Comic-Con 2014: ‘Avengers 2′ Panel Blows The Roof Off Hall H
Gracing the stage during the Marvel portion of events on Saturday night were stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), “The Twins” Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Paul Bettany (J.A.R.V.I.S./Vision) and James Spader (Ultron). (Director Joss Whedon, however, had to sit this one out, due to knee surgery.)
Following a slight delay and then a quick and informative ‘Ant-Man’ panel, The Avengers took to the stage, led by Downey, who was curiously throwing flowers at the crowd. As the Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” blared out, he was soon followed by Renner, Ruffalo, Hemsworth, Smulders, Jackson, Evans, Taylor-Johnson, Spader, Bettany, and Olsen, most of whom danced on out (Spader, however, did not). Take a look!
The cast soon got down to their usual tricks, with Renner jokingly sharing that Downey had washed his car in a thong in order to get him to be in the first ‘Avengers.’ Ruffalo, still struck by the outpouring of fan love, commented, “They don’t treat me like this at home.”
Still jovial, Ruffalo and Hemsworth compared biceps — a challenge that Hemsworth pretty handily won. And that’s wasn’t Thor’s only shining moment, when he was asked what else he wants the character to do, he commented, “Turn him into a woman.” It’s certainly topical, but why would Hemsworth want that for himself? “I don’t want to jinx it, but I think it could be my Oscar.” Fair enough, big guy.
Attention soon turned to Jackson, who handily earned the affection of seemingly everyone in the room when he shared that he’d been coming to Comic-Con since the days of ‘The Phantom Menace.’ That was more than worth the cheers that greeted it.
Bettany, now switching roles from J.A.R.V.I.S. to The Vision laughed about his new career path: “I used to go to a dark room for 45 minutes and get a bag of cash. Now I have to work.” Still, Bettany said, “This is the greatest thing to happen to my children.”
Also new to the ‘Avengers’ cast? James Spader, who has already been to Comic-Con once before, but who still shared, “This place is the weirdest, craziest place I’ve been.” It sounds fitting enough for his role as Ultron — “I play an eight foot robot in this movie” — which is especially weird for a guy who explained, “I’ve always played humans up until now.”
Unexpectedly punchy? Newbie Olsen, who explained her part in the film: “There’s now magic and mutant … muTATING people.” The crowd groaned and Hardwick didn’t get it, until Ruffalo jumped in to explain, “Mutant is a bad word.” Oh, yes, those Fox rights. No mutants to be found here.
After all the banter and build up, it was time for a mess of footage, including a short video from the absent Scarlett Johansson and some actual footage from the film.
The film footage opens with the entire gang trying to pick up Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, first Tony Stark, then Rhodie (Don Cheadle) tries to help Tony. Then Hawkeye, then Hulk, before Captain America manages to nudge it just a bit, which makes Thor frown. It’s at that moment that we hear Spader’s voice, and Ultron walks into Tony Stark’s swanky NYC apartment. Is he a party guest? No, he’s there to save Earth — by way of human extinction. Two more robots then fly at the group, before the footage kicks into a montage (with Spader’s over the entire thing) that sees the Avengers spread around the globe, all individually doing their thing. It’s impressive, and it’s also the first time we see Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, also elsewhere in the world.
It ends on a powerful note, with Downey’s Iron Man lamenting that what he started was now unraveling, before cutting to him in the Hulkbuster suit, battling Hulk, as the duo are now the same size. After all that fighting? A hint of romance, with Hulk holding out his hand to Black Widow, who holds out her own to touch him. Suddenly, Cap’s shield appears, cut in two, before showing all of the Avengers on the ground next to it, seemingly laying dead….except for Tony, who is standing over them, looking at them in grief and fear and astonishment.
End footage. Up comes title card. And the crowd goes wild.
How best to top that? How about bringing out Josh Brolin — Thanos himself! — sporting the Infinity Gauntlet.
As if that wasn’t enough to get everyone going like crazy, another piece of video struck up — director ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ James Gunn and star Chris Pratt from London, announcing a release date for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2′: July 28, 2017.
And, in a mad rush, it was over.
‘The Avengers 2′ (officially titled ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’) will hit theaters on May 1, 2015.