Posts Tagged ‘Marvel’

Agents-of-SHIELD-SeedsToo Cool For School? Bad puns just can’t help themselves…

AOS continues to be stronger this second half of the season. We get another non-Skye-centric episode that didn’t feel like it was trying to be a non-Skye episode. Our team heads back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science Academy to hunt down a prank gone wrong. It’s nice look into how S.H.I.E.L.D. works but at the same kinda odd. I mean, if you go by Thor 2 (the most recent MCU movie) S.H.I.E.L.D. still isn’t that well known across the world unlike the CIA or NSA which every British person has heard of even if they don’t understand their particulars. Yet, in this episode, SHIELD has not just one, but several independent Academies that seem about the size of a City College at least. Yeah, NSA, CIA, they may have specific training camps and stuff but nothing on that scale, they usually hire out of University rather than doing it all themselves… yet SHIELD is still “a secret” according to Darcy?

Considering what happened in NYC I’m sure Darcy is the odd one out here but I can’t help be a bit nitpicky.

Anyway, I had a point, didn’t I?

Ah, yes, this episode was well rounded in how it was laid out and presented the characters. Skye’s story finally moves forward, giving us some interesting information about the circumstances of her being orphaned. Because we actually have forward movement in her story rather than lateral, this episode avoids more ‘annoying Skye-time’ pitfalls that we saw throughout the first half of the season.

Also, the other characters are finally becoming part of the episodes rather than part of ‘character-theme’ episodes. Basically, everyone is really starting to mesh and work as a group, character wise.

Was the story itself all that thrilling? Not really… it lacked the umph of scenes like the spinning room, but it shows that this show knows how to be more cohesive. A great sign for things to come.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

via Hollywood Reporter

Paul Rudd
Marvel has found the star on their next giant movie, Ant-Man.
Paul Rudd had been chosen to star in the movie, which is being directed by Edgar Wright and already has a release date of July 31, 2015.

Rudd was in contention for the role with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and although Rudd was the front-runner for some time, Marvel took its time pulling the trigger. Some speculate that when Gordon-Levitt became attached to Sandman, based on a character by Marvel’s rival, DC Entertainment, that only hastened the dealmaking.

Ant-Man could be Marvel’s more quirky offering since it’s in the hands of Wright, a director known for his fan-favorite films such as Hot Fuzz and The World’s End,which balance action, sci-fi and comedy.

Rudd’s front-runner status was an open secret. What is more of interest to fanboys and girls is which Ant-Man is Marvel adapting. The script calls for the original hero, a scientist named Dr. Hank Pym who invents the shrinking technology (called Pym Particles!) and was one of Marvel’s earliest heroes. But it also has Scott Lang, a reformed thief who became the hero in the late 1970s.

Read Full Post »

vai CBR

TV RATINGS: TRACKING “MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD”

To say “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has received a critically-mixed response is something of an understatement. While it’s certainly not the most panned new show of the 2013-14, there have been a number of high profile negative reactions from fans, critics and comic creators (most notably Jim Steranko). Despite the decidedly tepid reaction, however, ABC quickly extended the series for a full season order, and the chance of renewal is high, given that it’s the only show currently competing for ratings against CBS juggernaut “NCIS.”

 

Critical reaction aside, the question remains: How is “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actually performing in the ratings and viewership since its record-breaking premiere episode? While the numbers certainly didn’t remain as high as the premiere, it’s by no means a weak show, and is actually stronger than many folks realize.

WHAT ARE NIELSEN RATINGS?

Before digging too deep into charts and graphs, it’s important to understand what these numbers mean. Nielsen ratings represent a percentage of viewers in a given age group; if a show gets a 2.6 rating for adults 18-49, it means that 2.6 percent of all 18-49 year olds watched that show during its live airing. Relatively simple.

While 2.6 percent might not seem all that impressive at first glance, keep in mind that — as of 2010-11 — Nielsen determined there were 131 million adults in the 18-49 age bracket. So that 2.6 rating in 2010 meant 3.406 million people watched the show during its live airing.

Why is the 18-49 demographic the most important? The short answer is that most ads are tailored to that age group, in large part because they’re the people most likely to spend money. The higher the percentage of 18-49 year olds watching a show, the easier it is for networks to sell ad space and get more revenue out of a series.

That said, live ratings no longer give as complete a picture of the health of a series as they once did — the advent of the DVR and next-day streaming services like Hulu can increase viewer numbers and ratings significantly, though how much it influences a network’s approach to renewing a series remains pretty much unknown.

Another term to be aware of — especially given that the most recent one just ended — is “Sweeps.” These ratings periods involve Nielsen sending out paper television viewing diaries to households across the country, helping provide a basis for program scheduling and advertising decisions for local television stations, cable providers and potential advertisers. Sweeps periods take place in November, February, May and July.

THE STATUS OF “AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.”

With all of that in mind, the following graphic charts the viewer numbers and ratings of live “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” broadcasts. All charts are for Live+Next Day adjusted ratings, and all viewer numbers are represented in millions. The total is a combination of Eastern/Central and Pacific airings.

 As the chart indicates, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” began with its series high and slowly declined to its lowest point for episode 7, “The Hub.” It worked its way back up to end November sweeps on the highest rating in the 18-49 demo the show had in three weeks and the second highest viewer numbers overall. While it’s unknown exactly what contributed the the recent bump in ratings and viewers of last week’s episode, there are two major factors that may explain the upwards trend. First, the impending Thanksgiving holiday, where viewers may have begun vacationing early, giving them more free time to tune in. Second, the previous episode’s tie-in to “Thor: The Dark World” likely helped as well.

The timing of the “Thor” tie-in is not a coincidence. While the film’s November launch date was set very far in advance, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” cleverly used the movie to help drive its November Sweeps numbers. As more people saw the film and caught the related “S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode online or via DVR playback, a number apparently stuck around for the following episode. The gambit seems to have paid off, for now, at least. Time will tell if the series is able to keep its current bump in live viewers.

“AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.” VERSUS “NCIS”

That’s all well an good, but there are a few comparisons that can give a clearer picture as to how “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is doing in the marketplace — chief among them is comparing the show with it’s main timeslot competitor, “NCIS.”

Currently in its eleventh season, “NCIS” is a ratings powerhouse for CBS, and it is significant competition for “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” when fighting for casual viewers, in part due to both shows being of a procedural genre nature. Here’s how “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” tracks next to NCIS in both ratings and viewers.

One very significant note about these charts: the 6th episode of “NCIS” season 11 aired without a new “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode opposite it; and episode 9 of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” aired without a new “NCIS.”

While “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” may not be competing with “NCIS” in terms of overall viewers, it’s a little more competitive for ratings in the coveted 18-49 demographic. And though “S.H.I.E.L.D.” does trend lower than “NCIS,” it’s still the only competitive non-reality force for its timeslot as evidenced by these charts, which detail ratings and viewers for all shows that normally air on Tuesdays at 8PM.

 As you can see, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is quite literally the only show that comes close to competing with “NCIS” both in the 18-49 ratings and in overall viewership. It’s likely that these competitive ratings for its timeslot helped influence ABC to expand “S.H.I.E.L.D.” to a full 22-episode order. That said, there isn’t a whole lot of non-reality-based competition during “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” timeslot: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has some positive buzz and “Dads” continues to get support from Fox, but neither shows any sign of bringing in numbers comparable to “S.H.I.E.L.D.” A similar phenomenon occurs as relates to “The Originals,” the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” spinoff.

It’s also important to note that, other than “NCIS,” all current non-reality series in the Tuesday 8 PM timeslot are brand-new. Out of the four new shows in the Tuesday 8 PM timeslot, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is clearly way ahead and could even be considered to be the standout new series of the night when just looking at the number comparisons.

“AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.” VERSUS 2012-2013

It’s very difficult to evaluate “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” against last year’s ABC show in the same timeslot — namely because it was “Dancing With The Stars” in the fall, “The Taste” as a mid-season premiere, followed by “Celebrity Wife Swap,” then “Splash” in the Spring. All four of those shows are reality-based programming. Comparing “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” — a scripted show — to reality television is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but it does give a slightly better idea as to how “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is doing. For ease of comparison, the following chart shows “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in relation to the numbers that were closest to same Tuesday air date in 2012-2013.

Note: The final week of November was the “Dancing With The Stars” finale and it began at 9 PM instead of 8 PM. There was also a 5th week of October in 2013, but no episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” aired that week.

While “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” ratings are higher nearly across the board in the 18-49 demo, the viewer numbers overall are definitely not in the same class as “Dancing With The Stars.” However, the higher ratings of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is certainly a point in the scripted drama’s favor over last year’s “Dancing With The Stars.”

“AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.” VERSUS “SLEEPY HOLLOW”

There is one more comparison we have to make with “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” one with a show lauded by critics as the surprise hit and critical darling of the 2013-2014 season: “Sleepy Hollow.”

Airing on Mondays at 9 PM opposite almost zero competition, “Sleepy Hollow’s” chief competitor is usually 2 half-hour sitcoms on CBS. (Fox, ABC and NBC air reality programming in the fall on Mondays) That said, “Sleepy Hollow” is up against ratings monsters, even if they are reality shows (“The Voice” on NBC and “Dancing With The Stars” on ABC), two half-hour sitcoms on another network and a CW show. (“Beauty and the Beast”) To top it off, “Sleepy Hollow” is also a genre procedural in its first season. Top to bottom, it’s remarkably similar to “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Here are the ratings/viewer comparison charts between “Sleepy Hollow” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

For the most part, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Sleepy Hollow” are neck and neck for ratings and viewership with a few outliers. Critical reaction is certainly on thing — “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is cited for not living up to expectations, while “Sleepy Hollow” is praised for having exceeded them — the shows both are following similar trajectories in terms of ratings and viewers.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR “AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.”?

Despite critics’ evaluations, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is performing very well, certainly well enough to understand why ABC chose to commit to a full season order. Any show that can even come close to the constant 3.0 ratings of “NCIS” on Tuesdays is a decently sound investment for ABC. At this point, the only thing that would probably prevent the series’ renewal is if the numbers start to trend downward beyond normal show attrition.

That said, if “Sleepy Hollow” is bringing in the ratings it does on a night largely devoid of scripted television and continues its climb as critics’ it girl of the 2013-2014 season, imagine what “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” ratings would be like if it were getting similar acclaim.

Bottom line is, the numbers are very strong for the current market. The fact that the only scripted show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” can’t beat in its timeslot is “NCIS” makes it a much more likely bet for ABC renewal — especially given the .2 gain each week in the ratings since November 12.

All data sourced from TV by the Numbers.

Read Full Post »

via Screenrant

Simon Kinberg To Help Build ‘X-Men’ & ‘Fantastic Four’ Franchises

Published by 

X Men Fantastic Four Universes Simon Kinberg To Help Build X Men & Fantastic Four Franchises

In the midst of one of the busiest weeks of superhero movie news ever, X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer surprised everyone yesterday when namedropping another X-Men film for 2016, one that would include one of the greatest villains from the comics in Apocalypse. It was strange for several reasons; there were no reports or leaks that such a project was in the works and it didn’t come from Twentieth Century Fox directly.

We had heard however that Singer and co-writer Simon Kinberg at least had ideas for what would go next, what Days of Future Past could build towards, and now we know. It was Kinberg after all, who pitched the Days of Future Past story idea to then-director Matthew Vaughn early on as a way to not only bring back the First Class cast but to bring back faces from the original X-Men trilogy – something the studio very much wanted. As we know now, there are even bigger plans in the works, and Kinberg will have a major role to play in the future of the franchise.

THR was given the scoop on Kinberg’s newly signed deal with Twentieth Century Fox. It’s a three-year first-look contract where he will help develop and oversee Fox’s own Marvel cinematic universe. He’s currently not only writing and producing X-Men: Days of Future Past, but he’s also producing the studio’s Fantastic Four reboot alongside Matthew Vaughn (also heavily involved with the X-films), a project that consultant and comics writer Mark Millar that says will lead to an eventual crossover.

 ”I have a lot of ideas on how to built those brands and do what everybody is thinking of these days: Be like Marvel. I want to be able to build stories over multiple movies.”

X Men Apocalypse Movie 2016 Simon Kinberg To Help Build X Men & Fantastic Four Franchises

Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse shocker yesterday is undoubtedly part of this (a continuing story for Days of Future Past), and the timing of that announcement goes hand-in-hand with Kinberg’s official involvement. By all accounts, Fox is aiming to take advantage of the Marvel intellectual properties they still own the rights too (they lost Daredevil last year) and it’s possible we’ll finally see them not only release an X-Men or FF film annually, but move to two pictures per year.

  • 2014: X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • 2015: Fantastic Four
  • 2016: X-Men: Apocalypse

Another comic book insider in Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld confirmed this week that Jeff Wadlow’s (Kick-Ass 2screenplay for an X-Force film is complete. Wadlow was tapped to write that for Fox after pitching the idea for more team-based movies. There’s also the highly praised finished script for Deadpool by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, another project that’s just waiting for the Fox greenlight. And we just found out in recent weeks that The Wolverine director James Mangold and franchise star Hugh Jackman are working on a story for Wolverine 3.

So, where do these all fit in? They don’t unless Fox pushes production to two films per year, something Marvel Studios has built themselves up to do and something Warner Bros. is reportedly considering for some of their characters as well. According to Liefeld, who’s been tweeting about X-Men characters Deadpool and Cable for years now, it’s possible to see X-Force and a Deadpool spinoff within six months to a year of one another.

If X-Men: Days of Future Past with its pushed up date of May 2014 is a big as Fox hopes it to be (and as good as Hugh Jackman says it is) and they can get close to that billion dollar milestone, expect an onslaught of reports and announcements in the following weeks and months. Days of Future Past might be the most expensive superhero movie ever made and the studio is taking it very seriously and banking on it to relaunch a much larger franchise. That’s why Kinberg (who’s hitting it big these days, also writing a Star Wars spinoff for Disney) is now a part of the Fox-Marvel family for the long haul and why guys like Mark Millar were brought into the fold.

_____

The Wolverine is now available on home video, X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters May 23, 2014. Fantastic Four opens June 19, 2015X-Men: Apocalypse is planned for a 2016 release.

Read Full Post »

Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer is both cryptic while dropping a bomb-shell on his twitter feed.

Age of ApocalypseThis seems to say that the sequel to DOFP will be out in 2016 and involve the classic villain: Apocalypse.

It makes a lot of sense to bring in this big baddy, and it looks like they had already decided to do it from the beginning because:

  • In the DOFP trailer the temple they go too may be part of Apocalypse’s cult
  • They brought Blink into the franchise when they didn’t really have to and she’s a descendant of Apocalypse.
  • Post-Apocalyptic (pardon the pun) is really big right now, everyone is using that dystopian feel.
  • Age of Apocalypse was one of the biggest non-616 universes in the comics and was fairly well received.
  • 2016 is also Avengers 2 and if they want to compete then they need to bring in a heavy-hitter.

The problem though with him announcing this now is… well… DOFP hasn’t even come out and he pretty much gives away the Easter-egg reveal (oh no, they saved themselves from Trask but woke up Apocalypse?!) Is he throwing this out there so in 2015 when he starts production people won’t accuse him of ripping off whatever Avengers 2 is doing ala Quicksilver?  Unless Apocalypse doesn’t actually mean the person but just the event and Singer is trolling us (also possible).

An even bigger question is who is going to be fighting him? I would imagine they would want to keep on with the First Class cast unless he managed to talk the Classic cast back to do another picture. Either way, how is this going to fit into the continuity of the films? How much of  a reboot will DOFP be and effect the universe? Will this tie into the X-Force film at all?

So many questions!!

And we’ll just have to wait and see…

Read Full Post »

thebentbullet.comFox has opened up a new viral site, thebentbullet.com, which is a gallery that discusses “JFK and the Mutant Conspiracy”.

Half a century ago, Magento was implicated in the mutant plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. The events of that fateful day in November have been a point of contention between humans and mutants ever since.

This comes on the eve of the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination and ties in with comments made after First Class came out that pretty much stated that Magneto on the grassy knoll would be an interesting way to open the sequel considering the controversy around ‘the magic bullet’ of the real assassination.

I thought that Magneto gets arrested at the Paris Peace Accords and is later broken out by Xavier to help combat Trask, but it looks like Magneto will start off in jail for the assassination. The only other option is that he’s constantly in and out of prison, which does fit with X2, it’s very hard to keep that man inside a cell, a fact that is commented on in the gallery as apparently Magneto destroyed several of his cells until Trask got involved to make the one he brakes out of in the trailer.

As for the gallery itself, Kennedy is painted as mutant sympathizer. I don’t know why Magneto would necessarily want to ensure his death as it’s inferred that Mystique, as Lee Harvey Oswald, was the actual shooter.

There are several references to make note of:

  • Friends of Humanity and the Purifiers are mentioned
  • Erik Lensherr is called “the strange, squinty man”
  • Magneto has a trial, presumably he allows this as it seems like a normal, though secret, trial, and they even let in a crow bar for him to bend… he could have killed everyone with that, didn’t they realize that?
  • Magneto’s cell has unbreakable glass… we see it get broken in the trailer
  • Azazel and Tempest are listed as ‘dead’

There are also many moments which could have been references to specific mutants being involved, such as Emma Frost, but it would all be guesses.

With still six months away until the film’s release, makes you wonder what other interesting revisionist historical stuff may be popping up in the near future.

Read Full Post »

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth OlsenI’ve already commented that it was official due to other reputable sources, but now it’s official!official with Marvel itself signing off on the casting.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen have officially joined the Avengers family as the brother-sister duo of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the highly-anticipated sequel to 2012’s smash-hit “Marvel’s The Avengers”! “Avengers: Age of Ultron” arrives in theaters May 1, 2015.

Taylor-Johnson broke out with his roles as Dave Lizewski in the “Kick-Ass” franchise and with his portrayal of a young John Lennon in “Nowhere Boy,” for which he won an Empire Award for Best Newcomer. Since then, Taylor Johnson has starred in 2012’s critically-acclaimed “Anna Karenina” and director Oliver Stone’s “Savages.”

Since making her big screen debut in 2011 with “Silent House” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” for which the actress garnered a number of awards and nominations, Olsen has gone on to star alongside the likes of Robert DeNiro and Sigourney Weaver in “Red Lights,” Josh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson in director Spike Lee’s “Oldboy.”

Taylor-Johnson and Olsen will share the screen as leads in the highly anticipated “Godzilla” remake scheduled for a May 2014 release.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” will bring the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes together again to face one of their biggest villains, with “Marvel’s The Avengers” director Joss Whedon returning to write and direct the sequel. “Marvel’s The Avengers” was released in 2012 and went on to earn $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third-largest grossing movie of all time.

In addition to “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on April 4, 2014; “Guardians of the Galaxy” on August 1, 2014; and “Ant-Man” on July 31, 2015.

Read Full Post »

Marvel's Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.I’m going to come out and say this is possibly the best episode yet.

I had really hoped the hype about the Thor tie-in wasn’t over-hyped, because you kinda knew it would be over-hyped, but, alas, the connection was very tenuous. In fact, they could have had this episode without the Thor 2 info-tie-in. But in a way, this was really a good thing because the show introduced its first non-canon Asgardian, a mason who got bored of breaking rocks after a few thousand years… that nearly defines perfect. 

I saw comments last week lambasting AOS because they weren’t bringing in ‘named’ characters like Arrow does. The fault in that logic is that Arrow brings in characters just to throw them away again like tissue paper. A ‘named’ character, like The Huntress, is treated as a plot device rather than a real character. Then later on when they realize their mistake, like with Deadshot, the character is haphazardly thrown around for ‘name value’ only. By AOS bringing in new characters it allows the show to be its own entity and give us a broader, much richer, environment outside the comics.

  • Pro – It’s easier for non-comic readers to enjoy the series as they don’t feel like they need a comic-encyclopedia.
  • Con – They have to make us feel invested in these new characters when we’re already invested in others.

It’s a tight rope, but if AOS can produce quality episodes like it did this time, then we’ll want to be invested in the new characters as well as the old.

A few other points, I do like the whole sequence in the beginging with Coulson wishing the Asgardians would send down the “God of Cleaning Up After One’s Self”… because, yeah, London, New York, these places got ripped up pretty bad and of course the heroes don’t help clean up (except maybe Chris EvansCaptain America). I really want to see an episode just about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s legal department after one of these events. Especially the department which deal with the outfit’s liability insurance. 

We also get a look into Ward’s tortured (of course) past, but it’s not played up like I thought they would. They avoided many of the obvious cliches, but unlike the previous episode, they didn’t seem to constantly default to the polar opposite of said cliche. He dealt with his exposure to the Berserker Staff like a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent of his caliber would… and of course May totally outdid him. And then, in something that was refreshingly realistic, Ward follows May into her room, rather than Skye, because, let’s face it, May is someone who can actually connect to him and understand his pain as a soldier. Skye, all she does it talk like a neo-hippy. 

The show still has its issues but seems to be working through its growing pains. I have a feeling we’ll see a lot more interconnection in the back half of the season, esp if they focus less on Skye and more on the team as a whole. If they can also get Jonathan Franks back directing, more the better, cause he’s a really good director and the quality of this episode compared to some previous ones definitely shows how good he is.

Next episode seems to involve poltergeists… should be fun. 

Read Full Post »

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Let’s all have a moment of silence for the sandwich.

The latest episode of AOS is called “The Hub” because the team goes to The Hub which is a central location for S.H.I.E.L.D. ops. We also meet Victoria Hand from the comics and Agent Sitwell from the Item 47 short film. We get to see an ops room, some hallways… but that’s it. There is talk of a lot of cool things, places like tech/research levels, etc, but all we get to see is basic white walls. Other than the fact that the team gets their next mission while being at the The Hub and Skye uses the visit as a chance to find out about her parents… it’s pretty much just background noise for what, essentially, is a trust exercise.

Victoria sends Ward and Fitz on a mission with no extraction plan because they didn’t have the resources… even though the rest of the team is doing nothing, at all. Then they are able to extract Ward and Fitz fairly easily with very little notice (and apparently that plane is super fast). The whole situation makes no sense unless Victoria was specifically trying to see what Coulson and/or his team would do. Coulson trusted ‘the system’, Skye didn’t (surprise?). Then the whole anti-trust/hacking-into-the-system discussion is just dropped, sorta, the episode ends without letting us know if Victoria was really testing them (her smile suggests it but that is all). It’s one of those storylines that needs a payoff or else it’ll become a glaring plot hole to nitpick at later.

Speaking of pay-off, we continue to get trolled about Coulson. It seems ‘it’s a magical place’ is some kind of hypnotic response to the mention of Tahiti. Apparently he’s also not allowed to look at his own health records. I have a feeling we’ll get the pay off on this one at the mid-season break, it was something they likely planned in case they didn’t get their back nine. Okay, that’s how I would have played it.

The episodes are picking up, Skye is given the B-plots now and we’re seeing more of the other characters… but it almost seems formulaic. Last episode was Simmons. This one was Fitz. Next looks to be Ward. If the one after that is May then it literally is count-by-numbers character development. And while the plots have been used for character development, this episode was pretty much the ‘anti-cliche’. It felt like every time a situation came up they would automatically choose the exact opposite of the stereotype, which, is kinda just as bad because it doesn’t allow for the anti-symmetry of life. Sometimes we are the cliche, sometimes we surprise you… they tried to do this here but it just kinda came off as very safe.

But all in all, it’s still a good episode, they are working towards finding their niche… and unfortunately destroying awesome sounding sandwiches.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »