The Week in Spandex – The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel Phase Two, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Big Hero 6, Kick-Ass 2

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

We’ll kick things off this week with Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which of course swings into cinemas this coming Tuesday with a cast that includes Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker / Spidey, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. the Lizard. So far the Marc Webb-directed reboot has been attracting mostly positive reviews, but not so from our man Oliver Davis:

The cast are actually quite tremendous. Instead the film is ruined by its direction, writing and special effects… Just as Prometheus was inevitably compared with Alien, The Amazing Spider-Man will be haunted by Sam Raimi. Webb’s film is a pale imitation, and it reeks of rip-off. He can’t be blamed, though. You’d be a fool to turn down a Spider-Man film. Instead, blame the studios… They’ve cannibalised the superhero genre.

Check out Oli’s full review of The Amazing Spider-Man here.

So, with a few days still to go before we can make our own verdict, for the time being we’ll have to get our Spidey-fix from the latest wave of promotional material, which includes a selection of new clips, along with featurettes on Oscorp, the redesigned Spider-Man suit and Peter’s mechanical web-shooters. There’s also the rather nice IMAX poster at the top of this article, along with several new stills featuring all of the main players from the movie…

…Although The Amazing Spider-Man is yet to arrive in cinemas, development is already well underway on the sequel, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek) busy rewriting a first draft from TASM scribe James Vanderbilt (Zodiac). However, it seems that Marc Webb remains undecided over a return as director for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, telling The Huffington Post that: “Well, it’s a long … People ask about the sequel and I’m like, “Well, you know, I don’t know if I want to do that, but I love the process.” I love Andrew and Emma. But it’s like asking someone who has just given birth, “Do you want to get pregnant again..?”

…Just before we move on from the Spider-Man universe, speculation has emerged once more than Andrew Garfield’s wall-crawler could be set to team up with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the big-screen, this time stemming from the comic book oracle The Daily Mail, who snapped Garfield carrying a bundle of Avengers comics as he took a stroll around New York. According to Marvel.com’s Executive Editorial Director Ryan Penagos, there’s absolutely nothing more to it than Garfield being a comic book fan. To avoid any more rumours like this in future, perhaps someone should tell him to carry his comics in a bag when he’s walking around NYC having his picture taken. See, this is how rumours get started… you’d think there was a Spider-Man film coming out or something…

…While we’re talking about Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the dust may be starting to settle on Marvel’s The Avengers, but the Joss Whedon-directed ensemble has become only the third film in history to surpass $600m at the North American box-office and is currently sitting in third place in the all-time chart behind Avatar and Titanic (or second place, if you’re just taking Titanic’s original run into account). There is a chance it could catch Titanic’s $658m haul to take second, but with The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises both imminent, it’s going to have to be quick about it…

…Disney and Marvel are now pressing on with ‘Phase Two’ of the Cinematic Universe, disassembling the Avengers for a new round of solo movies; however, while Disney unveiled early logo designs for Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 and The Avengers 2 on Wednesday, the big talking point this week has been ‘The Marvel Mystery 2014 Movie’ – which, it would seem, is a mystery no longer. Despite proclaiming Black Panther as the secret project just a couple of weeks back, Latino Review broke the news that Marvel Studios’ May 16th, 2014 release will be none other than Guardians of the Galaxy, with an official announcement expected at the San Diego Comic-Con next month…

…If you were wondering which Marvel property Disney would choose as the basis for their first animated offering… well, you’d never have guessed. No, it’s not Iron Man. Or The Avengers. It is in fact the little known Japanese superhero team of Big Hero 6, with Don Hall (Meet the Robinsons, Winnie the Pooh) thought to be in the very early stages of development on a potential theatrical feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios. It’s been said that the Mouse House are looking at a potential 2014 release date for Big Hero 6, although that does seem mighty ambitious at this point in time…

…In other news from the Cinematic Universe, Edgar Wright is said to have completed production on a test reel for his long-in-development Ant-Man adaptation, which Heat Vision says “will be used to test our the potential look and tone of his movie, as well as to decide how convincing Ant-Man’s powers look on screen.” However, while Ant-Man seems to be edging ever closer to becoming a reality, it will have to wait until Wright completes work on his next project as he reunites with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the final instalment in the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’, The World’s End

…There’s less than three weeks to go now until Christopher Nolan brings the curtain down on his Batman trilogy with the arrival of The Dark Knight Rises, and although the hugely-anticipated sequel may have to take a back seat to Sony’s web-slinger this coming week, we should expect a deluge of promotional material as the July 20th release date approaches. In the meantime, WB has launched a revamped website featuring avatars, wallpapers and Facebook cover photos, as well as releasing a new TV spot that focuses on Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman…

…If you’re looking to avoid any potential spoilers on TDKR, then you may want to skip to the next paragraph now… Still here? Okay then… First up comes some minor story spoilers courtesy of a letter from Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) to Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) about a secret energy project Bruce is devising, while a new image of Bane’s (Tom Hardy) ‘Doomsday Device’ has revealed the weapon to be an experimental fusion reactor, which the villain presumably swipes from Wayne Enterprises. IGN has also speculated over the identity of the character portrayed by India Wadsworth (Shoot on Sight), uncovering publicity material that describes her role as both ‘The Warlord’s Daughter’ and ‘Mother’, while a press release for the film’s European premiere has seemingly confirmed the return of one Dr. Jonathan Crane, stating that Cillian Murphy will join Bale, Hardy, Hathaway, Freeman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Liam Neeson on the red carpet on July 18th…

…Variety’s Jeff Sneider sent pulses racing with excitement earlier this week with a Tweet stating that: “Fans of Batman and Superman will NOT have to wait until Justice League to see their favourite superheroes share the big screen.” However, while fans were dreaming of a Christian Bale / Henry Cavill team-up, Sneider then went on to reveal that the World’s Finest would be appearing as animated characters in Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) next project – a live-action / Lego animation hybrid entitled Lego: The Piece of Resistance. Will Arnett (Blades of Glory, 30 Rock) is set to lend his voice to the Dark Knight, with Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Magic Mike) said to be in the frame for the Man of Steel, schedule permitting…

…On the subject of Superman, this may be scraping the barrel a bit, but if you’re desperate for any and all things Man of Steel as we await the arrival of the first teaser trailer for the Zack Snyder-directed reboot, the Superman Homepage has posted a previously unseen set pic featuring young actors Robert Gerdisch (Whitney Fordham), Jack Foley (Pete Ross) and Dylan Sprayberry (Clark Kent)…

…The CW network has announced a Wednesday, October 10th premiere for its upcoming live-action superhero series Arrow, which is based upon DC Comics’ Emerald Archer, the Green Arrow, and stars Stephen Amell (Hung) as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell (Pan Am) as Tommy Merlyn, Katie Cassidy as Dinah Laurel Lance, David Ramsey (Dexter) as John Diggle, Willa Holland (The O.C.) as Thea Queen, Susanna Thompson (Kings) as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne (The River) as Detective Quentin Lance…

…According to Deadline, the Paramount-based Eisenberg-Fisher Productions has picked up the rights to The Human Fly – an obscure character based upon the real-life stuntman Rick which was licensed by Marvel back in the late 1970s. Alan Brewer and James Reach will produce the independent superhero feature, with Steven Goldmann (Broken Bridges, Trailer Park of Terror) set to direct from a script by Cirque du Soleil’s Tony Babinski…

…And finally, some further tidbits about Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall cropped up online earlier in the week, with MovieHole reporting that Garrett M. Brown is set to reprise his role as James Lizewski (Dave’s father), joining the already confirmed Aaron Johnson, Chloe Mortez and Christopher Mintz-Plasse in the cast for the Jeff Wadlow-directed sequel. MovieHole also went on to state that the story will be similar to Superman II in that ‘somebody’ will uncover Dave’s secret identity, as well as providing (unconfirmed) details about what’s in store for Hit Girl: “Hit-Girl’s identity is widely known by this point — and it evokes much nasty yabbering behind Mindy’s back by her schoolmates. The worst of the mean girls, Brooke, is your typical prissy jock-marrying wannabe who controls the thoughts and feelings of her teenage followers and disciples (including innocent young Lois, whom ultimately forms a bond with Mindy). But ‘Hit-Girl’, never one to shy away from a confrontation and seemingly always equipped with the perfect weapon of self defence, gets Brooke and her bitch gang back in… let’s say, rather spectacular fashion.”

Holy Franchise, Batman! – Available now via Amazon.

Hands down this is by far the most comprehensive guide to Batman on screen available” – Mark Cassidy, ComicBookMovie.com.

Holy Franchise, Batman! makes the bold claim of being ‘the Caped Crusader fan’s bible’, and lives up to its assertion” – Rob Smedley, CultBox.co.uk.

Gary Collinson

Around the Internet…

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.crooks.50 Michael Crooks

    Idk who the hell Oliver Davis is, but shut the fuck up. Any spider-man flick that has nothing to do with Sam Rami is pure gold as far as I’m concerned. Something needs to get rid of the memory of that god-awful third film.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.crooks.50 Michael Crooks

    Idk who the hell Oliver Davis is, but shut the fuck up. Any spider-man flick that has nothing to do with Sam Rami is pure gold as far as I'm concerned. Something needs to get rid of the memory of that god-awful third film.

  • doc

    Going to miss the guy that played superman from “superman returns”, he was perfect. :(

  • doc

    Going to miss the guy that played superman from "superman returns", he was perfect. :(