This weekend at Comic Con, Marvel gave fans just a little taste of what’s to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and by “little taste” I mean a whole hell of a lot of information. They made official announcements for movies that had so far only been rumors, and told fans some of what to expect from the already-in-the-works sequels.
The first of Marvel’s post-Avengers films will be Iron Man 3, coming out May 3 of next year. It’s been confirmed that Ben Kingsley is, in fact, playing The Mandarin, despite many earlier denials regarding the character’s appearance in the film. Based on descriptions of the footage shown, Jon Favreau will be returning as Happy Hogan (but in no other capacity) and it looks like the rumors of the Extremis Armor might be true. Oh, and the new armor is so very pretty.
The question is, is it still an issue of whitewashing to change a character’s race from Chinese if the original version is a fairly terrible and racist Yellow Peril stereotype? Where will the fans fall on this one?
After that comes Thor: The Dark World on November 11, 2013. We don’t really know too much about this one yet, except that it just lost its villain, but we’ll get to that later.
Spring of 2014 starts off with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which I’m sure you knew about already as the entire internet has lost its mind over it. Hell, even Ed Brubaker, writer of the Winter Soldier comic was caught unaware and could only say “HOLY SHIT.” It’s interesting to note that Hurt Locker‘s Anthony Mackie is in negotiations to play Cap’s other sidekick, the Falcon. My prediction, Captain America takes on Falcon as a protégé and tension comes in when he finds out that Bucky is still alive and evil. And if Black Widow doesn’t show up at the end, there might just be riots in the streets.
Then in August of 2014, we get Marvel’s first non-sequel since 2011’s Captain America (which doesn’t sound that bad until you realize there are four movies between them). Guardians of the Galaxy is already shaping up to be the most divisive of Marvel’s slate, with fans split between those excited about something so different and unusual and those who think the concept is too far out there and is simply beyond the reaches of suspension of disbelief. What do you think about a team of aliens that includes a giant tree monster and an anthropomorphic raccoon? How about if they look like this? Personally, I can’t wait.
(Click to make the concept art huge.)
Still as dateless as me at my prom, Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man is on the schedule, but not really. Test footage for the film was shown at the con, but there’s no cast or start date for the production and Wright has another film to make first. So, honestly, any time they reassure us that Ant-Man is going to come out, I’m reminded of the words of Homer Simpson – “You know, you say that so much it’s lost all meaning.” It’s at the point where I’ll believe this movie’s happening when I see an actor in a costume, and even then maybe not.
Over at the licensed end of the Marvel movies, Fox has a bit of a shake-up happening.
Their planned Fantastic Four reboot has a director now, Chronicle‘s Josh Trank. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the material. I’m certainly curious. It’s set to start filming after The Wolverine and whatever they’re calling X-Men: First Class 2.
Where it gets really fun, though, is Daredevil and David Slade. It would appear that the 30 Days of Night director has decided to single-handedly take down as many Marvel movies as he can. Slade was set to direct Fox’s Daredevil reboot. He’s also a producer on the upcoming Hannibal Lector TV series, Hannibal. As it turns out, in order for Slade to direct the pilot, he had to drop out of directing Daredevil, unfortunately for Fox the movie has to go in front of cameras in the fall or the rights to the character revert. Oops. So now they have a few short months to get a director, a cast, tweak the script and do all the pre-production. Good luck.
Oh, but didn’t I say something about other Marvel movies? And something earlier about Thor 2 losing its villain? Yea, that’s because Casino Royale‘s Mads Mikkelsen, who was set to go up against the God of Thunder, is playing Hannibal Lector. He also had to drop out to film the pilot.
It’s almost like Slade planned this.