If you saw last night’s Marvel: Assembling a Universe, you probably know what this post is about. If you didn’t here is a list of things that I noticed about the special that will either make to angry or glad you missed it.
1. It was a giant bonus features mix tape: Now, I didn’t go through all my DVD’s and Blu-rays of the Marvel films, but just dealing with the ebb and flow of Robert Downey Jr.’s facial hair, it seems that most of the content of the special was culled from interviews that appeared in bonus offerings with the original films. Granted, there had to be some original content in there, but a lot I know I saw before. I know the special was meant to be a cheap form of advertising, but still…
2. Samuel L. Jackson’s agent’s cold call was the spark that got him cast as Nick Fury: I always believed that Marvel was the one who initiated Jackson’s casting, especially since the Nick Fury character in The Ultimates was based on his appearance. But the special revealed that it was Jackson’s agent calling Marvel and asking if they had anything for him that led him to be cast as Fury. What would have happened if they didn’t make that call?
3. Edward Norton is persona non grata at Marvel: The actor is absolutely nowhere to be seen in any of the clips from The Incredible Hulk. We get several looks at the CGI Hulk from the film, numerous shots of William Hurt’s General Ross, even a brief shot of Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky, but no Norton whatsoever as far as I can tell. Even Terrence Howard, whose split with Marvel redefined the term “acrimonious,” is shown in a scene from the first Iron Man. What did Norton do to be so shunned?
4. Bobby Moynihan is apparently a comic book fan and wrote the Avengers sketch when Jeremy Renner hosted: Moynihan pretty much came out and admitted than he wrote the sketch just so wardrobe would build him a Hulk suit. Here is the clip:
5. It didn’t tell us much about Guardians of the Galaxy, and it’s starting to trouble me: Marvel has been playing things close to the vest with GotG, and that continues with this special. The film is less than five months away, and this special would be the ideal time to give us more of the plot or what the team is up against. But no, we get the same spiel about them being criminals uniting for a common threat, and 98% of the footage is what we already saw in the trailer. Even the concept art, included below, doesn’t show us anything we didn’t already know. This gives me a bad feeling about the film. Why are they being so coy unless the film is not terribly good and mystery is the only thing that would bring people in?
6. That being said, it seems like Karen Gillian is going all out in her role as Nebula: We do get a better look at Nebula and we see the amount of make-up work Gillian had to do to get into character. This isn’t the type of role that will win her an Oscar, but she should get some recognition for the lengths she has gone for this part.
7. In contrast, we get enough stuff from The Avengers: Age of Ultron to learn a thing or two: Even though only a small amount of filming has been done, we did get a legitimate sneak peek at the film through concept art,which includes:
Hulk and Black Widow fighting back to back with a building up in flames behind them.
Our first look at Quicksilver, which is in line with the comic book look but with a more realistic feel to it. It looks like Marvel is steering clear of the white hair for their version, which, after seeing in on X-Men: Days of Future Past‘s Evan Peters, seems to be a wise decision. Also notice that it seems like he is speeding his way through a battalion of robots, another indication of how Ultron will make his presence felt in the film.
And we also get a look at the Scarlet Witch. Her costume is quite a break from any comic book version of the costume, but still has a European gypsy feel to it. I’m also getting a “Dark Phoenix” vibe off of her.
Finally, it appears that the bromance between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner is at an end, as their alter egos square off on the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa. Is Tony trying to being an out of control Hulk in, or is the Hulk being attacked by an Ultron controlled Hulkbuster Iron Man suit?
8. We get little from Ant-Man: I can understand the logic of going light on the Ant-Man stuff,since the film is over a year away. But I was expecting a little more than bits and pieces of the special effects test reel. I would have liked interviews with Edgar Wright, Paul Rudd or Michael Douglas. Oh well.