With just a few months to the release of Iron Man 3 and the start of “Phase Two” of their superhero franchise films plans, Marvel Studios is looking ahead towards the movies that will come after The Avengers 2 hits theaters in May 2015. We do know that Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man will be the first release of Phase Three in November 2015. We also know that despite previous reports, Marvel is not planning out Phase Three as an adaptation of the Planet Hulk/ World War Hulk storylines.
But what other films are the studio looking at? We know that in the past the studio had been developing movies based on the comic series Dr. Strange, The Inhumans and The Runaways, any of which may
And now there is another possible Marvel hero in the mix – Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner. The latest issue of the British genre magazine Empire (via ComicBook.com) dropped the character’s name in their latest issue in an article on the upcoming Iron Man 3. Speculating on the film lineup for Phase Three, Empire reported -
More Iron Man/Thor/Cap adventures probable, plus finally, a proper Hulk standalone (Planet Hulk?). Ant-Man is a confirmed intro (November 6, 2015); planned intros include Spock-esque fishy-bloke Namor The Sub-Mariner and magnificently ‘tached magic-man Doctor Strange. Will end with Avengers 3 in 2018ish, which could see a super-angry Hulk’s return (World War Hulk!).
While the Planet Hulk info in the quote is old, I’m willing to forgive them due to the lead time for print journalism.
So who exactly is Price Namor? He is the son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical Atlantis and is just as likely to help humanity as he is to attack them for perceived slights against his undersea kingdom.
And remember that map in one of the closing scenes of Iron Man 2 when Tony Stark was debriefed by SHIELD honcho Nick Fury? Notice one of the areas of interest? Fandom has long speculated that that spot out in the Atlantic Ocean is an indicator that Marvel is considering a Sub-Mariner film at some point. It remains to be seen if Empire is just going along with that fan assumption or are they privy to some inside information?
A defiant El Mayimbe stands outside of the Manhattan office building that is home to Marvel Comics. The journalist has been on a quest, a quest to avenge a fellow Latino Review reporter that Marvel Studios tried bully into giving up the source of his information. El Mayimbe went on the hunt for a scoop that would be bigger than the one the studio sent their attack dogs over, and he found it. And on this chilly Saturday morning he was about to film himself revealing it in front of the house of his hated enemy.
Only problem is, it’s not true.
In a video blog posted on Superbowl Sunday, El Mayimbe released what he said would be a huge spoiler as per the next six years of Marvel Studios films by detailing their plans for their Phase 2 and Phase 3. The next two phases of Marvel films would be an adaptation of the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk and would set Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk against the Avengers.
We, of course, reported it, and when we did, I listed a number of major obstacles that might stand in the way of this being true. One of the obstacles was the fact that Banner hardly appears in said comic book story lines, and as such would leave Ruffalo with little to do.
It appears that I was on to something there, because, yesterday, Beaks over at Ain’t It Cool News listed that as a the main reason given by his Marvel sources that El Mayimbe’s “scoop” was “1,000% inaccurate.”
While none of Beaks’ sources would say what Marvel’s plans for the Hulk or Phases 2 & 3 were, both sources Beaks talked to emphatically denied that Planet Hulk or World War Hulk played a part in any of them.
El Mayimbe does state in the post that ran with the video blog that Marvel would come out with a “fake denial” but what he had to say would turn out to be true. However, this is the same El Mayimbe who said that Black Panther would definitely be the second film Marvel would release in 2014. Well, unless it’s going to be renamed Guardians of the Galaxy, El Mayimbe was 100% wrong. And just under two weeks ago, he said that Jason Momoa was going to be Drax in Guardians, only to back away from the claim on Twitter blaming Momoa’s agent for ruining what was a sure thing. So, his accuracy when it comes to Marvel Studios projects isn’t all that good.
Maybe we will see the Hulk fight the Avengers in Avengers 3. But the rumor didn’t seem likely to begin with, and the way Marvel is denying it makes it seem like it’s another thing El Mayimbe got wrong.
Shane Acker, the writer and director of the CG animated feature 9, has been signed to helm an adaptation of the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel Beasts Of Burden.
Written by Evan Dorkin and illustrated by Jill Thompson, the comic’s story centers around a group of dogs and one cat who team up to protect their owners from a series of supernatural events. The four-issue miniseries won an Eisner Award in 2009.Jack The Giant Slayer scripter Darren Lemke is currently working on the screenplay.
Previously, Shrek 2 Andrew Adamson was attached to direct, but will stay on the project with a producer’s credit.
Jason Momoa might just be going from Conan the Barbarian to Drax the Destroyer in the span of three years.
Multiple sources have confirmed the Game of Thrones star has tested for the role of Drax for James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. El Mayimbe over at Latino Review says Marvel was so impressed by the test that they offered the part to him on the spot and it all comes down to a matter of money. However, Borys Kit of the Hollywood Reporter states Momoa was only tested and no decision was made yet.
Regardless, I think its a good choice. Momoa looks the part and is not a bad actor. While Drax from the comic books isn’t overly charismatic, Momoa is and can bring a lot to the role.
We should find out soon, because all the ducks need to get in a row posthaste if the film is going to make its scheduled August 1, 2014 opening.
In a multi-part series, Comic Book Film Editor William Gatevackes will be tracing the history of comic book movies from the earliest days of the film serials to today’s big blockbusters and beyond. Along with the history lesson, Bill will be covering some of the most prominent comic book films over the years and why they were so special. This time, we’ll talk about superhero films not adapted from any comic book.
Not every movie starring a superhero is adapted from a comic book but each has been inspired by or in turn inspired comic books. Many of these non-comic book comic book films have sprung up in recent years but they have been appearing in movie theaters for over thirty years. We will dedicate the next few installments to these movies. We’ll try to talk about all of them here, but odds are one or two will slip our notice. Let us know what you think we’ve missed and maybe we’ll include them in a future installment.
One of my most fondly remembered superhero movies was 1980’s Hero At Large.
John Ritter stars as Steve Nichols, an underemployed actor who is hired to portray the character Captain Avenger at the opening of a film based on the character. A job that entailed just signing autographs for fans becomes something more when Nichols breaks up a robbery while in costume. The media grabs hold of it, and his life becomes much more complicated. Nichols is compelled to keep fighting crime as Captain Avenger while political interests want to use Nichols for their own interests.
I haven’t seen the film in a while, but it was one of my favorites as a youth. It wasn’t Hamlet, but it wasn’t awful either. Anne Archer, passed over several years prior for Lois Lane in Superman, gets to play a similar part here as Nichols’ neighbor/love interest. Kevin Bacon has a small part in the film as well.
The film made $15,934,737 at the box office that year. That might seem paltry by today’s standards, but it out grossed other, better well known films from that year such as Prom Night, Used Cars, Stardust Memories and Mad Max.
A year later, Disney came out with its take on the superhero, Condorman.
Hero At Large might have been cheesy, but it was nothing compared to this film. Condorman couldn’t have been cheesier if it was paired with a beef stick and sold at a Hickory Farms kiosk over the holidays. The film has been all but consigned to the dustbin of history by most (the above trailer was put together by a fan), those that do remember it recall it fondly in a “so-bad-it’s-good” sort of way. Michael Crawford, five years before he would take the stage as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of Phantom of the Opera, stars as Woody Wilkins, a comic book writer of a character called “Condorman” who is pulled into a spy exchange in Europe. Wilkins adopts the Condorman identity, becomes a spy for the CIA, and rescues a Russian double agent played by Barbara Carrera.
In all fairness, the film is more a Disneyfied version of the James Bond-esque spy thriller than an actual comic book, although Crawford does appear in costume as Condorman and uses many Batman-esque gizmos and gadgets. It goes without saying that the film was a critical and commercial flop.
While Condorman probably began with the noblest intentions and wound up at cheesiness accidentally, The Toxic Avenger wallowed in its inherent cheesiness to the fullest extent from the very first day of production, as is the trademark of the studio that released it, Troma Entertainment.
Whether it was intended to be or not, 1984’s The Toxic Avenger was like all of the Marvel Comics from the 1960s brought to the big screen all wrapped up in one. Toxie, as he is lovingly referred to, starts the film as a nerdy janitor bullied by his peers (much like Peter Parker was before he became Spider-Man). One day, he has an accidental exposure to radioactive materials (like, well, take your pick: Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Daredevil, any number of other heroes and villains from Marvel at that time) which causes the nebbish to grow into a superhumanly strong creature (like The Hulk). He uses his new power to fight crime in Tromaville, finding love along the way with a blind woman who loves him for who he is and not what he looks like (mimicking a plot point featuring the Fantastic Four’s Thing and blind sculptress Alicia Masters).
What separated the film from the Marvel Comics of the 1960s was the schlocky, off-center and off-color humor, the violence that was so graphic that it became absurd, and the copious amounts of sex and nudity that is the trademark of the Troma film. But the first film was a success and that spawned a sequel, 1989’s The Toxic Avenger Part II:
When Troma found they shot enough footage for two films, they released another sequel in 1989, The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie:
And yet another sequel, 2000’s Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV:
That last film pulled out all the stops when it came to celebrity cameos, featuring Ron Jeremy, Corey Feldman, Hugh Hefner, and Julie Strain, with Stan Lee serving as narrator.
The Toxic Avenger was also adapted into a short-lived Marvel comic book in 1991 and a stage musical in 2008. A rumored fourth sequel was planned, but might have made way for a PG-13 remake produced by Akiva Goldsman and directed by Hot Tub Time Machine’s Steve Pink.
The next film we are going to discuss was made with noble intentions but became a box office failure. Hollywood Shuffle’s Robert Townsend wanted to make a film that was a counter-point to the popular “gangsta” films such as New Jack City and Juice that dominated cineplexes at the time. So, in 1993, he came up with a film idea that presented a positive black role model that would work to stop black-on-black violence instead of glorify it. That film was The Meteor Man.
The film told the story of Jefferson Reed, a Washington, DC teacher who is struck by a meteor and given superpowers. He uses these powers to clean up his neighborhood—stopping gang violence, demolishing crack houses, and stopping robberies. While the Toxic Avenger was a mix of a bunch of Marvel superheroes, the Meteor Man seemed to borrow from a number of DC Comics heroes, most notably Superman (who shares most of the same powers and the “mom-made costume” bit) and Black Lightning (DC’s first major black superhero, who was also a teacher named Jefferson Pierce).
The film featured a veritable who’s who of the best African-American actors America had to offer, including Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones, and Robert Guillaume and did earnestly try to present a more positive African-American role model. But the film was rather simplistic and the naive (the two gangs in the film, the Bloods and the Crips, put aside their differences to support Meteor Man in his fight against the white drug lord) script led to box-office disappointment.
Next time, we cover three popular movies that might stretch the definition of the superhero, but that had an effect on comic books for years to come.
Do you ever have a friend who get in a relationship with a certain someone else, a relationship that is hot and heavy and quickly becomes serious? It even gets to the point where a date is set, a venue is picked out and flower girl is chosen, only to have it all get cancelled at the last minute? You think its all over between the couple but a few years later they start up again with a whirlwind of passion and you think that this time the relationship will finally be consummated only to have the friend get cold feet once again.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Warner Brothers and the Justice League film.
Devin Faraci over at Badass Digest is quoting sources that Will Beall’s script for the Justice League film has been scrapped because it was too horrible for words. This follows on the heels the rumor that Warners was waiting to see how The Man of Steel did at the box office before going ahead with the film.
The poor script was listed as a reason why the project was having a hard time finding a director. It makes me wonder how the project could have gotten this far if the script was that bad.
This isn’t the first time script problems derailed a Justice League film. Back in 2007, George Miller got so far along in the development process that locations were scouted, costume designers hired, and the casting process had begun. However, the script needed tweaking and fixes to it were complicated by the Writer’s Guild Strike. While waiting for that to be resolved, Warners changed their mind to the approach to the film, and Miller’s version of it was dead in the water.
The trashing of Beall’s script throws this latest go round into a state of flux. They will have to go back to square one with the script, which makes the 2015 release date highly unlikely.
Attention New York residents! The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (now the official title) has started production in your state! Watch out for falling web-slingers!
Columbia Pictures has officially announced the start of production on the sequel and was nice enough to provide the world with a plot description at the same time:
In The Amazing Spider-Man™ 2, for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), life is busy – between taking out the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the person he loves, Gwen (Emma Stone), high school graduation can’t come quickly enough. Peter hasn’t forgotten about the promise he made to Gwen’s father to protect her by staying away – but that’s a promise he just can’t keep. Things will change for Peter when a new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), emerges, an old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, and Peter uncovers new clues about his past.
In all fairness, this really doesn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know. But, then again, if a studio revealed everything about a film before its was done, not many people would be going to movies.
The press release also gives us the official cast list, and, in addition to confirming Paul Giamatti’s involvement, gives us a heretofore unmentioned actor. The release lists Canadian/American actor Colm Feore playing an unnamed part of the cast, and the way the release is worded, he is mentioned before either Giamatti or Sally Field. Take that as you will. I take it as Feore’s role might be a bit more focal than either of those two. Whether it’s Feore as the new Norman Osborn or J. Jonah Jameson or as the new police captain or a crime boss is yet to be determined.
This will be Feore’s second foray into the Marvel Universe, having played Laufrey, King of the Frost Giants in 2008′s Thor.
If The Avengers had a breakout star, it was The Hulk. Audiences fell in love with both the way the Green Goliath was portrayed on the screen and also what Mark Ruffalo brought to the role of Bruce Banner. Fans, myself included, were clamoring for a Hulk film even before the final frames of The Avengers unfurled. Well, it looks like it will take a while, but we might get our wish–in a big way. But the rumor has some kinks that need to be worked out first.
Latino Review’s El Mayimbe posted a defiant video blog early this morning where he rails against Marvel Studios and their “war” with his employer over the website releasing spoilers of Marvel films. You should really watch the video. It has the feel of a wrestling promo.
Anyway, El Mayimbe’s revenge against Marvel is his revealing that the Hulk will become a big part of the studios’ Phase 3, including a sequel to 2008′s The Incredible Hulk, with a major series of Hulk comic book story lines being adapted for the screen. What story lines? Well, I’ll tell you, so here’s your SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!
So, Mayimbe’s sources say that the Hulk will Hulk out far more violently and dangerously than ever before in The Avengers 2. So much so that Tony Stark and his secret, hidden cadre of superpowered allies called the Illuminati decide it is better that he be banished from the face of the Earth, never to return. This banishment will come in one of the final scenes of The Avengers 2.
Stark intends to ship off Hulk to a peaceful planet so he can live out his life in comfort and safety. Unfortunately, as The Incredible Hulk 2 will show, the ship hits a wormhole and instead of the idyllic paradise, Hulk is sent to a hellish gladiatorial world, a world where Hulk has to fight aliens as strong as him–if not stronger–on a daily basis to survive. Eventually. Hulk fights his way into becoming king of the planet, and quickly sets about making plans for revenge on his former friends.
That revenge comes in The Avengers 3 as Hulk and a small group of his fellow gladiators find a way back to Earth and declare war on the planet. The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must once again protect their home from an invading force in search of vengeance, only this time the vengeance is justified and they are to blame.
Comic book fans should recognize that synopsis as the same as 2006′s Planet Hulk story line and it’s sequel crossover, 2007′s World War Hulk. It’s definitely one of the most exciting and important Hulk stories in the character’s history, and would make a fairly good series of movies. But there are several roadblocks in the comic story being adapted to the big screen as El Mayimbe describes it. What are these roadblocks? Well, I’ll tell you that too.
The Illuminati: In the comics, the Illuminati are composed of well-respected members of the superhero community, typically people in leadership positions, who have banded together to police their fellow heroes from behind the scenes. The team consists of Iron Man and, later, Captain America. No problem there, as both have already been introduced into the Marvel Film Universe. Other members have included Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Black Bolt and Namor. Again, not much of a problem, because Dr. Strange is rumored to have a film in Phase 3, Black Panther and the Inhumans, of which Black Bolt is king of, have films in development at Marvel, and the studio also owns the rights to Namor. However, the comic book Illuminati also included Reed “Mr. Fantastic” Richards, Beast and Professor Charles Xavier. Rights to these characters are owned by Fox. Unless there will be a new era of cooperation between the two studios (and considering the kerfuffle last year when Marvel wanted to borrow Galactus from Fox, that new era is unlikely) , these characters will either have to be left out or replaced. And they are fairly big parts of the story line.
The film Tony Stark isn’t really Illuminati material: The film Tony is a man who bucks authority and doesn’t like it when shadowy organizations lie and keep secrets from him. Having him willingly head up a covert organization and using his power and influence to subvert other people’s rights is something that flies in the face of his characterization up to now, and any change to his status quo is something that you’re going to have to establish sometime before Phase 2 ends.
Wither the Bruce/Tony bromance?: Tony and Bruce bonded quite a lot during The Avengers, developing a friendship based on their scientific backgrounds. Tony even encouraged Bruce to loosen up a bit (which could be used as a way to guilt Tony into shipping Bruce off). The friendship is to fresh for this kind of betrayal to have any great weight, yet there is enough of a bond there where you’d think Stark would be the one leading the calls for exile.
It’s not called Planet Banner or World War Banner: When El Mayimbe justifies the future of the Marvel film franchise being so Hulk focused by noting that Ruffalo was signed to six-films and he wouldn’t be happy with just supporting roles or cameos, I had to laugh. Because if the planned films are in anyway faithful to the comic book stories, Banner will essentially be a supporting character in this narrative. Ruffalo might have less screen time in The Incredible Hulk 2 than he did in The Avengers.
The film Hulk isn’t quite as smart as the comic Hulk is: The comic book Hulk’s intelligence fluctuated greatly over the character’s history, ranging from having Banner’s full intelligence to being dumb as dirt. While the Planet Hulk-era comic book Hulk wasn’t a genius, he was smarter than what has been portrayed on screen so far. Can you see the film Hulk being king of anything? Even leading an army?
Cost in comparison to return might not be favorable: Granted, the success of The Avengers probably opened up the purse strings a lot, but this series will be costly. And Disney surely remembers the last time it had a movie where a hero from Earth got embroiled in a war on a foreign planet full of CGI creatures. That was John Carter and it didn’t do all that well. Hulk might be more of a known quantity than John Carter, but if it was the concept that kept audiences away from the latter’s film, then Marvel will have a spot of trouble.
There are other Hulk stories to tell: El Mayimbe asks who would want to see Hulk fight army guys again. I would. I’m sure a lot of other people would too. Heck, having Banner on the run from authorities was good enough for five years of a TV show, wasn’t it? But even if El Mayimbe is on to something there, that is not the only type of story Hulk is known for. Look at Peter David’s run on the character. There are at least three incarnations of the character that you can work from which seem a more natural progression from what has come before in the film world. Yes, the Planet Hulk story line was successful because comic creators went back to the “hunted monster” well too often, but the film franchise hasn’t gotten to that point yet.
It would make the Avengers franchise repetitive: If this is true, it would mean that each of the three films featured the team taking on a threat from outer space. Granted, this is based on the assumption Thanos will attack Earth in The Avengers 2, but it still is going back to the same well three times. You have to be careful how you sell that to the audience.
There was already a Planet Hulk film: In 2010, Lionsgate released an animated adaptation for the Planet Hulk arc on home video. The film stopped before the World War Hulk crossover began, and wasn’t quite as faithful to the original text as the proposed live-action version appears to be, but even with those differences, Marvel will be competing with itself here.
Where would this leave the Hulk after this: In the comic books, where a new issue comes out every month, it is easier to progress from a shocking change to the status quo such as this. However, when films have years between installments, it’s not so easy to work around a character change such as this. The Hulk as he appears could support a long string of sequels. The Hulk after this series of films might not. It could very well take a valuable property off the table for the sake of one big payoff.
These are not insurmountable obstacles to overcome. But it’s all pretty daunting nonetheless. This could be the road that the Marvel Film Franchise is going down, but I don’t think it’s quite the slam dunk that El Mayimbe thinks it is. Logically, it does have a certain logic to it, and would make a good story, but so would a whole lot of other plotlines. We’ll have to see what develops.
Twentieth Century Fox has purchased the film rights to Matt Kindt’s indie comic book series Mind MGMT. The tsudio has purchased the project for Ridley Scott’s Scott Free production shingle. He will be joined by Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg of Dark Horse Entertainment, the comic’s publisher.
The book centers on Henry Lime, a former agent for a secret government organization that uses psychic spies who goes on the run after his he temporarily looses control of his powers and causes the populace of a town to kill one another. After years of being in hiding, Lime save the life of true-crime author Meru, who has her own connections to
The monthly series premiered last May to strong reviews and made several critics Top 10 lists at the end of the year. Kindt has stated that he plans to have the series run 36 issues.
The wait is over. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has finally found its dame.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog states that Eva Green has signed on to to play Ava Lord in the Sin City sequel. Both Miller and Rodriguez are fairly high on her, or at least spinning it that way.
“Ava Lord is one of the most deadly and fascinating residents of Sin City,” Rodriguez and Miller said in a statement. “From the start, we knew that the actor would need to be able to embody the multifaceted characteristics of this femme fatale and we found that in Eva Green.”
After both Angelina Jolie and Rachel Weisz passed on it, you mean. The directorial pair pretty much admitted that they were pursuing Jolie for the role.
In my opinion, this is a quite a step down. The role is a not only a major one, but also a difficult one. Ava Lord is presented as the type of woman so alluring that men lose their senses around her and do stupid things around her. But she is also presented as being shrewd and intelligent enough to take advantage of that stupidity to her greatest advantage. In other words, a hyper-charged version of your prototypical femme fatale.
I think Jolie could have done the role in her sleep. Weisz would have been an interesting choice–not perfect, but with potential to be really special. But as for Green? To be honest, I have not seen much of Green’s work. But from what I have seen, she doesn’t appear to be in the same league as Jolie or Weisz. Is Green beautiful? Yes. A good actress? In the right role, yeah. But not dead solid perfect.
Who knows? Maybe I am wrong and Rodriguez and Miller saw more in her than just her willingness to actually take the part. I guess we’ll find out on October 4th of this year.