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For the second year in a row, The Batman was the centerpiece of DC FanDome, the online convention celebrating all things DC. The new The Batman trailer closed things out Saturday, with filmmaker Matt Reeves and stars Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz introducing the new footage.
“We’d seen lots of origin stories,” said Reeves, who is in postproduction on the film. “One place we hadn’t been was grounding it the way [the Frank Miller comic] Year One does.”
Pattinson noted that his character is working out his rage: “All the fights seem very personal.”
Reeves called the chemistry between Pattinson and Kravitz special and key to the film’s success. Kravitz, who plays Catwoman, recalled her screentest with Pattinson, which was also her audition, noting she worried about looking cool while taking off a helmet required for the scene, and was sure that would sink her chances.
Pattinson recalled wearing Val Kilmer’s batsuit from 1995’s Batman Forever for his own screen test. The actor said it was challenging to move in and that he was drenched in sweat thanks to “being incredibly nervous and full of adrenaline.”
Pattinson described his character as a man who is not sleeping and who doesn’t have a clear delineation between Bruce Wayne and his costumed crime-fighting identity. “He hasn’t completely defined who Batman is, and he gets lost in it,” said the actor.
As for Kravitz, she wanted her Selina Kyle to feel grounded and be a real person living in a real city.
Pattinson and Kravitz are joined in the film by a cast that includes Paul Dano as the Riddler, Colin Farrell as the Penguin, John Turturro as crime boss Carmine Falcone, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Andy Serkis as Alfred and Peter Sarsgaard as a Gotham City DA. It is due out March 25, 2022.
Earlier, DC FanDome featured appearances from Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom star Jason Momoa, The Flash‘s Ezra Miller, Peacemaker‘s John Cena, Shazam! Fury of the Gods‘ Zachary Levi, and the teams behind Batgirl, Blue Beetle and more.
Read on for the full report of the biggest reveals at DC FanDome.
Ezra Miller showed off the first footage from The Flash movie, including a glimpse (from behind) of Michael Keaton’s Batman. The film spans time and multiple universes and is rumored to see Miller’s Barry Allen travel back in time to save his mother’s life, resulting in some major unintended consequences.
“We’re very excited to show you the movie,” Miller said. “We wanted to show you a teaser but we can’t because we don’t have enough material yet. … But we do have this small sneak peek.”
The Flash is the from It director Andy Muschietti, with the footage having Muschietti’s trademark visual style. It shows Barry Allen traveling to the Batcave from Keaton’s version of Batman, with him asking the legendary hero, “Are you in?” Barry is accompanied by an alternate version of the Flash, as well as Supergirl, played by DC newcomer Sasha Calle. Barry Allen later pulls a protective sheet off the Batmobile, though the audience doesn’t see the final reveal of the vehicle.
The Flash is one of DC’s most anticipated movies, thanks to the return of Keaton as Batman for the first time in 30 years (since 1992’s Batman Returns). Ben Affleck also reprises his role as the version of Bruce Wayne from Justice League (2017).
The Flash is slated for Nov. 4, 2022.
John Cena’s Peacemaker got its first teaser and a Jan. 13 release date on HBO Max.
Cena stars as Christopher “Peacemaker” Marks, the convict he played in The Suicide Squad earlier this year. Filmmaker James Gunn wrote the eight-episode series and directed five of its episodes.
In addition to the teaser, the team brought behind-the-scenes footage that showed Cena cracking up his cast with some of his lines, including the fact that “ass-hat” was his family’s name before they came over to the U.S. and changed their name to “Smith.”
“I was surprised, but I was more than ready,” Cena said about getting the call from producer Peter Safran that Peacemaker was getting his own show.
Peacemaker‘s cast includes Danielle Brooks (Adebayo), Jennifer Holland (Emilia Harcourt), Steve Agee (Economos), Freddie Stroma (Vigilante), Chukwudi Iwuji (Murn) and Robert Patrick as Peacemaker’s father, Auggie Smith.
There’s also an eagle who is something of a scene-stealer.
“He is Peacemaker’s pet eagle, and he is Peacemaker’s best friend,” said Cena.
AQUAMAN AND THE LOST KINGDOM
Jason Momoa showed off Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom with a video from his first day on set, where he said the sequel tackles environmental issues and raises the stakes from the hit 2018 film.
“I have so much invested into it. I love this character. I love what it represents,” said Momoa.
Director James Wan said the sequel is a “movie that’s more mature yet still retains its fun.”
The film returns Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Orm and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta. The original Aquaman arrived in December 2018 and grossed more than $1 billion at the box office.
“Black Manta is still seeking his vengeance to try to kill Aquaman. That’s going to be something that’s exciting for the audience,” said Wan. “It’s a globetrotting story. We visit so many different worlds. This movie isn’t afraid to embrace its fantasy.”
There was plenty of concept art and behind-the-scenes action shots, as well as fight training, unveiled at FanDome.
Dwayne Johnson teased his long-anticipated comic book movie debut, Black Adam, with footage of epic landscapes and sets. Johnson said the project is in postproduction, but he brought along an opening scene that included military men discovering Black Adam, and the antihero turning them to dust and catching bullets.
“This character, this film, this universe, has been a gigantic passion project of mine for a very long time,” said Johnson. “It’s the kind of project I know comes along once in a lifetime. The truth is, I was born to play Black Adam.”
Ladies & gents…
Enjoy your WORLD EXCLUSIVE first look⚡️
He is ruthless.
He is unstoppable.
He is the reason the hierarchy of power in the DC UNIVERSE is about to change.
He is #BLACKADAM
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 16, 2021
Black Adam will feature the Justice Society onscreen and stars Noah Centineo (Atom Smasher), Aldis Hodge (Hawkman) and Quintessa Swindell (Cyclone). Marwan Kenzari is also on the call sheet, along with Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate.
“He’s more brutal, uncompromising, fueled by the depths of his pain,” Hodge said of Johnson’s character, while Brosnan said even his time playing James Bond had not prepared him for the scale of this film.
Black Adam has been long-awaited, with Johnson speaking of playing the role for more than a decade. After being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, it is slated to hit theaters on July 29, 2022.
SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS
The team behind the recently wrapped Shazam! Fury of the Gods offered up the first behind-the-scenes footage from the sequel. Zachary Levi stars as Shazam, the adult superhero that teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) transforms into when he says the magic word “Shazam!”
This new film has mythological creatures and goes to new locations, from Athens to Morocco. The sequel has added Lucy Liu as Kalypso and Helen Mirren as Hespera, while West Side Story star Rachel Zegler is also among the new additions. Her character seems to know that Billy’s best friend, Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), is pals with the group of superheroes the kids transform into.
The first Shazam! was a hit for Warner Bros. and New Line and felt like a breath of fresh air, with the kid-friendly property bringing humor and lightness to the DC Universe.
The sequel is slated for June 2, 2023.
The team behind Batgirl previewed the HBO Max film, which is still in preproduction. Bad Boys for Life filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are directing and revealed that they conducted a global casting search for the character of Barbara Gordon, looking at actors from a wide range of ages and races.
In the Heights breakout Leslie Grace nabbed the role in July to play Barbara, who is the daughter of police commissioner Jim Gordon. The directors confirmed the character’s costume will have a cowl, and she’ll also have the trademark red hair from the comics.
“In this story, she’s discovering Batgirl for the first time, so she’s getting to explore a duality that she’s always had in her personality,” said screenwriter Christina Hodson, alluding to Barbara’s tendency to bend the rule of law.
Grace is already hard at work getting in shape for the film, which does not yet have a release date.
“I’m training so hard, and we’re trying to get as much learned and in my body before I get there,” said Grace. “I’m excited about what that’s going to look like once we actually have a suit.”
One question going into DC Fandome that was not answered is which version of Batman (Ben Affleck? Robert Pattinson? Michael Keaton?), if any, would interact with Grace’s Batgirl. One clue was that J.K. Simmons will reprise his role as Commissioner Gordon after starring opposite Affleck in Justice League, suggesting Batgirl exists in that same universe.
Star Xolo Maridueña joined director Angel Manuel Soto and screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer to talk about DC’s first Latino superhero movie, Blue Beetle. It centers on Jaime Reyes, an El Paso teen who uses alien armor granted by a strange artifact to defend his hometown.
The Blue Beetle team noted that it authentically captures the dynamics of a Latino family onscreen in a way not seen in this type of film before.
“For once, we are able to see a hero that comes from a family from a similar economic background from the ones that we came from and … represents the majority of people who are coming from the bottom,” said Soto.
Screenwriter Dunnet-Alcocer noted that when Marvel’s Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, his first instinct is to hide his Spider-Man powers from his family. That’s not true with Blue Beetle, said the writer with a laugh: “You’re from a Mexican family, good luck hiding anything from anybody.”
Maridueña hasn’t seen his costume yet but is confident it will deliver.
Director Angel Manuel Soto, writer Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer and star Xolo Maridueña shared exclusive first look concept art for the #BlueBeetle movie at #DCFanDome: https://t.co/cqgJEpRp1L pic.twitter.com/24044fINga
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 16, 2021
“I know for a fact that any of the other superheroes who think they have the best superhero suit, I’m calling you out for a rap battle,” said the actor. “We have the best suit over here at Blue Beetle.“
While no suit has been made, the team did bring concept art.
FanDome continued the unique direct-to-fan outreach that began in 2020 due to the pandemic and its lockdown. With comic and pop culture conventions, which were important consumer-facing events for studios, pulling up their stakes for in-person events, Warner Bros. decided to create buzz by marshaling its resources into one mega — and virtual — event.
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