SAN DIEGO • Actor Chris Pine surprised superhero fans with an appearance alongside Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot on Saturday, but offered no explanation for how he will return to the film franchise following his character's fiery death in the last movie.
At San Diego Comic-Con, Pine joined Gadot and director Patty Jenkins in a packed, 6,500-seat convention hall to talk about Wonder Woman 1984, which began filming three weeks ago.
"I am actually not really here right now," Pine quipped when asked by moderator Aisha Tyler how he will re-emerge on the screen.
"I'm just an aura of emotional support for my pals."
Pine played World War I pilot Steve Trevor in the 2017 blockbuster movie Wonder Woman. At the end of the film, Trevor sacrifices himself for the greater good and appears to die as his plane explodes.
Jenkins, who had tweeted a photo of Pine on the 1984 set last month, was also vague about his role.
"What is he back here for? It's something I'm super excited for everybody to see the movie to find out," she said.
"It's a very important part of our movie."
The hugely successful Wonder Woman was a bright spot for Warner Bros' DC Comics movies, which have earned mixed reviews from critics and failed to match the box-office success of films from Walt Disney Co's Marvel Studios. Wonder Woman grossed US$821.8 million (S$1.1 billion) worldwide.
In early 1984 footage shown to the crowd, Wonder Woman lassos two bad guys and saves a child during a battle in a shopping mall foodcourt. The movie is scheduled to reach theatres in November next year.
Gadot said 1984 was not a traditional sequel.
"It's its own story. It's a different story," she said.
Meanwhile, actor Johnny Depp gave Harry Potter fans a look at his coming portrayal of the pale and dishevelled villain Grindelwald, delivering a monologue in character to a cheering audience at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.
Depp surprised the crowd of science-fiction and pop-culture fans by stepping out of the darkness with blonde hair and in full costume, drawing applause from 6,500 fans in a cavernous convention hall.
"The great gift of your applause is not for me, but for yourselves," Depp said in his character's English accent as he waved a magic wand over the crowd.
The actor's appearance followed a panel discussion with Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law and other stars of upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, the second movie in a five-part spin-off of the beloved Harry Potter films.
In his on-stage speech, Depp as Grindelwald explained the character's view of Muggles, the ordinary humans without magical powers.
"I do not hate them," he said. "I say the Muggles are not lesser, not worthless, but of other value. Magic blooms only in rare souls."
"The moment has come to rise up and take our rightful place in the world," he added.
Depp did not participate in the panel discussion and did not take questions following his appearance.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, written by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, is scheduled to debut in theatres in November.
The movie from Warner Bros studio stars Redmayne as "magizoologist" Newt Scamander and Law as a young Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts boarding school where Harry Potter and his friends learnt to become wizards.
Law said the new movie may be the darkest look into the world created by Rowling.
"The wizards within the wizarding world are suddenly asked what side they are on, what side they choose to join," he said.
"Everything is at stake."