By Piya Sinha-Roy
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The largest gathering of celebrity superheroes came together on stage with Marvel creator Stan Lee at San Diego's Comic-Con on Saturday, as Fox harnessed star power for its films, "Fantastic Four," "Deadpool" and "X-Men."
Fox presented its panel of upcoming movies at the annual gathering of pop culture and film fans, and upped the ante with its own Marvel roster of mutant heroes and anti-heroes, with Lee, the creator of the comic books, making a cameo appearance.
Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Oscar Isaac led the fifteen main cast members of next year's "X-Men: Apocalypse," each hinting at where their respective characters are in the new film.
Director Bryan Singer said "Apocalypse" was set in the 1980s, 10 years after the events of 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past." While the world is more accepting of mutants, they themselves are still coming to terms with their powers and intentions, and deal with new evils.
Jackman, who has played Wolverine in every "X-Men" movie since 2000, said he'll be hanging up the claws after 2017's "Wolverine" sequel, hinting at the possibility of seeing an older version of his character in the final film.
While "X-Men: Apocalypse" boasted the most star power, it was the R-rated "Deadpool" that earned the standing ovation.
Fans were treated to the first proper look at the foul-mouthed anti-hero Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, in a trailer filled with edgy humor that traces his transition from an ailing young man into a disfigured but invincible, rage-filled, vigilante.
Reynolds first appeared as Deadpool in 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine."
Unlike all the superhero films to grace the box office in the past two decades, "Deadpool," a lesser known and more polarizing hero, is the first time Marvel gets R-rated on the big screen.
"I think this character inhabits a space in the comic book universe that no other canon does," said Reynolds.
"It's a miracle that a studio let us make 'Deadpool,' let alone a R-rated 'Deadpool.'"
Fox also showcased "Fantastic Four," out next month, as stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell discussed delving into the origin stories of the foursome who acquire strange abilities.
Fans were also shown exclusive footage of upcoming gothic drama "Victor Frankenstein" and dystopian young adult adventure "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials."
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)