The Week in Spandex – The Avengers, Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man 3 and more…

Presenting our weekly round-up of all the big news stories from the world of movie superheroes…

After weeks of spoilers coming out of The Dark Knight Rises shoot, it makes a refreshing change to see some details emerging from Marvel Studios’ superhero team-up The Avengers, which kicked off in explosive fashion earlier in the week with some set photos featuring, well, explosions (and big ones too). Rumours suggested that the sequence in question was being referred to as the ‘alien chase scene’, which was quickly supported by images of alien technology and weaponry. As the week went on we also saw Chris Evans’ Captain America fighting a couple of guys in motion capture suits before Chris Hemsworth’s Thor got in on the act for some back-to-back action. So, it seems that all of the speculation about The Avengers teaming up against alien antagonists proved correct and although we’re yet to get an official statement from the studio, reports from Cleveland.com suggest that an insider has confirmed the inclusion of the shape-changing extra-terrestrials, the Skrull.

As you’re probably aware, filming has also kicked off on director Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel, with some spy photos giving us our first look at Snyder, Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon and Amy Adams on set. A couple of scene descriptions have popped up indicating that that the latest film will incorporate a young Superman (or should that be Superboy?) along with a tornado sequence, while the Superman Homepage released an image that points to the death of a major character. Meanwhile we also got an official synopsis for the film courtesy of a casting call for extras…

In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Henry Cavill) is a young twentysomething journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Diane Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as Superman, not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.

Wrapping up the best of the rest…

…1960s Batman television star Julie Newmar had a few words for PopcornBiz about Catwoman, discussing her experiences as the feline felon and passing on her thoughts about Anne Hathaway’s upcoming take on the character in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Meanwhile, with the Pittsburgh leg of TDKR shoot drawing to a close, we also got a few more photos and videos (naturally), this time depicting the destruction of a Tumbler…

…The DC Universe Animated Original Movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic comic-book story Batman: Year One is set to arrive this October and Warner Bros. have recently released a selection of stills and concept art images featuring the Dark Knight, Jim Gordon and Catwoman…

Bronson and Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has long been linked to a big screen adaptation of Wonder Woman with Christina Hendricks (Firefly, Mad Men) in the title role, with the filmmaker stating that he’s now been told: “If I get Logan’s Run right, then I’ll get Wonder Woman…”

…Thursday saw the arrival of the first poster from the Nicolas Cage superhero sequel Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which was quickly followed by the release of the official trailer. While it’s likely that the $85m film will end up as 2012’s answer to Punisher: War Zone or Jonah Hex, here’s hoping it manages to be an improvement over the 2007 original…

…Bradley Cooper has pulled out of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s remake of The Crow due to scheduling conflicts. Former contenders Channing Tatum and Mark Wahlberg are now said to be under consideration as his replacement, but personally I can’t see either of them in the role (or Cooper for that matter) and I’m a bit surprised that Robert Pattinson hasn’t been mentioned as a possibility. He’s certainly scruffy enough…

…After finding a new director in James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma), filming on The Wolverine is now set to take place between November 2011 and March 2012, with Hugh Jackman heading to Vancouver alongside a supporting cast that includes Kelly Hu (X-Men 2), Ken Watanabe (Batman Begins) and Naturi Naughton (Notorious)…

…According to TheGeekFiles, Raw Leiba (Conan the Barbarian) has met with Marvel for discussions about a number of roles, including Hero for Hire Luke Cage and Erik Killmonger, the nemesis of Black Panther. I’d take this one with a pinch of salt, to be honest…

…And finally, although we’re still a couple of years away from Tony Stark’s first post-Avengers adventure in Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. spoke briefly about reuniting with his Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang director Shane Black for the sequel and production company head David Gambino also dropped a few updates on the project, teasing potential villains and suggesting that Jon Favreau could make an on-screen as Happy Hogan. The Cowboys & Aliens director certainly seems open to the idea in a video interview with IGN, during which he also shares his thoughts on Joss Whedon and The Avengers.

Be sure to vote in our poll for your favourite superhero movie of 2011, which seems to be shaping up as a showdown between X-Men: First Class and Captain America: The First Avenger…

Gary Collinson

Holy Franchise, Batman! – Coming 2012.

Around the Internet…

  • Matt

    Well I googled and hit images for this guy and if you think Marvel brought in Raw Leiba who looks EXACTLY like Erik Killmonger and is standing next to the head of talent of Marvel in the photo I saw and think its not serious your crazy..and it looks like they actually did a good job on this one,adleast this guy looks like a superhero or super villain.