San Diego Comic-Con 2023 was a quieter affair than usual. Because studios refuse to pay their actors and writers what they deserve, the ongoing SAG/AFTRA and WGA strikes continue, halting most ongoing productions and preventing talent from promoting their current or upcoming projects. Still, Comic-Con weathered the storm by pivoting back to its original raison d’etre: comic books. That’s not to say a few movies and shows didn’t make the cut, although the focus was firmly away from Hollywood and back into print.
Comic-Con was once the pinnacle of pop culture; alas, it has lost some of its luster, especially after the pandemic and amidst an increasingly erratic entertainment industry. The 2023 iteration didn’t do much to return it to its once mighty place, but it provided enough interesting announcements to keep it in the conversation, at least until next year. And although only a handful of intriguing announcements came out of Comic-Con 2023, they are exciting enough to keep fans invested in the long-running and revered convention.
Perhaps the most exciting — and puzzling — announcement to come out of Comic-Con 2023 was the premiere of a 2024 R-rate animated adaptation of Watchmen. Alan Moore and John Gibbon’s seminal graphic novel has already received the big-screen treatment — Zack Snyder’s still-divisive 2009 live-action adaptation — and a quasi-sequel — HBO’s critically-acclaimed 2019 miniseries.
However, the groundbreaking graphic novel will receive a third version, first announced in 2017 and arriving in 2024. No premiere date was given, nor were details of the plot provided, although it was confirmed the project would be a direct-to-streaming effort.
Widely considered one of the most influential storylines in DC Comics, Crisis on Infinite Earths was a major shake-up in DC’s ongoing comic book continuity. The plot led to a reboot of the DC Universe – appropriate and topical nowadays, considering James Gunn’s ongoing plans to tie live-action, animation, and comic books together under his new DC Universe. The recently-announced Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths will arrive in 2024 as a direct-to-streaming effort, presumably as part of the ongoing Tomorrowverse. However, no details about the plot or voice cast were given.
An ambitious animated effort from Adult Swim, Lazarus comes courtesy of Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe. Set in 2052, the plot revolves around a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who develops a cure-all drug with an unexpected side effect: those who take it die three years later. The show will feature action sequences designed by John Wick helmer Chad Stahelski, further contributing to the show’s caliber. No premiere date was announced, although attendants at the Adult Swim Festival in San Diego got to see a preview.
Officially announced as Project K in 2020, Kalki 2898 AD received a new title and a teaser trailer at Comic-Con 2023. The film stars Prahbas and follows a modern-day embodiment of the god Vishnu, who must protect the Earth from unspecified evil forces. The film will release in 2024, although no release date was given.
Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake is a spin-off to the wildly successful animated show Adventure Time. It was first announced in 2021 and will follow Fionna the Human and Cake the Cat, alternate versions of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog, who appeared in several Adventure Time episodes. The show will include 10 episodes and stream exclusively on Max; no release date was given.
Based on the Oscar-winning animated short Hair Love, Young Love is a twelve-episode series serving as a spin-off. The plot follows Zuri, a young girl with a head full of hair with a life of its own. Young Love will follow Zuri and her parents, Stephen and Angela, as they deal with topical and common issues facing modern families. Although no release date was given, Young Love is expected to premiere in the fall.
Another spin-off of the hugely successful Walking Dead franchise, The Walking Dead: Dary Dixon sees Norman Reedus reprising his role as the fan-favorite rogue. The show, set after The Walking Dead finale, sees Daryl in France, fighting to stay alive while trying to remember how he got there; Clémence Poésy also stars. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon will premiere on September 10, 2023, and will consist of six episodes. A second season has already been greenlit.
Netflix’s highly-awaited adaptation of the ongoing iconic manga One Piece debuted its first full trailer at Comic-Con 2023. The show will follow the Straw Hat Pirates, led by the intrepid Monkey D. Luffy, as they navigate the savage seas searching for the legendary One Piece, a treasure that will make Luffy the King of the Pirates. One Piece premieres on August 31, 2023, and is shaping up to be one of Netflix‘s most successful shows of 2023.
The Rick and Morty franchise might be in a weird place, but that hasn’t stopped it from moving ahead with its spin-offs. Rick and Morty: The Anime will follow the same premise as the original show, focusing on the multiversal adventures of its title characters. However, as the title implies, the show’s tone and animation style will be based on Japanese anime and feature a Japanese voice cast. No release date was given, but the show is expected to debut later this year.
Several other shows debuted trailers for their upcoming seasons.
- Gen V, the spin-off to Prime Video’s juggernaut The Boys, debuted a teaser trailer and a release date: September 29.
- Harley Quinn debuted its season 4 trailer in preparation for its Max premiere on July 27.
- The highly-awaited Invincible season 2 debuted its teaser trailer and a release date of November 3.
- Star Trek: Discovery got a trailer for its upcoming fifth and final season.
- The Marvels received its first full trailer.
- The Continental, a spin-off of the John Wick franchise, announced a release date of September 22.
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