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Chiwetel Ejiofor in talks to join ‘Doctor Strange’

- January 23rd, 2015

Chiwetel Ejiofor may be following in the footsteps of his British compatriots.

The actor, best known for his Oscar nominated performance in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, is reportedly in talks to join the Marvel’s Benedict Cumberbatch lead sci-fi odyssey, Doctor Strange, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Marvel has been encouraging conversations between Ejiofor’s camp and the studio, but talks of him joining the production are still in its infant stages.

Conversation has already exploded online as to who Ejiofor could be playing in the movie after The Hollywood Reporter suggested the role wouldn’t just be a villainous one, but would be a crucial character to the film’s plot.

Various film reporters and comic book fans jumped in to discuss potential characters, but the trade magazine and Entertainment Weekly seem to have reached an agreement on the three potential roles.

The first is Baron Mordo, the most likely out of the three guesses. His origin story is irrevocably tied into Doctor Strange’s, and as a former pupil of The Ancient One (Stephen Strange’s mentor) who decides to kill his teacher, it would make for the most interesting character when being adapted for the movie. The transition from his role in the comic book to his role in the movie could be increased tenfold and the movie would still have an interesting dilemma for fans to sink their teeth on.

Baron_Mordo_Dialogue

The only problem with suggesting Mordo as a potential character is, as previously mentioned, most of his importance ties into Strange’s origin story. Director Scott Derickson has already stated that Doctor Strange wouldn’t be an origin story in the same way the original Spider-Man movies were. With that piece of information, the chances of it being Mordo seem slimmer than once thought.

The second choice, suggested by The Hollywood Reporter, is Wong. Wong, right off the bat, is a bit of a problematic suggestion. Casting Ejiofor as Wong, effectively changing the racial background of a character, would be subjected to pretty harsh criticism online.Especially in an industry where Asian actors are routinely given stereotyped roles and that’s if they’re cast at all. In the comics, Wong plays Strange’s butler and general caretaker – think the Alfred to Bruce Wayne.

wong-strange

As Entertainment Weekly suggests, it may be interesting to see the Inspector Clouseau and Cato (from The Pink Panther) relationship mould used in the film, but there are suggestive themes within that decision that would face harsh outcry from fans. Not only would the studio be making the voluntary decision to replace an Asian character with a Black character, but they’d also have a Black man serving a white man. The whole idea just screams endless thinkpieces.

The last character suggested was Nightmare, but this one seems like the least likely of the bunch. In the comics, Nightmare is one of the coolest adversary’s Strange goes up against; an entity that takes on the physical body of the victim’s worst nightmares.

Nightmare

Think Freddy Krueger meets a Boggart from Harry Potter. Seeing Nightmare manifest on the big screen would be pretty fantastic, but it’s highly unlikely Marvel wants to move their film from the realm of sci-fi to horror.

Regardless of which character Ejiofor plays, it’s not only a huge opportunity for him to become a household name in North America, but it would be a huge win for Marvel. Having two Oscar nominated (and perhaps an Oscar winner if Cumberbatch wins for his role in Imitation Game) actors in one film will help bring in a section of movie going audiences that wouldn’t normally be interested in this type of film.

Doctor Strange is slated to be released on November 4, 2016.

Spider-Man rejoins the Avengers in ‘Avengers: Infinity War Part 1′

- January 14th, 2015

The day Marvel fans have been waiting for is here: Spider-Man is returning home.

After tentative rumours that the web slinging hero might show up in Captain America 3: Civil War, Badass Digest and Latino Review are reporting audiences can see Peter Parker join the rest of the Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 in 2018.

Although the deal has yet to be finalized, BadAss Digest’s Devin Faraci suggests that the silent answer from Marvel’s camp instead of an outright dismissal of the newest reports suggests secretive handshakes and meetings are happening behind closed doors.

It’s been a struggle for years to get Marvel, now Disney, and Sony to work on a contract wherein they could both share the beloved, young character. Rumours about his involvement in Civil War fell flat when contract negotiations were muddled between high level executives, but it appears things are definitely on track.

BadAss Digest also reported that Sony was supposed to have a Spider-Man summit this month, and if it has indeed already occurred, that would explain the recent news surrounding Spider-Man’s involvement in the distant Marvel film.

While the three year wait seems promising for Marvel and Sony to finalize contracts regarding who keeps majority ownership over Spider-Man, it also means there’s room for deals to go awry. Sony could still pull out of the deal in a couple of months, leaving Marvel to rummage through the archive of characters they own that could make the jump from page to screen successfully.

Other news from the sites include confirming that Thor and Captain America will not be making their return in the first part of the Avengers infinity series, as previously rumoured, but will instead be put on reserve until the second installment in 2019.

‘Ant-Man’ full length trailer arrives

- January 6th, 2015

The first full length Ant-Man teaser trailer is here and it’s the appropriate size for human beings!

Unlike that uncool teaser trailer Marvel released last week for the official teaser they premiered tonight at the end of their two hour Agent Carter television event, this trailer is definitely legitimate.

Ant-Man follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a former con-man and thief turned computers expert who comes under the attention of renowned scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) after breaking into his lab to steal the original Ant-Man costume.

When he goes to return the costume, Pym decides against turning him into the authorities. Instead, he offers Lang the chance to become, “a real hero,” and take over as the masked crusader.

The trailer alludes to all of these points, but also finds its best part in Paul Rudd’s perfect comedic timing.

This isn’t going to be a super serious Marvel film in the same vein as Captain America, but will survive on the sporadic use of witty one-liners and a self awareness of the ludicrous nature the whole film is based on, much like Joss Whedon’s Avengers.

There’s flying ants, giant ants, ridiculously fast ants, and of course, Ant-Man.

At the very end of the trailer, Rudd makes a joke about the name of the superhero (although it plays out a little more tongue in cheek once the trailer comes to a close), asking if it’s too late to change it.

There’s still a large measure of doubt surrounding the actual successfulness of the film, and I for one can’t see it measuring up to Marvel’s first cinematic phase of superheroes, including Iron Man and Captain America.

That being said, once the Ant-Man trailer finally hit, the internet was all a rumble with opinions and excited or disappointed thoughts.

Maybe it takes an insect sized superhero to make a giant splash in the Marvel universe.

I mean, hey, no one thought Guardians of the Galaxy would do as well as it did, right?

Marvel posts ‘Ant-Man’ teaser trailer, full trailer to debut on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

- January 2nd, 2015

Well, isn’t Marvel just hilarious?

To hype anticipation for the official launch of the Ant-Man trailer on January 6 (during the return of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on television), the studio has released an ant-sized teaser of the film.

Literally ant-sized.

You can catch glimpses of moving objects floating in the background of an otherwise entirely black screen, but good luck trying to make out anything specific during the 18-second clip.

All I could see – I think — was a boat race or chase scene, and even then, it might have just been water.

It’s a cute marketing gimmick that’s clearly worked for the company since I’m blogging about it, but for those interested in the upcoming Paul Rudd/Michael Douglas film, be sure to tune in to the mid-season premiere of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday.

Or, if you’re like me and can’t stand the show, just wait half an hour and watch the trailer on YouTube, when someone will inevitably post it.

‘I messed up plenty’: Sam Raimi on Spider-Man 3

- December 31st, 2014

Almost eight years after Sam Raimi unveiled Spider-Man 3 to the world, the director admits he made more than a few boo-boos.

Speaking with Chris Hardwick on The Nerdist Podcast this past week, Raimi agreed that the universally panned film was just slightly better than atrocious.

“I messed up plenty with the third Spider-Man,” Raimi said. “It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well.”

That may just be the understatement of the decade.

From a grinning and dancing Peter Parker to Tobey Maguire’s emo styled hair, Spider-Man 3 felt more like a satirical farce on the entire franchise than a new installment.

Raimi told Hardwick that each Spider-Man movie had its own set of difficulties, and with the third entry, he just didn’t believe in the characters or the story they were trying to tell.

“I tried to make it work, but I didn’t really believe in all the characters, so that can’t be hidden from someone who really loves Spider-Man.”

On top of not believing in what he was shooting, Raimi also confessed that he felt pressure from the studio to create the best and biggest super-hero film the world had ever seen. All just one year before Marvel would debut their Iron Man and begin constructing their cinematic universe.

“I think that’s what doomed us in the end,” Raimi said, referencing the pressure felt.

No matter what wrong ingredients may have been added to the boiling pot by accident, the result was still calamitous. It derailed the entire franchise and turned a celebrated character into the butt of a pop culture joke. It wasn’t until 2012 that Sony was willing to try again with a whole new cast and crew.

Even though Raimi is burdened with forever having Spider-Man 3 attached to his resume, the director isn’t slowing down anytime soon. He’s currently working on adapting his most beloved horror film franchise, The Evil Dead, for television.

Whether or not Raimi will ever take another super hero directing role? That’s still debatable.