As Phase Three winds down, fans of Marvel Studios are looking for whatever the next phase may be. If one prevalent rumor is to be believed, Marvel’s next set of films will take on an international flavor.
More than one source is saying that Marvel is renting out Pinewood Studios in the UK for their next film. That film with be Captain Britain. Or Captain Britain and the Black Knight. But whatever the title, the film reportedly will be directed by Guy Ritchie.
The rumor got its start back in early September when a person who works for Pinewood Studios wrote to Ain’t It Cool News with this blind item:
I work at various movie studios in the UK and have been situated at Pinewood for a few weeks, and I’m moving to Cardiff on a project soon. I haven’t seen anything about this online anywhere, so I thought id send the info on to you: Space at Pinewood has been booked for November & December 2018 to hold auditions for a Marvel project called CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND THE BLACK KNIGHT. The name of the director booked in for all these dates is GUY RITCHIE. Marvel seems to be moving fast with it to fill in the space left behind by Danny Boyle’s aborted Bond 25. Everyone is excited because it looks like another few months of solid work when we thought we would have to wait a while.
Hope this is of interest like I said I haven’t heard anything about it online, but Marvel is getting in there fast.
Now, there hasn’t even been an inkling of a rumor that a script for Captain Britain was even being developed, let alone completed, let alone ready to be cast. The only thing we have heard was a potential TV series, so, it would be easy to write this one off as poppycock.
Then, Bleeding Cool entered the picture.
Rich Johnston quoted a high-brow gossip e-mail list called “Popbitch” reiterated that Ritchie hired out Pinewood for auditions for Captain Britain. No mention of Black Knight in this rumor, however.
Now, it could be that the same worker that e-mailed AICN e-mailed Popbitch. Or it could be that they both came about the same news in different ways.
Captain Britain was created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe in 1976 as part of Marvel Comics initiative to publish original comics for the United Kingdom. His alias is Brian Braddock, a British aristocrat and student who is rescued from a near fatal motorcycle accident by Merlyn. Merlyn gives Braddock a choice of objects to save his life, a Sword of Might or an Amulet of Right. Braddock chooses the more peaceful Amulet, turning him into Captain Britain, protector of his namesake country.
The character is notable in that he was one of the few the legendary Alan Moore wrote when Marvel tapped local creators for the character.
The Black Knight is one of Marvel’s oldest characters, dating back to 1955. The version the film makers most likely would use was created in 1967 by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, with ties to another, villainous Black Knight created by Stan Lee and Dick Ayers in 1964 as an antagonist for Ant-Man and Iron Man . He was Dane Whitman, nephew of the Nathan Garrett, the alter ego of villain Black Knight. At the end of his life, Garrett calls his nephew to him and asks him to clear the legacy of the Black Knight. The identity dates back to the days of King Arthur where their ancestor, Sir Percy of Scandia, served Arthur’s court and has been passed down to Sir Percy’s descendants since then. Sir Percy was created by Lee and Joe Maneely in 1955 and appeared several times in series published by Atlas Comics (what Marvel was called then).
Both Captain Britain and Black Knight have ties to Arthurian legends, which means that we have to bring up the fact that the last big budget film Ritchie directed was 2017’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which was a colossal bomb that lost around $150 million. He does have the trust of Marvel Studios’ parent Disney, as they hired him to helm the live-action version of Aladdin, which is currently in post-production.
If Ritchie is in fact doing Captain Britain, then he will have no lack of actors to choose from for the role. Simon Pegg, Orlando Bloom, and even Tom Hiddleston have all expressed an interest in the role, although Pegg is the only one of the three who seems to actually read a comic featuring the character.
We only have to wait a month at most to see if these rumors are true. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 put on hold, Marvel does have an open space on their schedule. Let’s see if Captain Britain takes it.