SDCC 2016 [Panel Reviews]: Kong-Skull Island / LEGO Movie-Batman / King Arthur-Legend of the Sword / Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

"Apostle" Lance Paul @Lance_Paul
“Apostle” Lance Paul

It wasn’t all superheroes, punches and tights in Hall H with the annual Warner Bros. Presentation at Comic-Con 2016. After DC/WB dropped the 3-headed juggernaut that was Justice League, Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad, the studio brought out the rest of their proud heavy-hitters in Kong: Skull Island, Lego Movie: Batman, King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Here are the Traveling Nerd’s presentation reviews!

KONG: SKULL ISLAND (Saturday) – We received our first trailer for the new Kong, a 1970’s-set King Kong story starring Tom Hiddleston (Thor), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), John Goodman (Roseanne) and none other than Straight Outta Compton‘s Dre & Eazy-E, Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell. The new film is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer). “Kong is film history. Kong is where genre met mainstream… [The film] takes place in the 70’s; what’s not cool about choppers, napalm and King Kong?,” boasted Vogt-Roberts on the classic character.

(Cont.) You could tell from the cast and director at the panel that a ton of fun was had filming–despite the hardest of conditions, which Hawkins sneakingly referred to as “guerilla/gorilla filmmaking.” But no star shined brighter this the ever-facetious Goodman, who had the cast and Hall H attendance rolling in their seats, while he talked about dealing with and working with the ginormous on-location diva. “[Kong]’s earned the right to be a little cranky. He was always 20 minutes late for make-up, but he was never drunk on set… You’d hear stories about riding on the top of taxicabs, or chartering boats–and putting it on the company–but he turned out to be an OK guy. He won’t do press, though. He won’t ever do press.” We’re just glad Goodman does. 4.25/5 Hairy Monkeys Agree. – Lance Paul

LEGO MOVIE: BATMAN (Saturday) – Thank God we have a joke-filled, batarang-tossing Batman to occupy our time till Justice League’s new, wittier Batfeck. LEGO Batman was such an undeniable hit from The LEGO Movie, chiefly because he never took himself too serious; a much-needed Battie that lovingly makes fun of himself… I mean come on, Batman is a rich guy that dresses like a bat and invites young boys to come live with him! The relationship between Will Arnett’s Bruce and Michael Cera’s Dick supplies the trailer (just down below) with some of its best laughs. Perhaps more admirably, director Chris McKay isn’t just limiting himself to the cream of Gotham’s rogues gallery crop, despite an overarching baddie in a Joker beautifully played by Zach Galfianakis (The Hangover). 4/5 Master LEGO Builders Agree. – Lance Paul

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (Saturday) – A lone Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim) was in full strides, getting the massive Hall H crowd excited for the world premiere of his new medieval epic’s first true trailer. From the footage down below, King Arthur looks every bit as frenetic and deadpan as the lot of director Guy Ritchie’s films. And like the majority of his filmography the degenerates will rise. “You meet him and he’s a pimp. Just kidding–he just lives in a brothel,” joked Hunnam as he described his take on Arthur as a street kid who eventually rises to be king. Hey, we finally have a retelling that rivals the original Excalibur (and allows us to forget The First Knight and King Arthur, too). 4.5/5 Cosplaying Wizards Agree. – Lance Paul

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM (Saturday) – True pandemonium took over Hall H to finish out Warner Bros. slot with the Fantastic Beasts presentation, when Eddie Redmayne handed out special magic wands to everyone in attendance. No easy task when you have 6,500 geeeeeeeeeeekkksss! But what a way to make a presence felt. After every non-hoarder threw their free wands for a whopping $50 on EBay, Redmayne invited his director and the rest of his cast to join him on stage. David Yates, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, the new Flash Ezra Miller and Dan Fogler helped reveal the world exclusive trailer of the new Harry Potter spin-off…

(Cont.) The prequel tells the story of magizoologist Newt Scamander on his way to the Magical Congress of the United States of America in the 20’s, where and when, unfortunately, all his magical beasts are released in the world–forcing him to collect them all again. They spoke on how just hands-on J.K. Rowling was with the production and the scriptwriting. “Nothing gets in front of the camera before her checking it first,” recanted Farrell on a cloak he was set to wear that didn’t meet her standards. Overall this panel was enjoyable and the footage amazing, even if we had indeed seen most of it already. Plus, getting your very own wand nearly rivals what Star Wars did last year with free lightsabers. 3.75/5 Sock Dolby’s Agree. – Lance Paul

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