Back for real and in-person for the first time in three years, Comic-Con doesn’t truly take off until Thursday, but already the battle lines have been drawn on the streets of San Diego and beyond with billboards, train wraps and banners.
Amazon Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, AMC’s departing The Walking Dead, Marvel/Disney+’s upcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and Paramount+ ever-expanding Star Trek Universe have well-positioned themselves to capture the attention of the estimated 120,000-plus attendees this year. Check out our gallery above of the top marketing and interactive efforts out there for SDCC 2022.
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However, off the beaten path through the Gaslamp Quarter and elsewhere, the big winner for hearts and eyeballs clearly is HBO’s House of the Dragon. Snatching a key spot that The Walking Dead has held for a number of years, the August 21-debuting Game of Thrones prequel is on the hotel key cards that thousands of SDCC attendees will be clutching throughout the confab.
Stepping into the gilded shoes that GoT swaggered through past Comic-Cons during its eight-season run, the series created by George R.R. Martin, Ryan Condal, and Miguel Sapochnik, which takes places 200 years before the looming winter of GoT, has a Hall H panel as its coming-out party in the late morning of July 23. Sure to fire up the thousands in the SDCC crowd, the House of the Dragon panel’s PR peddle clearly is using the confab as a launch pad for a near-relentless campaign leading up to highly anticipated premiere next month.
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Still, raising the stakes in a Martin-vs.-Tolkien small screen matchup, Prime Video’s mega-budgeted J.D. Payne- and Patrick McKay-developed Rings of Power will be front and center for every one of the throng entering the convention center. Banners for the fantasy TV series have been wrapped around the security detectors situation in rows at each SDCC door and gate.
In fact, Prime Video has SDCC all wrapped up, it seems, with branding all over the trains ferrying people in and out of downtown San Diego. In that sense, the closest comparison is the dominance that Marvel and its August 17-launching Tatiana Maslany-Mark Ruffalo She-Hulk series has on the official SDCC banners lining the streets toward the Convention Center.
Perhaps indicative of the pitched streaming wars, AppleTV+ has a looming presence for its shows, with large ads for the Emmy-nominated Severance all over the front of the hot-spot Hard Rock Hotel. That’s very different than Netflix’s SDCC street presence, which seems to be primarily limited to the Russo Brothers’ The Gray Man. The actioner starring Ryan Gosling and SDCC alum Chris Evans is out in limited theatrical release right now and hits the streamer on July 22.
There are other spinoffs on the landscape, with ABC’s Niecy Nash-led The Rookie: Feds prominent on the side of Petco Park, just across the train tracks from the sprawling San Diego Convention Center. Also, staying in the world of broadcast TV, NBC’s Raymond Lee-starring reboot of Quantum Leap has an interactive display in front of the Convention Center as a part of an overall NBCUniversal effort. Time-travel drama La Brea, back for a second season this fall on the Comcast-owned net, has planted its own banner on the grass next to the Convention Center, which always has looked like a crashed spaceship to us.
As well, Fox Animation, which traditionally cast a large shadow over SDCC with its well placed hotel wrap arounds, is bring some ancient Greece to modern-day San Diego. Taking up some top notch real estate on the front of the hotel right next to the convention center, the Dan Harmon-created Krapopolis is settling down in the Children’s Museum Park within javelin throwing distance of the confab with an interactive display for the ‘toon show.
Comic-Con 2022 Panel Schedule For Film & TV Serves Up MCU, ‘Black Adam’, ‘Shazam! Fury Of The Gods’, ‘House Of The Dragon’ & More
So whether you are inbound to SDCC, there already or following the action remotely the rest of this week, check out our gallery above of the marketing efforts. Comic-Con 2022 runs Thursday to Sunday, July 21-24, and there will be swaths of coverage from the Deadline team coming over the next few days.
Also, due to the fact that the Covid pandemic is far from over and surging again in Southern California, everyone who attends SDCC 2022 has to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result. As well, “all attendee groups, including but not limited to exhibitors, guests, staff, press, professionals, volunteers, and cosplayers” have to wear masks during their time inside the convention center.
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