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Marvel gave the crowd a first look at a clip from Avengers: Age of Ultron during its Saturday panel in Hall H, a presentation that had the nearly 7,000 fans in the room on their feet several times in an atmosphere that bordered on pandemonium.
The reel — for Comic-Con goers’ eyes only for now — starts with the heroes lounging in the Stark penthouse with someone trying to lift Thor’s hammer. Stark tries and fails to lift the hammer. Then War Machine tries. Then Hawkeye. All the while, Thor mocks them. Then Captain America tries, and as he actually begins to move the hammer, the camera changes focus to Thor, who becomes suddenly worried.
The party doesn’t last long as a version of Ultron enters the room with dreaded effect. “The path to peace … is with your extinction,” the villain says.
What followed was a collage that had the audience cheering. The clip showed worldwide destruction and the heroes divided (there is glimpse of the Iron Man Hulk-buster armor as he goes toe-to-toe with Hulk). There is also a shot of Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlett Witch. The final shot is of Robert Downey Jr. as Stark, looking at the heroes lying dead and Captain America’s shield broken.
Before the reel, the cast of the Avengers was brought out, teasingly, one at a time to music, starting with Downey, who threw roses into the audience. The crowd was instantly on its feet, shrieking, and stayed up for minutes, overwhelming the strict security personnel who quickly gave up crowd control.
“I become a little less significant every time,” Downey said, referring to the growing cast of the franchise.
“You’re the best, Robert!” cried one man. “You’re probably right,” Downey shot back.
When Chris Hemsworth was asked what he would like to do with Thor that he hasn’t done yet, he replied he’d like to portray the Norse god as a woman. (Marvel last week said it going to have a female version of Thor in the comics.) “I don’t want to speak too early but I think it could be my Oscar,” he said.
Mark Ruffalo was greeted by chants of “Hulk! Hulk!” from the crowd. Paul Bettany, who is playing the Vision, said the casting was a big deal for his children. James Spader, who voices the villain, said he thought his life could not get more weird and crazy but then he entered Hall H for this panel.
Director Joss Whedon was not present due to an undisclosed injury, though he tweeted that he had undergone knee surgery.
Age of Ultron, of course, is the follow-up to the The Avengers, the 2012 movie that grossed over a billion dollars at the box office and was the culmination of Marvel’s Phase 1 and proved to Hollywood the viability of the concept of a cinematic universe. On July 18, Marvel dated five mystery movies: two in 2017 (July 28, Nov. 3), two in 2018 (July 6, Nov. 2) and one in 2019 (May 3).
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