The epilogue to today’s proceedings at San Diego’s Comic-Con’s Hall H culminated with the Marvel panels, in which thousands of restless fans, most of whom waited hours to finally witness them. And they did not disappoint one iota. Making everyone wait till the last possible second with breathless anticipation as collective clapping almost became reminiscent of a prison riot of sorts, the lights finally dimmed to ear splitting cheers and applause.
An out of this world Marvel sizzle reel, which sizzled and cooked at supernova intensity, showcased the best of the past decade of Marvel films, culminating with scenes from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, the company’s tenth film overall, including Thanos in space on this throne.
Moderated by Taking Dead‘s Chris Hardwick, first on the menu was the panel for Ant-Man, which has been shrouded in slight controversy with the dismissal of the original director, Edgar Wright. The panel was composed of Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige, Paul Rudd, who plays the titular character, legendary actor Michael Douglas, newly appointed director of the film, Peyton Reed, and confirmed just now to be in the film — Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll.
In the film, Douglas will play Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, while Rudd plays Scott Lang, who takes over the mantle from Pym. Revealed today is that Lilly will be playing Hope Van Dyne, Hank Pym’s daughter, but the actress, who says she hasn’t read the script yet, says that’s all she’s able to say about her character, Stoll, who’s best know for his role on the original Netflix series House Of Cards, will play Darren Cross, aka. Yellowjacket, the antagonist of the film. Stoll revealed that his character was once Pym’s mentee and was pegged to take over as Ant-Man but it didn’t work out.
After the sizzle reel, Hardwick introduced Feige, who came out and thanked the audience for their passion and moxie and their verve. Douglas looked sharp decked in a tan suit, longish hair, and a distinguished goatee. Reed spoke of the fact that this was his 20th anniversary of coming to Comic-Con. The director also showed a drawing he did of his old band, aptly named Johnny Quest, in which he was a drummer; in the drawing, he drew himself as Ant-Man.
In contrast, this was Rudd’s first appearance, in which he hilariously noted that he was now, being here, “popping his cherry” (after a die-hard fan in the first yelled that to him). He spoke of how bowled over he was to be able to now be involved in the comic book film milieu.
This was also the first Comic Con for famed actor/producer Douglas, who mentioned that he popped a lot of cherries, too. Impressively, he knew his stuff, he waxed about the history of his character, Hank Pym, who was the first Ant-Man and was an original Avenger and first appeared in comic book form in the early 1960s. Douglas’ character acts as a mentor to Rudd’s Ant Man.
For Lilly, she finally confirmed that she will be in the production, after dodging questions about the subject for the past few days here in San Diego (she was also here to promote the new Hobbit film and made an appearance in that panel earlier this morning right here in Hall H). Going from her appearances in The Hobbit franchise to this, she couldn’t be happier with the way her career was going. Her eyes sparkled as she spoke, and the infectious manner spread across the Hall. Feige praised the work of Stoll, too. He was confirmed as Darren Cross in the film.
Promising that shooting for the picture would begin in about two weeks in Atlanta, nonetheless, there was a small clip shown put together just for this event. In the footage, Douglas’s Hank is heard instructing a very insecure Scott Lang now as Ant-Man how to utilize his new powers. It was kind of like a contemporary version of The Greatest American Hero, in which Robert Culp’s character showed William Katt, how to “use the suit.” You don’t see Rudd out of costume, but there is someone in the suit. You hear Rudd’s Scott telling Hank that he’s “not a superhero,” seemingly reluctant to take on this powerful role. Hank explains that Scott’s “different” and that he’s the “right for the job” and that “it’s the right thing to do.” He puns, “Don’t worry, Scott, it’s a small job,” referring to how Ant-Man shrinks down in size. We see Scott trying to use the suit, not very well, and he eventually jumps off a tall building, finally to be saved by what looks like a flying mechanical ant, which ends the footage.
Ant-Man opens in theaters in Summer 2015.
Additional reporting by Empress Eve.
[All panel photos by Dave3 for Geeks of Doom]