SAN DIEGO – When you spend like Warner Bros. spends, it is relatively easy to leave Comic-Con attendees with pinwheels in their eyes.
This year, Warner parachuted in 24 stars for its centerpiece presentation on Saturday, including Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Will Smith, Holly Hunter and Hugh Jackman.
The studio also paid for wrap-around movie screens inside the San Diego Convention Center’s Hall H, giving it roughly eight times as much room to show footage as studios like Lucasfilm and Lionsgate.
The footage was slickly packaged, starting with an extensive look at Guy Ritchie’s upcoming “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
Warner has a mixed track record with period action movies (“Gangster Squad” was a dud in 2013), but the reaction from the crowd was enthusiastic. “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” co-stars Henry Cavill (“Man of Steel”) and Armie Hammer (“The Lone Ranger”).
The event’s moderator, Aisha Tyler, noted that Mr. Hammer attempts to pull off a thick Russian accent in the new movie. “It definitely wasn’t effortless,” he said.
Next up was Warner’s big-budget “Pan,” which was supposed to be released later this month but got pushed to October, in part to allow the director more time to finish the extensive computer-generated effects.
Warner showed several montages of “Pan” footage that recalled, at various moments, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Hook,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and even a bit of “Jupiter Ascending.”
An unrecognizable Hugh Jackman stars in “Pan” as Blackbeard. “There are clearly no dentists in Neverland,” he quipped.
Then Warner brought Hall H to tears – the ecstatic kind – as it revealed arresting footage from David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad,” a dark film planned for next summer that is centered on imprisoned supervillains. (Ten “Suicide Squad” stars appeared on stage but did not take questions or even sit down. Here they come; there they go.)
Mr. Ayer pronounced his film “bad versus evil.”
Warner’s big finish on Saturday involved showcasing its efforts to create a Marvel-style cinematic universe around its own comics brand, DC Comics.
“There’s a massive DC universe that’s just waiting to explode,” Zack Snyder, the director of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” said in a video introduction.
Appearing on stage alongside Mr. Cavill and Mr. Affleck, who plays a bulky Batman in the film, Mr. Snyder introduced dark and foreboding footage that revealed a dangerous Superman on the outs with society. To say that the crowd was thrilled would be an understatement.
Mr. Affleck at first seemed a little sullen but got attendees laughing by telling a story about randomly running into Christian Bale (the last star to don Batman’s cowl) in a Halloween store as they both shopped for Batman costumes for their kids.
Warming up, Mr. Affleck also worked in a humorous mention of how Mr. Snyder described this version of Batman to him: “older” and “at the end of his rope.”