NYCC 2019 has come and gone but it brought with it some amazing sneak peeks and first looks from Stephen King, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Watchmen to name just a few. Thursday got the con off to a roaring start – while Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was bringing broadway to Hammerstein Ballroom, a few blocks away at the Javits Center, Ryan Reynolds was surprising the crowd at the 20th Century Fox Panel – and that was just in the first hours of NYCC 2019. Below are some of the highlights:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Using pyrotechnics for the first time on stage at NYCC as Benjamin Wheelwight and James Brown III (movement director and captain) gave a demonstration of Cursed Child’s magic. The secret is all in the cape and their use of cape-ography to make objects and people appear and disappear. The panel was an eye opening look into the creation of magic without the aid of CGI, using practical objects and specific movement to convey otherworldly acts and things. Dementors, for example, were directed to move from the back of the head as the soul sucking creatures lack eyes and would therefore not move in the way a human would, by sight.
20th Century Fox Panel
Meanwhile, over on the Javits main stage 20th Century Fox was coming out guns blazing with an extended clip from Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman prequel The King’s Man. Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, and Djimon Hounsou appeared at the panel to discuss the spy film. Despite starting with an Oscar winner, Fox doubled down with the aforementioned surprise appearance by Ryan Reynolds to discuss his new film Free City – a Truman Show-esque comedy in which a bank teller who has been robbed over and over again finds out he’s actually a side character in a video game. Reynolds was joined by director Shawn Levy and several co-stars including Stranger Things’ Joe Keery and showed multiple clips of the film despite having only just begun the film’s editing and special effects process.
Netflix brought a trio of shows to NYCC and kicked things off with their animated show from Nick Kroll as it debuts its third season on the heels of renewal for three more. The big reveal from creator Kroll was the spin off show Human Resources which will follow the monsters of the current show presumably navigating office life. Little is known about the new series just yet but Big Mouth’s success with critics and fans bodes well for an expanded look within the world of Big Mouth. Season 3 of Big Mouth is both excellent and streaming now on Netflix.
Syfy treated fans to the first episode of Alan Tudyk’s new show Resident Alien based on the comic by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. The show follows an alien (Tudyk) who crash lands on Earth and assumes the identity of Harry, a retired doctor living in a small town in Colorado. He must then navigate a mysterious death and conceal his true identity while deciding whether or not humanity is worth saving from extinction. The show is darkly comedic and features great performances from Tudyk and costars Sara Tomko (Once Upon a Time) and Corey Reynolds (The Closer). Creator Chris Sheridan (Family Guy) expressed his delight at being picked up by Syfy as he felt it was the best place for the show to be exactly what it wants to be – which is to say nothing like the alien comedies or crime procedurals you might see on the major networks. The show starts filming later this year and, if it delivers on the promise of the pilot, promises to be a little bit of everything – a uniquely funny and dark story centered around a pitch perfect lead performance.
Marvel’s Runaways debuted the first episode of season 3 for fans at Madison Square Garden Friday night with the cast on hand to answer questions and talk upcoming episodes. The screening revealed Elizabeth Hurley as the season’s big bad, Morgan Le Fay. Audience Q&A also revealed a crossover episode with Cloak & Dagger. According to head of Marvel television Jeph Loeb, Cloak & Dagger’s inclusion won’t be a cameo for the sake of cross over but an integral part of season 3’s story. The latest installment of Marvel’s Runaways drops on Hulu on December 13.
HBO Watchmen Screening
HBO, Damon Lindelof, and the cast of Watchmen including Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, and more brought the show’s first episode to fans at the Javits. Post screening co-creator Dave Gibbons joined the panel to discuss this “extrapolation” of he and Alan Moore’s (who asked his name not be associated with the series) work. Moore has an infamous distaste for adaptations of his work and Lindelof talked Alan’s reluctance to be associated in any way with the show and how that affected his creation of this world that takes place 30 years following the events of the comics. He remarked that he thought it would be interesting to see what those appropriating Rorachach’s existence and ethos did in the same way that he was appropriating Alan Moore’s work. Lindelof also spoke to the fact that depending on its reception the show’s first season could be its only as it is fairly self-contained. Watchmen debuts October 20th on HBO.
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines
DC and Warner Brothers held the world premiere of the animated Wonder Woman: Bloodlines Friday night. Despite being the sixth time the DC hero has been played by Rosario Dawson, it was the first stand alone film for the Amazon warrior. The film is packed to the gils with action featuring a rogues gallery of Woman Woman villains like Cheetah, Doctors Poison and Cyber, Giganta, and Silver Swan. But it also delivers on Diana’s heart and compassion bringing what makes the character stand apart from her male Justice League counterparts. Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is available digitally now and will be released on blu-ray and 4K on October 22.
Set seven years after the Earth becomes inhabitable compared to the film’s fifteen, TNT’s Snowpiercer promises to bring a more immediate and intense sense of loss to its characters. Despite being set before Bong Joon Ho’s 2013 film, the show runner, Graeme Manson promised that it will still be characterized by a sense of rebellion as the strict caste system on the 10-mile train takes its toll on those in the worst conditions in the tail. After a bit of an up and down trip from film to television Snowpiercer is finally set to debut on TNT this spring, with the second season about to film next month.
Castle Rock is, as creator Dustin Thomason called it, “a soft anthology” series as season 2 will by and large focus on different main characters, most notably Annie Wilkes. The infamous Stephen King character will be portrayed by Lizzy Caplan and will be joined by her daughter Joy (Elsie Fisher). Mirroring Sissy Spacek’s casting in the first season, Season 2 brings Tim Robbins back to the King universe in the role of Pop Merrill, a junk shop owner with a crime boss style grip on the town of Castle Rock. Though the cast was understandably tight lipped, the season’s trailer looks remarkably intense. When we spoke to Thomason about the possible shift in tone he confirmed that this new season will move faster than the first and dive head first into the King horror fans know and love. Season 2 debuts on Hulu on October 23.
Star Trek Universe
CBS All Access brought the cast of Star Trek Discovery to talk season 3 and the cast and creators of Picard, including Patrick Stewart, to talk the show’s highly anticipated first season. Alex Kurtzman, Sonequa Martin-Green and co brought a season 3 trailer that shows the Discovery’s crew 930 years in the future and drops hints that the Federation may not exist in the same capacity it once did if at all. While this massive time jump brings the show where cannon has not gone before, Kurtzman and fellow executive producer Heather Kadin assured fans that cannon is of upmost importance to them and will shape the events of this future timeline.
Next, Madison Square Garden was treated to the presence of Captain Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, who excitedly introduced Picard’s second trailer which not only announced the series’ premiere date of January 23, but also revealed Will Riker and Diana Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation to be a part of the show. Kadin who executive produces this new show as well, spoke about the inclusion of legacy talent saying that they never intended for Picard to be a TNG reunion show; that they only brought people back if their story REALLY mattered to Picard’s story and had something significant to do.
Lost in Space
Netflix brought its own space adventure to NYCC – Lost in Space brought a season 2 trailer and release date (December 24) for fans. When last we left the Robinsons they were flung into another system and fully aware of Dr. Smith’s (Parker Posey) nefariousness. These next ten episodes, filmed in Iceland and Alberta, promise to embrace the “space opera” of it all according to co-creator Burk Sharpless. Speaking with the cast, they all remarked on just how much of the series is done practically with the CG used to enhance and expand the worlds and circumstances around them. Sharpless and co-creator Matt Sazama echoed those sentiments while singing the praises of VFX supervisor Jabbar Raisani who also directed an episode in this upcoming season. If Lost in Space’s first season set the stage with the family dynamic and drama within, its second promises to set the production ablaze with everything the unexplored reaches of space have to offer.
The Walking Dead had double the presence at this year’s NYCC with a universe panel as well as a screening panel for the first episode of flagship show’s 10th season. Earlier in the day fans got a look at the universe’s third, yet untitled series, which will focus on a young, entitled group of survivors who, despite living 10 years into the zombie apocalypse have not had to get their hands dirty…until now. It’s an intriguing concept and one that definitely differentiates itself from The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. The biggest take away from the AM panel, however, was the announcement of Lauren Cohen’s return to The Walking Dead as Maggie. All this, and fans STILL had a screening to look forward to at the night’s end. In the world of NYCC 2019 was The Walking Dead’s biggest yet.