Aussie host revealed for DC super-event
Self-proclaimed "massive nerd" Jayden Rodrigues can barely contain his excitement.
He's been recruited to be the Australian "host" for DC FanDome, a free 24-hour online fan event that could be loosely described as Comic-Con for DC fans, but on acid.
The virtual experience promises to tickle pink any devotee of the various titles and projects that make up the DC Multiverse, from TV shows and movies to gaming and comics, plus the interactive fan stuff that fill out any self-respecting convention, such as cosplay.
To tantalise fans online, DC has teased big announcements and exclusive footage and interviews for some of its anticipated upcoming titles, including The Batman, The Suicide Squad, Black Adam and Wonder Woman 1984, and TV shows such as Doom Patrol, The Flash and Stargirl.
With the pandemic throwing the movie side of the business into chaos (Wonder Woman 1984 would already have been released by now) while making large-scale physical gatherings impossible, the DC FanDome wants to step in to satiate some of those pop cultural desires.
Chief among those eager beavers is Sydney-based Rodrigues, a social media star whose dance videos and pop culture posts attract more than a million followers across YouTube, Tik Tok, Facebook and Instagram.
Rodrigues will the Australian fans' guide through the DC FanDome.
"I'm a massive fan, not just of the movies. I love collecting toys and playing video games and I read all the comics," Rodrigues said. "So, to be a part of it, it's a nerd's dream come true.
"Well, maybe a I should rephrase the nerd bit because I know people get in a debate of if it's nerds or if it's geeks. I guess the best way to describe it probably fanboy or fan. I wouldn't want to get any backlash!
"But I always saw myself as a self-proclaimed nerd. I'm proud to be a nerd and I encourage it. You could say I've never grown up."
Thanks to the enormous fan bases and box office successes of superhero movies, what used to be the domain of nerds and geeks to now definitely in the popular consciousness.
"These things are becoming mainstream," Rodrigues said. "You walk around the shopping centre and you see people rocking their shirts, treating it like it's a sports team.
"People are proud of it and it's great. Gone are the days when people are nervous to say that they're a comic book fan. Everyone's a comic book fan now. And to be honest, I always thought people were and they just didn't know other people had the same interests. It's fantastic."
Growing up, Rodrigues said his favourite superheroes were Superman and Batman, but since his teens, he's shifted his loyalties to Aquaman.
"I don't know," he said. "I'm didn't want to be a marine biologist, I didn't fancy the sea or anything like that but I just thought Aquaman was so cool. And then to see it up on screen a couple of years ago with Jason Momoa, it was mind-blowing."
Rodrigues couldn't let slip any details of what the fans should expect on August 23, starting at 3am AEST, but he did hint there would be a few Australian stars involved.
"There are a couple of cool names there, trust me," he teased. "I'm sure the fans will be very, very pleased to hear about their experiences on set and the journey they took to end up on the screen."
Personally, as a fan first and foremost, Rodrigues is hoping to learn about his favourites, including Aquaman 2.
"There are so many things I'm excited to hear about - Aquaman 2, The Suicide Squad, the Snydercut of Justice League. I am so pumped for that, and I was on that from day dot to release the Snydercut because I absolutely love Zack Snyder's work. Man of Steel is one of my all-time favourite superhero films.
"Basically, my money is going to be going to all this stuff when it gets released!"
Originally published as Aussie host revealed for DC super-event