Following a Marvel Cinematic Universe highlight reel that ran from Iron Man to Ant-Man and Spider-Man (though notably avoided Edward Norton’s Hulk) and adds “Studios” to the Marvel logo at the head of their movies from here on out, Chris Hardwick came out to shower appropriate praise on programmer Eddie Ibrahim, a cult figure for all those of us who’ve been in Hall H for years. (Seriously, an Eddie action figure should have happened by now.)
Kevin Feige then emerged, to say, “We only wanna come when we have a lot of stuff to show you.” Black Panther is the first topic of conversation—it doesn’t start filming until January, but director Ryan Coogler came out now! Yet another director who recalls his time sitting way in the back of Hall H, he said he’s still working on the script, and is working hard to make something we’ll all enjoy. With that, he introduced Chadwick Boseman, who called the glimpse into Wakanda so far “a beautiful, beautiful thing.” He thanked the fans all for their input and saying what they want to see. It’s his first time at Comic-Con, and he said, “I can literally feel it vibrating inside my core.”
Lupita Nyong’o came out next, followed by Michael B. Jordan, and Danai Gurira. Jordan expressed extreme excitement, but said Ryan has been keeping it under wraps and he doesn’t know what to talk about yet. Nyong’o, also experiencing her first time at Comic-Con, said she’s, “looking forward to kicking some ass.” Gurira is a Hall H vet, but still said she was “pinching herself” to still be here, for this. She hugged Chris, who warned everyone he had Comic-Con sweat and hugging might be a bad idea.
And with that and the knowledge that there was nothing yet to show from that project, Feige moved on to talk about how it was the first five days of Thor: Ragnarok filming on the other side of the planet. Taika Waititi had always bugged him, he said, during the making of Civil War, as to what Thor and Hulk were doing. Since Feige basically told him that was the story Thor 3 would tell, Waititi made a movie about it to show us now…
On cheesy, degraded VHS, we get to see a documentary about Thor, now living in Australia with roommate Daryl, who is teaching him email: “Dear Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man: Remember when you created a robot that nearly destroyed the world? That was funny.” He talks to kids in school, surprised they recognize his terrible drawing of a purple man as Vision. He leaves chicken out for days to go rotten before eating it. He tucks Mjolnir in a little baby bed inside a drawer. He has coffee with Banner, who takes a call from Tony to say he doesn’t want to join in their pointless feud, and offers to hand the phone to Thor. Tony hangs up. Thor insists that he and Daryl will just have to be Team Thor.
This was too good to not show up on a Blu-ray eventually. As it ended, we got some behind-the-scenes footage from Ragnarok: Jack Kirbyish shapes and spots in production design, and some CG pre-vis of Gladiator Hulk, with Thor leaping into the air to find him. Ends in a shot of Hela, dressed in all black but with fully comic-accurate headdress shape.
Puffs of smoke then filled Hall H as the side screens opened up and 3-D symbols, lights and sounds surrounded us. Benedict Cumberbatch materialized on stage through the smoke, as Scott Derrickson came out and joined him, introducing Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Wong.
McAdams, as Christine, said of Stephen Strange: “We were friendly at one time in history, and now we’re colleagues…we have kind of a fun dance we do.”
Ejiofor said Mordo becomes a real mentor, and that Strange surprises everybody. Swinton, who got huge applause and major props from Hardwick, said, “Any of us could be the Ancient One. The Ancient One is a title.” She teases things out of people, but some people are better than others. “Super-hippie fabulous,” she calls it.
Mikkelsen adds, “My character believes in a better world, a better universe. I just think there’s a better path. He’s not a villain; he’s a believer.” Wong had expressed that he wasn’t really comfortable with Wong as a manservant/tea-maker, so now he’s a master of the mystic arts and a drill sergeant.
Then, a clip was shown, depicting Strange meeting the Ancient One. He’s wandering through ancient temples, where Mordo finds him and takes him to meet the Ancient One, telling him, “Forget everything you think you know.” Strange asks what the Ancient One’s name is, and Mordo is silent. Strange says, “Right, forget what you think you know.” (Willow Ufgood could have taught him that.)
A more stereotypical older Asian man is seated at a desk and Strange assumes that’s the Anicent One; instead, the bald Tilda Swinton serving him tea is, and she dismisses Mordo and the other master (the Asian man). Strange asks if she really cured a man named Pangborn, and she equivocates, saying it depends, and implying she retrained his body to heal. Strange wants to know if she’s talking about cellular reprogramming, and she says it’s about the mind. He gets angry, thinks it’s ridiculous, then lays a finger on her in reproach…
…and she knocks him out of his body, into the Astral Plane. At first he just hovers as a spirit, but then is knocked into outer space, where he sees a bright blue dragonfly, grabs it, and goes on a fast-motion, CG-enhanced version of 2001‘s Stargate sequence, finally to come back to reality and exclaim: “Teach me.” It’s a crazy trippy sequence.
Following the trailer that you now have seen online, an orchestral version of the ’70s Spider-Man theme filled the hall, as a montage of Spidey scenes from Civil War ran.
Tom Holland and director Jon Watts came out. They’ve just started filming—Feige praised Sonby’s Amy Pascal for knowing what, putting everything aside, was best for the character. Watts called Homecoming “a straight-up high school movie…the ground level of the Marvel universe.” They shot some of the high school stuff already, and brought it to show.
What appears to be a fully-cut trailer begins with a montage of high school yearbook shots of other MCU actors, including Natasha’s in Russian. We then get quick scenes of Peter in math class, watching YouTubes of Spider-Man vs. Giant-man, and being totally distracted yet answering questions perfectly when called on. We see Peter secretly making web fluid (onscreen titles joke that this is “web design” class), and Zendaya seeming to bust him for sneaking off, but then says she’s just kidding and doesn’t care. It concludes with a silhouette of the villain, which looks like a Green Goblin with glider-shaped wings, unless he’s just striking a really contorted pose.
Finally, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 brought out James Gunn yelling, “I love you!” to the crowd. He gave special props to people waiting in line, said he respected them so much.
The Ravagers—11 of them—came dancing in from the back of Hall H, headed to the stage. Onstage, they started mocking Yondu. “I’m Yondu, and I’m a feces!” “Y’all are stupid!” “I’m Groot, and uh…”
Gunn eventually dismissed them, but it was cool that he gave the second tier cast their moment. They stood to the side and booed as the leads came up: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan (“Oh my God, that’s Amy Pond!” says a Ravager), Dave Bautista (“Suck it, Oddjob!), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Elizabeth DeBicki (Aisha), and finally Kurt Russell! For him, the Ravagers cheered.
Gunn said he had to discipline the Ravagers, to which they said, “What are you gonna do, make a sequel to Movie 43?” Gunn protested he only did two minutes of that. Instead, he says, the clip he’s about to show will punish them.
Rocket and Yondu are captured, in a cell, taunted by Ravagers who threaten them with imminent demise. But Groot? He’s Baby Groot still, and “too adorable to kill.” Baby Groot is being really damn cute in his widdle bitty red spacesuit. Watch him sell A TON of toys.
Rocket and Yondu try to get Groot to steal a “super fin”–he gets it wrong, and keeps bringing them different items: a large desk, an eyeball, a severed toe. Finally he gets it. Yes, Yondu has a big head fin in this one rather than the basic mohawk, though it’s not organic. However, it enhances his whistle dart, which runs at super-speed leaving red lines and taking out everyone in his way: first in a small hallway, then writ large on a multiple level space, as red lines go everywhere through the air and bodies fall. Baby Groot gets mad and charges a guy, tossing him off a catwalk. Then, in a role reversal, Groot now rides on Rockets shoulder.
Rooker came out in costume as Yondu. Feige said it’s much better to make a sequel knowing people no longer think he’s Pluto Nash. In GOTG 2, Star-Lord is famous now for the events of the first film, trying to stay out of trouble but not doing the best job.
Saldana said it took four hours each day to do the green makeup, starting at 2:45 each day. Calls the characters “Super f***ing crazy,” they fight all the time and Gamora is like the old woman who tells them to stop it.
Gillan described her bald look as looking like “a really long baby.” She’s happy to have hair and look like a woman again, though they didn’t make her shave the full head this time.
Mantis is an alien with empathic powers who has spent her life with Kurt Russell’s character before meeting the Guardians. Drax, per Bautista is “just more confused.” He tries to pretend like he understands metaphors but he really doesn’t.
Aisha is the leader of the Sovereign people. She enlists the help of the Guardians but things turn “quite sour.”
Russell noted how beautiful the actresses now look out of makeup. He hopes this character will be memorable, but can’t say much. Rooker thinks Yondu is now much more forgiving in this one. Hardwick recalled a time at James Gunn’s house that Rooker brought blue Yondu cookies, and was trying to bribe or bully Gunn into giving Yondu more time.
Feige confirmed that Disney’s California Adventure will indeed be replacing the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride with “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.” Gunn directed the live-action footage, and Benicio del Toro will return as the Collector. In a post-panel press release, the ride was described thusly:
The setting is a kind of fortress that’s owned by the mysterious Collector and it’s packed with creatures and his latest acquisitions from across the universe. Now he has imprisoned the Guardians of the Galaxy and they’re hanging in display cases over a giant abyss. The captor doesn’t know it but Rocket Raccoon has escaped and is enlisting our aid—all the guests—to help the Guardians in a breakout scheme. And the rest is comical chaos; a very funny, very irreverent story and a really wonderful addition to Disney California Adventure…
Guests board a gantry lift which launches them into a daring adventure as they join Rocket in an attempt to set free his fellow Guardians. The new attraction will anchor a broader universe of Super Heroes that will grow over time in Disney California Adventure Park. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will transform the structure currently housing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into an epic new adventure, enhancing the breathtaking free fall sensation with new visual and audio effects to create a variety of ride experiences. Guests will experience multiple, random and unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift rocks to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.
Want a little concept art? Yes you do.
New trailer time! It opens with the Guardians on a shiny golden platform, as some tentacled, Cthulhu-ish thing emerges in the sky.
Gamora has a big gun instead of a sword. Star-Lord wonders why? She says she’s not going up against that with a sword. He gives her grief for being inconsistent.
There’s a race of gold people whom Star-Lord says not to offend. Rocket promptly tells them he heard they were conceited douchebags, but they’re not. Then he winks big.
Rocket is insulted by the word “raccoon” so Star-Lord apologizes, and calls him trash pig. Nobody knows if that’s worse, but Star-Lord laughs and whispers to Drax that it’s much, much worse.
As the Guardians are named off in a series of quick cuts (and may I say the quick glimpse of Sylvester Stallone looks just like his unhelmeted appearance in Judge Dredd?) we end with Kurt Russell as…Ego.
Yes, Star Lord’s dad is Ego, the living planet. Though he has somehow found human form as Kurt Russell.
Confused? Us too, sort of.
So how is the planet a man? He says he set out to create human life down to the tiniest detail, which prompts Drax to ask if that means he has a penis. Star Lord is grossed out. Drax explains he just didn’t understand how he could be Star Lord’s father otherwise. Ego confirms that yes, indeed, he has a penis. Drax is delighted.
As the trailer concluded, and everyone came out for a Marvel group photo, Feige announced one more: Brie Larson as Captain Marvel! Also, free hats for everyone!