Magazine article Screen International

Marvel Studios Brings the Magic at Comic-Con

Magazine article Screen International

Marvel Studios Brings the Magic at Comic-Con

Article excerpt

At San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, Marvel studio president Kevin Feige unveiled a new company logo and introduced Chadwick Boseman and his fellow Black Panther cast members alongside director Ryan Coogler ahead of an early 2017 production start.

While that project is expected to strike a blow for diversity at a point in modern history that could not seem timelier, Marvel referenced another welcome development when Feige brought its Captain Marvel star Brie Larson on to the stage for a group shot.

That was the final act of the presentation and nothing more was revealed about Marvel's first female-led superhero adaptation, which will open in theatres on March 8, 2019. Warner Bros has stolen a march in the gender wars, however, and will release Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017.

Black Panther cast takes to the stage

A brief but well received Black Panther segment kicked offthe show, although the crowd did not learn much beyond what they would have seen in the character's introduction in Captain America: Civil War.

Coogler, surrounded by Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B Jordan and Danai Gurira, promised the crowd he would take their energy, store it up and work hard.

The film is scheduled to open on February 16, 2018.

A journey to the astral plane

One of the highlights of the show came during what is by now a fairly common sight in Hall H but one that never fails to drive the audience to near hysteria.

As the curtains drew back to reveal wrap-around screens that nearly covered three-quarters of the walls it became clear amid the cascades of dry ice and esoteric on-screen script that this was the segment for Doctor Strange.

Hall H favourite Benedict Cumberbatch walked on and stood next to director Scott Derrickson, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikklesen and Benedict Wong.

"It's the story of a man who realises he doesn't have anything," Cumberbatch said of a character he described as "very, very different to anything I have done before. It's been a joy."

Feige cued up a footage and debuted a new, second, trailer. The material showed Stephen Strange, a brilliant surgeon whose career lies in tatters after he sustains injuries to his hands, on a quest for insight.

He undergoes training at the hands of a sage called The Ancient One who shows Strange the astral plane. Strange emerges later in the sequence wearing the familiar red cape and wields incredible power while Mikkelsen's malign Kaecilius goes on the rampage.

Cumberbatch and Wong in particular – who said he had told Feige he wasn't comfortable playing the tea-maker and will in fact be more of "a drill sergeant" when the film is ready – appeared shaken and excited by the footage.

In a possible reference to recent claims that Marvel Studios had 'whitewashed' her character – who is portrayed in the comics as an Asian man – Swinton weighed in.

"Any one of us could be The Ancient One – that's the amazing thing about what's originally in the comics... it's all about what's inside so it's super, super hippie stuff." Doctor Strange opens on November 4.

Spidey footage swings into Hall H

As Feige was wrapping up that segment he was interrupted by the voice of Tom Holland as the house went to black again and the Spider-Man: Homecoming star bounded on stage with director Jon Watts. …

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