This year’s 20th Century Fox panel swung for the fences and really scored a touchdown (mixing sports metaphors! I love it!) It was a massive, clip-based panel with tons and tons of stars from upcoming movies like Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Victor Frankenstein, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, and X-Men: Apocalypse. And it ended with the largest superhero selfie of all time, including the man who started it all. Read my whole blow-by-blow account of the event below, following my rather exhausted reactions.
We begin with moderator Chris Hardwick bringing out the Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials group, including author James Dashner, director Wes Ball, and actors Dylan O’Brien, Rosa Salazar, Ki Hong Lee, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Giancarlo Esposito.
Everybody is very excited to be involved in a franchise that sort of took off and caught fire over the course of a single year. The sense of brotherhood is very important in the film. Esposito compares his character Jorge in this movie to Gus Fring with a little bit more of a heart.
The team tried to keep the grounded nature of the books. Also, Giancarlo Esposito could answer everybody’s questions, and thoughtfully and cohesively. What a legend.
We then saw a really terrifying clip of the new monsters, the Cranks, which basically look like zombies and those vampires from I Am Legend. Looks real scary.
Next up is Victor Frankenstein… with a trailer!
Director Paul McGuigan is brought out with actors James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe.
The movie is going give the name “Frankenstein” back to the doctor and away from the monsters.
Igor is more of an intellectual equal to Victor in this film, though he starts out living in a sort of sub-human state. His life is saved and made whole by Victor.
Half the time the two are buddies and the other half Victor is abusing Igor. Daniel Radcliffe also apparently bounces when he’s thrown at a wall. Fun fact.
This panel also gives birth to a million slash fics with this particular bromance.
Victor is like Liam Neeson in that he has a very particular set of skills. He’s also as obsessed with his work as he is in Mary Shelley’s original book. “Just trying to build monsters and be a good Christian, man,” says McAvoy in a Southern American accent.
All three of them were drawn to the film because of Max Landis’ script, cherry-picking from all different iterations of Frankenstein.
“We kind of go at each other, twelve times a day, every day,” says McAvoy. “And then we filmed,” chimed McGuigan.
Then James McAvoy put Daniel Radcliffe up against the wall. Again, more slash writing.
Then we got a clip of the two men bringing to life a primate creature made up of parts.
Fantastic Four, director Josh Trank, writer Simon Kinberg, and actors Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbel.
Trank wanted to explore a side of the characters we haven’t seen before, a more tragic version, and to revisit same subject matter as Chronicle but not in found-footage.
Kinberg was burnt out on doing superhero movies following the last X-Men movie but did it because Trank wanted to be more science than science fiction.
Teller considers Reed Richards a real person because there’s so much history and material out there. He read Quantum Physics for Dummies. It’s gonna be a cool movie he says.
Mara wanted to be in a superhero story and was drawn to Sue Storm as a character. It’s going to be different from what most of us have seen. They’re trying to make the superheroes as relatable as possible.
Jordan says being Johnny Storm is living out a childhood dream. “You gotta respect this history and the legacy of the Fantastic Four, being Marvel’s first family.”
Bell says this Ben Grimm could be any kid in any town and he has one friend, which is Reed Richards. He’s directionless, but then he becomes the best version of the hero, one who looks out for his friends.
Kebbel says Dr. Doom is the best villain of all time. He’s driven entirely by ego. “Richards is a little better than him, and he’s going to destroy him.” People can relate to the villain. They always find a twist to make sure they’re always right.
The movie will be finished in the next few days, and we got to see the final trailer! Reed stretches!
Up next, a special announcement… from Deadpool!
Mr. Ryan Reynolds himself comes out and immediately starts swearing. He’s followed by director Tim Miller and actors Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Ed Skrein, and Gina Carano
Deadpool is the perfect character of all time, says Miller. He inhabits a place in the comic universe that none other can, says Reynolds.
Reynolds slams his original chance as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Baccarin is the badass female romantic lead, a perfect match to his crassness.
Miller immediately besmirches the back of the placard and says “most of you have seen horses f*** before you kiss your first girl.” Oh yeah, he plays Weasel.
Hildebrand plays Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Colossus’ protege. This was her first film.
Then Chris and T.J. do a bunch of horse puns together. It’s amazing.
Skrein plays Ajax, the engineer who gives Wade Wilson superpowers and he’s really ungrateful about it.
Carano plays Angel Dust, another of Deadpool’s creators. She thanks everyone for the chance to be involved in the film, and to work out her anger issues onscreen.
Miller says the studio didn’t interfere at all and it was a dream, especially for a first time director. He also apparently weeps at rage.
The ad libbing was apparently some of the filthiest and mean-spirited stuff and it kept Reynolds up at night with worry.
Reynolds then promises the merc with a fully un-sewn-shut mouth, and also a lot of fourth wall-breaking.
And then some FOOTAGE! A trailer, really. You guys, nothing I can say will make you aware of how frigging PERFECT this looks. And they played it TWICE.
Aaaaaaaaand, the only thing that can follow that is X-Men. First a reel celebrating the movies’ history.
Chris then brought out Hugh Jackman to talk about playing Wolverine for all those years. He thanked all the fans and said that in the movies, Wolverine isn’t dead yet. He wants to let us know that this will be the last time he’ll play the character, in the next Wolverine movie directed by James Mangold.
Jackman then brings Bryan Singer up on stage and roasts him about the audition, but Singer talks about offering Jackman the role on the spot.
Singer then brings out Evan Peters, Lucas Till, Lana Condor, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac, Olivia Munn, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, and writer Simon Kinberg.
10 years after DOFP, when mutants are no longer persecuted thanks to Raven’s heroism.
We see the first trailer, representing only about five weeks of filming, but it still looks pretty amazing.
Magneto is trying to live a simple life, but gets pulled back into the fray. Raven is trying not to be the face of a world that no longer exists. And McAvoy definitely has the bald Xavier look, so “Patrick Stewart don’t have shit on me.”
Apocalypse looks really cool, and Isaac thinks so too. The character wakes up and thinks the world needs to change. He has many unknown powers, but the most important one is the power of persuasion in order to get other mutants to do things.
After asking everyone on the panel a single question, we watched the footage again and then every superhero from all the movies the Fox panel and then STAN LEE himself and CHANNING TATUM came out to take the picture. AMAZING. That was truly an epic superhero panel!
Thanks all for reading this amazingly massive panel and believe me, it is just as great as you hope it would be, especially Deadpool. You can find all of my Hall H live blogs from SDCC here on Nerdist.com!