Tagged with Marvel

C’mon Marvel: Pay Up!

We are living in a post Iron Man 3 world, which only means that Marvel’s Phase 2 is upon us.  With Thor 2 out later this year, Captain America out in less than a year and Guardians of the Galaxy a little over a year away, it is time for Marvel to start thinking Avengers 2.  This movie will be bigger than big as evidenced from the box office of the first film and Iron Man 3 this past weekend, but a slight problem is brewing on the horizon.  The actors don’t want to work for peanuts again.  Basically if you decide to act in a film for Marvel you are working for a few hundred thousand dollars, and you will be signed to a multi-picture deal.  Smart move on Marvel’s end.  They get the actors they want locked in long enough so that they can retain consistency throughout their cross-over films.   The only re-casting so far has been Terrence Howard swapped out for Don Cheadle.  Terrence asked for too much money to come back for a sequel, so they booted him.  Also The Hulk has been recast three separate times.  I don’t count it as a recasting for money purposes however.  They wanted someone who worked better in an ensemble capacity.  Ed Norton does not command a large paycheck, but he LOVES having script control. Enter Mark Ruffalo

Right now, Marvel’s biggest problem is that Robert Downey Jr is out of contract.  Iron Man 3 was the last film he was contractually obligated to make, and he was the only one who ever got paid what he was worth.  There has been talk that Iron Man can be replaced with a different actor, but would Marvel REALLY want to test those waters?  Iron Man’s success and Downey’s portrayal is what ties the Avengers films together.  Without him, you have a problem.  So now Marvel has to renegotiate with Downey Jr., but he’s also planning on playing hardball for the rest of the heroes.  Chris Hemsworth and Scarlet Johannson are both said to be chapped over their awful contracts in their previous films and no longer want to work for nothing for a film that will make over one billion dollars.  Neither currently has a contract for Avengers 2, and rumor has it that Marvel would consider either getting other actors or just inserting other characters if need be to replace them.  I get that on paper.  Comics are a revolving door of characters.  They come in and out with little explanation, because certain writers like certain characters.  Thus the absence of any character could be explained away in two seconds: “Oh Thor, he’s up in Asgard protecting the realm.”  See? It’s that easy.  There is already talk of including Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, and Iron Patriot in the next film.  All really cool characters yes, but not at the expense of the ones we already have.

My advice to Marvel: Just pay up already.  You were fortunate enough to make an awful lot of money, without having to pay much for the work, but in doing that, you built careers.  Chris Hemsworth IS Thor.  That and women, namely my girlfriend love him.  Don’t upset the apple cart so early.   No, I am not saying that you’ll have to pay them Downey Jr. money ($50 million), but a decent salary, or a backend of the gross would be fair.  With a backend you can worry about paying them after the movie has cleaned up at the box office.  The films are universally beloved, and make you more money than you ever had as a company simply printing comic books.  The frugal nature of Marvel, and Disney for that matter with actors has allowed them to make some great movies, but when the only people getting paid are Johnny Depp, and Robert Downey Jr.  that is a problem.  If this contract dispute becomes more public than it already has, it will not go well for Marvel and Disney.  I, like many other comic book film fans, want to see as many of the characters I’ve grown up with on screen as possible.  Not less.  If I find out Thor isn’t in Avengers 2 because he couldn’t get one million dollars, I’ll lose my ever-loving mind.

 

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The Star of Guardians of the Galaxy Will Be…

Chris Pratt.

Chris Pratt will be starring as the half-human lead in the weird Marvel space-epic, Guardians of the Galaxy.  Apparently every single white male on earth tested for this part, and at no point did Chris Pratt’s name come up, but he’s an inspired choice.  He’s the funniest guy in nearly everything he’s in, most girls seem to think he’s awesome (he is), and he did his “serious” turn in Zero Dark Thirty as a badass army dude, so I think this will work out really well.

I don’t know who is overseeing a lot of the casting decisions at Marvel, but they are crushing it.  They don’t break the bank on any actors, but they get people who’ll become stars and wrap them into 4-6 picture deals before their asking price skyrockets.

Smart. Smart. Smart.

James Gunn directing and Chris Pratt starring in a Marvel Space Action Film? Win.

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The Marvel Universe, Phase 3, and Hulk

There are some really exciting rumors floating around the Marvel camp in regards to what’s going to be happening with Hulk and with Phase 3.

What we already know:

Kevin Feige has already stated that Ant-Man and Doctor Strange are part of Phase 3.  Ant-Man already has a film ready to come out after the Thanos/Cosmic heavy Phase 2 ends.  Strange I think will be a cool character to flesh out as well.  Whether or not he can hold up his own movie or not is another story.
What we are speculating:

The folks over at Latino-Review, who often nail their super early Marvel movie rumors, came out yesterday with a story that not only will the Hulk be getting his own film AGAIN in Phase 3, but he will be the lynchpin of the whole series of films!  The rumor is that because of Hulk’s extremely violent and dangerous actions (which I’m assuming will take place in Avengers 2), The Illuminati (group of marvel heroes) decide that the safest bet is to send Hulk into space, which will lead to the Phase 3 Hulk film based on Planet Hulk.  Planet Hulk is just about the only interesting thing you could do with him at this point, so if he were to get a movie, this version of Hulk I think would really lend himself to a film like this.  Hulk needs to fight things that are bigger and scarier than him, so him on a planet full of monsters sounds perfect.  Also we know that the long in development Hulk TV series has for the most part been shelved.  It is my thinking that if the Hulk wasn’t so wildly popular in Avengers, they’d continue with it, but now that people like Hulk so much, they have to give us what we want.

The best part of this in my opinion is that Avengers 3 would largely co-op the World War Hulk storyline, which was also huge and widely popular.

I really hope this happens.  I think it would be an awesome followup to Phase 2.  I’m sure they wont call the Illuminati, the Illuminati, and I’m sure they’ll be different characters plugged in, but I think this has the potential to be a gigantic success.  We know Marvel really plans ahead, so it would totally make sense that they are already working on the Phase 3 stuff.  Phase 2, outside of Guardians of the Galaxy, doesn’t really have any real risks associated with it.  But I think if that works, then we’ve been more exposed to other planets and the masses would accept a Hulk/Gladiator type movie.   Also when you consider there is a Hulk cartoon coming out this fall that has a lot of the Planet Hulk monsters on it, I bet that’s Marvels way of getting the kids used to the idea of the other monsters Hulk fights/allies with.

The only thing I’m thinking is that their World War Hulk storyline might have a little more black and white added to it, in that they might make a villain have more to do with all of it instead of just having Hulk fight all of these good guys.  I’ll leave that to the writers though.

Anyway, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and an increased Hulk presence, Marvel will have given me everything I want for a massive Avengers 3.  Except for Black Panther.

 

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The Justice League Roster is Set.

Batman.

Superman.

Green Lantern.

Flash.

Wonder Woman.

In 2015 when we get the Justice League movie DC and Warner Bros are desperate to get off the ground, we’ll be getting it without Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, or Hawkman.  Why? Because Warners doesn’t have enough time to shoehorn them into something.  I’m thinking a lot of their plans backfired when Green Lantern was a piece of a shit, so now they are too afraid to get these time-tested characters on screen first (a la Marvel with the Avengers).  Now they’ve pinned all of their hopes on Man of Steel being well-received so that can be the launch pad.  My advice to them: Don’t fuck this up. By the time we got Avengers we got a pretty stacked roster that is only going to expand with each subsequent film.  Why? Because Marvel did it right.  There is no shame in copying their template when BILLIONS of dollars are at stake.   Get more heroes on that team so it can really evoke that Gods of Olympus mentality the Justice League has long held.

At least get Martian Manhunter in there…

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Disney Buys Lucasfilm! New Star Wars film in 2015

Disney just bought Lucasfilm outright for upwards of 4 BILLION dollars.  They are already stating that they are planning on getting a new Star Wars film (episode 7) into theaters by 2015.

I can barely believe this news.  Not only would Disney own the past rights to Star Wars, but they also will get their hands on the Indiana Jones franchise as well.  With their marketing muscle, we’re going to see some of the biggest films get bigger.  What I think might be the best part of this story is that George Lucas is apparently stepping down from his helm of Star Wars overlord to give new younger filmmakers a crack at telling stories in his world, while he’ll stick around as a creative consultant.  This is what I’ve hoped for for years.  Not only will episodes 8 and 9 happen too, but Star Wars world films will come out every 2 or 3 years after that.

Why the hell not?  Star Wars has such a rich world, that theres tons of other stories to tell.  Lucas created a fleshed out world so now with other people being able to get involved I think this can mean great things.

Just think about 2015.  We’ll have Disney putting out a Pixar film, Marvel’s Avengers 2, and Star Wars Episode 7.  They just won the box office war.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past News

So some relatively interesting news came out of 20th Century Fox camp regarding the sequel to Xmen First Class.

Mark Millar (writer of Kick-Ass and Wanted), has come out to say that the sequel to Xmen set in the past, but dealing with the future, will be very Terminator-like in tone, which should only mean that we are finally going to get a story filled with Sentinels.  This should come as no surprise to anyone that read the original Days of Future Past story.  So this is a good thing.  It seems like Fox, now that Tom Rothman has left the studio is really going to try and focus on the Marvel properties they have and try and follow the Avenger blueprint by creating a cohesive world.  Millar, who will be working for Fox as the Marvel guru, similar to Whedon’s job with Disney, and he basically said that he wants to try and make it so that when we go and see an Xmen film, we don’t notice that it takes place outside of the Marvel Film Universe.  This to me is a step in the right direction, however Fox has a lot of continuity issues to clean up even with the new Xmen franchise as it relates to the former trilogy.

It sounds like Days of Future Past can help with this.  First Class, while excellent in my opinion, further made the Xmen universe convoluted especially when you compare it to Xmen Origins, and then to the first Xmen.  Famke Janssen has already intimated that she might be reprising the Jean Grey character, in The Wolverine, and Patrick Stewart even hinted he might be playing Xavier again, so maybe Days of Future Past will exist to sort of bridge all of the time/character incongruities, so that going forward we can just have normal stories that don’t make our heads hurt.  Maybe this will be like JJ Abrams’ Star Trek.  Or maybe it will just suck.

I don’t know either way, but at least they aren’t pretending like these issues aren’t going to just clean themselves up.  I hope Millar is the right man for the job, because I want to see awesome X-Men movies continue.

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Gunn Loaded for GoTG

James Gunn is confirmed for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy!’ Thankfully it has a release date of August 2014, so he has plenty of time to rewrite it with his own voice, Joss can help out, and take is time planning the film. So we don’t have a space epic that looks like ‘Green Lantern.’

In the director’s own words
Continue reading

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S.H.I.E.L.D. brings the Marvel Universe to TV

I have wanted to write about TV at about 1031 different times this year so far.  With Breaking Bad being as good as it’s been, I need a place to write about that, but I dont.  This is the MOVIE MOVIE podcast.  Not Tv Tv.  Anyway, the powers that be at ABC have greenlit a pilot based on S.H.I.E.L.D.

This is the right way to go.  Because they are a giant,shadowy organization, the stories can happen all over the place and they can have other smaller characters from the Marvel U make appearances.  The best news about all of this is that Joss Whedon will be writing the show, along with his brother Jed and possibly directing the pilot.  Because we’ve already seen his vision of SHIELD in Avengers, it already feels like this project is closer to Buffy/Angel, than it is to Dollhouse.  My only question is what do they do with Nick Fury and Maria Hill?  Sam Jackson is too big for tv, Cobie Smulders is still finding out about how he met his mother, and Phil Coulson is dead.

I’m curious, but totally faithful.

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Thor: The Dark World Rounds Out More Casting

In the last two days, Thor: The Dark World has made two casting announcements.  The first is that Kat Dennings has re-signed to appear in the sequel as her character Darcy.  Darcy was largely the most annoying part of the first film, but now that Dennings is the star of one of the highest rated comedies on TV, you know they will try and shoehorn more comic relief into this film.

The other and more interesting bit of casting is that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (or Mr. Eko, or ADEBISI) has been cast as the villainous Algrim the Strong, ruler of the Dark Elves.  In the comics he’s coerced by Malekith, to fight Thor.  I think that Algrim and Malekith will make up a good pairing for Thor and the Warriors Three to have to take on, but my real question is why does this movie have to have anything to do with earth?

Darcy’s inclusion means that we’ll be getting more of the Earth stuff.  I didn’t love any of the Earth stuff the first time around.  If this film is going to be delving farther into Thor lore, how are we going to even have time for Jane Foster, much less, Darcy.  I guess I’ll have to wait and see.  I’m hoping they are just cameos at the beginning.

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Hey Paramount, We Need to Talk…

Hey Paramount,

A few years ago you guys were doing big things, dropping big franchises, and raking in billions of dollars.  Flash forward to yesterday and I have no idea what your film strategy is.  You used to have the Marvel franchise, and then you sold it.  You used to have DreamWorks Animation, and you couldn’t reach an agreement and lost that too.  You used to release summer movies, and now I barely even know what you did this past summer?  Don’t sit there and look at me like everything is normal.  Look at what you did last Summer!

2011

Thor (Hit)

Kung Fu Panda 2 (Sequel Hit)

Super 8 (Original Hit)

Transformers 3 (Shitty Sequel Megahit)

Captain America (Hit)

Cowboys & Aliens (Bomb)

You were 5 for 6 at the plate, with one grand slam, and three extra base hits.  You looked good.  Now lets look at this Summer.

2012

The Dictator (Bomb)

Madagascar 3 (Sequel Hit)

Katy Perry: Part of Me (Bomb)

You were 1 for 3.  It doesn’t even look like you are the same player!

 

Now I’m looking back on your year and remembering that all I hear about is production problems.  GI Joe 2, a genuinely cool looking movie, you pulled 5 weeks before released to tack 3D onto it, and more Channing Tatum scenes.  World War Z has been moved what seems like a million times, and has ballooned into a close to 250 million dollar film.  About zombies.  Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters was made like two years ago and STILL isn’t out yet.  And to top it all off, everything I’ve heard about you rebooting Ninja Turtles as Alien Turtles sounds like dogshit I never want to see.  Paramount, you need to get your shit together.  I don’t even like all your movies, but at least you used to make enough of them, that would at least be something for me.  The objective is to buy franchises and properties, and hang on to them.  You don’t let them go for nothing (DreamWorks, Marvel).  Get it together!

 

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