The Week in Spandex – The Wolverine, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Kick-Ass 2, Ninja Turtles, Deadpool, Venom, Arrow and more

Our weekly round up of all the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including The Wolverine, Kick-Ass 2, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Solider, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Deadpool, Venom, Ninja Turtles, The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Man of Steel, Arrow, Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Superman: Unbound, Ultimate Spider-Man and more…

Wolverine trailers… you wait ages for one and then two come along at once. Yes, 20th Century Fox’s marketing department finally remembered this past week that they have a big-budget superhero blockbuster coming out in the summer by giving us our first look at Hugh Jackman’s latest outing as the adamantium-clawed mutant Logan in director James Mangold’s The Wolverine. Things got underway on Monday with the arrival of two posters (one of which looks like it’s been put together via a “Your First Movie Poster” Photoshop tutorial) and a selection of stills which featured the first official looks at Svetlana Khodchenkova (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Viper and newcomers Rila Fukushima as Yukio and Tao Okamoto as Mariko Yashida [see here], along with a six-second ‘tweaser’ that confirmed the rumours of a cameo from Famke Janssen as Jean Grey [see here]. If six-seconds wasn’t enough, Tuesday delivered another twenty-second ‘tweaser’, along with another theatrical poster and two motion posters [see here], before the trailer itself finally dropped on Wednesday, with a 2 minute 28 seconds international version quickly followed by a 1 minute 56 seconds domestic cut. If for some strange reason you haven’t seen the trailers yet, you can watch them both here, and be sure to check out the (mixed) thoughts of our writing team towards this first look at The Wolverine in the latest Flickering Myth Reaction

…Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine wasn’t the only superhero to get a new trailer this past week, with Chloe Grace Moretz’s Hit-Girl taking centre stage in the latest preview for Kick-Ass 2 (which came in both green-band and red-band versions), while Universal also debuted a selection of character posters featuring Hit-Girl, Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and The Motherf*cker (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Considering the sheer number of heroes and villains set to feature in the Jeff Wadlow-directed sequel, we should probably expect a flood of these over the coming weeks…

…There’s less than a month to go until the 2013 superhero movie season gets underway with the UK release of Iron Man 3 (out April 25th, and May 3rd in North America), and Disney and Marvel Studios’ marketing blitz continued this past week, pushing out into spoiler territory [***if you're avoiding any and all spoilers, that's your cue to skip to the next paragraph now***] with a new TV spot featuring footage of a suited up Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) ‘rescuing’ Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark from falling rubble during the Mandarin’s (Ben Kingsley) attack on Tony’s Malibu home. Meanwhile, Marvel’s president of production Kevin Feige has continued to speak in depth about several aspects of the film, including The Mandarin and his Ten Rings terrorist organisation [see here], James Badge Dale’s villain Eric Savin and his connection with Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Maya Hasen (Rebecca Hall) [see here], and War Machine’s (Don Cheadle) rebranding as the Iron Patriot [see here]…

…In other bits and pieces from Iron Man 3, Marvel has given us a closer look at six of Tony’s new Iron Man Suits in the Mark 17 “Heartbreaker”, Mark 33 “Silver Centurion”, Mark 35 “Red Snapper”, Mark 38 “Igor” (a.k.a. the Hulkbuster), Mark 39 “Gemini” and Mark 40 “Shotgun” [see here]; an extended version of the film has been announced for its release in China, with The Hollywood Reporter stating that “all versions of the film will feature scenes shot in Beijing, product placement for Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL and co-star Wang Xueqi, but a version cut for the world’s most populous nation also will boast “specially prepared bonus footage” and an appearance by megastar Fan Bingbing”; and Flickering Myth was invited to a special 20-minute preview screening of footage from Iron Man 3 this past Tuesday – be sure to read Scott Davis’ report, which does include a few minor spoilers for those of you who’ve been avoiding the TV spots…

…Elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Showbiz 411 caught up with Tom Hiddleston at the Empire Awards, with Hiddleston offering up a few words about taking Loki in a new direction for director Alan Taylor’s (Game of Thrones) upcoming solo sequel Thor: The Dark World; UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has become the latest name to join the likes of Chris Evans (Captain America), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Maximiliano Hernandez (Jasper Sitwell), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) and Frank Grillo (Crossbones) in the cast of next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where he will portray the villain Georges Batroc, a.k.a. Batroc the Leaper; while Robert Redford has also spoken to the Los Angeles Times about boarding the Cap sequel as a senior S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, stating that “I’m doing this film because it’s different. It’s a new thing for me. I like the idea of stepping into new territory. I’m excited by it. I also think it’s a good bunch of people who really know what they’re doing…”

…Director Marc Webb has continued to deliver his daily dose of tweets during the production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and tucked away among the latest batch of mostly-unrevealing set photos was the news that B.J. Novak (The Office) has become the latest name to join the ever-expanding cast of the Sony sequel, which (so far) includes the returning Andrew Garfield (Spidey), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) and Sally Field (Aunt May), in addition to the likes of Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Paul Giamatti (Sideways), Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Chris Cooper (American Beauty), Colm Feore (24) and Felicity Jones (Like Crazy)…

…The screenwriting duo of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have been doing the interview rounds this week to promote their latest film G.I. Joe: Retaliation, with the conversation shifting towards a couple of previous (and as-yet-unrealised) comic book adaptations. First up is 20th Century Fox’s long-gestating X-Men spin-off Deadpool starring Ryan Reynolds, with Reese explaining: “We have a phenomenal director in Tim Miller, who did about a 3-minute test for Fox, and Ryan came in to do the mo-cap for it and the voice,” states Reese. “And it’s like the greatest three minutes ever.  I look at the three minutes and I’m like, ‘That’s the movie, and it has to get made.’  I think the biggest hurdle right now is convincing the-powers-that-be that it’s okay to have a hard-R rated movie within the Marvel Universe. I think there just has to be a tolerance for the outlier.  There has to be a tolerance for this one project that’s not like all the other Marvel projects. The script leaked online in some bizarre way that we haven’t figured out, so it’s very easily findable out there.  It’s pretty much you go on Google and type in ‘Deadpool script’ and you’ll find it.  Not to say people should be doing that because it certainly wasn’t something we anticipated or enjoyed in the moment, but the Deadpool fans who found it think that it’s right in the wheelhouse of what a Deadpool movie should be.  And so again, we’re just fighting that uphill battle to convince people, and be positive...

…Wernick then offered some details about an early draft they penned for Sony’s rumoured Spider-Man spin-off Venom, which was written not long after Sam Raimi (Oz the Great and Powerful) had gave the character his big screen debut in Spider-Man 3: “We did [write a Venom script]. A long time ago, and it likely will not become a movie in that form. Too many things have happened in between now and then and different people have been involved, and it’s just likely not to happen in the form that we wrote it, unfortunately… It was definitely kind of dark and soul search-y. We love it and we’re proud of it. Imagine a symbiote traveling across a city at some point in the movie, jumping from body to body as it goes, and each person that it inhabits ends up becoming really violent and striking someone else and then it jumps to the next person.  There was a really cool sequence like that in there…”

…It’s not often we cover the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles here in The Week in Spandex, but this past week has seen director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) and producer Michael Bay (Pain & Gain) announcing that they’ve now found their four Heroes in a Half-shell to join Megan Fox’s April O’Neil in next year’s live-action reboot Ninja Turtles. First up came the casting of Alan Ritchson (Smallville, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) as Raphael, followed Pete Ploszek (Parks and Recreation, Shameless) as Leonardo, Jeremy Howard (Galaxy Quest, How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as Donatello and Noel Fisher (Hatfields & McCoys, Battle Los Angeles) as Michaelangelo. The non-Teenage, non-Mutant Ninja Turtles is set to film this summer ahead of a release on June 6th, 2014. Meanwhile, hot on the heels of Noel Fisher’s casting as Michaelangelo came a tweet from Variety’s Jeff Sneider, hinting that the Canadian actor could be in contention for a role in another comic book adaptation in Chronicle director Josh Trank’s upcoming 20th Century Fox reboot The Fantastic Four

…With all of the hoopla surrounding The Wolverine trailer, Fox’s upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past took a bit of a back seat this week, although Caleb Landry Jones has confirmed that he won’t be returning to the role of Banshee for the Bryan Singer-directed sequel to X-Men: First Class X-Men: The Last Stand. Filming is expected to get underway next month, so we can also probably rule out the possibility of any other First Class stars being added to the mix, save for the previously announced James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast). Still the return of original X-Men stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Halle Berry (Storm), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) should go some way towards softening the blow…

…David S. Goyer has been out promoting his new TV show Da Vinci’s Demons, and naturally talk soon turned to the impending Man of Steel, with Goyer taking the opportunity to explain how he convinced Christopher Nolan to pitch the idea for a Superman reboot to Warner Bros.: Chris and I were working on The Dark Knight Rises, working on the story; we were blocked. We agreed to part ways for a couple of weeks and just see if something had bubbled at the surface. So I went back to my home office. I was wasting time and procrastinating and took out an archive edition of some of the original Superman comic books, Action comic books and started rereading them because I couldn’t figure out this plot point on Dark Knight Rises, I just randomly sat down one afternoon and wrote up some ideas for Superman. When I met with Chris Nolan again in another week or so he said, ‘Have you worked out the problem on The Dark Knight Rises?’ I said, ‘No,’ he said, ‘What have you been doing?’ and I said, ‘Well, I had this idea for Superman,’ and because Chris likes to procrastinate as well he said ‘let’s hear it,’ so I told him. And he literally called Jeff Robinov, who’s the head of Warner Bros, while I was sitting there and said, ‘Jeff, Dave just told me this take on Superman and you need to hear it, I’d like to produce it. Can we come in?’ And we went in the next day. That’s how it happened. No, we weren’t trying to do it, it just happened…”

…Although it’s been assumed that Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel wouldn’t come face-to-face with Lex Luthor until the inevitable Man of Steel 2, Goyer then went on to hint that Superman’s greatest foe could make an appearance in the Zack Snyder-directed reboot, stating that “I don’t think anyone has ever confirmed that we haven’t included him.” While this in itself was enough to stoke the fires of speculation, a report from AICN then went on to suggest that Luthor will indeed make an appearance in Man of Steel as a “third act reveal”, with the site going on to claim that a former Lex Luthor (or rather, a former Lex Luthor clone) is set to portray the criminal mastermind in little-known Canadian actor Mackenzie Gray, who played Luthor’s clone in Smallville, as well as voicing Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger in the animated series Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Gray has confirmed his involvement in the film, but refused to give any details about his role, so it’s possible this report is accurate, although you’d have to assume that WB would have went with a bigger name for the most iconic villain in Superman’s rogues gallery…

…Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC Entertainment have announced that they are producing a new documentary that will explore some of DC Comics’ most iconic rogues; entitled Necessary Evil: Villains of DC Comics, the documentary is set to be narrated by Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars), and DC Entertainment’s CCO Geoff Johns has offered an insight into what we can expect from the film: “DC Comics is known for many things, but chief among them is the compelling, diverse and legendary society of super-villains who populate its universe. From the monstrous Solomon Grundy to the brutal Black Adam to the charismatic Sinestro, there is no single greater collection of villainy in all of fiction. These villains are hugely popular comic book characters in their own right and, quite honestly, many are often times more popular than some of our iconic super heroes. It’s time we deconstruct these complex and sinister antagonists and celebrate the role they play as the engine and energy of some of the greatest storytelling in comics. 2013 is the Year of the Villain at DC Comics…”

…Could a non-superpowered version of the Justice League be heading to Arrow? Well, it would seem like a possibility, with executive producer Marc Guggenheim revealing via Twitter that A.R.G.U.S. is set to feature in The CW’s hit series. If you’re unfamiliar with A.R.G.U.S. from DC’s comic continuity, it’s a New 52 organisation, ‘Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans’, which is headed up by Steve Trevor and Amanda Waller and has established its own government-controlled version of the Justice League, the Justice League of America. However, considering the lack of metahumans in the world of Arrow, the series will see A.R.G.U.S. restyled as Advanced Research Group United Support’…

…Seth Gabel’s Count makes his return to Starling City in this week’s episode of Arrow, ‘Unfinished Business’. Watch an extended promo here, and check out the official episode description: “When a young woman meets a violent death after partying at Verdant, Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and his new partner, Detective Hilton (guest star Roger Cross) inform Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Tommy (Colin Donnell) that she was on the drug Vertigo. Oliver immediately pays a visit to the mental institution where The Count is locked up, but finds he is in no condition to deal drugs. However, when The Count escapes and Starling City is flooded with even more Vertigo-related violence, Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey) make it their mission to track him down. After Detective Lance uncovers incriminating evidence against him, Tommy goes to great lengths to clear his name, and the fallout from his actions leads Tommy down a new, unexpected path. In a flashback to the island, Oliver recalls the lessons he learned from Slade (guest star Manu Bennett) and Shado (guest star Celina Jade)…”

…Fans of the recently cancelled Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series have been given a glimmer of hope that Warner Bros. and Cartoon Network could be open to a change of heart this week with the news that WB has agreed to meet the organisers of a crowdfunding campaign to save the two shows, which is due to take place on April 11th; meanwhile, Cartoon Network has also announced that it will begin airing reruns of both series alongside the upcoming Teen Titans Go! throughout April, which isn’t too surprising considering the ratings the shows were pulling in. For a full schedule of DC Nation’s April programming, head over to The World’s Finest
…If the cancellation of Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series came as a blow to fans of DC’s animated universe, they’ll no doubt be distraught over the news that Bruce Timm has stepped down from his position as supervising producer for Warner Bros.’ DC offerings. Timm – who co-created the classic Batman: The Animated Series, along with the likes of Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Batman Beyond – is to be replaced by James Tucker, whose extensive DC credits include Legion of Super Heroes and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Read what Tucker had to say about his appointment, and the future of DC’s animated output (including the upcoming Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox adaptation) here. Meanwhile, according to The World’s Finest, Timm still remains a part of Warner Bros. Animation and is currently involved in several yet-to-be-announced projects, with Warner Home Video publicist Gary Miereanu quoted as saying: “Bruce Timm continues his amazing work at Warner Bros. He’s only taking a break from DCU films to develop more of the stuff you love. Bruce Timm is stepping away from the DCU Animated Original Movies for a bit … but he’ll be back – in a very big way…”

…Speaking of Tucker, he’s set to take part in a panel discussion today at WonderCon today following the world premiere of the latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Superman: Unbound. Produced and directed by Tucker from a script by Bob Goodman (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), Superman: Unbound is based on 2008 story arc Superman: Brainiac by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank and features Matt Bomer (White Collar) as the Man of Steel, John Noble (Fringe) as Brainiac, and Castle co-stars Stana Katic and Molly Quinn as Lois Lane and Supergirl. Tucker will be joined in the Q&A by Bomer, Quinn, Goodman and eight-time Emmy Award-winning dialogue director Andrea Romano, while the animated movie will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on May 7th…

…Switching to Marvel’s animated offerings and this Sunday’s episode of Ultimate Spider-Man sees the introduction of Carnage, although fans may not be too impressed by the character’s revamped origin. You can check out a clip from the new episode here ahead of its broadcast on Sunday morning as part of Disney XD’s Marvel Universe programming block…

…And finally, we end on a sad note this week with the news that screenwriter and producer Don Payne has passed away at the age of just 48 after losing a battle with bone cancer. After working on the writing staff of The Simpsons (and collecting four Emmys for his efforts), Payne moved into feature films with writing credits on the likes of My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Thor and the upcoming sequel Thor: The Dark World.

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

    Why not use Kick Starter? They could get at least 5 million and I'm sure Ryan Reynolds would work for scale, this doesn't need to have more then 50 million dollar in the budget

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

    And If Bryan Singer was smart he'd make Xmen Days of Future Past a sequel to Xmen United not Last Stand

  • http://www.facebook.com/hunhun.cjr Hunhun Cjr

    Stream it now G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013 HD –>>> http://bit.ly/YUPadJ

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

    Yes, makes you wonder whether he's going to have the First Class characters coming forward in time (either that, or the entire original X-Men trilogy team travelling back)

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

    I'm sure there's a market for hard R-rated superhero movies these days, just need a studio to pull the trigger.

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

    I'm sure it'll be Lionsgate or Universal. I just read the script, it's hilarious, could use a little work, but with the right director it could be great, plus it's not a Hard R like they described

  • Ghostface

    "The Wolverine" looks underwhelming to say the least. Not sure if the film will be much better than the last one. Oh how I wish Darren Aronofsky wasn't heartbroken by Rachel Weisz and James Bond's love affair. His directorial efforts could have been epic. He would have surely been given full (Chris Nolan type) control to make a faithful adaptation to Frank Miller's

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordanleehurd Jordan Hurd

    I think it would be cool that if they go back to the past to prevent the events of The Last Stand from occurring. Then in essence the third movie would be written out of the timeline.

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

    that's exactly what I was saying, why not? the continuity is so fucked why stop

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

    It should honestly be more of a First Class movie because we already have 3 xmen movies and only one prequel version