Even with the absence of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Westworld and everything Disney including the back for another season Agents of SHIELD, Comic-Con 2018 had plenty of great events to offer up on Day 1.
There were a few not really surprises confirmed, but the biggest surprises were the return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Marvel‘s Iron Fist returning to the small screen.
Check out all of our Comic-Con coverage here.
The Walking Dead Makes It Official: RIP Rick Grimes
It was an explosive rumor back in May that The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln would be exiting the series after just six episodes in the upcoming ninth season. After nine years being away from his London home, it’s only natural for Lincoln to need a break from the grueling tv schedule. Now we know for certain that Rick Grimes is on his way out as TWD creator Robert Kirkman confirmed Lincoln’s departure during an interview with filmmaker Kevin Smith.
Fans thought it would be Darryl being killed off, but as ratings continue dropping for the show, it will be interesting to see which way they go with Rick Grimes departure. You can be sure ratings will be huge for the episode he gets killed off, but expect a big dip the week after. Personally, I was a huge fan until the season opener that saw killing off Glenn. I continued watching, but something had changed in the show, and it didn’t feel like must watch tv any longer. I’ve got plenty of episodes built up on my DVR (12 I think), so binge watching might get me back on that TWD train again.
Fox Screens More Footage From The Predator
SDCC’s Hall H has become hallowed ground for sci-fi/superhero/generally awesome projects to launch buzz campaigns, and this year’s slate began with 20th Century Fox’s The Predator from writer/director Shane Black (here’s a little fun fact: Black actually played a role in the 1987 original). The panel included Black and stars Sterling K. Brown, Olivia Munn, Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Jane and Trevante Rhodes.
The crew showed off some new footage from the film in which a threatening Predator catches a beat down from the unexpected arrival of a significantly larger version. Thomas Jane’s feet got plenty of attention on Thursday also.
“Thomas,” asked Sterling K. Brown, The Predator‘s Will Traeger, “would you do everyone a favor and show them your feet real quick?” Jane, the star of such Comic-Con-beloved hits as The Expanse and The Punisher, obligingly propped his bare toes on the table. “Thomas doesn’t wear shoes!” Brown exclaimed. “He walked everywhere in Vancouver, in the middle of winter, with nothing on his feet. I thought, ‘You should be cold right now!'”
The panel for The Predator was full of similarly personal revelations, as the film’s cast members—including Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Jake Busey, Trevante Rhodes, and Augusto Aguilera—gathered in Hall H to reveal early footage from the movie, which is directed and co-written by Shane Black. The original 1987 Predator, Black said, “was a piece of perfect pop art: The alien craze of the ‘80s and the Rambo craze, put together. And it had a wink to it, because you had these muscular guys with weapons that were absolutely ridiculous.” (Not to mention the occasional ridiculously choppy one-liner.)
Black’s new version, he noted, was intended as a sort of “Dirty Half-Dozen.” In one clip screened for the hall, Munn—playing a government biologist—finds herself in a hotel room with a group of sarcastic ex-soldiers who’ve just escaped an encounter with a deadly Predator. “They have me on call,” Munn’s character says, “in case there’s … contact.” Throwing together a bunch of outsiders, and casting the movie with a squad of recognizable character actors, gave Black “a chance to bounce people off each other,” he said,”and make these guys as relatable as possible.”
That bounciness continued after filming was finished. “My favorite thing on a film is set building an almost insta-culture,” said Key. “We spent a lot of time in my trailer watching YouTube videos, blaxploitation movies, Dolemitemovies, The Room. We would do everything in our power to get some moment from those movies into our movie.” Key was especially keen on getting one of his favorite blaxploitation lines into The Predator. “I tried six times: ‘Bitch, are you for real?'”
Black also debuted a sequence in which a Predator—after nearly offing an on-the-run trio played by Munn, Room star Jacob Tremblay, and Logan’s Boyd Holbrook—is annihilated by a bigger, meaner, never-before-seen Predator that’s eager for revenge. “There’s a faction on Predator homeworld that’s been bested not once, but twice, by earthlings,” said Black. “They send their champions to earth, and they don’t come home. They don’t like that. So we figured they want to punch back.”
So did Munn, who wanted to make sure her scientist character could handle a firearm with relative ease. “When you see a movie where a guy picks up a gun, he just automatically knows how to use it,” she said. “And girls are just like, ‘I don’t know…’ I didn’t want her to be proficient, because she’s not a soldier. But I wanted her to know how [to shoot], the ways guys know how.”
Yet the biggest skill on display was Jane’s foot-free lifestyle (the actor explained that he spent years in a shoeless society, and was kicked out after wearing shoes to a restaurant). It was a moment that made everyone in the room think: Are you for real? “As a black man who has fought really hard to get good tennis shoes,” said Sterling, “and to have good coverage on both of his feet. I’m like, this is a white man who’s just like, ‘My feet are tough enough.'” Whether they’re tough enough to help The Predator crew outrun the enemy remains to be seen.
Disney Announces That Star Wars: The Clone Wars Animated Series Will Return
This certainly came as quite the surprise.
As a big fan of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, which ran from 2008 to 2014, I assumed we had seen the last of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker’s adventures set between Episode II and Episode III of the main saga (I’m still catching up on Rebels). Yet the years-long Twitter campaign #SaveCloneWars appears to have worked as Star Wars animation head honcho Dave Filoni revealed, on the show’s 10th anniversary no less, that Lucasfilm is bringing Clone Wars back with 12 new episodes. They even dropped a trailer!
The show will be available on Disney’s upcoming streaming service along with Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series and a whole bunch of other goodies.
Doctor Who Season 11 Trailer
Hey, guess what? Gender-swapping is nothing new in Hollywood, so if you’re one of those “fans” who is all bent out of shape that the Doctor is now a woman, deal with it. There’s no need to go Star Wars fan route and attack. Roll with the times.
New star Jodie Whittaker was joined by showrunner Chris Chibnall and executive producer Matt Strevens in Hall H where they debuted the first trailer. Chibnall promised that the Doctor and her crew would come across “a lot of new monsters this year.”
“All of this is new to me,” Whittaker’s Doctor says in the trailer’s voiceover. “New friends, new worlds, new times. So, if I asked really really nicely, Would you be my new best friends? Right, this is going to be fun!”
Charmed Reboot Gets Going
The Charmed reboot hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest of rides since it was announced, and The CW said it was adding a new “feminist” storyline. That didn’t sit well with original cast members such as Hollie Marie Combs, who played Piper for all eight seasons.
“Guess we forgot to do that the first go around. Hmph,” Combs wrote on Twitter at the time.
At SDCC, the network premiered the pilot episode—which reportedly focused heavily on the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements in some capacity—and kicked off its panel with producers and the new cast (Madeleine Mantock, Sarah Jeffery and Melonie Diaz).
Producer Jennie Snyder Urman said of the reboot: “The original was so much about female empowerment and sisterhood and strong women taking over the world, and I feel like that’s what we need right now. So it felt like a good time to get back to that and to show women kicking ass.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Teases Series Finale
Despite the increasing excellence of The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, co-creators Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna have always maintained that the show would not run beyond four seasons. With the final run expected to premiere later this year, Brosh McKenna teased the series finale.
“The last scene has always been the same. Generally, directionally, we knew what every chapter of the four was going to be,” she said. Bloom added, “This season is all about putting together the pieces. The show is about inner happiness and how you can externalize that in your actions and that’s what she’s learning about in season four.”
Sadly, fans shouldn’t get their hopes up about any potential continuations, as Bloom explained: “It’s a finite story we’re telling. It’s meant to be a very specific period in a woman’s life… As far as the story, we’re telling a 62-hour movie.”
Marvel’s Iron Fist Will Return on Friday, September 7
We have no clue why.
Iron Fist was easily the worst of Netflix’s Marvel empire, which is comprised of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher and the crossover miniseries The Defenders (which we may not see again as it might have been an expensive misfire). In fact, each of the respective Marvel series on the streaming platform are plagued with pacing issues and a lack of plot to sufficiently fill 13 episodes. But hopefully, new Iron Fist showrunner M. Raven Metzner (Sleepy Hollow), who was introduced at SDCC, can help solve some of those problems.
Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) was also introduced at the panel and will be taking on the villainous role of Typhoid Mary, who Eve describes as “very very violent, but the reason I took the role is because I got to play someone with multiple personalities.”
Breaking Bad Reunion
The Breaking Bad team reunited in Hall H in honor of the 10th anniversary of the AMC drama, which premiered in January 2008. By the time it left the airwaves in 2013, the odd little series about a chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin had developed a ravenous fan base and changed the look of television forever.
“This is like introducing The Beatles,” noted host (and Breaking Badalum) Bill Burr as he brought out the team: creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan and leading men Bryan Cranston (Walter White) and Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman), who brought out his infant daughter, dressed in a yellow hazmat suit authentic to the show. Also onstage were co-stars Anna Gunn (Skylar White), Dean Norris (Hank Schrader), Betsy Brandt (Marie Schrader), R.J. Mitte (Walt Jr.), Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman) and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring).
The show didn’t become a phenomenon until relatively late in the game, so the cast and crew had the benefit of making the early seasons in relative anonymity.
“Nobody knew who we were. I knew we started to make an impact when the directional signs started to be stolen,” Cranston said, referring to signs telling where cast and crew should park. “I kept thinking, ‘Not only am I getting lost, but something is happening.'”
Gilligan recalled Cranston’s first Emmy win as the most out-of-body experience he’s ever had.
“I’m thinking there’s no way he’s going to win. Just because it was only seven episodes. And they said ‘Bryan Cranston.’ All the air went out of my lungs,” said Gilligan. “I hit my hands together so hard, as soon as I got home I had to put them in ice water.”
One of the keys to the show’s success was the chemistry between Paul and Cranston. Famously, Gilligan initially intended to kill off Jesse, something Cranston would use to tease his co-star by hinting that the week’s script had some bad news for him.
“He comes up to me and just gives me a really long, exaggerated hug,” recalled Paul. “And he’s just not letting me go. I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ ‘Hey man, it’s been a fun ride.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ … He walks away.”
Paul read the script, and naturally, Jesse was still alive. Another time, Cranston told Paul they needed to measure him for a coffin, acting like it was something Paul knew about.
Though Breaking Bad ended on a definitive note, the question on people’s minds until it happens is when Walt or Jesse might show up on the prequel spinoff Better Call Saul.
“I think there’s an excellent chance of any and all these folks showing up,” said Gilligan. “[But] you will not see Walt or Jesse in season four of Better Call Saul, and not to be a downer, but we hate jerking folks around.”
Gilligan added he would not be surprised if they showed up before the series ended.
The reunion followed a panel for Better Call Saul, starring Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, the criminal lawyer who eventually becomes Saul Goodman. Odenkirk seems to be pushing for Norris’ Hank to show up on the series, pointing out that in their first scene together in Breaking Bad, it was established they knew each other — and didn’t care for one another.
“Something bad happened. Let’s find out what it is,” said Odenkirk.
As for the future, during an audience Q&A portion of the panel, a fan asked about the possibility of Breaking Bad becoming a film. Cranston was quick to say, “No.” But Gilligan wasn’t 100 percent against it.
“I love that question. Anything is possible. We live in a world fraught with possibilities,” he said with a smile.