So today, Marvel set the internet ablaze with the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 announcement, and I was there to see it first hand! It was the first time I had gone to an event like this, and I didn’t know what to expect.
First of all, this was a very secretive event. Marvel sent out the event invites without saying what it was for, and they had set it on a random Tuesday morning at 11AM.
I thought that the event was always planned as the trailer reveal event for the Avengers: Age of Ultron, but since the internet had ruined it for them, no one was sure what they were going to show off.
(First photo: Waiting in line for the mysterious Marvel event with Thor)
The sudden appearance of the rumor that Benedict Cumberbatch was being sought for the Doctor Strange role made everyone think that the event was to confirm the reports. In retrospect, that news bit served as a very effective distraction to what Marvel actually had in store.
(Second photo: The event was held at the El Capitan Theatre, a historical venue owned by the Walt Disney Company)
I live in Orange County, and for those who are not familiar with Southern California, it’s about 40 miles from Hollywood, which takes anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour and 50 minutes to get to.
When I arrived at the El Capitan with a friend, the line for the event had already wrapped around the block.
After an hour of waiting outside, we were let in, and Marvel/Disney treated us to a complementary box of popcorn and a drink. We waited a bit more while listening to an organist play various geek anthems from Star Trek, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and more.
Finally, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige came out to greet everyone. The energy in the theater was intense even before Feige started revealing upcoming titles one by one.
First, we started off with the Age of Ultron trailer that pretty much everyone in the US had watched even before the official version came out. Joss Whedon was apparently in attendance along with the Russo Brothers, who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Notice how the subtitle for Captain America 3 says “Serpent Society”? It was a fun bit of misdirection, but more on that later.
Doctor Strange had been rumored for a while, but it was nice to see it get officially confirmed. As for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, James Gunn introduced the movie via a video clip from Japan where he is serving as a judge at the Tokyo Film Festival. After that, Feige introduced Thor: Ragnarok, which he likened to The Winter Soldier in terms of how world-shaking the events of the movie are going to be for the entire cinematic universe.
The new movie IPs that were introduced today were Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans, which were all received with raucous cheers and applause. I feel like Captain Marvel announcement got the most cheer. Kevin Feige also confirmed that although there have been many Marvel Comics characters who used the name Captain Marvel, the titular character of movie would indeed be Carol Danvers.
Incidentally, Kevin Feige skipped a release date on the presentation slide before announcing the new movies. When he got back to it, we thought we’d just get a title reveal, but instead, we were treated with a small teaser for Avengers: Infinity War, which would be broken up to two parts. The crowd went wild with that one.
And as it looked like things were getting ready to wrap up, Kevin Feige walked back to the center of the stage to say that the “Serpent Society” subtitle for Captain America 3 sounded weird and revealed the true title as Civil War, then Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans walked onto the stage. Everyone had pretty much lost it by then. Marvel’s leading men were soon joined by Chadwick Boseman, an up-and-coming actor who is going to portray King T’Challa of Wakanda, AKA Black Panther. Boseman will likely appear in the Avengers: Age of Ultron, and will be a major character in Civil War, according to reports. This announcement came seeming out of nowhere. The media was completely engrossed in the Doctor Strange casting rumor coming into this event, but after the event, no one is talking about it. Everyone is talking about Boseman instead.
The announcement event came to an end a bit less than an hour after it began, but I could tell that no one in the audience was even remotely disappointed. All the attendees received an exclusive Black Panther poster as a souvenir. Most of the announcements had been expected to a degree, but it was still a pretty fun treat for fans. Totally worth taking a day off from work.