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Marvel books two untitled movies for 2016 and 2017

- June 13th, 2013

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Disney announced its release schedule for a slate of movies today that includes dates for two mystery Marvel films May 6, 2016, and May 5, 2017. The movies will be part of Phase Three, which kicks off with Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.

Last month, Iron Man 3 launched Marvel’s Phase Two, which continues with Thor: The Dark World, next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2, May 1, 2015.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel studio boss Kevin Feige talked about the possibilities of Doctor Strange, Hulk, Black Panther, Daredevil and other new characters on the big screen. He also addressed the prospect of continuing Iron Man without star Robert Downey Jr.

“I see no reason why Tony Stark can’t be as evergreen as James Bond. Or Batman for that matter. Or Spider-Man. I think Iron Man is a character just like that.”

For his part writer-director Joss Whedon says that he won’t do Avengers 2 without RDJ. “He is Iron Man,” he told The Daily Beast last week. “He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine.”

It’s possible the 2016 and 2017 movies could be sequels to Captain America or Thor, but I imagine that Phase Three will see Marvel moving towards a new slate of characters.

DC, meanwhile, will be playing catch up for the foreseeable future. Even though Man of Steel 2 and Justice League have been fast tracked, Marvel will be well into Phase Three by the time they are released.

So, who do you hope surfaces in 2016 and 2017? Are you pulling for familiar sequels or gunning for something new? Let us know in the comments.

Joss Whedon: I won’t make Avengers 2 without Robert Downey Jr.

- June 6th, 2013

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Even though Iron Man 3 is still raking in the dough at the box office, Robert Downey Jr. hasn’t signed on the dotted line to reprise his role as Tony Stark in The Avengers 2 (he’s still in negotiations).

And now we’re getting word that the one person who is kinda central to the making of that sequel won’t do it unless Downey Jr. returns. In a wide-ranging interview with The Daily Beast, director Joss Whedon said he fully expects RDJ to suit up once again to play his part in Marvel’s marquee superhero movie, and he won’t do it without him.

“He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine. But I know that this is Hollywood and you roll with things. You have to be ready for the unexpected. But I loved working with Robert, and everybody knows he embodied that role in a way no one else can.”

Whedon is still working on the script for The Avengers 2, which is scheduled to drop in 2015 following Thor: The Dark World, and next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadline is reporting Benicio del Toro has joined the James Gunn-directed space opera.

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Due out in August 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy will focus on little-known heroes, like Star-Lord, Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, that debuted back in 1969. In the new film, they join forces to battle an intergalactic enemy.

Del Toro is rumoured to be playing the Collector and has signed a multi-picture deal with Marvel.

I have no doubt Downey will be back. I’m more curious how Whedon will incorporate Quicksilver into the new film now that Bryan Singer has scooped up the character for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Would you mind if Downey was replaced as Iron Man in Avengers 2? Let us know what you think in the comments.

10 Marvel characters that need their own movie (or a reboot)

- May 1st, 2013

I think we can all agree. When it comes to adapting comic books to movies, Marvel’s film incarnation of popular heroes like Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor and Captain America has helped them win the movie war against DC.

But as Iron Man 3 prepares to launch Marvel’s Phase 2 of films, there are still some heroes from the Marvel universe that deserve a movie of their own – or a reboot.

Check out our list of 10 and let us know in the comments which character you think needs some movie love. By the way, some of the clips below are graphic and NSFW.

Hit-Girl – She’s a supporting star in Kick Ass, but I preferred the trash-talking teen assassin best in her own stand-alone series that writer Mark Millar and artist John Romita Jr. put together last year. If they do it, they better hurry up and start filming before Chloe Moretz gets too old to play the part.

Elektra – Everyone needs to forget the 2005 version that starred Jennifer Garner. It’ll be like that ballgame last year when Brandon Marrow got shelled by Texas. We just won’t talk about it and forget it existed. Then some nice writer can come along and adapt Frank Miller’s Elektra Assassin or the Elektra Saga and it’ll all be better. In case you forget how bad the original was, check out the trailer below.

Luke Cage – He’s got all the heroic attributes – impervious skin, super strength, connections with The Avengers – so he’s ripe for his own time in the spotlight. His work with Iron Fist in Heroes for Hire could also appeal to moviegoers who don’t do the whole superhero thing since there would be an opportunity to craft more of a detective-type storyline.

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Kingpin – Why is it villains never get the starring role? If done Sopranos-style, a film focusing on one of Marvel’s greatest bad guys could actually end up being an absorbing film trilogy. Not sure it’ll work? Brian Azzarello has written two comic books focusing on DC villains (Lex Luthor and the Joker) that might change your mind. Come to think of it, a TV series revolving around the Kingpin of Crime might be interesting as well.

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Sub-Mariner – Marvel needs to do this one if only to get out ahead of DC’s Aquaman. The whole mythical undersea kingdom setting lends itself to some stellar special-effects ideas. However, I’m not really sure how they’d get around the talking underwater thing.

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The Punisher – Perhaps it’s too late. Marvel has already tried three, count ‘em, three film incarnations of the vigilante without a heart of gold. All have flopped. You can’t even suggest that they try resurrecting the character in an R-rated action film since they already attempted that with 2008′s Punisher: War Zone. So, what to do? I think his character could be re-introduced as a supporting player in next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and perhaps used again in The Avengers 2. If he’s well received, in the hands of the right writer and director, his onscreen life can be resuscitated by 2017.

Deadpool – Ryan Reynolds’ “merc with a mouth” was literally the only highlight from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This needs to be made. The gorier, the better. And the person who created this fan-made trailer should be hired to direct.

Hawkeye – Growing up, I’ll admit there was nothing cool about Hawkeye. Sorry, he had a goofy outfit that made him too geeky to like. That’s all changed thanks to Jeremy Renner’s performance in The Avengers and Matt Fraction’s recent re-launch of the comic book. Suddenly, he’s cool, and I hope he gets his own series as part of Marvel’s Phase 3. If you haven’t checked out his recent comic book arc, My Life As a Weapon, stop reading this and pick one up now.

Doctor Strange – Way back in 2008, there were rumours of a film collab between Neil Gaiman and Guillermo del Toro, to which the former told me Johnny Depp would be his ideal choice to play the mystical sorcerer. Those plans went nowhere, but Marvel studio boss Kevin Feige has indicated that Strange will have some part in Phase 3, so we might be seeing him on the big screen sooner than you think.

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Daredevil – You could blame the suit, the hammy acting, direction, story, whatever it was, 2003′s Daredevil didn’t work. Various reboots with David Slade (Hannibal) and Joe Carnahan (The A-Team) at the helm had been planned, both fell through. But now that Ben Affleck has redeemed himself as a director and proven he can act again, why not give the part back to him? He has certainly earned the right for a do-over. Or someone could take over the gritty ’70s-set version Carnahan had planned. His vision is outlined in the trailer below.

Honourable mentions: The Fantastic Four (the second one was way too campy), Magneto (Would be neat to have a solo X-Men movie that’s not Wolverine), Ghost Rider (someone, please fire Cage).

‘Iron Man 3′: Watch Tony Stark attempt a mid-air rescue

- April 30th, 2013

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Iron Man 3 is literally just days away, and of course it’s way too early to be declaring any one sequence the best of the movie, but the newest clip from the film just became my odds on favourite.

Running at just over a minute, the scene is an extension of the one we’ve seen in various trailers: Air Force One has been attacked and helpless passengers plummet to the ground. Thirteen people are in the air and, as Jarvis informs him, Tony can only carry four.

I’m a sucker for jump scenes in movies and this Iron Man clip reminds me of my fave part from Transformers: Dark of the Moon (just to be clear, that’s not an endorsement of the Michael Bay film – other than this one sequence, I pretty much hated it).

Iron Man 3 takes place after the events of The Avengers, with Tony Stark battling The Mandarin (Sir Ben Kingsley). It’s directed by Lethal Weapon-scribe Shane Black, so expect plenty of eye-popping stunts and lotsa humour.

Let us know what you think of this latest clip in the comments.

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in ‘Avengers 2′?

- April 28th, 2013

It looks like there will be a few more heroes along for the ride when The Avengers 2 hits theatres in 2015.

Speaking to Yahoo! Movies on the red carpet for Iron Man 3, writer/director Joss Whedon revealed that he has finished the first draft of his screenplay for the upcoming sequel. He also dropped hints that he is adding two characters he really likes.

“I’ve got these two character; two of my favorite characters from the comic books,” Whedon reveals, “a brother-sister act. They’re in the movie, that’s exciting.”

Whedon didn’t reveal which characters he was talking about, but Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are the heavy favourites.

The brother and sister act are part of Marvel’s Silver Age and debuted in the 1960s. They are the children of X-Men villain Magneto and were recruited to join the Avengers by Iron Man.

Quicksilver has super speed, while Scarlet Witch can manipulate probability and cast “hexes” on her foes. They are both associated with the X-Men, raising the possibility of an eventual crossover film.

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The Avengers 2 will mark the end of Marvel’s Phase 2, which begins in earnest with Iron Man 3 and continues with Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.

With the first Avengers film having grossed $1.5 billion worldwide, Whedon was asked about the pressure he feels following up the well-received superhero team-up.

“I try not to think of it as topping (The Avengers),” he said of the upcoming sequel. “I try to think of this as its own movie…But when you’re in the story and dealing with characters that everyone loves and you have new characters sliding in next to them, then it’s very exciting. I don’t feel pressure. It’s like I’m reading my favourite comic.”

Do you have any Marvel favourites you hope show up in Avengers 2? Let us know who they are in the comments.