Teaser Trailer Released For Ant-Man

Six months ago I was very vocal in saying that Marvel should probably rethink Ant-Man – its release, the film – everything. I even said they should table the character until they, inevitably, reboot the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following the US premiere of Agent Carter – a show about Peggy Carter starring Hayley Atwell, who reprises her role from the Captain America-films – Marvel released the first teaser trailer for Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas & Evangeline Lily. Today, I’ll give you my thoughts. Do I still feel this is a mistake? Continue reading “Teaser Trailer Released For Ant-Man”

Marvel Reveals Phase 3

Skærmbillede 2014-10-30 kl. 00.53.50
On tuesday the 28th of October 2014 Marvel Studios decided it was time to reveal their Phase 3-line-up, something that’s been discussed and speculated upon on pretty much every site – including this one. Now, in my aforementioned post regarding MCU Speculation I theorized on quite a bit – and some of it was spot on. Thor 3 will indeed be Ragnarok, and Black Panther is getting his own movie. Though there were a couple, if not quite a few, surprises that surprised even the biggest Marvel True Believers. In this post I’ll go over the most interesting choices year by year for the Phase 3 Line-up – including, but not limited to, new characters.


2016 – The Big Event & The Sorcerer Supreme

So here we go, Captain America 3 – directed by the Russo Brothers – will be The Serpent Society… Or, well, Feige wanted to fool us all, I guess. At the last minute he revealed that the rumours were true. The epic Marvel Comics Event Civil War will be adapted to the big screen.

This was a polarizing Comic Book Event, but a huge reveal for the MCU – everyone who’ve held Marvel Comic Books for the last few years should know what this means. This is the battle of ideologies between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Interestingly, they also revealed that Black Panther will indeed be a part of this film – but I’ll get to him, and the confirmed actor, later in this post. A huge part of the comic book event is secret identities, now Feige pretty much revealed that that won’t be a huge part of the cinematic version – and that’s a good thing – because Spider-Man is still in Sony‘s possession. This is by far the film I’m most excited about in the cinematic universe – and it blows my mind that we will see Captain America versus Iron Man in the same summer as Batman v Superman – this is quite obviously a battle, not only for fanboys, but in Hollywood as well.

Here we go, Dr Strange is indeed coming to cinemas – it might be rushed somewhat – but it is coming. I really wanted Joaquin Phoenix, and apparently so did Marvel – but when that deal fell apart, I was open to a lot of things; and Benedict Cumberbatch was one of those. Of course, Benedict is not yet confirmed as Dr Strange – but I’ll trust Deadline on this one. If it falls apart, though, this could end up as a bigger media-nightmare than Ant-Man was for Marvel. All in all though, Cumberbatch would make me pretty excited for this film.


2017 – Star-Lord, T’Challa & The End

Now, Star-Lord and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are not going to be written about in this article – however it is notable that its date has been changed (Now being released on the 5th of May 2017). The big pieces of news here are the arrivals of T’Challa and the end of all things in the Norse Mythology.

As I wrote in July, Chadwick Boseman would be an excellent choice – and indeed it is – Boseman’s star is rising, and this won’t slow it down. The fact of the matter is that this character is extremely important to True Believers. Also, his involvement in Civil War will instantly make him a part of the greater importance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – this casting is huge. T’Challa is going to be important, and I am extremely excited about this film – and the casting of Boseman is making me completely giddy.

Judgement Day is coming for Asgard. Now, this is important – not only because of it being a third film – but because it has to change something, something has to end. I could easily see Thor die in this film, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened because of the ruler of Asgard, Odin, I mean Loki. I would love to see Thor battle Fenrir or the Midgard Serpent – but honestly, I don’t know enough about solo-Thor stories in the Marvel Comic Books.


2018 + 2019 – Infinity & Beyond

Now, this is where everyone went completely nuts. Not only is Avengers 3, now titled Infinity War (obviously about the big Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos – the whole shebang), to be split into two parts – one in 2018, one in 2019 – but we’re also getting the Carol Danvers-movie…. Oh, and let’s not forget about the Inhumans-movie. Nerds all over the globe lost their minds.

This is huge for female nerds around the world, and females in general one might say. We need more female superheroes, and this is a great start. I wouldn’t mind seeing her in the Cosmic Universe – if that means she won’t just suit up with the Guardians, this is a solo star, not just a part of the gang. To be honest, I’d rather have the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel, but that may be too fresh for the MCU – hopefully, we’ll eventually see her.

It is being theorized that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be mutants, I mean Inhumans, in this universe – and that would make sense with this reveal. With that having been said, we need Black Bolt in an eventual film – and hopefully Lockjaw. But to be honest, I don’t know enough about the Inhumans to truly evaluate them – but that is really exciting.

So that’s it, True Believers – Phase 3 will be the biggest yet – and the most diverse for sure. I predict the loss of at least two Avengers-heroes by 2019 – and I’m eyeing Stark, Rogers and/or Odinson. We’ll see, but one thing’s for sure – Marvel’s not slowing down. Not. At. All. Buckle up.

Preparing for Marvel’s Third Phase

Before going any further, do note that this post is about speculating over the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – therefore expect SPOILERS from the MCU’s Phase 1 & Phase 2, as well as some comic book SPOILERS for characters like Ultron, Captain America and the Guardians of the Galaxy.


Looking Back on Phase 1

It all began with a bang, as Jon Favreau introduced the perfect Tony Stark – Robert Downey Jr. – a character he was born to play. The first solo-film for Iron Man began the first phase for Marvel and Kevin Feige – and it gave us a great battle between the confident and brainy Stark, and the powerful and cruel Obadiah Stone. The film also introduced the character of Pepper Potts, who is extremely important in today’s Cinematic Universe. Also, do note that the computer version of Jarvis was used for these films, and J.A.R.V.I.S. will be of importance sooner rather than later. The film not only began the first phase for Marvel, it also outlined the basic information of the Avengers Initiative – and suddenly fanboys everywhere ran amok in joy – myself included.

One character that Marvel has tried to perfect for a very long time, is Bruce Banner – once perfected with Lou Ferrigno – and they had actually prepared long ago for the return of this green smasher, with Ang Lee’s Hulk from 2003. Eric Bana played Bruce Banner in the 2003 film, but as it became a failure, Marvel had to rebuild with the beginning of the Avengers Initiative – and this was one character you could not leave out. Marvel went about it the right way, trying not to retell the origin story, but instead including clips designed to tell the tale of the 2003 film, now recreated with new actors. People knew how Banner became Hulk, and Marvel didn’t need to retell – something the Amazing Spider-Man by Sony should’ve taken notes from. Edward Norton played the part of Bruce Banner – and for me, he did a fine job – but in the end, he was not to be the future Banner. The one used by Joss Whedon for the future project of Avengers.

Building on the massive success of Iron Man, Jon Favreau made Iron Man 2 in 2010. The film focused on both corporate, as well as supervillain, villainy – by having both Justin Hammer and Whiplash as the rivals for Stark and his suit. At this point, Stark’s a superstar – based on his Iron Man reveal, and the military desperately want his suit. When unsuccesful, Whiplash helps Hammer create these new mechs to defend America – but when Whiplash makes his move – and unleashes hell on Stark and Rhodey – the movie reaches its boiling point. The film itself wasn’t a huge success, but it stands as a huge part of the build-up to the Avengers Initiative. Why? Well, we are introduced to Natasha Romanoff in this film – the Black Widow. The film ends with the information that Stark is too difficult to work with, and that a hammer has been discovered by the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

2011 introduced us to Thor, a Norse God, in a film by Kenneth Branagh. The film has had mixed reviews, but personally, I loved this film – and it touched on a lot of stuff I love about the Marvel Cinematic Universe – though I disliked the big battle with the Destroyer; a special type of action, I feel they’ve had a lot of problems with, on most projects. The film is of the utmost importance when looking at the bigger picture. The, at that point unnamed cube, Tesseract is introduced here – as well as the premier Phase One villain, Loki. Loki is brilliant, and this film is perfect in introducing him. Also, this is the first film wherein we see Hawkeye.

Then came a film, that I felt was placed poorly in the Phase One schedule – AFTER Thor. Captain America: The First Avenger. The film introduces Bucky Barnes, someone the most unaware Marvel fanboy would, sadly, easily forget. The Red Skull appears in this film, but his weight is not felt really – and in the end only the scenes that feel important are involving the Tesseract.

Then came the finale – Marvel’s The Avengers. Featuring an ensemble cast, the film gave us something most thought we’d never see on film – dialogue featuring all the principle Marvel heroes. As the Avengers are finally assembled, including the new Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), they battle Loki and his army of Chitauri. The long battle ends with Stark sacrificing himself for New York, and Loki being beaten down and imprisoned. In the mid-credits scene we see the huge Marvel villain, Thanos – someone interested in courting death.


 Phase 2: An Avengers World?


One thing these films always have to battle is the fact that no solofilm should matter anymore. If Romanoff was in trouble, she could just call up Stark, who’d call up the rest of the Avengers. And that should be the end of it – but that’s not how comic books work – and that’s something Hollywood realists have to get used to. For appearing almost a year later than Avengers, was Iron Man 3 – this time by Shane Black. The film was supposed to include the premier Iron Man villain, the Mandarin – but as millions of fanboys would soon find out; that was not really the case. The film ends with Stark being ‘fixed’ and him destroying his suits. The film was a success on the box office, but received mixed reviews.

A film that really did not work for me, was Thor: The Dark World. Featuring an angry Jane Foster and a crazed Erik Selvig, the film focuses on the power of the Aether, something that possesses Foster. The film also features the return of the imprisoned Loki, who wants to revenge his ‘mother’. Eventually, they save the day – though not without losses. A seemingly dead Loki, is mourned somewhat – but soon we are shown that Loki has taken the form of Odin to rule Asgard. Thor returns to Earth. In a post-credits scene we spot Sif and Volstagg at the Collector’s place – and he is given the Aether to keep it safe. The Collector then says: “One down, five to go” – setting up the plot of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Prior to the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released. The film was huge, both in success and result. The film features Captain Ameria doubting S.H.I.E.L.D. – and the reveal that HYDRA has taken over the once great agency. One teased element of the film, is the idea that Nick Fury is killed by HYDRA – but in the end, it is revealed not to be the case. And the last remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes Alexander Pierce down. In a ‘side-quest’ Cap faces off with the Winter Soldier – a Russian assassin – who we learn is actually Bucky Barnes from The First Avenger. In battle, Cap tries to convince Bucky of his origin – but is somewhat unsuccesful. Thankfully, The Winter Soldier decides to save Cap from drowning – and a severe plot point for Captain America 3 thickens. In a post-credits scene we see Baron Wolfgang von Strucker – who’s captured the SPOILERS children of Magneto (don’t tell Fox). The Age of Miracles has begun.

The final film in the second phase, prior to the unreleased Avengers: Age of Ultron, was Guardians of the Galaxy. The film has elements of Firefly, Star Wars and Back to the Future in it – and is somewhat of a stand-alone film (even if that’s not exactly the case), as the main characters aren’t associated with the Avengers yet. The film follows these Guardians as they race to protect a special orb, now titled Infinity Stones, from the powers of Thanos and Ronan. They are eventually succesful, in what is a perfect summer blockbuster – to rival the ones from the 80s. No post-credit scene of Avengers importance is shown, though someone else appears… Quack quack.


 Looking Forward


We have one final film before we close out the 2nd phase of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Avengers: Age of Ultron will feature the cast of the last Avengers film, as well as these two new siblings. They will battle ULTRON, a ‘robot’ presumably built by Tony Stark in the Cinematic Universe – to ensure that the Avengers Initiative can end. Expect Skynet-like results. A teaser trailer was shown at San Diego Comic Con, but I’ve not seen it. It has been described as a somewhat ominous trailer – showing Tony Stark shaken and seeing his fellow Avengers beaten down, and Cap’s shield broken. There are no strings on Ultron – and the Pinocchio metaphor will take front focus in this Whedon-production.

This is where I begin to speculate – I expect Ultron to be beaten (this is a comic book universe after all), but, like some comics, I expect Ultron to be thrown into space – and then uploaded by the SPOILERS Phalanx – which could be how Guardians of the Galaxy get to encounter the Avengers in the future.

The following dates have been marked by Marvel:
Ant-Man – July 17th, 2015
Captain America 3 – May 6th, 2016
??? – July 8th, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – July 26th, 2017
??? – November 3rd, 2017
??? – July 6th, 2018
??? – November 2nd, 2018
??? – May 3rd, 2019

Now, a Dr. Strange film has sort of been announced – but not really – and I expect it to be released July 2016, directed by Scott Derrickson. As you should know, Marvel’s been talking to Joaquin Phoenix about the project, something I’ve been wanting for a while now. At the end of this blog-post I will attempt to guess the entire schedule for Phase 3 for Marvel, but before doing that – I have some ideas. First for Captain America 3.

With the introduction of the Winter Soldier in Cap 2, it is expected by many that ‘The Fallen Son’ storyline is coming up – this will be important for Marvel, as it would be the first time they’d kill off a main character. Can they really afford to lose Chris Evans? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Another trilogy ending film we’re waiting for, is Thor 3. When that eventually comes to fruition, we all expect something like ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – that would be natural.

I doubt we’ll see another solo-Iron Man film with Robert Downey Jr. (due to contract issues), but I’m still hoping for it – instead, we can discuss the future of Guardians of the Galaxy. The sequel to the 2014 hit, will have to focus on Star-Lord’s father and Gamora’s ‘sister’ – however, I feel that perhaps this would be a great opportunity for Marvel to unite the Avengers and the Guardians, by having Tony Stark find them – to take down a potential Ultron-led Phalanx army. I guess we’ll have to see.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, feel free to ask questions in the comments – and without further ado, here’s my guess for the schedule of Phase 3:

Ant-Man – July 17th, 2015
Captain America 3 – May 6th, 2016
Dr. Strange – July 8th, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – July 26th, 2017
Black Panther – November 3rd, 2017
Untitled Mark Ruffalo-Hulk Project – July 6th, 2018
Thor 3 – November 2nd, 2018
Avengers 3 – May 3rd, 2019

Can Marvel Save Ant-Man? – Should They?

I like to consider myself somewhat of a Marvel fanboy, and that’s definitely the case when talking about Tony Stark. Peter Quill and Thor himself. However, while I was looking very much forward to the Ant-Man movie, it has most certainly stalled – and we are now looking at some kind of trainwreck – unique to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Process so far. This post will dive into whether Feige & Co. can fix this mess – and in length, if that’s the best thing to do right now.

Let’s look at its problems. In late may, Ant-Man director and fan – Edgar Wright – was let go of the project. Thus leaving many fanboys, both of Marvel and Wright, shocked and angered. Do also note that Wright’s director of photography was leaving the project in the process. In the days that followed, numerous directors openly declined the opportunity to rewrite and/or direct the movie. In came Adam McKay (to rewrite) and Peyton Reed (to direct). This will be Reed’s first feature film project since 2008’s Yes Man, and that leaves some puzzled at the direction of Kevin Feige. Now, in late july, three actors have left the project (two due to being written out, and Patrick Wilson due to scheduling conflicts).

Now, worse things have happened in Hollywood – but not really in the MCU. If we were to solely focus on the story of the project, we also encounter problems – in my humble opinion. Do note some PROBABLE SPOILERS for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, to follow. I really attribute two things to the role of Ant-Man. One, there’s the horrible ‘scandal’ involving ‘striking his wife’ in the comic – and secondly (most importantly), the creation of SPOILERS…… Ultron. Now to be created by Tony Stark instead, in the Avengers sequel.

Where does this leave the future of Ant-Man? Well, they could ride out the storm – and still get a good film out of it. However, this has been a publicity failure for the film – and could potentially derail riskier projects from Marvel. Personally? I think it’d be wise to table the Ant-Man project until they reboot/remake the universe around 2025 (I guess, calmly). Ant-Man needs to be the creator of… Well, you’ve read it by now.

What do you think would be wise for Marvel? Should they simply push the date a year forward? Or should they concede defeat, and cancel the film entirely? Is it too late? Sound off in the comments.

Proposition for Kevin Feige – July 2014

Nova.

Hello and welcome,

As you may’ve noticed this post is for Kevin Feige. Now you may ask who he is. Kevin Feige pretty much is in control of the destiny of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phases, he is the one sitting next to Whedon and co., the man with the plan. I will be trying to come up with various ideas for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and these are the first propositions I present. Starting with the introduction of Sam Alexander, the new Nova, in Phase 4.

The Troubled Teen – Sam Alexander – Nova

Liam James – Nova?

Now, Sam Alexander isn’t the fan-favorite Nova – and I know this – but he is the one Marvel Comics is trying right now, and could easily make money for the Disney owned studios. The character of Sam Alexander would be the youngest leading man for Marvel, and has already been discussed somewhat. I believe there were rumours of Ty Simpkins’ character in Iron Man 3 actually being the introduction of a kid-Nova, like Sam Alexander. However, we’ve seen nothing of him since. Instead I propose two actors for the role of Nova, both being actors I’d label as ‘kids’  for a kid-character (which might actually just be tossed to the side, a la Radcliffe as Harry Potter). First and foremost, I’d like to propose Liam James (originally pictured above) of ‘The Way Way Back’ & ‘2012’ fame. James was born in 1996, and would therefore be at an acceptable age for Sam Alexander… And he looks the part too. I like the awkward portrayal he put forth in ‘The Way Way Back’, and I think his character from the aforementioend movie has some interesting features as a leading man, in a world where he (Nova) is not in charge. Now, I’ve also noted Kodi Smit-McPhee who is having a great year, starring in the new Planet of the Apes-film.


The Leading Men – Dr. Strange & Black Panther

With Marvel slowly, but surely, losing Downey Jr. as their main man – they’re going to need to replenish their cast of stars. The rumours of a Black Panther movie have been heard for a long time, and I suspect we’ll have it confirmed at San Diego Comic Con 2014. For the role of Black Panther, I propose Chadwick Boseman of ’42’ fame. I think this is a guy most people want, even ahead of a big name like Chiwetel Ejiofor, and that’s saying something. In any case, this is a character the MCU needs – we’re waiting, Feige.

As for Dr. Strange? Well, the movie’s confirmed – it’s got its most important ‘staffmembers’, in a director and Screenplay-writers. Now we need a leading man – someone to give us a new mature Marvel CU… Hopefully. Jared Leto’s been rumoured, and I’d like him – but I propose another guy, someone who’s a household name, of sorts. Joaquin Phoenix of ‘Walk the Line’ and ‘Her’ fame. Not only is this a household name, he also has the presence of a sorcerer supreme.

Hopefully Feige will listen… Who knows what we’ll see at Comic Con, and what about the Credit Sequences of Guardians of the Galaxy?

– I’m Jeffrey Rex