Now that the dust has settled at the San Diego Convention Center and The A.V. Club has broken down our favorite moments from Comic-Con 2022, we can’t help but wonder: What was left out? Which studios and networks should have dropped teasers and news and all that other fun fan stuff, but left us hanging instead? There were a surprising number of glaring omissions this year, and some of feel like particularly big missed opportunities.
Where was Avatar?
No, it’s not Marvel or DC, but James Cameron’s Avatar is enough of a behemoth buzz generator to warrant a Comic-Con appearance of its own, especially considering the first film did so way back in 2009 and The Way Of Water arrives this December. Unfortunately, the franchise was a no show this year. But hey, with a whopping four sequels coming down the pike, there will be plenty of future conventions for James Cameron and his blue friends to shine—provided fan’s have the stamina and the attention spans.
Two big misses by Marvel
In comparison to virtually every other studio, Marvel delivered what Comic-Con attendees wanted and then some: updates on their next few films, including the first trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and a road map to the MCU’s next big crossover. In fact, the studio was so detailed with its announcements that what it excluded was more conspicuous as a result. Specifically, even panel-whisperer Ash Crossan couldn’t get Kevin Feige to delve into Fantastic Four. An obvious and inevitable addition to the existing tapestry of Marvel superhero stories, that property has already generated rumors that Steven Spielberg would direct a Fantastic Four film.
Feige also wouldn’t explain when and/or how X-Men might make an appearance—on the big screenor on TV—now that Marvel and Fox both fall under the same corporate umbrella. Given the fact that the studio’s TV slate has introduced, or at least strongly hinted at, mutants as a part of the MCU—via the exceptional Ms. Marvel—and Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness featured an alternate-reality team of heroes that included Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, the table is set for the X-Men to start saving lives. It was strange that neither of these blue-chip franchises came up.
What about Alien?
With two Alien projects in development, you’d think an official poster or at the very least a release date would come courtesy of Fox, er, Disney, er, whoever is now in charge of those chest-ripping beasts. While fans of the Predator franchise were plenty satisfied with glimpses of Hulu’s upcoming prequel Prey, there was no such love Comic-Con for their extraterrestrial counterparts.
Wherefore art thou, DC Extended Universe?
Warner Bros.’ panel on Saturday covered two films in just over 90 minutes: Shazam! Fury Of The Gods and Black Adam. As new installments of the not-so-rapidly-expanding DC cinematic universe, both titles are highly anticipated—perhaps most of all by their respective stars, Zachary Levi and Dwayne Johnson, who are ecstatic to be playing superheroes. But those rumors of an appearance by Henry Cavill, and perhaps a confirmation of a new Superman film, turned out to be false. And neither DC nor Warner Bros. offered much in the way of material updates about their slate of films focused on costume-clad heroes.
Mind you, we understand why no mention was made of The Flash; Ezra Miller’s CVS receipt-length list of misbehavior puts Warner Bros. in an awkward position, considering that the film is meant to kickstart a multiversal exploration of DC characters. But even without footage to show, director James Wan and star Jason Momoa made an update on Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom back in April at Cinemacon. And even if Batgirl is destined “only” for release on HBO Max, they could have brought out star Leslie Grace to start building some buzz for that film.
The CW dials way back
The CW significantly scaled back its SDCC presence compared to years past. Facing a possible sale, the network offered fans no news on Superman & Lois, the Supernatural prequel, the highly anticipated Gotham Knights, or its own version of The Flash. At least their biggest hit series—Riverdale, duh—landed in Hall H this year ahead of its sixth and final season.
Universal, Paramount, and Sony are mostly MIA
Secret Headquarters from Paramount Pictures
Yes, Across The Spider-Verse is tragically delayed (don’t remind us!). Couldn’t Sony at least have thrown out a poster or a new trailer or some spoiler-y crumbs to satiate us until 2023?
Joining Sony on the sidelines this year were two other film studios with upcoming properties that would have made perfect choices to appear at this year’s convention. Universal’s theatrical projects include the nerd-friendly untitled Super Mario Bros. movie. And Paramount has the original superhero flick Secret Headquarters coming soon enough (August 5) that we should have seen more teasers by now.
Wanted: MonsterVerse updates
Godzilla Vs Kong
You’d think Legendary would have enough runway to give fans details or even a first look at the Godzilla Vs. Kong sequel, scheduled for early 2024. But you’d be wrong, wouldn’t you? Which kaiju are next on the horizon, both literally and in terms of the studio’s plans, remain to be seen.