Anne Marie here, wrapping up coverage from San Diego Comic Con after 8 straight hours of studio announcements. Marvel had some major obstacles to overcome for its brief one hour panel. Edgar Wright's departure from Ant Man had generated negative press, and not everyone was thrilled with the studio's decision to put out release dates unattached to any actual films. WB had been gearing up for a fight, but overall so far Hall H's announcements had been more misses than hits. As the studio delayed 15 minutes into its start time and fans grew mad, the question hung in the air: could Marvel deliver?
Answer: Hell yes.
Marvel president Kevin Feige introduced a panel designed to assuage fan fears: Paul Rudd (new Ant Man), Michael Douglas (old Ant Man), Corey Stoll (confirmed as villain Yellow Jacket), Evangeline Lilly (Ant Man's love interest) and Peyton Reed, who stepped in to direct. Reed was quick to flash his geek cred: 20 straight years at Comic Con and a stint in a band named the Johnny Quests. But none of that really proves his credentials as Wright's replacement. Marvel even produced a minute long teaser, despite the fact that they don't start shooting for another two weeks. It's more than WB provided for Batman v Superman, but it's not enlightening. Here's the weirdest moment of the panel:
Paul Rudd: I'm popping my Comic Con cherry, and it's as advertised.
Chris Hardwicke: If you're going to do it, do it with 7,000 people.
Michael Douglas: I've popped enough cherries.
So, Michael Douglas is kind of creepy. This isn't news, but it bears repeating.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The panel assembling half of the Avengers team was charming enough, but the real show began at approximately 6:40pm, when 7,000 geeks in Hall H collectively lost their minds over the trailer for the next Avengers movie. Set to a creepy version of "There Are No Strings On Me" (the advantage of being owned by Disney), it teased Iron Man's Hulk-Busting armor, an army of Ultrons (that look suspiciously like Iron Man drones), and twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (played by Elizabeth Olson and Aaron Taylor Johnson and totally unrelated to the Xmen versions) dealing some serious damage.
Age of Ultron promises to be much, much darker. Despite a lively banter-filled dinner party opening, the trailer ended with Iron Man holding Captain America's broken shield at the base of a mountain of superhero corpses. Chris Evans keeps saying he's out a after Captain America is over. Maybe it's over earlier than we expected.
We ended with two final announcements of the night: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been set for a 2017 release. Says a lot about Marvel's confidence, since Guardians 1 won't be released until Friday. But who cares, because more importantly Josh Brolin is Thanos! He walked out wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.
And that's the end of my Hall H coverage! This year was 15 hours of waiting in line and 8 hours of studio announcements. I'll be back to wrap things up Sunday night after I've showered, slept, and questioned my life choices for a bit.