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Philadelphia Wizard World 2016: Marvel, Arrow & Back to the Future Panels!

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Philadelphia’s Wizard World 2016 may have featured arguably the most interesting variety of box office success and action heroes than any previous Wizard World that has taken place in the City of Brotherly Love.

 

The first panel of day featured Captain America: Civil War stars Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. While Mackie and Stan both appeared in Philadelphia back in 2014 in conjunction with the release of Captain America: Winter Soldier, Evans was a newcomer to Philadelphia. Captain America: Civil War stars Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. Photo: Joe Vallee

 

The three actors were asked a wide variety of questions, ranging from which tattoos they would get if they wanted one (Mackie’s choice was the late Muhammad Ali), to their ideal movie role. After Evans mentioned West Side Story, Mackie, never at a loss for words, informed Evans that he “would be the whitest Jet” if he ever got a part in a remake of the classic film.


When one fan asked if that was Evans’ real arm during the famous helicopter action scene in Civil War, Evans emphasized how he was “lifting weights for hours” prior to shooting that particular part of the movie.

 

Next up was Arrow/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows star Stephen Amell, who has seemingly been everywhere on the planet during the last month promoting his new film, which was number one last weekend at the box office.


When Amell was asked about the death of team Arrow’s Black Canary on this year’s fourth season of his CW show, he mentioned that actress Katie Cassidy's scene was one of two times on the show when he “made an ugly cry face and they totally put it on TV.” The other time was Amell's final scene he shared with his on-screen mother, Susanna Thompson, during the show’s second season in 2014.Arrow/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows star Stephen Amell. Photo: Joe Vallee

 

Amell is also on board with his alter ego Oliver Queen becoming the Mayor of Star City, which happened in the end moments of the season finale several weeks ago.

 

“We should really make Green Arrow someone who is an advocate of the people,” he suggested.

 

Other interesting parts of the Q&A included the possibility of a four-night crossover featuring Arrow and fellow CW shows The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, which joins the network for the show’s second season. “I would suspect that Oliver would be meeting Supergirl at some point,” said Amell.

 

Arrow’s fifth season kicks off this October.

 

Check out our exclusive photo gallery of Philadelphia Wizard World 2016 on our Facebook page!

 

Following Amell were Thor stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. While Hemsworth seemed to be enjoying his time in Philadelphia (his first Philly Wizard World appearance took place in 2012), Hiddleston stole the show, humorously dodging questions that he will succeed Daniel Craig as the next James Bond, to how he feels his character of Loki would react to the Avengers' infighting seen in Civil War.

 

"When I came down to Earth, I brought you guys together. Now I've left and you're fighting each other. Sorry. So sorry," he joked. Thor stars Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. Photo: Joe Vallee

 

Hemsworth and Hiddleston will both reprise their roles as Thor and Loki, respectively in Thor: Ragnarok (which also features The Incredible Hulk), which is slated for a November 3, 2017 release. Shooting for the film will begin in July.

 

Perhaps the most widely anticipated panel discussion of the day was the Back to the Future panel, featuring movie co-writer Bob Gale and stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson.

 

Fox was undeniably the main attraction, and he recalled his first days on the set of the classic film.

 

“My first memory of Back to the Future is was in a trailer in Pasadena doing a movie where I had a snout on and had hair on my face, and I was drinking my lunch through a straw, and the set I was on was Werewolf, and someone came and told me they were scouting locations for a Steven Spielberg film in the neighborhood we were shooting in, and I just thought ‘Wow, why can’t, why am I a werewolf when I could be in a movie like that,’' Fox said. "And I heard Crispin Glover was in it, I knew Crispin, and I thought “F*** Crispin Glover."

 

Although most fans of the film are aware that actor Eric Stoltz was the original Marty McFly, Fox was indeed the first choice to play McFly, according to Gale. However, Fox's hectic Family Ties schedule was an obstacle.Back to the Future panel, featuring movie co-writer Bob Gale and stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson. Photo: Joe Vallee

 

“This is true,” Gale said. “Bob Zemeckis and I were big fans of Family Ties. We saw that Michael J. Fox had the best comedy timing of anybody on TV, especially anybody his age, and we knew he would be a perfect Marty McFly. Except, there was just one problem: He was on Family Ties, and when we approached the producer of the show, Gary David Goldberg, about seeing if he would permit us to get Michael off of the show to do our future film.

 

He read the script, and was very, very effusive about how much he loved the script, to the extent that he said 'The script is so good that I can never let Michael read it, because Michael will hate me for the rest of his life by saying ‘No you can’t do this movie.’ Michael was carrying Family Ties at that time. Meredith Baxter Birney, his co-star, was pregnant, and so Michael had the lion’s share of the work, and Gary said: ‘Sorry guys, no can do.’ We understood that, and so we began a massive search for another Marty McFly.”

 

Other notable Saturday panels included the X-Files and now-cancelled Agent Carter, featuring Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper.

 

Wizard World will be back in Philadelphia during the days of June 1-4, 2017.

 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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