Every year, thousands flock to San Diego for the pop culture ground zero Comic Con International, one of the biggest events of the year for Hollywood, with A-List stars, directors, producers, etc. meeting their fan bases and presenting them with exclusive film footage, trailers, artwork, photos and more… all of which ends up leaking online immediately afterward.
It happened last year when 20th Century Fox premiered the first footage of ‘Deadpool’ and saw it immediately leaked. And they’re not having it. The studio has chosen to skip SDCC this year. This is a pretty huge blow to the convention– and fans– as Fox is the home of the newly rejuvenated ‘X-Men’ franchise, which includes ‘Deadpool’. That means fans won’t get any news regarding ‘Deadpool 2’, ‘The New Mutants’ or ‘Wolverine 3’, all of which are in development, or any info on the stalled ‘Gambit’ film. The studio also has the video game adaptation ‘Assassin’s Creed’ coming this fall, starring Michael Fassbender, a movie that the studio is eyeing to kickstart a franchise and ‘The Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ the third movie in a series that is heavily reliant on hardcore fans.
In other words, this is a very risky move on Fox’s part, but is not completely impossible to understand. Quite often the footage shown at Comic Con is intended to be exclusive and is sometimes never meant to be released to the public. After the ‘Deadpool’ debacle, it would be sort of crazy for them to show up again when they already KNOW the same thing will happen.
Some buzzed that the studios know this footage will leak and that this is part of their plan to promote the films, but ‘X-Men’ producer Hutch Parker shot that down:
“The problem with the theory about the marketing is, I don’t actually think it’s good marketing. Leaking footage a year in advance of a movie’s release is not such a good thing. The reason you don’t see footage out that far is you run the risk of it getting stale. Generally speaking, and I can’t speak for other studios — I can’t even speak for Fox any more — but I don’t believe their intention is [for footage to be leaked]. I think their intention is to get the most important opinions and opinion-makers in this community engaged in the promise of what’s coming.”
It’s not the first time a major studio has skipped SDCC. Marvel has pulled out in the past and it certainly hasn’t hurt their box office numbers.
One factor that may have also spurred Fox’s decision is the fact that (to my knowledge) the new ‘X-Men’ movies haven’t begun filming, so there really wouldn’t have been anything to show on the front, leaving the studio to simply push ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and ‘The Maze Runner’.
If you are attending SDCC, are you upset that Fox won’t be there? Or is there enough from other studios to fill the void? Or are you a comic purist who resents all the film studios taking over? Are you glad to see one less?