A few weeks ago at Wondercon, Chris Hardwick announced that Nerdist and Disney would be hosting The Ultimate Marvel Marathon at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. Over the course of 29 hours on April 20th and 21st, 400 diehard Marvelites got to watch all 10 existing Marvel films, as well as one of the first public screenings of the biggest movie of the summer, Avengers: Age of Ultron. I just so happened to be one of those 400 fans and, let me tell you, it was as awesome experience, one I will NEVER forget. Why? Well, here are 10 reasons why (not in any particular order mind you):
I got to see Age of Ultron before anyone else
Thanks to attending the marathon, I don’t have to stay off the internet until May 1st to avoid spoilers! I have seen the movie is all of its AWESOME glory. (Telling you it’s awesome is NOT a spoiler. It’s just reaffirming what you already know in your heart of hearts).
So many surprise guests
During the hours that normal people were awake, certain movies were introduced by MCU alumni. Among those who helped cheered us on: Head of Marvel Films Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Brian Walton, Malik Forte, Clark Gregg, Rachel Heine, Drew Pearce, Jessica Chobot, Craig Kyle, Jaimie Alexander, Dan Casey, Deborah Ann Woll, Max Hernandez, James Gunn, Michael Rooker, and Peyton Reed. Our Nerdist Overlord Chris Hardwick also opened and closed the event. I am really hoping his plan to do another marathon in 5 years comes to fruition because I am so there.
Before each movie, the Iron Man of Nerdist.com, Brian Walton, made sure we were staying awake by giving out prize packs. Disney grab bags, Hot Toys figures, and Kotobukiya statues were among some of the cool stuff being given away to lucky moviegoers. Well, except for ME, since I fall under the whole “employees not eligible for sweepstakes” rules. I CALL SHENANIGANS.
Before the first movie began, we were treated to a costume contest. Some were really well done, and some were just plain goofy. The real reason that I enjoyed this was the crowd. From start to finish, they made sure that every person who got up on stage felt welcomed, and glad they put themselves out there. It made me really proud to be part of the Nerdist family and community. The winners of the contest were a cool duo costume of Ultron and “Motion Capture James Spader.” They even matched their movements with one another to give it that extra boost. Very well done.
Copious Free Swag
I don’t care who you are. Free stuff is always fun! Each of us was given a lanyard with a badge, which after each film had to be punched so we received credit for attending that movie. Once we got our punch, we received a little gift to go with it. Sometimes it was food thanks to Subway and Chik-Fil-A. Other times it was comics or collectible cards. I guess they wanted us to be a LITTLE hygienically aware, since one of the packs was a toothbrush and toothpaste (Yes, I used it. AND I had already brought my own. I’m not a monster). I think my favorite was the cereal bar Kellogg’s provided in the morning. I was starting to get really tired, and that helped me get a second wind (it was either the cereal or the doughnuts Clark Gregg brought us. Not too sure).
5 dollar sundaes
During the middle of the night, I got a huge craving for sweets, and thanks again to the people at Disney who kept their Ghirardelli shop open all night, I was able to feed that with a sundae. To quote John Travolta, “I don’t know if it was worth 5 dollars, but it was pretty fricking good.”
Making new friends
When you are sitting next to the same people for 29 hours straight, you are either going to make friends with your neighbors or become mortal enemies. I chose the former, so if you’re reading this, Vince and Oscar, I hope you’ve recovered! Going back to what I said earlier about community, the love that everyone had for these films was palpable. You could interject yourself into any conversation without fear of being pushed out or told to be quiet. The lack of trolling was VERY refreshing.
Michael Rooker doing somersaults for no reason other than he’s cool as hell
When James Gunn and Michael Rooker came out to introduce Guardians of the Galaxy, they were both ready to have a blast. James was running around taking pictures of the crowd and, for no reason at all, Rooker decided to somersault all across the stage, followed by throwing half a tub of popcorn into the audience. It got the audience pumped and ready for the last two movies of the night.
My aisle seat
I didn’t have to bother anyone if I needed to hit the restroom during a movie. I could stretch out if I needed to get more comfortable. As far as sitting in the same seat for 29 hours watching Marvel movies goes, I was in heaven.
A memory I will have for the rest of my life
As I was walking back to my hotel to finally crash after 43 hours of being awake (the marathon was 29 hours, but I had to wake up, fly to LA, check in, etc.), all I could think was “I can’t BELIEVE I just did that.” Even days later, I still have a hard time believing it. It was one of the best things I have been a part of, and I can’t WAIT until I get to do it again.
Down below is a gallery of pictures which I took during the event. Before you judge, remember: 43 hours awake. Please cut me a little slack.
So what say you? Are you jealous you weren’t there with me? Any questions about things I may not have mentioned? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.