Finally, the San Diego Comic Con finds some colors. At the end of the difficult COVID years, assuming that these are well and truly over, the former firmament of American entertainment aligns some good news at the dawn of the 2022 edition. A few days ago, Kevin Feige, head leader of the Marvel companies and faithful general of the Disney group, announced the presence of the heroes and heroines of the Maison des Idées in San Diego. Nature takes back its rights: the two historical rivals, accustomed to crossing each other in the spans of this institution of salons devoted to pop culture, will finally find themselves after having spent a few years following a logic of fragmentation and individualism. Warner Bros. will be there, and DC Entertainment with it.
An SDCC worthy of the name?
The editorial staff of The Hollywood Reporter speaks for the good news. Following the restructuring imposed by the merger with the Discovery Inc. group, the new president David Zaslav intends to put an end to the forced confinement of the franchises to finally find the collective spirit of scrum. The boss positions his troops with a clear visual objective: to reassure the fans, and to look good. To prove that Warner Bros. is still firmly anchored in the minds of the public after three years of absence and two redemptions. But, this presence is announced under conditions.
First, the special status of the CW (see here for more details) will obviously prevent Warner from investing any panel for the latest series of the chain. This will not be part of the festivities. Similarly, Zaslav clearly feels that some of the movies slated for 2023 – The Hollywood Reporter cites The Flash or Blue Beetle – are still too far down the schedule to deserve their own panels. A decision which has no real basis, given the habits of the convention (we remember the announcement of Batman V Superman by Zack Snyder and Harry Lennix, well before the film’s release) but which clearly shows color: the goal is above all to promote immediate content.
Along those lines, The Sandman will be there with a panel, to keep the Game of Thrones spin-off House of Dragons company. DC Comics will not maintain a dedicated stand but will be on site for various panels to be defined. Jim Lee will be on site to present some of the novelties on the horizon of releases planned by the publishing house – a habit lost for a few years and which will contribute to the festive spirit of this annual celebration. The Dark Crisis event will notably be entitled to a small presentation, along the way. The Gotham Knights video game will also be represented.
If the whole thing seems necessarily frustrating on the scale of what the SDCCs of the past could have been, the Reporter nevertheless recalls a given: the deployment on site is expensive, and Warner Bros. would have sometimes had to issue checks for up to $25 million in certain years that were particularly ample in terms of presentations, panels, travel of artists and various technological costs. However, since Zaslav is currently working on a flattening of the budgets aimed at making the takeover of WarnerMedia profitable as quickly as possible, we therefore did not expect the return of the unlimited visa.
Fans will at least be reassured to find a piece of the “Cannes Film Festival” of guys who love patterned t-shirts, a beacon of hope after three years spent painfully waiting to find out if the different variants would not have no reason for this spirit of conventions. Be careful if you decide to go there. Or even if you take the metro in the next few days, for that matter.