It’s no secret that Netflix has become the biggest player in Hollywood, with vast amounts of money being sunk into original programming at rates that have eclipsed the old style studios. While the streaming giant has begun to cancel shows that haven’t performed as expected, they are still huge in the fan/comics space with the Marvel slate and, of course, nerd favorite Stranger Things.
All of these will be on display as Netflix makes its biggest splash yet at San Diego with a slate of panels on Stranger Things, Defenders and the Will Smith led film Bright. And oh yeah, that whitewashed Death Note that no one wants to talk about.
Thursday, July 20
Bright and Death Note, 3:15pm, Hall H, Ayer’s new movie Bright is set in an alternate present-day world where humans, orcs, elves and fairies have co-existed since the beginning of time. The director, Smith and castmembers Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, and Edgar Ramirez will be on hand to discuss, as well as serve up exclusive footage. Death Note, is based on the Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. Director Adam Wingard and castmembers Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, LaKeith Stanfield will be present.
Netflix Surprise Screening, 10PM in The Horton Grand Theater
Friday, July 21
Marvel’s The Defenders, 5:15pm in Hall H. All the Marvel heroes who had their owns shows on Netflix — Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Daredevil — finally team up. Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb and cast will offer up an exclusive look. If this is anything like what Marvel TV did with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at Comic-Con a few years ago, maybe attendees will get to see a sneak peek at the first episode of Defenders.
Saturday, July 22
Stranger Things season 2, 3:00pm in Hall H. Finally a look at some never-before-seen-footage. Season 2 picks up in the chaotic aftermath of Will Beyer’s return to a world that will never be the same.
Netflix is also debuting (I believe) as an exhibitor, taking over the space that MTV used to have on the show floor. They definitely weren’t there in 2016.
I noticed this while I was perusing the show floor map, which shows the decamping of Mile High and other booth assignments.
As The Beat is a big of a digital hoarder, I thought it would be fun to look at the show map from 5 years ago and see what has changed…and what, mostly, hasn’t. Here’s a side by side of 2012 (on top) and 2017 on the bottom.
I’m sure what will jump out to some people immediately is the coming of the giant FUNKO booth on the far left. The Funko booth has become the Heartbreak Hill for many collectors, as well as the place where a riot is most likely to break out, with confusion over lines, sell outs and other troubles over the years.
The biggest change in the show floor over the last five years is moving the video game stuff back to Hall A, taking up the space from the diminishing ranks of comics dealers. Other than that. it’s kind of a very stable show floor, with all the comics publishers pretty much in the same spot. When something epic happens like Slave Labor and giving up its space, it’s a rare occurrence.
And the New England Comics booth, target of frequent ribbing from The Beat, has had the last laugh, as The Tick is huge again with a giant activation and new show on the way.
Netflix is taking up the space that was MTV’s last year and other things in past years. In fact, this little area of “Studio City” as I like to call it, has shifted around quite a bit over the years.
Ah, good old Spike and Privateer Press.
I only expect deep dive Con-analysts like Torsten (And a few people I chatter about this to at BarCon – you know who you are) to be interested in this ephemera, but it does back up my general impression that things are quieting down a bit at Comic-Con, at least on the show floor. Thank god, as it certainly couldn’t have gotten much louder!
One thing you’ll note in the above comparisons: Artist Alley hasn’t shrunk n the last five years. It isn’t all that huge, but it isn’t shrinking contrary to what some folks think. I’m not one of those who thinks that Comic-Con has abandoned comics – you’ll find plenty of artists and creators down in Hall G if you make the trek.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.