Expo gets Star Wars sneak preview
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.”
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.