Jul 13, 2015

    ...vies with Marvel's mutant extravaganza


    THE largest gathering of celebrity superheroes came together on stage with Marvel creator Stan Lee at San Diego's Comic-Con on Saturday, as Fox harnessed star power for its films Fantastic Four, Deadpool and X-Men.

    Fox presented its panel of upcoming movies at the annual gathering of pop-culture and film fans, and upped the ante with its own Marvel roster of mutant heroes and anti-heroes, with Lee - creator of the comic books - making a cameo appearance.

    Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Oscar Isaac led the 15 main cast members of next year's X-Men: Apocalypse, each dropping hints about their characters in the new film.

    Director Bryan Singer said Apocalypse was set in the 1980s, 10 years after the events of last year's X-Men: Days Of Future Past. While the world is more accepting of mutants, they themselves are still coming to terms with their powers and intentions, and deal with new evils.

    Jackman, who has played Wolverine in every X-Men movie since 2000, said he'll be hanging up the claws after 2017's Wolverine sequel, hinting at the possibility of seeing an older version of his character in the final film.

    While X-Men: Apocalypse boasted the most star power, it was the R-rated Deadpool that earned a standing ovation.

    Fans were treated to the first proper look at the foul-mouthed anti-hero Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, in a trailer filled with edgy humour that traces his transition from an ailing young man into a disfigured but invincible, rage-filled vigilante.

    Reynolds first appeared as Deadpool in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Unlike all the superhero films to grace the box office in the past two decades, Deadpool, a lesser known and more polarising hero, is the first time Marvel gets R-rated on the big screen.

    "I think this character inhabits a space in the comic book universe that no other canon does," said Reynolds. "It's a miracle that a studio let us make Deadpool, let alone an R-rated Deadpool."

    Fox also showcased Fantastic Four, out next month, as stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell discussed delving into the origin stories of the foursome who acquire strange abilities.

    Fans were also shown exclusive footage of upcoming gothic drama Victor Frankenstein and dystopian young adult adventure Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.