If there was one victor among the movies paneling at San Diego Comic-Con this year, it'd have to be (once again) Marvel. Or was it "Superman/Batman"? Or maybe "X-Men: Days of Future Past"?
Another Con's in the can, and we've emerged with new intel on a handful of high-profile mega-movies. There weren't necessarily any groundbreaking casting announcements this year, but first footage from movies like "Godzilla," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Gravity" had fans and bloggers buzzing big time. -- By Bryan Enk, Kevin Polowy and Kase Wickman
Check out the biggest movie scoops below.
1. 'Superman/Batman' Movie Coming in 2015
Uh, yay, or something? Superman and Batman will team up on the big screen — for real this time — as Warner Bros. plans a 2015 release of a movie bringing the Last Son of Krypton and the Caped Crusader together. "Man of Steel" star Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Superman and Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne will also be returning … and let the speculation begin as to who will be our new Dark Knight. David Goyer is writing the screenplay with Zack Snyder returning to the director's chair. To be honest, this really doesn't bode well for the future of DC on the big screen ... but it certainly comes as an out-of-nowhere surprise.
2. 'Avengers' Sequel Gets a Title: 'Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Marvel took center stage to close out Saturday night's San Diego Comic-Con programming with revealing the title of the second installment of "Marvel's The Avengers": "Age of Ultron." Set for release in 2015, the superhero super-team sequel looks to be based on a ten-issue series of comics by the same name, which was published this year. Who or what in the heck is Ultron? Find out right here.
Now ... what about all this Vin Diesel business?
3. There Is No Bigger Spider-Man Fan Than Andrew Garfield
Some of you may remember one of the best moments of Comic-Con 2011, where Andrew Garfield made an appearance at the Hall H panel for "The Amazing Spider-Man" in a makeshift Spider-Man costume and asked a "fan question" that soon segued into a heartfelt speech about how much the role meant to him. Well, Garfield has topped that flourish this year by appearing on the Hall H panel for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" not only in costume but in character as the wallcrawler — complete with American accent and an innocent asking of "Who's Andrew?" He's like the anti-Harrison Ford.
4. Duncan Jones Is Directing 'Warcraft' … and He Has Footage to Prove It
The "World of Warcraft" movie has been in development for so long that we've all but given up hope on ever seeing a big-screen adaptation of arguably the most addicting roleplaying game ever conceived. Even after the rumblings earlier this year that "Moon" and "Source Code" director Duncan Jones might be calling the shots on the project. Now, Legendary Pictures has confirmed that Jones is most definitely directing "World of Warcraft," which means that we might actually see it in the next, oh, 10 years or so! Ha, don't be so cynical — apparently it's full steam ahead for "Warcraft" (that's the official title because words suck) as Jones introduced some "concept footage" featuring an armored human preparing to take on an orc. It's alive!
5. Cornetto Gets Remixed
Director Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have achieved Con God status over the past decade thanks to their sublimely witty genre comedies "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz." They returned with the completion to the "Cornetto Trilogy," the alien invasion-laugher "The World's End," which Wright and mates are selling as thematically binding to its predecessors. How do we know? They presented a featurette about its thematic similarities. But the highlight of the panel came in the debuting of a DJ Mike Relm Cornetto "megamix" that "cuts and scratches" the films' most memorable scenes to furious electronica. The video will be online for all to see in the weeks to come.
6. Loki Has an Army
Most of the cast of "Thor: The Dark World" was noticeably absent from Comic-Con, but who more do you need than Tom Hiddleston, really? Hiddleston entered the "Thor" panel in full Loki costume and in character (is this the new thing at Comic-Con?) and got every single person in Hall H to do his bidding within about three seconds, chanting "Lo-ki! Lo-ki!" like the good little mortals they are. "It appears I have an army," Hiddleston, er, Loki said, smiling. Hiddleston's a class act and just a whole lot of fun, and he's made the God of Mischief into one of the all-time best screen villains in the history of cinema.
7. 'Godzilla' Should Maybe Be Called 'Godzilla & Friends'
Many have been wondering just how in the heck the upcoming "Godzilla" reboot is supposed to stand a chance against the total awesomeness that was "Pacific Rim." Well, how about by having not just one giant monster but several? The footage shown from director Gareth Edwards' highly anticipated creature feature showed Bryan Cranston, Aaron Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and even Godzilla himself being upstaged by other giant monsters, including a winged beast that might very well be Mothra. Bring on the big budget kaiju movies!
8. 'X-Men' Pulls an 'Avengers'
You knew Fox had something up its sleeve, keeping their 90-minute panel description on the official Comic-Con roster to "TBA." After a quick first look at "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," James Mangold and Hugh Jackman held court for "The Wolverine." Jackman's always a good, gracious time, but the fun didn't REALLY start until Bryan Singer emerged and proceeded to bring out pretty much the entire cast of next summer's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (he also unspooled a kick-ass first trailer). By our count there were 17 mutants in all (including J.Law, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender and newcomer Peter Dinklage). It was pure X-mania, and Hall H went berserker.
9. 'Captain America' Sequel Refocuses Tone
One of the two films Marvel DID announce, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," came with its full ensemble in tow, sans Sundance chief Robert Redford. Co-directors (and bros) Anthony and Joe Russo talked about how Redford made a lot of sense for the sequel because the tone they're aiming for is akin to '70s-style political thrillers. They backed up their claim with a first look at footage from the film, highlighted by a tense showdown between the Capn' (Chris Evans) and about one ton's worth of foes aboard a crowded elevator. Guess who wins.
10. 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Has the Laughs
Marvel never disappoints with unannounced appearances, and this year they brought in a band of folks from the other side of the galaxy. Director James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan (who at one point pulled off her wig to reveal a freshly shaved head) flew in from the UK to talk about "GOTG" (Pratt chatted on his widely publicized new physique, saying Marvel told him he was fat and got him a personal trainer … we're paraphrasing here) and show off a hilarious first look at the film. Colorful, quirky and perfectly set to Blue Swede's "Hooked on a Feeling," the film looks to have the comedic-oddball sensibilities you would expect from James Gunn and not too far off from Shane Black's black humor in "Iron Man Three."
11. Harrison Ford Didn't Want to Be There
It was no surprise that Harrison Ford, who was at Comic-Con to promote "Ender's Game," was his usual grumpy, ornery self during the Summit panel and on MTV's livestream, but we're starting to suspect that maybe that gruff crankiness is all part of the act. We know Ford has a sense of humor, as evidenced by his recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel where he bitterly argued with Chewbacca in the audience ("You furry son of a bitch … she was my wife!"). But Ford barely cracked a smile at Comic-Con, except to refer to "Star Wars" as "What did you call it?" and a rather strange albeit brief "Taxi Driver" impersonation ("You talkin' to me?"). Why doesn't the man who played Han Solo and Indiana Jones like Comic-Con … or anything any more, really? Or is it all just a put-on? Sigh.
12. 'Gravity' Has Gravitas … and Awesomeness
"Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron stopped by with producer David Heyman and half the cast (Sandra Bullock — get it, since Bullock and George Clooney are the only actors in the movie) to show off some footage from the flick. It looks like one of the most stunning and intense sci-fi movies to come out in years despite its rather lengthy and sometimes turbulent production process, and the technology developed specifically for the movie is simply jaw-dropping. Bullock and Clooney filmed inside grid-like, constrictive cubes with cameras whirling around them to convey the gravity-free, airless quality of space. Bullock referred to Cuaron at one point as an "evil puppeteer" manipulating the shots, and remembered filming inside a high-speed, high-altitude plane referred to not-so-lovingly as the "Vomit Comet." Cuaron also spoke at MTV Livestream about his love for long takes (the ones in "Children of Men" are still amazing, and the teaser shown for "Gravity" was a seamless, no-cut, minute-long shot) and how such a filmmaking technique is perfect for a movie about two astronauts lost in space.
13. Tom Cruise Sings His Way Into Nerds' Hearts
Future mega-stars planning on making your first surprise appearance at Comic-Con, take note: This is how it's done. Tom Cruise not only made a sneaky entrance during the "Edge of Tomorrow" portion of the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures panel, he also won the 6,000-strong crowd over by singing impromptu Foreigner karaoke with moderator Chris Hardwick, without provocation, as if simply being Tom Cruise wasn't enough. Then, after the discussion and screening of the first footage from the flick, he photobombed his own cast's pictures on the edge of the stage. Tom Cruise, could you be more charming? Watch the video of his belt session below, and you'll agree that the answer is no.
14. 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Deserves Our Tributes
Forget the post-Hunger Games Victory Tour Katniss and Peeta take around Panem, the "Catching Fire" cast's first romp at Comic-Con was a victory tour in itself. The expected Jennifer Lawrence Inopportune Comedy Hour commenced as the cast shared anecdotes and press-friendly cuteness (when the movie bows Nov. 22, see if you can guess which scene involved J-Law dripping snot into Josh Hutcherson's mouth). In addition to the much-anticipated (and totally inevitable) trailer reveal for the second installment in the series, the cast showed off their chemistry with new addition Jena Malone and assured Con-goers that fellow cast freshman Sam Claflin (who couldn't attend due to shooting obligations) is a "sex god." Evidence to back that up: Claflin's appearance as Finnick in the trailer, clad in nothing but a fishing net and a smile. Somehow, we don't think he needs the reassurances.
15. 'Divergent' Makes Its Big Debut
Speaking of dystopian teenage girl heroes, step aside Katniss. "Divergent" (which is, yes, another three-part cuckoo-bananas popular YA series) stopped by Comic-Con with stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James in tow to debut footage from the movie, which wrapped shooting in Chicago just two days before the Hall H panel. The footage, which was played twice to an ecstatic crowd, showed Woodley's character Tris taking literal and metophorical leaps on to and off of trains and into deep holes ... and from a meek, selfless girl into a badass tattooed woman who's not afraid to take those aforementioned terrifying-looking train jumps. Look for this one to rake in the dough come March 24, 2014, turn Woodley into a star to rival Jennifer Lawrence and replace the question "Which Hogwarts house would you be?" to "Which faction would you be?"