The Week in Spandex – Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Dark Knight Rises, Kick-Ass 2, The Amazing Spider-Man, Arrow, Silver Surfer, The Rocketeer and more

Our weekly round up of all the big news stories from the world of screen superheroes, including The Avengers 2, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Dark Knight Rises, Justice League, The Amazing Spider-Man, Kick-Ass 2, Arrow, Daredevil, Silver Surfer, The Rocketeer, The Toxic Avenger and more…

Speaking to the Japanese press this week, Joss Whedon had a few words about his plans for The Avengers 2, as well as touching upon the as-yet-untitled ABC television series; there are a few indecipherable translations doing the rounds, but the clearest coms courtesy of Fandango: “Normally, a sequel is supposed to be bigger than the first film, but I actually think it should be smaller. In saying that though, people might ask ‘Is the volume of the film going to decrease?’ but that’s not the case… Of course, new characters will be added [to The Avengers 2] but presently we’re still trying to figure out how they’ll encounter our wonderful cast. They all have tremendous respect for each other and how you work the new characters into that synergy is something I’m still trying to figure out. I think instead of how big of a scale the movie/story is, the most important thing is, how much devotion you can put forth. Films have an ability to be large in scale but also be personal. It’s a godsend that makes the issue of adding characters irrelevant. The real question is how deep we can dig down into the story…”

…As for the TV series, Whedon wasn’t prepared to give much away, but he did confirm that “characters from The Avengers will ‘occasionally appear on the show and that the show will focus on the various conflicts between Marvel characters in a fresh, realistic manner’.” Note the use of the word ‘characters’ as opposed to ‘actors’, so perhaps we shouldn’t hold our breath for any potential cameos from the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and company…

…Of course, we’ll soon be able to get our Earth’s Mightiest Heroes fix from the comfort of our living rooms with the home entertainment release of The Avengers, and while we await the arrival of the blockbuster team-up Empire Magazine has posted a short preview clip from one of the special features, a feature-length documentary entitled Building A Cinematic Universe. The Avengers assemble on Blu-ray on September 17th in the UK and September 25th in North America…

…Elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) has joined the cast of Thor: The Dark World in the dual role of “lead villain” Algrim the Strong / Kurse, while Kat Dennings has been confirmed as reprising the role of Darcy Lewis. It’s also been reported that Anna Kendrick (Twilight), Imogen Poots (Fright Night) and Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) head the shortlist to join Chris Evans as the female lead in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (thought to be the character of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter, the niece of Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter)…

…Last week it seemed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was open to reprising the role of John Blake for a potential sequel to The Dark Knight Rises, but now he appears to be downplaying the possibility of him donning a mask as The Dark Knight’s successor, telling MTV that there’s been no discussions about whether he would portray Robin, Nightwing or Batman should the story continue: “Honestly no, we never talked about that. I know a lot of people talk about the ending of [The Dark Knight Rises] being a setup for a sequel but I don’t think that’s necessarily what it is. It’s a great, perfect ending for that trilogy…”

The Dark Knight Rises may be slipping down the box-office charts after six weeks in play, but the film has now crossed the $900m mark globally and still has a shot at surpassing The Dark Knight’s $1.003 billion to become the highest-grossing film of the Batman franchise. In the States, it’s also on course to crack the top 10 domestic releases and should overtake Disney’s The Lion King ($422m) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($423m), which will leave it in ninth behind Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial

…Earlier this month it was reported that Warner Bros. had identified Ben Affleck as the man to bring the studio’s stable of DC Comics superheroes together on the screen for Justice League, which was quickly followed by a separate report throwing water over the story by stating that The Town director had already rejected an offer. So, might he be directing Justice League or not? According to the man himself, it’s the latter: “I’m not working on the Justice League,” Affleck tells 24 Hours Vancouver. “One of the problems with entertainment web sites is that they need to fill pages, and that’s how rumours get started. Justice League sounds really exciting, but it’s not something I’m working on…”

…With Affleck seemingly out of the picture, Moviehole are reporting that Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas) have emerged as possible candidates to tackle Justice League, although whether this is true or just random speculation remains to be seen…

…Marvel’s The Avengers may look assured of the 2012 box-office crown, but how does it stack up in terms of your favourite superhero movie of the year? Well, over the past few weeks we’ve been running a poll here at Flickering Myth to determine just that, and it has to be said the results were pretty conclusive. Topping the poll was The Dark Knight Rises, with Christopher Nolan’s Batman swansong victorious by an overwhelming margin, picking up 58% of the vote, compared to 34% for The Avengers and 3% each for The Amazing Spider-Man and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (bizarrely, just two votes separated Andrew Garfield’s Spidey from Nicolas Cage’s flaming-skulled bounty hunter)…

…Judging by the results of our poll, there might not be too many about, but any Spider-Man fans may be interested in checking out a rundown of the extensive special features included on the 3D Blu-ray release (which includes the intriguing ‘Deleted Scenes A Different Fate’), along with the first details of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man Limited Edition Blu-ray Gift Set’, which includes a couple of cheap-looking figurines and a hefty price tag…

…Following the news that Fox has pulled the plug on their proposed Daredevil reboot, current Daredevil comic book writer Mark Waid has spoken to Newsarama about his hopes for the screen future of the Man Without Fear now that the rights are set to revert to Marvel: “I’d love to see [Daredevil] as a TV series rather than a movie, if given the choice — I think it’s tailor-made for an adult crime show, particularly now that we’ve clearly defined Matt and Foggy’s legal practice as advisors and coaches to those who choose to represent themselves in court for whatever reason. Get Central Casting on the line and find me a David Duchovny who can fight like Jet Li…”

Variety has announced that producer Adi Shankar’s (Dredd 3D) production company 1984 Private Defense Contractors has secured the movie rights to the comic book property Bloodstrike, which was created by Rob Liefeld (Deadpool) and originally launched back in 1993. The movie adaptation will be “aimed at creating a franchise appeal, focussing on a Bloodstrike unit consisting of a team of super-soldiers who have secretly been imbued with vampire blood – making them an elite strike force feared by all enemies…”

…According to Vulture, Disney are planning a reboot of The Rocketeer, the 1930s-set superhero property created back in 1982 by writer and artist Dave Stevens. The character took centre stage in director Joe Johnston’s (Captain America: The First Avenger) 1991 film adaptation, where he was portrayed by Billy Campbell, and although the film disappointed at the box office it has since went on to enjoy a strong cult following. Apparantly Disney are meeting with writers about the potential reboot in the coming weeks, but it should be noted that the news coincided with the release of a brand new Rocketeer comic book series from IDW Publishing, so read into that what you will…

…Sticking with potential reboots, we’ve known for a while now that a ‘family friendly’ reworking of Troma Entertainment’s 1984 cult B-movie classic The Toxic Avenger is on the horizon, and this past week its been revealed that John Travolta is attached to the film, although not in the role of Toxie himself. The reboot is set to be helmed by Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine), but could be some time away yet as Pink will direct both Bad Santa 2 and About Last Night before heading down to Tromaville…

…It’s been announced that yet another familiar face from the DC Universe will be arriving on the small screen as part of Arrow, with Aussie actress Jessica De Gouw (Tricky Business) securing the recurring guest role of Helena Bertinelli (a.k.a. The Huntress) in The CW’s upcoming live-action series. The Huntress joins a growing list of DC characters that includes the likes of Oliver Queen / Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Dinah Laurel Lance / Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell), Deadshot (Michael Rowe) and China White (Kelly Hu)…

…A concept image for a 1980s screen adaptation of the Silver Surfer has emerged online via Movies.com, which also includes a quote from producer Lee Kramer (Xanadu) in 1980, where he described his plans for what would have been the first Marvel comic book movie to make it to the screen: “We’re going to make an epic picture on the scope of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the kind of soundtrack that that film had, only using contemporary rock and roll… It’s even conceivable that the Surfer might have a chant or a fanfare made up of one thousand electric guitars. Doing the Silver Surfer has always been a dream of mine, and now it’s going to be realized.” Well, not quite…

…And finally, casting continues to come together on the upcoming sequel Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall, with reports emerging this week that Jim Carrey is being eyed for the role of The Colonel, a masked crime-fighter who assembles a team of heroes known as Justice Forever, while The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Lindy Booth (who has previously worked with director Jeff Wadlow on Cry Wolf) is in negotiations to join the cast as Night Bitch. Creator Mark Millar has announced a September 10th start date for filming on Kick-Ass 2, with the likes of Aaron Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicolas Cage, Lyndsy Fonseca, Yancy Butler, Donald Faison, Morris Chestnut and John Leguizamo all confirmed as on board, although we’re still awaiting a casting announcement for the role of the 300lb villain Mother Russia.

Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen – Available now via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Gary Collinson

Around the Internet…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002693658209 Robert McDougal

    Thanks for the news wrap up.

  • Steve

    Nolan&#39;s fans cannot conceal their envy of The Avengers, so they conquer every polls just to prove that their film is the better one. Marvel&#39;s fans do not give a damn about that because they know their movie already won. The Avengers get better reviews and much higher grossing. <br /><br />Just like in Miss World, China tried to win that beauty contest at any cost to prove to the world

  • Streaky78

    Three things from someone who enjoyed both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.<br /><br />1.) If you read industry experts feedback, TDKR would easily be over the 500 million mark if not for the shootings in Colorado. But, it is also safe to say it would still not touch the 617 million put up by The Avengers.<br /><br />2.) TDKR is for a different audience. I work with 10-12 year old kids.

  • tony

    hope you know you sound likes dumbass and really arrogant

  • Eric Boles

    The Avengers isn&#39;t the beginning. There were five movies leading to it.

  • VishGos

    Yup, TDKR is one movie which really proved to have the boiling blood of its epic predecessors. Not being a &quot;Nolanite&quot;, I&#39;d say no other comic book movies will have the character, morale and sheer pace of Nolan&#39;s trilogy, let alone the Avengers.<br /><br />The Avengers is just banking on the success of its massive marketing propaganda Marvel started 7 months ago to woo today&#39;

  • MaPol

    &quot;Dark Knight Rises&quot; was quite good, and was worth seeing. As for the other ones…they don&#39;t sound like my cup of tea.

  • RangerMaxx

    Well said! Bravo. :-)

  • RangerMaxx

    Exactly!

  • kunalnanda

    But but… None of those 5 movies had all the characters in it at the same time. Wait for The Avengers 2 to see what response the sequel will get. TDKR was the conclusion of a successful franchise and people wanted to see how all the loose ends would be tied. Like Harry Potter.<br /><br /><br />The Avengers 2 was a lot more fun, whereas TDKR was much more darker in its tone (still thoroughly