Back in the summer of 2010, Marvel Studios won San Diego Comic-Con. Their Saturday panel in the Hall H, the largest room in the San Diego Convention Center, was scheduled to present two important chapters in launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor - but it offered so much more.
At the time, the first Captain America was just beginning to shoot and Thor was in post-production. We knew Joss Whedon was directing The Avengers for a 2012 release and there were casting rumors running rampant on who would play Hulk and Hawkeye. They answered in a big way, bringing out Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. to introduce the cast of The Avengers live on stage, almost two full years before the film would open in theaters around the world. The crowd went wild. Such a thing had never been done. But now, that precedent has become an expectation.
The year prior, Iron Man 2 had put on a big show, and two years later (Marvel skipped 2011), Iron Man 3 did the same, along with announcements regarding Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Last year's Marvel Studios presentation had footage for Thor: The Dark World with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) live on stage, along with the first footage for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The surprise was seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy cast show up just two week into filming straight from the airport where they flew in from London with an early cut of the first GOTG trailer.
This year, we expect to see official announcements regarding the schedule and new characters in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Captain America 2, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, etc.) but with The Avengers: Age of Ultron kicking off next summer's blockbuster season, this is our chance to see a glimpse of Joss Whedon's record-breaking followup. And according to star Mark Ruffalo who returns as Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk, we'll get more than just footage.
Speaking with Collider, Ruffalo makes it clear that Marvel Studios has already planned to bring the cast out to San Diego, taking a brief break from principal photography in London.
"Yeah, we’re gonna go out there. We’re all flying, we’re flying from London. We’re working. We’re shooting. We’re gonna stop and get on a plane and go to Comic Con together. It’s gonna be amazing."
We're already three weeks past the halfway point of shooting so by the end of July, the main unit will be wrapping not too long after. Ruffalo continues, teasing that attendees may get to see some "Hulk-o-phernalia," and for us, we hope that means Hulk fighting Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor. As for the cast, this is what it looked like at Comic-Con 2010:
For Comic-Con 2014, we should see all of them again (sans Agent Coulson maybe) with the additions of Paul Bettany (Vision), James Spader (Ultron), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver). Along with some new Hulk action, the most desirable reveals would be seeing Vision and Spader's Ultron in costume (even to see their faces and hear their voices), along with the powers of the "twins" Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch at play.
As for the topic of the future of the Hulk, the only super-powered character from the first Avengers team without a solo movie/sequel in the works, Ruffalo keeps teasing that Marvel is considering it and for that means, they're probably planning one but we don't know when. He tells Collider that he wants to see motion capture technology evolve a little further before they venture out with another Hulk standalone.
"We’re a little bit behind on the motion capture technology as far as facial recognition in real time. Now we have, when I put on my motion capture suit, I look in front of me and there’s me as The Hulk. There’s The Hulk. Every move I make, The Hulk’s making it and so you have this immediate feedback like almost looking in a mirror, but instead of seeing myself, I see The Hulk … But they haven’t come up to speed on the facial recognition that way. They can capture the facial – the new technology is we can shoot the body recognition and the facial recognition at the same time, so now you can integrate performance, physical performance with the actual face and voice, but by the time we’re ready to probably – if we do another Hulk – that technology will be in real time and once that happens, there’d be no limit to what you can do creatively as far as your physical being is concerned. I can play a freakin’ parasite in the ass of a worm [laughs].
It’s so exciting. There’s no limit to where we can go. I hope to be a pioneer in this space with Andy Serkis. I worked a lot with him on this. I’m very excited by what he’s doing. We are retraining the studio to see this as integral a part as the first unit. This is not second or third unit or motion capture unit. This is first unit. This is performance. It’s completely driven by the actor and it has to be honored as much as anything else, so that’s kind of where we’re heading with this technology and it’s very exciting."
With Guardians of the Galaxy hitting theaters just a week or two after this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego, expect a big showpiece for it, along with confirmations on what movies are coming after. Are you hoping a Hulk movie is one of Marvel's 2017 releases or should that wait for after The Avengers 3?
Be sure to bookmark Screen Rant's Comic-Con 2014 landing page to follow our team and coverage LIVE!
Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!
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