Thursday, April 30, 2015

Marvel Movies Mega-Post! - April 2015

Are you all caught up on your Marvel movie news? If not, here's a quick rundown of as much Marvel-related news I could find. Whether part of the official Marvel Cinematic Universe or one of the Marvel properties owned by Sony or Fox. Obviously, dates are subject to change.

Avengers: Age of Ultron - May 1, 2015 - (Marvel Studios)

Directed by Joss Whedon, who brought us the first Avengers movie that made ALL the money. The gang is back together to stop Ultron, an automaton created by Stark that wants to exterminate all of humanity. (In the comics, Hank Pym was the one who created Ultron.) Also returning are Don Cheadle as War Machine and Anthony Mackie as Falcon. Joining the fray will be Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch after being introduced [SPOILER!] in the post-credits stinger at the end of Captain American: Winter Soldier. New to the franchise is Vision, that android with the purple face you've been seeing pictures of everywhere. And, for all you Agent Carter fans, Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) is also credited. The events of Age of Ultron are supposed to set in motion the Superhuman Registration Act, which will lead into Captain America: Civil War.

Ant-Man - July 17, 2015 - (Marvel Studios)

Directed by Peyton Reed who brought us The Weird Al Show in the late 90's and about a dozen episodes of the Upright Citizens Brigade. The script was co-written by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), who was originally set to direct until differences with Marvel over the vision of the film lead to Wright departing from the project.

Funnyman Paul Rudd will be starring as the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man, although the movie will also feature Hank Pym who serves as Lang's mentor. Recent images show a battle between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket, who appears to be the antagonist for the film.

In the comics, Hank Pym along with his wife, Janet (The Wasp), were among the founding members of the Avengers. Yellowjacket was originally one of Hank Pym's alternate identities. After dropping his Ant-Man persona, he became Giant-Man with the power to grow rather than shrink. He was also known as Goliath at one point, a variation on the Giant-Man persona. Plagued with guilt over creating Ultron, Pym's psyche eventually fractured (with the help of a mysterious mix of gases) and he adopted the identity of Yellowjacket. Although it seems like Hank Pym will be getting a severely reduced role in the movies, it will be interesting to see what connection this movie has to Age of Ultron and what role Ant-Man will be playing in the MCU.

Fantastic Four - August 7, 2015 - (20th Century Fox)

Directed by Josh Trank who previously helmed Chronicle, a found footage film about three high school kids that gain superpowers. Michael B. Jordan, who also worked with Trank on Chronicle, will be playing Johnny Storm (Human Torch). Kate Mara (House of Cards, 24) will be playing Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman. Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, and Toby Kebbell will be filling out the cast as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Ben Grimm/The Thing, and Victor Domashev/Dr. Doom respectively. Tim Blake Nelson will also be appearing in the film as Harvey Elder a.k.a Mole Man.

This is basically a remake of the 2005 movie, with a darker tone, as it's another origin story with Dr. Doom (seemingly) as the main villain. The biggest change will be Mr. Fantastic's power to "warp space around him, and appear to stretch his body to impossible forms and incredible lengths." So instead of his body stretching, the space around his body will stretch. Trank says the film is heavily influenced by David Cronenberg and his films Scanners and The Fly. I wonder if that means it'll have a body horror element to it. In an interview, Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic) says that they're "taking a lot from the Ultimate Fantastic Four" comics. While all eyes seem to be on the MCU, the trailer for this movie has supposedly surpassed X-Men: Day of Future Past as the most-watched trailer in 20th Century Fox's history. Fox has already greenlit a sequel.

Deadpool - February 12, 2016 - (20th Century Fox)

Ever since Deadpool first appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, fans have been clamoring for a more accurate portrayal of the "Merc with the Mouth" on the big screen. After some leaked test footage appeared on the web, a more loyal adaptation was announced. Ryan Reynolds has said in interviews that they sacrificed a bigger budget in exchange for the creative freedom to take the character in a direction that would please most fans. While there aren't many details, it seems that Colossus will also be appearing in the movie. Here is the official plot summary provided by 20th Century Fox:

Based upon Marvel Comics most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016 - (Marvel Studios)

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo who previously directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, one of the more popular solo films of the MCU. In October of 2014, it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. will be appearing in the third installment of Captain America instead of a fourth Iron Man movie. Later that month, it was officially announced that Captain America will be adapting the Civil War storyline.

Spider-Man played a big role in the comics' Civil War storyline, actually unmasking on national television in support of Iron Man, but it was planned to have Black Panther fill in for Spider-Man in a reduced role since Sony owns the rights to the Spider-Man movie franchise. In February, it was announced that Sony and Marvel had reached an agreement to bring Spider-Man into the MCU and he's expected to debut during Civil War. There's no word if Spidey will be unmasking like he did in the comics, though it wouldn't really make sense as they're planning a solo reboot film. The following is the official summary on IMDb:

Following the events of Age of Ultron, the collective governments of the world pass an act designed to regulate all superhuman activity. This polarizes opinion amongst the Avengers, causing two factions to side with Iron Man or Captain America, which causes an epic battle between former allies.

X-Men: Apocalypse - May 27, 2016 - (20th Century Fox)

Directed by Bryan Singer who brought us the first two X-Men movies then made his big comeback to the franchise with X-Men: Days of Future Past, which combined the X-Men: First Class continuity with the original trilogy. At the end of Days of Future Past, a mysterious figure was shown manipulating pyramids as thousands of worshipers below chanted En Sabah Nur. The camera circles around to reveal a blue-skinned mutant and four horseman off in the distance, heralding the coming of Apocalypse.

In the comics, Apocalypse is one of the X-Men's greatest adversaries. Born nearly 5,000 years ago, his name "En Sabah Nur" literally translates to "The First One" and he is believed to be the first mutant in history. Apocalypse is immortal, has the power to alter his mass, and has total control over the molecules that make up his body. Furthermore, his powers were augmented by Celestial technology and has displayed telepathy, telekinesis, and technopathy, which allows him to manipulate technology. He is able to project and absorb energy, turn his limbs into weapons, wings, jets, and can teleport across vast distances. Apocalypse is easily the most powerful enemy we've ever seen in the X-Men cinematic universe and should be able to dominate the heroes with ease.

Apocalypse will be picking up in the 1980's with the First Class cast of James McAvoy (Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), and Nick Hoult (Beast). Joining them will be Evan Peters (Quicksilver) and Bingbing Fan (Blink) from Days of Future Past, with newcomers to the franchise Oscar Isaac (Apocalypse), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops), Sophie Turner (Jean Grey), Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Olivia Munn (Psylocke), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler), and Lana Condor (Jubilee) rounding out the cast.

Gambit - October 7, 2016 - (20th Century Fox)

Gambit, another fan favorite who also played a minor role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is finally getting his chance in the spotlight. Fans have been excited to see the Ragin' Cajun's debut on the big screen ever since the first X-Men. Channing Tatum has been announced to star in the titular role and there has been some speculation that he may even debut in X-Men: Apocalypse. Although Channing Tatum has said in interviews that he would like for Gambit to appear in a solo movie to establish the character before having him appear in any team-up films, it'd be hard to imagine him not even making a cameo appearance in a movie as big as Apocalypse.

Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016 - (Marvel Studios)

One of the more interesting Marvel characters to receive a big screen adaptation will be Doctor Strange. Played by Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Scott Derrickson, who also directed horror movies like Hellraiser: Inferno, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and Sinister. Known as The Sorcerer Supreme, his world is filled with black magic and mysticism which could make for our first truly dark and creepy Marvel movie. Strange's rogues' gallery is made up of demons and monsters from other dimensions such as Dormammu, Satannish, and Shuma-Gorath.

While there is no official plot for the movie, the comics introduced Stephen Strange as a brilliant neurosurgeon. Following a car accident, which severely damaged the nerves in his hand, Strange travels to the East to seek the aid of The Ancient One. Rather than curing him, The Ancient One takes Strange under his wing and trains him to become the next Sorcerer Supreme.

The Sinister Six - November 11, 2016 - (Marvel/Sony)

Sony announced plans for a Sinister Six spin-off before the agreement to bring everyone's favorite web-slinging hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Things were touch and go there for awhile as it seemed like this spin off might be getting axed, but it seems that Drew Goddard recently walked off production of the Daredevil series on Netflix to pen The Sinister Six instead. Other details included Goddard wanting to set the movie in the Savage Land and the potential line-up for the movie being Dr. Octopus, the Vulture, Sandman, Mysterio, Black Cat, and Spider-Man. Yeah, supposedly based on an Ultimate Spider-Man storyline, the movie could potentially see Spidey team-up with some of his enemies. There was also some mention of interest in Matt Damon but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Untitled Wolverine Sequel - March 3, 2017 - (20th Century Fox)

Yet another possible Wolverine spin-off. They don't even have a title for this one yet, so obviously there aren't many details on this movie except that Hugh Jackman will most likely be returning as Wolverine. Since Days of Future Past has rewritten the original timeline, perhaps this will explain more Logan's history before or during the Weapon X project? Everything is pretty much speculation at this point, although this is also believed to be Hugh Jackman's final appearance as Wolverine.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017 - (Marvel Studios)

While there isn't a concrete plot attached to this sequel yet, James Gunn has stated in interviews that Guardians 2 is "a story about fathers." This has led to much fan speculation that Peter Quill's father, J'son, will be introduced in the upcoming sequel. At the end of Guardians, it was revealed that his father had hired Yondu (Michael Rooker) to kidnap his son. J'son, a.k.a. Jason of Spartax, is also the Emperor of the Spartoi Empire

Fantastic Four 2 - June 9, 2017 - (20th Century Fox)

At this point, we can only assume that director Josh Trank will be returning for the sequel. Frankly, it's surprising that Fox has already greenlit a sequel before the original hits theaters. If it totally bombs, I'm sure Fox can cancel the project before it goes into production but it's possible that a bigger plan is in motion. Maybe one that required a reboot of the franchise's continuity before they moved into the second phase of the story. Or maybe Fox just wanted to hold onto the rights to the Fantastic Four franchise a little longer. Whatever the case, there's no official word on what this sequel will involve.

Untitled Spider-Man Reboot - July 28, 2017 - (Marvel/Sony)

Following their agreement with Marvel to bring Spidey into the MCU, Sony announced plans for another reboot. Despite receiving a reboot in 2012, this will be a joint effort with Marvel to bring a more loyal adaptation to the big screen. According to Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, they're going to skip the origin story this time around. Peter Parker will be about 15-16 years old, in high school, and have his signature non-stop wit. Spidey's "smart mouth" is something they touched on lightly in The Amazing Spider-Man, but Feige seemed excited about exploring it further. Drew Goddard, who's also directing the The Sinister Six spin-off, is currently attached to this reboot as well. The rumored working title for this movie is Spider-Man: The New Avenger, which cements his position in the MCU. 

Thor: Ragnarok - November 3, 2017 - (Marvel Studios)

According to IMDb, the plot for this movie is:

"Thor must confront the gods to the gods when Asgard is threatened with Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse."

In the comics, a fire giant named Surtur reforges an extremely powerful magic sword called The Twilight Sword and sends his legions of fire demons to attack Earth. Surtur then attacks Asgard while their armies are away, protecting the Earth. Odin, Thor, and Loki make a last stand that ends with Odin sacrificing himself to defeat Surtur. According to an interview with Chris Hemsworth about 3 months back, there isn't even an official script for Ragnarok yet. If IMDb is correct about the plot though, Surtur will most likely be the main villain.

Another Ragnarok of importance in the Marvel universe is a character who came about when Tony Stark created a cyborg Thor clone after the Superhuman Registration Act was passed by the government, which led to the Civil War storyline in the comics. The Thor clone is later reactivated and is codenamed Ragnarok. While it seems unlikely they would go this route with the movie, especially since Civil War will hit theaters first, it was worth mentioning.

Avengers: Infinity War Part I - May 4, 2018 - (Marvel Studios)

Possibly the biggest news in the MCU was the announcement of an Infinity War adaptation. Only it won't actually be an Infinity War adaptation but an Infinity Gauntlet adaptation. Much like how Apocalypse will be the most powerful adversary we've seen in Fox's X-Men franchise, Thanos will be an even bigger threat in MCU. They've been building up to this for a long time, slowly introducing the Infinity Gems into their movies (The Tesseract is revealed to be an "Infinity Stone" as they're called in the MCU) and giving us a peek at Thanos in the post-credits stinger at the end of the first Avengers movie. The Aether from Thor: Dark World is also revealed to be an Infinity Stone and the orb in Guardians of the Galaxy contained the Power Stone. Thanos has been a puppet master of sorts, pulling the strings from the shadows. By the time 2018 rolls around, he will most likely have collected all the Infinity Stones and become the most powerful enemy we've seen in the MCU yet.

Joe and Anthony Russo are set to direct. Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., and Samuel L. Jackson's contracts are all set to expire but I'm sure Marvel will work things out with each of them. To build up to such a monumental (two-part) film and not even have the original stars would be a shame. As of right now, it's too early to have any details as they haven't gone into production yet.

Black Panther - July 6, 2018 - (Marvel Studios)

Chadwick Boseman will be playing T'Challa, prince of Wakanda, who takes up the mantle of Black Panther after his father is assassinated. To become a Black Panther, T'Challa first had compete in a ritual tournament which earned him the right to eat a heart-shaped herb that linked his spirit to Bast, The Panther God, and granted him the powers of a Black Panther. In addition to heightened senses, the herb also grants him superhuman speed, strength, stamina, agility, reflexes, and healing. The coolest power Black Panthers have is the ability to draw on the knowledge, strength, and experiences of all previous Black Panthers. Kinda like the Lion King scene with Mufasa in the clouds. The antagonist will most likely be Ulysses Klaw, a Nazi war criminal who assassinates Panther's father, T'Chaka, in the comics.

Boseman has signed a 5 film contract, beginning with Civil War, to play the first black superhero in American mainstream comics. Plans originally had him filling in for Spider-Man in the storyline until an agreement with Sony Pictures brought Spidey into the MCU. There hasn't been any further details on what his role will be but I wouldn't be surprised to see him during the Infinity War

Captain Marvel - November 2, 2018 - (Marvel Studios)

While still in the very early stages of development, the movie is expected to center around Carol Danvers in the Captain Marvel moniker. In the comics, Danvers had an illustrious career that led to her becoming security captain at NASA. During this time, she would befriend Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel) and gain superpowers after her genetic structure was altered by a damaged Kree device. With her newfound powers, she would become the superheroine Ms. Marvel and eventually join The Avengers.

On her first mission, Rogue (then a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) absorbed so much of Ms. Marvel's powers and memories that she permanently gained the ability to fly, has super-strength, and near-invulnerability. The film will seemingly skip over her time as Ms. Marvel and jump straight in her adopting the mantle of Captain Marvel.  

Avengers: Infinity War Part II - May 3, 2019 - (Marvel Studios)

Infinity War is going to be so epic, they have to break it up into two parts. In the comics, The Mad Titan Thanos collects the six Infinity Gems to create the Infinity Gauntlet. In an effort to impress the living embodiment of Death, he uses it to destroy half the living things in the universe with a snap of his fingers. (Cause we all do crazy things to impress women, don't we?) including most of the X-Men, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four.

Earth's remaining heroes team-up with Adam Warlock to fight Thanos. Captain America, Wolverine, Cyclops, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, She-Hulk, Hulk, Drax the Destroyer, Vision, Namor, Scarlet Witch, Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, and others combined were no match for Thanos. In fact, he even gives the heroes a fighting chance to impress Death before killing most of them with minimal effort. In one scene, both The Hulk and Drax the Destroyer double team Thanos but were swatted off like flies. Thanos even backhands both of them like a Three Stooges sketch! Although I'm sure the Infinity Gauntlet will be powered down for the movies, it'll still make Thanos a force to be reckoned with.

Inhumans - July 12, 2019 - (Marvel Studios)

In the comics, the Inhumans are a race of superhumans that resulted from the Kree's genetic experimentation on Cro-Magnons to create super-powered soldiers they could use in the Kree-Skrull War (Ronan the Accuser and Korath the Pursuer from Guardians of the Galaxy are also of the Kree race). The Inhumans are given various powers through exposure to the Terrigen Mist, which can also temporarily restore the abilities of depowered mutants.

In addition to the X-Men, The Inhumans have also had long-standing interactions with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers in the comics. There isn't much word on what the official plot of the movie will be since production hasn't even started. Although speculation is the movie will center around the Inhuman Royal Family, led by their King (Black Bolt) and may include Medusa, Karnak, Gorgon, Triton, Crystal, Maximus, and/or Lockjaw.