Archive | Comics And Film

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Sony And Marvel At Odds At SPIDER-MAN Casting?

Posted on 12 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

Spidey apartIf you thought Sony was just going to get out of the way and let Marvel do what they do best with the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, you’d be sadly mistaken.

According to Jeff Sneider, co-host of the Meet the Movie Press podcast, the studio that managed the screw up two Spider-Man franchises is butting heads with the studio has done no wrong with their film slate to date over who will be the new Spider-Man.

The field is down to three contenders, the previously mentioned Tom Holland, veritable unknown Matt Lintz, and Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Plummer. Conspicuous in his absence is Asa Butterfield, who Latino Review stated was in final negotiations for the role. I know, I know. A Latino Review rumor that is probably wrong? It seems hard to believe.

Sneider says that even though Lintz is still in contention, it really is a two horse race between Holland, who Sony wants, and Plummer, who Marvel is behind.

While a casting announcement was rumored to hit last week, this latest back and forth not only delays the announcement, but would possible delay shooting on Captain America: Civil War. Sources say Marvel was bringing potential actors to that film’s Atlanta set to audition with the hopes of immediately having the actor start shooting the character’s scenes in film. Now, it looks like the Spider-Man scenes will be delayed to at least July while the casting mess gets straightened out.

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Will CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Present Us With A New Hulk?

Posted on 02 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

Red_Hulk_This is how you can give a rumor legitimacy.

  • March 19, 2015: Bleeding Cool mentions that the Hulk will be in Captain America: Civil War in a set of rumors that are immediately discounted.
  • June 1, 2015: The website named We Are Wakanda states its sources tell them the film will indeed feature a Hulk, but it will be a new Hulk taken from the comics, not the Mark Ruffalo one that Bleeding Cool claimed.
  • Also June 1, 2005: MCU Exchange takes the We Are Wakanda rumor and runs with it. The look at all the possible Hulks from the comics to determine which one’s alter ego has already been adapted into MCU continuity. The Red Hulk (seen to the left) whose alter ego, General Thunderbolt Ross, is already part of the Marvel films and the most recent man who brought him to life on the screen, William Hurt, is already part of the Captain America: Civil War cast seems like the most likely candidate.
    MCU Exchange throws their theory out to their sources. There sources come back and state that not only will Hurt be hulking out as the Red Hulk, but that the green Hulk will be back to face off against him in a fight that will make the Hulk/Iron Man fight from Avengers: Age of Ultron look like a slap fight.

So there you have it. You have three websites with three presumably different sources stating that at the very least a Hulk will be in the film, but most likely it will be the Red Hulk.

While General Ross has been a supporting character in the comics for year, his Red Hulk persona only came in existence in 2008. Created after Ross was bombarded with Gamma and Cosmic Rays, Red Hulk has all the powers of the Hulk plus the ability to absorb energy and generate high levels of heat from his body.

If this is true, the question is: where does he fit into the narrative. The film is looking to be crowded the way it is. I do have an idea. It has been revealed that there is an inciting incident that makes lawmakers want to register superpowered individuals. In the comic books, it’s a fight with a villain with nuclear powers who destroys Stamford, Connecticut. A no-holds barred fight between a pair of Hulks could also destroy a city.

We shall see.

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Documentary On George Miller’s Aborted JUSTICE LEAGUE Proposed

Posted on 02 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

JL Cast and Crew 2With George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road becoming one of the most talked about films of the summer and documentaries such as Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four and  The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? in the pipeline, it would only be a matter of time before someone started planning a documentary on Miller’s aborted Justice League film. Director Ryan Unicomb and producers Aaron Cater and Steven Caldwell are those someones, and the Australians are going on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media to drum up support for the project.

JL proposed castMartian Manhunter sculptTitled Miller’s Justice League: Mortal, the documentary will cover the 2007 attempt by the director to bring the Justice League to the screen. The film was completely cast–Adam Brody as The Flash, Armie Hammer as Batman, Common as the John Stewart incarnation of Green Lantern, DJ Cotrona as Superman, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Zoe Kazan as Iris Allen, Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord, Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, and Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter (the last two appear in Mad Max: Fury Road, by the way). Most of the cast and crew can be seeing in the photo on the top of the page, and each actor paired with the character they were to play is seen above (Images taken from the projects social media pages).

The plot would have been a combination of the “Tower of Babel” story line that ran in JLA, the “Sacrifice” arc that ran in the Superman and Wonder Woman books,with elements of Infinite Crisis and Crisis on Infinite Earths thrown in for good measure. The film would have been big, and ambitious, and even though I didn’t like the stories the screenplay was based on, it now seems to be miles better than what Warners is doing with the project today.

justiceleague-wonderwoman-conceptart2-frontpage

Aquaman production artThe film got to the point that the cast met in Australia–where the main shooting would be done–for a table read, costume fittings were being done and set construction had started. The film was supposed to hit theaters in 2009, but the plug was pulled on the project at the last minute. There have been anumber of theories of why the rug was pulled out from underneath the film, ranging from the Writer’s Strike of 2007, laws benefiting filmmakers in Australia changing, to Warners not wanting a duplicate version of Superman and Batman apart from the ones appearing on Smallville and the Nolan films.

Unicomb, Cater and Caldwell have stated that the film would not delve too much into the reason why Miller’s Justice League was shelved, but rather celebrate the director’s vision for the project and examine what the film would have done for the film industry in Australia.

The trio are hoping the interest the social media campaign stirs up will be enough to convince Miller and the rest of the principals to lend their support to the project. As it stands, the team has gotten its hands on a number of images from the pre-production stage of the cancelled film, all of which are on display here. The team promises there is more to come if their documentary project comes to fruition.

Wonder Woman production art.Typically, these kind of things come with a Kickstarter or a GoFundMe attached to it, but the group is seeking independent funding first. Some investors are reportedly already lined up, but they might be aided by a crowd sourcing measure in the future.

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Tilda Swinton In Talks For Pivotal DOCTOR STRANGE Role

Posted on 27 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

tilda swintonIt’s not often that casting an Academy Awards winner might raise the ire of comic fans, but that might be what happens if Tilda Swinton signs on for Doctor Strange.

The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Swinton is in talks to join Benedict Cumberbatch in the film in the role of the Ancient One, the Tibetan mystic that teaches Stephen Strange in the ways of the mystic arts. The character is portrayed in the comics as a old, Asian man, exemplified in the artwork below:

Ancient One Swinton is neither ancient, Asian nor male, so this casting might cause comic fans, notorious for not receiving any change from the comics well (see the files Jordan, Michael B; Storm, Johnny; and Four, Fantastic), to begin protesting. However, Swinton seems to be very genre friendly. Arguably her biggest role was in The Chronicles of Narnia series, and if she signs on here, it would mark her third comic book film (after Constantine and Snowpiercer). And to add a deeper level of geekiness, one of her ex-husbands shared his name with a legendary comic book writer and artist–John Byrne.

In addition, she is a great actress who would bring a lot to the role. If she does sign on, the film would automatically become 2000% better, even if she isn’t gender or nationality appropriate.

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LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN Is Heading Towards A Reboot

Posted on 27 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

League-Of-Extraordinary-GentlemenIt’s been a while since Hollywood has ticked off Alan Moore, so I guess this was overdue.

Variety is running with a story that first appeared on The Tracking Board stating the Fox has entered development on a reboot of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Based on a series of graphic novels by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil, the concept has been adapted to the big screen in 2003 and into a TV pilot in 2013 that went nowhere.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film is a regular visitor to the “worst comic book films” list. Tales of battles between director Steven Norrington and the studio and Norrington and star Sean Connery (whose retirement from acting is blamed on his troubles on the film) are legendary. However, the film did make a profit and if it wasn’t for these squabbles, it might be a franchise running to this day.

LeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemenThat film made a number of changes to the original text, so much so that it bore little resemblance to the comics. The characters of Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer were added, the villain’s motivations changed completely, and The Invisible Man became a invisible man. The reboot promises to be a return to the original text, which was a veritable encyclopedia of Victoriana and homage to British literature through the ages. They are in the enviable position of being able to present something both recognizable and completely brand new, and since Moore and O’Neil’s series has three volumes spanning over 100 years, with a successful spin-off based on Captain Nemo to boot, this is a ready-made expanded universe in the making.

Of course, that is, if they have a right to the later volumes, all of which came out after the film. The success of the film garnered a lawsuit which Moore became embroiled. The lack of support he got from Fox during the suit and a war with LOEG producer Don Murphy marked the start of Moore’s disenfranchisement with Hollywood. John Davis is listed as the producer on the reboot, but I was surprised that Fox still retained rights to the property at all. It will be interesting to see if the rights Moore and O’Neil signed over include the latter volumes of the series, because I can’t see Moore giving them the rights under any other circumstances.

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Phil Lord Confirms What We Already Knew About THE FLASH

Posted on 19 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

The-FlashIn this days where comic book films are immensely popular and rumors about them fly fast and furious,when real facts come out about them, it’s easy to over look.

Phil Lord spoke with the Hippojuice Podcast and talked about a number of things–23 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, the animated Spider-Man film he’d be making. But he took a fair amount of time talking about his involvement in Warner Brothers’ The Flash film. What he said seemed like scoop, but in reality confirmed rumors that were already circling the project.

Obviously, the first is his and Chris Miller’s involvement in the project. Next he has confirmed that Ezra Miller is cast in the lead role, and the lead role will be that of Barry Allen. Miller’s casting was announced when the film was announced and it was generally assumed that Barry Allen would be the Flash they used.

For those of you holding out hope that the film will still be able to tie in to the very popular CW TV series of the same name, this bit of information might put a stake in that dream. Well, Lord was more than happy to put five more stakes in the body and then set it on fire:

We’re trying to break a story. It’s interesting, because there’s a really popular TV show out there, and we’re trying to carve out space for the movie that’s apart from that. I think we’re doing alright. … I believe [our Flash] is going to be Barry Allen. … It’s going to be it’s own [thing, apart from the TV show] — we’re more trying to stick with the cinematic universe… it really is its own thing, and kind of a stand-alone movie. We’re just trying to think of the best story. I think you guys will like it, it’s kind of a different take on superhero stuff.

All I can say to him is, good luck. CW’s The Flash is the second highest rated show in the history of the network and is one of the best shows on TV now. It seems to have captured the perfect interpretation of Barry Allen and the Flash, meaning Lord and Miller have their work cut out for them in creating something just as good yet substantially different with the character. Listen, I know that the film has been in the works much longer than the TV show and Warners had no idea the response for the show would be as good as it has been. But having both a TV series and a film with different versions of the character might blow up in their faces.

/Film seems to think that the “stand-alone film” comment means that it won’t tie in with any other DC movie, when Lord says it will in the very same sentence. I’d expect Miller’s Barry Allen will appear on the big screen far before it appears in his own movie in 2018.

Here is the podcast, in case you wish to peruse it yourself:

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Is Asa Butterfield Your Next SPIDER-MAN?

Posted on 14 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

asaWell, he was the person with the most experience on the shortlist.

Latino Review is reporting that British actor Asa Butterfield is in final negotiations with Marvel to take over the role of Peter Parker in Marvel’s and Sony’s reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. The site says that it is all down to formalities now and an official announcement should be coming soon.

Butterfield is 18 but looks 12, so he should have a long career as the web-slinger, just as long as everyone involved doesn’t decide to reboot the franchise again. At the very least, they should get two or three films with him in high school before he ages out of the role.

Latino Review also states that Butterfield will make his first appearance as the character, as rumored, in Captain America: Civil War. That film has started production, so if that is true, he’ll probably have to head to the set immediately after he signs his contract.

 

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Josh Boone To Direct X-MEN Spinoff NEW MUTANTS

Posted on 13 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

NewMutantsFox’s X-Men shared universe is going to get a little bigger as a long in development mutant property has come one step closer to reality.

The Hollywood Reporter tells us that The Fault In Our Stars director Josh Boone has been hired to direct Fox’s New Mutants adaptation.

The New Mutants were created in 1982 as sort of a way for Marvel to return the mutant franchise back to their roots. Much like the original team that first appeared twenty years prior, this batch of students were teenagers whose powers just developed and needed training in how to use them. However, this time the students were from all over the world, adding an international flavor reminiscent of the “All-New, All-Different” X-Men of the 1970s.

The series and team went through several tonal shifts over its history, from the more esoteric stories of the Bill Sienkiewicz era to the militaristic leanings of the Rob Liefeld era. It is not known which era Fox will pull the team from, or which member it will contain as of yet.

 

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Production Starts On CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, Synopsis And Cast List Released

Posted on 07 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

CapAmCivilWar

The promotional rounds for Avengers: Age of Ultron has just finished and the cast already has to go back to work. Marvel has announced that Captain America: Civil War has started production, and if you were like me and thought Avengers: Age of Ultron had too many characters, well, Marvel seems willing to show what too many characters really looks like.

The cast list takes up three full paragraphs in the press release (well, on small paragraph, one normal sized paragraph, and one enormous paragraph). I put them here in list form, so you can see the sheer volume of characters.

  1. Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
  2. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
  3. Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
  4. Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
  5. Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon
  6. Paul Bettany as The Vision
  7. Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
  8. Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes/War Machine
  9. Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
  10.  Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man
  11. Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther
  12. Emily VanCamp  as Sharon Carter/Agent 13
  13. Daniel Brühl
  14. Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones
  15. William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross
  16. Martin Freeman

That’s sixteen characters of some importance in the film. That’s all the Avengers other than Hulk, Thor and Quicksilver. That’s Paul Rudd making his second appearance as Ant-Man. That’s William Hurt returning from the Marvel film time forgot, Incredible Hulk. And that’s without Spider-Man, who has yet to be cast but is supposed to be in the film. Granted, you are going to need a lot of heroes if the good guys are going to fight each other, but my main rule of comic book movies is the more characters you have, the less likely the film will be good. Avengers: Age of Ultron suffered because the time spent introducing Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision took away from making Ultron a more interesting character and his motivations more clear and believable.

We also get a synopsis for the film, the contents of which should come as a shock to no one.

“Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

This follows along with the synopsis of the comic book Civil War as much as it can, with the Avengers taking place of the New Warriors from the book. In the comic, the New Warriors mishandling of a nuclear powered villain resulted in the destruction of Stamford, Connecticut and the deaths of a lot of innocent men, women and children. Most of the New Warriors died in the blast, so it is unlikely that the same will happen here. However, it will have to be big, because the team [SPOILER ALERT] just let a major Eastern European city blow up without much repercussions.

Captain America: Civil War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. It is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2016.

Via Newsarama.

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Whedon Lists Cuts Made To AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Posted on 06 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

JossWhedonAvengersSetIt seems inconceivable that anyone would ever leave a two hour and 21 minute film and feel that something was missing. But many people walked out of Avengers: Age of Ultron feeling exactly that.

It appears that those people are exactly right. Joss Whedon spoke with Empire Magazine’s podcast and listed the cuts he made, many on the urging of Marvel, from the final film. The result is that the final product might have been a lot different, if not better, if they were included.

Since this will be really spoiler intensive, let me throw this up:

Disneyspoilerwarning

Bruce Banner rebukes Natasha earlier

The will they, won’t they flirtation between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanov is the many driving force of characterization the two had during the movie, but the inevitable answer of “won’t they” originally came a lot earlier in the film.

A lot got changed. In the bedroom scene – and this is going to be on the DVD – when we first shot it the question was answered and he rejected her. It’s some of the most beautiful stuff and I hated to cut it. But when they suggested it, the reasoning was that you shouldn’t answer the question until the end of the movie. I thought that was interesting. But it’s difficult because Scarlett [Johansson] had been playing that this happened, so we had to reshoot some stuff.

In this case, Marvel was right. Saving the final decision until the end made the final break more poignant. Now if only they explained the attraction more.

Quicksilver was originally supposed to survive

It can’t be a Joss Whedon vehicle if one of the characters doesn’t get killed off. But that’s exactly what might have happened.  We know know that Quicksilver gets shot down in the line of duty, but he made it to the end in an alternate cut of the film.

We did actually shoot him in the last scene, in an outfit, with his sister. We also shot him, waking up, saying, ‘Ah, I didn’t really die from these 47 bullet wounds!’ Actually, we shot something else with that, but… maybe I’ll let you know about that later.

However, Whedon decided to slake his rampant bloodlust show the horrors of war, so Quicksilver had to remain dead.

Marvel made him cut Thor’s cave scene, Loki’s cameo

If you remember the trailer to the film, there was scene with a woman in a cave. But in the final film, no such scene exists. That’s because she was part of the second Thor dream sequence which originally supposed to play out much differently.

There was a 195-minute cut of this movie. The original scene was that Thor went to speak to the Norn and how it would work was that he’d go in the pool and the Norn possess him, basically, and Erik Selvig asks all the questions, and the Norn, speaking through Thor, give the answers. So Chris [Hemsworth] got to do something different, and he really threw himself into it, and he did a beautiful job, but it wasn’t well regarded by the test audiences and I feel it’s probably largely because it was a rough cut with no effects, but also because it’s something that in a Thor movie would work brilliantly, but in this movie is just a little too left of centre.

Yes, it was negative responses from test audiences that made Marvel push for the scene to be cut. And they did it in the most shady manner.

The dreams, the farmhouse, these were things I fought [for]. With the cave, they pointed a gun at the farm’s head and ‘Give us the cave’. They got the farm. In a civilized way – I respect these guys, but that’s when it got really unpleasant. There was a point when there was going to be no cave, and Thor was going to leave and come back and say, ‘I figured some stuff out.’ And at that point I was so beaten down, I was like, ‘Sure, okay… what movie is this?’ The editors were like, ‘No no, you have to show the thing, you just can’t say it.’ I was like, ‘Okay, thank you, we can figure this out!’ You can tell it was beaten down, but it was hard won.

Are you beginning to see the reason why Joss Whedon will not be back for Avengers 3 & 4?

The final result is that the scene feels truncated and we are cheated out of the way Thor found the the answers he was looking for. But that wasn’t the only thing we were cheated out of by Marvel’s executives.

I came up with what I felt was a huge win: it’s about Thor getting answers without having to answer the questions, and Chris gets to do something exciting as an actor and he’s got his fucking shirt off, so everybody wins! It’s amazing how many people had to be on set that day. I do feel like they threw out the baby with the pond water, because I tried to set it up so people would accept it when it happens. Instead, we split the dream up, and then we had Loki in the second part of the dream, but then they were like, ‘That doesn’t work, do we want to introduce Loki now, this late?’

Yes, not only did Marvel make the film weaker, it cost us a cameo by the fan-favorite Loki and more shirtless Chris Hemsworth. Thank you, Marvel. Thank you very little.

But what would Loki be doing there?

Who’s going to walk him through his dream? It’s going to be Tom [Hiddleston] as Loki. He’s so important to the mythos, and they’re like, ‘We can’t get Tom. We can’t make a deal. You can have Idris!’ I was like, ‘Oh, I love Idris! This is great!’ And then I talked to Tom, saying, ‘Just so you know, I feel bad not telling you, and I would never pressure you, but… I really feel like it would be great if you could do this…’ And they’re like, ‘But we already have Idris!’ And again, I had no problem there. Everybody’s in!

We even had a little reference to the fact that he’s taken the throne, which was Tom doing his Anthony Hopkins impression when Thor says, ‘Oh, what would father say?’ Then Tom does his Hopkins impression, and Thor’s like, ‘That is uncanny!’ It’s sort of like his subconscious is telling him that Loki was imitating his father. But he would never make that connection. Anyway, the dreams were awfully long, even though I only got a day to shoot each one, because I made the most out of them. There’s a lot of fun stuff that fell.

Obviously.

Strangely enough, the word “Assemble” wasn’t cut

The film ends with Captain America about to address his new team of Avengers. He says “Avengers–” then the screen goes black. I actually cursed out Whedon for denying me the legendary “Avengers Assemble” catch phrase from the comics. Turns out I was right for cursing him out.

I made sure that we never shot Chris Evans saying [the ‘assemble!’ of ‘Avengers assemble!’] I was positive that some executive was gonna go, ‘You forgot to put in the last word!’ I was like, ‘With my dying breath…’ I don’t have to say that a lot, but sometimes I’ll turn to [Marvel head honcho] Kevin [Feige] and say, ‘With my dying breath…’

As much as I was like, ‘We didn’t get this, we didn’t get this, this is sloppy, and I’m not happy with that music cue…’ With all my complaints, it was in the script exactly as you see it. ‘He draws breath to say the next word. Blackout.’ So to know that we landed exactly where I wanted to go, however many stumbles along the way, was extremely gratifying.

Damn you Whedon.

Spider-Man and Captain Marvel might have been in that final scene as well

We all know that Captain Marvel was supposed to be in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but a certain webhead might have been in there too.

I said, ‘It would be great if we could add a few more. If we could have a Captain Marvel there…’ And they talked about it. And Spider-Man, because Sony had approached us during the first movie about integration, so I would have put both of them in, but neither of the deals were made, and then it’s, ‘We’re making a Captain Marvel movie, and we’ve got Spider-Man as a property!’ I was like, ‘I’ve already locked my film, you fucks. Thanks for nothing.’

This kind of goes against the reason Kevin Feige gave for Captain Marvel not appearing in the film (namely, they didn’t want a cameo to be the first time audiences see her). But each man could be right.

Marvel made him downplay the possibility of Planet Hulk

The biggest rumor surrounding the Hulk’s fate at the end of the film was that he would be shot into space and either A) travel to Planet Hulk (as per El Mayimbe) or B) join up with the Guardians of the Galaxy (as per Drew McWeeny). However, the Hulk’s fate at the end of the film, while still ambiguous, seems to be earthbound. It appears that that’s the way Marvel wanted it.

I specifically put in the line, ‘Where in the world am I not a threat?’ I wanted to leave people with the idea that if this is the last movie, that he may have left the world behind. Because I think there’s something enormously poetic about that, but there’s also something enormously misleading about that. We don’t plan to make Planet Hulk, as far as I know, so they were like, ‘Just sky, no stars!’ which was less poetic, but very beautiful…

I used to mock El Mayimbe when he said that Marvel would change its long-range plans just to spite him, but it appears, and lord does it pain me to say this, he might be right.

Additional sources for this story include Collider, The AVClub, and Vulture.

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