Marvel Studios have become the kings of the big Hall H panel at Comic-Con for a reason, and it’s because they give the fans what they want. Diehards lined up the night before with hopes of first looks at the upcoming slate, and the superhero house went above and beyond to bring it to them.
Clips from “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” — despite being only 13 days into filming — all played to the crowd, before Joss Whedon took to the stage to play a teaser for “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
MTV was there to catch it all, so here’s our rundown of what we saw.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron”
The most unexpected footage of the night came from “Avengers” director Joss Whedon, who took the stage at the very end of the panel, not to say something, but “add something.” The room then went dark. Sparks floated onto the screen before Iron Man’s mask took up the frame. Audio clips from “The Avengers” played as an ambiguous piece of machinery morphed into the metallic head of Ultron, one of the most storied villains in the history of the superhero team.
The title of the sequel then appeared on the screen. “Avengers: The Age of Ultron” will be in theaters May 1, 2015.
“Thor: The Dark World”
Our new look at the “Thor” sequel was introduced by Loki himself— well, Tom Hiddleston doing his very best to warm the crowd up in character. (That man deserves an honorary Oscar.) The footage began with a short battle sequence featuring the Sif and Warriors Three. Thor shows up, via his usual tunnel of lightning, to save Sif in a close-call, and she returns the favor. The field of combatants parts to allow an enormous rock monster through. It challenges Thor, but the god of thunder makes rubble of him quickly.
The footage then transitioned to an extended trailer that greatly expanded the universe we’ve seen so far in “Thor” and the trailer for “The Dark World.” Alan Taylor’s touch can be instantly felt, as much of the footage had the gritty texture of “Game of Thrones.” The other takeaway was the role of Loki in the film. Thor is forced to turn to his adopted brother in a moment of desperation, and it looks like he made a bad call. The clip ended with Loki seemingly betraying Thor, turning Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) over to the dark elves, and possibly cutting off his brother’s hand.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
Steve Rogers is back, but the world is very, very different. The footage from the upcoming “Captain America” sequel fell what in line with what we’ve been told about the tone of the film, which is that it’s told in the style of a 70s political thriller. A confined set piece, which took place in an elevator, demonstrated a great sense of suspense and action staging by the directors, the Russo brothers. Cap took out about nine agents, who attempted to restrain him with magnetic handcuffs. The action was clear and thrilling, a refreshing change from the usual CGI destruction fests.
Like the “Thor” presentation, an extended sizzle reel played out showing the more morally ambiguous America that Cap has woken up in. “This isn’t freedom. It’s fear,” Cap tells Nick Fury. The crowd also got its first look at Robert Redford as a S.H.I.E.L.D. higher-up who has to explain the way of the new world to Steve, and Anthony Mackie as Falcon. The reel closed with the only look at the Winter Soldier aka Bucky Barnes, metal arm and all. Fans of the Ed Brubaker run will be happy to hear that the Winter Soldier’s mask was recreated with what looked like black grease.
“Guardians of the Galaxy”
James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is only 13 days into filming, but Marvel could have fooled pretty much everyone in Hall H. The footage opened with Chris Pratt’s Starlord entering some kind of chamber to retrieve an important-looking ball. He’s then held up by Korath, a Kree played by Djimon Hounsou, who takes him into custody.
From there, the reel introduced the rest of the team, line-up style, in the custody of the Nova Corps. John C. Reilly, as Rhomann Dey, runs down the roster, which also includes Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. A quickly cut reel of action showed the team fighting enemies, set to the tune of “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede. What stood out were the film’s humor, irreverence, and completely different look from anything else in the Marvel universe.