Comic-Con is finally back in California this week with “The Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones” vying for audiences among thousands of fans at the world’s most famous pop culture event.
With its Marvel superheroes, Disney will also exhibit its upcoming releases at the international fair, which returns to its original format in San Diego, in the United States, after two years of the pandemic.
“I think it will be like Comic-Con 2019,” said event communications chief David Glanzer, although attendees dressed as hobbits, dragons or princesses will have to wear masks.
“We’re back. Maybe there will be tears of joy. It’s very emotional,” Glanzer told AFP.
In addition to 135,000 enthusiasts, the science fiction, comics and fantasy fair attracts Hollywood’s biggest studios and their stars to reveal upcoming projects.
And this year’s announcements begin with “Dungeons and Dragons.” The most expensive film adaptation of the world’s most famous RPG will be released in March of next year with the participation of stars such as Michelle Rodriguez, Chris Pine, Hugh Grant and Regé-Jean Page.
The week’s headlines can be dominated by two new television series – Amazon Prime’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” and HBO’s “House of the Dragon”.
“The Rings of Power” is Amazon’s ambitious saga that delves into JRR Tolkien’s universe long before the events depicted in Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning trilogy.
The series will run for five seasons and will begin on September 2. It is estimated that the production cost Amazon over $1 billion and is said to be a personal obsession of founder Jeff Bezos.
Much of the budget was used to buy the rights to Tolkien’s universe for the production.
This Friday, Amazon will bring its hobbits, elves and dwarves to Comic-Con, at the gates of which fans wait hours and even days in line to secure a seat that allows them to get a taste of the series.
The next day, HBO will unveil “House of the Dragon,” the first “Game of Thrones” spinoff series, based on the fictional world of Westeros, created by George RR Martin.
Martin avoided talking about rivalry between these megafranchises. “I want both shows to reach an audience that appreciates them and is quality television. A big fantasy,” he said. “The more successes in the fantasy genre we have, the more fantasies we will have in the future,” he wrote in a blog post.
HBO hopes this “prequel” will live up to the massive popularity of the original series which, for eight seasons, has become a pop culture hallmark, with fans flocking to watch the episodes and winning countless imitations, as well as 59 Emmy Awards, a record for a TV drama.
Starring Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans and Emma D’Arcy, “House of the Dragon” tells the story of the ruthless dragon-breeding Targaryen family some 300 years before the events of “Game of Thrones.”
Its stars will be at the event following a presentation by Warner, HBO’s sister company, with actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson promoting his upcoming superhero movie, “Black Adam.”
Disney has yet to reveal its schedule, but rumor has it that it will finally air the long-awaited “Black Panther 2” sequel.
This Comic-Con will also include the end of AMC’s hit “The Walking Dead,” with the apocalyptic series saying goodbye with its final season, while also launching the spin-off series “Tales of the Walking Dead.”
Despite the news, Glanzer points out that Comic-Con is first and foremost a community for its fans.
“Being able to see people and have fun, enjoy comics and pop art is a luxury. I can’t wait,” said Glanzer. “Nothing better than having this opportunity and sharing it with friends.”