For years, San Diego Comic-Con has been dominated by traditional studios hawking their next big franchise blockbuster. But now Netflix is looking to make a big splash at Comic-Con with a suite of events highlighted by Hall H panels for two of its most anticipated titles: “Marvel’s The Defenders” and season 2 of “Stranger Things.”
Famed comic book writer Jeph Loeb will moderate the panel for “The Defenders” on Friday, July 21. The panel will feature surprise guests and a sneak preview of the crossover series, which will see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist band together for the first time. The series premieres on Netflix worldwide Aug. 18.
Then, on Saturday, July 22, “Stranger Things” creators Matt and Ross Duffer will be joined by the cast of the hit show to discuss the making of season 2 and present new footage that shows what’s next for the people of Hawkins, Indiana after Will Byers’ return from the Upside Down.
In addition, a Thursday Hall H panel will also be held for Netflix’s two upcoming original films, “Bright” and “Death Note.” “Bright” in particular will be a big panel, with director David Ayer (“Suicide Squad”) appearing with the film’s cast, which includes Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, and Noomi Rapace. The panels will be followed later that evening by a mystery screening of one of Netflix’s upcoming films at the Horton Grand Theater.
The panels will be supplemented by a convention booth and a fan event at the Hilton Gaslight, which will include a VR experience for “Stranger Things” and sneak peeks of upcoming shows. Combined, the signs point to Netflix making a big attempt at leaving the biggest impression among Comic-Con goers, going toe-to-toe with the likes of “Game of Thrones’ and “Justice League” for Hall H attention.
This isn’t the first time Netflix has attempted to move in on territory dominated by traditional studios. Earlier this year, the streaming giant made waves at the Cannes Film Festival with two of its films, “Okja” and “The Meyerowitz Stories.” Though their presence was met with protest from some festival attendees and led to a new rule banning films that do not have a theatrical release in France from competition, Netflix still earned praise from many Cannes veterans.