Warner Bros. has long been one of the staples at San Diego Comic-Con, getting fans psyched about new DC films, CW shows, and, two years ago, an entire streaming platform. This year, the novel coronavirus pandemic has pushed Comic-Con online, but it may not have its usual DC presence. Warner Bros. is doing its own thing this year, and there’s no word whether it will have a presence at SDCC’s online con at all.
The studio announced in a press release that it’ll be hosting a 24-hour virtual con, called “DC FanDome,” in August. The free “virtual fan experience” will feature panels, interviews, first-looks, screenings, cosplay competitions, and other events for DC fans and viewers. There will also be new announcements connected to Warner Bros. films (The Suicide Squad director James Gunn seems excited), shows, games, and comics — no doubt including DC’s biggest upcoming release for the year Wonder Woman 1984, which was just delayed again to October 2 in the U.S.
Those interested can also expect an online store featuring “limited-edition exclusives,” so…basically, it’s Warner Bros.’ own San Diego Comic-Con, except just them, and not actually San Diego Comic-Con, because that’s cancelled.
The existence of FanDome likely means that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment at large won’t be part of [email protected], the virtual event SDCC is running mid-July instead of its physical convention, presumably preferring to bring its fans to an “in-house” event rather than being part of a separate entity. This isn’t the first time studios and shows have held their own conventions, of course — although previous ones haven’t been under such special circumstances as a global pandemic.
Both Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead have had their own cons, and Disney has the likes of D23 and, more specifically for Star Wars, the longrunning Celebration (which has also been cancelled this year). These studio-specific events are not where all the news happens, however: Marvel Studios had a panel at San Diego Comic-Con last year with a ton of huge announcements, but still showed up with more at D23.
Warner Bros. and DC skipped out on the big Hall H room at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019 (though Arrowverse shows were present elsewhere), citing a belief that they weren’t ready at the time to show new material from Joker, Birds of Prey, and Wonder Woman 1984, which had originally expected to release in November of that year. But now, with the studio turning inward for its own DC virtual con, could the circumstances of 2020 reducing the summer convention season to virtually nonexistent — at least in a physical capacity — mark a growing separation between studios and cons in favour of internally run fan events?
We reached out to Warner Bros. for more information but a rep told us the company isn’t making further comment at this time. Will it return to Comic-Con in 2021, or will FanDome repeat next year instead? Given that [email protected] has yet to reveal its full schedule, there’s no word yet on which studios will have a presence there. We’ll bring you more as we know it.
“DC FanDome” will be held on August 23. San Diego Comic-Con’s at-home virtual con will run from July 23-27, and is expected to return to San Diego in July 2021.