Comic-Con Returns Two Years After Pandemic Cancellations - Rolling Stone
Home TV & Movies TV & Movies News

Comic-Con Day One: Dungeons, Dragons, Elementary Schools and Office Mysteries

Nerd culture’s biggest weekend returns after the pandemic stopped the in-person conference in 2020 and 2021

Comic-Con Day One: Dungeons, Dragons, Elementary Schools and Office MysteriesComic-Con Day One: Dungeons, Dragons, Elementary Schools and Office Mysteries

Ben Stiller, left, and Dan Erickson attend a panel for the television series "Severance" on day one of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in San Diego.

Christy Radecic/Invision/AP

For the first time in three years, Comic-Con is finally back in San Diego in full force, bringing hundreds of thousands of comic book and pop culture fans to the San Diego Convention Center — many of whom, predictably, arrived decked out in elaborate fantasy garb and cosplay, even on a hot summer day in July. 

Over the next three days, Comic-Con will set the stage for the future of Marvel and DC’s cinematic universes, alongside some of the other most anticipated film and TV franchises in the zeitgeist. Thursday, however, was just a teaser, as the conference will showcase more heavy hitters this weekend. But until then, some of the spread from Day 1.

Dungeons and Dragons is the Latest Board Game to Hit the Big Screen

There’s perhaps no better panel to kick off Comic-Con than an hour devoted to the film adaptation of Dungeons and Dragons, one of the most ubiquitous roleplaying games in geek culture. From the storied Hall H, some of the cast of Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Sophia Lillis and Hugh Grant) took the stage alongside co-directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley to tease the film, sharing some exclusive first looks.

“The joy of J and J’s script, there’s a Spielberg-ian energy to it,” Pine, the movie’s leading man, says. “It’s open, light and buoyant.”

As Goldstein and Francis Daley note, they wanted to balance tense scenes with levity — something shown to the audience in a clip where the cast of adventurers reanimate the dead while looking for answers during their ongoing quest, fumbling through questions and discovering the sometimes morbidly funny ways the ghouls died.

As Grant says, his draw to the film wasn’t the action or adventure, but the comedy. “I found the script incredibly funny, I hate all scripts, I’m notorious for it,” he says half-jokingly. “It made me laugh. It’s quite a juicy role for me.”

When a fan asked what class all the cast would be if they were sucked, Jumanji-style, into a game of Dungeons and Dragons, Grant quipped “the highest class.”

Paramount Pictures subsequently dropped a trailer for the film, watch it below:

Abbott Elementary Cast Gives Virtual Panel Live from the Set

Three months removed from the end of the inaugural season of beloved breakout comedy Abbott Elementary, Willard R. Abbott’s staff was (virtually) back together at Comic-Con, recapping moments and memories from the first season and teasing details of what to expect for Season 2.

Since shooting for the new season just began on Monday, the cast — including star and show creator Quinta Brunson and co-stars Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lisa Ann Walter, Chris Perfetti and William Stanford Davis — all had to call in remotely from their set via video chat. Abbott Elementary may not have been at Comic-Con, but their school was, as a long line of fans waited outside the Hilton Bayside Hotel to explore an elaborate recreation of Abbott.

Abbott Elementary is one of the most notable breakout network television shows of 2022, garnering considerable acclaim and seven Emmy nominations.

With the show skyrocketing in popularity since it first aired, Abbott’s star and creative force Quinta Brunson confirmed Season 2 will have more episodes than the first, though she didn’t say how many more. Deadline subsequently reported the show will receive a full 22-episode season. 

Brunson said that, thanks to a longer sophomore run and what’s now a fully fledged in-show universe, Season 2 can focus less on building out the series and spend more time on concepts like bottle episodes. “We spent a lot of the first season building up showing what this show is capable of. Now to me, we get to have some fun,” Brunson says. “We can have some Friends, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fun.”

Brunson hinted viewers would see more of the Abbott staff’s home life, and that fans should expect a cameo from someone she considers to be “one of the biggest stars in the world,” though she was mum on any details past that.

TV’s Biggest Office Mystery Remains Mysterious During Its Panel

Severance garnered significant buzz — and an impressive 14 Emmy nominations — for its unique, dystopian concept of workers having their memories literally blocked between their home and work lives. Apple TV+’s psychological thriller ended on a major cliffhanger, leaving fans hanging wondering what would happen next. With a second season confirmed, there’s lots of room for development — and after the show’s Comic-Con panel, that’s still all that’s known about what’s in store for the upcoming season.

Creator Dan Erickson said he wants to further explore how the mental block between work life and home life affects society in the Severance universe. “Going into Season 2, I’m excited to build out the world a little more and with this one slight tweak to reality and what the ramifications would be,” he said. 

The show was a notable shift for comedy powerhouse Ben Stiller, who surprised fans by directing such a serious drama. Still, he recalled his first read of Erickson’s script evoked the spirit of popular office comedy shows and movies he’d always loved.

“The first thing that jumped out at me was that this reminded me of some of my favorite office comedies, like Office Space,” Stiller, marking his first-ever Comic-Con appearance, told a fan during the Q&A session. “That’s what I saw in the script. [Dan] was taking this genre and flipping it around. Sometimes, this feels like a scene from Parks and Rec or The Officebut they have no idea who they are, why they’re there, what they’re doing. The comedy aspect was always important, but when you’re making a show that isn’t a comedy, there’s less pressure to be funny.”


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.