There’s lot of news to report for the Marvel Studios panel. Not all of my hopes for the panel have been entirely met, but plenty was unveiled. The Panel began with the cast of Ant-Man taking stage, and several cast members’ roles have been announced. Then there was a montage of the MCU to date and footage of Avengers: Age of Ultron revealed. At last, only Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been given a date. [UPDATE] Trailer descriptions updated, with slightly better descriptions thanks to io9.
Evangeline Lilly (LOST, The Hobbit) is cast to play a character named Hope Van Dyne, who is suggested to be the daughter of Hank/Janet Pym (the original Ant-Man/Wasp). Corey Stoll has been cast as Darren Cross, or the villainous Yellowjacket. Here is a description via io9.
“There are two components to this pretty zany footage: a scene in Hank Pym’s lab, where the camera just pans across the space, showing off all of the weird scientific equipment and bubbling beakers and creepy anthills, before finishing up at an Ant-Man helmet. During this, Michael Douglas is convincing Scott Lang to do something. Lang protests that Hank seems nice but “I’m not a superhero.” That means he’s not an egomaniac, and he’s not an “undisciplined moron causing more destruciton than he stops,” Pym retorts. Superheroes are a “ridiculous concept. You’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do.” “Someone already stole your balls,” Pym taunts Lang. “It’s just a small job, he adds.
Cut to a tiny Scott Lang in the Ant-Man suit, running away after completing the “small job” — his Ant-Man helmet is on the fritz, and he keeps losing his connection to Hank Pym, who’s barking instructions. He’s supposed to use the helmet to control “the transport” — which turns out to be a small flying ant. He tries to convince the flying ant to help him out, but the ant isn’t listening. And then some flying lights show up, chasing him — so Scott has no choice but to jump off the building onto the flying ant, which he doesn’t have a very stable grip on. He’s trying to reach a rendezvous with Hank, but first he has to survive.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron:
After a montage of footage from previous films, including the as-of-yet-unreleased Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel released some sizzle reel footage of Age of Ultron. A detailed description via io9.
“We see the Avengers sitting around trying to untangle the “whosoever is worthy” thing, regarding who gets to hold Thor’s hammer. And they all think it’s a trick, or a circus sideshow. “If I lift it, do I get to rule Asgard?” Tony asks. And Thor says yes. Tony says he will be fair but firm, and maybe work out the “wench clause.” Tony can’t lift it — even after he puts on an Iron Man glove and gets Rhodey to help him. Soon everybody is trying to lift it — including Bruce Banner, who gets kinda upset — and only Steve Rogers even comes close. Black Widow doesn’t even want to try lifting it, because “That’s not a question I need answering.” Tony guess it’s keyed to Thor’s finger prints, or some other biometric, but Thor says the answer is simpler: “You’re all not worthy.” Then there’s a ringing sound and they’re all deafened, and Ultron strides into the room, with a crude Avengers logo painted on his slightly misshapen chest. “How could you be worthy? You’re all killers,” Ultron says. “You want to protect the world, but you don’t want to it to change. There’s only one path to peace: your extinction.” Then a shit ton of robots burst through the wall and attack all of the Avengers, plus Maria Hill.
Then we hear Ultron’s voiceover saying he had a vision of the whole world screaming for mercy, and everybody tangled in it. And we see glimpses of some city in what looks like Africa being reduced to rubble by an attack. There’s a closeup of Loki’s staff, and everybody looking freaked out on the Quinjet — most of all Bruce Banner, who is holding himself and shaking with a terrified look on his face. People are running everywhere, and the debris is flying like crazy. Ultron gives a menacing look, as he surveys all the destruction. Then there are some hero moments: Captain America enters a place shooting some guns. Stuff is blowing up. Banner staggers to his knees in a snowy forest, looking sickly. Thor uses his hammer to smash a tank. Black Widow is in a medical bay, reaching for some surgical tools. We glimpse Nick Fury looking the way he did at the end of Winter Soldier. And Scarlet Witch is on a bus, approaching some people at the back of the bus with magic in one hand. Tony Stark is looking forlorn and guilty. “It’s the end, the end of a path I started us on,” he tells Black Widow, who says everything ends. Scarlet witch sinks to her knees shouting. And there are more shots of Scarlet Witch using her powers, just quick glimpses of her projecting magical energy.
At this point, the trailer strts playing the clasic song “I’ve Got No Strings.” Tony, in Hulbuster armor, confronts Hulk on a city street, and there are several shots of them brawling and Tony getting the shit beat out of him. Quicksilver runs through a crowded room that seems to be standing still. Captain America is fighting someone in what looks like a knock-down brawl. And because this is Joss Whedon, there’s a glimpse of girls doing ballet. Then we’re back to Black Widow shooting shotguns, and more of the Hulk/Hulkbuster brawl. Thor grabs Tony Stark’s throat and lifts him off the ground. Captain America is riding a motorcycle and then running. Cars are tumbling in mid air. Black Widow touches her hand to the Hulk’s massive green hand, like she’s calming him down. We glimpse a confrontation between Black Widow and Scarlet Witch. And then Ultron finishes the song saying, “There are no strings on me,” clenching a fist as he celebrates that he’s no longer a puppet. And we go a shot of Captain America’s shield — shattered to fragments. We pull back, and all of the Avengers are lying prone, apparently dead, in the rubble. Tony is leaning over them, and he looks totlaly horrified and ashamed.”
Guardians of the Galaxy 2:
The only official title announced this panel, of the 8 untitled films they’ve officially announced are in production, was Guardians of the Galaxy 2. They showed pre-recorded footage of Chris Pratt announcing that the sequel will be arriving in theaters on July 28th 2017. This is, if you remember, exactly the date I predicted it’d be (minus news that it will involve The Hulk – but they haven’t denied that yet so I still have hope). Earlier on Friday it was confirmed that James Gunn would write and direct the sequel. Marvel then announced (officially) that Josh Brolin will be playing Thanos as the big bad in Guardians and Avengers 3.
After the panel Kevin Feige talked more on what we can expect from Avengers 3.
Several props and images from Age of Ultron have also been released for SDCC attendees to peruse, including Loki’s scepter, the Hulkbuster fist, and Black Widow’s bike.
The fact that Marvel didn’t release a whole slew of new film news today is a strange one, as it seemed as if they were prepping for it by announcing the dates of their upcoming films. What a tease – a tease that likely disappointed many a fan. Likewise, many fans were hoping that Warner Bros. and DC would unveil their arsenal. But they chose not to also. With all the buzz about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson playing Shazam, and Joaquin Phoenix playing Doctor Strange, to hear nothing from either studio was disturbing. I’m going to go ahead and assume that Marvel chose not to show all their cards off after DC failed to unveil their hand. It’s all a game to these studios after all. An arms race even – wait for your opponent to show what they have in store before you show them yours. But regardless, exciting stuff. The weekend isn’t over yet either – hopefully there’s something left to be unveiled.