Disney’s D23: 'The Avengers,' 'John Carter' and 'The Muppets' Casts Share Exclusive Stories From the Set

The cast of the Avengers at D23
During interviews with THR, Robert Downey Jr. talks about Marvel’s "ambitious story" while Jason Segel gushes about his admiration for Kermit.

At Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, there was no shortage of star power, with the superhero-heavy cast of Marvel’s The Avengers attending, along with the actors of Disney’s action-epic John Carter and muppet and human actors from the first Muppet film to come out in more than a decade.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke to many of the actors and filmmakers on the red carpet before Saturday’s big panel event, which features sneak peeks and clips from the upcoming films.

VIDEO: Disney's D23 Expo 2011 

At the panel, Pixar also announced plans for two new films, including a project directed by Up's Pete Docter and an untitled dinosaurs feature.

The cast members of The Avengers gathered together for the red carpet. Scarlett Johansson told THR that the physical challenges of playing Black Widow would have her “rehabbing these injuries for years.Jeremy Renner also spoke of the extensive training he had to undergo to play Hawkeye.

STORY: 'Avengers,' 'John Carter,' 'Brave': The 5 Coolest Presentations at Disney's D23 Expo

Robert Downey, Jr., and Chris Hemsworth walked to carpet together. They told THR who they thought would win in a fight between Iron Man and Thor. Downey was greeted by a standing ovation when he hit the stage for The Avengers panel.

STORY: 'Avengers': Robert Downey, Jr., New Footage Wow D23 Expo

Cobie Smulders, a new face in the hero epic, spoke to THR about playing Maria Hill, a secret agent and right-hand woman to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. Tom Hiddleston also talked to THR about the return of Loki.

Taylor Kitsch, who stars in Disney’s John Carter, walked to carpet with director Andrew Stanton. They spoke to THR about the stress of filming such a huge movie, which follows John Carter, who is mysteriously transported to Mars and must save the warring nations. THR also asked them if they thought there would ever be life on another planet. Find out what they said here.

Seasoned actor Willem Dafoe spoke about creating his nine-foot, four-armed alien character by the use of stilts and motion capture.

Finally, the co-writer and star of The Muppets, Jason Segel, revealed his life-long admiration for Kermit the Frog, and why the Muppets are in inspiration to comedians everywhere.

Watch all of THR’s exclusive interviews on the D23 red carpet here.