Star-studded Marvel films storm Comic-Con as Endgame claims record
Marvel announces movies and TV line-ups for next two years
SAN DIEGO Marvel's all-conquering superheroes ripped through Comic-Con on Saturday as the next batch of blockbuster movies were revealed and Disney declared the wait for Avengers: Endgame to break the global box office record over.
Hollywood A-listers Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Rachel Weisz will join the most lucrative franchise in film history.
They appeared on stage in San Diego alongside Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and others who will return in the upcoming movies.
"I can spend 90 minutes talking about what we've done or I can spend some time talking about what we're about to do," Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told the world's largest pop-culture fan convention.
Giant screens revealed a timeline of films and TV shows scheduled for the next two years, including new outings for popular characters Thor, Black Widow, Doctor Strange - which director Scott Derrickson described as "the first scary MCU movie" - and Loki.
Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which started with 2008's Iron Man, kicks off with Johansson's Black Widow in May next year.
In an interview, Johansson said having a stand-alone film was "mind-blowing".
"I hope it adds a gritty kind of groundedness, that's like a good punch in the gut, and a literal punch in the gut too," she said.
Feige also confirmed sequels to Black Panther, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Captain Marvel without providing details, as well as a Fantastic Four film.
He finished the panel - the most anticipated of the four-day event - by announcing that Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will front a Blade reboot.
Jolie and Hayek will front The Eternals, about a group of immortal aliens, in November 2020, with Richard Madden and Kumail Nanjiani.
"I'm going to work 10 times harder," Jolie said when asked how she would approach her character of Thena.
"We all know what the task is ahead, and we know what you deserve, and so we are all going to be working very hard. So I am in training and thrilled."
The Eternals will be followed in February 2021 by Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, the first Marvel superhero film to be led by an Asian actor, starring Chinese actor Tony Leung, Awkwafina and newcomer Simu Liu.
Disney also revealed it will release Thor: Love And Thunder, the fourth Thor movie, in November 2021.
Portman, who starred in earlier films as the girlfriend to Chris Hemsworth's Thor, will take up the superhero's hammer as a female goddess of thunder.
"It feels pretty good," Portman said on stage. "I've always had a little hammer envy."
Mega-budget shows to air on Disney+, the new streaming service from Marvel's parent company that debuts in November, include WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Hiddleston's Loki.
The stories told on Disney+ will weave into Marvel's movies, Feige said, adding: "The same teams that work on the movies are going to be working on these mega-event limited series.
"They are completely intertwined."
Disney simultaneously announced that the series' most successful film, Endgame, will become the highest-grossing movie of all time this weekend.
It was just US$500,000 (S$680,000) behind the US$2,789.7 million record set by James Cameron's Avatar (2009) and "will close this gap by tomorrow", it said.
"You have to shout out to James Cameron who held that title for a long time," said Feige.
"But for right now today in Hall H, thanks to you, Avengers: Endgame is the biggest film of all time." - AFP/REUTERS