Comic-Con 2022: Wakanda Forever, Sandman and Bill Murray joins the MCU

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Truly the nerds have inherited the earth, or at least Hollywood: this Comic-Con gave us the first look at the forthcoming adaptation of the tabletop role-playing game, a fantasy caper starring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridgerton hottie Regé-Jean Page and Hugh Grant.

While the trailer is a little light on hearty laughs, it has a) Grant as a baddie and b) is co-written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who made one of the most underrated comedies of the decade – Game Night – so expect something fun. Also I have consulted a huge D&D fan who tells me the owlbear truly is a thing and he gave this trailer a thumbs up. Where’s my Catan movie?

When is it out? 2 March 2023 in Australia, 3 March in US and UK

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Marvel presented the trailer for the long-anticipated Black Panther sequel, featuring a homage to its late star Chadwick Boseman, glimpses of new characters joining the fray, and a strangely seamless mashup of No Woman, No Cry with Kendrick Lamar’s Alright. After Boseman’s death from colon cancer in 2020, Marvel announced that they would not be recasting his role – though the trailer teases the possibility of a new character wearing the Black Panther suit.

“Chad’s passion and genius and his culture and the impact he made on this industry will be felt forever,” director Ryan Coogler said on a panel alongside returning cast members Letitia Wright and Lupita Nyong’o, and new – like I May Destroy You creator Michaela Coel, who plays the Wakandan warrior Aneka.

When’s it out? 11 November 2022

Lord of the Rings: the Rings of Power

I for one am fine with Jeff Bezos attempting to buy my love by spending his horrendous wealth on adapting fantasy books; last year we got Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, and now we’re getting The Rings of Power, a prequel of sorts to JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books.

Set thousands of years earlier, this new series covers what happened in the Second Age of Middle-earth: the forging of the famous rings, the rise of the evil Lord Sauron and the fall of the island Númenor, Tolkien’s take on the legend of Atlantis (and where Aragorn’s ancestors, the Dúnedain, lived, for those who haven’t read or watched beyond LOTR).

Related: Amazon’s Lord of the Rings cast reveal clips from The Rings of Power at Comic-Con

Visually and tonally, it appears to be taking its cues from Peter Jackson’s films as much as Tolkien: there’s Sauron! A glimpse of what might be a Balrog! And a young Galadriel (previously played by Cate Blanchett and now by Morfydd Clark), along with a little Elrond (previously Hugo Weaving, now Robert Aramayo). It’s like seeing your elf mum and dad when they were young (so only, like, 1,000 years old).

When’s it out? 2 September on Amazon Prime

Bill Murray joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe – in one of about 65 new Marvel shows and films

After much speculation – fuelled by a loose-lipped interview with a German magazine, then stoked by a Jimmy Kimmel appearance referencing a potential role in an unnamed Paul Rudd flick – Bill Murray is joining the Marvel ranks, appearing for a split second in footage from Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

“Janet Van Dyne!” Murray’s as-yet unnamed character says to Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays a fashion designer-slash-scientist previously rescued from the clutches of subatomic space. “I thought you were dead!”

Related: Have we gone from Marvel fatigue to Marvel exhaustion?

Many of us have enjoyed the 29 films in the MCU and some of the Marvel shows (we will pretend Iron Fist never happened). But the new Ant-Man was just one of many, many Marvel projects announced at Comic-Con. Kevin Feige was wheeled out to reel off an exhaustive list of titles like Steve Jobs plugging a new iPod. Here’s a summary:

  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Disney+, August)

  • Black Panther: Wankanda Forever (November).

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 2023)

  • Secret Invasion (Disney+, September 2023): a spin-off show set around Ben Mendelsohn’s character Talos, part of a shapeshifting alien race called the Skrull who – you guessed it – secretly invade Earth; also stars Samuel L Jackson, Martin Freeman and Olivia Coleman

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (5 May 2023)

  • Echo (Disney+, December 2023), a series focused on Maya Lopez, the hearing impaired arse-kicker played by Alaqua Cox in another Disney+ series, Hawkeye

  • Loki season two (Disney+, December 2023), reuniting Tom Hiddleston’s Nordic god and Owen Wilson’s time travelling bureaucrat

  • Blade (3 November 2023), a film reboot starring Mahershala Ali as the vampire-killing vampire

  • Ironheart (Disney+, September 2023), a series centred on Riri Williams, a Black teen genius who takes over Tony Stark’s work making souped-up suits

  • Agatha: Coven of Chaos (Disney+, December 2023), a sequel to Wandavision that follows up on what happened to Kathryn Hahn’s villain.

  • Daredevil: Born Again (Disney+, March 2024), Marvel’s return to its best telly series, bringing back Charlie Cox as the blind crime fighter and Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin

  • Captain America: New World Order (3 May 2024), the first Cap film starring Anthony Mackie instead of Chris Evans

  • Thunderbolts (25 July 2024), an antihero team assembled in the comics by Baron Zemo (previously played by Daniel Brühl)

  • Fantastic Four (8 November 2024): no cast was announced – but here’s hoping they keep John Krasinski as Reed Richards and cast his real-life wife Emily Blunt as Sue

  • Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2 May 2025): yet another ensemble superhero film – but who will still be alive to be in it remains to be seen

  • Avengers: Secret Wars (7 November 2025), see above

The Walking Dead’s second life

Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln speak on stage at AMC’s The Walking Dead at Comic-Con 2022.
Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln speak on stage at AMC’s The Walking Dead at Comic-Con 2022. Photograph: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Longtime zombie killer Rick Grimes – leading man of The Walking Dead’s first nine seasons, before seemingly being killed off – was meant to have his own spin-off film trilogy, as AMC announced in 2018. But in a surprise appearance, Andrew Lincoln (who plays Grimes) and co-star Danai Gurira announced that it would be a six-part series instead, airing next year.

Grimes was last seen in the show blowing up a bridge to stop an advancing horde of zombies, before his boots inexplicably showed up on an island in the most recent season. “I personally can’t wait to get my cowboy boots back on,” Lincoln told the crowd.

When’s it out? Sometime in 2023

The Sandman

No, you’re not dreaming: Neil Gaiman’s lengthy comic book series, which has passed through the hands of everyone from HBO to Joseph Gordon-Levitt in development hell, might actually finally be happening. This trailer reveals Tom Sturridge as the titular character, the personification of dreaming, who is also known as Dream or Morpheus. A century after being captured and imprisoned by occultists, Dream escapes and finds the waking world and the world of dreams are out of whack – it’s hard to pin down much more of a plot in this comic series, which could mean it won’t translate for screen like some of Gaiman’s other works – but we’ll see.

The 10-episode series also stars Gwendoline Christie, Patton Oswalt, Charles Dance, David Thewlis and Stephen Fry. Gaiman also revealed the first season is based on the first two volumes, Preludes and Nocturnes, and The Doll’s House.

When’s it out? 5 August on Netflix

John Wick 4

Keanu Reeves gatecrashed a Comic-Con directors panel to reveal a teaser for John Wick 4, where he’s back as the reformed hitman with a heart and taking a battering. Luckily, he is also seen doing some appropriately macho things to prepare, like punching a pylon until it is blood-stained and looking dramatic in the rain.

Keanu Reeves at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.
Actor Keanu Reeves made an appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Photograph: Bing Guan/Reuters

“Have you given any thought to where this ends?” a voice asks at the trailer’s start. Not here, apparently: the franchise has already been renewed for a fifth chapter. But who doesn’t want to see Nanu going ‘nanas again?

When’s it out? 23 March 2023 in Australia, 24 March in US and UK

Black Adam

While Marvel has gone down the cheerful path of Taika Waititi and Fleetwood Mac, DC has stuck to its po-faced, smashy-crashy formula, prioritising cool over fun. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, one actor who actually looks as if he could lift a car over his head, plays the titular antihero, who was given his powers by Ancient Egyptian gods. It’ll probably play on every screen in your local cinema and makes squillions.

When’s it out? 20 October 2022 in Australia, 21 October in US and UK