There was audible disappointment on Thursday afternoon in Hall H at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con when 20th Century Fox’s highly anticipated panel ended, after an hour of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” previews, with nary a mention of the main reason people showed up: Mutants.
The only advance clue that X-Men fans would see nothing came just days before the start of Comic-Con, when Fox casually updated the description of its film panel from “TBD” in a press release that went largely unnoticed.
Of course, that release only mentioned “Kingsman” would kick off Fox’s presence at this year’s event, and didn’t specifically rule out any other presentations. Thus it’s understandable that most observers, press and fans alike, assumed the studio was saving a surprise for the very first Hall H panel of 2017.
But no dice. Despite red-hot anticipation for the currently in-production “Deadpool 2” and high interest in the also-filming “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” Fox clearly didn’t think either project was ready to show off.
When the “Kingsman” panel ended, the crowd’s reaction made it clear the omission was unexpected and unwelcome. A muted groan met the announcement that the Fox presentation was over, and many in the audience seemed confused enough that they stayed in their seats, expecting something else.
That’s a very curious turn of events to say the least. Hall H helped make “Deadpool” matter back in 2015, when the first sizzle reel went over so well that the crowd demanded it be played again before the panel ended. Of course, piracy of that sizzle reel contributed to Fox’s decision to skip Comic-Con in 2016 — perhaps Fox decided not to tempt fate, or guessed accurately that the likelihood of “Kingsman” piracy was far lower than it was for Wade Wilson.
Either way, “Deadpool 2” hits theaters June 1, 2018. Looks like “Deadpool” won’t be having a victory lap at Comic-Con.