This past weekend was San Diego Comic-Con, a long event showcasing endless new versions of beloved pop culture properties in panels that drew lines representing many, many hours' worth of fans. In case for some reason you didn't go to Comic-Con, or hadn't spent the entire weekend glued to a computer screen waiting for leaked footage of the new season of Doctor Who, here is a rundown of some of the most anticipated trailers. (Yes, highly anticipated pieces of footage designed to themselves stoke anticipation for movies with mid-credits scenes that will stoke further anticipation, until the world snake eats itself and begins the cycle anew.)
Here are some trailers, ranked in order of how depressing they are using a scientifically calculated system of Snyders (the unit of measurement for pop culture disappointment, named for Zack Snyder, director of 300, Watchmen, Man of Steel, and the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice).
Ash vs. Evil Dead This should be terrible, but somehow is not. Bruce Campbell's smarmy, B-movie charm has only grown over the years (to the point where he elevated Burn Notice by himself), and this TV sequel to the beloved Evil Dead movies appears to effectively and grossly capture the spirit of the originals. -5/5 Snyders
Star Wars This one is... actually... pretty good? The newly released video promoting the newest Star Wars movie isn't really a trailer, which might be part of what makes it tolerable. Instead, the clip focuses on the crew's reverence for the material and desire to do it justice, which comes across as rather admirable, even if it's a pretty difficult task. No, the world doesn't need a new Star Wars movie, but there's a chance it might not regret having one. 1/5 Snyders
Heroes: Reborn Heroes is one of the best recent cases of pop culture's increasing confirmation of "be careful what you wish for," with later seasons getting progressively worse after a dynamite debut year. So why should anyone be even remotely excited about a return to that universe many years later? Well, the new series looks like a return to Heroes basics -- it won't be brilliant, but it probably won't be a garbage heap, either. The heavy focus on Noah Bennett isn't terrible, and it might not be the worst thing to hang out in this world for a few hours. 2.5/5 Snyders
Hannibal: Red Dragon Look: This footage is incredible. Bringing Hannibal directly into the world of Thomas Harris' novels has been a long time coming, but Richard Armitage's depiction of Red Dragon Francis Dolarhyde seems like it will fit perfectly into the purple world of lyric horror Bryan Fuller has created. The captured Hannibal Lecter remains a riveting presence, finally in the place we met him. But that just makes it all the more depressing, because with Amazon backing out, it looks like Hannibal might not get the fourth season that the world proved it did not actually deserve. 4/5 Snyders
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice This move looks like a flaming pile of childhood dreams (and childhood games of leaving a bag of shit on someone's door). It's not that Ben Affleck still doesn't look like a particularly convincing Batman, or that Superman is treated like a god and surrounded by worshipful people of color as their white savior, or that the dialogue sounds like scraps cut from an episode of True Detective for being too on the nose and ponderous, or that we have to see Batman's parents get killed yet again, or Wonder Woman is being introduced for no real reason other than as a "badass woman," or that the big fight scenes look like repurposed, cardboard green-screened pieces of the Star Wars prequels. It's not even Jesse Eisenberg's ridiculous Lex Luthor hair.
It's that the movie -- a several-hour-long setup for a series of Justice League movies with predetermined outcomes and massive marketing tie-ins and toys and fast food branding opportunities and an Aquaman movie starring that guy from Game of Thrones all in the same ridiculously dour color palette -- is taking itself so god-damned seriously, and feels compelled to tell you over and over that it. is. important. 5/5 Snyders