Marvel Studios just won Comic-Con.
After sitting the convention out last year, Marvel returned with a vengeance: "The truth is, we only want to come when we have a lot of stuff to show you," studio head Kevin Feige explained. "We actually have quite a bit today."
That actually proved to be quite the understatement, with plenty spilled on Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and even Captain Marvel.
Director Ryan Coogler (Creed) said he is working "crazy hard" on the script and will start shooting in January. "We all know what's the coolest part of the world of Wakanda -- that they have a king," Coogler explained, welcoming Chadwick Boseman to the stage for his first Comic-Con.
Coogler proceed to confirm the rest of his cast: Lupita Nyong'o, who will play one of "the best fighters in the kingdom," a character named Nakia. The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira plays the head of the Dora Milaje, Okoye. And Michael B. Jordan will play the villain, Erik Killmonger.
"I wish I could tell you guys more. I don't even know! Ryan's been keeping it under wraps pretty good," Jordan rebuffed, while Nyong'o would only say, "I'm looking forward to kicking some a**."
The third installment in the Thor series is currently shooting, so there wasn't much in the way of new footage. Instead, director Taika Waititi shot a hilarious mockumentary to explain why the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) was absent from Captain America: Civil War -- he was enjoying some "me time" in Australia with his new roommate, Darryl.
"Dear Tony Stark, How's it going? Remember that time you created a possessed Robot who tried to destroy the world? That was funny," Thor muses while composing an "electronic letter." Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner makes an appearance, busy pondering why he keeps waking up in cut-offs.
What the hell?? I need that stuff back! We're shooting a Hulk make-over scene on Monday! https://t.co/qiJKMQpHBw— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) July 24, 2016
Marvel being Marvel, we also got treated to some early photos and concept art from the film: Thor with cropped hair and face paint. What appeared to be Loki (Tom Hiddleston) sitting with Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster. And the Hulk, in full gladiator armor, lunging towards Thor in an arena. The tease alone melted fanboy brains.
Has there ever been more thunderous applause in Hall H than when Benedict Cumberbatch, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans, stepped onstage and gave a little wave and a "Hiya!"
Cumberbatch was joined by director by Scott Derrickson (Sinister), who called the movie a "left turn" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as co-stars Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen and Benedict Wong.
Here's a little bit of scoop about some of their characters: McAdams' Christine Palmer had been "friendly" with Stephen Strange at some point, the actress confirmed. Wong's version of Wong is no longer a "manservant tea maker," but instead a more modern "master of the mystic arts and drill sergeant."
And Swinton's Ancient One? "The truth is, any of us could be the Ancient One. Who knows who will end up being the Ancient One? It's a title," the actress reasoned, before discussing her special set of skills: "It's like super, super hippie, fabulous spaced out. Because it's all inside."
All of the new footage screened proves that Doctor Strange is unlike anything we have seen in any Marvel movie -- or anything we've seen in any movie, for that matter. Check out the new trailer:
"I'm a little bit shocked. I'm sorry. Oh my god, that is quite a big movie," Cumberbatch excitedly exclaimed after the trailer played. "I've got a little shake. My heart is pounding."
Tom Holland, one of the breakout stars of Civil War, and a handful of his co-stars flew in from set to premiere footage from the first week of filming.
"It's a straight-up high school movie. It's about a 15-year-old kid," director Jon Watts (Cop Car) revealed. "This is the ground level of the Marvel Universe. We know what it's like to be a billionaire playboy. We know what it's like to be a god. Now we're going to know what it's like to have just finished going through puberty."
The sizzle began with some other Marvel heroes during their puberty days: Old yearbook shots of Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, among others, before cutting to Peter Parker in class, watching his "Spider-Man vs. Ant-Man" fight on YouTube.
Some other tidbits: Zendaya doesn't appear to be playing any iteration of Mary Jane, but is a grungy outcast -- definitely not one of the popular girls. Speaking of: In the MCU, the cool clique play "F**k, Marry, Kill" with Iron Man and Hawkeye. And the villain is now confirmed: It's Vulture. (Michael Keaton's name was unmentioned, though.)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Two words: Baby. Groot.
There was plenty of spectacle during the Guardians 2 portion of the panel -- Ravagers in full costume came onstage and basically performed an entire improv scene, taunting the cast as they walked out ("Do you even lift, bro?" one asked Dave Bautista). Still, the big takeaway is just how cute Baby Groot is.
As proven by this bit of dialogue from a scene aboard the Ravagers spaceship:
Jeff: "What about this weird little plant? Can I smash it with a rock?"
Taserface: "No, Jeff. It's too adorable to kill."
"This movie is going to be twice as much fun, they're super f**king crazy," Zoe Saldana said of the second go-around. "Sorry for the F-*-*-K." And she's not lying: The movie features an alien with empathetic powers, Mantis (Pom Klementieff). The legendary Kurt Russell plays Star-Lord's dad, Ego -- who, in the comics, is a living planet. Oh, and Sylvester Stallone is in this. (Possibly as Nova Corps? Unconfirmed.)
Bonus fun: There's going to be a Guardians of the Galaxy ride at California Adventure. It's called "Mission: Breakout!," is replacing Tower of Terror in Summer 2017 and Benicio del Toro will reprise his role as The Collector for it.
Just before the panel ended, the entire Marvel family returned to the stage to take a group photo. "Hold on, hold on, hold on," Feige said, grabbing the mic. "If we're going to do a Marvel family photo, we should introduce the newest family member. Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson."
That's right, the MCU just nabbed another Academy Award winner.