SAN DIEGO – Thor’s evil brother, Loki, took over the Marvel Studios presentation at Comic-Con on Saturday.
Lights flashed inside the San Diego Convention Center’s largest exhibition hall, and Tom Hiddleston, dressed as Loki, commanded the stage. He called Hall H “a meagre palace of Midgard” before showing footage from “Thor: The Dark World.”
It opened with an epic battle scene, in which Thor takes down a massive monster, reducing him to a pile of rubble with one swing of his hammer.
The cast of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” shared footage from that film. It also opened with a dynamic fight scene: Captain America battling a dozen assailants in a glass elevator.
Other highlights included the introduction of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast, which includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Djimon Honsou.
Mixed martial-artist Dave Bautista said he fought hard for the role of Drax.
“It’s something I wanted more than anything I’ve ever wanted in my life,” the tattooed bodybuilder said. “When I got the job, I broke down and cried like a little baby.”
“Avengers” director Joss Whedon made a surprise appearance at the panel, where he offered an early look at the sequel.
A teaser trailer for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ended with an image of the title character.
Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, says “Guardians” is the company’s attempt to push the Marvel cinematic universe in new directions beyond “The Avengers” franchise that might not be familiar to the casual fan. The film takes place on the other side of the universe, for the most part, he says, and features non-humanoid characters that will require computer-generated images to pull off.
“It’s a very important movie for us for expanding the definition of what a Marvel Studios movie can be the way ‘Iron Man’ 1 was a very important movie for us,” Feige said in an interview earlier Saturday.
“People didn’t know if Marvel could do it by themselves. They didn’t know if Iron Man was an A-list character. People called Iron Man a B-list character then. We had a lot to prove there. With ‘Guardians’ they don’t call it anything because they don’t know what the heck it is. There’s very little recognition. It’s got its own fan base as all the titles do, but that’s not why we’re making it. We’re making it because we want to do something very different.”
AP Music Writer Chris Talbott in San Diego contributed to this report.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .