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

Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Iron Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers 2, Ant-Man, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Crow, The Fantastic Four, Man of Steel, Justice League Dark, Kick-Ass 2, Arrow, Big Hero 6, Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United, LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Young Justice, Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie and more...

…We’re just a couple of days away from the release of the latest theatrical trailer for Iron Man 3, and to build anticipation for its arrival on March 5th, Disney and Marvel Studios released a new poster featuring a battered and bloodied Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), which also gives us a glimpse at some of the additional Iron Man suits set to feature in the sequel – including the long-rumoured ‘Deep Space Suit‘, which seems to confirm that there’ll be some kind of set-up (post-credits, most likely) for next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy in the Shane Black-directed sequel. Also arriving this past week was a character poster for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts, along with three new stills featuring RDJ, Paltrow, Don Cheadle (James Rhodes) and Guy Pearce (Aldrich Killian), some concept art for Iron Man’s Heartbreaker Armor, and an image reportedly showing Tony’s Mark XL Asgardian Destroyer Armor

…With Robert Downey Jr.’s Marvel deal expiring after Iron Man 3, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether the his time as Tony Stark is coming to an end, and the actor has touched upon the subject of him potentially being replaced James Bond-style during an interview this past week: “The affinity with Tony now is: how do you sustain something? I’m not stupid, I like to play ball, I love the company, I love the character, and the business side of things, I’m not [too] picky about that either… It would probably be the best thing in the world for me [to be replaced]. You know, ego… but sometimes ego just has to be smashed. Let’s see what happens. I take the audience very seriously – I feel bad when I see folks doing movies and the audience is like, ‘Don’t do that anymore.’ I don’t have to overstay my welcome…”

…While Downey Jr. seems to be playing his cards close to his chest, I think it’s pretty much guaranteed we’ll see him reprising the role for Marvel’s The Avengers 2 (at the very least), and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black expects to see him headlining one or two more solo adventures yet before he hangs up his suit: “I have the feeling that the story that we have developed for Iron Man 3 actually concluded a trilogy, while [also] leaving the door open to a fourth. I had a lot of discussions on this subject: “Is that it is the last Iron Man for Robert? ” . Something tells me that it will not be the case, and will be seen in a fourth, or fifth … But I can be a little excited…”

…Cameras are now rolling on the Marc Webb-directed superhero sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and to kick things off early in the week – and beat the spy photos – Sony released an official image featuring Spider-Man’s newly-redeisgned suit, which looks to be very reminiscent of Tobey Maguire’s Spidey-suit from Sam Raimi’s original trilogy. Of course, once filming began it was only a matter of time before the internet exploded with set photos; first up came shots of Spidey in action in his new threads, followed by our first look at Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson, as well as glimpses of Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy and Sally Field’s Aunt May. Also snapped was a van from the Daily Bugle – what price Colm Feore (Thor) as J. Jonah Jameson and Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) as Betty Brant? Jones has of course been linked to the role of Black Cat, but with Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Electro and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) as the Rhino, it seems The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already looking pretty on the villain side, especially now with the news that Chris Cooper (American Beauty) has joined the cast as Norman Osborn, who is of course the alter-ego of Spidey’s arch-nemesis The Green Goblin, and the father of Peter Parker’s best friend Harry (Dane DeHaan)…

…Remember the Earth-shattering Marvel Phase Three Super Bowl ‘scoop’ from El Mayimbe of Latino Review? You know, the one where The Avengers 2 was allegedly going to set up a solo Planet Hulk movie, building to a World War Hulk adaptation for The Avengers 3? Well, according to Ain’t It Cool News, the report is “1000% inaccurate” (which would mean it’s 900% more inaccurate that El Mayimbe’s Black Panther ‘scoop’ from last year) and apparently Marvel have no plans to adapt either comic book story while Mark Ruffalo is committed to a six-picture deal. Of course, in El Mayimbe’s defense, there is a chance that Ain’t It Cool could be the ones wrong here, but both sites have been responsible for so many rebutted and as-yet-unconfirmed ‘scoops’ lately that I’d be skeptical of both reports if it wasn’t for the fact they have each side of the argument covered between them…

…One person who is likely to have an idea about what the future holds for the Green Goliath is Joss Whedon, who revitalised the character last year with Marvel’s The Avengers. Speaking at the Glasgow Film Festival during a Q&A for his latest film Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon offered his thoughts on the challenges of developing a successful solo Hulk movie: “Hulk is a tricky son of a bitch… the problem is it’s a very popular character, but it’s not a superhero. Half of it’s a superhero, half of it’s a werewolf. And you can’t structure it like a superhero movie, you can’t light it like a superhero movie. How do you develop that? It would be extremely difficult. The one thing you would have in your favour would be Mark Ruffalo. But right now I don’t know if they have plans to do that or not, because he works so well as part of a greater whole, but by himself, it’s tough. I don’t envy the guys who went before…”

…And while we’re on the subject of Whedon, the director also attended the Dublin International Film Festival, where he provided fans with a brief tease about what we can expect when Earth’s Mightiest Heroes reassemble for The Avengers 2 in 2015: “Death, death, and death… When I first considered doing Avengers 2, my first question was what can I do that’s new? Because I can’t make it bigger… but I can make it better.” You can listen to audio of the full Q&A over at Whedonesque

…Hollywood celebrated the very finest in cinematic achievement last weekend with the 85th Academy Awards, where the Oscar for Stupidest Non-News Story went to The AP, who produced an absolutely pointless ‘story’ suggesting that Paul Rudd (This Is 40, Anchorman: The Legend Continues) is an ‘Avenger in Training’. The reason? He was hanging out backstage at the ceremony with Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo and talent coordinator Danette Herman told him “you look like one”. Throw in a few old tweets from director Edgar Wright, and Rudd was suddenly front-runner to headline Marvel’s forthcoming Ant-Man adaptation…

…Moving on to 20th Century Fox’s Marvel Universe and Bryan Singer has offered a few more thoughts on next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past during a promotional interview for Jack the Giant Slayer, explaining how he views the film in regard to the previous instalments of the X-Men franchise: “It’s not totally different, it relates to the movies but it relates to both X-Men: First Class and the other X-Men pictures. So it is it’s own thing in a way – it’s not a sequel, it’s not a prequel, it’s a ‘inbetwequel’.” So far confirmed for the cast of the ‘inbetwequel’ are X-Men veterans James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore and Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage), while Singer has announced via Twitter that French actor Omar Sy (Intouchables) has joined the cast in an unspecified role. Meanwhile, Halle Berry is said to be “90% sure” that she’ll be called upon to reprise the role of Storm when filming gets underway in Toronto next month [UPDATE: Berry has now seemingly confirmed her casting, telling Black Tree TV: "I'm excited. The fans really love Storm, and so I'm really happy that it's worked out that way. No matter what my part will be or won't be, to be a part of that is always a good thing. I love it."]…

…If you were hoping to see James McAvoy’s Professor Charles Xavier coming face-to-face with Patrick Stewart’s Professor Charles Xavier in Days of Future Past, then you might be in for disappointment, with McAvoy telling Empire (via CBM): “It’ll be cool, but I don’t think we get any scenes together, sadly. I don’t think there’s any future self talking to past self.” Meanwhile, McAvoy could be set for another comic book movie outing after his latest X-Men adventure, with reports this week suggesting he is circling Relativity Media’s forthcoming remake of The Crow; McAvoy becomes the latest name to be linked to the lead role of Eric Draven, with Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Mark Wahlberg (Pain & Gain) and Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines) all rumoured to have been in the frame since Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) pulled out of the proposed reboot…

...Once Fox has expanded the X-Men franchise with The Wolverine and X-Men: Days of Future Past, the studio will turn its attention to another corner of the Marvel universe in 2015 for Chronicle director Josh Trank’s The Fantastic Four, and this week brought word that author and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Dark Shadows) has signed on to polish the script originally written by up-and-coming scribe Jeremy Slater. Let’s hope it’s third time lucky for Grahame-Smith, seeing as he’s 0-for-2 when it comes to screenwriting…

...Warner Bros. is hoping to launch its own DC universe this summer with the release of Man of Steel, and word of some extremely positive early screening reactions made its way online this week, describing the film as “the best movie of the year” (which is a pretty bold claim at this point, seeing as the majority of this year’s films are yet to be seen) and stating that there’s “TONS of action with Superman [Henry Cavill] kicking all kinds of ass in his suit.” While the excitement for Superman’s hotly-anticipated return continues to build, a rumour emerged this week stating that Batman Begins and Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer is already working on the script for Man of Steel 2; however, it should be noted that the source of this rumour has a habit of dropping questionable ‘exclusives’ that go absolutely nowhere, and just a couple of months ago they were reporting that Steve Kloves (Harry Potter), Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) and Travis Beacham (Pacific Rim) were topping Warner‘s shortlist to pen the Man of Steel sequel...

…With the buzz around Man of Steel increasing with each passing week, Universal Pictures has announced that the North American release of the Jeff Wadlow-directed Kick-Ass 2 has been pushed back by almost 2 months from June 28th to August 16th, although there’s no word yet what knock-on effect this will have for the film’s UK date (it’s currently slated for July 19th). Assuming that Superman is going to dominate the box-office in June, it’s probably a smart move on Universal’s behalf…

…While the seemingly-never ending saga of Warner Bros.’ Justice League movie rolls on, it seems that DC fans might get to see one variation of the iconic superhero team, with Guillermo del Toro set to pitch Warner Bros. take on Justice League Dark, which is going by the title of Dark Universe: “I am going to be presenting my storyline to DC and Warners of where I want to take this universe. We do have a writer, but until that is firmed up, I have to keep it a secret. I hope it happens. It’s going really really well. It’s like meeting old friends. I grew up with Demon Etrigan, with Swamp Thing, with Deadman, so these are characters that are near and dear to my heart. I’d love to use the origins that are proper to each character. I love the idea of Jason Blood as a paladin and a knight… I love the entire Constantine mythology, the Dead Man mythology, the Alex Holland Swamp Thing mythology. These are really rich things to well, and to dig.” Of course, considering del Toro’s track record for actually getting his projects to the screen, we might be facing an even lengthier wait for this than we do for Justice League

…The CW has an announced that the season finale of the hit superhero show Arrow will air on Wednesday, May 15th, before returning in the fall for its second season. The show is currently on a brief hiatus before resuming on March 20th with ‘The Huntress Returns’, which sees Jessica De Gouw’s masked vigilante back in Starling City; take a look at an extended promo, and check out the full episode synopsis: “With his nightclub set to open and a new romance brewing with McKenna (guest star Janina Gavankar), Oliver (Stephen Amell) is as happy as he’s been since returning to Starling City. But when Oliver’s ex, The Huntress, suddenly returns to town, she threatens to destroy everything and everyone he cares about. Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and her father (Paul Blackthorne) struggle with the return of Dinah Lance (guest star Alex Kingston) who claims she has proof Sara is still alive. Thea (Willa Holland) gets Roy Harper (guest star Colton Haynes) a job at Oliver’s club, but he’s not too inclined to stop his life of crime. Oliver and Tommy (Colin Donnell) are thrilled they were able to get Steve Aoki to play at the opening of their new nightclub, Verdant…”

Disney Marvel Big Hero 6

…Shifting to the world of animation now and a possible release date has emerged for Disney’s first animated Marvel feature Big Hero 6, with Don Hall’s (Meet the Robinsons, The Princess and the Frog) take on the Japanese superhero team said to be looking at a Spanish release date of November 21st, 2014. Disney has an as-yet-unrevealed film scheduled for November 7th, 2014 in North America, so if the Spanish date is accurate then we can assume that Big Hero 6 will be joining Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy as part of Disney’s 2014 Marvel offerings…

…This week saw the unveiling of the Blu-ray cover art for Marvel Animation Studios’ first CG-animated effort Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United, while producer Todd Casey took part in an interview on Marvel.com where he discussed the storyline for the direct-to-video feature, as well as its villains: “It’s a universally accessible story–if you know Hulk and Iron Man, then you get to see them extend the relationship that begins as Avengers. If this is the first time you’ve ever seen Hulk or Iron Man, then this is a great entry point because it’s a stand-alone story that doesn’t require knowledge of past adventures or Marvel mythology. At its core, this is a buddy-cop movie where two heroes who are drastically different learn to appreciate each other after being forced to work together. The primary villain in the story is Zzzax, and we see his genesis here which is a bit different than in the comic books.  He’s born out of an accident that occurs while HYDRA is trying to create a new energy weapon. Separate from Zzzax, who is basically a sentient, energy eating monster, we see a few Wendigos, who are native to the land and are essentially a pack of wolves, and Abomination, who is doing some freelance butt-kicking for HYDRA…”

…Warner Bros. and DC Comics will be bringing several of their iconic heroes together for a straight-to-video CG-animated feature of their own this year as The Dark Knight returns in brick form for LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite. Ahead of its North American release on May 21st, WB has released details of the 2 ½ hours of special features set to accompany standard and high definition versions of the feature on the Blu-ray Combo Pack, which includes a ‘Building Batman’ featurette, five short films from the LEGO/DC Universe Super Heroes Video Contest, two episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold (‘Triumvirate of Terror’ and ‘Scorn of the Star Sapphire’) and one episode from Teen Titans (‘Overdrive’); check out the full details here

Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice both finish up their runs this month in preparation for the arrival of DC Nation’s latest offerings Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go!, and Cartoon Network has released details of the final run of episodes for both shows, which you can check out over at The World’s Finest

…And finally, Kevin Smith’s creations Jay and Silent Bob are set to fight crime in animated form this year as they take on the mantle of their costumed alter-egos Bluntman and Chronic to battle the League of Sh*tters (including Cock Knocker, and – by the looks of it – The Avengers’ Loki and The Dark Knight Rises’ Bane) in the animated feature Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. Jason Mewes returns as Jay, alongside a voice cast that includes Eliza Dushku (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), Tara Strong (Batman: The Animated Series), Ralph Garman (Ted), Neil Gaiman (Doctor Who writer), Ben Gleib (Ice Age: Continental Drift) and Jon Lovitz (The Critic). Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie movie promises to be the worst thing to happen to comic book movies since Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern, and you can check out the trailer and plot description here.

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

Gary Collinson
 


  • LeightonJones

    I'm glad somebody is picking up on the fact that Latino Review can not be trusted after Black Panther turned out to be Guardians of the Galaxy

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

    Historically I've been a fan of LR, but they're breaking a tonne of 'scoops' lately, and we aren't hearing any confirmations. Need some of these rumours to start turning into facts.

  • LeightonJones

    Exactly. What bugs me is that they can come up with any story and every geek news website publishes it as almost fact.

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

    I don't like Nolan as much as other people do, he's a good director, but he's really self indulgent. If Man of steel turns out good I hope he stays on as a consultant but I don't want anymore Nolan movies