Marvel

CHLOE BENNET

I suppose there was always only the slimmest of chances that Agents of SHIELD would give a fair shake to the freedom of information movement. After all, disruptive, potentially anarchic institutions like Wikileaks and Anonymous strike fear into the hearts of governments and giant corporations (like Disney, which owns Marvel and ABC). I’m no apologist for self-righteous hackers, but I’d hoped that the show would tease out that particular ethical ambiguity of SHIELD, particularly its extensive surveillance activities and extralegal existence, a little longer, if only to give the audience a little intellectual meat to chew on. Sadly, “Girl in the Flower Dress” was a bare-bones affair, as well as a big drop-off in quality after last week’s high benchmark. It was also a hit job on the free information movement, half-heartedly represented by Miles, a selfish goon who sells his hacking wares for a measly million bucks, as well as a weepy Skye who confesses to Coulson, “It’s [why] I learned to crack systems, why I joined the Rising Tide. To find any details I could about my parents.” By reducing Miles and Skye’s motivations for hacking to greedy and/or personal reasons, the show deprives from the Wikileakers of the world any philosophical or ethical authority — the effect of which is to take the show further from a recognizable human world toward a good-versus-bad cardboard universe.

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Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin

“It’s a secret Marvel project. I’m not allowed to say any more. You’re going to have to wait and see.” That’s Sir Ben Kingsley revealing to The Belfast Telegraph (via Comic Book Movie) that he’s partnering with Marvel once more. A return of The Mandarin seems most likely (considering continuity), but there are other speculative options on the table including voice over work in the animated Big Hero 6 or as CGI Alien Soldier #4 in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The greatest question (and greatest fear) is whether they’ll stack a twist on top of a twist following Kingsley’s fun as hell performance in Iron Man 3. At the pace they’re going, he might just get his own TV show. Which I’d watch. Especially if he were the only actor on it. So, with this little tidbit, it’s instantly 2012 again. In other news, can you believe that Iron Man 3 came out this year? It was less than six months ago! Insanity. Feels like a 2011 release at the very latest.

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Back when the idea of an Agent Carter TV series (based off the character in Captain America: The First Avenger) was first thrown around, it was mentioned that the show was “one of several” in the works. And now it’s time for vague rumors to transcend into vague facts- it turns out that, yes, Marvel has plans for more comic book TV goodness. Specifically, four new shows and a miniseries of goodness, totaling 60 episodes, as per the official word from Deadline Hollywood. And unlike Marvel’s current TV offering, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., these small-screen superheroes won’t be confined to the limits of ABC. Word is that Amazon, Netflix, and WGN America are the first ones being courted, which might mean that Agent Carter - which, as far as we know, is still ABC bound – might not be included in these sixty episodes. Don’t expect any more concrete details, though. Marvel loves their crazed, government conspiracy-level secrecy, and this new slew of shows is described as being “in very early stages,” so I’d be surprised if we heard anything more until everything has been structured out to the nth degree. Now, the responsibility falls on us, as consumers, to nitpick and randomly speculate about every possible option for new superhero TV shows. Heroes for Hire? She-Hulk: Attorney at Law? Everybody Loves Annihilus? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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news antman

We’ve still got four more Marvel movies to chew through before getting to Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man, but that means so very little to a company built on teasing films far, far in advance. And as far as teases go, the picture Wright just released on his Twitter is about as vague as they come. There’s a man, and he’s wearing some form of ant-suit (one looking very similar to what we saw in that Ant-Man teaser footage a few years back). He’s crouched in front of a camera and a blue screen. Alongside the image comes a message from Wright: “Now I’m back in LA, it’s high time to finish a little something I’ve been working on…” Sneek a peek at the picture below:

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VHS desk

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Portman - Thor 2 Styled

Last week Natalie Portman said we’d see a female superhero from Marvel on the big screen soon, and Stan Lee said we wouldn’t. Since neither of their last names is “Feige,” both comments come with a dash of salt, but one of them still has to be right. Either the studio is prepping a superheroine lead or they aren’t. Specifically, Portman said that she’d “heard” that both a female and a minority title character were on the way while defending Marvel’s record on strong women. This, shortly after the terrible Thor: The Dark World posters saw her strong character eating her hair. As for Lee, he matter-of-factly noted that, “Probably at one time they’ll make a movie of the Black Widow, but the thing is, the women like these movies as much as the guys, so we don’t have to knock ourselves out to find a female. But we will.” The thing is, he’s right.

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Agent Carter

It’s Marvel’s world and we’re all just living in it. While ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t premiere until next week, the network and Marvel must have a lot of faith in that kooky bunch of special agents we keep seeing so many commericals about, for another Avengers-adjacent TV series is in the works. Agent Carter, inspired by the Marvel One Shot featured on the upcoming Iron Man 3 DVD, follows the badass secret agent’s life in the days after Captain America is encased in ice. Though the project is still in its early planning stages, the show is being harkened to a 1950′s style Alias (think of the wigs!), and as Deadline pointed out, ABC is home to many a “female-skewing drama with a strong lead” so the series should have no problem finding an audience on the network. No word yet on if Hayley Atwell would reprise her role as Peggy Carter for television, but we can all hope that’s the case. Another standout note from Deadline – Agent Carter isn’t the only secretive project Marvel has up their sleeves, as it is “one of several” in the works at this time. Whatever that means –more television? Their crazy load of movies planned up until 2021? I guess we should just keep checking the DVD extras of Marvel movies for hints, shouldn’t we?

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Iron Man Han Solo

When Disney announced that their future, non-trilogy Star Wars movies would be origin stories, two things struck me as funny. One, we already got an origin story of one of the universe’s most iconic characters (he was supposed to be the chosen one!), and pretty much everyone hated it. Maybe the problem was that it took three movies instead of one? Two, Disney wants Han Solo to be their Iron Man. They haven’t concretely confirmed that they’ll be focusing one of their stand-alone movies on Solo, but he seems like an obvious choice alongside Yoda and/or Leia, and regardless of which character they feature, the studio will have pulled a kind of Reverse Marvel by taking a sprawling, established film universe and re-introducing its players as monolithic superheroes.

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ant-man-movie-logo

Deciding that their pint-sized hero would make for better summer fare (or losing confidence that he would be a prestige contender for Oscar season…), Marvel has shifted Ant-Man‘s release date from November 2015 to the end of that July according to Deadline Hollywood. It’s not just a gamble because the character isn’t well known; it’s a move that bets heavily on audiences not being exhausted by superheroes by that point in the blockbuster season. There’s The Fantastic Four in early March, The Avengers: Age of Ultron in May and Batman vs Superman in July. There’s also Assassin’s Creed, a new Terminator, a second Independence Day and a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean to add to a bloat that could threaten to make Ant-Man just another tentpole to add to the pile. It’s awesome news for fans at any rate. We’ve been waiting for this thing since the first wave of Marvel flicks, so shaving off a few months is certainly welcome, and the promise that the scheduling change is a confidence move is even more exciting. In Edgar Wright we trust. But even with the Marvel logo and the Avengers bump, it feels a bit like Pacific Rim Redux. You’ve got a beloved film fandom director tackling a decidedly niche geek figure at the tail end of an explosion-filled few months of eye fatigue. There’s danger there not only for the studio, but for all of us who need a break from spandex once in a while.

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The Fantastic Four 1994

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Avengers Animatics

A group of villagers trudging through the jungle, a convoy carrying some heavy weaponry and a mysterious quadriplegic, Iron Man causing vehicles to crash and guns to be drawn. This isn’t how The Avengers re-introduced Tony Stark to the world, but it could have been. Comic Book Movie has scored four fantastic animatics (which you can watch below) from Federico D’Alessandro who did the work of bringing the 2010 and 2011 script drafts to graphite life. There’s a thrilling tunnel chase, a devastating arrow from Hawkeye, an evil Jarvis, and an extended final battle sequence, but maybe the most bittersweet lost element is the brief glimpse we get at Joss Whedon‘s take on Wasp. She could have been a major part of the movie, but her inclusion was dropped as development progressed. She may be around for future Marvel adventures, but for now she survives in these scrapped sequences.

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FoodFight

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Marvel Logo Collage

Sometimes I think that I’m being responsible and planning ahead for my future. Then I hear that Marvel has movies slated all the way up until 2021 – that’s eight years from now – and realize I’m a chump. Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige recently spoke with Wired and teased about what’s to come for his company: “I could arguably say that we’re planning for the year 2021. Will that happen? I don’t know. But what we planned for 2015 in 2006 is happening.” Oh, don’t act so coy, Feige. We know what you’re up to. The Captain America, Avengers, Thor, and Iron Man franchises were all in motion since 2006, breaking records (and hearts) worldwide. Anyone with that depth of success would want to continue for as long as possible. The trick at this point, Feige said, is convincing audiences (and the studio), to let go of The Avengers and embrace new Marvel superheroes in the next eight years. As he put it, “Five years ago, looking at our plan, we knew that if Avengers was going to work, the movies had to stand alone. Now we have to prove to the studio that we’re more than just these five characters, these five franchises.” With a vast Marvel universe at his fingertips, it will be interesting to see who Feige chooses to fill the next phase. We do know that Ant-Man will finally see his day, and that Doctor Strange gets a movie, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Captain […]

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Marvel Studios Panel At Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con is a massive journey of discovery. Over the course of four days and five nights, people from all over the world converge on one spot to overload the tram system, punish the sewage system, hemorrhage hard earned cash for colorful plastic and printed pages, and take pictures of each other. In the midst of all that, we also find time to attend panels, catch up with creators, meet new people, reconnect with old friends, find the hottest upcoming trends, and get the early scoop on breaking news. This year the Film School Rejects were represented by two intrepid slack-jawed comic fans: interview specialist Jack Giroux and anger guru Robert Fure. We walked miles, spent hours in lines, followed CosPlay girls around the floor, and harassed the talent into giving us top secret information. After four days, two blackouts, a fist fight, and a cuddle session, here are our 12 favorite discoveries at San Diego Comic Con 2013.

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Captain America and The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The First Avenger was an odd movie. For one, it didn’t take on the “realistic” aesthetic we see so many comic-book movies aim for. Secondly, how often are superhero movies that unabashedly sentimental and light-hearted? Steve Rogers was a genuinely great guy who believed that the right would always prevail. There was no moral ambiguity in the first film for him to question. You’re either a good guy or a bad guy. From the sound of it, that’s not the movie we’ll be seeing with the film’s sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Although that’s slightly disappointing to hear, speaking with actor Sebastian Stan, reprising his role as Bucky Barnes and taking on a new one with Winter Soldier, there’s a good reason for that tonal shift. The movie takes place in 2013, and showing Steve now a part of a less black and white world should make for an interesting direction to take the character in.

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The Wolverine

When director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman took the stage for their Q&A with “a few clips” at Comic-Con, they had some baggage to confront. Jackman, especially, acknowledged the many, many, many shortcomings of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Mangold and Jackman discussed wanting to deliver the Wolverine, hence the title, The Wolverine. Fans have been waiting for the essential Wolverine tale and, for the most part, the two have succeed in giving it to them.

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Comic-Con Crowd

Chances are that you won’t be going to Comic-Con this year, and short of hiring a model to dress as Bat Girl and hand you flyers you’re going to throw away, you’ll most likely be missing out on the authentic experience. You might come close if you wait in line for five hours to watch a trailer on YouTube, but there’s a better way to experience the giant geek party that infiltrates the convention center in San Diego every summer. You could also try eating three pounds of nachos while peeing next to Seth Green and a guy dressed as Vampire Hunter D. That might actually work. But if you don’t have those at your disposal, here’s a list of resources to help you stay neck-deep in Comic-Con goodies from July 18th and beyond. Starting, obviously, with us. Get excited. Because we sure are.

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CaptAm_Teaser_1-Sht_v3

There’s still a little over a week before Comic-Con unleashes all sorts of trailers, posters, and other goodies upon a horde of screaming fans, but Marvel has decided to whet fans’ appetite a little early with the first teaser poster for Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Vin Diesel Sub-Mariner

A Badoon in Guardians of the Galaxy? Thanos in Avengers 2? Sub-Mariner? Doctor Strange? Bald Ant-Man? Is there going to be an Iron Giant 2? With so many movies in production for their next phase, there are a ton of options for what Marvel wants to do with Vin Diesel (including the possibility that they simply want him to autograph their DVD of The Pacifier), but, yes, according to the sharp eyes of Superhero Hype, Diesel announced via his Facebook page that the studio wanted to have a meeting. “Marvel has requested a meeting. No idea what for… haha, you probably know better than me…” So assuming we all know better, who should he play in the Marvel universe?

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