Comic-Con 2013: 10 Things We Learned From the Movie Panels
While Comic-Con 2013 was in full swing in San Diego, I was camped out in Hall H all weekend long relaying all the latest intel on your favorite movies as they became available. Now that the mayhem is done, however, I have a chance to sit back and actually process everything that I both heard and saw.
I know, there was a lot of information. So in an effort to both catch everyone up on the biggest updates that came out of Comic-Con (without forcing you all to read our numerous in-depth panel recaps), I've broken all the information down to 10 points you should know from the Comic-Con 2013 movie panels in Hall H.
The Warner Bros./Legendary panel dropped some major news after bringing out its surprise guests, ‘Man of Steel’ director Zack Snyder and actor Harry Lennix. After a quick, goose bump-inducing speech, the Superman insignia appeared on the black screen, moments later joined by the Batman symbol as the crowd went Wolverine-berserk.
So far we know that this film will essentially act as 'Man of Steel 2' and is aiming for a 2015 release. Snyder will direct and David S. Goyer ('Man of Steel') is said to write the script with Henry Cavill returning as Superman and Christopher Nolan executive producing.
"I'm so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can't wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter," Snyder said afterwards in a statement. "Let's face it, it's beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest Superheroes in the world."
Now for the Marvel side of superhero movies. After seeing some highly anticipated footage from ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Solider’ – and even the surprise footage and panel for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ – ‘Avengers’ and ‘Avengers 2’ director Joss Whedon surprised the Hall H crowd on stage. There he unveiled a short, teaser video that culminated in the big reveal of Ultron’s helmet and the title treatment of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’
Offstage following the presentation, Whedon stated that the film will stray from the comic-book storyline, including a varied origin story that probably won't include Ant-Man, the original creator of Ultron. For more on that, click HERE. And if you have no idea who Ultron is, you should read THIS.
Remember a couple weeks ago when ‘Fast and Furious’ and ‘Riddick’ star Vin Diesel told his fans that he had a secret meeting with Marvel? Well, the topic of said conversation will finally come to light. During the ‘Riddick’ Comic-Con panel for Universal Studios, the actor stated, “there is some very big news coming at the end of this month for Marvel!”
What could it be? Diesel has been a vocal proponent of playing Vision on the big screen. In the comics, Ultron creates Vision to battle the Avengers, and, even though Whedon already said to expect origin changes, it still seems like Diesel might be a possible candidate for 'Avengers 2.'
As nice as it was to see some footage from 'The Hunger Games' sequel, 'Catching Fire,' back when the first trailer debuted, it refrained from revealing what fans had been craving for -- a look at the new tributes/past victors and the new arena. Lionsgate finally fulfilled our wishes with this new extended look. Check it out!
At first I thought I was looking at some sort of 'Planet Hulk' movie and thought to myself, "The rumors were true after all!" But then, when the beastial, green-skinned creature slammed his orc hammer on the ground and charged at his medieval-armored opponent in their desert arena, I realized I was looking at something from the 'Warcraft' movie.
Director Duncan Jones surprised the audience for a quick moment during the WB/Legendary panel to reveal his concept footage for the film, which he said will start production in early 2014. Hopefully some sort of footage will be available online, but until then, I'll say this -- imagine an orc rendered in the same CGI styling as Hulk in 'The Avengers,' place him in a setting similar to the deserted planet in 'Riddick,' and have him facedown a '300'-esque warrior in gladiatorial armor and that's essentially what I saw.
Fox teased that a "surprise" of some sort would hit their Comic-Con 2013 panel presentations, and, as it turned out, that surprise was nearly the entire cast of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' coming out to reveal some teaser footage and answer Q&As.
Here are the main takeaways:
- Unlike the original comic, which centered on Kitty Pryde, the film will see Hugh Jackman's Wolverine going back in time to warn the past X-Men of the apocalyptic future.
- Peter Dinklage is in fact playing Bolivar Trask, the creator of the mutant-hunting Sentinel robots that plague said future.
- Omar Sy (who is playing Bishop, by the way), Booboo Stewart's Warpath, Daniel Cudmore's Colossus, Adam Canto's Sunspot and Fan Bingbing's Blink are shown to appear alongside the future X-Men, which includes Halle Berry's Storm, Patrick Stewart's Xavier and Ian McKellen's Magneto.
- Also, while the footage did not show the Sentinels, check out this photo (below) we shot on the Comic-Con floor.
'Godzilla' made a huge entrance into Hall H during the WB/Legendary panels, debuting the first teaser trailer for the affair. Aside from the human side of the story, which will feature Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Bryan Cranston, among others, the footage showed off some of the monster action. Besides Godzilla, there is definitely at least one other monster that looks sort of like a 'Pacific Rim' interpretation of Mothra (more reptile than moth with white skin and wings).
Though we only got a shot of Godzilla's enormous feet in the trailer, we attended Legendary's Godzilla Encounter, an immersive experience into the world of the movie that brought us face-to-face (literally) with the iconic beast. I don't think fans will be disappointed.
Coming directly from the set of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' in London (with the exception of Benicio Del Toro, who hadn't begun production), director James Gunn and the main cast members of Marvel's latest superhero offering came out to reveal the cast and show off some teaser footage.
First things first, here's a rundown: Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Karen Gillan (Nebula; and she shaved her head for the role), Djimon Hounsou (Korath), Lee Pace (Ronan the Accuser), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector). Castings for Rocket Raccoon and Groot will be announced next week, says Gunn.
The footage shown is still not online, though I can say Pratt doesn't hide his sense of humor and you can't help by smile upon seeing Rocket Raccoon standing on the shoulders of Groot while popping some caps. This concept art will give you a better idea of what we saw.
Like many of the other upcoming movies that debuted footage at San Diego Comic-Con, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes'' teaser was only a primer for what's to come. That said, we did get a first look at the CG-ed Andy Serkis as Caesar, who, in this film, has to adapt to the responsibilities of leading the ape race while dealing with the surviving humans. Interesting to note is that Caesar has a family and a kid in this film. Aw!
A still from the footage has officially been released to the public, so take a look at the new ape lord below.
Though it's still too early on to make a definitive judgement, the trailers and footage shown for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2,' 'Thor: The Dark World' and 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' are visually impactful. As a fan, I wasn't too pleased with the first iterations of the new 'Spider-Man' or 'Thor' (though the first 'Captain America' is still incredible in my book), but Jamie Foxx seems like he'll shine as Electro, while 'The Dark World' looks like it's lightyears ahead, visually and story-wise, of the first. That said, I have some SPOILERS for you if you dare to read on ...
- Electro's origins are changed from the comics -- rather than have him struck by lightning, he's first electrocuted while working with circuits in what seems to be Oscorp labs and then falls into a tank of electric eels. Webb said that, like the comics, touching his flesh will devastate you and he'll be able to meld his body in with electricity.
- In 'Thor 2,' Loki and Thor team up to take on the Dark Elves, led by Christopher Eccleston's Malekith. While it seems like the two will get along for the most part, Loki, in the end, betrays Thor and slices off his hand. That's it! It's hammer time ...
- And finally for 'Captain America 2,' Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow will have just as integral a part to the story as Cap himself, as the two pair up to fight the newly reincarnated, brainwashed and physically enhanced Bucky "The Winter Soldier" Barnes (Sebastian Stan). The storyline will essentially stick to the original comic-book arc, though, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says, it'll be a surprise to the Cap. Elsewhere, Anthony Mackie's Falcon looks rad flying through the air whilst shooting off some rounds at pursuing attackers.