Tag Archive | "Marvel"

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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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Will Ernie Hudson Play T’Chaka In BLACK PANTHER?

Posted on 08 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

ErnieHudsonWWPIt’s time for my least favorite pastime: what rumor is El Mayimbe spreading today. The often-wrong head honcho of Latino Review has scoop that says Ernie Hudson is circling the role of T’Chaka in Black Panther. El Mayimbe’s proof? Hudson has been hitting the gym and picking up back issues of Marvel Comic’s Black Panther featuring the character.

El Mayimbe doesn’t reveal his source, perish the thought, but if I were a betting man, I’d put money on Hudson’s agent. This story has the feel of that classic Hollywood chestnut of an actor’s representative planting a story about a studio looking at their client in order to drum up interest from said studio.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Hudson as an actor. But his career is firmly in the B-Movie/TV guest appearance mode, not the type of star Marvel typically leans to for roles like this. Granted, T’Chaka, who is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda and father to T’Challa, the titular Black Panther, isn’t a big role, but it is a pivotal one. Judging from Marvel’s casting history, it’s likely they would consider an actor with a higher profile and perhaps a better resume than Hudson.

Another thing to consider is that as of yet no director has been announced for the film. Unless T’Chaka is going to appear in another film before he appears in Black Panther, I’d expect a director be picked first before any supporting character.

However, I do believe in doing due diligence, so I contacted one of my go-to sources, one that always guides me down a truthful path, and one that is as reliable, if not more so, than any of El Mayimbe’s sources. I contacted “Ask the Eight Ball.” It said “My Sources Say No” when asked if Hudson was up for a role in Black Panther. So, there you have it.

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SPIDER-MAN Aftermath: What We Now Know.

Posted on 11 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

AvengersSpiderManMarvel’s announcement that it is partnering with Sony to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost broke the Internet. However, due to the timing of the press release, we knew that most details wouldn’t be released until the light of day. Now that it is almost 24-hours later, what do we know, what do we think we know and what do we think about what we know?

Marvel’s Phase III will be shifting:

This was pretty much a no brainer, since Thor: Ragnarok was set to come out on the same day as was announced for the new Spider-Man film–July 28, 2017–so the release dates of most of Marvel’s offerings from then on will be shifting.

Here are the new dates:

  • Thor: Ragnarok has moved to Nov. 3, 2017.
  • Black Panther has moved to July 6, 2018.
  • Captain Marvel has moved to Nov. 2, 2018.
  • Inhumans has moved to July 12, 2019.

Avengers: The Infinity War Parts I and II with keep the release dates they already have. This puts the brand new franchises smack dab in the middle of the two installments. A great place to be if they provide more elements of the story for hungry fans.

Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb are out:

GarfieldSpiderManVariety is reporting that Marvel and Sony will be going with a teenage Spider-Man, which means that the 31-year-old  Andrew Garfield, who was getting a little long in the tooth to play even the college-aged Peter Parker, finds that his services are no longer needed. The Hollywood Reporter adds that director Marc Webb’s involvement with the franchise is now at an end.

I have to join my fellow journalist Carol Pinchefsky in mourning the passing of the Andrew Garfield era. Garfield seemed like a genuine fan of Spider-Man, and he had little to do with the failing of The Amazing Spider-Man reboot. He did present an interesting portrayal of Peter Parker, more as a social outcast than a stereotypical nerd, and what he brought to the roll was shines through as a high point of the reboot.

Webb, well, I’m not so sad to see go. More of the blame for the failings should fall to his feet. It is hard to tell who really was responsible for the decay of Sony’s run at doing Spider-man films. but I’m sure Webb’s directing played a part in it. Here is where a fresh start is really needed.

If we need a villain, may we suggest Avi Arad?

Multiple reports state that producer Arad, along with producer Matt Tolmach, have been “demoted” to the title of Executive Producer, essentially a honorary title with no real power of control.

Let me begin by saying that without Avi Arad, there would not likely be any Marvel Comics, let alone Marvel Comics movies. He helped get the comic book company out of bankruptcy and facilitated their company’s rise to Hollywood respectability.

However, he is also a hands-on producer in the worst sense of the word. His interfering with Sam Raimi during Spider-Man 3 is legendary, essentially forcing the director to shoe horn Venom into the film against Raimi’s wishes. When Spider-Man 4 began shaping up to be a similar kind of battle, Raimi bailed. The clown-car-of-villains The Amazing Spider-Man 2 became has the strong odor of Arad’s meddling. And the inclusion of all those villains at the expense of plot and characterization is one of the reasons why that film failed.

If Arad was responsible for all that, he will not be missed all that much.

Sinister Six, Venom and Female Spin-off not dead, only resting:

2219020-sinister_six__earth_616__001One of the amazing things about this whole thing is that it has storied financial media such as the Wall Street Journal talking about comic books. Unfortunately, the web version of that article is behind a paywall, but, fortunately, Comic Book Resources and Bleeding Cool have read the article for us.

One of the tidbits to come out of that is the previously planned Spidey shared universe films, Sinister Six, Venom and an as-yet-unnamed female focued spin-off are still in development, although Sinister Six will be delayed and will not be hitting its November 11, 2016 release date.

Variety reports that these spin-offs will not have the creative influence of Kevin Feige, who will be consigned to being in control of Spidey’s films and MCU appearances. That means these dicey ideas have not gotten any less dicey.

Spider-Man will appear in Captain America: Civil War:

The above WSJ article also cites sources who say that Spidey will be appearing–as long rumored and discussed in the Sony Hack e-mails–in Captain America: Civil War. Dan Wickline at Bleeding Cool breaks it down for us logically, showing only that film could only be the crossover film by means of elimination:

This was the obvious choice as the original press release said Spider-Man would appear in a Marvel movie prior to the release of the next solo Spider-Man movie on July 28th, 2017. The only Marvel films that would work for that were the already completed Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man… so those are a no. The sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy… Spidey in space is a no. Doctor Strange… doubt they’d put him in another characters debut. So that left only Civil War.

Sounds good to me.

No money changed hands during the deal:

Sony paid nothing for the right to have Spidey in Marvel films. Marvel paid nothing to rent Spider-Man from Sony. Each keeps the grosses from its individual films.

This could be a cash waterfall for Sony.

Hugh Jackman was excited to hear the news, hopeful a similar arrangement can be met between Marvel and Fox:

Screen Crush had the distinct pleasure of breaking the news of the Sony/Marvel deal to Hugh Jackman during a press appearance to promote his latest film, Chappie.

Jackman has always been an advocate for having Wolverine crossing over with the MCU. However, the relationship between Fox and Marvel isn’t quite as polite as the one between Sony and Marvel. Jackman is a remarkably young looking 46, but it’s not likely that a similar deal will be made before, as Jackman says, he gets too old to play Wolverine.


Comic Book Resources


The Hollywood Reporter

Bleeding Cool

Screen Crush

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BREAKING: Marvel & Sony Announce Agreement to Share SPIDER-MAN

Posted on 10 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

spidey and avengersIt was a rumor that was confirmed by a set of leaked e-mails. Now it has finally become officially. Marvel has Spider-Man back. Well, at least a share of him back.

Marvel.com broke the news that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have entered into an agreement to “bring Marvel Studios into the world of Spider-Man,” as the press release puts it.

What this means that sometime between now and July of 2017, Spider-Man will be appearing in a Marvel Studios film. Sony will then release their next Spider-Man film on July 28, 2017. That film will be co-produced former Sony head Amy Pascal, Kevin Feige, and Marvel. There is a chance that members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be appearing in that film as well. Sony will finance, distribute and own the film, and have final creative say.

The press release calls this a new creative direction for the hero. As anyone who has read the leaked Sony e-mails knows, Marvel wants a teen aged Spider-Man to work with. Reading between the lines, you can probably call the Andrew Garfield era of Spider-Man over, since Garfield, at 31, is starting to get way too old to play a teen.

The Sony e-mails made it clear that Marvel wanted Spidey for Captain America: Civil War. Whether this remains true or not, or we will see Spidey in another Marvel film down the line, is something that we will surely find out as the days and weeks pass.

This seems like a win-win for Sony. They get Marvel, the studios that made a hit out of a talking raccoon and tree tandem, to work their magic on Spider-Man, and they get keep of the profits. While I didn’t think the Garfield-era was as bad as most people thought it was (although I will say it was frustratingly flawed), Spider-Man is a character that deserves to be done right. Now it might finally be done right.

Now, if only we can have a little bit of Glasnost between Fox and Marvel for a similar arrangement to be made, I’d be a happy Comic Book Movie Editor!

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STATE OF THE COMIC BOOK FILM: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Posted on 30 December 2014 by William Gatevackes

2014 comic book films2014 was supposed to be a warm up year of sorts, a rest period before the big year of 2015 arrived. After all, Avengers: Age of UltronBatman v. Superman: Dawn of JusticeFantastic Four and Ant-Man was supposed to be joining other geek-friendly films such as Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens to create one big festival of pop culture magnificence.

However, it would turn out that 2014 would be great in its own right–and 2015 might not be as good as it seemed.

captainamericawintersoldierposterGoing into this year, Marvel Studios seemed primed for a stumble, if not an outright fall. While 2013’s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World were box office successes, creatively they were the weakest of Marvel’s offerings to date. This was troubling because 2014 promised a sequel to a franchise that didn’t light the world on fire with its first installment and featured a character that conventional wisdom said wouldn’t play well overseas and the start of a brand new concept featuring characters all but unknown by the general public, characters that included such silly offerings as a talking raccoon and a sentient tree who could only speak its own name. If Marvel didn’t bring its A game, it could have been in serious trouble.

Well, Marvel brought its A+ game. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a taught political thriller that doubled its predecessor’s worldwide grosses and changed the landscape of the Marvel film universe forever. And that unproven concept? That was Guardians of the Galaxy, which only became the highest grossing film of the year domestically and the second highest grossing film worldwide (behind the inexplicably popular Transformers: Age of Extinction). And that film’s two breakout stars? You guessed it, the talking raccoon and the walking tree.

edgar wrightBut it wasn’t all champagne and roses for Marvel. In May, the studio parted ways with Edgar Wright, the director who had been shepherding the studio’s Ant-Man adaptation for the better part of a decade. The break came after Wright had already cast the film and production was set to begin. This parting of ways was especially shocking considering that the official party line Marvel put out up to that point was that the only reason there would be a Ant-Man film at all was due to Wright’s vision. However, it was Marvel’s fiddling with that vision–including a rewrite done without Wright’s input–was what broke this particular camel’s back.

Wright was replaced as director by Peyton Reed. Reed had shown inventiveness with his breakthrough film, Down With Love, but had become over recent years a journeyman director of sorts, helming films such as The Break-Up and Yes Man. While this might seem like a step down from Wright in a lot of people’s eyes, many others might consider Reed a better choice. With Wright, you might have gotten an inventive take on the character filtered through the eyes of an auteur, albeit one that might not have meshed well with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Reed, you have a competent director with an individual style that is malleable enough to bend the way Marvel wants it to bend. Still, in my eyes, Wright’s moving on is a disappointing missed opportunity.

big hero 6Disney had another hit based on a Marvel comic book, although not one put out by Marvel Studios. Big Hero 6 was based on a Marvel comic, yet the concept was kept in house by Disney Animation. While the creative minds at Marvel had input, Disney want to put their own spin on the boy meets robot tale. The result is a charming film chock-full with more Marvel Comics’ Easter Eggs than you’d find in most Marvel Studios offerings. The film has made over $320 million and counting worldwide, coming close to doubling its production budget back.

Moving onto Marvel properties at other studios, X-Men: Days of Future Past marked a revitalization of Fox’s X-Men license. Bryan Singer returned to the franchise with this film, which came up with the brilliant idea of merging the cast of the original trilogy with the cast of X-Men: First Class in a quasi-adaptation of one of the best stories from the comics. If that wasn’t enough fan service, the film served as a soft reboot of the franchise, removing two of the lesser films of the franchise–X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins; Wolverine–from film continuity.

The film went on to make over $740 million worldwide and jump started Fox’s efforts of creating a shared universe out of the X-Men universe. Another sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse has been announced, another Wolverine film is in the works, and we might finally see Channing Tatum’s Gambit and Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool on the big screen.

Andrew Garfield;Paul GiamattiWhile Fox is well on its way to building a shared universe with its Marvel license, Sony has had its plans for a similar shared universe with its Spider-Man license, which it announced with films based on Venom and Sinister Six last year,  thrown into turmoil over disappointing returns for Amazing Spider-Man 2. And by Sony standards, the film making only three and a half times its production budget worldwide was a disappointment. I still can’t get over that. I’d love to get that much return on any investment I made. For Sony, that is a failure.

Regardless, the studio appeared to go into panic mode over this spanner in the works, with rumors of a spin-off featuring Aunt May, a film focusing on a team of females from the Spidey mythos, and a potential crossover with Marvel Studios being spread around.

But depths of Sony’s desperation truly became known during the Great Sony Hack of 2014. E-mails amongst top executives leaked during the hack showed a studio grasping at any straw that came their way when it came to Spider-Man. The crossover idea with Marvel Studios was confirmed. Inviting Sam Raimi back to take over the franchise was suggested. Another full reboot was offered up by Jeff Robinov, with an older Spidey and an adaptation of Kraven’s Big Hunt being part of it.

The result of all this is a sense of uncertainty of where Sony will be going with the Spider-Man franchise. As of right now, the studio still has Sinister Six scheduled for November 11, 2016. Whether or not that film will see the light of day, or if we will see Spider-Man hanging with Iron Man and Captain America before then, is anybody’s guess.

upcoming-dc-films1Warners had a quiet year when it came to comic book films in the theaters–no DC Comics films were released this year–but it more than made up for it when it came to its future plans. First was the scheduling brouhaha over Superman v. Batman. Warners moved it out of 2015 to May 6, 2016. The only problem was, Marvel had a then-unannounced film scheduled for that day. Instead of backing off, Marvel announced that that Captain America 3 would fill that spot. A tense game of chicken developed until Warners blinked and moved its film to March 25th.

While Marvel won that battle, DC scored a major victory in October when Warners announced a series of 10 DC Comics films, coming two a year from 2016 to 2020. Outside of Batman v. Superman, no solo Batman or Superman films were announced. Instead, we get DC’s B-team. Wonder Woman finally gets a film. Green Lantern gets another chance at charming audiences. Little known concepts such as Suicide Squad and Cyborg get films. And Aquaman hits screens only 12 years after it was mocked on Entourage. The rest of the list is made up of the long-rumored Shazam film and the optimistic Justice League and Justice League 2.

In contrast, Marvel’s announcement of their film slate two weeks later seemed a bit anti-climactic. Outside of Captain Marvel, arguably Marvel’s biggest female hero, getting a solo film, there were no big surprises. The Thor and Captain America sequels got subtitles (Ragnarok and Civil War respectively), Doctor Strange and Black Panther finally got official release dates. Long in development The Inhumans gets a slot and the third Avengers film will be broken up into two installments.

Frank_Millers_Sin_City _A_Dame_to_Kill_For_172014 proved to be a bad year for Frank Miller. There was 300: Rise of An Empire, the sequel to 300 that was supposed based on a Miller comic called Xerxes, a comic Miller never got around to writing. The filmmakers decided to go on without Miller, focusing on the Greek fighters instead of the Persian leader. International grosses helped the film overcome disappointing domestic grosses to earn three times its budget.

A film that Miller was personally involved with was Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Miller returned to co-direct the sequel with Robert Rodriguez, and provided an original yarn to fill out the adaptations from his legendary comic series. What should have been an eagerly awaited follow-up was welcomed by lukewarm reaction from critics and an even worse reaction from audiences. The film couldn’t even break the top five in its release weekend, and ended up making $26 million less worldwide than its relatively modest $65 million dollar budget. Can we call Hollywood’s dalliance with Frank Miller’s officially over?

As for the rest of the comic book films, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles followed the Michael Bay formula. Even though Bay only served as producer, the film suffered Bay’s trademark of overcoming a lambasting by critics yet to become a global success. Hercules also became a modest success when international grosses were taken into account. And I, Frankenstein was a disappointment.

As for next year? Well, we won’t have Batman v. Superman, since that has been moved to 2016. Fantastic Four could either be a trainwreck or a risky venture, depending on what leaked plot summary you believe. Kingsman: The Secret Service could become the latest hit adapted from a Mark Millar comic. Marvel should rake in money hand over fist with Avengers: Age of Ultron, and audiences should come to Ant-Man even with the tumultuous backstage drama. All of this will set the stage for the next 6 years of comic book films, much to the chagrin of the medium critics.


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New Releases: November 7, 2014

Posted on 06 November 2014 by William Gatevackes

big hero 61. Big Hero 6 (Disney, 3,761 Theaters, 108 Minutes, Rated PG for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements.): Some of you might have heard something about this being a Marvel film based on a Marvel comic. You would have heard both right and wrong. The concept did originate in comics, in two miniseries Marvel published in 1998 and 2008 respectively, but there is a reason why the film is a Disney film and not a Marvel film.

When Disney bought Marvel, the studio began rummaging through Marvel’s intellectual property for concepts they could bring to life themselves, with as little involvement from Marvel as possible.  Big Hero 6 was the one they selected.

Marvel wanted a more mature take on the concept, but Disney viewed the film as their show and Marvel would just publish the tie-in comic books. Marvel was insulted by this and refused to publish those comics. Disney fought back and said that they’d publish the tie-ins themselves.

Eventually, cooler heads prevailed and a compromise was made. Disney would get full control over the concept, but neither would publish the tie-in comic (That honor went to Yen Press).

The film looks good from what I’ve seen of it (and I’ve seen a lot. My daughter watches a lot of Disney Channel and they relentlessly promote the film there). But hopefully this will be the last concept Disney steals from Marvel and they’ll eventually be able to work together from now on.

interstellar poster2. Interstellar (Opened Wednesday, Paramount, 3,561 Theaters,169 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.): This might be marked down as the film where the Christopher Nolan backlash begins.

Nolan has been riding high for years, seeing  films he wrote and directed become successes both financially and critically. That run has gone on for so long, it would have to come to an end at some point. And it seems that the critics are jumping off now. This film is the worst reviewed of all that Nolan wrote and directed.

The film deals with a near future where the Earth has become unlivable. Scientist have sent a team of astronauts out to examine other planets to see if they can support life. However, a race against the clock is complicated by unforeseen circumstances, and no alternate planet might be found.

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Could SPIDER-MAN Be Crossing Over With The Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Posted on 07 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

Avengers_Vol_1_236One of the things that made Marvel Comics so great was the sense that all the characters lived in the same world. It’s not just that they crossed over with one another, because the DC heroes did that too–Superman and Batman shared World’s Finest, the Flash would visit Green Lantern. But the with the Marvel heroes, you expected Daredevil to bump into the Thing on the street not just because they lived in the same town but because a lot of great adventures started off that way.

And this might be the reason why so many Marvel fans bemoan the fact that the film rights to Marvel’s mutant characters and Fantastic Four are with Fox and Spider-Man is at Sony. It guarantees that the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be truly be a shared cinematic universe of all of Marvel characters.

Well, never say never.

Drew McWeeny over at Hitfix buried a juicy rumor in his latest ruminations about the state of the Marvel film universe. Since I do not want to be accused of misinterpreting what he said, I’ll reprint the pertinent paragraph verbatim:

Sony, on the other hand, may be doing things the opposite way. While I can’t get the confirmations I need to verify the story, I’m hearing that there are some very cool “Spider-Man” plans being discussed that would help Sony refocus their enormously important franchise while also opening up some connections in the onscreen Marvel movie universe that would blow fandom’s minds. Will it work out? I don’t know. I would love to be able to state for sure that it’s happening. What seems clear from what I’ve heard is that Marvel wants to be able to play with all of their characters, and if they can make that work creatively and on a corporate level, they will, and that means the world gets bigger again.

It’s a vague statement, but it seem pretty clear that McWeeny is saying that Sony is discussing letting Spider-Man be used by Marvel, and perhaps some Marvel characters used in the Spideyverse.

spideyThis comes after the story that the Oscorp Tower almost made an appearance in the New York skyline of  The Avengers, which only adds an air of believability to this rumor.  Something else that make the character sharing more plausible in some eyes is the general opinion that Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise is in a stage of flux after what is seen as a disappointing showing by The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Sony needs something to inject a bit of excitement into the franchise. This certainly will do the job.

While this, if this is true, is a positive first step towards a united film universe for the Marvel characters, don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to fall in line. While the failure of the forthcoming Fantastic Four reboot might free those characters to return to Marvel proper, Fox will keep a stranglehold on the mutants as long as they keep making money for the studio. And Marvel isn’t winning any friends at Fox by prohibiting any new mutants to be created denying Fox and new characters to play with and cancelling Fantastic Four as to deprive the reboot with a form of comic book promotion.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that this is a rumor. And, according to Devin Faraci at Badass Digest, it’s only one of three possibilities Sony is thinking of for Spider-Man (the others are doing a soft reboot in The Sinister Six with a new actor as Spider-man [like THAT was why The Amazing Spider-Man  failed] or keeping Spider-Man in mothballs while they work on developing some secondary characters) so maybe we shouldn’t get our hopes up too much quite as of yet.

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Ethan Hawke Is The Latest Name On The DOCTOR STRANGE Casting Carousel

Posted on 01 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

ethan-hawkeWhat 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.


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BREAKING: Marvel Settles With The Jack Kirby Estate

Posted on 26 September 2014 by William Gatevackes

Jack_Kirby photo

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.

Jack_KirbyPersonally, 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.

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Posted on 12 August 2014 by William Gatevackes

inhumansBack 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.

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