The Week in Spandex – Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Superman Lives, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Justice League and more

Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Kick-Ass 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, S.H.I.E.L.D., Doctor Strange, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Elektra, Justice League, Superman Lives, Superman: Flyby, Arrow, Amazon, Ultimate Spider-Man, Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, Inhumans, Beware the Batman, Teen Titans Go!, Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2, Batman: The Killing Joke, LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite, Superman: Unbound and more…

Henry Cavill Superman Man of Steel

We’ll start things off this week with a round-up of all the superhero goodness packed into the the latest issue of Empire; if you’re yet to pick it up you can check out some of the comic book movie content online, including new images of Superman (Henry Cavill), General Zod (Michael Shannon) and Jor-El (Russell Crowe) from Man of Steel [see here], along with  comments from Cavill, director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer [see here]; a shot of Hugh Jackman suited up (not that kind of suited up) as Logan in The Wolverine, and some info from producer Hutch Parker about how Wolverine finds himself in Japan following the events of X-Men: The Last Stand [see here]; Rebecca Hall, director Shane Black and Marvel president Kevin Feige discussing Hall’s role as Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3 [see here]; a behind-the-scenes shot of Chris Hemsworth and director Alan Taylor on the set of Thor: The Dark World [see here] and a few words from executive producer Craig Kyle about what to expect from the God of Thunder’s second solo outing [see here]; and three images from Kick-Ass 2, featuring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kick-Ass, Jim Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes and Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl [see here]…

…It’s the Super Bowl this Sunday, which means that the Hollywood studios will be throwing millions into advertising their big 2013 offerings, and while we’re set for sneak peeks at the likes of The Lone Ranger, The Fast and the Furious 6, Oz the Great and Powerful, Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z, the sole superhero offering (barring any surprises) will be that of a new 60-second TV spot for Marvel’s Iron Man 3. To build anticipation for this latest look at the film, Marvel released a a short 15-second teaser and new poster featuring a free-falling Iron Man (after The Avengers, this is starting to become a bit of a habit for Tony), along with a new image of Rebecca Hall’s Maya Hansen. Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. has been taking part in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, during which he discusses reuniting with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director Shane Black, Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of the Mandarin, filming the movie in China and much more [read parts one, two, three and four]…

Marvel NOW Guardians of the Galaxy #1

…Earlier this week, Robert Downey Jr. also hinted at the possibility of other Marvel superheroes popping up for cameos in Iron Man 3: “We can’t help it — everywhere you look now in every Marvel movie there are opportunities where certain new pals of [Tony’s] could be useful. So they’re in the atmosphere, so to speak, but I wouldn’t expect to see them on the ground in this one.” This – coupled with an image of a ‘Deep Space Iron Man’ Pop! vinyl figure from toy company Funko (which we’ve been asked to remove) – immediately sparked speculation about a possible post-credits scene to set up James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is given even more weight when you consider Tony Stark’s guest appearance in Marvel NOW!’s Guardians of the Galaxy #1. Considering that Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t have anywhere near the same kind of public recognition as any of Marvel’s other Phase Two movies, it makes sense that Marvel would take every available opportunity to raise awareness, and I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Iron Man making an appearance in GotG when it arrives in cinemas in 2014…

…It seems that directors Anthony and Joe Russo have found their female lead for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with up-and-coming actress Emily VanCamp (Brothers & Sisters, Revenge) joining the likes of Chris Evans (Captain America), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Toby Jones (Arnim Zola), Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and Frank Grillo (Crossbones) in the cast of next year’s sequel for a role thought to be that of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter. Other actresses rumoured to have been on Marvel’s radar for the part included Mary Elizabeth Winstead (A Good Day to Die Hard), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Teresa Palmer (I Am Number Four), Imogen Poots (Fright Night) and Alison Brie (Mad Men)…

…From one female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to another, and Cobie Smulders has briefly spoken about the chances of Maria Hill making a guest appearance in the currently-in-production S.H.I.E.L.D. TV pilot from The Avengers director Joss Whedon during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “I can’t really talk too much about it because there’s some talks about it, regarding Maria Hill. But Joss Whedon is a genius and any opportunity that I have to say words that he has written I will take. Clark Gregg [Agent Phil Coulson], this is sort of his show. I love Clark and want to be apart of it. But we’ll see…”

Doctor Strange

…A couple of weeks back, Roman Coppola (revealed that he’d attempted to get a Doctor Strange movie off the ground back in the early 90s, with his cousin Nicolas Cage as the Sorcerer Supreme. Following the news that Marvel Studios plans to include Doctor Strange as part of its Phase Three line-up, Flickering Myth’s Trevor Hogg asked Coppola whether he still had any interest in tackling the Master of the Mystic Arts: “Nowadays it’s over saturated with comic book movies. It has lessened in my mind. In the past, 15 to 20 years ago, when I talked about Doctor Strange most of the comic book movies were terrible. They’ve [I’m speaking of the Marvel Universe] managed to make them more true to the spirit of the comics as I recall reading them as a boy. If someone said to me, ‘We’d love you to do Doctor Strange. Run with it. What’s your take on it?’ I’d be delighted to have a shot at that but it seems that many comic book movies are made with a certain mentality that pervades all of them. If I had my choice I’d rather do an individualistic than a factory movie but you never know. I’m open to whatever adventure comes my way…”

…Could Marvel’s Cinematic Universe be set to spread beyond the characters held by Disney? In the run up to The Avengers, there were plenty of rumours that Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man could make a cameo appearance in Joss Whedon’s mega-blockbuster, and now with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gearing up to go into production, director Marc Webb has stoked the fires once more with a tweet suggesting that he’s building something “bigger” that a Spider-Man universe. Meanwhile, it’s also been reported that Paul Giamatti (Sideways) has entered negotiations with Sony to join the cast of the superhero sequel as the armored supervillain Rhino, while Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) is being lined up for an unspecified role; should the duo be confirmed, they would join fellow Spidey newcomers Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Electro, Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) as Harry Osborn and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) as Mary Jane Watson, while Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Sally Field (Aunt May) and Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben) all return alongside Andrew Garfield…

X-Men: Days of Future Past

…As Bryan Singer prepares to bring Fox’s two X-Men timelines together for next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past (which has been revealed as taking place – at least partially – in 1973, ten years after the events of X-Men: First Class), the director has been discussing how he plans to remain faithful to the earlier movies, as well as incorporating elements from the celebrated 1982 comic book arc: “It has a lot of aspects of the comic. The actual comic of Days Of Future Past had a whole ton of stuff going on, so it’s like any of these things; you have to distill it. But I think the fans will be pleased that some of the most exciting parts of Days Of Future Past are going to be connected to this movie… I’m taking into account every movie – I’m not just grabbing my first two movies and First Class and smashing them together. I’m taking into account the entire universe as it’s been laid out so far on the screen, and really respecting it and trying to work with that. People took things in various directions, so there’s some clean-up, but ultimately I’m not just ignoring them either…”

…Singer also added three more names to the ever expanding cast of Days of Future Past this week, announcing that Shawn Ashmore (Iceman), Anna Paquin (Rogue) and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) would all join the previously announced James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (Professor X) and Ian McKellen (Magneto). According to Fox’s Marvel creative consultant Mark Millar, “Kitty Pryde fans will not be disappointed” by her role in the film, nor will those itching to see the Sentinels on the big screen: “I don’t really want to give too much away but the Sentinels are a big feature of this story. They will be cool and this will deliver on all of the teasers. We’ve all been waiting for this ever since X-Men: The Last Stand showed us one of their heads. Now it is finally coming, and we only have to pay ten quid to see it in the cinema…”

…While we’re on the subject of Millar and his various movie projects, he’s also revealed that plans are afoot to follow up this year’s Kick-Ass 2 with a closing chapter in the life of the costumed crime-fighter: “”Kick-Ass 3 is going to be the last one… I told Universal this and they asked me, ‘What does that mean?’ I said, ‘It means that this is where it all ends.’ They said, ‘Do they all die at the end?’ I said, ‘Maybe’ – because this is a realistic superhero story. And if someone doesn’t have a bullet proof vest like Superman and doesn’t have Batman’s millions then eventually he is going turn around the wrong corner and get his head kicked in or get shot in the face [laughs]. So Kick-Ass needs to reflect that. There has to be something dramatic at the end, he cannot do this for the rest of his life…”

Jennifer Garner Elektra

…Fox may have lost the rights to Daredevil, but if the studio is looking to expand its Marvel output beyond X-Men and Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, there’s always the possibility of an Elektra reboot – although considering the absolute travesty that was the 2005 movie, it’s probably still a little too soon (ie. way too soon). Anyway, fans weren’t the only ones disappointed by the Jennifer Garner-headlined Daredevil spin-off, with screenwriter Stu Zicherman expressing his embarrassment over the film in a chat with BadAssDigest: “Elektra is one of the reasons I got into television. I spent a year writing the movie, and it was supposed to be this gigantic movie and then they decide they’re not going to make an $80M movie they’re going to make a $30M movie, they bring in a director we didn’t know, you get fired, someone else comes in and rewrites the entire movie but you still get credit because you wrote the first draft. Then you go to the premiere in Las Vegas and 30-seconds into the movie you’re like oh, f*ck… I literally, to this day, am still so embarrassed by that movie. I probably shouldn’t say this but I know Jennifer Garner is too. She hired us to write the movie which was pitched as something much more smart and sophisticated….it’s a blemish…”

…With all this talk of shared Marvel universes, it’s easy to forget that Warner Bros. has its own plans for a cohesive DC universe; however, if you’ve been wondering why the long-rumoured Justice League movie is yet to receive an official green light from the studio, despite it being virtually common knowledge that the studio is looking towards a 2015 release date, it could have something to do with the fact that WB is still reeling from the box office disappointment of every DC adaptation outside of the Batman and Superman franchises. Over the past fifteen years, the only two major box office successes the studio has enjoyed from its DC properties are The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and it seems that executives are reluctant to move full steam ahead on Justice League until they see how Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel performs this summer. So, no pressure then…

Nicolas Cage Superman Lives

…While we’re on the subject of the Man of Steel, we’ve had a little insight into two aborted projects this past week; along with a new image of Nicolas Cage suited up in a costume test for Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, The Superman Homepage posted Wesley Strick’s (Batman Returns) draft of the script for the failed 90s project [see here], along with a 2003 draft of Superman: Flyby from new Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams [see here]…

…Moving on to the small screen and Arrow star Stephen Amell has spoken about the success of The CW’s Green Arrow adaptation during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, while a new promo has been released for this week’s episode ‘Betrayal’, which features a guest appearance from David Anders (Once Upon a Time) as Cyrus Vanch, the series’ first original villain. Here’s the official episode synopsis: Cyrus Vanch (Anders), a nefarious criminal, is recently released from prison and intends to re-secure his position as leader of the underworld. His first step is to take down his biggest opponent in the city – Arrow (Amell). Meanwhile, Oliver shows Moira (Susanna Thompson) his father’s notebook and questions her about the names on the list. Thea (Willa Holland) is miserable as she starts her internship with Laurel (Katie Cassidy) at the legal aid office and Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) makes a deadly mistake that puts Laurel in the crosshairs of Vanch…”

…Despite the fact that Arrow is delivering one of The CW’s biggest hits in years, the network has decided to roll the proposed Wonder Woman pilot Amazon back until the 2013-2014 season, although there’s still a chance that it could go into production sooner should the script impress. Amazon is being written by Allan Heinberg (Grey’s Anatomy) and is intended as an origin series similar to Smallville, which would explore Diana’s life prior to becoming Wonder Woman…

Iron Man: Rise of Technovore

…Marvel has revealed that the anime-inspired Iron Man: Rise of Technovore will arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on April 16th. According to IGN, Matthew Mercer (Resident Evil Damnation) will lend his voice to Iron Man, while Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) will portray The Punisher; here’s the official synopsis: “Billionaire Tony Stark, in his Iron Man armor, prevents an attack from a mysterious new foe, but innocent bystanders are killed, including his best friend War Machine, Lt. Colonel James Rhodes.  Detained for questioning by S.H.I.E.L.D., Iron Man escapes, determined to find the mastermind behind the attack. Pursued by Black Widow and Hawkeye, Iron Man enlists the help of the ruthless vigilante The Punisher.  But can the Armored Avenger handle what he finds when he catches the person responsible and is forced to face his deadliest weapon, a biotechnology called Technovore that could wipe out all life on the planet..?”

…The Inhumans will make their animated debut later this year, with Marvel announcing that Black Bolt and company will appear in the Marvel Knights motion comic Inhumans, which is set for a North American release on April 26th. Here’s the official synopsis: “The Inhumans have always been one of Marvel’s most enduring oddities. A race of genetic outsiders, they live secluded in their island kingdom of Attilan, preferring not to mix with the outside world. Even stranger, their genetic mutations are self-endowed; each Inhuman, as a coming-of-age ritual, endures exposure to the Terrigen Mists, a strange substance that imparts unearthly powers–some extraordinary, some monstrous. But now the kingdom of Attilan is under attack from without and within. Can the Royal Family, led by Black Bolt, repel the foreign invaders who blast at their outer defenses, as well as the internal threat of Black Bolt’s insane brother, Maximus the Mad? This popular series takes a classic Marvel cast of characters, and infuses it with a modern sensibility that includes international politics and an awareness of class systems. Dark and grimly compelling, the Inhumans is one story that won’t be forgotten any time soon…”

…This weekend’s episode of Ultimate Spider-Man sees Kraven the Hunter making his debut [watch a clip here], while next week sees Hawkeye popping up for his first guest appearance, voiced by Troy Baker, who will also lend his voice to the character for Marvel’s upcoming animated series Avengers Assemble. “Spider-Man is in a lot of trouble and S.H.I.E.L.D. brings in Hawkeye to sort of act as his bodyguard and then it just goes awry,” Marvel’s Head of Television Jeph Loeb tells TV Guide, who also have a clip from the episode. “”We looked at those ’80s movies with two guys who should never be partners, like Lethal Weapon, and that’s what you get with Spider-Man and Hawkeye as they go up against a major super villain [The Beetle]. They may kill each other before they stop the guy…”  

Beware the Batman

…Fans of DC’s animated output have two new shows to look forward to later this year as Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go! join Cartoon Network’s DC Nation programming block [check out the official announcement and show descriptions here, along with four new images here]. However, they’ll arrive at the expense of Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series, both of which will come to an end once their respective seasons draw to a close, despite a gallant effort from fans to save the shows from cancellation via an online petition. Nevertheless, both series continue on DC Nation for the time being, and The World’s Finest has posted loglines, clips and images from this weekend’s new episodes, in addition to the latest batch of DC Nation Shorts…

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 arrived on Blu-ray and DVD in North America this past week, and to promote the direct-to-video movie Warner Bros. released a new clip featuring Batman (voiced by Peter Weller) going up against his arch-nemesis The Joker (voiced by Michael Emerson). Meanwhile, during the film’s premiere, DarkKnightNews managed to grab a few words with DC animation legend Bruce Timm, who discussed the possibility of an animated adaptation of Alan Moore’s classic one-shot Batman: The Killing Joke – long story short: they’ve talked about it, but it’s not happening yet. Unfortunately…

LEGO Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite

…In other animated Batman news, WB has announced that LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite will receive its premiere on February 11th at The Paley Center for Media in New York ahead of a home-entertainment release on May 21st; as part of the announcement, WB also offered the following synopsis, which will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s played LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes: LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite provides the ultimate blend of action and humor guaranteed to entertain fanboys of all ages. The film finds Lex Luthor taking jealousy to new heights when fellow billionaire Bruce Wayne wins the Man of the Year Award. To top Wayne’s accomplishment, Lex begins a campaign for President – and to create the atmosphere for his type of fear-based politics, he recruits the Joker to perfect a Black LEGO Destructor Ray. While wreaking havoc on Gotham, Lex successfully destroys Batman’s technology – forcing the Caped Crusader to reluctantly turn to Superman for help…”

…And finally, WB has also released the first trailer for the next instalment in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, Superman: Unbound, which is loosely based upon Geoff Johns’ Action Comics story arc Brainiac and features a voice cast that includes Matt Bomer (White Collar) as the Man of Steel, John Noble (Fringe) as Brainiac and Castle co-stars Stana Katic and Molly C. Quinn as Lois Lane and Supergirl. Watch the Superman: Unbound trailer here.

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/anthony.d.stokes.3 Anthony Donovan Stokes

    Hmm, Guardians is a Phase II movie. Normally I'd say the Guardians should be set up by Winter Soldier since that's the next movie in the timeline, but I guess Ironman is the next logical choice, next to Thor

  • http://mycareersuicidenote.tumblr.com/ anghus

    i had a weird vision the other day. The Iron Man 3 post credit sequence will involve Tony Stark heading into space. Tony talks in IM3 about being freaked out by the events of the Avengers. There are things in the universe even the great Tony Stark doesn't understand. In the end he straps on the deep space armor and heads into space and we get a glimpse of….. The Guardians of the Galaxy.

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

    I think they'll need all the help they can to set up Guardians, so I think we'll see post credits sequences in IM3, Thor 2 and Captain America 2

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

    Completely agree. I don't think there's any point teasing Thor: The Dark World or Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Although I do think each Phase Two post-credits scene will play into The Avengers 2 as well

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

    Captain America makes absolutely zero sense. That should set up the story for the avengers2 or Antman lol, why would captain be in space or have contact with the guardians, but I see you're point. If they are smart, they'd make merchandising, and get sponsorship, so they can at least make they're money back through that, I'm genuinely curious how this movie will do at the box

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

    Captain America doesn't need to be in the post credits scene though. Iron Man 2 set up Thor, and it didn't have Tony Stark in it. Marvel needs to raise awareness for Guardians of the Galaxy, their other movies will do fine regardless because of the name recognition after The Avengers. I'm pretty sure they'll use all three to set up Guardians, and then set up The Avengers 2 with a

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

    they need to set up Antman. and i'm not saying he needs to be in the post credit scene i'm saying thematically it doesn't make sense. They're setting up A GOTG, Doctor Strange , and Antman plus Avengers I'd say Doctor Strange needs it more