It’s Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, which means that Hall H is the place to be with a day filled with trailers, news, and reveals about upcoming movie and TV projects. That all kicks off with the first panel of the day, spotlighting what lies ahead for Warner Bros. Discovery and DC movies.
While the nature of the big Hall H Saturday panels means that things are being kept under wraps until they hit the stage, it’s expected that we’ll be hearing (and hopefully seeing) more about not only Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam movie, but also about Shazam: Fury of the Gods, with both Johnson and Levi expected to appear in person. Don’t be too surprised if there’s more happening than just those two Shazambros across the next hour, however – as long as we all ask nicely and remember the magic word. (I mean, “please,” of course.)
Popverse will be here, liveblogging all the news and more across the next hour. Bookmark this page so that you can know what’s happening as soon as it happens – or, if you’re more patient, come back when the panel is over to read about it when the dust has settled.
We're here for the Warner Bros. Discovery panel here in Hall H. The warm-up guys are on stage inviting everyone in the (cavernous) room to say good morning. There's around 6,500 people in here, so it's loud.
"Make some noise, are you excited?" asks the man on stage ahead of the panel. The answer is yes, unsurprisingly.
As excitement for the panel builds, there's a slow clap building around the room.
Comic-Con's director of programming is out to thank everyone for coming here, saying how excited the team is to be back in Hall H on Saturday. Apparently, so is everyone else.
Tiffany Smith is on stage to moderate the Warner Bros theatrical panel! "Can I get you to cheer a little more?" she asks, and everyone obliges.
"Hall H this year, the H stands for 'here,'" she says, calling this panel the "hottest ticket in town."
The first film today is Shazam: Fury of the Gods. "There's something I want to do is make a little Comic-Con magic," Smith says, telling the crowd to yell Shazam!
A brief sizzle reel from Shazam: Fury of The Gods is shown. Zachary Levi comes on stage to a lot of cheers.
"Hi nerds!" says Levi, saying that he's coming to Comic-Con for 14 years since Chuck was in Ballroom 20. "It's awesome, I love it."
Smith calls Shazam the perfect role for Levi. "It's because I'm a man-child," he jokes. "There's so much heart, there's so much humor. And I am a kid at heart." Billy Batson loves people, he says, he wants things to work out but he's just stumbling through. "If you're here at Comic-Con, you're a kid at heart."
In Fury of the Gods, the "Shazamily" has been around for a couple of years, "still learning how to [be superheroes] and figuring out our own identities." It comes with "super-drama," he jokes, including inter-family "fights and tiffs." It adds a sense of reality to the movie, he says.
And here's a trailer!
The trailer shows Shazam comparing himself to other DC heroes, complaining, "I'm just me. I feel like a fraud." Is that Helen Mirren as one of the gods? "I've seen all the Fast and the Furious movies, lady. It's all about family!" Shazam says, as multiple magic threats start to theaten Philadelphia.
"I just threw a truck at a dragon! I love my life!" says Shazam at the end of the trailer. "Dragons, unicorns, Fast and the Furious jokes, it's the whole shebang," says Levi afterwards. "You guys are going to love it. It's out at Christmas."
David Sanberg, director, is now on stage.
Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Lucy Liu are on stage. Lucy plays one of the daughters of Atlas. She has a magical staff, which Levi claims is his. "Finders keepers," she says.
Sandberg says that it's magic when the entire cast is together. "It's a sequel now, so we get more money and we spent it all," he says. Talks about upping the stakes and building the cast.
Grazer jokes that it was difficult to get used to not being the star of the new movie, but says that it's "amazing" to be in the middle of everything. The crowd forgives him for the pun that the movie is "upping the Adam."
Angel says that Billy is hyper-focused on preserving the family dynamic between everyone after having spent the first movie looking for his mother. He's on the precipice of adulthood. Grazer said that he's having trouble keeping his powers secret. "He's keeping it down as best as he can."
Liu's very presence prompts cheers from the crowd. She can't talk too much about what she's doing in the movie, but says that "we're having a great time," mentioning that Helen Mirren is one of her sisters in the movie. They're having a good time carrying out their mission, but she's not going to reveal what that mission is.
Helen Mirren and Rachel Zegler are appearing via video, with Mirren saying that she loves Comic-Con and used to go every year as a fan, but she's been banned for fighting. (I believe it, let's be honest.) "It wasn't a fight, he went down instantly," Mirren jokes. Mirren and Zegler are Lucy Liu's two fellow daughter of Atlas. Mirren says that she had such fun "kicking the shit" out of Levi.
Helen Mirren just said "Yay, pussy power!" which I never thought I'd see. "Lots of pussies in the house, guys," says Liu.
"I can't believe Helen Mirren just said that. I'm thankful, but I'm just shocked," says Levi. (Me too, Zach.)
Fans are lining up for questions, while the cast pose for a selfie on stage.
Q: Will we see a Shazam fight Superman in the future? Levi: "I cannot confirm or deny facts like these. These are questions you're allowed to ask me right now. So, no," Levi says, while his face suggests otherwise.
Q: Who would win in a fight, Shazam or Dwayne Johnson? "I mean, Dwayne's a very large man who works out a lot, but Shazam's a god, so, um. Shazam," says Levi.
Watch the first trailer of Shazam! Fury of the Gods yourself here: https://www.thepopverse.com/the-shazam-family-shines-in-first-shazam-fury-of-the-gods-trailer
Q: Is there going to be other DC hero cameos in Shazam: Fury of the Gods? "There's a lot going on in the movie," says Sandberg. "That would be a spoiler."
Q: What was the acting experience like in this movie? It was amazing, it was great getting the band back together," says Angel. "It was great to have the Shazam fam back."
"They're growing like weeds, these kids!" says Levi. "I might be taller than Zach soon," jokes Angel, prompting Levi to quickly say, "no."
Q: Will there be a Shazam 3? "Would you LIKE a Shazam 3? Okay, fine, we'll make another one," Levi jokes. "If you guys go and see this one and like it, there's a good chance the bosses will make another one. I love playing this role."
Q: When is Shazam going to face Black Adam, and will he do it alone or with his family? "Next question!" says Levi, quickly.
Q: How would Chuck feel if he was granted the Shazam powers? "I think he'd be stoked! Chuck was a DC fan already," Levi says. "If he was granted the Shazam powers on top of the Intersect, he'd be unstoppable!"
Q: Do you think Shazam and his family would meet up with the Justice League and have a big party? "We'd have a kick-ass party! At the Rock of Eternity? We'd have a blast!" jokes Levi.
Last question, to Lucy Liu: How was it getting the new role? Was it your best role ever? The cast look at Liu expectantly. "I do enjoy playing a goddess, there's nothing like it," she says. "To be part of the DC Universe is probably the most exciting thing that's happened in my whole career. Being here now, being a woman of color, it was an honor to be part of something this special."
Liu says that "it feels like I am in a place that's home" in the DC Universe.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods cast is leaving the stage, as Tiffany Smith says the movie will be released December 21. "Just in time for the holidays!"
The sound system is making the room vibrate with thunder. It's very dramatic, with everything going dark.
Audio plays from Black Adam, but everything is still dark.
Dwayne Johnson is here dressed as Black Adam!
"Hall H - you have been warned," he says. "The DC universe will never be the same again." And then the lights go dark again.
Tiffany Smith comes back on stage to say, "if that is not a Hall H entrance, I don't know what is."
Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra is on stage now.
Hawkman actor Aldis Hodge is on stage. "WHAT'S UP, COMIC-CON? he yells to cheers. Noah Centineo, AKA Atom Smasher, also comes on stage.
Cyclone, AKA Quintessa Swindell joins everyone on stage.
Collet-Serra says that they finally locked the cut on Black Adam last night. The cast got to watch the movie just before Comic-Con. Hodge says that he grew up on superhero movies. "When I saw this, I went, 'Oh! This is somethin' different. This is somethin' new-new."
And now, here's Dwayne Johnson. The room erupts in applause and cheers, even though he's changed out of the Black Adam costume. (He is now wearing a very fetching shirt, though.)
Smith says that Johnson has been working on the movie for 10 years. "The journey for Black Adam, as many of you know, has been a long journey," he says. "It's been easily over 10 years." Says it's been an incredible journey. "As many of you know, I love coming to Comic-Con but to be here representing a DC superhero, a DC anti-hero specifically, is the dream."
Johnson thanks the crowd for supporting him during the journey.
Collet-Serra says that he and Johnson worked on Jungle Cruise, and it was at the end of that production, Johnson approached him to work on Black Adam. "I knew he'd been hyping this project for many years, so it was a lot of pressure." He was also drawn to the character's backstory, and how unusual that is. "I was very challenged by the character," says that Adam operates on his own moral center, and likens it to Dirty Harry from the 1970s, where heroes step outside corrupt systems for a greater good.
"There's a lot of heart in the movie," Collet-Serra says, saying that was a focus of Dwayne Johnson.
Collet-Serra says that he was using the best technology and wants to "blow people's minds" with the movie. Dwayne Johnson jokes that Collet-Serra is a very shy man, so being on stage in Hall H is "killing him right now." But, Johnson says, he was the right man to create a unique movie that ushers in a new era of the DC universe. "What does it mean to build out the DC universe with the Justice Society?" he teases.
Hodge talks about playing Hawkman. "Man, this is such an honor and a privilage. One of those career life-long dreams. It's amazing because of who Carter Hall is. To be with the JSA, the very first unified superhero team in existence. JSA! We started this sh...!" he says.
Hodge says that he sees it as a gift, and wants to usher in the DCU to the next generation, and the next, and the next. Hodge says that he almost lost the job because he didn't think Dwayne Johnson when he called. "He told me to F off," says Johnson.
Centineo is enjoying the screams from the audience. "It blew my mind, the opportunity to be part of this universe," he says. "I can't tell you how excited I was." Says that Collet-Serra told him that he wanted to bring a youthful side to the JSA.
Atom-Smasher has a complicated past, including villainy. He's trying to build a better life. "In this film, you really get to see two metahumans figure out what being a superhero is."
Swindell says that Cyclone and Atom-Smasher are "trying to figure out who we are as people" at the same time as they're getting used to their powers. "That's a journey in and of itself." Says that playing Cyclone is the biggest honor of her life so far, and gets choked up talking about it. "I'm protective over her. There's this light that she has."
Johnson adds that, for him, "what a proud, honoring moment it was for me to watch these guys walk on set in costume for the first time." Says that when Swindell walked on set, it all came together. "I think it's reflective that, maybe we can usher in a new era for the DC universe. And listen to the fans!"
Mason, a young kid, asks a question and calls Dwayne Johnson "Mr. Rock." His question was, when Johnson got the role, "did Kevin Hart ever get jealous?" Johnson says, yes, Kevin Hart gets jealous of everything. Jokes that Mason is already taller than Kevin Hart.
Johnson demands more audience questions! One more is granted: Who would win in a fight, Black Adam or Superman? Johnson says, "that's a good question. Don't threaten me with a good time." Pound for pound, they're pretty close, so it all depends on who's playing Superman. "I'll just say that," he says, to audience groans.
Johnson announces exclusive footage, which will show off the tone and heart of Black Adam.
It's the discovery of Black Adam's tomb, and his awakening. His lightning reduces a man to dust, before he flies into the air, and fights back against soldiers shooting him. There's an arm being ripped off, in a nod to certain comic book tropes.
"My powers are not a gift, but a curse born out of rage," says Adam. We're seeing Amanda Waller show up. (Yes, it's Viola Davis.) There's an implication that the JSA is working for Waller, or at least with her.
"I was a slave until I died. Then I was reborn a god," Adam says, even as Doctor Fate asks him what good his powers have ever brought. "Fate does not make mistakes," Fate says. "You can be the destroyer of this world, or you could be its savior." We get to see the JSA in action. It's impressively looking stuff, and the crowd is going wild.
Smith thanks the cast, and reminds everyone that Black Adam is in theaters October 21.
Johnson just gave the crowd the Rock stare, but he's not done yet. He tells the crowd that everyone in Hall H will be the first to see Black Adam on an IMAX screen, courtesy of the postcards that the audience was given upon entrance. "This is the Black Adam golden ticket," he says.
And that's the panel! But promising 6,500 people early access to a much-anticipated movie is a pretty good way of leaving people with a good feeling. Thanks for following along, everyone.