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BURBANK, Calif. (Aug. 10, 2013) — Disney and Marvel Studios revealed exclusive details about their upcoming live action film slates this morning at the D23 Expo, aided by live and video appearances from talent and filmmakers and hosted by The Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

“Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are some of the most powerful and beloved brands in entertainment,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “We have so many incredible cinematic adventures ahead of us, and it is especially exciting to be able to share the exclusive details with our biggest fans first at the D23 Expo.”

Horn welcomed the crowd to the D23 Expo and introduced the live action slate by talking about the addition of Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Studios and the excitement and anticipation surrounding Disney’s first “Star Wars” film, “Star Wars: Episode VII,” slated for release in 2015.

After a very brief announcement about the filming of Star  Wars episode 7 (summer of 2015; directed by JJ Abrans with a screenplay by Michael Arndt and score by legendary John Williams) and several stand alone films based on the universe that are also in the works, the head of Marvel studios Kevin Feige took to the stage.  Movies such as Iron Man, Captain America and the Avengers were all a part of what is referred to as Phase I, with that now complete Iron Man 3’s release was the beginning of Phase II that will include Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

 

The new footage never seen before from Thor II included an extended battle scene, and the mysterious illness of Jane Foster that just might be a key to the story.  Tom Hiddleston took to the stage to thunderous applause and even joked about feeling like he should apologize for not bringing his costume (an obvious reference to his appearance at SDCC) “I’m not going to get these people to kneel” he said “This is Disneyland!”  but he did bring “friends” Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins to the stage to talk about the filming of Thor:The Dark World.  “Well I didn’t check her passport.”  Sir Anthony joked when asked about how he felt about Natalie Portman’s arrival in Asgard.  Followed was the first of many rough clips of the 2 hour presentation.  This one showing Jane Foster’s first day in Asgard where it seems there is more than meets the eye to the Earth visitor. While Thor insists they heal her there Odin rejects her and tells the guards to return her to Midgard to be cured by “Earth healers called doctors”.  But the illness in Jane is full of surprises and a bright red light knocks the guards to the ground.  “It’s defending her.”  One of the healer’s says in shock .  “No, it’s defending itself.”  Thor responds.  Also hiding amongst a second set of footage is Loki’s very expected betrayal of Thor during one of the battles.

Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.  In the aftermath of Marvel’s “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness.  Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano and Jaimie Alexander with Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” is directed by Alan Taylor, produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., from a story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat and screenplay by Christopher L. Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and is based on Marvel’s classic Super Hero Thor, who first appeared in the comic book “Journey into Mystery “ #83 in August, 1962. The film releases November 8, 2013.

 

Next came the announcements from Captain America: Winter Soldier (April 2014).  The film has just finished filming and in fact they said the directors had started editing it only yesterday, but there was already an extended trailer and clips to show (some very rough with black and white CG building blocks and animation).  The film is the first serious look at the Captain’s acclimation to modern life.  Now past the basics he is having to come to grips with defining what is good and what is evil.  And that is harder to define in his work for Shield. In a first look of a full scene we find Rogers riding an elevator within the Shield compound.  As more and more people enter the elevator from different levels he begins to notice something strange.  They are carrying weapons that are ready to be pulled from their holsters, and the thin stream of sweat running down one man’s face.  “Before we begin.”  He announces to this hostile audience. “’I’m going to ask – does anyone want to get off?”  The fight that ensues is clever and intense.  One man in a small space against 8 or 9 people.  Afterwards Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and Chris Evans joined Mr. Feige on the stage.  “As they tend to do in the Marvel Universe Bucky is back and causing havoc for his former best friend.”  When asked what happened to Bucky, Sebastian Stan replied “He lives!”  (Perhaps a joke at the Coulson Lives movement).  The final clip for the movie has Captain America on a mission with the Black Widow.  He jumps parachute-less off of a plane and dives into the ocean to board a ship.  He subdues the crew members in perhaps a more brutal manner than we have seen him use before.  Completely ignoring the surroundings and situations the Black Widow seems determined to find him a date and keeps up a steady stream of ideas.

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, and stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp and Hayley Atwell, with Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. In theaters April 4, 2014.

 

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is due out 4 months after The Winter Soldier in August of 2014.  While lesser known than the previous movies it is a Marvel comic book.  With only 4 weeks of filming behind them they still had something to show for it.  Marvel presented the D23 Expo audience with a completed trailer to the excitement of the crowd. With Gamora [Zoe Saldana] the adopted daughter of Thanos in it it does have a tie in to the Avengers where Thanos appears briefly in the end credits.  The trailer with extended clips shows Peter Quill [Chris Pratt] pulling what appears to be a poor attempt at an Indiana Jones and stealing an object from a pedestal in an alien temple.  When he’s confronted by guards asking for his identity he replies “StarLord”…”Who?” the guard replies – which sets the beginning of a comical undertone to the movie.  “Who calls him StarLord?”  One of the security watching him in the line up at the jail asks.  “Mostly himself.” Is the response.  And we also get a good look at Drax the Destroyer, Groot and fan favorite Rocket Raccoon.

Based on the Marvel comic book that first appeared in 1969, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is produced by Kevin Feige, directed by James Gunn from a story by Nicole Perlman and Gunn and screenplay by James Gunn, and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly and Glenn Close. The film is slated for an August 1, 2014 release.

 

 

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