| SAN DIEGO, July 20
SAN DIEGO, July 20 Studios brought A-list
surprises to San Diego's Comic-Con on Saturday to promote
upcoming superhero blockbusters.
Comic-Con is the largest annual gathering of fans of the
comic book, sci-fi and fantasy genres, drawing around 125,000
people over four days, and has become a major battleground for
In recent years the convention has seen more and more
content showcased as studios fight to capture the attention of
This year, 20th Century Fox delivered the biggest surprise,
presenting the heavyweight stars of "X-Men: Days of Future
Past," including Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry,
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan to an exuberant 6,000-plus
The new film will unite two generations of actors playing
Marvel's "X-Men" heroes, as Bryan Singer, the director behind
the original "X-Men" that spawned a franchise in 2000, uses time
travel to have the older actors interact with the younger cast.
"Days of Future Past," due out in 2014, is a sequel to
2011's "X-Men: First Class," which introduced younger versions
of the "X-Men" characters, with actors including Lawrence, James
McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.
In an exclusive trailer shown on Saturday at Comic-Con,
Jackman's Wolverine is seen traveling through time to his
younger self, played by James McAvoy, to try to change the
Fox is not the only studio seeking to capitalize on the
popularity of comic-book films.
Recent box office successes have included Disney's Marvel
franchises "Iron Man" and "The Avengers;" Warner Bros.'s "Dark
Knight" Batman trilogy, and Sony Pictures' "The Amazing
Singer called the mixing of the two casts "extremely
unique," and the film is likely to tap all key demographics with
popular older and younger cast members.
Stewart gave a sly nod to the caliber of the ensemble cast,
quipping: "I would like to play any female character in any
'X-Men' movie, because then I may stand a chance of winning the
Academy Award," referring to Lawrence and Berry's Oscar wins.
Members of the "X-Men" cast feature in a plethora of other
franchises with avid followings at Comic-Con - McKellan with
"Lord of the Rings," Stewart with "Star Trek," Lawrence with
"The Hunger Games," Anna Paquin with HBO's "True Blood" TV
series, and Peter Dinklage from HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Lawrence was the main attraction during Lions Gate's "The
Hunger Games" panel, where fans of the young adult film and book
series were shown an exclusive trailer from the upcoming
"Catching Fire" installment due in theaters in November.
Disney's Marvel film panel, which rounded out Comic-Con's
packed schedule on Saturday, did not skimp on surprises either,
with actor Tom Hiddleston appearing dressed as "Thor" villain
Loki, teasing the character's return in the upcoming sequel,
"Thor: The Dark World," which was shown in a trailer to fans.
The film is due in theaters in November.
Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson led
the cast of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," out in April
2014, and the audience was shown a new teaser for the film.
Zoe Saldana and Benicio Del Toro were joined by their
co-stars of upcoming Marvel superhero film "Guardians of
Galaxy," including Chris Pratt, Lee Pace and Karen Gillan, who
showed off her shaven head for her role as 'Nebula.' The film
will see a new cast of Marvel's characters joining forces.
Director Joss Whedon ran out onto the stage at the end of
the Marvel presentation to announce the anticipated new title of
the next "Avengers" film, "Avengers: The Age of Ultron." The
film is due out in the summer of 2015.
Earlier on Saturday, Sandra Bullock showed up to promote
"Gravity," and Jeff Bridges represented "Seventh Son" at the
Warner Bros. presentation, while Aaron Eckhart introduced Lions
Gate's "I, Frankenstein."