The Arclight Cinema in Hollywood, California was host tonight to a special fan premiere of the latest Marvel One-Shot short film, "All Hail the King," which stars Sir Ben Kingsley, reprising his Iron Man 3 role as the now-incarcerated Trevor Slattery.
SuperHeroHype was on-hand for the event which, in addition to featuring a brief in-person Q&A with Kingsley, writer/director Drew Pearce and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, was host to a very special surprise: the first ten minutes of Marvel Studios' next feature, Captain America: The Winter Soldier!
We won't get too spoilery into "All Hail the King," as fans have the chance to see it themselves when it gets a wide release as a bonus feature on the Blu-ray of Thor: The Dark World, hitting shelves Tuesday, February 25. Rest assured, however, that the 14-minute entry is littered with clever dialogue, obscure Marvel comic book references and a very, very cool post-credits surprise.
"The point of Trevor is to go off the rails," Feige says regarding Kingsley's bigger-than-life undercover thespian.
Originally, "All Hail the King" was to be a prequel to Iron Man 3 with Pearce hinting that Trevor didn't quite survive the original drafts of last summer's comic book blockbuster.
"He's like a cockroach in the apocalypse," Pearce says, joking that Trevor can even survive script rewrites.
Kingsley, who says this is his very first short film despite all his experience in the business, says he felt the urge to return to the man who would be Mandarin.
"After 'Iron Man 3' wrapped, I was worried about Trevor," Kingsley laughs. "I visited him during rehab."
Pearce also revealed that one sequence from the short, a clip from a fictional television pilot set in the 1980's, features actual music by the legendary Mike Post, the man responsible for the theme songs to shows like "Quantum Leap," "Law & Order" and "Magnum, PI." Pearce tracked Post down in the hopes that he would have some authentic unused music from the era and was delighted when Post agreed to haul his equipment out of storage and to create something brand new.
As for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the footage is very impressive visually, offering what is quite arguably the most realistic feel of any Marvel Studios feature so far. The action feels 100% practical and, if the first ten minutes are any indication, it's a safe bet that Anthony and Joe Russo are a directing team that are going to have a very serious fanbase in the not too distant future.
The film opens with Steve Rogers jogging around Washington, D.C., easily outpacing other joggers, including Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson. When Rogers realizes that Wilson is also in the armed forces, the pair strike up a conversation and we, for just a moment, get a very funny glimpse of a list of pop culture items that Rogers is keeping so that he can catch up on his seven decade absence (with entries like "Star Wars/Star Trek").
It's very soon, however, that Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow pulls up and takes Rogers away. They've got a mission in the Indian Ocean rescuing a hijacked vessel with Maximiliano Hernández's S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jasper Sitwell among the hostages.
Cap (in his new duds) and Black Widow lead an stealthy assault on the ship with an intricate long shot that tracks Cap's impressive choreography. A good portion of this scene is the same one that played during last year's Comic-Con presentation, although the footage goes a bit farther, offering a glimpse of George St-Pierre's Batroc (who speaks in French with English subtitles) having taken command of the boat. There's also quite a bit more of Black Widow in action, including her making use of her famous "Widow's Bite"! There's also the implication that the team that has accompanied Cap and Widow (among them is Frank Grillo's Crossbones) are on a very different mission than our heroes.
Exactly what that mission is, however, will have to wait until Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4! In the meantime, Thor: The Dark World is arriving tomorrow On Demand as well as a 3D Combo Pack, a Single-Disc Blu-ray and DVD.