The Week in Spandex – Justice League, The Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, The Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men, Arrow and more

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

Considering the success of Marvel’s The Avengers, it was inevitable that Warner Bros. executives would soon cast their eye towards their very own team of DC superheroes, so it came as little surprise this week to learn that the studio has revived its plans for a live-action Justice League movie. According to reports, WB has turned to screenwriter Will Beall (Gangster Squad and the upcoming Logan’s Run and Lethal Weapon 5) to craft a script for Justice League, while Green Lantern scribes Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green are said to be working on The Flash, and fellow GL writer Michael Goldenberg penning a new take on Wonder Woman. Naturally there are plenty of rumours flying around about Warner’s plans for their DC Universe, but at the moment we know very little about any of these projects, so any chatter about Henry Cavill reprising his role from Man of Steel or the studio using Justice League as a springboard for a wave of solo superhero movies seems little more than speculation at the moment. Still, a potential Justice League movie is obviously huge news, so be sure to check out Luke Owen’s article ’5 Ways for Warner Bros. to get the Justice League Movie Right’ and feel free to add your thoughts here

…Before we get to the Justice League, there is of course the small matter of The Dark Knight Rises, and this past weekend some new footage from the hugely-anticipated sequel was introduced by director Christopher Nolan and stars Christian Bale, Gary Oldman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the MTV Movie Awards, which was mainly focussed around the three big newcomers to Nolan’s Batman world – Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake, Tom Hardy’s Bane and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. Unfortunately WB demanded the removal of said footage; if you didn’t get a chance to see it you can check out some screen grabs from the MTV Awards preview over at ComicBookMovie, otherwise you’ll need to get your Bat-fix for the week from a couple of new TV spots [see here and here]…

…At the Produced By Conference this weekend, Christopher Nolan reaffirmed that The Dark Knight Rises will deliver the conclusion to his Batman story, once again ruling out the possibility of a fourth installment: “I said to my brother [and sometimes-writing-partner Johnathan Nolan] that I didn’t want to save anything. We’re never on a specific trajectory, but I always viewed Bruce Wayne’s story in three parts. I didn’t want to hold anything back…”

…Sticking with the Caped Crusader for a moment and Warner Bros. has reached a deal with Fox to develop merchandise based around the 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo. The deal is said to include “everything from apparel to toys, home goods, publishing and promotions” and while there’s no mention of a long-overdue home-entertainment release (which has been held up due to complex rights issues with the series) this could potentially be the first step towards the campy classic finally hitting DVD (or even Blu-ray!)…

…Things have fallen quiet on the Man of Steel front lately, but a new promotional image of the Superman logo has been released ahead of next week’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, where it’s rumoured that WB could debut the first poster from the Zack Snyder-directed reboot. If that does turn out to be the case, hopefully it’ll offer up more than just the logo, which we’ve already seen twice now…

…The Amazing Spider-Man may have found itself overshadowed somewhat by The Dark Knight Rises as next month’s release dates approach, but if Twitter reactions to an early press screening are any indication, the film may turn out to be a vast improvement over what has been a fairly average marketing campaign. We will of course find out for ourselves in just over three weeks, but for now Spidey fans will have to make do with two new clips, which feature Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) hiding from the Lizard (Rhys Ifans) and Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) being chased by the police…

…Moving on to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and as filming continues on the Shane Black-directed Iron Man 3, the studio has released the first official image from next year’s solo sequel, while The Daily Mail also posted a selection of spy photos featuring cast members Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce and Happy Hogan; of more interest are the images posted over at ReelMovieNation, including signs for AIM – a.k.a. Advanced Idea Mechanics (a terrorist organisation in the comic books, but more likely changed for IM3 to the company headed up by Pearce’s Aldrich Killian) – as well as a Christmas tree, which isn’t too much of a surprise given Black’s fondness for the festive period (see Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). Finally, Latino Review are reporting that the ‘Iron Patriot’ armour we saw last week is actually nothing more than a new patriotic paint scheme for Don Cheadle’s War Machine, rather than belonging to James Badge Dale’s villain, Savin…

…Although virtually everyone from the God of Thunder’s first big screen outing is returning to the cast for the Alan Taylor-directed sequel Thor 2, Josh Dallas has vacated the role of Fandral due to TV commitments on Once Upon A Time, with Zachary Levi (Chuck) thought to be Marvel’s preferred candidate as his replacement. Meanwhile, Chris Hemsworth has briefly spoken about the sequel with MTV Splash Page, who asked him for his thoughts on Snow White and the Huntsman co-star Charlize Theron as The Enchantress, should the character appear in the sequel: “She certainly plays a pretty intimidating villain, I think she’d be awesome but I think she’s tied up in 20 other films. I think she’s going on to Mad Max next. [But] you never know. Fingers crossed…”

…Looking ahead to Marvel’s 2014 slate and directing duo Anthony and Joe Russo (You, Me and Dupree, Community) have won the race to succeed Joe Johnston for Chris Evans’ second solo outing in Captain America 2, emerging as the preferred candidates from a shortlist that previously included George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) and F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen). Elsewhere, it was also reported earlier in the week that Marvel’s other ‘mystery’ 2014 release would be none other than Black Panther, although several sources have since dismissed this as inaccurate. Either way, an official announcement on the mysterious project must surely be just around the corner now…

…And while we’re on the subject of the Cinematic Universe, be sure to check out a fantastic in-depth article from Flickering Myth’s own Trevor Hogg looking at the making of Marvel’s blockbuster superhero team-up The Avengers, which features a tonne of images alongside insightful contributions from visual effects supervisors Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Bryan Grill, Simon Maddison, Dan Rosen and Alessandro Cioffi, as well as Creative Director Steve Viola…

…The rumour that The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is set for cancellation has been confirmed by Marvel, with a press release stating that: “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes won’t be renewed for the 3rd season. Marvel Animation will present their newly developed series Marvel’s Avengers Assemble in 2013.” Included with the press release was the first promotional art for the new show, which will likely join Ultimate Spider-Man (which has been renewed for a second season) and the upcoming Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. as part of Disney XD’s ‘Marvel Universe’ programming block. I wonder if they’ll change the name here in the UK – you know, so we don’t get it mixed up with the live-action version…

…Some potential plot details have emerged for Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming ‘Untitled X-Men Sequel’, stemming from reports that Fox has registered the title ‘Days of Future Past’ with the MPAA Title Registration Bureau. ‘Days of Future Past’ is the classic X-Men story arc focussing on an alternative future timeline, which has immediately led to speculation that X-Men: First Class cast members such as James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence could find themselves joined by familiar faces from the previous installments of the X-Men franchise. If this does prove to be the inspiration for the sequel’s storyline, then it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine Hugh Jackman donning the adamantium claws once again following the release of next year’s solo outing The Wolverine

…Ahead of its premiere later this year, an extended trailer has been released for the CW’s Arrow television series, along with some new international sales artwork. Arrow is produced by the creative team of Andrew Kreisberg (Fringe), Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern), and will see Stephen Amell (Hung) following in the footsteps of Smallville’s Justin Hartley by bringing DC Comics’ Emerald Archer to the small screen…

…Switching to DC’s animated output and a new clip has made its way online from Warner Premiere’s latest direct-to-video feature Superman vs. The Elite, which is released in North America this coming Tuesday (June 12th). Also included on the DVD / Blu-ray is an extended preview of the next installment in the ‘DC Comics Premiere Movies’ line, the animated adaptation Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, and you can check out a sneak peek of the content over at IdleHands

…Warner Bros. Animation has also announced that the young superhero team Teen Titans are to return for a new half-hour comedy-action series entitled Teen Titans Go!. Executive produced by Sam Register (Green Lantern: The Animated Series, The Looney Tunes Show, Teen Titans) and produced by Michael Jelenic (ThunderCats, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Aaron Horvath (MAD, El Tigre), Teen Titans Go! will see the principal voice cast from the original Teen Titans series – Greg Cipes as Beast Boy, Scott Menville as Robin, Khary Payton as Cyborg, Tara Strong as Raven and Hynden Walch as Starfire – all reprising their roles, and is set join Cartoon Network’s ‘DC Nation’ programming block next year…

…And finally, a few weeks back we heard that Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe would be keen to slip into some tights for a superhero movie, and now Twilight star Robert Pattinson has stated that he’s also ‘desperate’ to get in on the act. Speaking on CBC Television’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight to promote his latest film Cosmopolis, the talk shifted to comic book movies, with Pattinson full of praise for Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight before admitting that “I’m desperately trying to get a superhero movie now.” So then, any suggestions for a good fit?

Gary Collinson

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  • Barrie Phillips

    I'd like to see Justice League brought to the big screen as long as it's done right,no more travesties.

  • http://twitter.com/CGLuke_O Luke Owen

    Wasn't Pattinson rumoured to be the front runner for Daredevil? Not for nothing, but I think he'd make an excellent Matt Murdock.

  • Oliver Davis

    I speedily read this wrong as &#39;no more transvestites&#39;.<br /><br />Also – is that a Blue Lantern in the first photo? That was way ahead of its time.

  • Pezgod

    If they ever decide to do another Batman movie, they should bring back the Joker. Heath did an awesome job, and to take over should be no other than Mark Hamill. He has the skills to pull it off.

  • lind

    Pattinson was joking. He was not being serious at all.

  • lind

    That rumor was fake.

  • Jgmazzitelli

    I can&#39;t believe they are canning earths mightiest heroes that cartoon is awesome