There’s a lot of trust that goes into making Marvel’s newest stunt show work.
At least according to Tyler Hubbard, who plays Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Universe Live! Hubbard, who drops 45 feet face-first on a rappel line for his character’s entrance, said that he counts on the crew members behind the scenes to make sure he doesn’t injure himself.
“There’s not a lot of stunts that still make me nervous,” Hubbard said. “But that one still gives me butterflies sometimes.”
During the show, attendees are treated to pyrotechnics, hair-raising stunts, special effects, and thrilling motorcycle chases.
Besides Star-Lord, other superheroes who make an appearance in the show include Black Panther (who also happens to be starring in his own movie that hits theaters this weekend), Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man. The rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy — Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax — will also make their onstage debut. The superheroes will band together to save the universe from everyone’s favorite ambitious supervillain, Loki, who is trying to get his hands on a powerful mystical artifact.
The show is the biggest production to date for Feld Entertainment, the company behind Monster Jam and Disney On Ice, as well as the now-defunct Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
“Black Panther always gets a huge reaction from the crowd because he swoops in and saves the day out of nowhere,” said Hubbard, who became a stuntman after realizing that he could make a career out of being accident-prone. “I bet the reaction this weekend will be twice that because of the movie premiere.”
In fact, Hubbard said the cast has plans to catch the Black Panther premiere in Philadelphia this weekend between performances.
“We’ve been planning this since December,” he said. “At heart, we’re just a bunch of huge comic-book nerds.”
Putting on a stunt show of this size is no easy task. Although the crew can break down a set in six hours, it takes the 60 crew members two days to set up the stage in a new city. But Hubbard said being able to bring the full Marvel experience to fans is worth that effort.
“Portraying these characters accurately is a really big deal for us,” Hubbard said. “We see it as a personal responsibility, because we grew up with these characters and we love them. As a fan, we would want that same kind of care put into the performance if we were to come see the show.”
Marvel Universe Live
7 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. on Saturday, 12 p.m., 4 p.m. on Sunday, 3 p.m. on Monday, Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., $23-165, 800-298-4200, wellsfargocenterphilly.com