Marvel really knows how to embrace the Comic-Con spectacle and spirit, and their panel today at Hall H was a prime example of it. After kicking off the show with a cool rundown of the past events leading up to The Avengers, a proclamation that "Phase 2 Begins Right Now" was the precursor to a flurry of activity that had the fans going nuts. Even when they're only bringing us stuff we were expecting, Marvel knows how to do it up right.
Marvel President, Kevin Feige, came out and wasted no time revealing the titles for two of the upcoming sequels. First, he announced that the Thor sequel will be titled Thor: The Dark World. Directed by Alan Taylor(Game of Thrones, the film is expected to hit theaters on November 8th 2013. Comic book fans will understand the importance of the Captain America sequel being titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier is the name taken by Cap's former sidekick, Bucky(Sebastian Stan), who is presumed to be dead. That film hits on April 4th 2014, and is directed by the Russo Brothers. Feige was quite high on them, and said we'd be very familiar with them in a year.
He quickly followed that up by confirming what we all expected, that they're moving forward with Guardians of the Galaxy, to be released on August 1st 2014. The space faring team will consist of Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Rocket Racoon and Gamorra. You'll probably see the villain, Thanos, play a major part in this film on the lead up to The Avengers 2. Otherwise, we don't know much more about the movie yet, but we did get this cool bit of concept art....
In a nice bit of trickery, director Edgar Wright(Hot Fuzz) had been tweeting all day that he was across the pond and wouldn't be able to attend the panel. We all expected him to send a video of some sort, but to our surprise he strode out on the floor, copy of an Ant-Man comic in hand, and confirmed the film was happening. He then proceeded to show us the minute-long test footage he shot a few weeks ago, and while it was still unfinished and pretty raw, it looked really good. It was basically Ant-Man, using his shrinking/growing powers to beat the snot out of two agents in a hallway. We see him running on top of their weapons and re-sizing to finish them off. Cool stuff. No release date or anything, and definitely no casting. We don't know much more, except that Wright plans to base the story on the classic Ant-Man story, 'To Steal an Ant-Man'. Wright said that Ant-Man would kick your ass "one inch at a time", and I believe him.
Strutting on the floor to "Never Too Much" by Luther Vandross, Robert Downey Jr. stepped on stage and immediately threw us into footage for Iron Man 3. Even though the film is still only halfway through production in North Carolina, what we saw looked tight and ready for prime time. The beginning was essentially a comedic bit, with Tony Stark screwing around in his hall of armors, and trying to call his latest armor to form up around him. After some mixed success, the we're treated to a hot sizzle reel that shows us glimpses of Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, the Iron Patriot armor, and Ben Kingsley. He's definitely playing Mandarin, folks. Power rings and all. We also learned in an offhand comment that Stephanie Szostak(We Bought A Zoo) was in the cast.
Incredible panel, and well worth the wait. Marvel's next phase is looking bigger and better than before if that's even possible.
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