50th San Diego Comic Con
It was the 50th Anniversary of the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) five day event from July 18 - 22, 2019 where fans, collectors, binge watchers, smarks, Bible thumpers, consumers and Hollywood professionals convene every year for the sights and sounds of nerdtastic nerdom.
With the announcement of Marvel's Shang-Chi set to make his live-action debut in the upcoming film "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the news has been celebrated in many nerdoms everywhere -- especially Asian Americans who has read his journey since 1973 as well to new fans when he appeared in Greg Pak's "War Of The Realms" comic book event. Shortly after that, he joined the New Agents of Atlas in 2019. The team made up of Asian and Asian American superheroes including Marvel's first Filipina superhero, Wave.
More on her later.
Southeast Asians including Filipino Americans have announced feature film projects before and during SDCC.
Filipinos are going where no Filipino as gone before. On Saturday, July 20 inside the always packed Hall H, the Star Trek Panel covered both CBS' "Star Trek: Discovery" (2017-present) where CHARLES COLLYER is the Lead VFX Artist. He is nominated for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in the Season 2 Finale episode, 'Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2'.
And of, course the already announced Sir Patrick Stewart's return as Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: Picard" (2020) with ISA BRIONES (last seen in FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story") in a recurring role as Dahj.
Joining her on the panel were the rest of the cast of "Star Trek: Picard" including Brent Spiner who starred as Lt. Cmdr. Data on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987-1994) and its subsequent motion pictures, Jonathan Del Arco who guest starred as Hugh, formerly Third of Five, a former Borg drone who was rescued by Picard and rejoined the Borg Collective to influence them a sense of individuality and self in an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and Jeri Ryan who starred as Seven of Nine, also a former Borg drone who joined the crew of the Federation vessel, USS Voyager lost in the Gamma Quadrant in "Star Trek: Voyager" (1995-2001) to regain her human existence. Watch the new trailer below.
Also announced during their Comic Con panel, CBS All Access revealed the "Star Trek: Lower Decks" cast and first look images from the animated sci-fi series. EUGENE CORDERO ("Tacoma FD," "Kong: Skull Island") will be voicing 'Ensign Rutherford.' It takes place after "Star Trek: Nemesis" (2002), the feature film that starred the bridge crew of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" with Patrick Stewart. It was the tenth film in the Star Trek motion picture series, as well as the fourth and final film to star the cast of TNG. "Star Trek: Lower Decks" will begin streaming at CBS All Access in 2020.
The recently retired WWE professional wrestler DAVE BAUTISTA is best known as Drax in Marvel's two "Guardians Of The Galaxy" (2014 and 2017) movies as well as appearing in "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018) and "Avengers: Endgame" (2019). He was not at SDCC this year as he was on-location acting in Zack Snyder's "Army Of The Dead" for Netflix. The zombie action picture is set amid an outbreak in Las Vegas where a man assembles a group of mercenaries to gamble their lives and pull off the greatest heist ever.
Meanwhile, director James Gunn announced there will be a "Guardians Of The Galaxy, Volume 3," but he is currently finishing up the DC Comics property, "The Suicide Squad" for a 2021 theatrical release. That is the sequel to 2016's "Suicide Squad" that starred Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and she will be returning in the sequel along with part-time WWE professional wrestler John Cena.
ELLA JAY BASCO is currently filming as Cassandra Cain (a.k.a. the fourth Batgirl) in the upcoming "Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn)" directed by Cathy Yan and starring Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn from 2016's "Suicide Squad." Set to be released by Warner Brothers Studios on February 7, 2020, the film also stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary and Ewan McGregor as Black Mask. A far cry from the first Batgirl who is Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon on the 1966 television movie and its episodic TV series "Batman" (1966-1968) played by the late Yvonne Craig and, in the Joel Schumaker film, "Batman & Robin" (1997) played by Alicia Silverstone. In DC Comics lore, Basco's Batgirl is Cassandra Cain, the daughter of assassins David Cain and Sandra Wu-Cain (best known as Lady Shiva).
Deprived of speech and human contact during her childhood as conditioning, Cassandra Cain becomes the world's greatest assassin and later as bodyguard for Ra's Al Ghul. After saving Commissioner Gordon's life, she is given the Batgirl costume with the approval from both Batman and Barbara Gordon, now Oracle who becomes her ward. Academy Award nominated cinematographer MATTHEW LIBATIQUE, ASC ("Venom," "A Star Is Born") along with stunt and fight coordinators JONATHAN EUSEBIO and JON VALERA ("Black Panther," "John Wick") are the other Filipinos working on the film.
Lastly, California's award-winning science fiction, fantasy, horror author and writer ALYSSA WONG (whose mother is Filipina) will co-write along with Greg Pak, the origin story of Marvel Comics' first Filipina superhero of Cebu, Philippines named Wave (aka Pearl Pangan). The news was announced at Racebending's Super Asian America Panel on the last day (Sunday, July 21) of SDCC. Her stories have won the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award. And, she was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and Shirley Jackson Awards. Wave made her debut in the comic book, "War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1" and subsequent issues afterwards.
If Shang-Chi is Marvel Studios' first Asian American comic book superhero to be seen in a live Phase 4 action movie for generations to come, then it should be a no brainer for a live action movie of the New Agents of Atlas with Wave.
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Edwin Santos began blogging in 1995 when he was hired as Editor for the award-winning fansite, The Towne Cryer News on Renée Zellweger. He wrote about the entertainment business and film reviews of Zellweger's films until 2000.