Many people waited in high anticipation for what was going to be seen and possibly announced during the Marvel Studios panel, which took place towards the end of the day in Hall H, at Comic Con on Saturday. The description of the panel stated that Iron Man 3 would be the main presentation, however, many people were aware Marvel would most likely be ready to share a lot of information about many more of their upcoming projects. This turned out to be true, as the panel featured several official announcements, surprise guests, and footage that will keep many people who attended talking about it. Continue on to learn more about what went down at the Marvel Studios panel.
The panel began with a sizzle reel of footage from all of the Marvel Studios films that lead up to The Avengers, this was spliced with clips from the various Comic Cons, where many previous Marvel film-related announcements were made. The end of this reel put forth the question of where things are headed with “Phase 2″ now that “Phase 1″ has been completed (which is basically associated with The Avengers currently being the biggest superhero film of all time). With that in mind, producer Kevin Fiege came out and named several official titles and release dates for the next four Marvel films currently in production or development. They included the sequels for Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, along with finally confirming that Guardians of the Galaxy is among these upcoming features as well. Check out all of the official title names below.
Following all of these announcements, Fiege also brought up one more Marvel film that has been mentioned before and looks to be getting closer and closer to actually going into production. I am referring to Ant Man, which has had writer/director Edgar Wright attached for quite some time (along with co-writer credit going to Attack the Block’s Joe Cornish). Edgar Wright suddenly appeared on stage, with an Ant Man comic in hand, and was greeted warmly by the Comic Con audience. Some people may have been aware that Wright had recently completed work on some test footage for Ant Man and this being Comic Con, he was of course prepared to show off some of this footage, complete with no real stars, completed effects, or any real context.
Regardless, the audience was given a chance to see what kind of action style and look Wright had in mind, as far as basic concepts go. While I could easily understand people not being blown away by this footage, there was certainly a lot of knowledge to gain, based on what was presented. It seems like the action will be very creative, with Wright putting to use how the abilities of Ant Man can make him an effective fighter, in an entertaining way. The film was also described by Wright as having a mix of Silver Age and contemporary looks as far as the character goes. He also managed to get off one key zinger, among many, stating that Ant Man, “Will kick your ass one inch at a time,” which was followed by his exit from the stage (after teasing the audience with the chance to watch the footage again).
Next up was what many people were both expecting and dying to see: whatever the hell Robert Downey Jr., Shane Black, and everyone else involved had prepared in regards to Iron Man 3. From what I understand, given that the film has only recently started filming, specific scenes were filmed first and fitted with completed special effects by ILM, with Comic Con in mind, so the panel would have some very specific footage to show. But first the panel needed to introduce its key players, starting with Robert Downy Jr., who came in through the back, jogging in his nice suit and Iron Man glove, while a Luther Vandross song played over all the speakers. Classy indeed.
Following Downey’s arrival, he got the audience even more pumped up by introducing the brand new footage of Iron Man 3. Without going into too much elaborate detail, it began with Stark testing out a new suit that essentially starts in pieces and is drawn to him bit by bit. Following this bit, and a brief montage, the footage is soon taken over by Guy Pearce’s character making ominous statements regarding the role of Iron Man in society, before ambushing his Malibu home with several attack helicopters and destroying it completely. It is all very cool and edited in the exact way to get people excited for yet another large scale Marvel movie. The final thing to add is that we do in fact see a brief clip of Ben Kingsley, who is in fact playing Mandarin. It should also be noted that the film is very much aware of the events that occurred in The Avengers.
After the footage was played, Downey and Fiege were joined on stage with Don Cheadle, director/co-writer Shane Black, and Jon Favreau, who will still reprise his role as Happy Hogan, despite no long being behind the director’s chair. All of these guys were in very good spirits, as they got right into joking around and having fun with the audience Q&A segment. In regards to the film, a few points were hit upon thanks to some decent audience questions. For one, Downey is currently not lined up to portray Tony Stark again, so the future is uncertain for him until, as he stated, “They decide on which Brinks truck to pull up.” Regarding the film and possible storylines, “The Demon in a Bottle” plot line is not going to be a part of Iron Man 3. This has been considered before, but it comes down to not having time to spend in the plot delving into this area, when putting the world at stake means so much more to everyone. I personally think this also revolves around Disney not wanting to put forth an alcoholic version of one of their biggest stars in what will presumably be one of their biggest films of the year. Lastly, the upcoming Iron Man film is going to rely heavily on the nature of modern myths, such as who Iron Man is and what his place is in this world. Before this panel ended, the audience was treated to seeing the footage for a second time.