Marvel Studios

Captain America 2

What is the most basic difference between a movie like Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel? The way my mind works, I have long considered Steve Rogers and Kal-El to be similarly positioned in their own respective universes. Both are stronger than regular men, both were dressed with America in mind and both are leaders of their own superhero groups (The Avengers and The Justice League, respectively). So why is it that one hero got a movie last year that was shrugged off as “not as good as it should have been” while the other appeared this past weekend in a film that’s a potential game-changer for the genre? It’s simple: it’s all in the approach. One wanted to be a superhero movie, the other did not.

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captain america winter soldier 07

One of the issues Marvel’s Kevin Feige has admitted to being concerned about over the last few years is possible superhero movie overkill. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe grows, there’s potential for audiences to get tired of not just that multi-series franchise but with the whole genre. We’re already at a point where most tentpole blockbusters are comic book adaptations, and as long as they keep proving to be the safest bets, that number may keep increasing. And now it’s not even limited to the summer and holiday seasons. Captain America: Winter Soldier is opening on April 4th, and that’s too early to even make the usual “summer starts early this year” comment. Eventually we’ll have major superhero movies debuting in the usual dead months of January and September. This week’s Marvel Studios TV special, Assembling a Universe, might not have helped matters as far as not overwhelming the audience. It packaged the MCU’s past, present and future in a way that didn’t make the properties look all that distinct or independent, in spite of Feige stating on screen his idea that these movies (and now TV shows) offer a lot of variety, that the superhero movie genre is no longer really a genre because they represent a bunch of different kinds of movies and just happen to involve superheroes. Devin Faraci made a similar statement this week in a piece at Badass Digest tied to an interview he had with Feige. “Marvel has proven that ‘superhero movie’ isn’t so […]

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Marvel Hulkbuster Iron man

Last night, ABC aired a special on Marvel Studios called Assembling a Universe, in which its past, present and known future were laid out. There weren’t any big revelations, but there were plenty of new images to gaze upon, including cool concept art from Avengers: Age of Ultron. Check out our gallery of all the necessary bits by clicking on the image above or clicking right here.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy

Bit by bit, Marvel has begun unravelling their latest and most adventurous property yet, Guardians of the Galaxy. In their current phase, the studio arm of Marvel Comics is venturing from Earth and its Avengers to the cosmos, where any number of unique characters inhabit any number of interesting worlds. As we’re about to see later this summer in James Gunn’s Guardians film, this can even include the existence of a talking raccoon and his pal, a sentient tree. With the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer out and making waves across the Internet, Marvel has followed up by releasing the film’s first poster as well as five new character featurettes introducing us to our new heroes. There’s Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation); the assassin Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana (Star Trek); the brutish and tortured Drax the Destroyer, played by pro wrestler Dave Bautista; the hot-tempered Rocket Raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper; and Groot, a walking, talking tree voiced by Vin Diesel. Now that we know their names, let’s meet the team…

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russos

Even though Jon Favreau came back to do Iron Man 2, and Joss Whedon is currently in the process of putting together the next Avengers movie, Alan Taylor directing Thor: The Dark World and brothers Anthony and Joe Russo helming the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier proves that Marvel isn’t afraid to go looking for new directors when it comes time to make a sequel for one of their successful franchise launchers. Despite the shrewdness, a new report coming out of Variety reveals that, like with Whedon, and like with Favreau until that relationship fell apart after Iron Man 2, Marvel has found yet another filmmaking force that they’re comfortable enough with to invite back for another go around with one of their characters. Apparently, despite the fact that audiences have yet to see or choose not to see the work they did on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel has already decided to bring brothers Joe and Anthony Russo back to direct whatever story becomes Captain America 3.

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drewgoddard

There’s eventually going to come a day that Marvel Studios is going to make a hiring decision regarding their live action superhero properties that the geek community is going to disagree with. Fortunately for all of us, today is not that day, because a report out of The Wrap is saying that they’ve found the man they want to write their upcoming Daredevil series for Netflix, they’re currently in negotiations to get him signed to take the job, and—my god—they couldn’t have possibly picked a more perfect person to offer the gig to. Seeing as Daredevil is the most recognized and most loved of the four characters Marvel announced they were making 13-episode Netflix series for, his series was the one that was destined to get the most scrutiny, and his was the one that was going to have to recruit the most exciting name to pen the scripts in order for fan enthusiasm to continue to build rather than wane under the uncertainty of the creative direction the world’s reddest superhero would be going in. Well, taking those pressure into consideration, Marvel wasted no time in going out and getting the TV writer who has maybe the most nerd-cred of anyone with television experience right now—Drew Goddard.

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Vin Diesel Sub-Mariner

Just when we thought the dream casting stage was over, Vin Diesel‘s true Marvel Studios role is back up in the air. Yes, the Riddick star is set to voice Groot in next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but according to his statements in an interview with Extra host Maria Menounos this week, Diesel is also still on board for an actual physical part in the Avengers franchise universe. Specifically, he reiterates that his initial meeting with Marvel was for a Phase Three character that will debut in 2016. We’d heard that clarification previously but it was thought the Groot voice casting had replaced that other gig. Instead it seems Groot was just to appease Diesel’s fanbase while Marvel continues to work with the actor on the other 2016 thing. So, let the speculation ensue once again. What Marvel Studios Universe character could, should, would, will Diesel portray? The names on the table before are back on the table now, with good guy Vision and bad guy Thanos topping the predictions. Diesel hints that the role would involve a “merging of brands,” but that could be interpreted a number of different ways. He could be starring in a reboot of Blade for all that means, so long as they bring the vampire hunter into the Avengers world. He could be Namor, which would be another fine jab at DC’s weakness in getting their big properties onto the big screen (because Namor is Marvel’s Aquaman). Rights to a Namor film are […]

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Diesel

As soon as rumors that Vin Diesel was meeting with Marvel started flying around, all sorts of theories about which of their movies he was going to be in and which character they were looking at him to play started getting thrown around as well. After a few weeks or so of wading through everybody’s brainstorms and photoshop mock-ups, it finally became pretty clear that the movie Diesel was going to be joining was James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and the character he was going to be playing was the giant, tree-like member of the team, Groot. This revelation dashed hopes held by some Diesel fans that he would be playing a meatier part, like maybe the big nasty villain the Avengers are eventually going to face, Thanos, or even a red-faced android who hasn’t been mentioned as being a part of Marvel’s movie plans yet, the Vision. Were they really going after a star as big as Diesel just to voice a CG character who’s usually only able to say the words, “I am Groot?” A new interview Diesel did with Heat Vision not only confirms that Groot is indeed the role that he’s been talking to Marvel about, but also offers up something of an explanation for these questions surrounding the casting.

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Marvel Studios Panel At Comic-Con

We could write all about the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel from yesterday. We could dig through Twitter and the coverage from other sites and our own chats with some of the Marvel stars (coming later today) and give you a list of things we learned. Or we could just publish this video of the panel and let you make your own conclusions. That second option sounds great, as there is no perfect way to explain what happened when Tom Hiddleston took the stage in full character and turned a 6,000 person Hall H crowd into an army of loyal followers. Apparently we all just want to be ruled. All that trouble in The Avengers for nothing. So sit back and enjoy the Marvel Studios panel from the comfort of your own home. You’ll get updates on the more medieval Thor: The Dark World, the S.H.I.E.L.D.-heavy Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the out-of-this-world Guardians of the Galaxy and a little update about something called Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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closecop

While most studios who make big blockbusters seem to pick from the same of-the-moment list of actors when casting their tentpole releases, Marvel Studios has set themselves apart by thinking outside the box a bit. They cast an actor many thought was a has-been as Iron Man, one who was mostly known for wisecracking as the stoic Captain America, and one who nobody had ever really heard of as Thor—and so far all the gambles have paid off. Perhaps not coincidentally, their next big property, Guardians of the Galaxy, seems to be the epitome of outside the box thinking. The film is adapting one of Marvel’s more obscure hero titles, it’s going to be populated largely by strange alien creatures, it’s set a sitcom actor up as its star in Chris Pratt, and it’s looking to give feature roles to awesome but lumpy-looking character actors like John C. Reilly and Michael Rooker. The movie is basically someone who roots for underdogs’ wildest dream. And now it’s being reported that director James Gunn is making one of his most interesting left field moves yet, as he’s taking Glenn Close, an actress most associated with high-minded, dramatic roles, and he’s putting her in a superhero movie.

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bigherosflarge

Back in July of last year it was reported that, following the big acquisition of Marvel Comics by the Disney Corporation, the first collaboration between Disney Animation and Marvel Studios on any sort of superhero cartoon was going to come in the form of an adaptation of Marvel’s semi-obscure team of Japanese heroes, Big Hero 6. At the time it seemed like kind of a strange choice. Wouldn’t you want to kick off a partnership this important with something a little bit bigger, something with a little more name recognition? Well, it looks like the guys in the suits must have had their reasons for wanting to go forward with Big Hero 6, because today Disney Animation officially announced [via the LA Times] that the film is in production—and they even gave us a glimpse of what their animators have come up with. Hit the jump to see what they’ve created, but be prepared, because it’s a little weird.

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marvelknights

The head of Marvel Studios and one of the masterminds behind their current, stupendously successful franchise building strategy, Kevin Feige, recently did an interview with Entertainment Weekly, and not only did he address all of the plans they have for Marvel Phase II, the series of films that are going to lead up to their next team-up spectacular, The Avengers 2, but he also dropped the bomb that a group of characters who used to be under various other studios’ controls were now back in the Marvel fold. According to an excerpt from the interview pulled out by Comic Book Movie, Daredevil, The Punisher, Ghost Rider, and Blade are now back under Marvel Studios control—but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the House of Ideas has any immediate plans for them. Feige was quoted as saying, “Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore—and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well received. They all have potential, but we’re not going to say, ‘We got it back—make it!’” With all due respect Mr. Feige, screw that. There’s a perfect way to reintroduce all of these abused characters to the big screen, and it’s staring us right in the face.

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Mondo

For years — literally since before it was cool and you could call the shop at the S. Lamar Alamo Drafthouse and check to see if they had a particular poster in stock — we’ve been covering the work of the folks at Mondo. We’re cinematic art hipsters like that. And over the years we’ve seen them do some really great things, including series-upon-series of actually licensed posters for Star Wars and Star Trek alongside hundreds of other properties. The diversity of the work is a testament to how hard these folks work behind the scenes to secure the rights to even do the art in the first place. Unlike the Wild West of Etsy, if you want to become a popular art boutique selling posters to fanboys, you need to get your legal documents in order. That’s what makes some of the work they do so impressive. Anyone could doodle a poster and print out a few copies, but securing the rights and curating art from some of the world’s finest working artists is something special. One of the key licenses that Mondo has worked with over the past few years is that of Marvel Studios. In conjunction with a number of great Disney properties and of course, those killer Star Wars prints, their recent success has been built pretty steadily in the past half-decade over their ability to secure the biggest names in characters — Captain America, Thor and even this week’s guest of honor, Iron Man. Speaking of the latter, this […]

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jossthanos

Now that Joss Whedon’s superhero team-up movie, The Avengers, made well over a billion dollars worldwide, and Marvel’s next step in their ongoing saga, Iron Man 3, has opened overseas with numbers that put the film on track to make the studio gazillions more, it’s probably safe to say that there’s a lot of public interest concerning which direction things are going heading into The Avengers 2. And, lucky for us, Whedon has been pretty generous when it comes to answering questions. When he talked to Collider on the red carpet of the Iron Man 3 premier, he hinted at the fact that he might be adding Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch to the Avengers roster in his upcoming sequel, and it seems that when Desde Hollywood talked to him at the same event, he even talked a bit about his plans for the Avengers’ arch-villain, Thanos, who made his appearance in the after-credits sequence of the first film.

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Iron Man

Every Sunday we bring you a new list of great scenes — we call this little series Scenes We Love. From the remembrance of Sundance’s of yesteryear to the best of Michael Bay’s movies, we’re always trying to share a bit of that movie-loving spirit through the moments that make these characters memorable. This week’s person of choice is Iron Man, a character that first appeared on the pages of Tales of Suspense #39 in 1963. Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, Iron Man is the alter ego of billionaire Tony Stark. In his 50 years of existence, Mr. Stark has battled a lot of villains, wrestled with his own demons and had his share of feminine conquests (as any great playboy billionaire would). But his life on the silver screen has been only heating up as of late, propelled by Marvel Studios‘ choice to let Iron Man lead the way as their first film as an independent studio. They cast Robert Downey Jr., brought in Jon Favreau to direct, got Paramount to throw a good bit of money at it and the rest was history. This week, Tony Stark will make his fifth film appearance since 2008. That is, if we include the post-credits scene in The Incredible Hulk. Of course we do. So even though it’s recent, his run on the big screen has been rather prolific and beyond entertaining. It’s the reason that we’ve chosen to single out the five scenes we love most from […]

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siblings

If Joss Whedon were really going to add two of the biggest superheroes in Avengers’ history to the roster of his team in Avengers 2, two characters who we’ve yet to see in any Marvel movies or who have yet to even be hinted at in regards to Marvel’s upcoming plans, there’s no way he would reveal it to us this early in the Avengers 2 developmental process, would he? The gut says no, but when you watch the following interview [via Collider] he did on the red carpet of the Iron Man 3 premiere, the brain tells you otherwise.

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Ant-Man

If you haven’t had your coffee yet, now’s a good time to take it ocularly. For the most part, this Phase Two featurette from Marvel (via Superhero Hype) is a keen look into the world of Iron Man 3 with an eye to how they’re deepening the well while returning to it in order to make Tony Stark a richer character post-Avengers. The cast and crew, alongside Marvel head Kevin Feige, weigh in on how this trilogy entry is also a piece of a much larger puzzle. Then, they show some of the other pieces. The briefest of footage from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World is joined by test footage from Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, concept footage from Guardians of the Galaxy and a few comments from the filmmakers. At any rate, let’s stop pretending that you’re reading this and get to the video:

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Nova Corps

Given the relative obscurity of the characters that regularly get featured in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” title, it’s always been something of a curiosity as to why they’re the next priority when it comes to the movies Marvel Studios is making. Couldn’t they be spending their time and resources introducing characters that have a little bit more mainstream recognition into their film world? The logical answer to this question has been that, seeing as The Avengers are likely to be going up against the intergalactic conqueror Thanos in The Avengers 2, Guardians of the Galaxy will be the vehicle through which Marvel’s extended cosmic universe gets introduced. Just imagine if The Avengers 2 had to do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to who Thanos is, why he’s such a threat, and what exactly he’s been getting up to across the entire universe for all these years. The movie would be completely bogged down with exposition and unable to enjoy all of the brevity in storytelling that being a Part 2 usually affords a film. But introduce a number of alien worlds in this Guardians of the Galaxy movie, have Thanos lurking in the background as an unspeakable threat, and suddenly a lot of the narrative load is taken off of The Avengers 2’s shoulder. Plus, you might create a bankable new film franchise to boot.

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Jason Momoa

Drax the Destroyer is a member of Marvel’s intergalactic team of superheroes The Guardians of the Galaxy, and like the Incredible Hulk before him, he’s basically a big green guy who likes to wreck things. Given the character’s stature, where is Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn going to find an actor big enough to pull the part off? According to Latino Review, he must have looked toward HBO’s Game of Thrones, because they’re reporting that Marvel has just offered the role to actor Jason Momoa (meanwhile, THR says he’s only tested). Momoa was one of the actors who tested for the character alongside names like Isiah Mustafa, Dave Bautista, and Brian Patrick, and apparently the imposing presence and physical charisma that he’s shown in things like his role as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones and his turn as Conan the Barbarian in the recent relaunch of that franchise was enough to get him an offer. It should be noted that Momoa’s people were said to have countered the offer, so the negotiations are still in progress rather than the signing being official, but given the fact that Momoa’s initial attempt at starring in a big franchise film, Conan, underperformed at the box office, one can’t imagine that he’s going to be making any unreasonable demands in the face of being offered another role in a big tentpole flick.

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dscal1980

Editor’s Note: Paul DeBenedetto is a writer and comics fan from Brooklyn who used to run the comics blog Wednesday’s Child. He is also a reporter covering the borough of Queens for DNAinfo.com, and his work has appeared online and in print for various local and national media outlets. Given that he knows his stuff when it comes to superheroes and graphic literature, we asked him to whip something up in response to the recent confirmation of Marvel’s Doctor Strange adaptation. Dr. Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, is officially coming to the big screen. That’s the news Kevin Feige had for MTV’s Splash Page, who interviewed the Marvel Studios president on Friday about their Phase Three films. This next crop of Avengers franchise titles will touch on “different corners” of the Marvel Universe, Feige said, with Doctor Strange being confirmed for release around the same time as the long-awaited Ant-Man movie from Edgar Wright. “Doctor Strange, which I’ve been talking about for years, is definitely one of them,” Feige told Splash Page. “He’s a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he’s totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s totally different from anything we’ve done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited.”

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