Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’

Tonight we are introduced to the first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.

What the hell did I just watch?

I admit I haven’t read any GotG so I won’t even attempt to speak towards how this might fit with the established canon. I know GotG is supposed to have a lighter, more goofier feel, which in itself is not a bad thing. It’s actually great to see that the MCU isn’t going to just fall into the ‘dark and gritty’ black hole and continue to give us fun, action packed, feel good, adventure films.

But instead of having that sharp wit we’ve seen come out of the Iron Man 3 and Cap 2 trailers, this trailer has less of the feel of a major motion picture and more of something seen in a 90s Disney Channel movie. It’s really the scenes with the guards talking about the GotG, their uniforms are just… so… cheap looking and cheesy… and the jokes… so… banal and immature. The quality level seems to jump between crisp CGI and ‘let’s put a glow stick on it’.

But not all is lost.

It’s obvious that they’re not showing much beyond the beginning of the film here and it’s mostly used as an introduction for those who are unfamiliar with the property. While the introduction actually works against the trailer in that it’s very stilted, we can see that there is a lot left on this bone and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Plus I’m sure there’s a few million in special effects that haven’t been applied yet and that will hopefully clean up some of the cheap and awkward looking areas.

Though I say that and apparently no one took a second look at the after credits scene in Thor 2 before letting it go to print… I had been hoping that was a one off.

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via CinemaBlend

Will Edgar Wright's Ant-Man Have Two Hank Pyms? image
It was exactly one week ago that director Edgar Wright teased us with the idea that his upcoming Marvel Studios film Ant-Man would actually feature more than one character taking on the titular hero’s moniker. Posting a still from the episode “To Steal An Ant-Man” from the animated series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the director seemed to hint that his movie would include portrayals of both Hank Pym and Scott Lang, the first two characters in the comics to become Ant-Man. Today that was confirmed with the casting of Michael Douglas, who will star opposite Paul Rudd.Exciting as that development is, however, there’s evidence that suggests that there is more to come. Looking at both recent revelations and old, it’s entirely possible that we will soon end up hearing about the casting of a third Ant-Man. No, I don’t mean Eric O’Grady – I’m talking about young Hank Pym.

When the news of Douglas’ casting was announced this afternoon, Wright directed fans through his Twitter account to an interview that he did with SuperHeroHype all the way back in 2006 (just three months after he landed the Ant-Man gig). Discussing his vision for the superhero story, the filmmaker described beginning the movie with a “prologue” set back in the 1960s, following Hank Pym’s early adventures as Ant-Man, and then flashing forward to the present to tell the story of Scott Lang and how “he crosses paths with Henry Pym, and then, in an interesting sort of Machiavellian way, teams up with him.” Douglas will clearly be playing the older version of Pym that ends up taking Rudd’s Lang under his wing, but that means the project still needs an actor to play the character when he was 50 years younger.

In this regard, having Douglas on-board gives them something to shoot for in the casting process. We can probably assume that Wright won’t be going the Tron Legacyroute and create a younger, digital version of the actor, so that means finding someone who could pass for a young Michael Douglas. The veteran star’s age and the director’s hints suggest that the production will be looking for an actor in his 20s who stands about 5’10″ and who has the uncanny ability to switch from affable to intimidating at the drop of a hat. It won’t be an easy search, but there are a lot of young, talented actors out there who could fit the bill.

In addition to giving a full, rich history to the character of Ant-Man, casting a semi-known actor as the young Hank Pym would also open up a very interesting avenue for Marvel Studios. Thanks to Captain America: The First Avenger we’ve seen the 1940s in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the 1960s would be entirely new terrain to explore. Twenty some-odd years after both the creation and presumed death of Captain America, where do things stand? How is S.H.I.E.L.D. progressing? What other experiments are going on? It’s yet another way for the comic book studio to expand everything that they’re doing, and we already know how much they love doing that.

Ant-Man will be in theaters on July 31, 2015, which means that production will start up in the first half of this year. Hopefully we’ll hear even more casting news soon.

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via Newsarama

Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver

One of the things that set Marvel’s superhero universe apart in the early days was how the characters from each individual title co-existed in a shared universe, prone to numerous crossovers, chance meetings and even relationships between books. Since then that inter-connective continuity has become a staple of superhero comics, but it’s also coming back to haunt Marvel when it comes to their movie ambitions. It all came to light earlier this year when the productions for Marvel Studios’ The Avengers: Age of Ultron and 20thCentury Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past both announced it would feature the mutant character Quicksilver, albeit with different actors playing that role – (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Evan Peters, respectively). This unique conundrum brings into focus an interesting and unintended aspect of movie adaptations of Marvel properties and the rights which Marvel sold prior to having its own movie studio, as well as other characters which  might follow Quicksilver in becoming Marvel characters that are able to literally co-exist in two (or perhaps three) separate superhero movie continuities. But first, a lay of the land.
Up until 2004 when Marvel announced plans to finance their own movies, they instead sold the movie rights to its popular characters to movie companies to be developed into feature films. Its cross-town competitor DC avoided this fate by the fact that it was owned by actual movie studio – Warner Bros. – going as far back as 1970. But Marvel, who was in bankruptcy for several years in the late 1990s, sold the movie rights for virtually all of its characters to movie studios far and wide. Some of those movie rights turned into movie successes such as Fox’s X-Men movie franchise and Sony’s Spider-Man, but other movie rights owned by outside parties (including Sony) reverted (or were sold) back to Marvel as they began getting their own movie studio in order. Marvel successfully reacquired the movie rights to Iron Man and Black Widow from New Line in 2005, and the Hulk and Thor one year later from Universal and Sony respectively. Recently Marvel’s also retained the rights to Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Punisher as well – something they put to quick use, with Daredevil as the flagship of its Netflix line of television shows. Although they hadn’t been able to reacquire the movie rights to their entire character library, Marvel used an extensive line of credit to reacquire the central heroes that would form the Avengers – and Marvel’s in-house movie studio – and build what we know of today.
Currently, Sony owns the movie rights to Spider-Man, while 20thCentury Fox owns both the successful X-Men movie franchise (both have new films hitting in 2014, and have already announced more for 2016 and beyond) as well as the soon-to-be rebooted Fantastic Four film series. With those rights agreements comes the use of ancillary characters of those leading characters, and while some characters are clearly associated to Spider-Man – say for example Aunt May – others had a more complicated backstory with association with multiple character families, some owned by Marvel in-house and some under these rights deals to Sony and 20th Century Fox. Quicksilver is an interesting example, as he was introduced in 1964 as the mutant son of the prime X-Men villain Magneto; sure thing to be considered part of the X-Men family of movie rights, yes? But after his early appearances in Uncanny X-Men, Quicksilver and his sister Scarlet Witch broke from mutantkind and became some of the earliest recruits into Avengers in 1965. For the most part, both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s stories have been told in Avengers andits related titles. That complicates things, because apparently in these contracts – which haven’t been released to the public or the press – they weren’t completely specific on which characters they covered.
X-Men Days of Future Past
“It’s a little tricky, “Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch back in 2012 in an interview with HeyUGuys. “”If they want to use them in the X-Men movies they could, if we want to use them in the Avengers movie we could.”

The first thing that comes to mind for anyone who’s read comics for a significant amount of time is “crossover,” but you’ll have to hold your horses on that front. In comic book terms, you have to think of these families of Marvel characters at Sony, 20thCentury Fox and Marvel as separate companies… because, well frankly they are. And just as the idea of an official crossover between major companies like Marvel and DC in comics is a rarity, in Hollywood it’s even more so, due to the exponentially higher budgets, dividends and stock-holders involved. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen as Feige once attempted to insert Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in one of the Sam Raimi era Spider-Man movies, but the red tape involved is even stronger than that webcrawler’s webbing.

Quicksilver
What instead is happening, in the case of Quicksilver, is that two versions of the character are appearing in X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Each named Quicksilver, each with the same powers, but played by different actors and with a strong possibility of different backstories and characterizations. For instance, marvel Studios can’t use the word Mutant to describe the character, or mention his connection to Magneto. Fox, likewise, won’t have mentions of his superheroic teammates of Iron, Godly, or Captain status. Quicksilver has become the face of this conundrum, but the super-fast speedster wasn’t the first to sit in this precarious position.

Stan Lee, the billed co-creator and writer of many of the Marvel characters that have been translated successfully to the big screen, and made a name for himself to mainstream audiences for his well-received cameos in nearly all of Marvel’s Hollywood outings, both in film and television; even in movies for characters he didn’t create such as Captain America: The First Avenger. In a majority of these roles he’s played unknown bystanders (or in the case of Fantastic Four, the lovable mailman Willie Lumpkin), but in two instances “The Man” in fact played the over-the-top character his parents created and he defined, himself. In both 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and the original Iron Man from 2008 he is billed as Stan Lee. While it might not be too factual to call him a Marvel character and someone whose movie rights are tied up in legal contracts, it’s still worth noting.

Stepping back into the completely fictional characters of the Marvel comics universe, there are a number of characters like Quicksilver who could be prone to shared rights between movie studios and simultaneous co-existence in separate movie universes. The easiest one to name is Quicksilver’s sister, the Scarlet Witch; she’s already been announced as having a major role in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but Sony has yet to say if the mutant will play a role in X-Men: Days of Future Past or future movies. The third example is a mutant like the Maximoff siblings, and like them an offspring of a popular pair of characters: Cable.

Debuting in comics as the infant Nathan Summers in 1986’sUncanny X-Men #201, the character who would later become known as Cable was born as the only son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor. Four years later in New Mutants #87, Summers returned from the future as a hardened warrior named Cable. At the time the connection between Cable and the infant Summers wasn’t made, but soon after the 1990 debut it was revealed. As a character he’s almost exclusively appeared in X-Men related books for his 27 year history, so logic would dictate that his character would also be a clear part of the raft of intellectual property acquired when 20th Century Fox bought the movie rights for the X-Men in 1994. But not so, apparently, as in 2009 Variety Senior Editor Marc Graser reported Cable was one of slate of characters Marvel Studios was developing as standalone movies. The co-creator of the adult Cable persona, Rob Liefeld, has stated unequivocally that Cable is part of the planned X-Force movie, which if true would by extension make the character a part of 20th Century’s movie rights holdings. Who’s right? Could they both be right?

The facts as they’ve been revealed don’t illuminate any clues as to why this might be. It’s certainly possible that Variety was simply mistaken to list Cable as a character in development at Marvel as a feature film. But if that was the case, wouldn’t Marvel, or especially 20th Century Fox, ask for a correction from Variety? To date that hasn’t appeared, but neither has any official confirmation of any of the properties Graser mentioned. Factual answers to this lie in the 1994 contract between Marvel and 20thCentury Fox, but that is highly unlikely to ever come to light in the public. More likely, fans will find out which studio has Cable’s rights when he appears on the big screen for the first time. But perhaps, like Quicksilver, his rights are evenly split with the character able to be used by both indiscriminately; or perhaps for some reason the infant-aged Nathan Summers character is tied up in 20th Century Fox’s rights while the adult Cable in another; or vice-versa.

There are additional characters that have paths that crisscross different sectors of the Marvel Universe whose movie rights are owned by separate companies; two of which have already appeared, Sabretooth and Mystique. Although both of these characters are ardent parts of the X-Men side of the Marvel Universe and have appeared in numerous X-Men movies, both of these characters’ origins are rooted outside of the X-Men titles. Sabretooth was originally created for 1977’s Iron Fist #14by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, and fought against heroes such as Iron Fist, Luke Cage and even Spider-Man. It wasn’t until 9 years later that he first stepped into the X-Men titles, with 1986’s X-Factor #10. Likewise, Mystique first appeared in 1978’s Ms. Marvel #16 under the pen of Claremont and Dave Cockrum; the character wouldn’t segue over to her more well-known haunts of the mutant side of the Marvel U until 1981’s Uncanny X-Men #141. In many ways, Mystique and Sabretooth’s complicated path in comics are reverse mirror images of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, but with them being extensively used in 20th Century Fox’s X-Menmovies. But given this evidence, could they show up in a Marvel Studios’ movie? Imagine that for a second. Heck, even Rogue first appeared in Avengers Annual #10 (From yes, you guessed it, Chris Claremont), as a villain under the watch of Mystique. Now that she’s been cut from X-Men: Days of Future Past, maybe she can make her big screen return in a future Marvel Studios film.
Inhumanity #2
This whole conversation doesn’t even bring in 20th Century Fox’s other Marvel superhero franchise, the Fantastic Four. Although currently in dry dock awaiting a reboot, when Fox bought the rights for Marvel’s First Family they also bought the title that during its first fifty issues was the crossroads for Marvel’s then-budding comic book universe. Numerous characters such as Black Panther, Uatu the Watcher, and Kang appeared there, as did entire races such as the Inhumans, the Kree and the Skrulls (and many other space-faring races). Marvel’s already made announcements about being in early development on Black Panther and Inhumans movies in-house, so perhaps those rights were carved out when they sold the rights to the FF to 20th Century Fox? The current push for the Inhumans in Marvel Comics has been speculated as being the first step to bring them into the movie spotlight. Perhaps, but there’s still a lot of question marks. Another big one to consider is Mephisto, who first appeared in Silver Surfer, a title whose titular star is squarely in the movie-verse of 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four franchise.

Again, it’s all down to the contracts signed by Marvel and these various outside studios. But much like some comics creators have had second thoughts about contracts signed with publisher years or decades after the fact, so might Marvel now as they build their comics empire.

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Vin Diesel at Marvel via FacebookVin Diesel has let it be known quite publically that he’s in talks with Marvel/Disney for a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This could be a little dicey/dodgy for him because some studios/execs don’t like their actors running about and blabbing everything.

That aside, the big question is: Who will he play?

There isn’t a shortage of choices, though some roles he’s better fit for than others. The people at io9 seem to think he’ll play The Vision, and it’s a really popular rumor right now, especially since Vin jockeyed for it back when Avengers came out.

It’s possible, he certainly has the “look” for Vision (tall, stoic, bald)… but here is my problem: he’s too old for Vision.

Before you yell ‘agest’, let’s look at the fine points here. The Vision is an android which means he doesn’t age, he’ll always look the same. If they want to use the character for several films then getting a younger actor simply makes the most sense. Just as you get an older actor who has already gone through puberty to play a teenager (that way you don’t have to worry about the sudden growth spurts, etc), you start with a young actor for a character who doesn’t age. Because no matter how well they stay in shape, they will eventually show their age once they hit the hill. (I’m sorry Hugh, you’re a wonderful Wolverine, and still sexy as hell, but Wolvie is looking rough around the edges now.)

So, if Vision aged like everyone else, then there wouldn’t really be a problem with Vin… except…

If they are looking at the likes of Saoirse Ronan to play Wanda Maximoff, or at least someone like her, then Marvel/Disney probably would want to get a guy in their 20s to play Vision as Wanda and Vision are the Avenger’s power couple. Granted, since Vision doesn’t really have an ‘age’ and there isn’t anything wrong with the age difference in general, an argument could be made that it’s perfectly fine to have a 46 year old Vin and 20 year old Saoirse (at time of filming) do a romantic sub-plot. But more likely Marvel/Disney will want to cash in on the pre-teen and young adult demographic and go with someone who can play the young romance/angst against Saoirse (or whoever gets cast as Wanda).

From a completely corporate/capitalism/what makes the most money view, Vin is not a good fit for Vision, which is why I think Marvel/Disney will cast him as someone else. Then they’ll get a 20-something for Vision, probably a small-name like Chris Hemsworth was before Thor, someone they can pay scale and contract for several films.

Anyway, personally, I love Vin Diesel and can’t wait to see him in the MCU, but I don’t see it happening as The Vision. There are a lot of options out there… he could be playing a villain for all we know. So until we have more to go on, I’m not going to even bother to speculate.

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Thor: The Dark World: Prelude #1Doing comic book tie-ins are actually a really good idea, as long as they are done well. They’re basically all the extra scenes that got cut out of the movie because they really weren’t needed but would have been nice to see.

That’s pretty much what comprises this particular tie-in.

We know Thor gets to Earth using dark magic and Jane is shipped off to Norway, but here we see it happen.

The best part is the little things, such as Frigga being the one to see that Loki is still alive. I really hope she gets some face time with Loki in Dark World because even if Odin is suspect, she always treated him as her son.

As for Thor himself, he learned that every action has consequences… and this is definitely one of those moments where the bigger picture is about to come crashing down on him.

Just… couldn’t they have done a better cover?

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Benicio Del ToroCasting news has been dropping fast regarding the newest franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Deadline reports that Benicio Del Toro has been signed on for multiple films, the first that I’ve really heard of this being specifically mentioned with GOTG which means it’s likely a deal for other non-GOTG films.

Could Del Toro be playing the villain? One who, like Loki, will be brought over into Avengers 2 as the big bad? Del Toro would definitely make the kind of villain that would cause the Avengers to step up their game. But we already have three villains in Lee Pace, Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan… though, minions do often come in threes…

I suppose Del Toro could be playing a good guy but we already have our Star-Lord and most of the Guardian gang which would leave Del Toro a voice-role only. I dunno, just can’t see him as Rocket Raccoon myself.

In any case, this movie is racking in some serious talent with all signs pointing to awesome.

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Karen Gillian - BBC PhotoshootOn the heels of the news that Glenn Close has joined the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Doctor Who alum Karen Gillan has also been added to the cast, only this time as the main female villain. Not being that familiar with GotG, I can’t even begin to speculate who she is going to be playing, though I doubt it will be an original character seeing as she’s a lead villain.

Karen played a character in Doctor Who named Amy Pond, one of the Doctor’s companions (and his mother-in-law, long story). The Who fandom does overlap greatly with the Marvel CBM fandom so it will be different to see her as a villain, especially along side Lee Pace of Pushing Daisies fame. Both are not exactly anywhere near the top of the list when you think of people to play bad guys, but both are great actors so it will be very interesting to see what they do with this.

They are also going to share the villain spotlight with Michael Rooker of The Walking Dead fame… so to say this movie won’t at least be interesting is an understatement.

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