Friday, March 22

Marvel sprinkles some movie magic at Comic-Con

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(From left) Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, director James Gunn and actors attend a presentation during Comic-Con International 2016, at San Diego Convention Center in California, on July 23. Photo by AFP

(From left) Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, director James Gunn and actors attend a presentation during Comic-Con International 2016, at San Diego Convention Center in California, on July 23. Photo by AFP

SAN DIEGO: Marvel gave fans a glimpse of its ever-expanding “Cinematic Universe” at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, in a robust response to rival Warner’s own star-studded presentation earlier in the day.

Marvel, which sat out last year’s convention, introduced a new company logo and played host to a number of big name actors.

“We only want to come when we have a lot to show you. We actually have a lot today,” said president Kevin Feige, who served as ringmaster.

Fans were treated to new footage of Scott Derrickson’s “Doctor Strange,” opening on November 4, in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays brain-surgeon-turned-sorcerer Stephen Vincent Strange.

Mist descended from the ceiling of Comic-Con’s 6,500-seat Hall H and the lights lifted to reveal Cumberbatch onstage in a T-shirt and jeans.

“He doesn’t know anything — he’s just at the beginning of figuring out what reality is,” the 40-year-old Briton said of his character.

Derrickson, who joined the panel alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tilda Swinton, told Comic-Con the film was a “left turn in the Marvel universe,” focusing on magic rather than technology.

Kurt Russell drove the crowd wild when he made a surprise appearance to confirm he would play Chris Pratt’s father in James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2,” which hits theaters on May 5 next year.

A trailer revealed for the first time that Sylvester Stallone also has a role in the “Guardians” sequel.

Pratt, who reprises his turn as “Star Lord,” took the stage alongside other cast members including Michael Rooker, who appeared as the Ravagers gang’s chief mercenary Yondu Udonta in costume and full blue body paint.

– ‘Vibrating inside’ –

There was also a surprise glimpse of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” with very early footage from the film due for release in on July 7 next year showing Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland.

Feige brought onstage Ryan Coogler, who helmed Rocky spin-off “Creed” last year and has turned his attention to the fictional world of Wakanda for “Black Panther,” due in 2018.

“The coolest thing about the world of Wakanda is they have a king, and we have an incredible actor playing that part,” Coogler said of Chadwick Boseman, who first took on the role in this year’s “Captain America: Civil War.”

“I am literally vibrating inside,” Boseman said as he took to the stage for his first Comic-Con.

Hall H was then treated to a “mockumentary” by “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi in the style of his vampire spoof, “What We Do in the Shadows.”

The crowd applauded as Chris Hemsworth was shown with a nerdy roommate who helps him send peacemaking emails to Captain America and Iron Man during their “Civil War” dispute.

Meanwhile Oscar-winning Brie Larson got a standing ovation as she was confirmed to play the title role in “Captain Marvel,” slated to open in 2019.

The story follows Carol Danvers, an air force pilot whose DNA is fused with that of an alien, giving her super strength and the ability to fly.

Earlier Warner Brothers had pulled back the curtain on its own portfolio of upcoming DC Comics movies and non-superhero offerings, including “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League,” “Suicide Squad” and “Kong: Skull Island.” – AFP