Marvel Studios bombarded fans at San Diego International Comic-Con 2017 with 90 minutes of info at its giant panel in Hall H.
One of the biggest events of a huge weekend of announcements, trailers and cast Q&A sessions, the panel was led by moderator Chris Hardwick, kicking off with information on movies like “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Captain Marvel,” and “Thor.” Before long, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige joined in to lay out the future of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe for a huge room full of fans.
TheWrap was on-site and caught a ton of tidbits about the future of the MCU in 2017 and beyond. Here’s everything that happened at the Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con.
The Marvel Hall H panel got down to business right off the bat with the reveal that Michelle Pfeiffer is playing the role of Janet van Dyne, the long lost wife of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and the original Wasp, who has been missing in action since the 1980s. (We’ve got more info about Pfeiffer’s character and The Wasp here.)
The reveal was set up by a short video in which “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd and Michael Pena recount the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — basically faking their way through it — then ending with “and that’s all you need to know about the Marvel Cinematic Universe if you want to play Janet Van Dyne,” revealing Pfeiffer’s casting.
After the Pfeiffer reveal, the audience was treated to the first-ever footage from upcoming “Ant-Man” sequel “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” a combination of actual scenes as well as some in-progress video effects.
It was then that moderator Chris Hardwick brought out Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, who immediately jumped into a recap of other recent casting news.
There was no glimpse of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel tonight, but Marvel Studios didn’t leave fans hoping to see the studio’s first female superhero top-liner in action empty handed. Following the “Ant-Man and The Wasp” casting bits, the crowd was treated to some cool looking “Captain Marvel” concept art, as well as confirmation that Samuel L. Jackson will indeed be reprising the role of Nick Fury in the film. But more important than that, the iconic Marvel comics alien antagonists The Skrull will be making their MCU debut in “Captain Marvel.”
It also turns out that “Captain Marvel” is set before 2008’s “Iron Man,” putting it deep in the timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and possibly hinting at how it’ll interact with the other movies in the franchise. Oh, and Jackson’s Nick Fury will have two eyes in “Captain Marvel,” with the movie taking place before he loses one and dons his iconic eye patch. (Read this for more info on “Captain Marvel” and Nick Fury.)
The hall was treated to a truly awesome extended look at “Thor: Ragnarok” next, giving a closer look at the Grandmaster and his crazy gladiator planet, where trailers have shown Thor and the Hulk will find themselves trapped. The planet, as we learn, is run essentially as if God was the manager of a customer service call center.
We open with a captured Thor (Chris Hemsworth) strapped to a throne-like chair while a friendly voice explains how he’s about to meeet the Grandmaster. Thor is told that because he’s now the property of the Grandmaster, he’s finally something. It’s creepy and hilarious in a way that only people who have ever experienced the hell of corporate human resources vice presidents can understand.
We then see the jovial, ultra-chillaxed friendliness of Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster, who acts like an indulgent grandfather dealing with squabbling grandkids vying for his affections — if that guy was also a living god who basically considered everyone to be his property.
Up next, we saw the beginning of the fight between Thor and the Hulk that caused the Internet to melt down when the first “Ragnarok” trailer dropped earlier this year. It sets up a charming moment where Thor starts chatting with Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) about the more mundane aspects of his recent life, as if Thor were trying to play it cool for his personal hero.
That scene transitioned into the hilarious trailer that you’ve all by now watched three times in a row (and can watch here if you haven’t seen it).
Capping off the “Black Panther” portion of the night was about five minutes of spectacular footage from the film. There’s no other way to put it: it was just excellent.
The footage begins with a scene that felt ripped out of a James Bond film as T’Challah (Chadwick Boseman), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) enter what appears to be a high-priced underground casino. Inside they split up and begin casing the joint or, more accurately, they begin casing a transaction between Martin Freeman’s CIA Agent Everett Ross and Andy Serkis’ Ulysses Klau.
The scene quickly descends from taut spy thriller into balls out action and if it’s not the best action ever seen in a Marvel Studios film, then it’s really close. T’Challa and his allies individually brawl with various Klau henchmen as the camera whips around the room almost as athletically as the people being filmed.
The scene then shifts to a car chase, part of the scene from the trailer released earlier this year that saw Black Panther riding atop a speeding car. That was followed by the transition into a more traditional trailer with lots of as-yet-unseen footage interspersed with different shots of Wakkanda and environs as seen in that earlier spot.
The upshot of the “Black Panther” footage is that Ryan Coogler is clearly bringing everything that made his film “Creed” such an astonishing experience, but with a blockbuster budget to achieve genuinely staggering shots. The characters of “Black Panther” are powerful, fast, and relentless, and yet vulnerable. Even in moments from the footage that are mostly computer-generated effects, there’s a humanity in the way the shots are framed that transcends it.
The crowd went crazy for the “Black Panther” footage, of course, but had little time to process their reaction before the apparent end of the night’s proceedings. It was the “apparent” end because as Feige was bidding the audience good night, things were halted by a last-minute appearance onstage by “Thor: Ragnarok” stars Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo from the earlier “Thor” panel.
“I’m standing next to three Avengers,” Hiddleston said. “Surely this can’t be everything left tonight.” Obviously the moment was scripted, but Hiddleston’s the kind of actor who can sell those kinds of moments with immense sincerity. Hiddleston, Hemsworth, Ruffalo and Chadwick Boseman “prevailed” upon Feige to give the crowd one last thing before calling it a night. At that point, Hall H was treated to a sizzle reel from “Avengers: Infinity War.”
Fans who’d attended Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim a week earlier had already been treated to the “Avengers” footage. The clip found the Guardians of the Galaxy encountering Thor, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) encountering Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Spider-Man (Tom Holland) feeling his classic Spider-Senses for the first time, and Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) fighting the forces of villain Thanos.
The Guardians later ran into the other Avengers and Dr. Strange, just in time to face down an incredibly powerful Thanos. Check out our rundown from D23 for more info on the unreleased “Avengers: Infinity War” clip.