Fans start as­sem­bling for Avengers event at 2.50am

The New Paper - - NEWS - SUE-ANN TAN

For a day, Mr Ray­mond Chan, 40, stopped work­ing in sales and be­came su­per­hero Doc­tor Strange.

His friend, civil ser­vant Ong Chee Keong, 35, suited up as Cap­tain Amer­ica, com­plete with an im­pres­sively shiny shield.

Both men took the day off work and were part of thou­sands of fans who queued for the Avengers: In­fin­ity War red car­pet at Ma­rina Bay Sands yes­ter­day.

The movie, the lat­est in the Marvel fran­chise, will bring to­gether an un­prece­dented num­ber of he­roes to fight a su­pervil­lain called Thanos. It opens here on April 25.

Mr Chan and his friend started queue­ing at 2.50am, al­though reg­is­tra­tion be­gan only at 7am.

WRIST­BANDS

Fans had to reg­is­ter for wrist­bands to gain ac­cess – 4,000 for the Ma­rina Bay Sands Event Plaza venue and a few thou­sand more for the livestream at the event hall.

Mr Chan told The New Pa­per: “I am ex­cited to meet the stars here to­day. I even grew my fa­cial hair to match Doc­tor Strange’s goa­tee.”

Mr Ong added: “There is a lot of ex­pec­ta­tion from the fans be­cause this film has been 10 years in the mak­ing.”

Other fans, some from In­done­sia and China, seemed to share their sen­ti­ments.

There was an at­mos­phere of ex­cite­ment as they waited anx­iously to meet Karen Gil­lan, 30, who plays Ne­bula; Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, 41, who plays Doc­tor Strange; and Iron Man him­self, Robert Downey Jr, 53, who re­ceived the loud­est screams.

Fans chanted “RDJ! RDJ!” as Downey signed au­to­graphs and took self­ies with them.

The smil­ing and wav­ing stars also took to the stage for a short ques­tion-and-an­swer seg­ment with di­rec­tor Joe Russo and pro­ducer Trinh Tran.

When asked by em­cees if any char­ac­ter could de­feat Thanos, Russo said: “Not one char­ac­ter alone could. The whole point of the Avengers is that it is a team com­ing to­gether de­spite their dif­fer­ences to over­come im­pos­si­ble odds.”

How­ever, Downey joked: “Be­cause Jeremy Ren­ner (Hawk­eye) is not in the poster, he is the only one who can de­feat Thanos.”

He con­tin­ued to draw laugh­ter from the crowd by say­ing that his “sci­ence bros” friend­ship with sci­en­tist Bruce Ban­ner is over, now that he has Doc­tor Strange.

Russo ramped up the frenzy when he “un­veiled” the yel­low “soul stone”, the last of the six In­fin­ity Stones that Thanos is seek­ing.

Upon his rev­e­la­tion, a prism at the Ma­rina Bay water­front serv­ing as the soul stone dra­mat­i­cally came to life, ac­com­pa­nied by a light and wa­ter show, to screams and loud ap­plause.

Stu­dent Ferdy Nu­graha, 17, flew in from In­done­sia with his mother for the event.

He said: “It is a once-in-al­ife­time op­por­tu­nity to see the stars. I am also ex­cited for the movie and to see Thanos in it.”

sue­tan@sph.com.sg

TNP PHO­TOS: SUE-ANN TAN, KEVIN LIM

(Above, from left) Avengers: In­fin­ity War ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Trinh Tran, stars Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Karen Gil­lan (Ne­bula) and Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch (Doc­tor Strange), as well as di­rec­tor Joe Russo. (From far left) Mr Ray­mond Chan, who works in sales, dressed up as Doc­tor Strange while Mr Ong Chee Keong, a civil ser­vant, went to the event as Cap­tain Amer­ica.

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