A few weeks back, Nikki Finke reported that WB/DC would announce the following at San Diego Comic Con:
- July 2016 – Shazam
- Xmas 2016 – Sandman
- May 2017 – Justice League
- July 2017 – Wonder Woman
- Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up
- May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2
Now, there's plenty of rings of truth on that list. There were some strong rumors that at least a couple of those would be announced last year at San Diego along with Batman v Superman, MoS 2 is a no-brainer in that they are already heavily invested in the franchise, and Dwayne Johnson has just all but said that they are about to announce Shazam. Further, the Wonder Woman date would be directly on the heels of what is likely to be a huge Wonder Woman push for her 75th anniversary in late 2016 (All Star Comics #8, cover-dated Dec 1941) — so that also rings true. And that brings our total (not counting Batman v Superman) to six films on the rumored announcement list.
Then, on Friday night, Marvel announced that they were staking claim to five future film dates, in addition to two other dates for unannounced films for which they have already, er, announced the dates. Bringing the total to these seven:
- July 8, 2016 [widely rumored to be Doctor Strange]
- May 5, 2017
- July 28, 2017
- November 3, 2017
- July 6, 2018
- November 2, 2018
- May 3, 2019
There was plenty of caution around the internet over the weekend that this doesn't necessarily mean that all of these would be announced at San Diego. Which is certainly true. And yet… if we were strictly talking about the comic industry here, that's exactly what you'd infer. Because the Marvel/DC dynamic is such that they often throw marketing haymakers meant for each other as much as they are meant for the audience. And if Marvel got wind that WB/DC was indeed going to announce six new films, they might decide that Marvel would announce seven new films, to take the spotlight for themselves.
[and because as we've seen from San Diego Comic Cons past, all they really need is a title and a logo, and Kevin Feige has already got the films planned out to 2028 or whatever it is, so, you know, they could probably pull it off even on relatively short notice. And of course, there's plenty of no-brainer sequels that could be plugged in there too.]
As we've noted in years past, some Marvel execs have been known to point out that Marvel "won" San Diego, so the traditional rivalry is in play this week, on many levels.
But of course, this isn't comics, so maybe that old competitive dynamic doesn't scale up when there's billions of dollars of revenue at stake. Then again, maybe it does. And we didn't even talk about possibilities from Sony or Fox yet. It's going to be a fun week regardless.