Warner Bros. thanks Hobbit fans, wows with 'Fury Road' footage

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Image Credit: Jasin Boland

It may be superhero day this Saturday in Hall H with both Warner Bros., and it’s DC Comics going up against Marvel—but the winner of Saturday morning Comic-Con has to be J.R.R. Tolkien fans. They were treated to expert moderation by the one-and-only Stephen Colbert (a supreme Hobbit superfan), shown a delightful reel of outtakes from the six films set in Middle Earth (dominated by the singular Ian McKellen), and given a full panel of actors (including Oscar winner Cate Blanchett). Not to mention a new Hobbit teaser trailer.

But that’s what they should be receiving for 13 years of dedication to a franchise that has generated close to $5 billion in worldwide grosses since The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings first debuted in 2001. And of course, it’s all set up to introduce the final movie in the New Zealand-set franchise when The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens on Dec. 17 this year.

Of course, superheroes still made an appearance at Hall H—a brief, starry one where Zack Snyder, the director of the highly anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took a break from filming to show the briefest of snippets of footage from the upcoming film that won’t debut until 2016. He also brought out his three stars: Ben Affleck (Batman) Henry Cavill (Superman) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) for their first public appearance. The trinity, as they are referred to in the comics, were perfectly coiffed, perfectly pleasant, and perfectly mute at Snyder’s direction. “I’m not going to give them a microphone because I don’t want you to ask them anything,” he quipped.The footage showed a brief glimpse of an angry Batman in full costume turning on his search light, only to find Superman hovering in its glare. The two are clearly not friends. We will still have to wait for some Gadot.

Channing Tatum made a quick appearance to introduce some additional footage of the Wachowski’s long-delayed project Jupiter Ascending, which moved out of this summer and into February. Tatum is still an alien. He still has a thing for Mila Kunis and they battle lots of futuristic-looking ships. Little else was revealed.

Rivaling Colbert’s enthusiasm for all things Comic-Con was George Miller, the iconic auteur behind the Mad Max franchise, who attended his first Comic-Con today and took some selfies to prove it. WB re-introduced the Mad Max world to the audience, a smart move considering a good majority of the attendees were either in grade school or not yet alive when Miller and Mad Max Rockatansky took to the wasteland in 1979. That, of course, all served as preamble to the wildly inventive footage Miller unveiled to the audience for his new chapter in Mad Max:Fury Road, which will debut in theaters next summer. The crowd seemed pretty blown away by the footage which showed the new Max played by Tom Hardy, as a broken down, isolated man caught up in a chase away from the evil warlord, played by original Mad Max baddy Hugh Keays-Byrne. Charlize Theron sent in a brief message extolling the virtues of her director.

“This was definitely the movie I wanted to make,” said Miller, adding that the movie in tone is closer to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior than the others. “It all happens over a few days.”


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