UK’s pre-election Heroes

brasilobserver - Apr 24 2015
Avengers: Age of Ultron

By Paolla Grecco from the red carpet – @paollag 

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second film instalment of the 2010 re-branded Avengers’ series, namely know by Marvel and its fans as the ‘Heroic Age’. The new Heroic Age plotlines are far from the Dark Reign of disillusioned heroes and rising villains from the noughties. Age of Ultron was written and directed by Joss Whedon, a true comics fan and the original creator of cult classics such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, promising to reflect an unparalleled and heartfelt understanding of the Marvel universe.

At the European premier on Tuesday, 21 April at Westfields, Shepherds Bush, you would’ve found a contagious atmosphere. Under the baking sun, magnified by the Atriums’ glass ceiling, fans and even the press were surprised to be met with the complete line-up of heroes. The only missing link was James Spader, who acted as the voice for hero turned villain, the robot, Ultron.

Westfields in partnership with Disney hosted a premier warm-up scheduled to start at 5pm. Information for the warm-up was scarce on the web appearing as a note at Marvel’s Facebook. However this coy trend followed by other franchised titles is proving to be the new method of drawing in the real hardcore fans.

Marisa and Sofy, from Belo Horizonte and Espírito Santo, Brazil, arrived at 3pm unlike the masses of fans queuing before sunrise. One particular fan held a sign reading ‘I camped for 5 days for a Selfie.’ All whom lined up early, received a wrist band from Westfields reception to enter a gated area along the red carpet, which was actually black. With almost one hour delay in its start the crowds took over all floors at Westfields whilst being entertained. An MC prompted hopeful fans in the special areas with trivia questions in exchange for premier tickets. Unfortunately the warm-up delay conjoined with the unusual geography of a roundabout three-exits style ‘black carpet’ resulted in a disastrous experience for fans and even the press. Marisa and Sofy, both Leicester square red carpet veterans, explained ‘the traditional format is best.’ That is where you have a L-shaped single lane path, thus allowing for fans arriving early to be rewarded with a close look of their stars. Sofy admits ‘this is the last time I come for a premier at Westfields’.

Many members of broadcasting channels present were also victims of the roundabout layout, falling short of any interviews with the main actors. Saving the evening for both fans and the press were Joss Whedon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkye) for being the first ones to pop out of the stage, to join the ‘black carpet’ dual carriage way. Everyone else had less than 10 minutes to navigate between stage, fans, photo calls, turning lanes and interviews.

Fans, photos, autographs…

Two friends travelling from Yorkshire also confirmed they didn’t get to see much either despite having arrived at 4 am. Their consolation prize, a promotional poster attached to the metal barricades.

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The Brazilian students of tourism, Marisa and Sofy, despite arriving in the afternoon managed to get a better spot behind the special area for children and those in need of wheelchair assistance. Even then Marisa recounted that although she managed to get a Hulk autograph and a lost Iron Man mask with the coveted RDJ squiggles, she was lucky. That was because not even the special area for children received much attention from the handlers guiding the heroes through the ‘black carpet’ traffic jam.

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The good news from the premier was that when Joss Whedon was asked about having Hugh Jackman as Wolverine he replied ‘…I would love to have him as Wolverine…how we would work this out I don’t know…’  Hugh Jackman has publicly declared he wants to be the Wolverine in the next Avengers movie, but currently a rights’ agreement conundrum between SONY, FOX and Disney blocks the way. But there is hope as we see next week in Agents of Shield TV show, season 2, episode 19 an Avengers: Age of Ultron tie-in. The episode titled, The Dirty Half Dozen, will air on 28th  April, just two days before Age of Ultron opens in US theatres on 1st of May.

Costumed fans

Kitty Dobson, a costumier and Courtney Clarridge travelling with their mates from East London were representing Thor and Captain America’s Agent Carter from the new TV series spin off.

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Kenny Chan, travelling from Reading, with his prized Iron Man costume was stopping the crowds even before the warm-up started. A fan turned costume fanatic a couple years ago he has been widely praised including at London’s Super Comic Con in 2014!

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Sadly because of organisation malfunction neither of these amazing costumes made to the stage where the MC presented costumed fans with merchandise.

Although most fans will melt at a change to gaze at RDJ (Robert Downey Junior) playing Iron Man, Black Window came as the second favourite hero amongst the ladies at the premier.  Played by Scarlett Johansson, new mom to September baby, Rose, Black Window is a hardcore but conflicting hero. She pleased the crowds and the press with an unscheduled appearance in a brief but uplifting walkabout the carpet standing out in a multi-coloured Balmain jumpsuit and daring hair due.

Future superhero films

The Marvel’s Avengers franchised, born in 1963 by the hands of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, not only proved successful but certainly has sparkled a new era for comic book heroes now transposed into the small and big screens. But with an avalanche of rebooted superhero movies due to be released in the next few years is hard to keep track if you are under thirty.

If you want to dare to grasp the cross over plot lines of the new Avengers series, Heroic Age, you can try the site that provides the full list of published comics tied- in with the films.

And if this is not enough, remember in December we get 72-year-old Harrison Ford as Hans Solo in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.