The Week in Spandex – The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Ghost Rider: SOV, The Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men and more…

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

The Super Bowl takes place this Sunday and despite the fact we won’t be getting any advertising spots for The Dark Knight Rises or The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel will ensure that superhero fans have plenty to get excited over as the studio delivers some brand new footage from The Avengers, which was preceeded by a short ten-second preview earlier in the week that gave us a tantalising glimpse of the mysterious alien race whose identity has been subject to so much speculation over the past few months. While the ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ peek wasn’t giving too much away, perhaps we’ll have a better idea of their identity when the commercial airs on Sunday.

With just three months to go until The Avengers arrives in cinemas, the marketing machine appears to have stepped up a gear, with Marvel issuing a host of new character posters featuring Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (a mo-capped Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), while Joss Whedon and company also took part in a live Twitter chat, during which it was confirmed by the director himself that Spider-Man will NOT be making a cameo appearance, despite plenty of rumours to the contrary. So there you have it…

Turning now to The Dark Knight Rises and we’re starting to get to see some of the promotional tie-ins that will accompany the release of Christopher Nolan’s hugely-anticipated third Batman feature. Among the goodies released this past week are a couple of new shots of the Dark Knight, along with a look at Mattel’s range of action figures, which of course come complete with the obligatory range of ridiculous accessories. Meanwhile Christian Bale also took part in an interview with Style Magazine, during which he described Batman’s position in TDKR: “For me he is an anarchist and a free spirit. He knows that there are parallels between him and his enemies because life is never stable – you always have to fight for it. Keeping in mind that it may never be boring and that nobody is obliging you to behave like a superhero and to always have your muscles flexed and bulging.”

Wrapping up the best of the rest…

…With Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance hitting screens later this month, Yahoo! Movies debuted a new behind-the-scenes video from the upcoming sequel / reboot, while CineComics also got their hands on a selection of images showing Nicolas Cage performing as Ghost Rider pre-CGI enhancements…

…As Sony prepare to unleash a sneak peek at The Amazing Spider-Man across select cities this coming Monday (February 6th), we also received confirmation via the Alberta Film Ratings website that a second theatrical trailer – running at 2.24 seconds in duration – will be arriving in the very near future. Meanwhile Andrew Garfield took part in an interview with The Times of India, during which he discussed how his version of the web-crawler will differ from that of Tobey Maguire’s earlier incarnation, while the official site has also updated with several new images featuring the likes of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field), along with a host of wallpapers and avatars…

…In other Spidey-related news, Newsarama spoke to Marvel Studios executives Will Corona Pilgrim and Jeph Loeb about Agent Coulson and his inclusion in the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, while Loeb also touched upon the continuity of Marvel’s ever-expanding slate of comic book, theatrical and television offerings: “Marvel TV properties in general will exist within the Marvel Universe in comics. That’s the continuity we watch… there’s nothing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that goes against the publishing Marvel Universe, so we’d pretty much follow in that way…”

Chronicle arrived in UK cinemas this past Wednesday but Fox still managed to sneak in one last trailer before the $15m found footage superhero flick opened across North American cinemas yesterday. Director Josh Trank – rumoured to be in the frame to tackle Fox’s reboot of the Fantastic Four – spoke to ComicBookMovie about the film, while HeyUGuys also caught up with cast members Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan and Alex Russell…

…Warner Premiere’s latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Justice League: Doom, is released in North America later this month and a couple of new clips have arrived online recently, showing Batman (Kevin Conroy) squaring off against the Royal Flush Gang before the Caped Crusader’s Justice League colleagues Superman (Tim Daly), Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg), The Flash (Michael Rosenbaum), Green Lantern (Nathan Fillion) and Martian Manhunter (Carl Lumbly) get in on the action. Check the clips out here and here

…The CW network’s Green Arrow television series continues to pick up steam as Deadline revealed that Canadian actor Stephen Amell has joined the cast of Arrow in the title role of Oliver Queen. Amell – whose previous credits include shows such as The Vampire Diaries, CSI, 90210 and Hung – will step into the role for the upcoming pilot, which is set to be directed by David Nutter (Dark Angel, Smallville, Supernatural) from a script by Andrew Kreisberg (Justice League) and Green Lantern scribes Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim…

…On the subject of Green Lantern, Ryan Reynolds had a few brief words about the chances of a sequel to Warner Bros. big-budget box office disappointment, telling MTV Splash Page that he has “no idea” when asked if he’ll be reprising his role as Hal Jordan…

…And finally, in news which really didn’t come as much of a surprise at all, it was also announced that Fox have reached a deal with British director Matthew Vaughn to continue his mutant exploits, with Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer signing on for a sequel to last year’s X-Men: First Class. The project joins fellow X-Men spin-offs The Wolverine and Deadpool in development at Fox, with X-Men: The Last Stand and Sherlock Holmes screenwriter Simon Kinberg set to pen the script and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender previously confirmed as returning to the cast.

Gary Collinson

Holy Franchise, Batman! – Arriving this June.

  • Marcusgradington

    Cant wait for the avengers!!!!..n TDKR!!!

  • http://flickeringmyth.blogspot.com/ Flickering Myth

    Yeah, shaping up to be a fantastic year for superhero movies!