020 with the other elements of the digital experience, including the WatchVerse, YouVerse, InsiderVerse, FunVerse, and DC Kids FanDome.