Rarely has a week come along that has left us so entrenched in the world of one particular studio as this week has with Marvel Studios. It all began with the box office success of Marvel’s first self-produced venture Iron Man, which took in $200 million worldwide on its opening weekend. Then on Monday, Marvel announced that they were putting Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain Marvel and The Avengers on the board next, all with release dates in the summer of 2010 and 2011. From there, we saw a feeding frenzy of news and rumors, from Matthew Vaughn no longer being attached to Thor to Matthew McConaughey being on Marvel’s list to play Captain America.
And now, with the weekend comes even more crazy Marvel-related shenanigans. First up, from our friends at Latino Review comes an interesting Thor casting rumor. Apparently Marvel is very interested in seeing Brad Pitt hold the big Hammer. This would be an interesting, but ultimately favorable choice, as PItt was extremely badass in a similar role as Achilles in 2004′s Troy. Pitt certainly has the chops for a role like Thor, and it would be nice to see Marvel stay away from the likes of Tyler Mane. As we found with Robert Downey Jr. and Iron Man, the casting is done best when the find acting ability first, the look second. In my humble opinion, Pitt can have both for Thor.
Next on our list is a great little find by our friends over at First Showing, who pointed out that Captain America’s shield may have made an appearance in Iron Man. It is difficult to tell from the image above, but Alex at FS.net swears that the thing seen just below RDJ’s left arm is the shield of Captain America. His theory is that somehow Tony Stark is building it as some sort of high-tech weapon that would then be given to Captain America as a gift leading into the formation of The Avengers. Marvel has begun the Avengers foreshadowing with the post-credits appearance of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Iron Man. As well, Tony Stark will make an appearance in The Incredible Hulk later this summer.
Whether or not that really is Captain America’s shield (the only real way to find out is to see Iron Man again), I am impressed with Marvel’s dedication to integrating the worlds of all of these characters. They appear to have a very strong plan for how they are going to bring an Avengers movie together without recasting or upsetting the already established franchises. My only wish is that DC would have been thinking the same way about 4-5 years ago before Christopher Nolan and Brian Singer started work on Batman Begins and Superman Returns. Had they been as smart about things as Marvel has been, we would be well on our way to seeing a kickass Justice League film by now rather than sitting around watching that production fall apart before it ever got going.
Time will tell whether Marvel’s strategic planning will deliver a series of quality movies that bring in big dollars at the box office and satisfy their legions of fans. At this point, only one thing is for certain — they’re off to one hell of a start.
Sound Off: What do you think about Brad Pitt as Thor? Also, how you do you feel about the path that Marvel has outlined toward an Avengers movie?