That was it for the Ant-Man crew, who exited the stage and were replaced – with rapturous applause – by the massive cast for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Director Joss Whedon couldn’t attend because of a recent knee surgery, but Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, James Spader, Elizabeth Olson, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson all took the stage. Scarlet Johansson, who had to stay home because of her pregnancy, gave a brief hello via video chat.
After the usual chatter and a showing off of the cast’s chemistry and charm (which never ceases to win over the Hall H crowd), Feige showed off a sizzle reel for Age of Ultron, that’s been met with nothing but praise and excitement from fans. In it we saw an extended party scene at Avengers tower, that includes each member of the team trying to lift Thor’s hammer. Everyone is unsuccessful except Steve Rogers, who manages to make it budge just a little bit. This seems to upset Thor a little, but he laughs it off and tells them all that they’re unworthy.
Then things get really intense. Ultron breaks in, telling them, “You’re all not worthy. How could you be worthy? You are all killers. You want to protect the world but you don’t want it to change. There’s only one path to peace… your extinction.” Just then a bunch of robots, presumably Stark’s Iron Legion, fly in and we get the Marvel Studios logo.
What follows is a series of intense images and battle scenes, tied together by a voiceover from Ultron. We see the Hulk duking it out with the Hulkbuster armor, Hawkeye evacuating civilians, Thor smashing a tank, Black Widow on a Harley Davidson with Cap’s shield, Andy Serkis (in human form), and shots of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in action. Ultron’s voiceover says:
“I had a vision… the whole world screaming for mercy. Everyone tangled in strings. Strinnnngs.” Then, we see a fully realized, 8-foot Ultron who states, “There are no strings on me,” as he clenches his fist around the A in the Avengers: Age of Ultron title card. After a fade from black, we see Cap’s shield broken in half, and Tony Stark looking down at it. The camera pans back to reveal the rest of the Avengers, seemingly dead around him and laying on what looks like a tomb. Needless to say, the crowd went absolutely nuts. By all accounts the footage is bigger, more explosive, and more dramatic than anything we’ve seen from the MCU so far.
After the footage was shown, Josh Brolin took the stage, wearing Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet from Hasbro. His appearance set off a wave of applause, and was followed by a great exchange between Brolin and Downey Jr., who continues to steal the show in these panels. The panel then ended with a video showing Chris Pratt and James Gunn, who announced that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be released on July 28th, 2017, confirming a report we heard earlier in the week.
That was it for the Marvel panel. As I said, it certainly wasn’t the biggest show they’ve ever put on at SDCC, and it disappointed many fans who were hoping for more announcements, but that Age of Ultron footage appears to have quenched some of that discord. Unfortunately, Kevin Feige has stated that it will be “a while” before it’s actually released, kind of like what happened with the Guardians of the Galaxy footage shown last year that was used for the film’s first trailer 8 months later.
What did you think of the Marvel Studios panel? Which of their films are you most excited to see, and what things do you wish they would have done this year? Let us know in the comments below.