Marvel said they had some significant announcements to make at SDCC and though some of them merely confirmed long-standing rumours, it's still an ambitious slate of projects. Though many details are still to be forthcoming - after all, the projects vary between a year and three eyars away from screens - they are some interesting snippets and a look at the various title fonts and straplines fropm the projects - giving clues to their storylines and over-all look. Marvel Studios' Head of Production Kevin Feige presented various promos for what they are clalling 'Phase 2' of their movie initiatives and took questions from the audience... and Iron Man 3 got its own slot.
Thor's sequel, directed by Game of Thrones' Alan Taylor, now gets the strapline of 'The Dark World' and while we're not completely sure what it refers to, it's tempting to think it could apply to the Asgardian realm of the dead. Kevin Feige confirmed to the cheering SDCC crowd that the entire main cast of the original film (barring the recasting of Fandral after Josh Dallas has conflicting work commitments) will be returning. The confiirmed sate for release appears to be 8th November 2013.
Iron Man 3 is currently in production for a 3rd May 2013 release and as you'll know from previous news articles here, some of that film will be shot in eastern locations, with Sir Ben Kingsley now confirmed to be playing the Mandarin. It hits cinemas next year. Once again, Robrt Downey Jnr was on hand to charm the crowd ("How much do I love you?" (Crowd cheers) "How much do you love me?" (Bigger cheer). "Why aren't we watching any footage yet?" (Biggest cheer). The lights went down and the crowd was shown some footage that has already been filmed for the movie, including a glimpse of the Mandarin and Tony Stark's newest suit. Downey Jnr, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau - who stepped away from directing the film in favour of Shane Black (Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang) but will still appear as 'Happy' Hogan.
Captain America's sequel will debut on 4th April 2014. The title of 'The Winter Soldier' probably refers to the acclaimed storyline from the comics in which we discovered that Cap's original sidekick from World War II had actually survived his suppsoed death and had become brainwashed into a rival soviet program, becoming the top-notch assassin known as The Winter Soldier. Given that most of the sequel is set in contemporary settings, this would make sense, but would allow for some WWII flashbacks. The film will be directed by the Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe, who directed the original pilot for cult show Arrested Development and the comedy film You, Me and Dupree.
The two other films on the Marvel slate have been guessed at for some time. The Guardians of the Galaxy is a left-field choice, a cosmic story of a group of disperate adventurers known as Star-Lord, Groot, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Rocket Raccoon. Based on the cult, but much lesser-known Marvel comic, this is the real wild card of the bunch - after all... its line-up includes a warrior tree and a talking rodent? The team will band together to fight the cosmic bad-guy Thanos (glimpsed in The Avengers) and Feige confirmed more details will be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, there's also some conceptual art of the team that has been released (see above).
Finally, Ant-Man will get his big-screen movie under the directorship of Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) and while no casting nor specific release date are known as yet, it has been indicated that this will be a suversively fun romp based around the less than shrinking-violet hero. Wright had recently sat down with Attack the Block's Joe Cornish to rework the script and also recently compelted show test-footage, which they then showed to a delighted crowd and which depicted the character shifting between sizes to take down some guards in a hallway and then nonchalantly stepping into the elevator at the far end. the footage, though still rough and unfinished proved very popular indeed. "Ant-Man will kick your ass one inch ata time..." Wright jokes.