Posted on 01 October 2014 by William Gatevackes
What was it that Andy Warhol said? Every middle-aged actor in Hollywood will be in the running to play Doctor Strange for 15 minutes?
Well, it’s just about time for another name to be thrown in the ring, and that name appears to be Ethan Hawke.
This Is Infamous, the website that also told us both Joaquin Phoenix and Jon Hamm were up for the role, is going all in on Hawke as Doctor Strange. They claim that Marvel has already made an offer to the actor on Friday, the actor accepted over the weekend and now it just comes down to contract negotiations. According to the site, Hawke is signing on for a six-picture deal, so expect him to pop up in other films if this casting rumor is true.
Hawke does appear to have the quality-acting-to-salary-cost that Marvel looks for. He is an Academy Award nominated actor (Best Supporting, for Training Day), yet has a remarkable number of low budget and B-movies on his resume, which lends itself to the fact that he works relatively cheap.
Another positive check mark for this rumor is the fact that Hawke played the lead in Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson’s 2012 film, Sinister, a connection that the site says played a big part in the hiring decision.
I guess time will tell if this is true, but you can say one thing, Hawke certainly looks the part.
Posted on 26 September 2014 by William Gatevackes
Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.
With that joint statement, a relative whisper that preempts a potential bang that would have been a Supreme Court hearing, five years of acrimonious statements, court cases and high-profile Hollywood mouthpieces comes to an end. The rights dispute between the Kirby Estate and Marvel over the rights to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor and numerous other characters comes to an end, with Marvel retaining the rights to said characters.
The intricate details of the deal are not known, and might never be released to the public. But the surprising settlement, coming just days before the Supreme Court was to vote on whether or not to hear the case, has media observers broken into two reasons why it happened. Either Disney blinked because they thought the Supreme Court would rule in favor of the Kirbys, or the Estate blinked for the same reason.
Personally, I vote for the latter. The Kirby Estate has lost every appeal up to this point, and the Supreme Court has a reputation of favoring corporations in cases like this. And, if Marc Toberoff’s agreement with the Kirbys and attitude towards the case was the same as it was with the Siegel family, he would fight on if he had a chance of winning,but settle if the money was good enough.
Regardless, one hopes that the Kirby family has been properly rewarded for their father’s efforts, and that the agreement gives them part of the profits his characters generate in perpetuity. I also hope that Marvel has an iron-clad, completely binding ownership on the characters so we don’t have to go through this again in the future.
Posted on 12 August 2014 by William Gatevackes
Back in 2011, when Marvel announced that it was developing Guardians of the Galaxy for the screen, they also announced that another interesting Marvel property would be joining them in development–The Inhumans. The Guardians were first into the breech, presumably to test the water and see if movie audiences would respond to such a little known property.
Now that Guardians of the Galaxy is turning out to be a smash hit, now it is The Inhumans’ turn to get some love from Marvel.
Collider is reporting that Marvel is shopping an Inhumans script around to potential directors. The script was written by Joe Robert Cole, who, like GotG‘s screenwriter Nicole Perlman, was part of Marvel’s writing program. Collider states they are trying to hire a director like James Gunn, one who can seamlessly bring his own style to Marvel’s per-prescribed vision.
This news comes on the heels of a rather big hint Vin Diesel gave about his involvement with the film last week:
Note the capital “I” on Inhuman.
Rumors abounded at the time Diesel was cast as the voice of Groot that Marvel had locked him in for another role further on down the line. Obviously, nothing definite has been announced, but the only Inhuman I can see an actor of Diesel’s popularity playing would be their leader Black Bolt. If this is the role that Diesel ends up in, it will mean that for Marvel the actor has provided a voice for a character yet was not seen and with will play a character that is seen but not heard (Black Bolt is mute because his voice is his power–even a whisper is massively destructive).
I’m sure we’ll hear more on this in the coming months.
Posted on 17 June 2014 by William Gatevackes
Humor has always been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but always in measured doses and not in such a way that it takes away from the story. Guardians of the Galaxy appeared to change that trend, as every bit of promotional material they gave us seem to indicate that we’d be getting a film that more resembled Welcome Back, Kotter than The Avengers.
Thankfully, Marvel has released an international trailer for GotG, and this version seems more in line with their previous output:
Brendon Connolly over at Bleeding Cool thinks this trailer has a Firefly feel to it, which I can see. And I also agree with him that this is a good thing.
I’m also tickled by there being more Rocket Raccoon in this version. It seems like Marvel realizes that Rocket is going to be the biggest thing to come out of this movie, and is playing that up.
Posted on 07 June 2014 by William Gatevackes
His name was rumored to be in the running starting only yesterday, but apparently Peyton Reed wasn’t going to let another Marvel film slip through his fingers.
Entertainment Weekly is saying that Reed has signed on to direct the problematic Ant-Man, and that Marvel has brought on former directorial candidate Adam McKay to rewrite the script. Yes, the man whose best lines as a writer have come from the improvisations of his actors is reworking Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish’s script. Oh, joy!
While numerous news reports state that Reeds last two films made over $200 million at the box office, that was six and eight years ago and $200 million is often the budget for a Marvel. But the one thing we can say for absolute certainty is that considering both men’s resumes are almost exclusively made up of comedies, Ant-Man will be Marvel’s first full fledged comedy.
Since production was supposed to begin on June 2, even if McKay delivers a script on Monday, the production will be at least a week behind. However that seems unlikely and odds are that McKay will not be writing the film on the fly as production goes on (which seems almost more labor and time intensive than if he directed the film himself). This means either the July 17, 2015 release date will be bumped back, corners will be cut in post production, or the filming would be rushed. None of this lends itself to a quality film.
Welcome to Marvel, Peyton. I hope you survive the experience.
Posted on 06 June 2014 by William Gatevackes
While Ant-Man flounders in the wake of losing its director, Doctor Strange is pressing full steam ahead, even though it hasn’t been officially announced yet.
One had to expect that after Scott Derrickson was named director of the film, the casting rumors would stat coming fast and furious. And they have.
Deadline is reporting that Marvel has started a wish list of actors they’d like to play Stephen Strange and on the top of that list is Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy.
Now would be the time to mention that we at that “apple-pie-in-the-sky” period of casting rumors, where the actors named might actually be the ones Marvel wants, they might not actually be the actors Marvel gets.
That being said, if Marvel does cast Cumberbatch as Strange, they can just take my money now. I’ll camp out in the theater and wait for the film to arrive. However, Cumberbatch has been mentioned before in geek cred properties and not signed on (namely Star Wars). So, I’m not holding my breath.
Hardy is an interesting choice. Most people might only know him as the barely-audible Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, but he is definitely a skilled actor. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the role.
Posted on 06 June 2014 by William Gatevackes
Have you started to smell the stink of desperation from Marvel yet? I haven’t, but I feel that it is not long coming.
We have two new names in the directorial pool to replace Edgar Wright on Marvel’s Ant-Man–Peyton Reed and David Wain.
The Wrap is the site that throws Reed’s name into the mix, saying he is the top contender. You might remember that Reed, fresh off the inventive Down With Love, had a cup of coffee as the director of the 2005 version of Fantastic Four, before Marvel eventually went with Tim Story. Reed went on to direct hits such as 2006’s The Break-Up and 2008’s Yes Man. That film was Reed’s last theatrical directing job, although he has another graphic novel adaptation, The Fifth Beatle, in pre-production.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog also lists Reed as a contender, but adds David Wain’s name into contention. Wain is perhaps best known in some circles as a member of the legendary, if underrated, comedy troupe, The State. He has acted, written and directed a number of TV shows and features staring his State cast mates. One can’t help but think that Paul Rudd might have suggested Wain for the job, as the actor has worked with the director around 14 times, starting with 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer right up to this June’s They Came Together.
One thinks that eventually Marvel will find someone to pick up this accursed project. I’ll do it for them, for a lifetime supply of Marvel Comics. Call me, Marvel.
Posted on 03 June 2014 by William Gatevackes
Well, I guess this solves the mystery as to what another of Marvel’s mystery Phase Three films will be.
Variety is reporting that The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister director Scott Derrickson is in has been hired to helm the long-rumored Doctor Strange film. The director confirmed the hiring via a Tweet.
Derrickson has a reputation as a low-cost, big return talent. The Exorcism of Emily Rose made seven times its budget back worldwide, and the $3 million dollar budgeted Sinister made over $77 million, worldwide. Even his remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, which failed to make its budget back domestically, made over $233 million world wide. Surely this played a role in Marvel’s decision.
Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci adds that Derrickson will also take a pass at the script, as he is wont to do on films he directs. Faraci also states that newly-minted Oscar winner Jared Leto is the latest name on Marvel’s wish list to play the good doctor, a move he doesn’t act kindly to.
I am not familiar with Derrickson work, but he seems to be a fan. And Leto is riding high on a lot of buzz right now, and even if he rubs you the wrong way, he’s an actor that takes every role he’s cast in seriously.
So far we know that Ant-Man is set for a July 31, 2015 release, with Captain America 3 following on May 6, 2016. As of now Marvel have July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017 staked out for as yet unannounced films and conceivably Dr. Strange could slide into one of these berths easily. Judging by how their previous two phases have unfolded, I would guess that 2017 will see one more film and early 2018 will give us the third Avengers film. With Dr. Strange now slated for one of those three spots, speculation will begin as to what characters will take the other two spots, as they will probably be needed to help set elements involving intergalactic villain Thanos for his expected appearance in Avengers 3. Will it be sequels to Thor and Guardians Of The Galaxy, or new characters such as The Inhumans or Black Panther? I believe we’ll find out a lot in several weeks at San Diego Comic Con.
Posted on 30 May 2014 by William Gatevackes
Whoever takes over the reins from Edgar Wright on the Ant-Man film will have not only big shoes to film, but also have to have the fortitude to endure a constant Internet lambasting. It’s fitting then that, according to The Wrap, Marvel is looking at three veteran directors to step in and take over. Who are they? Let me tell you, from left to right above:
- Rawson Marshall Thurber: The Wrap says that Thurber is the front runner for the job. He is best known for the comedies Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and last year’s surprise hit We’re the Millers.
- Ruben Fleischer: Best known for the inventive Zombieland, he is coming off the flops 30 Minutes or Less and The Gangster Squad.
- Adam McKay: Certainly the most experienced of the group, with the most films on his resume. He is known for his improvisational style of directing and his frequent partnering with Will Ferrell. He has worked with Paul Rudd on both Anchorman films. He’s the less likely of the three to get the job because A) he has always directed stuff he himself wrote and B) while his improvisational style might work on the film that will be making up its script as it goes along, I doubt Marvel is going to let anyone have that kind of freedom.
Having three men known primarily for comedies in contention for the directorship lends us to believe that Marvel intends Ant-Man to be a comedy. This flies in the face of a popular line of gossip that Marvel was upset and concern about Guardians of the Galaxy‘s humorous tone, and that played into the decision to part ways with Edgar Wright. Of course, the Russo Brothers were primarily known for sitcoms, and they delivered a fairly fine action film in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Posted on 08 April 2014 by William Gatevackes
I have to admit, I have serious reservations about Guardians of the Galaxy, and the latest exclusive footage released to MTV doesn’t quell these fears.
As part of MTV Movie Awards Takeover: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we were privy to a new GotG extended trailer(which is embedded below). What we got was essentially the trailer you already saw, but with the opening sequence of it expanded a little bit.
While MTV is trying to play the new footage up as being like Raiders of the Lost Ark (which others have parroted), outside of both protagonists stealing something off a pedestal, there isn’t much similarity between the two. The added footage gives us a look at Star-Lord’s boot rockets and mask (which were already on display during last year’s San Diego Comic Con), put on display during the character’s goofy escape from Korath (Djimon Hounsou). Then there is some footage of Star-Lord leaping across an alien landscape, then the rest of the trailer hits.
This is all well and good, but we still have no idea what the film is about. The GotG trailer ran before Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Joining it was the trailer for Lucy, the new Scarlett Johannson film which will arrive in theaters a week after GotG. That trailer told you enough about what was going on (ScarJo play an unwilling drug mule who gets superpowers when the experimental drug leaks into her system) that you can make a judgement about the film. The GotG trailer is basically exposition about the team members, a few random action scenes and explosions, and tells you nothing about the story. Is there a reason why Marvel is keeping it a secret?
Anyway, Guardians of the Galaxy opens up on August 1, 2014.