After their biggest rival made some WONDER-ful revelations earlier in the day, Saturday evening was Marvel’s turn to wow the audiences in the vaunted Hall H of Comic-Con. And they did not disappoint.
While the comic book film studio didn’t announce/address any new films (sorry Black Panther fans, you got to wait a little longer, I guess), they did confirm one future film: James Gunn will return to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which will be released on July 28, 2017! As you may expect, that bit of news makes me happy in my pants.
Marvel then moved on to Ant-Man, showing off new footage and finally confirming some character roles (more about that later), but after checking with that tiny hero, it was time for the big guns as writer/director Joss Whedon and his Avengers: Age of Ultron cast (minus one too-pregnant-too-travel Scarlett Johansson) took to the stage, led by Robert Downey Jr dancing out to Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” while handing roses to the audience.
— Josh Lincoln Dickey (@NotoriousJLD) July 27, 2014
As usual the cast were all very quippy as they answered various questions from the audience with Chris Hemsworth probably winning the Best Comment of the Day Award. When asked about whether there’s anything he still wants to do as Thor, Hemsworth deadpanned that that Marvel should “Turn me into a woman. I don’t want to speak too early, but I think that could be my Oscar,” obviously a cheeky reference to the recently revealed controversial future plans of the Thor comic.
There were lots of other highlights, like Elizabeth Olsen accidentally almost referring to her character of the Scarlet Witch as a mutant (“It’s fun to bring a new element to the world. There’s magic and mu… tated people.”) and James Spader sarcastically answering a question about what’s different for him in playing the villainous Ultron, by saying that “Well, I play an 8 foot robot in this movie and I’ve always played humans…”.
But then it was on to some actual footage from the film, and here it was Spader’s 8-foot robot that really stole the show. I’ve spliced together AICN and /Film‘s description of the footage so that you have a good idea of everything shown.
The Avengers are in Stark Tower, lounging around, having some drinks. Tony Stark, Rhodey, Cap, Thor, Hawkeye, Bruce Banner, Black Widow were all there. Thor sets his hammer down on the table and takes a seat. They’re debating about the hammer and Thor is telling them it can only be lifted by he who is worthy (or she, for that matter). Tony asks, “If I lift it do I get to rule Asgard?” Thor replies, “Yes, of course.” Smirk is full on when Stark tries and fails. He only tries once and says, “I’ll be right back,” and returns with his Iron Man gauntlet on. He tries really hard this time to no avail.
It cuts to both him and Rhodey (with a War Machine gauntlet on) pulling, sparks flying from the taxed mechanics of the armor piece. “Are you even pulling?!?” Hawkeye gives it a shot, Banner does as well and is exerting himself so much that he’s yelling and suddenly everybody is looking at him nervously. He laughs and backs away, hands up.
Thor’s got a shit-eating grin the whole time… and then Cap gives it a shot. The hammer budges ever so slightly. We’re talking millimeters, but it makes a scraping sound on the glass and Thor’s smirk drops.
Everybody laughs, Stark says something about how it’s probably some kind of Thor fingerprint recognizer. Thor shoots back that he prefers to believe that everybody else is just unworthy.
Then they’re interrupted by a high frequency sound that has them covering their ears ala Superman being contacted by Lex Luthor.
“How could you be worthy? You’re all killers.”
What I can only describe as Frankenstein Ultron limps out of Stark’s lab. He looks like a stroke victim, arm hanging loosely to his side, face half broken.
”You want to protect the world, but you don’t want it to change. There’s only one path to peace… your extinction.” Widow pulls her gun, Thor grabs his hammer but Ultron throws out an arm and a couple of what looked like Iron Man armors fly through the wall right, at his command, heading right at camera.
“Ultron continues in voice over with a bunch of other images. “I had a vision … the whole world screaming for mercy.” People running away, escaping. “Everyone tangled in strings.” Banner all sickly looking on a place. “Strinnnngs.” Massive battle scenes, Hawkeye and others helping people evacuate. Banner in the snow, then a random hospital, Scarlet Witch on a bus, Thor smashing a tank. Then Tony Stark “It’s the end,” he says. “The end of the path I started us on.” Widow adds, “Nothing lasts forever.” We then see a screaming Hulk and the massive Hulk Buster armor. Black Widow on the Harley Davidson, Quicksilver running around, Andy Serkis as a human (!?!), more explosions, Iron Man flying by what looks like a prison and shooting some soldiers. Hulk throws a car at the Hulkbuster and then punches him through it. A quick shot of Widow and Hulk almost touching hands.
“We see more shots of busted, run down Ultron, Quicksilver running (only a flash, naturally), Scarlett Witch on her knees in a pile of rubble, screaming, Nick Fury in his civilian clothes looking worried, a shot of Andy Serkis (human, not CG!), a pissed off Thor grabbing Tony Stark by the neck and hoisting him up and then… the Hulkbuster. I’m not sure if this is how the Hulkbuster armor works in the comics, but it seemed like Iron Man is in his regular suit and gets into the Hulkbuster, so it’s armor on top of armor.
They’re on a city street and Hulk throws a rage punch at Iron Man who flips a car up and block the punch with it, pissing the Hulk off even more. There was a shot of Hulk smashing Hulkbuster Iron Man against a wall and one more of Hulk throwing a punch that Hulkbuster catches with his hand.
One other really cool thing… You know how Ultron’s speech is all about strings? The music playing in the background throughout this footage underlines Marvel’s parent company. It’s a creepy version of Pinocchio’s “I Got No Strings.” And the footage ends with a fully rebuilt, intimidating and functioning Ultron… not the wreck we’ve seen up till this point, but shiny, silver and ready to rumble… looking at the camera and ending his speech with “There are no strings on me.”
[Ultron’s] clenching fist turns into the circle around the “A” of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The title card.
Then, after that, we see Cap’s shild broken, Tony Stark looking down at it, the camera pulls back and we literally see every member of the team laying on the ground in tatters on what may or not be Thanos’ tomb. They look dead. [Fade to black].
Both AICN and /Film postulate that that final scene is probably not real, but rather a vision of some sorts, possibly given to Tony by the Scarlet Witch. Whatever it is, it sounds pretty chilling. In fact, all the footage sounds like it could be provoking some serious goosebumps, as Whedon and co really appear to have upped the ante on this one.
And then just when folks were recovering from that footage, Marvel decided to end their panel on a very light note, introducing Josh Brolin as Thanos who walked onto the stage wearing a foam Infinity Gauntlet on one hand. Downey Jr. then proceeded to try and negotiate peace between “the Avengers” and “Thanos”, offering him a rose as well as a token of their commitment. Brolin, in complete supervillain mode, grabbed the rose and then proceeded to bite off the head of the rose and ate the whole thing. Well, nobody can ever accuse him of not being committed.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled for release on May 1, 2015.
Last Updated: July 28, 2014