So, you missed out on DC FanDome: Hall of Heroes?
First, really? You missed out on the entire thing? Well, that’s a bummer, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. We’ll never be able to recreate the feeling of watching panels about some of DC’s biggest upcoming movies, TV shows, games and comics alongside your fellow fans. (Virtually speaking, of course.) And we’re not going to be able to recap the entire eight hours. However, we can at least make sure you don’t miss out on any of the news, announcements and trailers that came out of the first part of DC FanDome. Are you ready? Then let’s start things off in Themyscira.
Wonder Woman 1984
The cast and director of DC’s next big screen adventure kicked things off in good form with a rousing Q&A that featured some surprise guests and our first look at the new Wonder Woman 1984 trailer.
Director Patty Jenkins was joined by Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal to discuss their upcoming follow-up to the 2017 megahit, answering questions about where they got the inspiration for the film’s ‘80s-era wardrobe, what their best memory was from the time on set and who would win in a tennis match between Wonder Woman and the Cheetah (that last one was asked by none other than tennis superstar and DC fan Venus Williams). However, the highlights of the panel’s 25 minutes were an unexpected appearance from original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter—which inspired some serious geeking out by the cast—and the debut of the film’s second trailer, which gave us our first look at Wiig’s full-on-feral Cheetah.
Talk about going for the jugular!
The Hall of Heroes’ second big panel was a Warner Bros. Games Montreal announcement—an exciting, deeply intriguing new game called Gotham Knights. However, it’s not a Batman game.
In Gotham Knights, Batman is dead and it’s up to four young members of the Bat-Family—Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin and Red Hood—to fill the void left by the fallen Dark Knight. WB Games Montreal debuted the game’s first trailer, in which a pre-recorded message from Bruce Wayne is sent to the four survivors. The trailer features looks at all four of them in action, each with distinctly different weapons and fighting styles. It also gives us a look at some of the game’s villains, including a menacing Mr. Freeze and the Court of Owls, who look phenomenal in the small glimpses we get of them. (Seriously, guys, I got chills.)
As if that weren’t already plenty, the three panelists, WB Games Montreal’s Patrick Redding and Fleur Marty, along with SHAZAM!’s Zachary Levi, also gave us our first look at Gotham Knights’ gameplay in an extended trailer that showed Batgirl and Robin cooperatively infiltrating a frozen Elliot Center culminating in a boss battle against Mr. Freeze. The gameplay featured appearances from other Gothamites like Alfred Pennyworth and Renee Montoya, providing a good example of the “living, breathing Gotham City” that the game’s developers have promised to provide. We also learned that the Belfry will be an important location within the game and that Gotham Knights’ mystery is bigger than just the Court of Owls. Gotham Knights will be released next year, and it’s a fair bet we’ll be hearing a lot more about it between now and then.
The Sandman Universe: Enter the Dreaming
Hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and featuring guests Neil Gaiman, G. Willow Wilson, Dirk Maggs and Michael Sheen, this discussion looked at the history of Gaiman’s iconic Sandman comic and the way it’s expanded beyond the original 75-issue series into things like the just launched comic The Dreaming: Waking Hours, the #1 New York Times Bestselling The Sandman audio production and the upcoming Netflix adaptation. While this panel was largely a celebration of all things Sandman and light on new announcements, Gaiman did give us an update on the Netflix series, explaining that like everything else, Covid has put the show’s development on pause, but that things have slowly been resuming and he’s been starting to get casting updates and new production designs. He also shared one change they’ve made to the original comic. In the book, the “present day” moments were set in the late 1980s and very early 1990s (the time the series was published), while in the Netflix adaptation, they’ll be set in the present day. It’s something Gaiman promised has really opened the door to them creatively, allowing them to consider how they would do The Sandman today.
Less of a panel and more of a featurette designed to get us all hyped about the upcoming Flash movie that’s currently slated for summer of 2022 (can Barry Allen change the timeline so that date gets here any quicker?), this ten minute presentation featured director Andy Muschietti, star Ezra Miller, screenwriter Christina Hodson and producer Barbara Muschietti who offered plenty of tidbits to get fans excited. While details about the plot were kept largely under wraps, Muschietti and Hodson confirmed that it’s a time travel story, while the tone of the movie is in keeping with Muschietti’s ability to deftly switch from comedic moments, to horrific ones, to deeply emotional ones. (See his IT movies if you’re not sure what we’re talking about.)
Miller, when he wasn’t comedically showering us with “Flash Facts” about…pretty much everything, offered the most enticing promise: Of all the DC movies, this one’s important because it opens the same door that the Flashpoint miniseries did in the comics, allowing many of the distinctly different versions of DC characters that we’ve seen in movies and TV over the years to start to collide. As Hodson promises, “The cinematic DC Multiverse is going to be born out of this movie.”
While the movie is yet to start filming, so there was no teaser of any sort, Muschietti did give us our first look at the Flash’s new suit from the film (above), which is built by Bruce Wayne and is much sleeker-looking than his original Justice League suit.
The Suicide Squad
James Gunn and team killed it! No, I don’t mean that literally. They didn’t kill anything or anyone during their hilariously free-wheeling panel (though it seems like more than a few poor souls may meet their end in the film they were there to promote). The Suicide Squad’s director started things off with a Q&A session, revealing to fans how he was particularly excited at the chance to write Harley Quinn and that he thinks of his movie as a sequel to John Ostrander’s defining Suicide Squad comics. However, likely the biggest news to come out of the panel came when Gunn introduced his full cast and finally revealed who everyone is playing. Here’s the full list:
Viola Davis – Amanda Waller
Joel Kinnaman – Colonel Rick Flag
Michael Rooker – Savant
Flula Borg – Javelin
Margot Robbie – Harley Quinn
David Dastmalchian – Polka-Dot Man
Daniela Melchior – Ratcatcher 2
Idris Alba – Bloodsport
Mayling Ng – Mongal
Peter Capaldi – The Thinker
Alice Braga – Sol Soria
Pete Davidson – Blackguard
Nathan Fillion – T.D.K.
Sean Gunn – Weasel
Jai Courtney – Captain Boomerang
John Cena – Peacemaker
Steve Agee – King Shark
Juan Diego Botto – General Silvio Luna
Much of the panel was dedicated to an only-sort-of-serious trivia game played by the cast, including questions asked by some surprise fellow cast members, including Joaqín Cosio (Major General Suarez), Jennifer Holland (Emilia Harcourt) and Storm Reid (Tyla), and to everyone giving Rooker a seriously hard time. However, Gunn wrapped things up with a thrilling behind-the-scenes featurette that gave us our first look at footage from the film, which was just enough to make us want to see much, MUCH more! (Seriously, why does summer 2021 have to be so far away?!?)
Legacy of the Bat
This panel, looking at the scope of Batman as both a DC character and pop culture icon, was moderated by actor and Bat-fan Nyambi Nyambi and featured DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, Batwoman Executive Producer Caroline Dries, Warner Bros. Games Montreal Creative Director Patrick Redding, writer and screenwriter John Ridley, Titans actor Brenton Thwaites and new Batwoman star Javicia Leslie.
While most of the panel was devoted to discussion about the importance of the Dark Knight and his continual evolution, Dries and Leslie did tease the upcoming season of Batwoman, promising that while Kate Kane has disappeared in season two, she will be kept as a part of the show. Dries described Leslie’s newly created character of Ryan Wilder as “a character that Batwoman needs to protect.” When asked how she fits the legacy of the Bat, Dries replied that she doesn’t fit it. “She makes it fit her,” she explained, which makes it accessible for a whole other world of people.
Finally, Lee and Ridley announced that Ridley would be writing an all-new Batman miniseries for DC featuring artist Nick Derington. The pair shared a breathtaking illustration from the comic by artist LADRÖNN, and while details of the plot were kept fairly light, Ridley did say that the book would spend a lot of time with Lucius Fox’s family and would likely feature a Batman of color.
The “Surprise DC Comics Panel” scheduled for the Hall of Heroes midpoint wound up being a celebration of the groundbreaking Milestone Comics that featured a few exciting announcements about the line’s return.
Moderated by Marc Bernardin, the panel featured DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, Milestone principals Reggie Hudlin and Denys Cowan, and Static Shock voice actor Phil Lamarr, the discussion touched on Milestone’s beginning, visionary and nearly unheard of at the time, and the key role Dwayne McDuffie played in its development. One of the first fan questions the group got concerned plans for Milestone in film, TV and other media outside comics, and Hudlin mentioned that they are in fact in serious talks about a Static Shock feature film as well as other platforms like animated films, podcasts and even Young Adult content.
There was also big news on the comics front, with Lee mentioning that they’re looking at February 2021 to officially relaunch the line and will be leading up to it by making more of the existing, classic Milestone content available digitally. In possibly the panel’s biggest announcement, Cowan announced a new Static Shock digital series due in February 2021 followed by a Static Shock original graphic novel by Hudlin and artist Kyle Baker and a return of heroes Icon and Rocket in a series also written by Hudlin and drawn by Cowan.
The Snyder Cut of Justice League
DC FanDome is all about the fans, so it makes sense that the second half of the Hall of Heroes would be kicked off by something that wouldn’t exist if not for fans—the Snyder Cut of Justice League.
Less a panel than a presentation and discussion hosted by director Zack Snyder, the segment began with a Q&A featuring guest appearances by Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins. During it, Snyder revealed his favorite superhero after Batman—Doctor Manhattan—and explained how he was most excited to flesh out Cyborg’s role in the story, who he described as “the heart of the movie.” He also promised we’ll be seeing a lot more of the Flash, including something with the character that we’ve never seen before.
Later, Snyder interviewed two fans who were heavily involved with the “Release the Snyder Cut” movement before revealing some details about the project itself.
Debuting on HBO Max in 2021, Snyder’s recut Justice League will be divided into four parts, each one hour long. After all four parts have debuted, they’ll be edited together into a single film, in case anyone prefers to watch it that way. Finally, he mentioned that they’re at work on an international distribution plan so that countries where HBO Max is currently unavailable will still be able to see the film.
Of course, the highlight of the presentation was the first official teaser of Snyder’s Justice League, which featured Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, provided our first great look at Darkseid and boasted dozens of never-before-seen shots. It was, in a word, breathtaking.
The Flash TV Panel
While many of the DC FanDome’s TV panels will be happening on September 12th as part of Explore the Multiverse, the Arrowverse was well represented at Hall of Heroes by this appropriately fast-paced panel highlighting the long-running CW series.
Moderated by Entertainment Weekly’s Chancellor Agard, the panel featured series stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Nicolet, Brandon McKnight, Kayla Compton, and Executive Producer Eric Wallace. Agard managed to get in plenty of questions over the panel’s brief runtime, including plenty about the upcoming season. Wallace revealed that next season’s primary villain will be Godspeed, which is in part due to a desire to include newer villains on the show as a way of appealing to fans who may have discovered the Flash’s comics more recently. He also shared that The Flash was in the midst of shooting what would have been season six’s 20th episode when the pandemic shutdown happened, and much of that footage will now become part of season seven’s first episode.
It also allowed Wallace and his cast to debut an exciting new sizzle that included plenty of not-yet-seen footage featuring the Flash and his battle against Efrat Dor’s Eva McCulloch that sets up much of what we can expect to see when season seven debuts in 2021.
While Black Adam is yet to start shooting, so no trailer or featurette was included in Dwayne Johnson’s still-very-exciting presentation, we did kick things off with a motion comic promo drawn by Jim Lee and BossLogic and narrated by Johnson. The promo gave us a dramatic glimpse of Black Adam’s origins over 5,000 years ago in Kahndaq and set the tone for what we can expect when this movie debuts late in 2021 (in short, it’s going to be intense).
Johnson went on to answer plenty of fan questions, sharing what he loved about the character and how Adam’s origins as a slave greatly inform his vision of justice. He also chatted briefly with actor Noah Centineo, who will appear in the film as Atom Smasher and who shared what his workout regimen has been like as he prepares for the role. Finally, Johnson discussed the Justice Society’s role in the movie, and shared at least some of the members we can expect to see—Centineo’s Atom Smasher, along with Hawkman, Doctor Fate and Cyclone.
The second TV panel to take place in the Hall of Heroes, the Titans discussion may have been light on new footage, but it offered some truly exciting news for fans about its upcoming third season.
Moderated by TV Guide’s Damian Holbrook and featuring Executive Producer Greg Walker alongside stars Brenton Thwaites, Teagan Croft, Anna Diop, Ryan Potter, Alan Ritchson, Minka Kelly, Joshua Orpin, Conor Leslie, Curran Walters and Damaris Lewis, the panel kicked off with a screening of five of the show’s best scenes as chosen by fans, including the debut appearance of Donna Troy’s Lasso of Truth and the first time the Titans fought together as a team. Afterwards, Walker discussed the upcoming season, revealing that the Titans will head to Gotham where they’ll meet some familiar faces, notably Dr. Jonathan Crane (aka Scarecrow) and Barbara Gordon, who’s now the GCPD Commissioner.
The show’s version of Barbara, who is yet to be cast, is no longer Batgirl and is now following along in the footsteps of her father as Police Commissioner. She has a past relationship with Dick Grayson, presumably from his time as Robin, but is nevertheless wary of the Titans being in Gotham. Dr. Crane, on the other hand, is a current inmate of Arkham Asylum who offers his services as a profiler and consultant for the GCPD.
However, the biggest news from the panel concerns the season’s villain…and he’s a character fans already know from the show. After angrily leaving the Titans at the end of season two, Jason Todd will come back for revenge as none other than Red Hood, marking the first time the character will appear in live action.
DC FanDome’s panel on Aquaman was largely just a look back at the 2018 blockbuster and featured a rollicking discussion between director James Wan and actor Patrick Wilson. Wan did offer a few tidbits about what we can expect from the second film, however, sharing that he’s excited to continue the journey of Aquaman’s heroes and antiheroes, expand on the world and do things he didn’t get to do with the first movie. He also promised that the 2022 sequel will be a little more serious and culturally relevant than the previous installment.
Ask Harley Quinn
Not a lot of news was shared in this brief Q&A with DC’s newest animated star, but that’s okay because the world needs more of Kaley Cuoco’s Harley, even if it’s just a five-minute Q&A. Heck, we won’t go so far as to say we’d be happy if all eight hours of DC FanDome was just Harley answering silly questions, but we’re not going to not say it either.
Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary Celebration
Next year marks 80 years of @DCWonderWoman, our Champion of Truth and Warrior for Peace. Check out the official anniversary logo that was just revealed at #DCFanDome, and get ready to celebrate in 2021! #DCWonderWoman pic.twitter.com/yHnK6nv96i— Wonder Woman (@DCWonderWoman) August 22, 2020
Wonder Woman celebrates her 80th anniversary next year, and while the big celebration will be in 2021, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins was joined by the two women who have played Diana onscreen, Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter, to give us our very first look at the Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary logo.
Look at you, SHAZAM! Trying to give the Ask Harley Quinn Q&A some serious competition for the funniest panel at DC FanDome!
While this brief ten-minute chat may not have had any trailers to share (largely because the SHAZAM! sequel is yet to start shooting), it was still thoroughly amusing, largely due to series star Zachary Levi’s boundless energy and the seemingly unending parade of surprise panelists. Asher Angel! Jack Dylan Grazer! Faithe Herman! Megan Good! David F. Sandberg! Adam Brody! Sinbad!
Well, yes! After all, he starred in SHAZAM!, didn’t he? Lots of people seem to think he did! This raucous, yet utterly adorable crew of panelists discussed what they’d like to see in the SHAZAM! sequel (unicorns and jet packs!) and whether it would be possible to get CGI’d into the Justice League Snyder Cut before revealing the official name of the SHAZAM! sequel—SHAZAM!: Fury of the Gods.
If the movie is even halfway as entertaining as its panel was, you’re going to want to start lining up now. (Well, maybe not. 2022 is still a long way away.)
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
DC FanDome’s second big videogame panel comes care of the team behind one of the biggest game franchises in gaming history—Batman: Arkham. Rocksteady Studio’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was announced last week with a provocative teaser image and an even more outlandish title reveal. Why is the Suicide Squad killing the Justice League? Is even possible for a ragtag team of super-villains to take down the World’s Greatest Super Heroes?
We got answers to those questions and more in this first look panel hosted by Will Arnett, starting with a phenomenal cinematic trailer.
Considering how dark the Arkham games are, you could be forgiven for expecting Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad game to be pretty bleak, but actually the opposite is true if the trailer’s any indication. Kill the Justice League looks to be bright, irreverent and pretty darn funny. Featuring four core members of the Squad—Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark and Captain Boomerang—the game is set in Metropolis and is, indeed, about taking down the Justice League.
About halfway through the presentation, Arnett was joined by Rocksteady Creative Director and Co-Founder Sefton Hill, who answered some questions about the world of the game and its gameplay. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set within the “Arkhamverse,” and he promised that a lot of throughlines carried over from the Arkham games will come to fruition here. Hill described the game as a hybrid between Rocksteady’s experience with superhero empowerment—such as bringing characters like Batman to life in the Arkham games—with some really awesome gunplay. They also wanted to give players the chance to explore an open world Metropolis, which Hill described as the game’s fifth character.
Speaking of characters, all four core characters are playable and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is designed to be played however players prefer. It’s a one-to-four player co-op game and is fully dynamic. So, if players prefer playing single player, they can do that and the other three members of your squad will be played by bots. If they feel like switching from one character to another, they can do that as well. Likewise, if they want to team up with friends for multiplayer, that’s possible, with each player taking on a different character. The game works either way.
Of course, there’s still the fact that the Suicide Squad’s essentially taking on the all-powerful Justice League with little more than baseball bats, guns and boomerangs, but we imagine we’ll get a better idea of exactly how they’re going to pull that off when the game gets closer to its 2022 release.
DC FanDome: Hall of Heroes wrapped up with a 30-minute discussion with director Matt Reeves about The Batman, and it did not disappoint. Introduced by Robert Pattinson and moderated by DC FanDome host Aisha Tyler, the fast-talking Reeves covered quite a bit over the course of the panel, including giving fans a pretty clear idea of what sort of story they’re in for when The Batman debuts in October of next year.
As had been discussed before, The Batman is set during Bruce Wayne’s second year as a crimefighter, meaning it’s not an origin, but the Dark Knight is clearly still establishing himself and becoming the hero he’ll eventually become. As Reeves made clear, “He’s far from perfect.” While Batman is no longer a new presence in Gotham City when The Batman starts, he’s not having the affect on the city that he wants to have…and that’s when the murders start.
Those murders really shed some light on the true history of Gotham and open up a world of corruption that touches on Batman’s origins, forcing Bruce to confront the question of where his family might have sat in all of that. Reeves promises that The Batman will be a mystery and a detective story, but a deeply personal one for Batman.
Later, Reeves answered some fan questions, including some of the movies that influenced his vision for The Batman (Chinatown, The French Connection and Taxi Driver) and one surprising comic (Darwyn Cooke’s Batman: Ego). He even shared a bit of what we can expect from the recently announced HBO Max TV series set in the universe of the film. That series, which Reeves is working on with Boardwalk Empire creator Terrence Winter, will be set during Batman’s first year in Gotham, during the initial appearances of this new masked vigilante who seems to have declared war on Gotham’s underworld. Reeves explained that you’ll see this story through the point of view of the corrupt cops of the Gotham City Police Department, one corrupt cop in particular, and that in many ways, the story would be a battle for his soul.
However, the highlight of the panel was definitely the Batman teaser that Reeves debuted, which looks absolutely breathtaking despite being cut from only about 25% of the film. Moody, dark and utterly gripping, the teaser is everything we wanted and more.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see more from The Batman. In fact, I’d love a lot more of everything, if I’m being honest. And guess what? We’re going to get it. The second day of DC FanDome, which is called DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse, is coming on September 12th and features over 100 hours of content that will be available on demand for a full day. You thought eight hours was a lot? Better rest up, DC fans. We’re just getting started!