Tons of movement in the Marvel universe these days, especially after the box office stomping that Avengers gave in the month of May. With Disney behind distributing the Marvel Studios picture from now on, it seems like we are all in for at least a 4-5 year push on the more extended and criss crossing storylines of the comics. So many great projects are on the way big and small that I hope even some wrongs may be righted with the re-boots of the shit storm Fox Marvel films Daredevil and Fan 4. Only time will tell on the quality level of the continuing comic book movie making trend right now, it seems like every second day news is popping up about another Marvel character being close to appearing on the big screen. I can only hope the directors/film makers making these pictures care as much about the characters they decide to take on, as much as the check and the life style the film industry offers. Mostly because for us comic geeks that grew up reading and absorbing the Marvel mythos, the stories matter to us and have major weight that some people in Hollywood think is “no big deal” to change at their discretion. These people are idiots, and should wise up to the fact that they are so out of there element in the comic world they should stick to fucking up remakes of old TV shows or something. Fox producers I’m looking squarely at you fuckers and your lack of brains in this area (who ever was in charge of the Deadpool character for the last half of Wolverine movie you should be so embarrassed that you are so naive about the impact of fucking up so bad) I could rant for ever about this shit. Lots of news to see below, time to dive in.
The Avengers (May 4th 2012) Director Joss Whedon – I’ve seen The Avengers twice now and both times I thoroughly enjoyed both viewing, Love the Hulk, so awesomely rad… There really is a lack of adjectives to describe my enjoyment level during viewing it. A fun film made for almost everyone to enjoy. The link to my full review below:
The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3rd 2012) Director Marc Webb – I think that the talent all look well cast. The production design looks interestingly good and I think the few times I’ve seen the trailers in 3D in the theater, for the first time I felt totally immersed into a character’s POV. With the jumping from Building to building in New York point of view shots in the first trailer I got goose bumps and shivers while swinging over the city, feeling like I was doing this for real almost. The 3D effect they’ve come up with there is a pretty cool experience.
As far as the story changes to the character’s origin and hip new persona, I’m not really sold on the Perter Parker aspect of this film yet. I do really like Andrew Garfield as an actor, so I would hope after seeing the full movie I might like the direction Marc Webb has decided to go with Spidey. I’m still not sure what it is but even after the second major trailer (below), I still think there is something off about the back story part. I don’t want to wreck anything for any viewer but it’s laid out in the second trailer if you really look in the background that the back story of how Peter Parker becomes spider-man is completely changed from all the comic iterations.
I think the IMAX 3D might be worth checking out just for the pure spectacle. I’m still on the fence but I’ll definitely going to have my ass in the seats for the new Spidey come July 3rd, hope to be happily surprised by the experience.
Iron Man 3 ( May 3rd 2013) Director Shane Black – There’s been lots of superb casting news for the now in production sequel. We obviously have the regulars back such as Downey Jr. , Paltrow, Cheadle and even the latest to be signed back, Favreau as driver/body guard Happy Hogan. The amazingly perfect casting news for fanboys and girls, is Sir. Ben Kingley as the mystical powered, 7 ring wearing villain, the Mandarin (according to IMDB), Iron Man’s main nemesis in the comics since 1966. As well a crew member let it slip that Sir Ben Kingsley is indeed playing The Mandarin in the film but he will not be the primary antagonist, Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian will be.
Pearce’s Aldrich Killian character is one of the co-creator of the Extremis virus in the comics which is one of the main story arcs the script is reportedly based on.
James Badge Dale is on board as Eric Savin, a character who after uncovering a government conspiracy is almost killed and is turned into a cyborg designated as Coldblood-7 in the comics
Then the latest addition reported by Variety is actor Ashley Hamilton to play the Jack Taggert /Firepower character which was never in the Extremis mini series I don’t think.
Straight from the head of Marvel, Kevin Feige when he spoke with Empire on their podcast recently: “So Iron Man 3 has been structured specifically to be the antidote to The Avengers… Circumstances in the story separate Tony from having access to anything. We wanted to take Tony back to, metaphorically speaking, the cave from Iron Man, the first half of Iron Man, when he’s cut off from the world and needs just focus on his intellects to get himself out of his situation. So he’s not calling Thor, he’s not calling Captain America, he can’t press a special button to have the helicarrier come rescue him, so I think that’ll be a nice complement to the team up of Avengers.
Also in the lengthy Disney presentation at CinemaCon in late Aprill writer/director Shane Black talking about the direction of the project. He dubbed the movie a “technological thriller” and a “crisis movie” set in the world of “international war, arms and terror” saying that they will “put Tony Stark through the wringer” as they explore the trials of being Tony Stark. Although no villain has been revealed for the film, he said the villain will be one that will “frighten in today’s world.” At this point we do know the list of villains and character seems to keep growing at the movie is shooting in North Carolina right now under the code name “Caged Heat”.
With the success of The Avengers film it has also been reported that the production budget has been bumped up from $140 million to $200 million just recently, so the Marvel money people must like what they are seeing out of Shane Black and co.There continues to be spy reports pouring in from the set and some pictures surfaced with what was initially thought to be another villain in the mix “The Iron Patriot”.In the comic The Iron Patriot was Norman Osborn aka (the green goblin) but since Sony owns the right to that character it looked like Eric Savin was going be dawning that armor for the film according to reports, but in mid June it was revealed that it is actually War Machine with a new paint job. So no Iron Patriot to appear this time around. As Production moves to China for the second half of shooting in a few months, I can’t wait to see if they can keep the roll of quality films going at Marvel Studios. First official picture from set released just a week ago below:
So it seems like a mix of Jack Kirby characters with some newer comic storylines mixed in for the film. Looking really forward to seeing Kingley’s Mandarin in action for sure.
The Wolverine (July 26th 2013) Director James Mangold – After it was announced that Darren Aronofsky was going to be the director on the Wolverine sequel I was in absolute geek love heaven over the prospect of this. After a few months at the helm he left the project reportedly because he didn’t want to leave his newly born daughter for the time it would take to prep and shoot the film abroad in Japan. so after that blow to the nuts, it would be hard for me to be happy with any replacement choice. Along came James Mangold who I like as a director and am hopeful he will give us something that features and cherishes the Logan/Wolverine character and not mocks and fucks with it like x3 and Origins did. I am so nervous about this one it’s hard for me to really let myself believe Fox will let a quality Wolverine film happen. Because when I have had faith in the past as an ultra fan I get the shit box last two acts of films like Wolverine: X-Men Origins. total and utter bullshit, lazy film making and storytelling. The only real movement in news about the production is The Daily Telegraph revealed that Twentieth Century Fox will film The Wolverine in Hugh Jackman’s hometown, Sydney, Australia. In a deal estimated to be worth $80 million to the New South Wales economy. Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, who helped secure the deal with Fox when he flew to Los Angeles in January, said winning the film would generate more than 2000 jobs for Sydney. Maybe Mangold will make something of the Christopher McQuarrie script partly based on the Frank Miller Chris Clairmont Japan set mini series, scared almost to death though. Really.
Thor 2 (November 8th 2013) Director Alan Taylor- After Marvel switched director Patty Jenkins (Monster) for Alan Taylor (Game Of Thrones) in late December early January, Robert Rodat (best known for Saving Private Ryan) was brought aboard to do a re-write of the draft from Don Payne who was a contributor on the first film. Most of the news since then has involved the fact that most, is not all the original cast Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard will return . For anyone who’s seen the Avengers you can imagine the storyline that will be taking place between the brothers.
Some more news in late May has been trickling out regarding the villain choice for the second stand alone outing for the God of Thunder. Looks like some great choices looming for fans of the source material, with the reported from a source close to the production, The Enchantress is to be the vileness in the picture . Variety has also printed that actor Mads Mikkelsen is in talks to play an unknown villain most certainly to be The Executioner, the usual partner of The Enchantress in the comics. What Head of Marvel Kevin Feige has said about the film: “We’re going to see the other side of Asgard. It’s not all polished and golden in this film. And the events of Avengers will have affected Thor for sure. His relationship with Loki will continue to evolve, and the biggest part is Natalie and Thor returning with Jane Foster.”
I am very much looking forward to going back to Asgard again, hopefully Alan Taylor brings us something to surpass the very well done first film. I could go for some kick ass battle amongst the Gods right about now, fingers crossed.
Kick-Ass 2 (TBD 2013)- Director Jeff Wadlow– Universal Pictures is in talks with Matthew Vaughn to develop a sequel to Kick-Ass, the Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. comic based film from 2010 which earned $96.2 million worldwide on a $30 million dollar budget. Vaughn directed, produced and self-financed the project; Opting to produce the sequel , Jeff Wadlow will be directing with a reported script adaptation by Vaughn , which adapts not only “Kick-Ass 2,” but also the “Hit-Girl” spin-off that hits stores in June. The Hit-Girl storyline is to be the first act of the film. A reported September 2012 production start for the film, would have Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all reprising their roles. I loved the first one and would be so into seeing Kick-Ass on the big screen again.
Captain America 2 (April 4th 2014)-Director TBD– It was reported by an insider at the studio in late March that the field of ten directors they were looking at had been narrowed down to just three for the Cap sequel- George Nolfi, the writer/director of The Adjustment Bureau, F. Gary Gray director of The Italian Job remake, and an odd choice in the mix, Community’s Anthony and Joseph Russo. The choice for directors was announced here in mid June with The Russo Brothers snaking the gig. Hoping the quality is as good as the first film, I liked Joe Johnson’s take on Cap. Fingers crossed The Russo’s take things to the next level of radness.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2nd 2014) Director Marc Webb – Even though The first film hasn’t opened yet Sony in already moving forward with a sequel. I guess they really like what they’re seeing from Marc Webb’s Spidey. On April 24th Sony Pictures announced that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were coming on board to work on the screenplay for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 written by James Vanderbilt. They will also receive Executive Producer credits. Kurtzman and Orci said: “We grew up as huge Spider-Man fans so, to us, the opportunity to work on this film is akin to being handed the Holy Grail. We love the direction Sony and the filmmakers are taking the Peter Parker/Spider-Man mythology and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this legendary franchise.” Production is tentatively scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013.
As Of Yet Undisclosed Marvel Project ( May 16th 2014) Director TBA– It’s been mentioned in a few interviews and articles in the last few months but now the CEO of Disney brought it up again in an interview for CNBC. There’s no confirmation yet on whether or not the project will be a sequel or if it might be based on a new character in the Marvel Universe, a film maybe I’ve written about below?
X-Men: First Class 2 (July 18th 2014) Director Matthew Vaughn– Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Simon Kinberg are all working on the “X-Men: First Class” sequel script now and shooting is set for January 2013 with a release planned for Summer 2014. Some serious spy news has surfaced in the last week or so that 20th Century Fox had registered the title DAYS OF FUTURE PAST with the MPAA Title Registration Bureau. Which exists for studios and productions companies to put their claims on certain titles that they intend to release, so that others can’t use that title. For any X-Men enthusiast the words DAYS OF FUTURE PAST should set your ball a tingling instantly. For those who are unaware of the great 1981 two-issue story arc of the X-Men comics, it dealt with alternative timelines. In an alternative future, mutants were incarcerated in internment camps. However, the Kitty Pryde of that timeline transfers her mind to the Kitty Pryde of now in order to prevent that from ever happening. The assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by the Brotherhood is what sets off this chain of events, and now with the X-Men made aware of the future, they must try to stop it from happening ect…So it looks like some really interesting possibilities for this film. I really liked the first outing and hope the second turns out better and more focused, but anything Vaughn makes I’m in the theater to see it with out question. He has always delivered for me no matter the film.
DareDevil (TBD) Director David Slade – A pretty much unknown David James Kelly has been hired to re-write a script for the planned “Daredevil” reboot at 20th Century Fox supposedly based of Frank Millers “Born Again” comic run. 9 years since the Marc Steven Johnson Ben Affleck feature fail, I’m nervous and hopeful we’ll see some kind of a quality Daredevil movie in the near future. Like playing craps, the quality of a Fox comic book film…Crossing my fingers and hoping that one of my childhood favs doesn’t get a fist in the ass again.
Ant-Man (TBD) Director Edgar Wright– Twitpic of Edgar Wright’s with the words: “Received this in the mail. What can it mean?” This one has been in the rumor mill for a few year but I bet now with the Avengers is doing well at the box office, we might get some quick movement on this Marvel flick from the director of Shawn of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim. Would love to see this happen.
Avengers 2 -(TBD) Director TBD/ Joss Whedon?– Back in March, about two months before The Avengers opened on the big screen SFX (via Digital Spy) managed a few details from writer/director Joss Whedon about both the first film and a potential sequel: “I want to know what makes them tick, what makes them flawed, what makes them fight – and ultimately, what makes them awesome,” Whedon says of the superhero team. ” I go to these movies for those moments when the heroes define themselves, either through action or deliciously overwritten speeches.” Asked how a sequel could possibly be bigger than what he had planned for the May 4th release, Whedon responded: “By not trying to. By being smaller. More personal, more painful… By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself.”
…And after the record breaking release this is what Joss Whedon told Hero Complex mid May about possibly directing the sequel “You know, I’m very torn.It’s an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else’s story, even though I feel like I did get to put myself into it. But at the same time, I have a bunch of ideas, and they all seem really cool.”
No matter who directs it my ass will be in the seat come showtime on Avengers 2, I’ve dreamed to see Thanos in action on film for 15-20 years, beyond epic. I do hope Marvel convinces Whedon to return in the directing seat but at the very least he’s set things off in such a great direction, the person taking over will have to pull off one hell of a play to make something to live up to what is amount to walking across water in Hollywood. Good luck to who ever that might be, I’m waiting.
Deadpool (TBD) Director Tim Miller – The script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.(Zombieland), Ryan Reynolds to star. The whole thing seems really cool with full R rated content, Deadpool breaking the fourth wall and taking to the audience, brutally violent and all the snappy dialog to boot is the little bit that’s been leaks on this project . A decent Ryan Reynolds video about his feelings on the subject below:
In early January at the Arizona Comic Con Rob Liefeld (creator of Deadpool) briefly talked about the status of the movie, had some super awesome things to say:“They’ve got a great director on the movie, they’ve got a great script. I may or may have not seen some sort of test of footage that would blow your mind if you saw it and go holy crap and that’s Deadpool in costume. Katana swords, guns, shooting people’s faces off and making me laugh. And I may or may not have seen something that looks just like that. And you’ve got what would amount to the first R Rated X-Men movie. Because that script is R Rated. They may or may not have wanted to shoot eight minutes to see how it would play. And all I can tell you, it’s close. It’s closer that it’s even been to going, or going Naaah, that’s too scary a proposition to make a R Rated Deadpool movie.”
The full video from the panel below( The Deadpool movie stuff starts in at 37:05, with a great comment on the treatment of the character in the first Wolverine film and then all the stuff quoted above from the creators crazy enthusiastic mouth):
Doctor Strange (TBD 2013?) Director TBD– It had been confirmed in late January that the script for Doctor Strange has been completed by Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan The Barbarian, Sahara). Marvel Studios is actively seeking a director to helm the project.
Once they have the right director on board, Marvel will then be searching for the cast to star in Doctor Strange. The Budget is reported to be somewhat smaller than the bigger Marvel movies but the studio is hopeful with all the right pieces as far as talent, Doctor Strange could absolutely be a great film. Production is expected to begin this year, with a release date likely to be sometime in 2013. A very interesting character I’d like to see something really out there storytelling wise to show the real range of the Marvel Universe.
Fantastic Four (TBD) Director TBD– Variety had an article in January with word that Fox was eying Josh Trank as a potential helmer on the reboot of Fantastic Four. Known now for his big screen directorial debut, the very well received Chronicle released on February 3rd 2012, he most likely can’t do any worse that the previous films. The complete shitting on the fans faces with the Tim Story directed Fantastic Four in 2005 and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Thanks so much for those two Fox. Also in 1994 a feature-length version was also infamously produced by Roger Corman and never released but still lingers on the internet to find for the curious and geeky fanboys. Would love to see a properly done Fan 4 flick, one of my favorite reads as a kid come to life on the big screen could be epic beyond belief. Both fingers and all toes crossed.
Venom (TBD) Director TBD– Also In early March The LA Times was reporting that Chronicle director Josh Trank was in talks to direct a Venom feature film based on the “Spider-Man” character. Sony has toyed with the idea of a Venom spinoff in the past, but this new version is rumored to be unconnected to previous drafts. Would be surprised if we saw this materialize anytime soon but who knows what those wacky studio execs are on or thinking most of the time. No word since the article mentioned the Chronicle directors interest. I would definitely be interested to see how’d they approach it though.
The Guardians Of The Galaxy (TBD) Director TBD– In an CraveOnline interview with Marvel Studios president of production Kevin Feige, he confirmed The Guardians of the Galaxy movie Marvel is planning will be about the modern version of the team, which includes such intergalactic superheroes as Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot and Rocket Raccoon and less Vance and that team. Taking the stories into the Universe and space could be ultra cool if the right villain were to appear, Thanos could work in this one to.
Black Panther (TBD) Director TBD– It’s been rumored for awhile that they were working on a treatment for some sort of live action Black Panther film and now with Avengers going off it would make sense to bring the character T’Challa (Panther’s real name) into the mix. Wakanda Black Panther’s homeland’s major export is Vibranium which is what Cap America’s shield is made from, an ultra rare metal mined from a meteor that fell from the sky. For the keen observers we’ve got to see a few hints already in IRON MAN 2 of Wakanda as the Vibranium’s source . Bringing Black Panther to the big screen would fit perfectly into the larger plans of the Marvel film universe. Would be interested what the stand alone tale would be like and about but I’m game to give anything a chance in this new Marvel para-dime that is growing with every movie in their pipeline.
So there you go, you’re now up to date on all the Marvel films in the hopper. We can only hope and prey something great is in the bunch, bound to be some shit shows, but of course time will only tell.
Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.
It not secret by now that The Avengers is destroying all box office records in the last few weeks, snatching up very close to $374 million Domestic and $476 million International. With $850 million worldwide the flick has very little signs of slowing down, by the end of this weekend it might be very close to breaking the billion mark in only the second week of release in North America . These numbers are pure madness and I love and savore every second.
The real question here is, is The Avengers film any good or just big hypey piece of bullshit? If you’ve seen it already your opinion is most likely the same, It fucking rocked the hardest any superhero flick ever has and dare I say it, played as well as any tent pole action film in recent history. It took me to such a great childhood place I thought was actually gone when watching movies now, that I must see it at least a few more times in the theater to see if it was a one time thing or just that epic. Director Josh Whedon unleashes such fucking radness on the screen that I can’t help but swoon over his first mega budget film and hope that the power that be at Marvel and Disney use this as the benchmark for all other Marvel outings on the big screen and realize the genius and understanding the Whedon has in this comic universe.
If you’re one of the ones that’s on the fence on seeing the Avengers and comic filcks aren’t really your cup of tea, I can tell you that if you enjoy mega action movies, great one lines, mind blowing action sequences and perfect play on classic archetypes you can enjoy this film on that level and walk away wholly and completely satisfied. Now if you are a page turning card carrying Marvel geek nerd ( like I am) then prepare to have your nuts figuratively blown off as well as your mind melted to some state of utter comic geek bliss.
The real thing for me is I went into this film with such high expectation seeing the trailers and knowing who the film makers were, being a fan, I was still surprised by my reaction to the film. I actually got goose bumps, cheered out loud, clapped in approval, laughed in joy and awe so many times I can’t even remember liking a theater experience so much for a modern movie ever. No texting, No one talking, just all sheeple glued to a screen as it should be.
The real jem of the whole thing is definitely the Hulk. I did actually enjoy Edward Norton”s Incredible Hulk film from 2008, but in Avengers we get to see the strait up, kick mega ass, SMASH shit, bat nuts Hulk. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is very tonally played and the scenes with Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark are extremely enjoyable, super banter. Without giving away any specific details and/or surprises, I can only say I have finally seen Marvel’s real Hulk on the big screen in full motion and I adore every second with the pure utter geek love I’ve had for the character since childhood, SUPER FABULOUS EPIC is the only words close to my feelings on the matter. More Hulk Please!!!
The other super important thing Whedon did and does very well is giving each character his or her time on screen and importance through out the story. The interaction between them all in filled with great one liners and moments to laugh at and clap your hands in amazement of the coolness factor being witnessed. The balance he achieves almost seems like a magic trick, but this is what the comic was always all about and the understanding of the material shines so brightly when you get someone who loves and cherishes the source full-boar.
In the end nothing to do but extend my personal thanks to the studio’s involved in production of the Avengers film for putting Joss Whedon in charge of this ever so important film. Hopefully our days of seeing Marvel films like the super fails, Fan 4 1 and 2, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, X3 are behind us. No more directors in-charge of properties they don’t even give a shit about or understand in the slightest way ( yes I’m talking directly to you Brett Ratner and Tim Story). All studios take notice what happens when you put a super geek in charge of a huge comic film, pure pure gold. Can’t wait for Avengers 2, desperately need more Hulk Smash now!!!
Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.