Tag Archive | "Marvel"

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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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What Killed The Fantastic Four And The X-Men?

Posted on 03 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

Fantastic_Four_vsMarvel Comics is in the midst of a line-wide crossover called Secret Wars that will press the reboot button on Marvel Universe. Nothing will be the same again, and some of your favorite characters will not make it into the brand new Marvel Comics.

However, the culling of characters has already begun. Over the last year, Marvel Comics has been systematically removing or minimizing the Fantastic Four and X-Men from their comic line and from their merchandising. The reasons why are shrouded in mystery due to Marvel’s radio silence in the matter. But the topic rose to a head this week when the image for the yearly Marvel poster from Trends International was released. The company has been releasing posters featuring a collage of images of most of the Marvel characters for years. Here is the 2007 version:

marvel_comics_wallpaper_2007As you can see, the Fantastic Four are center right, Wolverine is center left, and a number of other X-Men are clearly visible, Now, onto 2013:

marvel_comics_wallpaper_2014The prime real estate is taken up by the characters that have appeared in The Avengers, but the X-Men and Fantastic Four are still prominently featured. Now, this year’s poster:

marvel_comics_wallpaper_2015I’d send you on a “Where’s Waldo” type of quest for the X-Men and Fantastic Four in this poster, but that would be a fool’s errand. Because while the poster features obscure characters such as Devil Dinosaur, White Tiger and the Wrecking Crew, there’s no Fantastic Four and the only X-Man present appears to be Emma Frost, who appears in between Ronan and Venom in the upper left. Of course, that could be another character or just a mistaken inclusion.

marvel 75 yearsThis harkens back to the incident that started this whole controversy. Last year, Marvel published a commemorative comic book for its 75th Anniversary. The cover, seen at left, was profoundly lacking in any characters from the Fantastic Four, the team that jump-started the Marvel Age of comics, or the X-Men, by and far Marvel’s most popular property over the last four decades.

I spoke on that controversy exactly one year ago as I am writing this sentence. I theorized that the quarantine, which was then mostly place on the Fantastic Four characters, might be because of the then pending Supreme Court hearing of the lawsuit brought by the heirs of Jack Kirby. However, more developments have arose that makes this reason unlikely.

First and foremost, Marvel made a settlement with the Kirby Estate, so that sword of Damocles is no longer over their heads. Also, the Fantastic Four titles were cancelled. A mandate was sent out to keep the Fantastic Four characters from being used in any trading card set. Then embargoes were placed on the X-Men characters. Writers were told to not create any new mutant characters for the series. T-shirts based on iconic comic covers would have the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters either removed or replaced with other Marvel heroes. Toy makers were forced to cancel their lines based on the mutant characters. Marvel even went so far as to kill of the popular Wolverine in their books, and it looks like the X-Men books will be cancelled post-Secret Wars, and the X-Men becoming space-faring heroes in whatever series they are in next.

20th_century_fox-logo It has become obvious that what I tried to deny a year ago was really the truth–that Marvel’s mothballing the Fantastic Four and X-Men has something to do with Fox holding the film rights. But what? Some think it’s being done just to spite Fox, or because Marvel is sick and tired of promoting films they have little stock in? Possibly. But throwing away a revenue stream just because it promotes in part a studio seems a bit extreme. And Fox could get more butts in seats with one ad on the side of a New York City bus than all of Marvel’s books and merchandise can give them.

Is it a ploy to try and get the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four back from Fox? Dubious. Fox makes millions on the X-Men franchise and hopes for the same for Fantastic Four. Marvel could kill off every X-Man and every member of the FF and Fox would still not be willing to give up that gravy train.

But I have a theory more outlandish than even that. When Marvel sold the rights for these properties to Fox, it was going through bankruptcy and there was a very good chance that it could have gone out of business. Films were thought to be a quick supply of cash to keep the company afloat, and Marvel was desperate to make a deal. This is why agreement is top loaded in favor of Fox, and why they can keep the rights to the properties as long as they keep films featuring them in production. But what if a desperate Marvel gave away even more than that?

What if Marvel gave all merchandising rights to Fox for the Fantastic Four and the X-Men? What if the same 5/95 percent split in favor of Fox wasn’t just for film merchandise and the films themselves but for any comics and merchandise featuring the comic versions of the characters too?

It seems crazy, I know, but like I said Marvel of the late 90s, early 00s was a desperate Marvel. Marvel’s Tom Breevort has stated in regards to the scorched earth policy about merchandising the properties that Marvel earns a smaller percentage of the revenues for the X-Men and FF characters than the rest of their characters and had mentioned that if someone did not have merchandising rights to the characters, they couldn’t sell merchandise featuring them.

This was taken to mean that Marvel had control over who they gave rights to. But if Marvel no longer had complete control over the rights to the X-Men and FF, the amount of time and effort they take in removing the character from their merchandise would make much more sense.

However, this is just a theory. Unless someone does a cyberhack of Fox’s e-mail, we’ll probably never know the truth. But it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to buy a Wolverine T-shirt anytime soon.

 

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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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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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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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SPIDER-MAN Directorial Shortlist Named

Posted on 06 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

Spider-man

When Sony was looking for a director for the reboot of its Spider-Man franchise, it chose a relatively novice director from the world of indie comedies, and we have seen how well that worked out. Now, as it once again looks for a new director to helm another reboot of the franchise, it once again is looking at predominately novice directors primarily from the world of indie comedies. Everything old is new again.

Deadline names five potential candidates for the job, with the caveat that there might be more names in the running. I’ll list them from the one I like most to the one I like least:

Jonathan Levine

Jonathan LevineWhat has he directed that I might know?: He’s one of the more experienced directors on the list. He has directed All The Boy Love Mandy Lane, The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies.

Does he write?: Yes. He has done the screenplays for The Wackness and Warm Bodies.

Does he act? No.

My Take? All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Wackness were critical darlings. I have seen Warm Bodies and 50/50 and loved both of them. Levine appears to be a director that can take genre films and make them poignant and funny, which is perfect for the Spider-Man franchise.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: He will be reuniting with his 50/50 star Joseph Gordon-Levitt with November’s X-Mas, a film he also co-wrote.

Ted Melfi

Ted-MelfiWhat has he directed that I might know?: He directed last year’s highly regarded St. Vincent.

Does he write?: Yes. He also wrote St. Vincent.

Does he act?: He does have one acting job on his resume.

My Take?: St. Vincent was only Melfi’s second directorial effort, and it comes 15 years after his last one (1999’s Winding Roads). However, the film did get Oscar buzz and Melfi was nominated for Best Director by the Indiana Film Journalists Association. That is a pretty good last job to bring into the mix.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: He has been tapped to write and co-direct the upcoming remake of Going in Style, which is to star Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine.

Jason Moore

jason mooreWhat has he directed that I might know?: He directed the sleeper hit of 2012, Pitch Perfect. He has also directed a number of Broadway plays.

Does he write?: He is listed as the writer of the music video for the song Cups, but that is his only writing credit.

Does he act?: He has three acting jobs on his resume, the most notable a bit part on Dawson’s Creek.

My Take?: He does have a experience in directing stories featuring misfits making good, which is Spider-Man in a nutshell, but since Spider-Man and musicals do not mix, it might be a bit out of Moore’s comfort zone.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: We will be able see how well he directs a predominantly female cast who do not sing when his Amy Poehler/Tina Fey vehicle Sisters hits theaters in December.

John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein

Daley and GoldsteinWhat have they directed that I might know?: They have directed a pair of short films, but no features that have been released as of yet.

Do they write?: The pair are most noted as writers, writing Horrible Bosses 1& 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 together.

Do they act?:  Daley is primarily known as an actor, having starred in Freaks & Geeks, Waiting and Bones to name a few. Goldstein has had a cameo in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

Do they have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?:The pair wrote and directed the remake by way of a quasi-sequel to Vacation, which will hit theaters in July.

My Take?:Sony is supposedly going for a John Hughes feel for the Spidey film, and these guys are continuing Hughes’ Vacation franchise, but the rest of their resume is uneven to say the least.

Jared Hess

jared hessWhat has he directed that I might know?: He is arguably the most successful director on the list, having Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre under his belt.

Does he write?: He has written every film he has directed to date.

Does he act?: He has roles in three, low-budget indies from 2002-2003, but his acting career ends there.

My Take?: Hess’ resume shows an esoteric eye that is more quirky than weird. From what I’ve seen of his work, I don’t know if he’d be that good of a fit for Spider-Man.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: His next directorial effort we can see will be Masterminds in August. It will be the first film he has directed that he did not have a hand in writing, and it is based on a true story.

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New Releases: May 1, 2015

Posted on 01 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron-Poster1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Disney, 4,276 Theaters, 141 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments, Rotten Tomatoes: 75% Fresh [195 Reviews]):  Wait, seriously? You clicked this link to find out about this week’s new releases?

It’s the Avengers. If you didn’t know it was coming out this week or anything about it, you must have been living in a cave.

You want to know something about it? Read FBOL Head Honcho Rich Drees’ review of the film here.

Sheesh.

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Five Actors Are On Marvel’s SPIDER-MAN Shortlist

Posted on 22 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

maskless spideySo, if The Wrap is to be believed, then 80% of the candidates to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man are teenagers and 60% are foreign actors as well, and yes, the one actor who is 20 is the American.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but it is believed that test offers will go out within a week and a decision will be made within a month. Here is your scorecard for the potential Spider-Men.

Asa Butterfield

asa butterfieldAge: 18

Nationality: British

What you might have seen him in: Arguably the most famous name on the list, Butterfield has appeared in big budget films such as Hugo and Ender’s Game.

What will he be in next?: He has the lead in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Other thoughts? Hollywood seems to enjoy throwing potential franchises at this kid, but Ender’s Game was a non-starter (although that wasn’t Butterfield’s fault). If he does get cast, we will finally have the answer to the unasked question, “What if a young Bud Cort played Spider-Man?”

Timothée Chalamet

Timothee ChalametAge: 19, we think. (Biographical info for him on the Internet is kind of scarce. He could be 56 for all that we know).

Nationality: American

What you might have seen him in: He was a member of the cast for Homeland and played the young version of Matthew McConaughey ‘s son in Interstellar. He apparently was that dating Madonna’s daughter, Lordes, at one time, if you follow that stuff. (THAT the Internet tells me. His age? Noooooo! Dating history? Yes.)

What will he be in next?: He will be playing a teenage version of James Franco in the Adderal Diaries.

Other thoughts? Looks the part, but I am unfamiliar with his work.

Tom Holland

tom hollandAge: 18

Nationality: British

What you might have seen him in: Arguably the biggest entry on his resume to date is his role in the West End version of Billy Elliot: The Musical. That, and his role in The Impossible.

What will he be in next?: He will be appearing as young Thomas Nickerson in Ron Howard’s adaptation of In the Heart of the Sea.

Other Thoughts? His costars in the above film consist of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy). Surely he could call on either of them for advice on how acting in a comic book film works, and the future scenes between Spider-Man and Thor will have an extra little kick.

Liam James

liam jamesAge: 18

Nationality: Canadian

What you might have seen him in: He played the lead in The Way Way Back. He also played a younger version of Shawn in the TV series, Psyche.

What will he be in next?: He will either be, as IMDB puts it, in an ABC TV Movie called Original Sin or, as Wikipedia puts it, in an ABC TV series called Flesh And Blood. They appear to be the same project, so one might be a renaming of the other. We will probably have to wait until fall to find out either way.

Other thoughts?: He looks the part and has experience being the lead in a movie. Of course, his being in a TV series might play havoc on production schedules.

Nat Wolff

NatWolffAge: 20

Nationality: American

What you might have seen him in: He was in the Nickelodeon program, The Naked Brothers Band, and played Isaac in last year’s adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars.

What will he be in next? He will be appearing as Jim Nolan in James Franco’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle. Then, he will star in another John Green adaptation, Paper Towns.

Other thoughts?: He looks less awkward than the rest of the candidates, which might be what the producers are looking for, but might not. Is the oldest of the five (we think) but it still playing teen age roles.

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