Real quick mission statement: this column is for discussion of superhero movie news and superhero movies. Titular allegiance aside, this sphere includes non-Marvel properties.
This week: Thor 2 press-cycle begins which means we have a week's worth of REAL INFORMATION to sort and speculate on.
It’s that time of year again, folks: The Dark World has screened for critics and it’s secrets are in the aether...uh...the ether. That also means that Team Marvel Studios is making themselves available to the press, even if what they are saying is as cryptic as Sir Feige always is. That doesn’t mean we’re not getting good information, it just mediates the degree of our engagement.
Also this week, I re-upped on my Marvel Unlimited subscription which allows me to probe digital back-issues for future discussion. I don’t want to drop much about what I’ve been reading recently (outside of Marvel’s Secret Wars) because it’s connected to where the film universe is going, I thought I’d take a moment to give credit where a paid service has earned it. Marvel Unlimited: reminding me where all the I******* G**** are at any given moment in history.
Let’s jump right in and talk a little about Thor: The Dark World. Here are the semi-spoilerish things that I want to pass on to you, the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans:
- If you don’t know Odin, Frigga, Thor and Loki’s blood-relationships well, prepare for some intense hinting.
- I’ve been trying to prepare you for a certain spoiler all through the summer, but when I say: “MCU Lady Fans, bring the tissues,” I’m NOT referring to that spoiler, but another one entirely.
- There are TWO post credits scenes, a mid-credits scene that teases MCU Phase Two AND gives us a direction for Phase Three (I know, right?). The second is after the credits and is humourous-slash-sets up the next time we see Thor.
- When one of your characters is a trickster god, best to expect some trickery. Or a lot of trickery, including the largest trick we’ve seen.
- Chris Evans got his wish.
Regarding point number three: you’re going to want to Wiki some stuff after that scene. Namely: who was that character and when he spoke what was he referring to and has the whole MCU thus far been about MacGuffin Color Theory.
For those of you steeped deep in Marvel Mythology, you probably get what I’m hinting at. For those of you not so steeped, We’ll be talking about this specific point for several weeks between here and Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s no good in jumping into full spoiler water when transcribing the scene might actually take away some of the surprise.
Good? Good. Let’s see where the rest of our future MCU is.
Two things on the Ant-Man front. The first, a very pleasurable half-confirmation. As I mentioned last week, I’m pretty positive that we’re not looking for a Hank Pym to cast in Ant-Man, we’re looking for a Scott Lang.
Scott Lang is a thief who goes to prison for theft and gets out after three-years served. He spent his time in prison learning the ins-and-outs of electronics, but is devastated once again to learn that his daughter is terminally ill. He steals the Ant-Man equipment from original Ant-Man Hank Pym to pull off one last scam to save his daughter, a scam that turns into a rescue mission and leaves Lang a hero even after Pym discovers he’d been ripped off.
So, when Kevin Fegie goes and calls Ant-Man a “heist movie” when talking to IGN, I smile and prepare for Scott Lang (though I still don’t think it’s Paul Rudd, but that’s just a gut feeling).
Elsewhere in the Ant-Man sphere is @RobbDogg_ who writes at Superhero Movies News who claims not only to have known about Paul Rudd’s bid to play Scott Lang, but that such casting is so far along, they’re already eye-ing an actress based on her chemistry with Rudd.
The new rumour that is going around says, that The Wasp WON’T feature in Ant-Man, but Janet Van Dyne WILL. The source says, “Janet will be a love interest and a major supporting character, we would see multiple references to her future as The Wasp throughout the film.” As if this wasn’t enough, the source later told me WHO Marvel and Edgar Wright had in their eyes for the role. It seems that Parks & Recreation star Rashida Jones is on top of Marvel’s shortlist for the role of 'Janet Van Dyne'. Rashida Jones is said to be Marvel’s top pick for her “chemistry with the other actors.” The source highlighted Paul Rudd and Parks & Recreation co-star, Chris Pratt.
Hrm, I say: Hrm.
First off, it’s weird to have Scott Lang have any interaction with Janet Van Dyne in a Pym-less world. Especially if she’s not going to be The Wasp, because I can think of a half-dozen MCU characters who could fill any part a Wasp-less Van Dyne would fill. If they need a super spy, they have a whole ABC TV series to pull from as well as Colbie Smulders wandering around the negative zone between movies and Marvel TV.
Second off, Rashida Jones is an interesting choice because of how busy she is. Rashida Jones and her creative/writing partner Will McCormack just started a production company called Le Train Train. The company signed a “pod deal” with Warner Bros that locks them into two years as content creators for WB Television. They’re kicking off their existence with the Fox pilot “Stuck,” which Fox has already bought. That show is a single-camera comedy series that co-stars Jones. She’s also an executive producer.
It all just adds up to be not that likely because Rashida Jones is so busy outside the MCU and because a love story between Scott Lang and Janet Van Dyne during a heist film is all sorts of continuity smashing. Way more than making Ultron a Tony Stark invention.
BEN KINGSLEY RETURNS
Real quick, as I’m sure we’ll be discussing this more as more details come about...and it might have something to do with what we’re talking about next.
Ben Kingsley is out pimping his performance in Ender’s Game and he talked to The Belfast Telegraph, telling them:
"It's a secret Marvel project. I'm not allowed to say any more, you're going to have to wait and see...I was with many members of the crew that were involved in Iron Man 3. It was lovely to see them again. It was great to be with this wonderful family."
Guh - “project?” That could mean a scene, that could mean a post-credits sequence for some movie, it could be part of Agents of Acronym or it could be something else entirely. I know Agents and Iron Man 3 share some crew members, but that seems to be the only informative connection as to what this is. Thoughts? Personally, I’m hoping for Trevor to pop up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He has that neck tattoo, after all.
TONS O’ TELEVISION
There’s a faint hum in the Marvel and VOD universes, and that’s the prevailing rumor that Marvel is prepping a 60 episode production package that consists of four different TV series and a mini-series that use Marvel characters. That’s...a ton of television and hell of a package.
Supposedly, the package is looking to find a home on VOD - in the Netflix or Amazon spheres, which means it could exist in a number of different forms and for a variety of different audiences. It’s the VOD and package nature of this rumor that excites me, because that frees up what this could possibly be while simultaneously freeing us fans from the “will this TV show get picked up?” fever. If someone pays for 60 episodes, we’ll see 60 episodes.
We know that Marvel wants to do an Agent Carter series based on the Agent Carter short with Haley Atwell, but we don’t know if that is part of this package. Personally, I’d like to see Marvel package something like Marvel Knights, their adult comic line, that could see Daredevil, Punisher and Blade show up on TV (granted Blade has already been there, but GOOD this time). It’d also be a good place for some smaller characters to get seeded into the universe. I like Iron Fist fine, but I’m never going to be looking forward to an Iron Fist solo movie. Cloak and Dagger? Bring it. Runaways: PLEASE.
I’m running out of space and there’s so much more Marvel!
Fegie says a female-centric superhero movie is coming from Marvel, but who knows when (you can guess who though).
Black Panther is “100%” in development.
Dr. Strange has stalled since the last time we checked in with the project and Marvel seems a little cagey even if his character is totally the type of character that needs to have a certain Color Theory MacGuffin.
Agents of Acronym has been getting better!
And - finally - I had to share that I found a copy of The Spectacular Spider-Man #226 (the one where Ben Reilly is revealed to be the real Peter Parker) in a $0.50 bin over the weekend. This was the comic I loved, then my mom threw it away, then I raged and delved headlong into superhero fandom.
I hadn’t owned it since 1996, and now it’s back in my hands.
Spoilers aside: THIS is what my fandom’s about.