Movies & TV

A Guide to All the Important Trailers Released During Comic-Con

What an exciting time for movies.

With premiere dates looming for Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, Stranger Things, and even the third Avengers, which won't be shown in theaters till 2018, we only have trailers to feed our excitement. The San Diego Comic-Con 2017 was a watering hole for anticipating pop culture fans. 

Because we're biding our time just like you, we broke down each trailer, just in case you missed something.



Justice League

Release Date: November 17, 2017

In DC's last tease, a figure with footsteps heavy enough to create tremors reveals himself to Alfred Pennyworth (Jeremy Irons) who ends the trailer by saying, “He said you’d come. Now let’s hope you’re not too late.” Most are banking on the mysterious figure to be Superman, resurrected from the dead—but that’s the obvious choice.

The trailer also starts with the VO: “No protectors here. No Lanterns, no Kryptonians.” That might be a hint to the Green Lanter, the only piece to the Justice League who hasn't been introduced yet (because we all forgot about Ryan Reynolds). It's also a reminder that Superman isn’t the only Kryptonian on Earth. With the success of Wonder Woman, perhaps another heroine may be joining their ranks with the same red cape as her cousin.

Thor: Ragnarok

Release Date: November 3, 2017

Led Zeppelin’s iconic “Immigrant Song” about war, Valhalla, and the “hammer of the gods” is the perfect backdrop for this Thor installment. For comic book and Norse history buffs alike, the trailer is riddled with key players in the great battle of Ragnarok. Midway through the trailer, you’ll spot Fenrir, the monstrous wolf of Norse mythology prophesied to play his role in the destruction of the world. And let’s not forget the last scene in the trailer—that epic shot of Surtur, the giant fire demon of Muspelheim, aka Hell.



Reader Player One

Release Date: March 30, 2018

Author Ernest Cline’s “holy grail of pop culture,” Ready Player One is being brought to the big screen by Steven Spielberg himself. Sprinkled with pop culture references throughout the book and film, the dystopian trailer features fleeting shots of Harley Quinn, Deathstroke, Gandalf, Back to the Future’s Delorean, Freddy Krueger, Duke Nukem, Stephen King’s possessed car Christine, the A-Team van, and even Hello Kitty stickers. Check it yourself to see if you can spot others as well.


Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Release Date: September 22, 2017

The comedy-action film is back, this time with its American counterpart in tow. The Kingsmen have joined forces with the Statesmen, with agents named Tequila, Jack Daniels, Ginger Ale, and Champ (short for Champagne).

If that isn’t enough to excite us, Julianne Moore stars as the villain Poppy, who's also referenced in one of the marquee signs: “Poppy Presents: The Bitch is Back!”



Release Date: December 22, 2017

There’s definitely more to this Netflix original than meets the eye. It has subtle references to real-world political parallels. In this alternate fantasy version of Los Angeles, for example, we see upper-class elves, lower-class orcs, and humans stuck somewhere in between. In Will Smith’s first line as police officer Scott Ward, he says, “Fairy lives don’t matter today.” There was also a shot of an orc beaten to the ground by a cop with another orc in a “hands up, don’t shoot” position nearby.

You don’t need to be a genius to connect the dots.

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On a brighter note, alongside these societal metaphors are some fantasy staples like a magic wand and a magic sword (looking a little too much like Excalibur?), but their symbolism is still up for grabs.



Blade Runner 2049

Release date: October 6, 2017

The sequel to the classic neo-noir sci-fi film is hitting theaters soon, and, if the trailer is anything to go by, it's complete with marvelous cinematic shots. Blade Runner 2049 picks up 30 years after the first film left off as K (Ryan Gosling) sets off to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), the protagonist of the original who’s been missing for decades.

While the trailer remains elusive from start to end, there is one thing we noticed: the numbers K finds carved at the bottom of a tree—06 10 21—is the date of the film’s release (albeit four years early).


The Shape of Water

Premieres on December 8, 2017

Any fan of Guillermo del Toro can instantly recognize his style. In The Shape of Water, we’re given a heavy dose of the director’s dark fantasy tastes with this Cold War era romance between a mute woman and an amphibious humanoid creature.

Those who've seen Hellboy (another adaptation directed by Gomez) would say the creature is a dead ringer for Abe Sapien, Hellboy’s amphibious sidekick.


Stranger Things

Season 2 Premiere: October 27

Aside from the Michael Jackson theme song and Ghostbuster costumes, there’s one other '80s reference in the trailer we need to talk about: Dragon’s Lair. Season 1 started with Dungeons and Dragons setting the tone for the following episodes, especially the D&D Demogorgon monster that was foreshadowed at the start of the series. Now, the Season 2 trailer has shown us a glimpse of Dragon’s Lair, an '80s video game about a knight trying to rescue a princess from a dragon which parallels the current characters’ situation—only theirs is much more treacherous. How this will play out further in the series is still a big question mark.


But if we’re to believe the trailer, then the entire town is going upside down.



Season 2 Premiere: October 11, 2017

The teaser gives us only a glimpse of the Riverdale gang, implying that an “angel of death” has descended onto Riverdale. Death is definitely an ongoing theme for the show, made even more enrapturing by the last shot of Cheryl standing over her badly burned mother’s hospital bed. Notice how she shies away from her own daughter’s hand despite Cheryl’s all too perky façade. We can’t blame her, though. The Blossom family does have a history of killing each other (spoiler alert).


Marvel’s The Defenders

Series Premiere: August 18, 2017

Definitely some of the most human superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Defenders’ trailer emphasizes that they are no strangers to vulnerabilities, especially when they’re made up of an alcoholic, an ex-convict, a blind man, and an orphan. But it was the few shots of Elektra that grabbed our attention, implying that rather than being presumably dead, the assassin has been brainwashed by Alexandra, the show’s main villain.



Season 2 Premiere: 2018

There’s way too much in the Westworld trailer to cover, and each moment is infused with hidden messages. But narrowing down to one significant moment—the second scene focusing on Bernard staring down at a dead tiger—could mean we can expect Westworld and Southworld or Samurai/Shogun World to converge very soon. The implications of this are huge, to say the least.



American Horror Story: Cult

Season 7 Premiere: September 5, 2017 

Creepy doesn’t even begin to describe it. Like something out of a nightmare (in typical AHS fashion), the Season 7 trailer features clowns, a cult, and chanting—everything we should avoid. While we couldn’t get anything out of the trailer apart from goosebumps, Ryan Murphy stated in an interview that this season would tackle the 2016 U.S. elections, and the entire circus that went with it. So of course, the accurate theme to portray that would be a cult, according to Murphy.


Walking Dead

Season 7 Premiere: October 22, 2017

As great as all the moments in the five-minute video are, there’s only one that really matters—the last shot of Rick waking up old and gray, a mirror of a similar scene in Season 1. Before jumping to conclusions, creator Robert Kirkman has already debunked theories that the entire storyline of the Walking Dead is a dream.

That leaves a bunch of other theories floating around, including Rick surviving the entire series and that the old man isn’t Rick, but his son Carl in the future. Either way, if the series is going to follow the comics, Rick will make it through Negan’s war—but as to who else will survive with him, that’s still up in the air. 


The Gifted

Series Premiere: October 2, 2017

Bringing the X-Men universe to television, The Gifted mentions The Brotherhood and the X-Men in just one line, but it was enough to draw curiosity. Now it’s a question as to how much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe they’ll explore and if any of the Brotherhood and the X-Men will actually show up in the series. But even if they don’t, the trailer looks like the series will be able to hold its own even without its strong associations.



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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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