Right off the bat, the DCFandome experience is something unique and different. The 24-hour, totally free live-streaming experience is as much about DC’s upcoming announcements as it is about the company’s true love for their fans.
Unlike SDCC’s online event which sectioned things off into pre-recorded Youtube videos DC has instead chosen to organize it as a series of curated Zoom calls to talk about a variety of topics and make some rather big announcements over the course of the next two days.
That love fest started out with a bang with the event’s first panel: Wonder Woman 1984. Led by director Patty Jenkins the panel included Chris Pine, Gal Gadot, Kristin Wiig, and Pedro Pascal. While the panel itself may have been short it more than accomplished its goal of showcasing the team’s love for each other, the film, and its fans.
It’s amazing how much that makes a difference to the larger pop culture community. Since the world is unable to meet in public many of the high profile events of the summer have had to be scaled down and can longer be held in front of an audience. That means announcements cannot be held in the massive halls of San Diego Comic Con or in huge convention centers to the roar of a few thousand people. Many companies have had to pivot because of that and not everyone has done it successfully.
That spark you feel from being in a convention center surrounded by friends and the rest of the fandom, it matters, it adds another layer to the experience. Somehow DC’s Fandome has managed to capture that and rather than scale down they have gone international. Over the course of the panel, and indeed over the course of the entire event, fans from all over the world were brought in to ask questions of the cast and crew. It provided a connection between those that make the product and those that appreciate it. Pop culture is very much a give and receive event that cutting out the fans can easily backfire.
Instead, DC and Warner Brothers embraced their fans from all over the world and it created such a great feeling. Watching at home it was hard not to feel the electricity between the cast as they interacted, shared stories and shared the experience of a surprise guest together. The surprise guest for Wonder Woman 1984 was none other than original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter and the mutual admiration everyone felt interacting with her, even if it was over Zoom, was amazing.
Much of the panel was devoted not so much to the upcoming movie but to what Wonder Woman means to society as a whole. With almost any other superhero that might be a bad thing but with Woman Woman and what she represents it felt like something that needed to be done.
At the end of the rather short panel Jenkins debuted the second full trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 and it was glorious. Fans got their first look at Kristin Wiig as Cheetah and they did a fantastic job on the CGI. Warner Bros had been holding that reveal close to their chest for a while now (probably to get the CGI right after the Cats debacle) but it was well worth it.
Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters (hopefully) next year and we all can’t wait to see it.