DC Comics is getting ready to challenge Marvel's dominance of the superhero film genre with "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice," and Valiant Entertainment, the largest independent superhero comic publisher, is developing its own shared cinematic universe. With all this competition, you'd think Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney, would be worried. Turns out, they aren't.
“We’re Marvel,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said to journalists at the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, Wednesday, reports Variety. "We’ve done a great job of building the Marvel brand, which we think when it’s on a movie really makes a difference. We’re seeing signs of that."
San Diego Comic-Con, one of Hollywood's biggest annual buzz generators, officially kicks off on Thursday, but for the first time since 2011, Marvel Studios will not be attending.
"It was just timing," Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter. "We had done that [media] event in October, when we announced so much. Everyone knows what we're doing over the next few years. I really have a belief: If you can't go to Comic-Con and overdeliver, then don't go."
While Marvel might not have anything planned, its competitors are ramping up. Warner Bros.' Hall H panel on Saturday will feature the cast of "Batman v. Superman," including stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Godot, who portray Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in the film, respectively. That said, it wouldn't be surprising if Warner Bros. brought something extra to get fans excited, like footage from "Suicide Squad," which is currently in production, or a casting announcement for another forthcoming movie.
Furthermore, 20th Century Fox, which owns the movie rights to Marvel's X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, is also holding its own panel at Comic-Con. Fox has yet to confirm what it will present, but we can expect that "Fantastic Four," which hits theatres in August, will be heavily teased. "Deadpool" which stars Ryan Reynolds, and "X-Men: Apocalypse," the sequel to 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past," hit theatres in 2016 and both have a lot of buzz, so they might also see some promo action at the event.
Marvel's next film, "Ant-Man," with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, hits theatres next week. After that, the next Marvel movie won't arrive until May 2016. "Captain America: Civil War" will then be followed by "Doctor Strange," starring Benedict Cumberbatch, in November. Iger is very confident in this lineup.
"We like the Marvel slate that we have coming up,” Iger said. “We think they’re unique in many ways and have no concerns [about competition] whatsoever.”