Tens of thousands of fans, many dressed as their favorite heroes, flocked to San Diego on Thursday for the big return of Comic-Con, the most famous festival dedicated to fantasy where series derived from “Game of Thrones” and from “Lord of the Rings”. Hollywood movie studios, like Disney and Warner Bros., are also out in force in the Southern California town, and have not denied rumors of an exclusive premiere preview of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever» or the announcement of a new film dedicated to Superman.
The last two editions of the festival took place via the internet because of the coronavirus pandemic and enthusiasts are in short supply. More than 130,000 of them in total are expected in San Diego. “It’s been three years since we’ve been in this room together. How are you?” asked Comic-Con chief programmer Eddie Ibrahim on Thursday, to the applause of visitors who wore a sanitary mask in addition to their hobbit, princess or alien disguise.
This year, Comic-Con opened with the first images of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Thievesa Paramount film starring Chris Pine, Hugh Grant and the star of the series Bridgerton Regé-Jean Page, who had all made the trip. This feature film is the first big-budget adaptation of the medieval-fantasy universe of Dungeons & Dragons, the most popular role-playing game brought to the fore in recent years by teenagers in Stranger Things.
The film “has a Spielberg energy, these are the films I grew up with in the 80s”, launched Chris Pine. “My job is to wield a sword,” joked Regé-Jean Page, Hugh Grant praising him for “a Monty Python-style atmosphere.”
Hobbits, elves and dwarves
But these are two series that should cause a stir in San Diego: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power of Amazon Prime and House of the Dragonfrom the worldwide success “Game of Thrones”.
Rings of Power is an ambitious project set in the universe created by JRR Tolkien, long before the events described by Peter Jackson in his trilogy. The series – slated for five seasons and premiering September 2 – is reported to have cost more than $1 billion. It would be a personal obsession of Jeff Bezos, the multi-billionaire founder of Amazon. Much of this money has gone into buying the rights to Tolkien’s universe, but a big budget has also been earmarked for running promotional events for fans, including those at Comic-Con.
Amazon should come in force Friday with hobbits, elves and dwarves in the gigantic Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center where enthusiasts will queue for hours, if not days, to see the first exclusive details of this series.
The series “House of the dragon” also highly anticipated
The next day, Comic-Con will see the dragons of the first series derived from Game Of Thrones, House of the Dragon, which premieres August 21 on HBO. The creator of this universe, George RR Martin, denied any idea of a rivalry between the two fantastic series. “The more success we have in fantastic universes, the more likely we are to have great fantastic works,” the author wrote on his blog.
Seen around the world, the eight seasons of this series have won a total of 59 Emmy Awards, a record for the equivalent of the Oscars of American television, and paved the way for many similar series. Starring Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans and Emma D’Arcy, House of the Dragon tells the violent and troubled story of the Targaryen family, some 300 years before the events depicted in ‘Game of Thrones’.
Warner Bros will present the superhero film black adam, taken from the DC comics, a role tailor-made for the imposing Dwayne Johnson. The Californian festival will bid farewell to the famous AMC series The Walking Deadthe last episodes of which will soon be broadcast, but will also mark the launch of a spin-off series, Tales of the Walking Dead.
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