Marvel showcase future blockbusters at Comic-Con

First looks at 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and 'Ant-Man'

The Walt Disney-owned Marvel Studios took to Comic-Con’s hall H in San Diego for the now traditional annual unveiling of future blockbusters which this year included Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.

The Comic-Con audience was shown a sneak peek of next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron which featured the heroes joking around trying to lift Thor’s hammer before Ultron appears to threaten mankind.

In the Marvel comics, Ultron’s origin story saw him built by scientist Hank Pym. However, for his big screen outing Ultron (James Spader), created as a force for protecting the world, is re-imagined as the brainchild of Tony Stark to be “the ultimate drone, a way for Iron Man to abdicate his duties and offload them onto a fully mechanized protector” of humanity. Spader said playing the 8-foot robot had been “unimaginably exciting.”

The footage screened ended ominously with a close-up on Captain America’s broken shield and all of the Avengers (apart from Iron Man) lying motionless on a rock drifting through outer space.

The first outing for the superhero ensemble was released in the UK as Avengers Assemble in 2012 and went on to become the fastest film to reach the $1bn (£600,000) mark at the global box office.

Fans also got a first look at another comic book adaption from Marvel’s connected universe – Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd (This is 40) as con-man Scott Lang.

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, he must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Corey Stoll (TV’s The Strain) was announced as villain of the piece Darren Cross (AKA Yellowjacket) while Evangeline Lilly (TV’s Lost) was revealed to be Hope van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym.

Edgar Wright (The World’s End) was replaced as the film’s director by Peyton Reed following “creative differences” with Marvel’s producers. Ant-Man will reach UK cinemas July 17th 2015.

A sequel to the soon to be released Guardians of the Galaxy was also announced for summer 2017. It will star James Brolin (pictured with Robert Downey Jr) as the super villain Thanos.