The Week in Spandex – Iron Man 3, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Man of Steel, Daredevil, Green Lantern 2, Arrow and more

Our weekly round up of all the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, S.H.I.E.L.D., The Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Man of Steel, Green Lantern 2, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Kick-Ass 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Arrow, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Young Justice, Superman: Unbound and Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United...

Ben Kingsley The Mandarin Iron Man 3 character posterAfter releasing a character poster for Don Cheadle’s War Machine earlier this month, Disney and Marvel Studios turned their attention to the bad guys of Iron Man 3 this week with two new posters, one of which gave us our first real look at Guy Pearce (Prometheus) as Aldrich Killian, and the other providing us with our best look yet at Ben Kingsley’s (Sexy Beast) evil terrorist leader The Mandarin, who kind of reminds me of a bizarre blinged-up Osama bin Laden / Ali G hybrid (“I iz da Mandarin, aiii…”). Anyway, along with the Mandarin poster, Disney also offered up the following character description for Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) arch-nemesis: “Mandarin is the sinister head of the terrorist organization known as The Ten Rings, from which all the acts of extreme terrorism plaguing the world appear to emanate. Although he is reclusive, Mandarin wields great power and makes his presence known by striking fear in the government and the populace through his brazen plans of attack…”

…Expect a new theatrical trailer for Iron Man 3 to arrive soon, with the Alberta Film Ratings updating its website this week with confirmation that a second trailer has been classified with a run-time of 2.25m. With Disney releasing Oz the Great and Powerful on March due out on March 8th, it’s probably a good bet that the trailer will arrive in cinemas alongside Sam Raimi’s fantasy adventure. Meanwhile, some purported concept art from the upcoming sequel has also arrived online, which allegedly shows early designs for two new Iron Man suits – Space Armor and Hulkbuster Armor. Whether the concept art is real or not, there’s a lot of evidence mounting to suggest that one of those suits will make an appearance in Iron Man 3

…In other bits and pieces from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Industrial Light & Magic has released a new ‘Behind the Magic‘ video focussing on how the building of a digital New York City for last year’s mega-blockbuster The Avengers… Marvel Studios head-honcho Kevin Feige briefly spoke about next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier during an interview with Variety, describing the upcoming Chris Evans-headlined sequel as “a political thriller”… And El Mayimbe of Latino Review has now reported that Marvel has gone back to testing actors for the role of Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy due to excessive salary demands from Jason Momoa (Conan the Barbarian), although negotiations are apparently still ongoing… 

…While we await to hear a decision from ABC about whether the network will be picking up Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot, The Avengers director has spoken about his hopes for taking the project forward into a full series: “I’m excited about the show because it’s a very hopeful show. It’s not about murder, and it’s not about crime, and it’s not people looking into their own belly buttons. It’s about people who are trying to help each other, and that’s one of the things I loved about comic books. They had costumes and the villains were cool [but] they stood for something, and I like doing a show that does that. We’re trying very hard to be true to [Marvel’s] ethos and also to the structure of their universe. So it is definitely a Marvel show.” Whedon also went on to reiterate that S.H.I.E.L.D. would primarily focus on its own core characters (which of course includes Clark Gregg’s fan favourite Agent Phil Coulson), and that Cobie Smulders’ (Agent Maria Hill) schedule “will permit very little [involvement], but if we can get a hold of her anytime, we will…”

…20th Century Fox and director James Mangold (Knight and Day) are making us wait for the first trailer for The Wolverine, but this past week did bring a new still featuring Hugh Jackman, who reprises the role of Logan for the sixth time in July’s solo X-Men sequel. A trailer for The Wolverine has been promised for the end of March, with speculation suggesting it will be attached to G.I. Joe: Retaliation..

…News on The Wolverine may be scant at the moment, but that’s certainly not the case with Fox’s 2014 superhero offering X-Men: Days of Future Past. Director Bryan Singer has been active on Twitter again, teasing a Comic Con appearance this summer as well as posting an image of a couple of wheelchairs belonging to Messrs. Xavier (James McAvoy) and Xavier (Patrick Stewart), while he’s also taken part in a series of interviews with IGN, during which he confirmed that Peter Dinklage’s (Game of Thrones) antagonist is “not going to be a CGI character” [see here] as well as going into some depth about the franchise, including the opportunity to “fix s**t” from X-Men: The Last Stand, the chances of Scott Summers and Jean Grey returning to the franchise, and the possibilities for an even-wider X-Men movie universe [see here]…

Henry Cavill Superman Man of Steel

…You could say that Zack Snyder is another director who has the opportunity to “fix s**t” this summer with Warner Bros.’ upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel, and it’s been reported this week that the film’s running time will clock in at 148 minutes, which would make it the second-longest Superman movie behind Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns on 154 minutes (or third longest, if you include the 151 minute expanded cut of Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie). It’s also 8 minutes longer than Warner Bros.’ previous DC reboot Batman Begins, although it’s shorter than both of Christopher Nolan’s Bat-sequels, with The Dark Knight running at 152 minutes and last year’s The Dark Knight Rises clocking in at a meaty 165 minutes…

…Warner Bros. is hoping that Man of Steel will be the springboard for a shared DC movie universe, but Mark Strong doesn’t expect that to include a return as Sinestro for Green Lantern 2, telling MTV that “I would be surprised if they made a second one, because I’ve heard nothing about it in quite a while now,” as well as discussing his post-credits turn in 2010’s Green Lantern: “A lot of people seemed to be confused by [Sinestro] putting on the ring at the end of the movie. They felt that it came out of nowhere. [It] was intended to relate to where the movies were headed and that, for me, would have been very exciting because putting on of the ring and the suit turning yellow would have been great fun…”

…Now that 20th Century Fox has lost the rights to Daredevil, another superhero project that has almost certainly fallen into the realms of ‘what might have been’ is Joe Carnahan’s ‘Serpico-styled’ take on the Man Without Fear (which is probably a shame, given Carnahan’s sizzle reels for the 70s-set adaptation). Speaking to SciFiNow (via CBM), Fox’s Marvel creative consultant Mark Millar took a moment to discuss what The A-Team and The Grey director had planned for the reboot: “He had an act in mind and said, ‘We can’t set it in the present day….Hell’s Kitchen is a beautiful neighborhood.’ Rudy Giuliani has cleaned everything up. It’s nice for the people that live there, but it’s not very good cinematically. So he said it had to be a period piece, and the perfect time to set it would be in the Seventies, as you have all the kung-fu exploitation, the race-riots, the blackout- all that kind of stuff would be so cool in a superhero movie. The blackout with a guy that’s blind would be incredible…”

Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Chiklis in Fantastic Four

…One property that Fox has managed to retain the rights to is that of Fantastic Four, and Mark Millar has revealed that X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn has now joined the producing team of the upcoming reboot, which is currently in development under Chronicle director Josh Trank. Vaughn is also serving as producer on Kick-Ass 2 and Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, having originally been attached to direct the X-Men sequel. The Fantastic Four is currently penciled in for a release on March 6th, 2015, but there’s no word yet on any possible actors to replace previous FF cast members Ioan Gruffudd (Reed Richards), Jessica Alba (Susan Storm), Chris Evans (Johnny Storm) and Michael Chiklis (Ben Grimm)…

…In other Millar-related news, director Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) has taken to Twitter to announce that a trailer for the upcoming sequel Kick-Ass 2 “is coming soon”. The follow-up to the 2010 cult hit is due for release on June 28th in North America and July 19th here in the UK, with returning players Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit-Girl) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (The Red Mist) joined in the cast by the likes of Jim Carrey (Batman Forever), John Leguizamo (Spawn) and Donald Faison (Scrubs)…

…While director Marc Webb continues to tease fans by tweeting cryptic / pointless [delete as appropriate] ‘set pictures’ during the production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which this week includes a couple of FBI agents, and a picture of Franklin D. Roosevelt), The Huffington Post caught up with Webb’s predecessor Sam Raimi, and asked the original Spider-Man trilogy director whether he’s yet to watch last year’s reboot: “Well, I’m a big Marc Webb fan and a giant fan of Emma Stone. And of Andrew Garfield. I saw him on Broadway in Death of a Salesman — it’s just brilliant. And I love the producers of [The Amazing Spider-Man] because they are dear friends, and the writer. But, I haven’t had the guts to go see the movie yet. Because I don’t want to go to my girlfriend’s wedding. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t have the guts. But, I hear it’s great. My wife even loved the picture and said it was a wonderful, excellently produced, beautifully acted, brilliantly written Spider-Man picture. She’d tell me the truth and that’s what she said... I think I handed the torch to Marc and I hear that he ran with it and succeeded and made a brilliant picture. I’m happy for him and all the team. And I only wish him the best and I salute them because it’s a tough job, too. And obviously he’s pleased the fans — so, I’m proud for him. I’m happy for my friends on the picture…”

Colton Haynes Roy Harper Arrow

…Switching to the small screen now and Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf) made his debut in The CW’s Arrow this past Wednesday as Roy Harper, with MTV then asking the actor if the series could follow comic book continuity by having him become Ollie’s (Stephen Amell) regular sidekick Speedy: “They’re setting things up for a possibility of that. But like most TV shows it could just be a fake out. In the next three episodes, you’re gonna see a really interesting character with Roy and with Arrow that is going to lead you to believe that there could be a future with them possibly joining forces. But there is nothing set in stone yet. There is a definite possibility of [becoming a regular cast member] and I think that that would be incredible. I think we all will be seeing a lot more of Roy Harper in the future. They’re incredible, the writers. They know what they’re doing. So I will be around for a while…”

As well as Haynes, this coming Wednesday’s episode of Arrow sees guest appearances from Kelly Hu (China White), John Barrowman (Malcolm Merlyn) and Michael Rowe (Deadshot) in the Geoff Johns-scripted ‘Dead to Rights’. Here’s the official synopsis for the episode (and check out an extended promo here): “Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey) learn that Deadshot is still alive and his next target is Malcom. Malcom invites Tommy (Colin Donnell) to attend a benefit honoring Malcom for his work with Starling City but Tommy refuses to attend. Oliver encourages his friend to mend his relationship with his father while he can. Meanwhile, Oliver struggles to balance his new relationship with McKenna [Janina Gavankar] and his duties as Arrow…”

…As usual, be sure to head over to The World’s Finest for stills, clips and plot details for this weekend’s Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice episodes, as well as the latest DC Nation animated short DC Nation’s Farm League – Episode 2…  

…Before Henry Cavill dons the cape for Zack Snyder’s live-action reboot, Matt Bomer (White Collar) will lend his voice to the Man of Steel in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies release Superman: Unbound, which is set to arrive on May 7th. Earlier in the week, Warner Bros. debuted three new images from the direct-to-video feature, along with a rundown of the 4 1/2 hours of special features, which includes featurettes, commentary, four bonus episodes from Superman: The Animated Series, and a sneak peak at the next DCUAOM, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

…And finally, Marvel Animation Studios has pushed back the release date of its first-fully CG-animated feature Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United, which sees Adrian Pasdar (Heroes, Ultimate Spider-Man) and Fred Tatasciore (Wolverine and the X-Men, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) lending their voices to the eponymous Avengers. Originally slated for April, the direct-to-video movie will now arrive on shelves on December 3rd, although Iron Man fans will still be able to get their Shellhead fix in the run up to Iron Man 3 with the release of the anime-inspired Iron Man: Rise of Technovore on April 16th; watch the trailers for both of Iron Man’s animated adventures here.

Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen – Available now via and

Gary Collinson

Around the Web

  • I hate Nolan.. Why does any superhero movie need to be two and a half hours long..

  • Hadn't heard about the Marvel animated movies yet, looking forward to all this stuff!

  • VishGos

    Is that something to argue about???!! Nolan&#39;s Bat-films infuse time with substance, The Dark Knight&#39;s intricate plot definitely requires a lot of time, so does The Dark Knight Rises to portray a whole city siege. THAT&#39;S A NO-BRAINER,unless you never realised them.<br /><br />The Avengers ran 2 hrs. 38 mins, even then half of the movie was filled with shit and idiotic wise-cracks.

  • The Dark Knight trilogy, all films could lose around 20 to 45 minutes. They have wayyyyyyy more faults then just the time lol. But I&#39;ll let it slide there because Batman is one of the more serious superheros and more or less other people don&#39;t seem to mind.<br /><br /><br />And Avengers is an collection of 6 different superhero movies which was clearly better then The Dark Knight Rises

  • VishGos

    The only faults the Batman films possess are some camera crew mis-involvements and some plot holes in TDKR. Shock yourself with the number of goof-ups an average Marvel film has made against an average Nolan Batman film in IMDB, and you&#39;ll find Marvel&#39;s the silly clown out….<br /><br />(The Dark Knight had to skip some unnecessary details to save time, like The Joker&#39;s party escape,

  • It&#39;s all a matter of personal preference. I&#39;ll admit Avengers isn&#39;t a great film, but it&#39;s not just all babble like you say. I have a feeling no matter what movie Marvel showed you you&#39;d come out negative. <br /> <br />Dark Knight Rises has a million problems. It&#39;s a sloppy inconsistent ass movie. Avengers had babble but Catwoman had the absolute worst lines I&#39;ve

  • VishGos

    Inconsistent??!! Tell that to The Avengers… It had the most ridiculous of plot holes and goof-ups. (How could Thor come to Earth if his Asgardian transport bridge was destroyed in Thor?!) You&#39;ve no right to blame the movie for the &quot;Cat got your tongue&quot;. That&#39;s an established phrase in English literature and has been used by the British for over 50 years in novels (Robert

  • That&#39;s a corny line &quot;Cat got your tongue&quot; doesn&#39;t work for a few reasons. A. In the context it makes no sense, she&#39;s never established as Catwoman. B. That shit is old, and is used for every cat character. And Marvel had inconsistencies with other movies not itself dumbass. I&#39;m pretty sure wheedon didn&#39;t write Thor and it seems like you&#39;re looking for things

  • VishGos

    Joss Whedon directed Thor&#39;s post-credits &amp; was approached as consultant for Thor &amp; Cap Am. Besides, its Marvel&#39;s responsibility to ensure that their movies remain connected. There are several other goof-ups<br /><br />1) The men in Hawkeye&#39;s aircraft keep changing from cut to cut, from 7 its 8 and back.<br />2) When Selvig loads the Iridium sample on the balance, the density

  • I&#39;m going to address the last part, because I&#39;m not a troll, and your essay is too fucking long. The reason I said a superman movie can&#39;t work and especially a Jusice LEague movie is because he&#39;s basically invincible. I know based off the comics he&#39;s not but let&#39;s be honest. Him, Wolverine, and Hulk are not killable , in the movie realm. That&#39;s why all their movies