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The Marvel panels at San Diego Comic-Con have become the stuff of legend. Without question, Marvel Studios’ annual visit to the convention’s Hall H has commandeered the most headlines over the course of Comic-Con weekend, with the comic giant mapping out major Marvel moves for a gathering of rabid fans. This year, however, Marvel’s making massive headlines months before San Diego Comic-Con by revealing – indirectly – that they might be sitting this year out.
One of Marvel’s own, James Gunn, dropped the news very casually on Facebook during an impromptu Q-and-A. One fan asked if he’d be at San Diego Comic-Con this year, to which Gunn – the director of Guardians of the Galaxy -- dropped the following bombshell:
I'm not sure. Marvel isn't going so I'm not sure I will either.
Excuse me? That’s huge news, not just for the millions who trek to San Diego for Comic-Con, but for all of you who track the movement of Marvel Studios through their announcements in Hall H. Last year, the studio held its first official panel for Ant-Man, and showed the Hall H crowd finished test footage for the inch-sized hero in action. In years past, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has used Hall H as an opportunity to reveal subtitles for Marvel sequels like Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Plus, Marvel knows how to turn Hall H into a fan-driven party:
Shortly after dropping this news, Marvel fans suggested that James Gunn could be deceiving us. To which, he replied:
There are, however, a number of reasons why Marvel can skip Comic-Con without it creating too much of a blip… at least, for the studio. Disney has its own mega-publicity event, D23, which it holds in Anaheim in August. Why drop Marvel news in July when you can capture everyone’s attentions a month later? Also, when Marvel has major news that it needs to drop, it has proven that it can now stage its own standalone event and grab all of the headlines. When Feige was ready to roll out Phase Three, he took to the stage of the El Capitan Theater in downtown Hollywood and held his own massive event.
Do you know who benefits from this? Or could benefit from this, is Marvel actually sidesteps San Diego Comic-Con this summer? DC and Warner Bros. The studio, in recent years, has gone early in the day on Saturday, and has played second fiddle to Marvel. But with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice coming next year, and a full slate of DC Universe movies to start promoting, the studio easily can fill the void with PLENTY of amazing superhero news items – starting with a long look at Dawn of Justice footage and some significant casting items.