Thor: The Dark World will be epic and earthy
Marvel’s Hall H panel was one of the most anticipated events of Comic-Con 2013, occupying the primetime Saturday night spot. Showcasing footage from Thor: The Dark World , Captain America: The Winter Soldier and, yes, Guardians Of The Galaxy , the panel slot was one long gift to comic-book movie fans.
Read on for what we learned from the Marvel panel, including details of all the footage we saw.
First up was Thor: The Dark World . The Asgardian sequel revealed a clip and a new trailer, with the former focusing on a woodland ruck involving Sif, Thor and an onslaught of bad guys.
The scene had been been glimpsed in an earlier trailer and some stills, but after seeing an extended take, it was clear that director Alan Taylor has brought some Game Of Thrones grit to the worlds of the Norse god.
Thor kicks ass
In said clip, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is teleported in to the midst of the battle, and proceeds to lay waste to the Elves that are attacking his people.
Flinging his hammer about left, right and centre (it arrives through the teleporting beam before he does), he lays out some goons before coming face to face with a giant rock troll.
Dispatching him with trademark cockiness (“I accept your surrender”), Thor turns the beast into pebbles with a hammer uppercut.
Sif also kicks ass
“I’ve got this under control.”
Before Thor has even shown up, Sif is holding her own on the battlefield, dodging decapitation with limbo-like moves.
She even saves Thor from a bolt-action arrow with a nonchalant flick of her shield. It certainly seems as if her role has been beefed up this time out, with more fighting to get stuck into, and a bigger opportunity to expand her character (this one will explore her side of the universe a bit more, after all).
Tom Hiddleston is a legend
Undoubtedly the highlight of the Thor presentation, was the introduction, by Loki himself.
In full costume, fan favourite Tom Hiddleston took to the stage to basically insult the Comic-Con audience: “Look how far humanity has fallen.”
He busted out a few more classic Loki lines (“I am burdened with glorious purpose… You mewling quim!”) as part of his intro speech, before leaving as the clips began to role.
An incredible experience, and one that couldn’t help but leave us wishing that Hiddleston would do more ‘live Loki’. It could be the new Shakespeare.
Hiddleston's intro is incredible: You should have let me rule you when you had the chance #Marvel #SDCC pic.twitter.com/i1yjXUnoTu July 21, 2013
Loki is still trouble
Fitting, given as he made the introduction, but Loki played a bigger part in the new Thor: The Dark World trailer than he did in the earlier teaser.
The first half of the trailer offered a different take on Thor transporting Jane Foster from London to Asgard, before once again showing the uneasy team-up between Thor and an imprisoned Loki.
Seems that Thor was right to be distrustful of his adopted brother, as the very end of the trailer sees the latter giving up the former to Dark Elves after a scrap.
Also spotted in the trailer: Heimdall (Idris Elba) jumping into an invisible forcefield like a boss, a low-flying spaceship tearing through Greenwich, and Jane Foster slapping Loki square across the chops, “ That was for New York!” His riposte? “I like her…”
Captain Americas got new threads
After Thor , the Hall H audience was treated to a full Captain America: The Winter Soldier panel, complete with a new clip and a first trailer.
One of the most immediately striking things about the clip, as Steve Rogers struts towards the elevator of a high-rise, is his new suit. It sits somewhere between the rugged utility of the WW2 suit from his solo movie and the bold lycra number from The Avengers .
It gives Cap an intimidating bulkiness, and seems like the ideal way to adapt the suit to modern times without making it look like a cheap cosplay costume.
Steve Rogers is still superpowered
The clip that the crowd was treated to was a doozy, with Rogers getting into a elevator with a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. lunks, led by Frank Grillo’s character, en route to investigate an incident. With more men getting on at every stop, and one particular fella sweating profusely, it’s not long before Rogers suspects that something’s up.
“Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?” he politely asks, before everyone in the elevator gets stuck into the melee. Cap takes a bit of a pummelling (including getting his wrist cuffed to the wall and being given a couple of electric shocks), but they’re no match for his super-strength, and by the time the lift reaches the ground floor, approximately nine assailants are lying defeated on the ground. Looks like Rogers has some bad eggs within S.H.I.E.L.D. to deal with…
The tone of The Winter Soldier is tense and fast-paced
Although directors Anthony and Joe Russo are best known for comedy ( Community and Arrested Development ), The Winter Soldier trailer pointed to a film that’d be tense and frantic, with few laughs on display.
While the story's political undertones didn’t come to the fore in the trailer, there was a heated discussion between Nick Fury and Cap that hinted at some of the modern problems Steve will take issue with...
Fury: “We’ve gotta neutralise a lot of threats before they happen.”
Rogers: “I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.”
Fury: “S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be.”
Rogers: “This isn’t freedom. This is fear.”
And Robert Redford, as a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. boss, says early on, “building a better world sometimes means tearing the old one down.”
Chris Evans mentioned in the panel chat that the modern-day story would be tackling a murkier set of morals than the Nazi villainy offered first film.
Falcon will spread his wings
One of the coolest beats of the Captain America trailer was a shot of S.H.I.E.L.D.’S helicarrier coming under attack, with Anthony Mackie’s Falcon leaping from the ship, guns blazing, in a firefight with a fighter jet.
He’s only in the air for a few seconds before he pops open his wings and soars, clearly enjoying the whole high-octane endeavour.
Things aren’t looking good for the helicarrier though, with the final moments of the trailer seeing the craft crashing to Earth, in scenes reminiscent of the climactic set-piece of Star Trek Into Darkness .
Natasha Romanoff will reveal another side of herself
Scarlett Johansson was also on the panel, and took the opportunity to explain that we’d get to see another side to Natasha Romanoff in this film.
She was described as a co-lead alongside Chris Evans, and the two will apparently spark with an odd-couple chemistry. We’ll also get to see how she deals with a more casual working relationship.
That’s not to say she won’t be kicking ass though, as the trailer finds time to see her taking out bad guys with her trademark high-kicking flair.
The Winter Soldier will be a magnetic villain
Despite being the star of the subtitle, Bucky Barnes (AKA The Winter Soldier) only gets one brief beat in the trailer, but he still manages to make an impact.
The trailer’s sting sees a metal-clad hand pulling Cap’s shield from the ground, before the camera pans up to reveal an unmasked Winter Soldier, his eyes streaked with black make-up.
Given his gothic styling, it’s easy to imagine the character (played by Sebastian Stan) amassing a Loki-esque army of fans.
Guardians Of The Galaxy has an incredible cast
One of the biggest surprises of the night was that we got a full Guardians Of The Galaxy panel, complete with cast, director James Gunn, and a surprisingly large amount of footage from the film (which according to the panel, has only been shooting for a matter of days).
Sitting on the panel were the following actors, who had their characters confirmed by Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige:
Michael Rooker (Yondu)
Karen Gillan (Nebula), with the former Doctor Who actress having shaved her head for the role: “It’s liberating, it’s really liberating.”
Djimon Hounsou (Korath)
Lee Pace (Ronan The Accuser)
Benicio Del Toro (The Collector)
Dave Bautista (Drax The Destroyer)
Zoe Saldana (Gamora): “I thought to myself, I’ve been blue once, why not try green?”
Chris Pratt (Star-Lord): “Peter Quill is this guy who lives in space. He’s kind of a jerk. He had a hard time as a kid. Now he goes around making out with hot alien girls, and just being a rogue. And through teaming up with these guys, he finds a higher purpose for himself.”
Karen Gillan's shaved her head for Guardians! #Marvel #SDCC pic.twitter.com/SSHh7BKjX3 July 21, 2013
Guardians has shades of Indy and Star Wars
The trailer we were shown looked surprisingly polished, for a film that’s spent such a short amount of time in production.
The opening scene saw Peter Quill caught in the act as he was trying to steal a precious artefact, Raiders Of The Lost Ark -style.
The trailer then burst into a montage of clips, intercut with John C. Reilly’s Nova Corps agent describing the group of would-be heroes as he calls them into a Usual Suspects -esque line-up.
There was a Mos Eisley Cantina vibe to the eclectic selection of alien races on display, and among the trailer’s most memorable images was that of Rocket Raccoon firing off twin machine guns, while being spun round by giant tree-man Groot. No voice-casting was announced for that animated pair.
And Zoe Saldana wore the green skin remarkably well…
Chris Pratt will be a very funny Star-Lord
Not only was Chris Pratt humorously down-to-earth on the panel - describing his new state of physical fitness, he explained that he was told after his audition, “Great job… but you’re too fat!”, responding “OK, I can work on that!” - he was hilarious in the footage we saw.
When he was caught trying to pinch the aforementioned artefact, there was something almost Jack Sparrow-esque about his blustering delusions of grandeur: “I’m Star-Lord, man! Legendary outlaw? Forget it!”
And during the final line-up, while Reilly was listing his characteristics. Quill punctured the pomposity of the situation with a brilliantly timed wind-up middle finger.
“They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy,” says Reilly.
“What a bunch of a-holes,” responds Peter Serafinowicz, playing his assistant. Yep, the British funnyman known for Spaced , Shaun Of The Dead , his own sketch shows and voicing Darth Maul, has a role in the Marvel space opera.
The Avengers will face Ultron
Marvel’s final surprise of the night involved bringing out Avengers director Joss Whedon, to say a little hello to the fans.
His time on the stage was brief, simply announcing: “I don’t really have anything to say. But I have one thing to add.”
And then a video clip rolled, and after a mini-montage of concept art, the face of villainous robot Ultron was revealed, along with the title treatment, Avengers: Age Of Ultron .
Given the rapturous applause and uncontrollable whooping that followed, we were surprised that Hall H managed to hold onto its ceiling.