Oh, these dog days of summer. While we still have a week left in August we are rapidly heading into fall. Pumpkin themed everything has already made itself known and the summer box office has all but closed down for the season. We’re now left to shift gears. From jeans to shorts. From iced tea to pumpkin spice. From baseball to football. This back half of the year has a lot to be excited about too. It Chapter Two, the promise of the final Star Wars film of the Skywalker Saga, the launch of Disney+, football season, and a bunch of other little things that are going to make the end of this year all types of special. The thing is, with summer fading into the sunset… content has kind of dried up as well. Outside of Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood and Hobbs and Shaw, things had gotten kind of… slow? Sparse? An adjective that depicts not a lot? Yeah, let’s go with that mystery adjective. I bet you didn’t think this column was going to turn into your own personal Mad Libs but here we are.
Outside of Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood and Hobbs and Shaw, things had gotten kind of (adjective).
Disney Expo was set to change that up quite a bit. This was to be a weekend where Disney gave us their own personal comic-con of sorts. San Diego was awesome but this was set to really display what was ahead. Because if you think about it, Disney Expo is a platform that shouldn’t be interrupted by anything else. Disney holds the stage at every moment and is able to really flex it out. We’re talking Arnold in those stages where he would awkwardly compare working out to sex… that kind of flexing. Star Wars. Marvel. Pixar. Disney+. There was a full weekend of promotion to satisfy these (adjective) weeks of summer. I was here for it.
Disney did not disappoint. For the most part. For those of you who were looking for some closure on the whole Spider-Man debacle, I suppose you sort of got it. Both Kevin Feige and Tom Holland addressed the Sony of it all and neither one of them made it seem optimistic that Spidey would be returning to the MCU. Holland’s address sounded like a farewell while Feige made it seem that they were happy with the stories they told and are okay with Spider-Man parting. Of course, that’s not the case and could be Feige trying to put one over on Sony but that’s neither here nor there. This weekend was never going to be about the MCU reobtaining the rights to Spider-Man. How could it be? All of Disney’s top exects would be at the Expo. How could there be any real negotiating other than phone calls that say “please give him back”. I don’t think things are dead but I’m less hopeful then I was on Tuesday or Wednesday.
While Spider-Man’s departure hung over the entire event there were still some amazing announcements coming from Disney. Starting on Friday with Jeff Goldblum and the fact that he’ll be having his own show on Disney+ all the way to the Christmas movie, Noelle starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader. Disney wanted you to know, especially when thinking of Disney+, that they were coming out swinging. This streaming service is going to provide as much content as you could possibly digest. From a vast library of animated films and properties like The Simpsons, Marvel, and Star Wars, there should be enough for anyone to lose an entire weekend come November 12th. Especially when it comes to Marvel and Star Wars.
The first poster and trailer for The Mandalorian were breathtaking. Jon Favreau seems to have created a Star Wars western to expand the galaxy during an uncharted time period (post Return of the Jedi). We got an official announcement that there was going to be an Obi Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor that would be taking place during the under appreciated Solo timeline. Then Marvel dropped three new series with Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight seemingly falling within Phase Four and making for a Friday filled with hype. I spent the majority of my evening re-tweeting things on Twitter and getting more and more excited while being more and more antisocial. Big projects ahead with properties that I can’t wait to see imagined. I mean, if you don’t cast Keanu Reeves as Moon Knight does it even count? Ms. Marvel getting her own series and the promise of appearing in the movies. Obi Wan coming face to face with Darth Maul again but this time live-action… there is so much to look forward to and this was just Friday.
Saturday should have been more of the same and for the most part, it was. We got our first look at The Eternals cast in costume, we learned that Kit Harrington would be playing Dane Whitman otherwise known as Black Knight, we got a release date for Black Panther 2, as well as some footage of Black Widow (Expo audience only). Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker delivered what could possibly be my favorite Star Wars poster of all time and I say that with very little exaggeration. Look at that this thing, it’s gorgeous and brings sooooooo much drama with it. On top of that, it sounds like the footage that was shown was face-melting and my Star Wars hype is rising just like Skywalker…. which sounds unintentionally dirty.
Disney was clearly on their way to owning the entire weekend. Images of Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil and Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx joining Pixar’s Soul were almost secondary to everything else. The I Am Geek Facebook page was working overtime… and then there was a dramatic shift seemingly out of nowhere. A lot can be said about the unexpected and a weekend that should have belonged to Disney saw itself start to change. The internet dialogue began to focus on something else. Something we had heard whispers was coming but had no idea this soon. Something that maybe drove an RV and came out of New Mexico.
The Breaking Bad movie. It’s real. It’s coming. And an announcement that was supposed to have been made on Monday somehow saw itself leaking on Saturday. With Breaking Bad being a Sony property I’m sure there will be conspiracy theories aplenty concerning this leak, but let’s look past it. Let’s just focus on the fact that we are indeed getting this Breaking Bad movie… on October 11th. On Netflix.
Suddenly I found myself pushing all things Disney aside. Yes, The Eternals look dope as hell and I can’t wait to see Moon Knight but, uh, Jesse Pinkman is about to get some closure and I’m freaking out. Holy crap is that a poster?! Is that a movie title (El Camino)?!?! Is that an effin teaser trailer?! What is going on here?!
I haven’t been shy about my feelings on a possible Breaking Bad film. I’ve even questioned whether or not we need it, but with that being said, I didn’t need Better Call Saul either and I’m fully in love with it. A show that had all the makings of a cheap spinoff has added more layers to the Breaking Bad universe while being able to stand on its own. What could El Camino possibly bring to the table?! Seeing Skinny Pete talk about Jesse Pinkman gave me all the chills. Goosebumps down the spine type chills.
When you think about, the end of Breaking Bad seemed like Jesse riding off into the sunset. Free of Walter White. Free of his Nazi prison. Jesse finally had his life in front of him… but that was clearly us glorifying the moment. There are still story threads to take into account here. Just because Heisenberg is dead it doesn’t mean that Jesse’s slate is clean. He should still be very much wanted by the FBI. And now a life that has been turned to shit because of Walter White stands to be reclaimed and the anticipation of such is driving me almost mad. I instantly wanted to stop watching Mindhunter and start binge-watching Breaking Bad again. I needed to immerse myself within this universe as I prep for October 11th.
The teaser doesn’t show much. Aaron Paul doesn’t even appear. The poster shows more of Paul then the teaser and both had me excited for very different reasons. I want to see what happens to Jesse Pinkman and knowing that Vince Gilligan is behind it all… what more could you possibly want? Breaking Bad is the greatest television series I have ever watched and in a lot of ways, it’s not even close. The promise of another chapter to these characters is more than enticing. In fact, it’s strong enough to make think of other things besides Disney owned properties.
In no way do I think Disney “lost” the weekend. That’s impossible as they pretty much-held stake on our attention from Friday to today. The El Camino leak/announcement did ask them to share the spotlight and if I’m speaking honestly, I don’t think Disney did anything to reclaim it once we learned of the Breaking Bad movie. Sure, posters for Black Widow, Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Wandavision look super cool. The one-shot comic that should shape Marvel in 2020 has me super curious. But none of those things recaptured the instant giddiness that developed in my belly when I learned of El Camino. Think about it, we heard that this was happening but they filmed an entire movie on one of the most popular shows ever created, and no one knew they were filming it! It’s unheard of and makes complete sense that the announcement would sneak in and steal the spotlight. How could it not… bitch.