Disney's annual D23 expo would seem like an opportunity for the studio to tout its upcoming projects for a much more focused - and fawning - crowd than events such as Comic-Con.
With Disney's recent acquisition of Lucasfilm and its ongoing ownership of Marvel, this year's D23 provided updates on a slew of various upcoming films, with a special emphasis on the upcoming Marvel sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, much of the footage disappointed the crowds, as it was largely the same content shown at Comic-Con. Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn even had to contend with audible boos from the crowd after he could not share any new updates to the latest in the Star Wars franchise. All Horn could say was: "I wish I could tell you more, but it will come soon."
Along with three new clips for Disney's comic semi-biopic about the relationship between Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, Saving Mr. Banks and a new trailer for Muppets Most Wanted, Marvel president Kevin Feige took the stage to update the crowd on the next few projects in Marvel's pipeline.
Feige is featured in the video above, introducing Thor: The Dark World stars Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman (along with Anthony Hopkins a.k.a. Odin) to the crowd. The footage of the Thor sequel gave the audience "the first look at Jane's [Portman] first day on Asgard." Watch Tom Hiddleston (Loki) charm everyone's socks off as he discusses his character's role in the new film (likening Loki to The A-Team at one point), as well as discussing his upcoming voice role opposite Mad Men star Christina Hendricks in Disney's animated Tinkerbell adventure, The Pirate Fairy.
Hiddleston was later interviewed about his role in Thor 2. Check that out below:
Back at the panel, Feige moved on to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and was joined by "The Winter Soldier himself," Sebastian Stan, along with Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and star Chris Evans, who told the audience that "Cap is still trying to adjust to the modern world." This is the furthest thing possible from actual news on The Winter Soldier, and the clip shown (of Cap engaged in a fistfight in an elevator) was already screened at Comic-Con. Fortunately, a new clip was shown, too, featuring "Captain America fighting on a big ship and Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow parachuting in to help out."
Feige then talked up 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, acknowledging the comic book's relative obscurity while singing the praises of writer-director James Gunn and the assembled cast. The space-set superhero yarn is now four weeks into production in London. Feige unveiled what is described as "a very early look" at Guardians, showcasing the same footage screened at Comic-Con, which underlined the humorous approach to the material.
Feige's presentation ended with a tease for The Avengers: Age of Ultron - the voices of the cast of The Avengers (presumably speaking dialogue from that film) playing over an image of the titular character from the sequel.
Disney audiences uninterested in the more geek-centric projects like the Marvel movies and Star Wars were likely satisfied with the other more family-centric projects, but for the geek crowd this seems like an underwhelming show and more or less a rehash of what we already knew. Expect new looks at Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World to "officially" show up online eventually, most likely featuring action-heavy snippets without much narrative context.
Thor: The Dark World releases on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4th, 2014, and Guardians of the Galaxy will be released on August 1st, 2014.