The pop culture convention circuit has been forever changed by the past few years, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the change of many high-profile in-person events, in an effort to promote social distancing and other safety precautions. Amid this upset in the status quo, online or hybrid conventions were able to particularly thrive — with DC FanDome arguably being chief among them. The free, entirely-virtual event first took place in August of 2020, centered around a livestream that celebrated the upcoming movies, television shows, video games, and more inspired by DC Comics. FanDome then returned a second time in October of 2021 and tripled its audience numbers, leaving some fans to wonder if the event could become an annual occasion for the publisher and its wider umbrella of new properties. At the moment, a 2022 FanDome has yet to be announced, and with DC's newly-minted parent company of Warner Bros. Discovery recently announcing their plans to bring DC-related properties to July's in-person San Diego Comic-Con, the question remains — will we get a DC FanDome this year at all?
On paper, DC has more than enough properties in the pipeline to justify a third FanDome convention, whether in an all-day affair like 2020 or a more condensed livestream like 2021. Dwayne Johnson's long-awaited Black Adam movie (which had a presence at both previous FanDomes) finally arrives in theaters this October, with Shazam! Fury of the Gods following behind it in December, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, The Flash, and Blue Beetle all scheduled to be released in the first two-thirds of 2023. Television shows inspired by DC are arguably thriving more than ever, between HBO Max shows like Peacemaker, Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, and The Batman's upcoming Penguin spinoff; Netflix hits like Sweet Tooth and the upcoming The Sandman; and The CW mainstays like The Flash, Superman & Lois, and Stargirl. The two video games first unveiled at the 2020 FanDome — Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League — remain in the pipeline, as does a Wonder Woman game. That, combined with hypothetical comic announcements, popular podcast adaptations like Batman: Unburied, and countless other confirmed or established properties could certainly fill an entirely new FanDome schedule, and probably leave room for some surprises along the way.
While there's always a chance that Warner Bros. Discovery could end up putting a new FanDome event together for the back half of 2022, it feels like something we would have probably heard about by now, considering the fact that the October 2021 event was first confirmed that previous April. And when you take into account the various headline-grabbing developments that have surrounded DC's various properties, the idea of a FanDome happening in the immediate future still seems not entirely impossible, but even less likely. For starters, there's the aformentioned merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery, with new company CEO David Zaslav reportedly aiming to trim $3 billion from the company's budget. We've already seen the ramifications of those budget cuts with DC, with HBO Max's Wonder Twins movie being scrapped months before it was supposed to start production, and The CW's Batwoman and Legends of Tomorrow reportedly being cancelled because the studio didn't want to renew the leases on their soundstages. Even purely on a budget-cutting level, it would make sense to view a potential 2022 FanDome (which, despite already having an infrastructure in place, probably requires a lot of logistics and money) as an expense that could be cut in the immediate.
Plus, there's the nature of other major changes tied to DC projects, beginning with that aforementioned 2022-2023 slate having to shuffle its release dates around due to delays hitting VFX houses. While trailers for films like Fury of the Gods, Aquaman 2, and The Flash could be ready for a hypothetical FanDome this fall, it would be understandable to save those marketing campaigns for when each film is guaranteed to be making its debut, similarly to what the studio has been doing with the recent marketing for Black Adam. There's also the ongoing offscreen controversies that have surrounded some of the upcoming films' stars, between the online discourse around Aquaman 2 star Amber Heard's recent legal battle against her ex-husband Johnny Depp, and a string of arrests and bizarre behavior involving The Flash star Ezra Miller. Both Heard and Miller have been the subject of rumors that they might be replaced in or after their respective upcoming films, and that would put a proverbial black cloud over whatever either movie would want to present at a virtual FanDome event if it occurred in the next few months. There's also the question of what the long-term future for DC Films even looks like, in terms of whether or not future films will remain in a connected universe, whether or not that franchise's movies will only be made for theaters, and whether or not current chief Walter Hamada might stay in his role.
Sure, there are certainly a heck of a lot of questions that a hypothetical 2022 DC FanDome could answer, beginning with what the company's confirmed films, television shows, and more will look like in the months ahead. Beyond that, there remains a lot of ambiguity about what else the larger franchise has in store, including (but not limited to) projects like James Gunn's next The Suicide Squad spinoff series, previously-reported movies like Black Canary, Zatanna, and Static Shock, and the newly-announced, Internet-breaking musical Joker sequel. But it seems like, under Warner Bros. Discovery, a lot of elements tied to DC are currently in a state of flux, so it wouldn't be surprising for the studio to not hold a FanDome this year, while those elements are being put into place. Over the past two years, DC FanDome has showcased the eclectic, but united universe that the company has been continuing to strive towards — and hopefully the DC universe one day gets a chance to have one of those showcases again.
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