Did you know that San Diego Comic Con was kicking off later this week?
Normally, this teeming epicenter of pop culture past, present, and especially future wouldn’t need any such reminders. But now that Disney, fortified with a a creative roster that includes Marvel and Star Wars in addition to its already iconic stable of princesses, heroes, and talking objects has its own multi-day convention called D23, Comic Con is finding its thunder stolen more and more just days before its doors open.
It’s a lot to take in, from trailers and posters to announcements and events, so we’ve tried our best to cherry pick the moments that stood out, and will be the source of creative interpretation and animated (no pun intended) conversation for the next year and beyond…
Lest you forget that the Mouse (or Mice) still rule the Magic Kingdom, Disney used the occasion of D23 to unveil a partnership with Honda.
Meet the Minnie Van.
More specifically, the 2018 Honda Odyssey limited edition “Minnie Van,” complete with the white-on-pink polka dots, giant bow, and legendary ears of the incomparable Minnie Mouse. Although the van itself won’t actually be available to consumers, it ensured prime placement among attendees’ Instagram accounts all weekend long (and gave them a chance to win a Honda Odyssey, if not this Honda Odyssey).
Disney also isn’t wasting any time building on the success of live action remakes of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, revealing the first look at director Jon Favreau’s upcoming The Lion King adaptation (behind closed doors), confirming the stars of director Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, and releasing a teaser pic from director Tim Burton’s “re-imagining” of Dumbo.
The biggest mic drop came courtesy of director Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time, which debuted its first trailer for the epic adaptation of the cult 1963 sci-fi novel. Starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, and relative newcomer Storm Reid, Wrinkle has been hotly anticipated since it was announced that DuVernay was taking the reins. The trailer’s ripple effects were felt strongly across social media all weekend.
To Infinity Gauntlets And Beyond
In an act of mercy towards San Diego, Disney didn’t hammer (sorry) too hard on the Marvel side of things at D23. Although the first footage from the upcoming all-hands-on-deck Marvel cinematic universe team-up Avengers: Infinity War as shown, the studio has said they won’t be releasing the clips to the general public until the fall. The footage is, by all accounts, pretty spectacular.
They did, however, gather most of the stars onstage, confirming that the core Avengers will be joined by members of the Guardians of the Galaxy (represented by David Bautista, Karen Gillen, and Pom Klementieff), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to take on villain Thanos (Josh Brolin). The group shot echoed the original Avengers cast announcement from San Diego Comic Con 2010.
Highlights from D23 and the Avengers: Infinity War Teaser Trailer https://t.co/lo0kQNLzJL
— BlackGirlNerds @SDCC (@BlackGirlNerds) July 17, 2017
A Day Long Remembered…
Despite having its own convention—Star Wars Celebration—The Force was a significant presence at D23 this year, showing just how wide-reaching Disney’s plans are for the galaxy far, far away.
The first, and biggest both in scale and impact, was the announcement of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This massive addition to the Disney theme parks will be a fully-immersive Star Wars land, filled with attractions, restaurants and, as early reports have indicated, state-of-the-art technology that will “track” guests and even change their park experience based on the rides they ride and how they perform. For example: show a little too much skill piloting the Millennium Falcon, and you may find yourself the target of local bounty hunters. If even a fraction of the rumors are true, this could be a major step forward for theme park and interactive experience technology.
Of course, this December sees the release of the next installment in the “Skywalker Saga”—Episode VIII, The Last Jedi. In lieu of a new trailer, D23 was used to showcase a behind the scenes short, similar to how the studio rolled out clips and footage ahead of The Force Awakens in 2016.
Your move, Comic Con.