Marvel Movie Monday is the weekly column that groups together all the latest news, developments and rumours about all the gestating projects in the comic book and science fiction world. Basically, if you’re a bit of a nerd/geek, then we’ve got you covered right here with everything you need to know about your favourite projects that are currently in development for the big screen. This is a fast moving industry, so there’s always a lot to report each week. Remember to switch pages at the bottom to see what else is happening outside of Marvel (it’s ony titled Marvel Movie Mondays because they’re the indisputable kings of the comic book movie realm). Be sure to read through and then comment at the end about the stuff that interests you most! Thanks for reading!
If you asked the world what company is at the forefront of creating populist geek cinema, no one would have said Disney. However, through two very large and shrewd business manouveres (purchasing Marvel and LucasFilm), Disney are king in this genre.
Marvel are of course the studio that is doing the most with the comic book movie genre, with the other companies finally catching onto the idea of shared universes and frantically trying to chase Marvel, who are already leagues ahead. Originally, Marvel licences were distributed to other studios so that they could make movies based around the best and most iconic characters in their repertoire. However, over time Marvel developed confidence and decided to make films of their own, to do some of their smaller characters justice, but also because they had an ambitious idea of a shared universe that no other studio was even attempting. They approached Disney with their plan and the rest is history. Many fans still wish they had back all their licences though, even though they’ve managed to make superstars out of their B-list characters.
* Marvel Studio President Of Production Kevin Feige has declared that there will be no new Marvel movie announcements until 2014. This will be disappointing to those of us that want more information on what awaits us in Phase Three of the MCU. The only movies thus far officially confirmed for the third phase are Ant Man and The Avengers 3, although Feige and co. have been talking constantly about a Doctor Strange movie, so we can assume that that is happening, despite it not yet receiving an “official” confirmation. Right now, they’re focused on their next big “risk” which is the cosmic set film, Guardians Of The Galaxy. Here’s what Feige had to say on the subject of shared universes and the future:
… So the need for the new is something we talk about, and we’ve been talking about for the past five years. Everything we’ve done has been a plan, has been premeditated. I love that Warner Bros. is doing it. I love that there will be announcements from other studios later today, about this notion of shared universes. It did not exist, and we thought it’d be fun to play with it.
“I love that our success has inspired people to do it, because the audience said, “we like that. We want more of that, please.” So, I love it, and I can’t wait to see those movies that come out. We’re not thinking three years ahead, even five years ahead and 10 years ahead. How do we keep it fresh? And Guardians is our big answer to that.
* Another project that Stan Lee himself has been hinting to for quite a while that we could see adapted in Phase Three is The Inhumans. It may be a relatively obscure collection of superheroes, but Feige has said before that they will become members of the MCU line-up in the foreseeable future, which seems to suggest that we will be seeing an adaptation of that property sooner rather than later. For one, Ronan The Accuser, the confirmed villain of Guardians Of The Galaxy has a connection to the Inhumans’ leader, Black Bolt, as far as comic book continuity is concerned, which may be a reliable inroad for an adaptation, provided Ronan doesn’t bite the dust in Guardians. If all this turns out to be true it will be extremely interesting, as Marvel will be covering all the bases between Earth based franchises like Captain America and Iron Man, the half-Earth/half-cosmic nature of the Thor films, and the possible new branch of full on mysticism and magic from Doctor Strange. Expanding universes indeed.
* Alec Baldwin mentioned in an appearance on the Howard Stern show that he had been courted by Marvel to play a villain in one of their movies, but had to turn it down because of his wife’s pregnancy. He declined to comment for which movie and what villain.
* Joss Whedon was asked how he would feel about all of the studios working together to create one big Marvel universe. He mentioned that there would be difficulties with cohesion, but working within parameters is what he does best, and that it would be “super dope”.
* Feige has said that it would still be possible to make Iron Man films without Robert Downey Jr. and the hope is that Iron Man will become a character like Batman or James Bond, i.e. there are many different iterations played by various actors. While people are very precious about Downey Jr. and his performance, this could most certainly work. When Sean Connery first played Bond, nobody thought he could be replaced. Fast forward to 2013, and people have a very different opinion.
* Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation, The To Do List) claims that she’s campaigning Marvel hard for a role as a female superhero. When pushed further she confessed the role that she’s fighting for is…Wonder Woman. Ooook love – I think we’ve identified the reason why Marvel haven’t got back to you, despite the fact that you’d be terrible for a superhero role.
* Kevin Feige has said that they have plans in place for Marvel movies until 2021, but beyond 2016 the plans are in a state of flux, and always changing.
* A clip for the one shot short film, set to be included on the Iron Man 3 Blu-Ray edition was released online to entice viewers. Check it out below.
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
* Whedon has been discussing the potential for film and tv universe crossover, as well as featuring Samuel L. Jackson heavily on the television series. He says that while Jackson asked for it, it’s not something that Marvel want to do because they don’t want the two mediums to cross over too much i.e. they want them to both exist in the same universe, but not so much that people won’t go and see the movies because they feel like they’ve already seen it on tv. Does that rule out chances for any stars from the franchise to appear then?
* A new short featurette has been released showcasing the character of Melinda May:
* David Conrad has been cast in a “top secret” recurring role for the series. Rumours suggest that he might be playing Hank Pym, but this seems unlikely.
* ABC head honcho Paul Lee has been talking about how much he loves Disney and that there are more Marvel, and perhaps even Star Wars projects in the pipeline. What could they be?
* A new poster has been unveiled for the show. Check it out below:
* Here’s a short video where fan favourite actor Clark Gregg explains the premise of the show to those in the dark:
* Here’s two short videos that offer a character spotlight on Skye:
* Cobie Smulders says that she would be open to appearing more regularly on the show, but only if it makes sense to continue returning to the command centre, as she wouldn’t be doing field work. Says that after nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother she would be reluctant to committing to a tv role as she wants to focus on her film and theatre career.
* Tom Hiddleston has said he would be open to Loki appearing on the show in a cameo role, citing that he’s spoken to Whedon about it already and saying it would be “good fun”.
Thor: The Dark World
* Star Chris Hemsworth was quizzed on the moment in the Comic Con footage where Loki inevitably betrays him and severs his hand as he reaches for Mjolnir. Hemsworth jokes that he may need to learn to use the hammer with his left hand, or maybe he could just ram it back on to the stump, Game Of Thrones style.
* Ray Stevenson confirmed that Volstagg has a much bigger presence this time around and there will be more action scenes for him. He said he doesn’t know if his character will ever appear in The Avengers series.
* Kat Dennings is confirmed to return and she will have an extended part. Rumours are that she’ll be dragged into Asgard as well, which would suck.
* Here’s an epic new poster for the film, the best yet!
* A much better new trailer to go with it as well!:
* Here’s a pretty cool and artistic minimalistic limited edition poster for the film:
* Chris Hemsworth comments on the relationship between Thor and Loki in the movie:
I can’t say too much, but I think in the comic books you kind of roll your eyes sometimes at the amount of times they’re back to being best friends. And so we wanted to keep in mind, Loki did just try to kill you for the seventh time – and Earth. It’s a big war, and what have you… Maybe there’s something we can maybe, [CHUCKLE] … We have a common need or something which, you know, that would, well… [laughs] You know the scene in Avengers when Thor says ‘careful how you speak. He be crazy but it’s my brother,’ kind of sums it up. Yeah, he’s a screw up but he is my brother. I don’t think they’re back to being best friends, but Thor’s at a loss about how they got to this point, ’cause for him, I think [treachery] stuff came out of nowhere and I think that in this film [Thor] certainly can acknowledge now with a maturity that he should have been more aware of Loki over the years and where he was positioned and all of this, and why maybe that led him down a certain path. I think there’s maybe an empathetic view for Loki that no one else can have because they’re not bound by blood, you know.
* Two new fairly innocuous images have been released from the film. Above is a picture of Thor and his father strolling through the grounds, and below is Loki taking it easy in his cell, reading a book.
* Tom Hiddleston said in an interview recently that he wrote his own dialogue for his much talked about Comic-Con appearance. That seems a bit of a strange statement, considering that he used much of the dialogue that was already in The Avengers, but it’s an awesome clip anyway. So many screams!:
* Director Alan Taylor recently commented about killing characters:
I realized recently that I am the grim reaper,” Taylor laughed. “People hate me because I killed Ned Stark on Thrones. But I also killed Caesar in Rome, Wild Bill Hickock in Deadwood and Christopher in The Sopranos. I just get called in to murder people’s favorite characters, so I’m surprised Thor survived this one. There are a few people who don’t make it out alive here. There could be some surprises!
* Taylor & Hiddleston recently spoke about how great it was to shoot the final battle in London:
Taylor: “I think the idea of London was built into the DNA of the movie before I came along and I was happy it did. It’s a great place to shoot and boasts good crews. There’s also some backstory that makes sense in the movie with Stonehenge and some other things. And finally, a little thing called tax breaks, which is why London is blowing up a lot this summer! I picked Greenwich. And I’ll tell you why: I knew our final act was going to be total chaotic battle and so I loved the idea of picking a really formal setting to stage chaos. There are no and angles in that place. We got to go into the Painted Hall and explode it…”
Hiddleston: “I know it’s just a beautiful place. My sister went to college there, which is a little-known fact. It was nice to be in London, truly. Because I feel like London’s a different location in a way because in the first film, the Earth stuff is all set in New Mexico and Avengers was New York, so it was great to be there for me, because when I first read the script, the thing that delighted me most is that they really seemed to get London right. There were genuine officious traffic wardens and people speaking the way they should. I think there’s a lot of mileage for the comedy of that. The Marvel team likes their movies to be fun. Especially with Thor, they want to have this enormous, heavy, epic dimension, gods and monsters, worlds collide, but they also want to keep it fun and make sure the audience is having a good time. I feel very proud that the Brits provided on that front.”
* Natalie Portman recently did an interview where she really tried to bullshit that she was glad to be back in Thor. She’s really not, and she’s the weakest part of the franchise. Get rid of her please!
* Here’s a description of some new footage that was recently glimpsed at the D23 event:
This one showed Jane Foster in Asgard, being analysed by whatever means the Asgardians have instead of medical science. There’s a piece of kit in the scene that the magic-minded Asgardians see as a “soul forge” but Foster calls “a quantum field generator.” There’s some kind of “dark energy” inside Foster and, apparently, it’s transforming to better defend itself. It’s the kind of plot point that only makes sense when seen as magic, but hey – it establishes that Foster is in grave danger this time around. And I wonder if they’ll be playing this as some kind of pregnancy metaphor? Seems like real a possibility. The romance between Foster and Thor is clearly central to the scene, with Odin pleased to see Foster, and her exclaiming to Thor, “You told your Dad about me?!
* Taylor recently cleared the air and offered some intel about reported disputes he was having with the studio. He said that while they disagreed on composers, there were no other real points of contention, and that any disagreements are all part of the ever evolving creative process, that unfortunately media outlets like to spin as a really negative thing.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
* Sebastian Stan has revealed that for his role as the titular Winter Soldier he underwent intense physical training and did a lot of research into The Cold War, the KGB and brainwashing. This seems to suggest that the portrayal of the character here will be pretty accurate to his comic book incarnation. He says about the role:
I was born in Romania, yeah…That’s funny, because my friends used to tease me. I grew up, in some sense, in a communist country. I lived there until I was eight years old, but there were still communism. My friends would tease me and call me a red. Its funny, cause, low and behold, I end up with a Red Star on my shoulder. It was a neat little coincidence.
I dove into the whole cold war thing. I looked at the KGB. I looked at all kinds of spy movies, and all kinds of documentaries about that time, and what it was about. I grabbed anything from that time period. Anything about brainwashing. Just anything, cause I had the opportunity to do it. I went all over the place.”
* Stan went on to talk about The Winter Soldier’s fighting style:
It’s actually kind of scrappy. The idea was this is the kind of guy who can kill you with a straw. He’s precise, he’s very specific with what he does. But the idea is that it’s messy. He’ll use knives… knives were always a big part of the character. There is a lot of knife work in the movie for sure. And overall brutality. He’ll kill you with whatever is closest.”
That should hopefully make the moments of conflict between the two eponymous characters suitably intense.
* Stan was also quizzed about whether he thought he would eventually take on the Captain America mantle, like he did in the comics. He said that there are so many stories to tell in the meantime, so he has no idea if that arc will ever be explored.
* The directors have confirmed that Stan Lee will be making a cameo appearance in the film and they have thought long and hard about how to include him.
* Here’s an interview with the costume designer Christian Cordella, who has handled most of the costume design for all Marvel movies thus far. He talks about the work he put into designing costumes for Falcon and the villain Crossbones.
* Branka Katic is playing a role in the movie. Her name is not mentioned in the full cast list, despite Samantha MacIvor being cast as the personal stunt double for Branka Katic in the film. If she has her own stunt double, she must be playing an important role, and if that’s the case, why are they hiding her? Could she be Madame Hydra? Sinn (Red Skull’s daughter)?
* Emily VanCamp is playing a new character called Agent 13. Her role is supposedly minor, though will be expanded upon in future films. Will she be in Avengers: The Age Of Ultron?
* Here’s a miniscule clip showing the new logo screen for the film. Hype!:
* Anthony Mackie confirms that the film will not include The Falcon’s sidekick bird, Redwing.
* Sebastian Stan has teased that if you rewatch the scene in the first Captain America film where Cap rescues him from the facility while he’s being experimented on there is a very subtle clue as to how he might have survived the fall from the train. Anyone spot what he’s talking about?
* Anthony Mackie enthusiastically said in an interview that Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow character (who later goes on to be costumed assassin Crossbones) gets a very thorough beatdown from Cap.
* New footage has been shown at Disney’s Expo, showcasing that Captain America has adapted to the modern world by developing a far more brutal fighting style. Here’s a description:
The footage was in black and white, featuring unfinished animation and animatics. It’s a very rough early clip. Cap and Black Widow are passengers in a plane, bantering, talking about what they have planned for the upcoming weekend. Black Widow: “You doing anything Saturday night?” Cap: “All the guys from my barbershop quartet are dead, so, you know.”
Cap gets ready to jump out as the plane is over water. Is he wearing a parachute? Nope! Cap just flies through the sky, no ‘chute, and dives into the water feet first. Nearby is a huge cargo ship, rendered via animatic in the clip’s current state. There are many guards on the ship, but Cap climbs up the anchor chain to the deck. He silently takes out one guard, and throws his shild at another. In short order, cap runs around the perimeter of the deck, just kicking ass. At a dead run, he takes out almost a dozen guards. Some go down with just one hit.
One guy is about to pull fire alrm, but Cap throws a knife through his hand. This is a more brutal Captain America — a one-man black ops squad. There’s no dialogue in this sequence; just fighting. Cap’s fighting techniques are way more modern than the last time we saw him. He’s learned new moves; the action in general is much more hard-hitting and intense.
Finally, Frank Grillo parachutes down and helps take out one guy. Black Widow also lands on the ship, and begins shooting some of the remaining guards. Despite the setting and action, she’s still in weekend mode. Black Widow: “How about the nurse who stays aross the hall from you? She seems nice.” Cap: “You don’t have to get me a date.”
That was the cut point, and the reaction to the clip was huge.
* Here’s a new official synopsis for the film:
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.
* It has been confirmed that Captain America will be sporting his new “Stealth suit”, designed specifically for missions with S.H.I.E.L.D.