Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg returns with this adaption of Fanboys screenwriter Ernie Cline’s debut novel, set in a near future where virtual reality’s become a common leisure pursuit. Wade Watts (X-Men: Apocalypse’s Tye Sheridan) is on an international scavenging hunt in the alternative virtual world of Oasis, where the winner can gain control of the system. The trailer’s heavily-laden with pop-culture references; everything from classic sci-fi novels to 1980’s movies. Most noticeably, the trailer shows The Iron Giant, who apparently plays a big role in the plot. Mark Rylance, Olivia Cooke, Simon Pegg, and Ben Mendelsohn provide support. After recent heavy-hitting dramas Lincoln and Bridge of Spies, fans are happy to welcome the Indiana Jones directir back to the more light-hearted side of cinema.
Ready Player One hits UK cinemas on 30 March 2018.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie
This first trailer shows that The LEGO Movie spin-off is keeping with the blend of meta-human and LEGO-themed action, this time using ninja characters. Lloyd the Green Ninja (Dave Franco) learns his family includes his mother Misako (Olivia Munn) falling in love with evil Lord Garmadon (The Leftover’s Justin Theroux) before he turned evil. The trailer, which was as heavy on daddy issues as it was in-jokes, also reveals the ninja being trained by Master Wu (Jackie Chan). The all-star cast is a who’s who of comedy talent, including Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Abbi Jacobson (Broad City).
The LEGO Ninjago Movie arrives in UK cinemas on 13 October.
Marvel revealed their bonkers trailer for the third instalment of the Thor franchise. Here, the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) teams up with Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) after he vanished in Avengers: Age of Ultron, to help defeat Hela (Cate Blanchett, having the most fun as a horned supervillain).
Directed by Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows), Ragnarok looks like it’ll bring a selection of quirky characters and eccentric humour to rival Guardians of the Galaxy. Jeff Goldblum feels like a Fifth Element extra as Grandmaster, while Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returns to bring his own brand of unpredictability. Idris Elba will also appear, freed from his usual gatekeeping role, Tessa Thompson debuts as a new warrior princess in town, while Karl Urban and Anthony Hopkins round out the cast.
Thor: Ragnarok will hit UK cinemas on 27 October.
Pacific Rim: Uprising
A teaser trailer arrived for the sequel to Guillermo Del Toro’s robots-vs-kaiju movie. John Boyega was revealed as new hero Jake Pentecost, son of Idris Elba’s character from the first instalment. The teaser trailer’s short on plot details, being more of a teaser, but this stylised Jaeger advertisement campaign contains dynamic visuals that’ll please video-game fans. Written and directed by Steven S DeKnight (Daredevil, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Spartacus), Uprising takes place 10 years after ‘The Battle of the Breach’, and co-stars Scott Eastwood, Charlie Day, and Rinko Kikuchi. Original lead Charlie Hunnam is noticeably absent thanks to scheduling conflicts.
Pacific Rim: Uprising will be released in UK cinemas on 23 February 2018.
DC Comics appeared to have learnt from Wonder Woman, after unveiling their new Justice League trailer. The Gal Gadot-heavy trailer is much lighter in tone, stepping away from the Batman v Superman portentousness. The footage does a decent job at showing the team, from The Flash’s (Ezra Miller) self-conscious awkwardness, to Aquaman’s (Jason Momoa) brashness, although Cyborg (Ray Fisher) is still a promotional afterthought. The villains, Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and the Parademons of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, are half-introduced, but little’s known about this incarnation of them.
The movie will hit UK cinemas on 17 November.
A Sundance Festival highlight earlier this year, Saturday Night Live writer and performer Dave McCary’s darkly comedic film offers a new take on The Truman Show. Kyle Mooney realises he’s the only person who’s seen his favourite children’s TV show, Brigsby Bear, so he goes on a mission to turn it into a film. This fish-out-of-water, pop culture-heavy film has been compared to Shira Piven’s Welcome to Me (which starred fellow SNL alum Kristen Wiig), although the trailers make it easier to compare to 10 Cloverfield Lane. Brigsby Bear marks the movie debut for SNL segment director McCary, has been written by Mooney, and produced by three members of comedy troupe The Lonely Island. The cast also stars Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, and Greg Kinnear.
Brigsby Bear will arrive in UK cinemas on 8 December.
Netflix revealed its $90 million movie, which reunited Will Smith with Suicide Squad director David Ayer. Smith plays LAPD cop Scott Ward, who’s partnered with an orc named Nic (Loving’s Joel Edgerton), and despite their differences the pair must find a powerful magic wand. Los Angeles is presented as a multi-species town, with orcs living in the ghettos while fairies fly around the city’s more luxurious areas. The trailer is a unique mix of Training Day, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. The R Rated film, written by Chronicle’s Max Landis, also looks to tackle current racial tensions through the co-inhabitation of various mythical creatures.
Bright will be available for streaming worldwide on Netflix on 22 December.
Fox brings to the small-screen another X-Men spin-off following Legion. This Marvel-Fox collaboration will centre around the Strucker family, who become fugitives after the government discover their children are mutants, leading the youngsters to find help from an underground network of mutants, aided by their parents (Angel’s Amy Acker, True Blood’s Stephen Moyer). At its core this is a show about family disguised as a superhero drama, but similarities to Heroes can’t be ignored. The trailer shows Thunderbird, Polaris, and Blink, as well as a new mutant called Eclipse. The show’s written by Burn Notice’s Matt Nix and the pilot is directed by producer Bryan Singer (X-Men: Apocalypse).
This new superhero drama premieres on Fox 2 October in the US.
Warner Bros. Television unveiled the first footage of Krypton, their upcoming Superman prequel. The Syfy drama will tell the story of Superman’s grandfather and his attempt to restore his family’s honour. When announced, audiences were expecting a Superman origins story of Krypton pre-destruction, but this trailer indicates the show is going to be much weirder than that. Cameron Cuffe plays Seg-El (Superman’s grandfather), Georgina Campbell, Ann Ogbomo, and Ian McElhinney also star. Written and produced by Man of Steel’s David S. Goyer and Sleepy Hollow’s Damian Kindler, it was revealed at the panel that Doomsday, Braniac, Hawkwoman, and Adam Strange would appear in the show, which will jump between centuries. The plot also feature a conspiracy to prevent Superman from arriving at his true destiny, but for continuity reasons it won’t be connected to TV’s Supergirl or the DCEU movies.
No date has been announced for the premiere, beyond sometime in 2018.
Stranger Things 2
While fans are still reeling from all the questions left unanswered by Stranger Things’ first season, the 1980s-set supernatural thriller appears to be getting even weirder. Filled with a multitude of ’80s references, from the Regan-Bush election campaign posters, to Ghostbusters costumes, we return to the small town of Hawkins, set to Vincent Price’s chilling monologue in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Will is still battling visions of the Upside Down dimension, while the rest of the gang are struggling with the psychological repercussions of the first season. Breakout star Millie Bobby Brown is expected to have a larger role in proceedings, while a new kid in town (played by Sadie Sinks) makes the boys’ hearts race as they fight for her attention. There’s still no word on if justice for Barb has been met.
The second season of Stranger Things will drop worldwide on Netflix 27 October, just in time for Halloween.
Star Trek: Discovery
The official series trailer for Star Trek: Discovery was finally released at SDCC, set during the conflict between the Starfleet and Klingons, who want to assert their dominance within the galaxy. Jason Isaacs describes his captain as a little more “fucked up” than the average Starfleet officer, while Michelle Yeoh has very little to do other than look startled. First Officer aboard the USS Shenzhou, Michael Burnham (The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green) finds herself caught between her allegiance to her former home and her own people. The reveal about Spock’s family has already sent some shockwaves through the Star Trek fandom.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres 24 September on CBS, before becoming a CBS All Access exclusive in the US. Worldwide, Netflix have next-day streaming rights.
Westworld: Season 2
Possibly the most talked about show of 2016 is due to return in 2018 with even more bloodshed and chaos. Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores is shooting guests from horseback, Ed Harris appears bloodied under his hat, Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard is back alongside wounded animals, as the robot uprising becomes a full-blooded reality. This dialogue-free teasers appears to be set just after the bloodbath that ended season 1, with a no-holds-barred looked at the violent aftermath. The shot of the dead tiger has made fans theorise this season may feature Samurai World, another of the high-tech theme parks. Not much is given away by this footage, but hat won’t stop fans analysing every second.
The show is only in its first week of shooting, so this ambitious HBO drama won’t be on our screens until 2018.
The Ducktales panel appeared to be having the most fun of the SDCC weekend. It might be because a large amount of concept art was “accidentally” revealed, including Gizmoduck, Megavolt, and Negaduck, amongst others, but also the sheer excitement of the cast and the fans for the nostalgic reboot show of the 1980s cartoon series. The excitement came as Disney announced Darkwing Duck as one of the characters, the first time he’ll exist in the same universe as Donald, Uncle Scrooge, and the rest of the family. The cast is full of SDCC favourites like David Tennant, Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan, and will feature guest stars such as Lin Manuel Miranda and Allison Janney. The main goals of the producers were to enhance the characterisation between the show’s lead characters, especially Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
The Disney reboot will premiere on Disney XD on 12 August with a special one-hour movie, before the series begins a regular run in September.