Comic-Con 2010 Day 3 – Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers Movies Panel | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Avengers Cast Assembles at Comic-Con 2010

Comic-Con 2010 Day 3 – Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers Movies Panel

Chris Evans, Kenneth Branagh, Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr., Joss Whedon, and others on Marvel’s Upcoming Films

Jul 27, 2010 Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Comic-Con 2010
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At Comic-Con the different big Hollywood movie panels seem to want to one-up each other with how much information they leak and how early they show footage. Earlier on Saturday at the Green Lantern panel they had showed a teaser trailer, even though they still had several more weeks of filming left to do. Then at the Cowboys & Aliens panel a little later in the day they showed three whole scenes, even though they had just begun filming a month earlier. But the Captain America movie panel beat them all by showing a full scene that was shot only the week before, and they had only been filming for eight days total!

Star Chris Evans hadn’t even filmed a single scene in the Captain America costume yet, but they did show the audience some very brief test footage of him in the costume. The full scene they showed, however, didn’t feature Evans at all, but centered on Hugo Weaving, who plays the villain Red Skull (aka Johann Schmidt). In the scene from the WWII-set movie, Schmidt is in his Nazi uniform, rather than the Red Skull costume. He’s in an ancient Indiana Jones-esque chamber of sorts and opens a tomb to find the Cosmic Cube (you Marvel geeks should know all about it). Weaving, who grew up in both England and Australia, said that his German accent was inspired by both Werner Herzog and Klaus Maria Brandauer, but refused to the do the accent for the audience.

“It’s a little intimidating, a little daunting,” said Evans about playing Captain America. He had only been on the set for about five days. Director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Hidalgo) said that the whole film will take place in the early ‘40s, but it will still feel like a modern movie shot today, the way that the original Indiana Jones movies felt modern and timeless, despite taking place in the ‘30s and ‘40s. “It’s not going to feel like a war movie made in World War II,” the director promised. Johnston also added that he is a big fan of the Ed Brubaker written era of the Captain America comic book.

“I’m a Comic-Con virgin,” said Thor‘s director Kenneth Branagh. The English actor/director is best known for adapting Shakespeare to the big screen, but he said that he loved Thor as a kid, that it was one of the few American comic books he read in his youth. The rest of the panel included producer Kevin Feige; as well as the film’s stars: Chris Helmsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Kat Dennings (Darcy), and Clark Gregg (S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson, who was also in the two Iron Man films).

Firstly, they showed a 3-D trailer for the film (which will be released in 3-D). In the trailer, Thor is banished from Asgard to Earth by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), where he meets Jane Foster and her assistant Darcy, has a run in with Coulson, and tries to reclaim his hammer. Meanwhile, his brother Loki takes control of Asgard and some sort of metallic monster shows up in the desert and attacks Coulson and a team of his agents. The trailer was impressive, showing off why Branagh’s Shakespearian background well prepared him for an epic adventure such as Thor, (and thankfully they showed the trailer again at the end of the panel). In fact, Branagh said that Thor wasn’t all that different from Henry V.

Portman said it was Branagh’s involvement that drew her to the project and that she’s signed up for Thor sequels, should they happen, but will not appear in The Avengers movie. While Thor’s human secret identity Donald Blake will not be a big part of the film, Branagh teased that “we have some Don Blake surprises in this movie.” Helmsworth admitted that he hadn’t read Thor before auditioning for the film.

Although this was billed as a Captain America/Thor panel, Marvel Studios’ President of Production Kevin Feige stuck around to discuss other Marvel film projects and take audience questions. He said that the character of The Punisher (already the subject of three unsuccessful and poorly received films made by other film companies/studios) has now reverted back to the Marvel Studios banner and that they have plans to bring him back to the big screen. (It’s kind of confounding that such a minor superhero as The Punisher can be the subject of three to four big screen movies, whereas more iconic characters such as The Flash and Wonder Woman have yet to appear in any theatrical motion pictures!) One audience member begged Feige to reconsider dropping Edward Norton from the role of The Hulk in The Avengers, a plea that would soon be in vain, as a few minutes later it was announced who would be playing The Hulk (hint: not Norton).

A little teaser image/trailer for The Avengers was shown, even though the film is still in development. Then unexpectedly and suddenly the full main cast for the film took the stage to rabid applause (again, this was not billed as an Avengers panel). Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Helmsworth (Thor), and Clark Gregg (S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson) had already appeared at the previous two panels, so it was no surprise that they were there. Also taking the stage were Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Furry), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark). Downey Jr. took to the podium and referenced the stabbing incident that took place in the room earlier (when one attendee stabbed another near his eye with a pen over a disagreement about seats), joking, “Don’t anybody stab anybody until I’m done talking.” He said that after seeing Inception he thought it was one of the most ambitious films he’d ever seen, but promised that now The Avengers is going to be the most ambitious. He then introduced The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner to the stage, confirming the rumor that he would be playing Hawkeye. The big announcement was who would be playing The Hulk. Downey Jr. teased the audience, at first saying, “and reprising his role as The Hulk,” leading the audience to believe that it would either be Edward Norton or Eric Bana. But then it was revealed that Mark Ruffalo would instead now be playing Bruce Banner/The Hulk. Finally, Avengers writer/director (and geek god) Joss Whedon came out. “I have had a dream all my life and it was not this good,” Whedon joked. “This cast is more than I could ever have dreamed of and I’m going to blow it.” We’ll have to wait until the film is released on May 4, 2012 to see if he’s right. But based on the Marvel Studios panel, DC/Warner Bros. better get their act together and finally green-light movies on The Flash, Wonder Woman, and eventually The Justice League (which will hopefully feature the same actors who played the roles in their solo films).


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