Even fans who couldn’t make it to San Diego Comic-Con can enjoy the spoils of the annual event — and by spoils, of course, we mean trailers, clips, and sizzle reels for the studios’ buzziest upcoming films. While some of the new footage hasn’t yet debuted outside of Hall H (including those for Marvel’s Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Warner’s Blade Runner 2049 and Aquaman), seven of them have been posted online for your immediate gratification. Read on for our ranked list of the best Comic-Con movie trailers, featuring the return of Wonder Woman, a sci-fi sequel five years in the making, a new Marvel superteam, and a Netflix film that will have everybody talking.
7. Ready Player One (March 30, 2018)
The first teaser for this highly anticipated quest film plays like the video games its hero (Tye Sheridan) loves: big on visuals, low on emotional stakes. It may not win over a lot of new fans, but that’s OK, because plenty of people are already very excited for Steven Spielberg’s big-screen adaptation of Ernest Cline’s bestselling sci-fi novel. Set in the year 2045, the movie takes place largely in a virtual-reality world called the Oasis, created by a tech genius obsessed with the 1980s. Look closely at the trailer for pop-culture nods ranging from Freddy Krueger to Lord of the Rings.
6. Pacific Rim: Uprising (Feb. 23, 2018)
The long-awaited sequel to 2013’s sci-fi fantasy film Pacific Rim doesn’t have a proper trailer yet, but this SDCC promo video is a tantalizing tease. John Boyega is featured in a mock propaganda campaign for Jaegers, the giant human-piloted robots devised to battle a giant monster uprising. It’s like Transformers, minus Michael Bay and all that weird revisionist history.
5. The Lego Ninjago Movie (Sept. 22, 2017)
The team behind The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie takes a stab at the samurai genre in their latest brick-building comedy. The trailer is, at times, a little too reminiscent of the original Lego Movie, with its outcast hero (Dave Franco), exasperated mentor (Jackie Chan), deadpan villain (Justin Theroux), and myriad daddy issues. However, the inclusion of a live-action cat (“Meowthra!”) and a joke about a missing toy limb shows that the producers are still willing to push the limits of their Lego format, with very funny results.
4. Bright (Dec. 22, 2017)
The trailer for Netflix’s first $100 million movie has a lot going for it: Will Smith in full reluctant-hero mode, special effects to rival any studio blockbuster, and a premise that’s so bonkers, one can’t help but be intrigued. Bright is a gritty police procedural that takes place in a city where orcs, fairies, and other magical creatures live alongside humans. Partnered with the first orc cop (Joel Edgerton), Smith’s human character must put aside his prejudices to keep a literal magic wand (“like a nuclear weapon that grants wishes”) away from supernatural criminals.
3. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Sept. 22, 2017)
Even those who missed out on Matthew Vaughn’s action-spy comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service are likely to be pulled in by this fun, frenetic trailer for the sequel. The suave British secret agents of the 2014 film (among them a seemingly back-from-the-dead Colin Firth) are joined by their “American cousins,” a spy team of lasso-wielding cowboys that includes Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges. Their common enemy: Poppy (Julianne Moore), a cheerfully depraved criminal mastermind in a floral print. It’s like James Bond meets a Quentin Tarantino Western, with hints of Vaughn’s trademark cheeky, grisly humor.
2. Justice League (Nov. 17, 2017)
With a major shakeup happening in the D.C. Extended Universe — namely, that Ben Affleck may be replaced as Batman — Warner Bros. has a lot riding on the success of Justice League. Fortunately, the first full-length trailer shows a studio that’s wisely playing to its strengths. And by “strengths,” we mean Wonder Woman. Diana Prince’s box-office-conquering alter ego (Gal Gadot) is front and center in the Comic-Con trailer, stepping up to protect a Superman-less world from a mysterious villain. Fighting alongside her at the behest of Bruce Wayne (Affleck, stepping into a more Nick Fury-like mentor role) are aquatic warrior Aquaman (Jason Momoa, with charisma to spare), newbie superhero Flash (Ezra Miller, providing some comic relief), and man-turned-machine Cyborg (Ray Fisher). The trailer is an exciting hint of things to come, with enough footage of Themyscira and shirtless Momoa to please fans who just want the Wonder Woman sequel (date TBA) and the Aquaman movie (Dec. 2018) to get here already.
1. Thor: Ragnarok (Nov. 3, 2017)
How did Marvel manage to top the first Thor: Ragnarok trailer, which broke the Marvel record for most trailer views in 24 hours? They did it by giving fans the big picture: not only does a hammerless Thor (Chris Hemsworth) battle Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in an intergalatic gladiator match, but he recruits Bruce Banner for an impromptu superhero team-up that includes Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and new warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) against an antlered Goddess of Death (Cate Blanchett). Add awesome visuals that look like they stepped off an ’80s metal album — Warriors flying horses through thunderclouds! A giant fire monster! — and some witty Asgardian banter, and you’ve got a Marvel trailer that strikes the perfect balance between new and familiar. Not bad for the third movie in a franchise.
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