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‘Captain America: Civil War’ will fail without Spider-Man

- October 28th, 2014

When Marvel Studios executive Kevin Feige took to the stage in Los Angeles on Tuesday, journalists and fans sat in awe as film announcement after film announcement was named, the microphone in his hand figuratively dropped.

From the last Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok to the announcement of Captain Marvel and Black Panther, Marvel’s first two-stand alone films featuring a lead actor of colour and a lead actress, the announcements were all a little dizzying.

One of the most exciting announcements, however, came in the form of the final Captain America film, officially named Civil War.

As comic book fans know, Civil War is one of the most important stand-alone series to come out of the publishing house. An all out battle that engages two separate teams led by Captain America’s Steve Rogers and Iron Man’s Tony Stark.

The war begins as a direct result of the United States government implementing the Superhuman Registration Act, asking any person or being with superhuman powers to break their anonymity and disclose who they really are.

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On one side, there’s Stark and his narcissistic, almost clinical need for constant attention and praise. He believes that as super powerful human beings, mutants, and other worldly creatures they deserve respect for constantly putting their lives on the line for the less than special human inhabitants of Earth.

On the other side there’s Rogers’ camp who believes losing their anonymity puts them at risk during their everyday lives and the lives of their families.

So commences one of the biggest wars ever scripted and illustrated in Marvel comics’ history.

The most important character in Civil War, however, is the young man in the tiny red and blue suit, the black outline of a radioactive spider embroidered on his chest.

While Spider-Man may not be the leader of either camp, he acts as the conscious overtone hanging over the war. He initially sides with Tony Stark revealing his true Peter Parker identity to the world, a crucial moment in the Marvel universe after fighting diligently to keep it top secret for years. Together, he fights Captain America alongside Stark and Hank Pym (meaning Ant-Man will make an appearance in Captain America 3).

spiderman

It all changes, however, when Stark constructs a prison in the Negative Zone, deemed Project 42. When Parker learns Stark is using the underground space to imprison their fellow super humans, he sees the error of his decision and abandons camp, joining Rogers’ rapidly falling side and taking up arms against his former leader.

In many ways, the use of Parker’s character acts as a pseudo-audience member. He’s just as confused as to why they’re fighting and like readers, is learning about the vicious ideas Stark has begun to use to win the war. Parker’s thought process echoes the audience’s own: when did this get out of hand, how is this happening, and is this fundamentally wrong?

Without Spider-Man, Captain America: Civil War just becomes another titanic fight of stubborn men with dominance issues.

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Marvel Studios has been building up the animosity between Rogers’ and Stark’s characters since before the first Avengers, and as comic book readers are well aware, it all stems from issues they’ve had with Tony’s father and Steve’s pseudo-father, Howard Stark.

A fight between them is obvious, but above all else it’s boring. Civil War only works because of Peter Parker’s shining display of humanity in a war being fought by celestial beings and super human men and women.

It’s fantastical and Peter Parker keeps it grounded, relating to it as any non-super human being would.

Feige and his team may go ahead and produce Civil War without Spider-Man, but without him, it will not be the Civil War fans have come to cherish.

Without him, there is no conscience and there is no heart; the very ideals expressed by Mark Millar in the original pages of the seven part series stripped down to nothing of value to the other characters involved and the audience watching them with hopeful eyes.

DC vs Marvel: Which movies are going head to head through 2020?

- October 15th, 2014

Do you know what you’ll be doing in 2020? Don’t worry, Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. have you covered.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Warner Bros. and DC executives revealed their full slate of superhero movies through 2020.

Leading off the previously announced Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League titles, DC also confirmed fans should expect to see stand alone Wonder Woman, Flash, Shazam, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Aquaman films, too, along with more individual Superman and Batman films.

The news comes just days after rumours flooded the internet that Marvel was pairing up Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Captain America (Chris Evans) for the third instalment of the latter’s popular movie franchise to launch the Civil War story arc.

The overload of news, rumours, and casting whispers has caused a foggy haze to settle over fans eyes. The most important question, still, is when the films will be released?

And in subsequent, which Marvel movie will go head to head with which DC movie?

Although certain dates have been announced, Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios have left the majority of their slots blank, but that didn’t stop us from trying to crack the less than cryptic code.

Note: This list will ignore Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron as DC doesn’t have any films scheduled until 2016. Marvel wins that round via forfeiture.

2016:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice versus Captain America 3

The amount of controversy surrounding the release date of these two films is unbelievable. Both have been previously slotted for earlier or later dates, but changed to better secure a successful weekend win at the box office.

In the end, Warner Bros. and DC decided to take Batman v Superman out of the spring/summer box office game altogether, slotting it for a safe March 26 release date. Post Oscars and pre-blockbuster season will cement its massive financial payday.

If the two were going head to head, however, our bets would be on Captain America 3, which is scheduled to be released on May 6. While Batman v Superman has the curiosity angle where audiences are concerned (who doesn’t want to see if Ben Affleck can pull off the Caped Crusader), the launch of Civil War, easily the most important mini-saga in the Marvel universe, will win over the majority of theatre goers.

Doctor Strange

Casting rumours are always a little hectic, but the amount of names being thrown in the pot for one of Marvel’s oldest superheroes is a little over the top. With that being said, it’s obvious there is no shortage of anticipation for the film. With no DC heroes slotted to take on the wizard, Marvel automatically wins the summer season.

WINNER: Marvel

2017:

First unannounced Marvel film – Hulk movie (May 5)

Considering Hulk is one of the most successful characters to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe re-framing, it’s only a matter of time until Marvel Studios Executive Kevin Feige and his team announce the green monster’s stand alone movie. Marvel isn’t going to want to throw a Hulk movie into the middle of blockbuster season, however, and May has always been testing grounds for the studio.

Summer: Justice League (June 23) versus Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (July 28)

As popular as Guardians of the Galaxy is, all bets are on Justice League taking home the summer box office. Much of this depends on how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice does in 2016, and how much people are willing to complain about director Zack Snyder again on Twitter. The Guardians sequel will undoubtedly pull in bags of money for Marvel, but it’s not a Justice League versus Avengers scenario. Most theatre goers will choose the massive DC team for the first time on screen over Chris Pratt and company’s return.

Winter: Wonder Woman (November 17) versus Ant-Man 2 (November 3)

Like Marvel and the possible Hulk standalone movie, DC isn’t going to risk putting Wonder Woman as their number one contender when it comes to summer blockbuster competition. The November slot is perfect for action buffs who are trying to find a decent movie to watch while in the thrall of horror and Oscar season, guaranteeing a payday for the studio. As for Marvel, they don’t like to keep their franchises too far apart in release dates. November 3 would be almost two and half years after the first Ant-Man is released in 2015, making it the perfect spot for its sequel to debut.

WINNER: DC

2018:

Pre-blockbuster season: Aquaman (March 27) versus Avengers 3 (May 4)

It may seem odd for a movie like Aquaman, not even one of DC’s more popular characters, to go up against the third Avengers movie, but there’s little doubt that’s what Marvel has scheduled. The top of May spot has always been used for an Avengers movie when it’s an Avengers year (alternating otherwise between Captain America and Iron Man), and 2018 will see the third instalment of the film. DC slotting Aquaman a couple of months earlier is their way of retaining as much profit as they can before Marvel’s financial beast is released.

Summer: The Flash (July 27) versus Doctor Strange 2 (July 6)

With the third Avengers movie out there, Marvel could slot whatever they wanted to and still win every weekend at the box office. 2018 would see the appropriate time for Marvel to release a Doctor Strange sequel, and it would be a great Avengers-team free follow up for Marvel fans. This summer belongs to Warner Bros., though, with the Flash’s debut. Starring Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), The Flash is easily the most hyped up DC film following Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

Winter: Howard the Duck (November 2)

Remember the ferocious little duck from the ‘90s, or at the very least the fearsome looking duck from the post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy? This is his time. With no competition from any major blockbuster character, Marvel slotting an unusual character like Howard the Duck toward the end of the year would be their best bet at getting him off the ground.

WINNER: Marvel

2019:

Pre-blockbuster season: Justice League 2 (April 5) versus first Civil War installment (May 3)

Again, May has historically been a massive part of Marvel’s movie roll out. After unveiling they were going to try and bring their beloved Civil War story to the screen, questions immediately poured out from fans about whether that meant they were negotiating securing partial rights to use Spider-Man from Sony. If the latest rumours from the Sony camp are true, Marvel is heading toward that right now. 2019 will give the studios enough time to sort out the legalities and bring Spider-Man into the Avengers universe.

DC will try to give Marvel a run for their money with the Justice League sequel, but if Spider-Man does make it onto the big screen with Captain America and Iron Man in an all out comic book war, there’s no hope for the latter company.

Summer: Shazam (June 14)

Usually, putting a character like Shazam up as the main attraction mid-summer would be a risky decision. With no competition from the Marvel camp, however, it’s a guaranteed success.

WINNER: Marvel

2020:

There’s no competition from Marvel this year (or at least there isn’t yet), so be sure to keep an eye out for the standalone Cyborg film on April 3 and the revamped Green Lantern film on June 4.

WINNER: DC

Robert Downey Jr. backtracks on ‘Iron Man 4′ comments

- October 7th, 2014

UPDATED: After confirming Iron Man 4 in an appearance on Ellen earlier in the day, Robert Downey Jr. backpeddled on his comments during an appearance last night on David Letterman.

When the late night host quizzed the actor about appearing in a fourth instalment, he indicated Marvel has a plan for the character — and let’s be clear, he said Iron Man 4 was happening, not that he was necessarily going to be in it.

“They do have a plan… they’re very secretive about it,” he told Letterman.

When Letterman pressed for an answer, he added: “Just between us, no — but I’m going to do other stuff with Marvel. I’m still going to be involved with Marvel and there’s going to be plenty of other fun stuff.”

So, could it be that we’ll see War Machine suit up for Iron Man 4? Speculate in the comments.

My original post follows below.


After teasing last week that he’ll do Iron Man 4 if Mel Gibson agrees to direct, and then teasing some more during a reddit AMA in which he said, “soon the Marvel Roster will be made public and all questions will be answered,” Robert Downey Jr. has confirmed that there will be a fourth instalment in the popular franchise.

RDJ broke the news on the Ellen earlier today after the host asked him point blank about the film. In the clip, which you can see below, Downey talks about Marvel’s plans for several upcoming movies. “We’re in the middle of a negotiation,” he adds. “So yes?” she asks. “Okay, yes,” he replies.

Downey will reprise his role as Iron Man in Avengers: Age of Ultron and he is slated to appear in Avengers 3 (which doesn’t have a release date yet). Speaking of Avengers 3, according to a report on Badass Digest, there is speculation that characters like Captain America and Thor may not appear in the film – or it might be split in two with the first half anchored by Iron Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

“Imagine an Avengers 3 without Thor or Captain America, maybe without Black Widow. It’s a movie where the secondary characters from the MCU get to stand up and prove their worth, possibly even setting up their own spin-offs. With Guardians Marvel has shown that their brand is the star, and by the time we get to A3 clearly people will be on board with the entire universe. Keep Iron Man – Robert Downey Jr’s renegotiated contract seems to specify Avengers 3 as his next film – and you have a new launching pad for characters to take over from the current big guns.”

Again it’s total speculation, but it has some weight given that Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth each have two movies left on their contracts.

In case you want to keep track, here are all the dates for what Marvel has coming in the next five years:

Avengers: Age of Ultron: May 1, 2015
Ant-Man: July 17, 2015
Captain America 3: May 6, 2016
Untitled on July 8, 2016 (most likely Doctor Strange, preferably with Jared Leto or Ethan Hawke)
Untitled on May 5, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy 2: July 28, 2017
Untitled on November 3, 2017
Untitled on July 6, 2018
Untitled on November 2, 2018 (my guess is that this is Avengers 3)
Untitled on May 3, 2019

Iron-Man-4

Robert Downey Jr. will do ‘Iron Man 4′ with Mel Gibson

- October 3rd, 2014

Robert Downey Jr. knows something about redemption and forgiveness and helping his pals.

The highest-paid actor in the world – thanks to his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man – is currently on the promotional circuit for next week’s drama The Judge. (“Please help me prove that films about people can do business,” he pleaded on Facebook.)

Of course, interview after interview leads to inevitable questions about his future as Iron Man. Downey will appear in next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and is inked for a third Avengers film. He hasn’t committed to Iron Man 4.

But in a recent interview with Deadline, Downey did say that he would do another instalment in the bazillion-dollar franchise if – big if – his pal Mel Gibson directs.
For those of you who don’t remember, Mad Mel gave Downey a second shot at stardom in 2003 with The Singing Detective. Mel has been in movie purgatory (not even a scene-stealing turn in The Expendables 3 could resuscitate him) after his personal demons took over – you know what those are so we won’t go over the details again.

Downey mounted a rousing defence for his friend (they worked together on Air America) telling Mike Fleming Jr., “Sometimes with these things, it becomes a matter of time, and it seems like it’s getting a little bit old to hold a grudge.”

And when he was pointedly asked about Iron Man 4 with Mel in the director’s chair he replied, “Why not? That movie would be bananas.”

And in case you are wondering, Downey has pulled this move before. Shane Black – who hired Downey to star in 2005′s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – was given the directing gig on Iron Man 3. So it helps to have a friend like RDJ.

So the question becomes, Iron Man 4 – Downey and Gibson – should it happen? Can it happen? Sound off in the comments below.

Hulkbuster will be in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

- March 18th, 2014

They’re bringing out the Hulkbuster.

That was the biggest reveal out of Marvel’s Assembling a Universe documentary that aired Tuesday night in place of its titular television series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

hulkbuster

The Hulkbuster, which appeared in three different variants over the course of an array of Marvel comic book series, was developed by three different organizations in an effort to either control the giant green monster or defeat him.

Kevin Feige, President of Production at Marvel Studios, and his team showed off the first concept image of what the Hulkbuster will look like –in true Iron Man colours- as the gargantuous robot takes on its beastly counterpart.

From the colours of the Hulkbuster shown, and continuing with the general direction that Marvel Studios has decided to take for its cinematic universe, it’s most likely this is one of Shield’s Hulkbusters.

In a dream world, and I don’t use dream world lightly, this Hulkbuster would be one of Nick Fury’s, used to track down enormous threats in the Marvel universe including the Osbornes and Venom. Let’s face it though, when it comes to Sony giving the rights of their top superhero over to Disney, chances are less than highly unlikely.

hulkbuster2

The other big showcase of the special, in relation to Age of Ultron, was the first concept design of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, the first two X-Men characters to cross over into the Marvel Cinematic universe.

“We are introducing Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and they do not start off being the best of friends with the Avengers,” Joss Whedon, the director behind the Avengers movies, said.

quicksilver

From what I can tell, the concept of the two characters –which have been viewed as villains in the X-Men universe for the most part – is vastly different from Fox’s X-Men series counterpart. Whedon and his team have decided to stick to the classic look of the comic series, down to the colour of the costumes and their mannerisms while in action.

Having the two new characters, however, is exactly what Marvel Studios has continuously tried to do with the Cinematic Universe: expand it.

“One of the best thing about the Avengers is that it’s a shifting roster. The team can be quite different, and we wanted to explore that, so we wanted to bring some new members into the mix,” Feige said.

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Age of Ultron, in every aspect, is looking to best its predecessor.

Whedon explained the first film allowed Marvel Studios to explore the origin of the superhero collective, but the second one will focus on whether they can sustain the relationships they forged in the first one; an area that will be tested when two new faces are thrown into the mix.

Whedon did promise, with a smirk, that Age of Ultron would certainly be a much bigger cinematic experience than the first one.

““It’s going to be a little more grown up than the first one. A little scarier, a little funkier, but in the end it’s got the same extraordinary characters, a little humour, and yes, there may be some punching.”