Tens of thousands of fans, many dressed up as their favorite heroes, flocked to San Diego on Thursday for the grand return of Comic-Con, the premier fantasy festival that showcases series from Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings.
Hollywood film studios including Disney and Warner Bros. are also headed to the Southern California city and have not denied rumors of an exclusive preview of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiere or the announcement of a new Superman movie.
The last two editions of the festival took place over the internet because of the coronavirus pandemic and enthusiasts are in short supply. A total of more than 130,000 of them are expected in San Diego.
“I think it’s going to look like Comic-Con 2019,” said David Glanzer, the festival’s communications manager. With one difference: visitors must add a hygienic mask to their hobbit, princess or alien costume.
“We weathered the storm. And now that we’re back, maybe we’ll shed tears of joy… it’s very moving,” Glanzer told AFP.
Comic-Con opens this year with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor of Thieves, a Paramount film starring Chris Pine, Hugh Grant and Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page.
This feature film is the first big-budget adaptation of the medieval fantasy universe of Dungeons & Dragons, the most popular role-playing game pushed to the fore by Stranger Things teenagers in recent years.
But these are two series that should cause a sensation in San Diego: “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” from Amazon Prime and “House of the Dragon”, from the world hit “Game of Thrones”.
– Rings & Dragons –
The Rings of Power is an ambitious project set in the universe created by JRR Tolkien, long before the events described in Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
The series — slated for five seasons and set to premiere on September 2 — is said to have cost more than $1 billion. It would be a personal obsession of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s multi-billionaire founder.
Much of that money has gone towards buying the rights to Tolkien’s universe, but a large budget is also earmarked for running promotional events for fans, including those at Comic-Con.
Amazon was due to appear Friday with hobbits, elves and dwarves in the San Diego Convention Center’s gargantuan Hall H, where enthusiasts will queue for hours, if not days, to see the first exclusive details of this series.
The following day, Comic-Con will feature the dragons of the first Game of Thrones spin-off series, House of the Dragon, which premieres August 21 on HBO.
The creator of this universe, George RR Martin, has denied any notion of a rivalry between the two fantastic series.
“The more achievements we have in fantastic universes, the more likely we are to have great fantasy 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 American television’s Oscars, and paved the way for many similar series.
House of the Dragon, starring Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans and Emma D’Arcy, tells the violent and troubled story of the Targaryen family some 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones.
Warner Bros presents a role tailored for the imposing Dwayne Johnson in the DC Comics superhero film Black Adam.
The Californian festival bids farewell to the famous AMC series The Walking Dead, whose final episodes are about to air, but also marks the launch of a spin-off series, Tales of the Walking Dead.
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