Well, what an experience this is!
With hours of panels and plenty of exciting reveals, the much-anticipated DC FanDome event has finally got underway, marking a huge step towards more accessible virtual conventions, giving fans worldwide a chance to experience all the thrills and reveals of Comic-Con without being in Hall H. In case you missed anything – there were plenty of streams that aren’t possible to watch back, so there must be some stuff that passed you by – we’ve rounded up the most exciting DC news that came out during FanDome – so strap in, and catch up on all the brilliant news we’ve just been treated to.
Wonder Woman 1984
The first panel of the night was one focusing on DC’s next feature film, the long-delayed Wonder Woman 1984 – which was actually meant to be out in June 2020, before Covid-19 pushed it back to October. This panel was fairly run-of-the-mill, bringing together all the main cast – Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal, as well as director Patty Jenkins – to discuss the film and release a new trailer, which debuted the film’s villain, Cheetah. You can check the trailer out here:
Next up was a panel with games developer WB Games Montreal, who had previously made the warmly-received 2013 game Batman: Arkham Origins. A new game from them has been teased for years, and it wasn’t hard to assume it would be DC-related, but nobody was quite sure what – would it be a long-rumoured Superman game, another Batman game, or something different entirely?
Well, it turns out they were busy making Gotham Knights, a co-op DC action game where players will be able to control four of Batman’s main sidekicks: Robin, Nightwing, Red Hood and Batgirl. Here’s the trailer:
The premise of Gotham Knights is pretty unexpected: in a world where Batman has died (it’s safe to say this isn’t the Arkham-verse), the Caped Crusader’s four most trusted assistants must come together to tackle the villains that will emerge in a world without the Bat. Most excitingly, Gotham Knights will mark the first big appearance of the Court of Owls, a criminal group best known from the Batman comic run of the same name – and from the creepy atmosphere set in the trailer, they’re sure to be challenging and compelling adversaries to our heroes.
Not too much is known apart from this: we do know the game will be releasing on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X at some point in 2021, but gameplay-wise, very little is known. It has been confirmed that, disappointingly, the game won’t contain split-screen co-op, although you will be able to team up online with your friends to take the game on.
Next up was a brief panel with The Flash director Andy Muschetti (It, It Chapter Two), where some new concept art was revealed for the 2022 film. This comes only days after it was announced that Ben Affleck will return as Batman for the film, and sadly we didn’t find out anything more about that, although this concept art does contain an image of Michael Keaton’s Batman teaming up with Ezra Miller’s Flash – a combo that has made this film so highly-anticipated. Check out the artwork here:
The Suicide Squad
This panel was certainly one of the FanDome’s most anticipated, as director James Gunn has kept his upcoming Suicide Squad re-imagining tightly under wraps, and luckily for us, plenty was revealed here. First up was a run-up of the cast: we’ve known for a while who’s in the film, but we finally got the chance to see who these people are playing:
A pretty stacked cast! On top of this, the first teaser trailer for the 2021 film was released, which looks absolutely tremendous. Although there isn’t much actual footage and a lot of it is behind-the-scenes, the passion that everyone seems to have for James Gunn’s reimagining of the Suicide Squad suggests this will be a vast improvement on 2016’s interpretation – it looks so comic-booky, crazy and simply fun, which the original certainly wasn’t. And David Dastmalchain as Polkadot Man looks absolutely brilliant!
Zack Snyder’s Justice League
This was one of the FanDome’s most anticipated panels, where we expected fans would finally get a teaser for the hugely hyped Snyder Cut of Justice League. Fans’ wishes were answered as a brilliant teaser was shown, with Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ playing over brand-new footage of the Justice League and their adversaries as we never saw them in the 2017 original.
This might have been the best panel of the night so far, as Snyder had plenty to say about the upcoming release. Crucially, we found out that it will be releasing in four one-hour parts, and following this a continuous four-hour version will be released should fans wish to watch it all in one go. Snyder also revealed that regions without HBO Max will still be able to watch the film at launch, although specific details weren’t announced.
Most excitingly, though, were the tidbits of information he dripped throughout the panel. He said that he was most excited to flesh out Cyborg, making him ‘the heart of the movie’, and hinted that the Flash’s time-travelling capabilities will be shown off in this film – a prospect that is very exciting indeed.
And what about that teaser trailer! It looks like a totally different film, with so much added stuff we didn’t get in the original, from Darkseid looking ominous to black-suit Superman and an updated design for Steppenwolf. It also seems that there will be a lot more character development, as shots hinting at deeper backstories for Cyborg, the Flash and Aquaman should add some much-needed detail to characters who were somewhat glossed over in the original. After that trailer, it’s going to make the wait into 2021 much harder indeed.
Not too much info in this panel, as it comes a while before this film has even started filming, but here Dwayne Johnson marked his first official appearance since Black Adam was officially greenlit, to outline the film’s premise and answer some questions from fans.
Johnson started by saying how Black Adam in this film feels a sense of justice so strong that he will go to any lengths necessary to protect his people, and that he will be a ‘ruthless keeper of justice’ that ‘does not practice restraint’. He doesn’t go too much more into the plot, but does hint that it’s a revenge story unlike anything we’ve seen from the DCEU. He also suggests that Black Adam is a long-term DCEU character, suggesting, when asked about Superman, that the two may one day go head to head…
There’s a guest appearance from Noah Centineo, who plays Atom Smasher in Black Adam, and they discuss how excited they are to finally bring the JSA to the DCEU. Talking about the JSA, an atmospheric pre-visualisation teaser shows exactly who Black Adam will be taking on: the as-yet-uncast Hawkman, Doctor Fate, and Cyclone. It’s a great way to end the panel, with Black Adam certainly set to mark a new horizon for what the cosmic side of the DCEU can achieve.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods
Not too much from this panel worth discussing, as a lot of this was just focused on looking back on the first Shazam film, but there was one big reveal right at the end: that the film will be titled Shazam: Fury of the Gods, alongside some teaser poster artwork.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
The penultimate panel of the night is the first glimpse at the upcoming game from Rocksteady Studios, best known for developing Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Knight. The panel opens with a trailer of the game, due to release on next-gen consoles in 2022, and reveals plenty.
The premise seems particularly interesting: Braniac seems to have invaded Earth and brought Metropolis to its knees, as the camera then pans to Harley Quinn and the rest of the Suicide Squad: King Shark, Headshot and Captain Boomerang, as they take down Braniac’s goons. This is where things get crazy – they have been tasked by Amanda Waller to take down Superman, who seems to have been turned evil by Braniac, and audio clips from later in the panel suggest that all of the Justice League have suffered a similar fate.
This game looks especially exciting: it comes from Rocksteady, who revolutionised superhero games with 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, and it’s great to see them do something new and refreshing within the DC franchise. Game director Sefton Hill, in an interview with host Will Arnett, confirms that the game takes place within the Arkham continuity, but it seems like a refreshing experience that will expand on their Arkham formula, with Hill confirming that gunplay is one of the main gameplay additions.
The game can be played solo, switching between the four playable characters, or with three other friends in co-op, and Metropolis will be the game’s open world – which is sure to contain plenty of Rocksteady’s characteristic DC Easter eggs. Although it’s a long while off, if there’s any studio worth trusting with DC characters, it’s Rocksteady – especially as it continues the beloved Arkham story.
Well, that was phenomenal.
The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the panel for Matt Reeves’ The Batman which, following much speculation, released an incredible teaser trailer. Here it is:
Doesn’t Robert Pattinson look unbelievable in the Batsuit? This trailer is a perfect first glimpse, seeing a Batman not quite in control yet as he finds his feet as Gotham’s protector, with hints at Paul Dano’s Riddler sprinkled throughout.
On top of this, director Matt Reeves did an interview with Aisha Tyler, which also revealed plenty about the film. We learned that the film isn’t an origin story, taken place in Bruce Wayne’s second year as Batman, but that it will touch upon his origins organically through the story, while also showing how some classic Batman villains came to be. Best of all, Reeves wanted to do something different in making Batman a flawed protagonist: even from this trailer, it’s clear that he doesn’t always get everything right, with Reeves saying the citizens of Gotham are afraid of him – something that will also be addressed in the upcoming Gotham PD TV series on HBO, which takes place a year before The Batman.
This was easily the highlight of the convention and made the hours of panels totally worth it – and with films such as Taxi Driver as inspiration, and a cast and director so supremely talented, this is sure to be a truly groundbreaking Batman experience.
I hope you have enjoyed this breakdown of all the big news from DC FanDome – I’ve certainly enjoyed live blogging it for the past five hours, and can’t wait for all the upcoming DC content. Thanks for reading!