After the show stoppers that the Warner Bros. and Fox panels became on Saturday night, the Marvel Studios San Diego Comic Con panel had some tough acts to follow. Considering that this is a relatively quiet year for Marvel films, did they succeed at leaving an impression?
The panel opened with Tom Hiddleston as Loki teasing the audience over the loudspeakers, only to then emerge in FULL COSTUME on stage, sneering “Look at humanity, huddled together in darkness like rats. I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose! You should have let me rule you when you had the chance. Claim loyalty to me and I will give you what you need. Say my name!”
To which, of course, the crowd obliged. “It seems I have an army. Feast your eyes!” and a new trailer for Thor 2: The Dark World appeared.
The trailer opens with a heated battle. The Warriors Three are fighting when suddenly the (repaired!) Rainbow Bridge portal appears and Thor's hammer comes flying through it. He joins the fray (with Sif saving him from a last-second spear throw) and a huge rock monster comes trundling over a hill towards Thor. He only smiles and says, “I accept your surrender.” The monster doesn't last long after that.
Thor arrives in London to scoop up Jane Foster and we're shown footage of Jane exploring Asgard, similar to the first trailer. We find out that a previously unknown bridge connects Asgard to an unknown realm, prompting Thor to seek out the imprisoned Loki's help. The Warriors Three, Thor, Loki, Sif, and Jane all head out on the mission.
We hear Christopher Eccleston's voice, as Malekith, reach for a broken mask and say “Your bravery will not relieve your pain. Your family and your world will be extinguished.”
Quick shots follow: Jane looking at a monitor and claiming that all of reality is being torn apart. Sif telling Loki that if she betrays Thor she'll kill him. Jane slapping Loki in the face, saying, “That was for New York.” Loki really likes her.
Then Loki looming over a hurt Thor, kicking him in the stomach. Thor reaches out his hand to call Mjolnir...
...then Loki chops it off.
The Marvel Studios panel continued with the full cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, including Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky/Winter Soldier), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), and Chris Evans (Captain America).
Evans filled the audience in on where Captain America stands after Avengers. He's still struggling to understand the world he lives in now, and that it's much harder to know what's good and bad. Samuel L. Jackson added that Fury views Cap, Widow, and the other Avengers as co-workers, subordinates, and tools of justice. But he cares about them as people and in Cap's case, understands his needs as a soldier.
According to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, the movie pretty much spends equal time with Cap and Black Widow and hews pretty close to the “Winter Soldier” storyline from the recent Captain America comics.
Anthony Mackie, who plays the Falcon, begs to differ, touting proudly that Winter Soldier is all about Cap and Falcon “handing out the business for two hours.”
SDCC-exclusive footage was then queued up. It begins with Cap being on an elevator, in full costume, as more and more people get on. Slowly, Cap realizes that the majority of them are armed. Cap, ever the gentleman, says, “Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?” A fight erupts, although one guy assures Cap that it's “nothing personal.” Cap wins.
We then see Robert Redford in his S.H.I.E.L.D. office, saying that the reason he joined the organization was to build a better world, but “To build a better world sometimes means tearing the old one down. And that makes enemies.”
The footage cuts to Black Widow taking people out, then Fury shaking hands with Redford's character. We then see Falcon attacked by a helicopter as he runs across a roof. He leaps off and...the wings come out! Cap slides along on his sexy new motorcycle and helps Falcon take down the chopper.
The helicarrier is seen falling out of the sky (again!) in flames (again!). Then a metal hand picks Cap's shield up off the ground...it's the Winter Soldier.
After the Winter Soldier footage was screened, the Guardians of the Galaxy cast came out! According to director James Gunn and the cast, the movie has only just started filming and they all literally flew in that day to be at San Diego Comic Con and are flying out the same night.
Benicio del Toro is definitely playing The Collector. Karen Gillan is definitely playing Nebula, the space pirate! Lee Pace is Ronan the Accuser! Djimon Honsou is his partner Korath the Pursuer! Dave Bautista is Drax the Destroyer. Michael Rooker is Yondu. Zoe Saldana is Gamora (and will be green in the movie). And Chris Pratt is Star-Lord who, according to the Parks and Recreation star, is “Kind of a jerk. He had a hard time as a kid and now he goes around space, making out with hot aliens girls.” Being in the Guardians helps him focus his life, though.
Karen Gillan then pulled out a show-stopper by pulling off her signature red hair and revealing her bald head underneath! Nebula will be bald in the movie, apparently, and Karen felt very liberated shaving off her hair.
Although there's only been ten days of movie shot, the Guardians cast still brought some footage to screen for the audience. It opened with a shot of an alien temple with a man approaching: Star-Lord. He is promptly arrested and booked onto a prison ship.
An always-welcome John C. Reilly reads off the passenger manifest, which includes Drax, Gamora (who Reilly makes a point of calling Thanos' adopted daughter), Rocket (the “Raccoon” is silent, in more ways than one), an entirely CGI Groot, who Reilly's character calls a “personal houseplant/muscle,” and finally Star-Lord. Star-Lord is essentially Han Solo as played by Chris Pratt, giving Reilly's warden character the finger in an elaborate jack-in-the-box motion then chiding the guards for stealing his headphones. Reilly explains that apparently they all call themselves the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The prison ship pilots just call them a bunch of assholes.
Suddenly, Joss Whedon jumped onto stage. He just has one thing to say, everyone! Just one!
Avengers 2 is now Avengers: Age of Ultron.
A video of the panel, minus the movie footage, can be watched below:
Chris Lough is the production manager of Tor.com and must revise everything. Everything!
Karen Gillan photo via Empire Magazine.