Saturday’s  late afternoon Fox panel in Hall H did not skimp on the star power as first Andy Serkis, then Hugh Jackman took to the stage before Bryan Singer paraded his all-star cast from X-Men: Days Of Future Past in front of a deeply appreciative crowd.
Serkis kicked things off to talk about the forthcoming Dawn Of The Planet Of Apes, which the studio is banking on delivering the goods after Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes became the surprise hit of summer 2011.
Joined by director Matt Reeves, Jason Clarke from Zero Dark Thirty and Keri Russell from the small screen smash The Americans, Serkis set the scene ahead of the Jul 18 2014 release.
“[Caesar] has evolved this society of two thousand apes,” he said, adding: “Caesar is now in a position where all apes together are strong.” Serkis, a fan favourite at Comic-Con, went on to explain that the challenge for the ape leader in the forthcoming sequel is how to deal with the arrival of humans.
Clarke plays a San Francisco scientist who flees a plague and searches for Caesar in the belief that the ape can help. Reeves introduced footage that ended with Clarke’s character entering the forest environment. High above in the trees, hidden from view, Caesar and an ape battalion swing into action.
James Mangold took to the stage to talk up The Wolverine, which opens on Jul 26. Hugh Jackman came out and thanked the crowd and marvelled at the fact that next summer’s release of X-Men: Days Of Future Past will be his seventh appearance in the role.
That said, the Australian was excited for the latest spin-off. “This is something fresh, completely different,” he said, noting that the Japan–set Samurai Saga origins story was one he has wanted to tell since the very first X-Men film 13 years ago.
Jackman then introduced Singer, who had flown in from Montreal where he has about one month of production left on X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Singer was not the only one who had jetted in from Canada. In the shock of the panel, the director then beckoned his entire lead cast to join him.
Five minutes later Singer and Jackman sat at a long table surrounded by Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Shawn Ashmore, Evan Peters and Omar Sy as Bishop. Producers Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker and Lauren Shuler Donner were also in attendance.
“I’d just like to say how lovely it is to be back in California,” said McKellen. “I feel safe here now that you have got rid of Proposition 8.”
That remark drew wild applause, but the reaction seemed feeble in comparison to what followed.
“Right now I’m looking for a husband,” he continued, before glancing down the table in the direction of Fassbender. “It’s great to see you, Michael.”
Stewart was not to be outdone in the comedy stakes. When asked which other mutant he would have liked to play, he remarked: “I would like to play any female character in any X-Men movie because then I might get a chance to win an Academy Award.”
All in all this was a joyous and emotional event for attendees. One visitor who asked a question was visibly moved to tears.
X-Men: Days Of Future Past will open on May 23, 2014.