By Piya Sinha-Roy
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) – Amid fog and lasers on Saturday, Marvel gave frenzied fans at Comic-Con their first look at a new Black Panther movie cast, the mysterious Doctor Strange, a Spider-Man teen movie and an Oscar-winning actress as the new Captain Marvel.
The 6,500-plus audience, many of whom had queued overnight at San Diego’s annual film and pop culture event, were introduced to the lead cast of the “Black Panther” movie, directed by “Creed” filmmaker Ryan Coogler.
Chadwick Boseman plays the titular hero while Michael B. Jordan is his arch nemesis, Erik Killmonger, and Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o plays the warrior Nakia.
“I’m looking forward to kicking some ass,” Nyong’o said.
Walt Disney Co-owned Marvel showcased diverse casts for its upcoming films after facing criticism over recent years for a superhero franchise dominated by white male actors.
Oscar-winning “Room” actress Brie Larson was revealed as “Captain Marvel,” but no details were given on the 2018 movie.
Benedict Cumberbatch entered amid a cloud of fog to show a scene from “Doctor Strange,” out in November, in which neurosurgeon Stephen Strange, who lost the use of his hands in an accident, meets the Ancient One to harness the mysterious world of magic and alternate dimensions.
Director Scott Derrickson said “Doctor Strange” comics brought “a whole new voice” to the Marvel universe.
“It’s very, very different and the scale is something else,” Cumberbatch said.
The casting of Tilda Swinton as a Celtic “Ancient One” caused an uproar among some fans, as the character is of Asian origin in the comics.
“Any of us can be the Ancient One, that’s what’s amazing about what’s in the comics, who knows who will be the Ancient One. It’s a title, and all the things the Ancient One knows and passes on, anyone can do,” Swinton said.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” starring Tom Holland, will be a teen comedy, following 15-year-old Peter Parker hiding his superhero alter-ego as he gets through the struggles of homework, girls and puberty.
Finally, the cast of 2017’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” entered amid cheers, as new footage revealed Sylvester Stallone in the film, and Kurt Russell playing Star Lord’s father Ego.
Lead actor Chris Pratt said the film will pick up a couple of months after the events of the first film, as the rogue, cheeky heroes face a bigger enemy.
Disney also announced a new “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout” ride, opening at California Adventures in the summer of 2017.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Robert Birsel)