Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad bring DC heroes to Hall H for star-packed Comic-Con panel

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  • July 11, 2015
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Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot and more stars from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice reunited on the biggest stage at Comic-Con Saturday morning to raucous fan applause.

Warner Bros. also brought Pan and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to the convention center’s 6,100-seat Hall H, but the fans were most excited to get a glimpse of the DC Entertainment film, directed by Zack Snyder, who continues helming the mega-franchise after 2013’sMan of Steel. The Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman actors were joined on stage by Snyder, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons and Holly Hunter.

Snyder unveiled a trailer for the film, which showed off Affleck and Gadot’s costumes and plenty of action. And an extended clip featured Cavill’s Superman testifying in front of a committee, Wayne Tower being demolished, Affleck’s Batman getting an enchanced suit, and the duo facing off.

Synder spoke about his love of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, but said the film’s story “is one we came up with on our own.”

Affleck, who is taking over the cape and cowl from Christian Bale, said his predecessor gave him some good advice. When Affleck took his son to get a Batman costume for Halloween, he ran into Bale and asked for a tip. “Make sure you can piss in that suit,” Bale told him.

But for the most part, Affleck said, he tries to keep the other Batmen out of his mind. “If I thought too hard about who came before… I couldn’t do it,” he said. Affleck’s version, like Frank Miller’s, is burned out and at the end of his rope, the actor said.

Gadot talked about being the first woman to wield Wonder Woman’s lasso on the big screen. “I have been given a huge opportunity to show such a strong, beautiful side of women,” she said. “I feel privileged to bring her to life.” 

Eisenberg, who plays the villain Lex Luthor, said his take on the character would be “less campy” than previous iterations. “This version is emotionally grounded,” he said.

Snyder also revealed how the DC Cinematic Universe would handle the geography of Metropolis and Gotham — Superman and Batman’s comic book homes, both inspired by New York City. “We have Gotham and Metropolis next to each other,” he said. “It made sense for us to be sister cities across the bay, like Oakland and San Francisco.”

The Batman v Superman presentation followed a surprise appearance by the cast of Suicide Squad — newly unveiled tagline: “Justice Has a Bad Side” — including Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Joel Kinnaman, as well as director David Ayer.

“All this good vs evil shit is played out,” Ayer said. “It’s time for bad versus evil.”

It was a sentiment echoed in the new trailer for the film, in which Jared Leto’s Joker threatens, “I’m not going to kill you, I’m just going to hurt you really really bad.”

Warners’ presentation also teased a potential Green Lantern Corps movie, though missing was any mention of DC’s plans for Ben Affleck to direct and star in a standalone Batman film, as reported by EW earlier this week.

The fan frenzy began earlier in the cavernous Hall H, from the moment the side panel curtains were pulled back to reveal two more gigantic screens before the presentation started.

Warner Bros. kicked off the Saturday morning panel, moderated by Aisha Tyler, with a video message from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. director Guy Ritchie, who couldn’t attend, though castmembers Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki took the stage. Warners also unveiled a trailer for the ’60s spy flick.

Debicki talked about donning fantastic ’60s clothing for the film. “The ’60s and ’70s were a golden era for fashion,” she said. “My hair weighed about 10 kilos.” And Cavill and Hammer talked about taking on comedic roles. “The key was fun,” Cavill said. “Don’t be too cool or take it too seriously.”

They were followed on stage by Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Levi Miller, along with director Joe Wright, for a look at Pan. (The fantasy film also stars Rooney Mara and Amanda Seyfried, who were absent from the presentation.)

Due in theaters Oct. 9, the Peter Pan prequel tale sees Jackman as the nefarious Neverland air pirate Blackbeard, Hedlund as a young James Hook, and Miller as the eponymous high-flying orphan boy. The panelists talked about the sheer scale of one of their sets — three times the size of Hall H“It was like walking in a theme park,” Levi said.

Jackman called the film “one of the most fun movies” he’d ever worked on. “The whole thing was a complete joy,” he said. Jackman also joked about his character’s appearance; Blackbeard could ostensibly be called Blackteeth. “There are clearly no dentists in Neverland,” he quipped.

And director Wright credited the original book by J.M. Barrie as his primary source of inspiration, remarking on its “sense of strangeness” and how its characters are often duplicitious; even Peter is flawed.

“It doesn’t underestimate children’s intelligence,” Wright said.

We’re updating live from San Diego’s waterfront convention center, so stay tuned.

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