Warner Bros. broke out the biggest of their big guns at today’s Hall H panel, hosted by the wonderful Conan O’Brien, and revealed trailers for upcoming tentpoles King Arthur, Kong: Skull Island, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but it was the sneak peek at the upcoming DCEU slate that stole the show, earning a thunderous response from the packed house.
First up, The DC Directors took the stage to offer their enthusiasm for their upcoming films. Suicide Squad’s David Ayer, Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins, Justice League’s Zack Snyder, The Flash’s Rick Famuyiwa, Aquaman’s James Wan and Batman’s Ben Affleck said “Hi” to the Hall H crowd and took a moment to celebrate their place in the DC canon. Afterward, the DCEU’s next three releases — Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League — took center stage for brief panels of their own. Check out some of the highlights below.
For Jenkins, the Monster and The Killing director who’s making a big leap into action, Wonder Woman has always been a dream project. She explained, “It’s a combination of things, when I look back on why I’m a filmmaker.” The director recalled how seeing Richard Donner’s Superman was a formative movie-going experience unlike any she had seen before. “I cried for superman, I wanted to be Superman, I wanted to save the world,” said Jenkins.
- As an adult, Wonder Woman is Jenkins’ favorite superhero, and it’s easy to see why when she talks about her. “Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.” reads the tagline, and indeed, Jenkins is invested in Wonder Woman’s values. She repeatedly described Dianna as a loving, kind and beautiful hero, who has “the heart of a human and the strength of a goddess”.
- It’s important to Jenkins to create a hero like that in today’s climate of constant tragedy and bad news. [A Wonder Woman movie] is overdue, but it also feels like the best time in the world to make this movie,” she said.
Jenkins described casting Chris Pine’s role as Wonder Woman’s love interest as the “hardest and scariest casting I’ve done in my life because I never wanted to cast a sidekick to Wonder Woman…I wanted a real counterpart, who’s also the kind of guy who’s so funny and cool he would never be emasculated by Wonder Woman.”
- Chris Pine described the “wonderful dynamic” between Steve Trevor and Diana Prince. Diana is new to the world of men, while Steve “lives in the heart of darkness of the world of men”. through their relationship, they both learn a lot about the world. Pine explained, “She learns about the reality of the world, he learns more about hope and the potential positive future of mankind.”
- Jenkins confirmed that the invisible jet will not appear in Wonder Woman, but it might show up in later films. “It takes place in such an early period, I don’t think it would be the jet we want,” she explained.
When asked how you turn super villains into heroes, Ayer replied, “Two Words: Amanda Waller”. When O’Brien pressed for a little more clarity, Ayer continued, “I believe even the worst of us is capable of the acts of the greatest good…and that’s what this movie is about.” At it’s core, it’s about a group of people who’ve been told they’re bad their whole lives and finally get an opportunity to do some good.
- Will Smith, who plays Deadshot in the film, further explained the villains-turned-heroes dynamic of the film, “This isn’t a movie about good versus evil, this is a movie about bad versus evil.”
- Smith told the now-famous story about Jared Leto’s rat gift to Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Smith recalled how a man came into the rehearsal room with a box from “Mr. J”, “OK, that’s cool, that’s funny. Jared is taking it, like, real serious,” he said with a laugh, “Margo opened the box and there was a live rat in the box. I was playing Deadshot, but if I had pearls on I would have clutched them.”
Ayer also commended Leto’s character commitment saying, “He was the hammer that made that sword sharp”
- Smith recalled Ayer’s unusually personal rehearsal process and how Ayer implemented it during filming.“We all shared really deep stories about ourselves and our pains and our triumphs,” he said. “And then on set you thought he was being a nice guy you were trying to share your life, and then in the middle of a scene he throws your childhood trauma back at you and says, ‘Dude, the Joker did it.’”
- In addition to the intensive rehearsal process, Ayer wanted his actors to do as many of their stunts as possible. Robbie learned to hold her breath underwater for five minutes, and she was quick to point out that whatever.
Zach Snyder confirmed that Superman will, in fact, be back for Justice League.
- The Flash director Rick Famuyiwa touched briefly on how the DCEU is approaching their characters, “These stories are as much about who they are as people as who they are as heroes.”
- James Wan is excited by the fact that Aquaman has never really had an on-screen adaption. He’s also excited to bring his horror elements to a superhero movie and “explore the wonders of Atlantis”
- With The LEGO Batman Movie, get ready for a villain packed film. “There’s a slight Dirty Dozen element to this movie,” said director Chris McKay, teasing a number of lesser-known villains along with the iconic baddies like The Joker, Poison Ivy, and Two Face (who all popped up in the pre-panel projection), promising, “We go deep into the Batman rogues gallery.
- McKay described The LEGO Batman Movie as About a Boy as directed by Michael Mann, thanks to Batman and Robin’s reluctant father-son relationship,