Marvel announced quite the surprise halfway through this year’s San Diego Comic Con: just after their panel, the most anticipated Comic Con movie panel, a press release went out announcing an exclusive Avengers: Age of Ultron Samsung Gallery. The press release also teased a special video screening for the first 200 fans to enter the Gallery.
We were invited to attend the event as media and showed up just as the doors opened. Our tickets for the screening were numbers 41 through 43, meaning we only had to wait (impatiently) through three groups of fans before our turn. Whispers throughout the Gallery suggested that we would be seeing a trailer. Others said we would be seeing a clip from the movie. All we knew was that the excitement in the air was almost enough to blow the roof off of the Gallery.
While waiting, attendees were offered numerous opportunities to demo Samsung devices. Sound familiar? Samsung was a big sponsor at this year’s show, as they also sponsored the Hunger Games Capitol Gallery, an entirely Samsung-centered experience. This Avengers Gallery had multiple stations set up allowing fans to browse concept art, some never before seen, on Samsung tablets. Other stations allowed fans to use a Samsung phone to determine their superhero power.
The biggest hit of the night – aside from the screening room, of course – was the Samsung tablet food bar. Attendees were given tickets for demoing each station in the Gallery, and each ticket allowed you to redeem a snack or drink, all ordered through a Samsung tablet. The ordering experience seemed a bit clunky, as it took a lot longer to order through the tablet than to just ask the woman monitoring it… but we understood the point. This sort of ordering system would be great in a larger, faster-paced setting, such as a movie theater or restaurant. It was more about demoing the concept behind the process rather than showing its efficiency.
Now the part we, and you, have been waiting for – our numbers were finally called. We were ushered into a private screening room with individual comfortable chairs, each with its own tablet and headphones station. The ushers asked us to remove any device capable of recording audio or video and place it into a basket beneath our seats. Out of an abundance of caution, this writer was also asked to take off his hat.
Once we were all seated we were asked to place our headphones on, grab our tablets and all press play at once. We could barely contain our excitement.
Naturally, the first thing to hit our screen with the familiar red Marvel logo leading into a scene from the movie. Team Avengers were sitting in Tony Stark’s livingroom, each attempting to lift Thor’s hammer from the table, with Thor smirking as each hero failed. Tony and Rhodes both put on their mechanic arms, hoping that the added strength would help move the hammer. No luck. The scene was filled with a good amount of humor, especially as Thor noticed a slight movement as Steve Rogers was attempting to move it.
Right as Thor was about to stand, Ultron staggered into the room, looking like a half-defeated Terminator, dragging his leg behind him. Voiced menacingly by James Spader, Ultron made a speech full of threats and anger, clearly intent on taking on the Avengers, before an army of robots, each controlled by Ultron, burst through the walls, heading directly toward the superhero team.
The clip ended there.
Before we were able to remove our headphones thinking that our screening was over, the familiar Marvel logo again made its way onto our screens. This time it lead into a two minute long action-packed trailer.
The scenes were quick and fast-paced. We saw a gigantic Iron Man suit, matching the Hulk’s size and bulk, able to stand his own against the Hulk. An important question was raised: why was Tony Stark/Iron Man fighting the Hulk? Was Tony Stark even inside the suit?
We saw Ultron in his final form, menacing, evil, and bent on destruction. We saw Tony Stark full of regret for unknown reasons. Later, in what looked eerily similar to Thanos’ lair, the camera first revealed Captain America’s cracked and broken shield before panning up, revealing all of the Avengers team seemingly dead on the ground, with only Stark, uninjured, looking over them in horror.
We also had a quick look at Quick Silver and the Scarlet Witch, both making their first appearances in a Marvel film.
The trailer was over before we knew it but the excitement in the room was overwhelming. It was incredible, and for the fans who waited, it was worth the twice-around-the-block line.
Be sure to check out the rest of ourSan Diego Comic Con coverage, including our exclusive media access to the Hunger Games Capitol Gallery and the Assassin’s Creed Unity Parkour Course, as well as our many other exclusive opportunities!