USA TODAY International Edition
‘ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR’ READY TO EXPLODE
Heroes assemble at the Disney fan event, amped up by the first look at the Marvel sequel
ANAHEIM, CALIF. A superhero army hit the stage Saturday at D23 Expo for Avengers: Infinity War.
Thor ( Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk ( Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man ( Robert Downey Jr.), Black Panther ( Chadwick Boseman) and Doctor Strange ( Benedict Cumberbatch), among other luminaries, took the fan convention stage along with villain Thanos ( Josh Brolin) for Avengers: Infinity War.
But even with its abundance of superpower — flown in from the Avengers set — Marvel’s biggest weapon was its explosive firstlook footage for the superhero epic hitting screens May 4, 2018.
The unveiling was the culmination of the Disney live- action presentation, which brought the crowd to its feet.
“Almost every single superhero we have ever introduced is going to be in the film,” said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios.
The footage begins aboard The Milano, the spaceship used by Star- Lord ( Chris Pratt) and his crew in Guardians of the Galaxy. A body flies into the spaceship’s window and is pulled aboard.
It turns out to be Hemsworth’s confused Thor, who asks, “Who the hell are you guys?” Polishing ‘ Aladdin’: At last, director Guy Ritchie’s live- action Aladdin has its cast. Power Rangers star Naomi Scott will play Princess Jasmine. Mena Massoud will step in as the title character Aladdin. And Will Smith will play Genie.
In other Disney live- action news, Emily Blunt flew in to discuss Mary Poppins Returns ( in theaters Dec. 25, 2018), the sequel to the beloved 1964 film.
Blunt said it was a daunting task to step into the nanny role made famous by Julie Andrews. “No one is ever going to out- Julie, Julie Andrews,” Blunt said Saturday. “There’s no one like her.”
Footage from the musical included Dick Van Dyke, who starred in the original film as Bert, dancing on a desk. At 91. Deep freeze: Remember the Nightmare Before Christmas song What’s This? Well, picture that song about holiday traditions, but sung by an affable snowman. There you have the new tune in the post- Frozen short film, Olaf ’s Frozen Adventure ( hitting theaters Nov. 22 with Pixar’s Coco).
Josh Gad, the genial voice of Olaf, unveiled the song Friday.
Frozen sisters Elsa and Anna “realize that because they were separated for so long, they don’t actually have any family traditions of their own,” said Kristen Bell, Frozen’s Anna.
The short follows Olaf and reindeer Sven, as they ask villagers about their Christmas traditions. “Wait up for a chubby man to shimmy down your chimney. Breaking and entering, OK on Christmas!” Gad belted. “You cut down a tree and then you dress its corpse with candles? I love it!”
Gad joked that the short is an chance to right a wrong. “At last, Olaf, like Luke Skywalker before him, is front and center. I believe the Latin word is ‘ star.’ ”
Bell chimed in, “It’s an ensemble film, Josh.”
To which Gad replied, “From where I’m standing, I don’t see the words Ensemble’s Frozen Adventure.”
“This is by far the biggest production in the history of Marvel Studios.” Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios