Marvel

Loki - Thor the Dark World

Tom Hiddleston joins us this week to discuss his third Marvel outing in Thor: The Dark World, and to find a match for Loki in the Shakespearean universe. Our interview is much ado about spandex, but before it, Geoff and I will share some non-superhero comic books we think should be turned into movies and hyper-sexualized HBO series. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #40 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Marvel Please Stop

Marvel has a bit of a surprise for you. Not satisfied with storming onto ABC and bringing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and the upcoming Agent Carter) into households each week, the studio is now teaming up with Netflix for an unprecedented new deal to move to the small screen. Beginning in 2015, Marvel will develop four original shows focusing on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage. After those wrap, the four series will lead to a cumulative miniseries event bringing together a re-imagined version of The Defenders. Though this may not directly be part of Marvel’s under-wraps plans for cranking out movies until 2021, it’s certainly a way to lay the foundation for their goal: to prove that they’re “more than the five characters and five franchises” featured in The Avengers. Here are four more notable Marvel characters, ready for duty on Netflix. Once that miniseries has concluded, how soon until the new movies begin filming?

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taylor

Thor: The Dark World may be director Alan Taylor‘s first feature film, but this isn’t his first rodeo behind the camera. Far from it, actually. Taylor has directed episodes for some of your favorite television shows: Mad Men, Deadwood, Rome, Bored to Death, and The Sopranos. Taylor brought those series to real highs. For The Sopranos, he helmed the episode where Tony killed his nephew Christopher — one of the most dramatic moments of that series. But it was Taylor’s time on Game of Thrones that landed him Thor: The Dark World. The first Thor often felt like more of a cartoon than a movie, and Marvel wanted to ground those rainbow bridges for the sequel. That doesn’t mean Thor: The Dark World is a gritty, humorless experience, but has a “dirt” to it, which is how Alan Taylor describes the style of the film. Speaking with Taylor from the London junket, he went into the differences between television and film, directing his first feature, and Marvel’s Kevin Feige.

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Thor: The Dark World

So far Marvel has had a terrific run. They’ve been putting out solid films, and the way they set up Phase I was an astonishing feat. They’re risk-takers, and releasing a Thor movie in 2011 was one of those risky decisions. Would an audience accept a Norse God and all the fantastical mumbo jumbo that came with him? They did, making Thor a success for the studio. Its sequel, Thor: The Dark World, makes up for a few of the previous film’s issues, while also bringing its own set of serious problems to the table. This time around Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is facing more struggles than ever before. His relationship with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has suffered after years of distance, he’s fighting small-scale wars, he’s still conflicted over his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and, to make matters worse, a D-movie villain, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), leader of the Dark Elves, shows up for revenge. Malekith not only shakes up the world of Asgard, but also any dramatic potential to be had with the more interesting conflicts set up but given no satisfying payoffs. So much, with the exception of director Alan Taylor‘s eye, is given little time to breathe.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been hovering around the role of Quicksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron since July, but yesterday came the official confirmation we’ve all been expecting for roughly half a year. The Wrap has the big news, along with the reason why such a super-speedy character was cast at a Mr. Magoo-like rate. It seems that Taylor-Johnson had already been booked up for some time with his Godzilla publicity tour, and it’s taken some time to ensure the actor will be able to both join the Avengers and tell the world how he was almost stepped on by a giant lizard. Elizabeth Olsen, strangely enough, is also a part of Godzilla and Age of Ultron, yet according to Samuel L. Jackson she was good to go a month ago without all these negotiating dilly-dallies. But now it’s all been worked out, and including Jackson’s slip about Olsen as Scarlet Witch and James Spader‘s casting as Ultron, it looks like all the major new additions for Age of Ultron have been locked in. Of course, there’s still loads of Avengers goodness to be seen before May 1, 2015 rolls around. We’ve yet to obsess of Quicksilver’s costume, his super-speed visual effects and if Taylor-Johnson will sport the same ridiculous pointy silver haircut as his comic book counterpart. Once that’s taken care of, and the same has been done for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Avengers can finally assemble once more.

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Pixar Cutting Room

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Captain America Winter Soldier Banner

Well, you can take the superhero out of the Avengers, but you can’t take the Avengers out of the superhero. You would think that he would still be struggling to adjust to life in the modern world after, you know, being frozen for 70 years and then almost immediately fighting aliens in New York City, but it seems that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is doing pretty well for himself as he continues to work for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. But as the title Captain America: The Winter Soldier implies, this isn’t really a team effort. Sure, he’s got Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) by his side to kick ass and take names, but we all know that when it comes down to it, that very Jared Leto-y looking villain is going to have to answer to the red, white and blue. As with any Marvel venture, there is explosion upon explosion, crashing car upon collapsing aircraft carrier, and it is all glorious. Soak it up. Plot wise, it’s still not clear why exactly it’s all on Captain America to save the nation, but there will undoubtedly be about 10 more trailers to dissect in the very long stretch between now and April. Check out the trailer for the Anthony and Joe Russo-directed film here:

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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

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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

The morning’s most fascinating articles from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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