Marvel Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 – Overview – by Daniel Rester

Robert Downey, Jr. at the Marvel Panel

Marvel Panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 – Overview

By Daniel Rester

Warning: Some spoilers ahead!

Thousands of people waited in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 all day just for the Marvel Panel. It didn’t disappoint, with the crowd roaring with excitement with each new reveal. The panel included news about Ant-Man, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Things kicked off with moderator Chris Hardwick introducing Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios. The main cast of Ant-Man — Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll – and director Peyton Reed then arrived.

Rudd and Douglas have been known to be playing Scott Lang and Hank Pym for months, but Lilly and Stoll’s involvement was more hidden. The panel was actually the official announcement of Lilly joining the cast as Hope Pym after rumors had been going around for weeks. Stoll will be playing Darren Cross/Yellowjacket, the main antagonist of the film.

The Ant-Man panel had no word about Edgar Wright, who dropped out of the project as director a while back. Instead things involved discussing the basic story and the characters of the superhero film. Official filming won’t begin for two more weeks, but director Reed revealed some of the first visual footage that had been worked on. This included voiceover work by Rudd and Douglas as the character zipped through the streets on the back of a flying ant.

The Marvel panels moved on as the big guns came out. After a video of past Marvel films and a quick shot of villain Thanos, the entire cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron (only writer-director Joss Whedon and actress Scarlett Johansson were missing) came out dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” The new cast members include Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlett Witch), Paul Bettany (who was just the voice of Jarvis, but now will also be The Vision), and James Spader (Ultron).

The entire cast had fun and joked on the panel, with comparisons being made about Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evan’s muscles and Olsen making a slip about mutants. Not much about the highly-anticipated sequel was actually revealed on the panel itself, with Hardwick asking each actor some basic questions about their characters and overall film involvement.

After the questions is when things got kicked up a notch. Another video was shown, but this time with footage entirely from the new film. The footage first showed the main characters all sitting around in Tony Stark’s tower, each of them trying to pick up Thor’s hammer in different ways – with none of them succeeding. This was a funny bit and a good way to start things off. We then got Ultron entering the room and saying, “You humans think you are so special. You are nothing but killers. And I will take you down.” He later calls them “puppets on strings.”

After that sequence, a huge montage full of awesome visuals was shown. Such things included Quicksilver running in what looked like a train cart, Iron Man (in a bigger suit) fighting Hulk, and Iron Man leaning over an unconscious Captain America — who’s shield is split and half. The montage ultimately showed that the sequel will likely have a darker tone than the original film. Thunderous applause came after the video, and it got even bigger as Josh Brolin (who will play Thanos) came onto the stage wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.

As if the Marvel panels hadn’t shaken the Hall H roof enough, things wrapped up with a video showing actor Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star Lord) and James Gunn (writer-director) of Guardians of the Galaxy fame. The two acted as if they were prepping for making a Comic-Con video, joking around about how funny it would be if they revealed certain things. They then dropped the bombshell of saying that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be released on July 28th, 2017.

The Marvel panel was one of the highlights of San Diego Comic-Con 2014. It was fun and playful, and contained many amazing surprises. It also proved that Marvel shows no sign of slowing down in delivering mega-blockbusters.

Let us know in the comment section below about your thoughts of the upcoming Marvel projects. And check out the Avengers: Age of Ultron panel opening in a video shot by myself at the event.

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