Kidman told thousands of fans packed into the event’s main auditorium – Hall H – that she embraced director James Wan’s offer of becoming an action hero even if, technically, she was playing the mother of an action hero.
“[For] my opening scene, I had to lie on a rock, with massive waves crashing over me,” Kidman said. “I told James, the bigger the better, give it to me, that’s why I’m doing this movie.”
Wan, who is also Australian, said he wanted to create in Aquaman a “superhero film we haven’t seen before.”
One of the most anticipated reveals at Comic-Con – a trailer for Aquaman – was delivered to fans as promised.
Warner Bros also delivered for fans panels for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, another superhero title Shazam and the highly-anticipated follow up to Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984.
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was joined by stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine at their panel; Pine’s inclusion has many eyebrows raised as – warning: spoiler follows – his character appeared in the first Wonder Woman film to have been killed off.
Jenkins would not reveal how he appears in the new film, which is set roughly six decades after the first, but said he was “a very important part of our movie.”
Jenkins also said she shifted the time period of the second Wonder Woman film to the 1980s because it “showed mankind at its best and worst. It was grand and wonderful; there was great music and there were elegant and beautiful things but other things about the decade revealed the worst of us.”
Curiously, the shift mirrors to some extent the 1970s-era Wonder Woman series which also shifted to the 1980s in its second season; in that instance the actor playing Pine’s role of Steve Trevor was recast as Trevor’s son.
Aquaman is released in cinemas on December 21; Wonder Woman is released in November, 2019.
Other major reveals at Comic-Con include the Supergirl television series confirming it had cast transgender activist and actress Nicole Maines as television’s first transgender superhero, Dreamer.
Dreamer, who goes by the day to day name of Nia Nal, will be introduced in Supergirl‘s fourth season. (In Australia, Supergirl screens on Foxtel.)
“It seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to,” Maines told the crowd at Comic-Con.
“I want fans to take away an understanding of trans people,” Maines said. “We can be anybody, we can be who we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are.”
Another highlight was a surprise appearance during the presentation for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald of actor Johnny Depp, who will play villain Gellert Grindelwald in the film.
Actor Jude Law, who will play the younger iteration of Hogwart’s famous headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the film, said it was “very much a ‘whose side are you on?’ story.
“The Muggle world and the wizarding world are somewhat pitching against each other but also the wizards within the wizarding world are asked what side do they choose to join,” Law told the panel. “Everything’s at stake, really; I’d say the depths and the darkness of this story are possibly the darkest this world has plumbed.”
Founded in 1970 as an actual comic book convention, the San Diego Comic-Con is now the world’s largest fan convention with more than 150,000 people pushed through its turnstiles across four days each year.
It is also a major date in the Hollywood marketing calendar, though in 2018 a number of key titles including Disney-owned Marvel and Star Wars and HBO’s Game of Thrones and Westworld were absent.
But this year’s other highlights included the convention debut of actress Jodie Whittaker who is playing the 13th Doctor in the new season of Doctor Who, a reunion for the cast of Breaking Bad, confirmation that the next season of The Walking Dead would be the last for its star Andrew Lincoln and a sneak peek of the new season of Star Trek: Discovery.
Discovery‘s producers also revealed the new season would see the original USS Enterprise captain Christopher Pike – introduced in the final moments of the first season of the show – taking command of the Discovery.
They also confirmed there would be a guest appearance by a young Lieutenant Spock and that one of Star Trek fandom’s most intriguing characters, “Number One”, the female first officer in the 1966 pilot episode, would return, played now by actress Rebecca Romijn.
In the original Star Trek series, Number One was played by the actress Majel Barrett, who was the wife of the show’s creator Gene Roddenberry; the character was cut by order of the network who said it was not “believable” to television audiences to see a woman as the second in command of a military starship.
Romijn said she was “honoured” to be taking the role, noting its significance within Star Trek fandom. “Just call me Number One,” she said.
2018 Comic-Con International: San Diego runs from July 19-22 at the San Diego Convention Centre.
Michael Idato is a Senior Writer based in Los Angeles for The Sydney Morning Herald.
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