The Week in Spandex – The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, X-Men, The Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America 2 and more

Our weekly round-up of the big news stories from the world of movie superheroes…

With Marvel’s The Avengers arriving in cinemas in just a few short weeks, you’d expect Disney to kick the marketing campaign up a gear, but when said marketing campaign has already been in overdrive for the last couple of months, things can start to get a bit overwhelming. There’s been so much Avengers-related promotional material this past week, it’s starting to seem like the only thing we don’t know about the movie is the identity of those pesky aliens (or perhaps we already do, if these Heroclix figurines are to be believed). So, what have the past seven days brought us then? Well for starters, the embargo was lifted on sites lucky enough to receive an invitation to visit the set, with Collider, SuperHeroHype and AintItCool all putting together decent reports that also include interviews with Joss Whedon and the majority of the cast. Everyone’s favourite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) got his own character poster, while there were also new promo shots of Captain America (Chris Evans) and The Incredible Hulk (a mo-capped Mark Ruffalo), a clip featuring Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and a selection of new TV spots that you can view here, here, here and here – the latter of which sees Cap instructing Hulk to “smash”…

…If that’s not more than enough to satisfy your Avengers cravings for the week, Disney and Marvel Studios have announced that Chris Evans will return for a second solo outing as super solider Steve Rogers when Captain America 2 hits cinemas in April 2014. ‘Phase Two’ of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will also include next year’s sequels Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, while the studio still have an as-yet-unrevealed project slated for release in May 2014. Potential candidates include Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Inhumans or maybe even The Avengers 2

…It’s been another quiet week from The Dark Knight Rises camp, although we did get our hands on a better quality version of the recent promo shot of Anne Hathaway’s gun-toting Catwoman [which you can obviously see over there on the left], while a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a special feature for The Dark Knight Rises home-entertainment release also hit the web, which brought together all five live-action Batmobiles [design-wise, my personal favourite would have to be Anton Furst’s 1989 incarnation, but man I’d sure love to take Adam West’s ride out for a spin]. Meanwhile, Wally Pfister spoke to British Cinematographer about shooting TDKR, while supporting actor Christopher Judge (Stargate SG-1) also took part in a couple of interviews, where he spoke about working with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, as well as his thoughts on filming a fight scene with Joseph Gordon-Levitt [the one that happened to result in Judge suffering an injury]…

…In other Bat-related news, Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Alan Burnett – whose long association with the Caped Crusader includes Super Friends, Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, The Batman and Batman: Gotham Knight – has spoken to WorldsFinestOnline about the 2003 direct-to-video DCAU feature, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, which is set to arrive on Blu-ray later this year. To read more from Burnett, be sure to check back here at Flickering Myth on Wednesday for an exclusive interview where he discusses in depth his time on the classic (and now twenty-year-old) Batman: TAS

…Last week we got our first look at the logo for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and now Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have made a high-resolution version of the logo available, along with a revised synopsis (that still doesn’t give much away): “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 twenty-something journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond his imagination. Transported years ago to Earth from Krypton, a highly advanced, distant 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 discovers having extraordinary abilities means making difficult decisions. When the world is in dire need of stability, an even greater threat emerges. Clark must become a Man of Steel, to protect the people he loves and shine as the world’s beacon of hope – Superman…”

…Any talk of potential scheduling conflicts for actress Jennifer Lawrence for the sequels to X-Men: First Class and The Hunger Games has been laid to rest with The Hollywood Reporter stating that Fox has eyed a January start date for Matthew Vaughn’s mutant sequel, allowing Lionsgate to continue with their plans to shoot Catching Fire this August. With that in mind, we can presumably look to a summer 2014 release for First Class 2, meaning fans will have to settle for Hugh Jackman’s return in The Wolverine for their X-Men fix next year…

…Some fairly low-quality video clips from The Amazing Spider-Man have made their way online this past week; the pick of the bunch perhaps is a scene showing Spidey (Andrew Garfield) toying with a petty crook as he tests out his new webbing [here], while the others show Peter Parker accidentally destroying his bathroom [here], shocking subway passengers [here] and chatting with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) for what looks to be the first time [here]…

…Last weekend Marvel Animation debuted their newest small screen take on the web-crawler as Ultimate Spider-Man premiere on Disney XD’s Marvel Universe programming block, and consulting producer / writer Brian Michael Bendis briefly touched upon the show in an interview with OregonLive, as well as updating the status of FX’s live-action Powers adaptation: “The pilot is done, and based on the strength of that, FX has ordered more scripts. Slowly, but surely, we’re moving forward. It’s not on the air, but any movement is good in television, so it’s a good sign…”

…While it probably won’t have much appeal to older audiences, development continues on a feature film adaptation of the popular children’s superhero property Ben 10 from Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver (The Matrix, Sherlock Holmes), with creators Duncan Rouleau and Steven Seagle providing a brief update on its current status: “It’s a live action film as far as we know… They’ve commissioned a script, which is exciting and we had a lot of cool conversations with Joel Silver the time we met with him about even which version it’ll be, what aliens kids like, and it’s super fun. But it’s super early, so not a lot has been firmly decided…”

…Despite our friends in the United States waking up every Saturday morning to new episodes of Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice as part of Cartoon Network’s DC Nation, here in the U.K. we’ll have to make do with a selection of images and clips from the latest episodes, which you can check out here

…And finally, if you were wondering how director Josh Trank and his VFX team achieved those rather impressive flying sequences in the low-budget super powers hit Chronicle, then you might want to check out this short behind-the-scenes featurette courtesy of The Daily (via SlashFilm).

Gary Collinson

Holy Franchise, Batman! – Now available for pre-order from Amazon.

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