Expo gets Star Wars sneak pre­view

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Marvel brought thou­sands of fans to their feet on Satur­day as it as­sem­bled a stel­lar panel of su­per­heroes to pre­view Avengers: In­fin­ity War at Dis­ney’s D23 con­ven­tion.

The movie, which comes out next year, unites the char­ac­ters from all 16 films of the Marvel Cine­matic Uni­verse — and most of the ac­tors who play them took the stage at the star-stud­ded fan event in Anaheim, Cal­i­for­nia.

The packed 7,000-ca­pac­ity con­ven­tion hall cheered as Josh Brolin, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruf­falo, Don Chea­dle and Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch were in­tro­duced one by one.

“I’ve got to ad­mit, these guys have not been to­gether on stage for a long time, and even I find my­self geek­ing out,” said Marvel Stu­dios chief Kevin Feige be­fore in­tro­duc­ing world-first In­fin­ity War teaser footage.

The movie opens in May 2018 — the 10th an­niver­sary of the US re­lease of the orig­i­nal Marvel Cine­matic Uni­verse movie, Iron Man.

The panel was part of a pre­sen­ta­tion of the next two years of live-ac­tion movies from Dis­ney, which owns Marvel and Lu­cas­film.

Also on Satur­day, a new be­hind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi made its de­but.

Direc­tor Rian John­son and cast mem­bers Mark Hamill, Daisy Ri­d­ley, John Boyega, Gwen­do­line Christie, Kelly Marie Tran and Laura Dern ap­peared on stage to meet the fans. The au­di­ence was then treated to footage from the movie.

In the lat­est in­stal­ment, the heroes of The Force Awak­ens join the ga­lac­tic leg­ends in an epic ad­ven­ture that un­locks ageold mys­ter­ies of the Force. It will de­but at US the­aters on Dec 15.

Ear­lier this year, Dis­ney also an­nounced that both the Cal­i­for­nia Dis­ney­land and the Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort in Or­lando will open six-hectare Star Wars-themed parks in 2019, which will be named Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

The D23 Expo un­veiled a large-scale de­tailed 3D model of the venues, which have a cantina, a mar­ket­place and two pi­lot­ing the Mil­len­nium Fal­con and an ad­ven­ture putting vis­i­tors in the heart of a bat­tle between the rebels and the First Or­der.

“There is such a huge draw for Star Wars, so many peo­ple know about it,” said Joann Dai­ley, a long­time Star Wars fan who was dressed as Princess Leia.

“For Dis­ney and Star Wars to get to­gether, that’s like the per­fect mar­riage of things that’s just won­der­ful.”

MARK RAL­STON / AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE

Young vis­i­tors play with a bub­ble-mak­ing R2-D2 ro­bot at a Star Wars store dur­ing the D23 expo at the Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Anaheim, Cal­i­for­nia, on Satur­day.

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