The Week in Spandex – The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Iron Man 3, Justice League, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Incredible Hulk and more

Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, S.H.I.E.L.D., Planet Hulk, The Avengers 3, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Justice League, Arrow, Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite, Superman: Unbound, Ultimate Spider-Man, Iron Man: Rise of Technovore and more…

Andrew Garfield The Amazing Spider-Man

Although the 2013 superhero movie season doesn’t begin for a few months yet, cameras have already started rolling on one of next year’s big comic book adaptations, with filming on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 getting underway this past week in New York City. Coinciding with the start of the shoot was an official synopsis from Sony:

In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, for Peter Parker, life is busy – between taking out the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the person he loves, Gwen, high school graduation can’t come quickly enough. Peter hasn’t forgotten about the promise he made to Gwen’s father to protect her by staying away – but that’s a promise he just can’t keep. Things will change for Peter when a new villain, Electro, emerges, an old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, and Peter uncovers new clues about his past…”

…While we’re yet to see any spy photos, director Marc Webb has been posting a series of behind-the-scenes images on his Twitter, and while they’re mostly unrevealing, one shot has led to speculation that Eddie Brock / Venom could be set to make an appearance in the sequel, where he’d an increasing roster of Spidey villains that includes Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Electro and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) as the Rhino; also set to feature alongside the returning Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) and Sally Field (Aunt May) are Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) as Mary-Jane Watson and Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) as Harry Osborn, while Colm Feore (24, Thor) has also been announced as joining the cast in an unspecified role. We know Oscorp is set to feature heavily once again, so could Feore be playing Norman Osborn? If so, that’s a hell of a lot of bad guys for one film, and like Chris Cooper stated in his opinion piece here on Flickering Myth this week, we could be just a Peter Parker dance routine away from a Spider-Man 3 scenario…

Iron Man 3 movie poster

…Shifting to this year’s releases and Disney and Marvel Studios debuted two new TV spots for Iron Man 3 during last weekend’s Super Bowl, which gave us a look at the plane rescue sequence glimpsed at last year in a series of spy photos from the Wilmington set, as well as an ‘extended look’ from Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, which also featured some new footage from the Shane Black-directed solo sequel. According to a survey conducted by MovieTickets, the Iron Man 3 TV spot ranked the highest of all the Super Bowl spots, which included previews of Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Into Darkness, Oz the Great and Powerful, World War Z, The Lone Ranger, Snitch and 21 and Over. If for some reason you’re yet to see the Iron Man 3 TV spots, you can check out here, or head over to ComicBookMovie for a series of hi-res screengrabs…

…In other Marvel Phase Two news, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Bullet to the Head) has offered up a few more thoughts about his dual role as Algrim the Strong and Kurse in director Alan Taylor’s (Game of Thrones) Thor: The Dark World during interviews with Hero Complex and Media Mikes, while Chris Evans has revealed that he’s yet to receive the script for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which has led to speculation that filming on Cap’s second solo adventure could be pushed back until June. Evans also went on to state that the Captain America sequel will feature cameos from other Avengers, which is presumably in addition to the already confirmed Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)…

…After an arduous search that saw virtually every actor in Hollywood linked to the role, Marvel Studios and director James Gunn (Super) have finally found their leader for Guardians of the Galaxy, with Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation, Zero Dark Thirty) securing the part of Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. Pratt’s casting brings an end to intense speculation about the role, with the actor apparently fending off competition from the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), John Krasinski (The Office), Zachary Levi (Thor: The Dark World), Lee Pace (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Joel Edgerton (Warrior), Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables), Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas), Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games), Chris Lowell (The Help) and Cam Gigandet (Priest). So, one Guardian down, four more to go…

Ant-Man movie logo…Looking further ahead to Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and British filmmaker Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) has spoken about his long-gestating Ant-Man adaptation, which is set to hit cinemas on November 6th, 2015: “It’s a way of doing a superhero film within another genre… I wanted to tell an origin tale in a slightly different way. It’s part of the Marvel cinematic universe, but it also feels like its own piece… I’ve been collaborating with Kevin Feige during the whole [development] cycle. I think people have always assumed… ‘Oh why is it taking so long to make?’ Part of it is because I wanted to make two other movies first. I wanted to make World’s End… me and Simon [Pegg] were very keen to make it and it felt like it was unfinished business and we wanted to wrap up the trilogy… But to be honest, the later I do [Ant-Man], it feels like I could learn more, especially about special effects. It’s a big effects movie, so I’m pleased to go into it having done Scott Pilgrim and The World’s End because you’re always learning more about that side…”

…Presumably, we’ve still got a bit of a wait on our hands before we learn who’ll be playing Hank Pym in Ant-Man, and while there have been rumours that Alan Tudyk (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) could be in the frame to portray the miniature superhero, the former Firefly star has moved to play down the speculation during a recent interview with Hypable: “I’ve heard about [the Ant-Man rumours], but no. I’m a fan of ants, but no.” Tudyk also went on to deny he’s set to guest star in Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, which is currently being directed by Joss Whedon: “I just saw Joss the other day. I just went and checked out the… what is that show they’re doing? S.H.I.E.L.D. Not SWAT. Shows how much I know about it. I just happened to be on the lot where they were shooting, and I was leaving and a Firefly fan was there who worked on the lot, and they asked if I was there to see S.H.I.E.L.D. And I was like, ‘what? They’re here?!’ So I texted Jed Whedon and was like, ‘where the hell are you?’ And I went by and Joss was there, it was very cool…”

…If rumours are to be believed, The Incredible Hulk will be taking centre stage in Phase Three of the MCU, with El Mayimbe of Latino Review dropping a ‘scoop’ during last weekend’s Super Bowl by claiming that the studio has plans to adapt the Planet Hulk storyline for The Incredible Hulk 2, leading to a World War Hulk adaptation for The Avengers 3. So far, Marvel has refused to respond to the report, although Kevin Feige has previously teased the possibility of both comic book stories being adapted for the screen post-The Avengers 2

…As Bryan Singer gears up for a return to the X-Men universe for next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, the filmmaker has been speaking to MTV about the possibility of using the same motion-capture technology from his upcoming fairytale adventure Jack the Giant Slayer on the forthcoming sequel: “I definitely want to use this technology again, and I might even be using some of it in a different way in X-Men. I don’t wanna say how, yet, but I’m definitely using some of this technology on X-Men which I never used in any of the other X-Men films.” Considering said motion-capture technology was used to realise the giants in Jack the Giant Slayer, there’s a pretty good chance Singer could be talking about the mutant-hunting Sentinels, but the director refused to confirm whether he’s planning on creating a fully CGI character: “That’s the thing I don’t want to talk about. I’m not sure. I’m doing research on it now…”

…Having recently been confirmed as joining the cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Shawn Ashmore spoke to IGN about returning to the role of Iceman: “When I heard it was Days of Future Past I knew it was time travel, but the only time I ever really thought, ‘Oh, maybe I’m actually going to be a part of this’ is when Bryan came back to direct. And that’s just because we have a relationship and had worked together before. I just thought, ‘Oh, maybe Bryan would want to bring back some of the people he worked with before.’ I haven’t read the script, but I have a very good idea of what’s happening and what my role is. I know, but I’m sworn to secrecy… I think the take on the story is really interesting. I think that Days of Future Past, as any X-Men fan knows, is a great arc. I love the idea of combining and bringing some cohesion to the two timelines that are happening now. I think that’s exciting. Obviously the X-Men: First Class cast is incredible, and having Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman interact with other cast members is going to be really exciting. Not only is the combination of the cast going to be really cool, but the story itself is going to be really fun.” Days of Future Past is gearing up to go into production, with a cast that also includes James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Anna Paquin (Rogue) and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde)…

Justice League

…While Disney, Sony and Fox seem to be moving full steam ahead with their various Marvel properties, the same cannot be said for Warner Bros. and its stable of DC Comics characters; although the studio has Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel set to arrive in cinemas this summer, it seems the long-rumoured Justice League adaptation has hit a brick wall, with reports emerging this week that WB has decided to pull the plug on Will Beall’s (Gangster Squad) script for the superhero ensemble, which has been described as “half-baked” and “terrible”, and is allegedly the reason why Warner Bros. has been unable to secure a director for the project. According to El Mayimbe, Ben Affleck (Argo) was offered the gig (despite Affleck’s numerous denials), with the studio also allegedly keen for him to step in front of the camera too by succeeding Christian Bale as the rebooted Dark Knight. Meanwhile, with Warner Bros. heading back to the drawing board for Justice League, acclaimed writer-producer Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series) responded to a tweet suggesting he should script the project:Sorry. Went that route w/ Batman Beyond. Ick. If I write a superhero flick it’s with my own character. Less expectation, more fun…”

…There’s obviously plenty of apprehension within Warner Bros. about bringing Justice League to the screen, but it’s not just confined to the studio; speaking to SciFiNow, 20th Century Fox’s Marvel consultant Mark Millar stated his belief that any attempt to assemble DC’s iconic team of superheroes is simply a recipe for disaster: “I actually think the big problem for them is the characters are just too out of date. The characters were created 75 years ago, even the newest major character was created 68 years ago, so they’re in a really weird time. Now the stuff I grew up with… I adored the DC stuff growing up but really, how do you do a movie about Green Lantern? His power is that he manifests green plasma from his imagination and uses them as weapons against someone? Even that in itself if you just imagine then watching a fight scene with a guy who’s like a hundred feet away making plasma manifestations fight someone – it’s not exactly raucous, getting up close and personal. The Flash has door handles on the side of his mask and if he doesn’t wear that mask, I’ll be pissed off, you know what I mean? They’re in a weird, weird situation – if you’ve got a guy who moves at the speed of light up against the Weather Wizard and Captain Cold or whatever, then your movie’s over in two seconds… You can get away with stuff in comics that in live action’s just a bit sucky – the best one is definitely Aquaman. Aquaman can’t even talk under water. If you think about it in comics it’s fine, you just have a speech balloon, but how do you have Atlantis and people talking under water? Are they gonna talking telepathically? Is it going to be body forms? The actual logistics of each member of the Justice League is disastrous, and you put them all together and I think you get an excellent way of losing $200 million…”

Jude Law in Road to Perdition

…During an interview with Collider, Jude Law (Road to Perdition, Side Effects) was asked whether he had any interest in appearing in Justice League or one of Marvel’s forthcoming Phase Two movies: “That’s a good idea. I mean, I’m quite interested at the moment, nothing’s lined up, but I’m quite interested at the moment to do something a little more action-y, I’ve done quite a few quite cerebral, period movies and I’d quite like to do something like that… I’m a massive comic book fan. I was buying weekly installments of Watchmen, and From Hell, and Parallax and Johnny Nemo. I was a huge comic book fan as a kid and I still am, I still am to a degree… Yeah, it’s definitely something I would like to get involved in if, again if the director’s right and the piece is right and the part is right. I was sad not to be a part of Watchmen when they made the movie, but I was busy doing something else…”

…Moving to the small screen and The CW has released a new extended promo for this week’s episode of the hit superhero series Arrow, along with an official episode synopsis: “After Oliver (Stephen Amell) is shot, he turns to a surprising person for help – Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Diggle (David Ramsey) is stunned when he sees Felicity walk through the front door of the lair dragging a dying Oliver behind her, and the two team up to save Oliver’s life. As Oliver (Stephen Amell) hovers between life and death, he flashes back to a seminal event on the island – a daring escape attempt with his new friend Slade Wilson (guest star Manu Bennett).” Ahead of his introduction, Spartacus: War of the Damned star Manu Bennett discussed his role as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke in an interview with ET Online, while two future guest stars have also been announced, with Chin Han (The Dark Knight) set to portray Frank Chen, “a successful businessman and old friend of the Queen family” who is also a member of Malcom Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) mysterious group ‘The Undertaking’, and Grammy nominated musician Steve Aoki set to feature as himself in the episode ‘The Huntress Returns’…

Young Justice Cheshire

…In addition to a recurring guest star role on Arrow as China White, Kelly Hu also lends her voice to the character of Cheshire on Young Justice, and the actress took a moment to discussion Cartoon Network’s recent cancellation of the popular series during an interview with MTV Geek; of course, Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series still have their respective seasons to finish up before the axe falls, so as always be sure to head on over to The World’s Finest for clips and images from this weekend’s episodes, along with the latest DC Nation Short, Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld – Level 4: The Turquoise

…Warner Bros. has announced that regular Lex Luthor voice Clancy Brown (Highlander, The Shawshank Redemption) will attend the premiere of LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite at The Paley Center for Media in New York on Monday evening, following which he’ll take part in a discussion panel featuring Batman and Superman voice actors Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City) and Travis Willingham (Avengers Assemble, The Super Hero Squad Show), along with director/producer Jon Burton and director of photography Jeremy Pardon. If you’d like to attend the premiere and Q&A, a limited number of tickets are available to fans on a first come, first served basis; for more details, see here

…WB has also revealed that the next entry in the DC Universe Original Animated Movies series, Superman: Unbound, will receive a North American release on May 7th, as well as debuting the Blu-ray cover art and an updated synopsis for the direct-to-video feature: “Based on the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank 2008 release ‘Superman: Brainiac,’ Superman: Unbound finds the horrific force responsible for the destruction of Krypton – Brainiac – descending upon Earth. Brainiac has crossed the universe, collecting cities from interesting planets – Kandor, included – and now the all-knowing, ever-evolving android has his sights fixed on Metropolis. Superman must summon all of his physical and intellectual resources to protect his city, the love of his life, and his newly-arrived cousin, Supergirl. The film’s stellar voice cast is led by Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Superman, John Noble (Fringe, The Lord of the Rings films) as Brainiac, Stana Katic (Castle) as Lois Lane and Molly Quinn (Castle) as Supergirl…”

…Shifting to Marvel’s animated offerings and this weekend’s episode of Ultimate Spider-Man sees a guest appearance from one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as Hawkeye teams up with Spider-Man to tackle The Beetle. Hawkeye is voiced by LEGO Batman’s Troy Baker, who will also voice the character in the upcoming animated series Avengers Assemble. Watch a clip from the ‘Hawkeye’ episode here

…And finally, another Avenger is getting the animated treatment this Spring with the release of the direct-to-video movie Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, and Marvel has released six new images from the anime-inspired feature, featuring shots of Iron Man (voiced by Matthew Mercer; Resident Evil Damnation), The Punisher (voiced by Norman Reedus; The Walking Dead), Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury and War Machine. Iron Man: Rise of Technovore is set for a North American release on April 16th, while the Armored Avenger also teams up with the Green Goliath on April 23rd with the arrival of another animated movie, Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United, paving the way for Tony Stark’s live-action return in Iron Man 3.

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://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

    Jude Law should’ve been in Ironman 3 totally missed opportunity , and it makes perfect sense for cameos in Captain america since his story is the most shield related and sets up Avengers 2, great planning I only wish Marvel would release two movies in 2015 i’m greedy

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

      Good news – Marvel do have two films in 2015 – The Avengers 2 and Ant-Man

      • http://delusionallosers.wordpress.com/ Anthony Donovan Stokes

        OMG you’re right. I should’ve known that don’t revoke my Marvel fan boy credentials

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.d.stokes.3 Anthony Donovan Stokes

    Jude Law should've been in Ironman 3 totally missed opportunity , and it makes perfect sense for cameos in Captain america since his story is the most shield related and sets up Avengers 2, great planning I only wish Marvel would release two movies in 2015 i'm greedy

  • http://twitter.com/HolyFranchise HolyFranchiseBatman!

    Good news – Marvel do have two films in 2015 – The Avengers 2 and Ant-Man

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.d.stokes.3 Anthony Donovan Stokes

    OMG you're right. I should've known that don't revoke my Marvel fan boy credentials