The Week in Spandex – Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel, Justice League, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and more

Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Iron Man 3, The Avengers 2, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Man of Steel, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Arrow, Avengers Assemble, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Teen Titans Go!, Superman: Unbound and more…

Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3The 2013 superhero season is now officially underway with director Shane Black and star Robert Downey Jr. kicking off Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Iron Man 3 begins to roll out around the world. The threequel arrived in the UK on Thursday, pulling in $36.5 million internally by close of play that day, and appears to be comfortably heading towards an opening weekend in excess of $100 million globally. This would put it ahead of both Iron Man and Iron Man 2, with its North American and Chinese openings still to come on May 3rd. It’s expected that Iron Man 3 will do big business in both markets, with analysts predicting a $160 million debut in the States (and that was before Disney sorted out its dispute with cinema chain AMC), so it’s already looking like Tony Stark’s third solo will have overtaken the entire global hauls of The Incredible Hulk ($263.4 million) and Captain America: The First Avenger ($368.6 million) by the time the dust settles on its domestic opening weekend.

But enough about the figures… what about the film itself? Well, we’ve got two spoiler free reviews of Iron Man 3 here at Flickering Myth courtesy of Luke Owen and Chris Cooper, both of whom awarded the movie ★★★★:

Iron Man 3 is a really solid movie. It’s not The Avengers good and it’s not quite Iron Man good, but it’s a vast improvement on Iron Man 2. As with all movies of this calibre, there are some plot holes that aren’t really addressed and the film does lose its way a touch when it gets deep into the third act but overall it’s a really fun experience. What I love about the movie is that it went back to the well and it does its own thing as opposed to trying to top what came before it. I certainly don’t think it will be the film of the year and I’d be hard pressed to imagine it will be the best comic book movie of 2013, but it’s a really, really great movie that is well worth your time.” – Read Luke’s full review here.

A high point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and not the film I expected at all; Iron Man 3 is a more mature comic book film, whilst still retaining all the adventure and humour we’ve come to expect. Hopefully it’s a great indicator of where Marvel is heading with their cinematic adventures.” – Read Chris’ full review here.

Iron Man 3 IMAX poster

…Of course, the international release of Iron Man 3 was preceded by another wave of promotional material, including an IMAX 3D poster [see here], nine unused designs for said IMAX 3D poster from artist Jock [see here], three new TV spots [see here, here and here], two clips [see here and here], an Extremis featurette [see here] and a new batch of stills featuring Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle), Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall), Savin (James Badge Dale), Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Ellen Brandt (Stephanie Szostak) and Harley (Ty Simpkins) [see here]. Meanwhile the stars assembled in Los Angeles on Wednesday for the Hollywood premiere, and you can check out all of the red carpet action here

…So, with the arrival of Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr.’s contract with Marvel Studios is now up, and although last week he seemed to be distancing himself from reprising the role again – either for The Avengers 2 or the inevitable Iron Man 4 – this week he appeared to be a little more open to the prospect, telling Digital Spy that: “Today, I would say I’d be happy to continue and I’d be a little nervous and a little depressed, but I would capitalise on not doing it too.” In another interview with Digital Spy, Gwyneth Paltrow indicated that Marvel were yet to ask her about returning as Pepper Potts but were “trying to make a deal with Robert right now” but in a chat with Geek Nation, the actress stated “I don’t think there’s going to be [an Iron Man 4], I think we’re done with Iron Man.” Meanwhile, Don Cheadle added to the speculation surrounding the future of the Iron Man franchise by telling Empire Online that “I know there was talk of making sure we did this one right, and if it worked it could be the last one,” as well as discussing the possibility of a War Machine spin-off and suggesting to Collider that “conversations have been happening” over Rhodey possibly featuring in a cameo in next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and lining up alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in The Avengers 2

…While we’re on the subject of new characters joining The Avengers 2, Joss Whedon teased the possibility of a brother/sister act being introduced in the sequel: “You do come to a point where we all agree, ‘Ok, I’ve got these two characters, you know, two of my favorite characters from the comic book, a brother/sister act. They’re in the movie, that’s exciting.’ You lock certain things in.” Naturally, his comments sparked speculation that Marvel Studios could be set to utilise Magneto’s offspring Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in the sequel, with the characters available to both Marvel Studios for The Avengers and 20th Century Fox for the X-Men franchise…

Thor: The Dark World

…Before the Armored Avenger kicked off Phase Two of the MCU, Marvel gave us a sneak peek at the studio’s next release, debuting the first trailer for this year’s Thor: The Dark World, along with a selection of images featuring Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder, Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster and Anthony Hopkins’ Odin [see here and here]. The trailer itself was more of a teaser, offering up only the briefest of glimpses of Christopher Eccleston’s (Doctor Who) new bad guy Malekith the Accursed, as well as teasing an alliance between Thor and his imprisoned half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Check out what our writing team made of the first trailer for the Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) directed sequel in the latest Flickering Myth Reaction, in addition to four cast and crew posters for Thor: The Dark World which have been produced by artist Olly Moss. Thor: The Dark World is set to open in the UK on October 30th and in North America on November 8th, with a cast that also includes Rene Russo (Frigga), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Ray Stevenson, (Volstagg) Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun) Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis), Zachary Levi (Fandral) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Algrim the Strong / Kurse)…

…Moving on to Marvel’s 2014 slate and JustJared posted some spy photos of Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) hanging around the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while Hayley Atwell has spoken to Metro about her role in the film, stating that Peggy Carter will feature in three separate fight scenes – which is surprising, considering Peggy was only thought to feature in a brief flashback cameo; however, it seems we’ll be seeing plenty of the character over the next year, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito confirming that the World War II heroine will headline the next Marvel One-Shot, which is due to premiere at the San Diego Comic-Con and will presumably feature on the home-entertainment release of Iron Man 3. Meanwhile, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will hit screens on April 4th 2014, with Chris Evans’ Cap also joined in the cast by Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola), Maximiliano Hernandez (Jasper Sitwell), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), Frank Grillo (Crossbones), Georges St-Pierre (Batroc the Leaper) and Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce)…

Guardians of the Galaxy

…With filming on Guardians of the Galaxy set to begin this summer, director James Gunn has added another two names to the cast this week, with British actress Ophelia Lovibond (Mr. Popper’s Penguins) securing the role of “an aide” to a newly-announced villain The Collector, and Lee Pace (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) joining the film as an as-yet-unrevealed antagonist. The duo join the previously announced Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) as Star-Lord, Dave Bautista (Riddick) as Drax the Destroyer, Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) as Gamora and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) as Yondu in the cosmic superhero ensemble, with the roles of Rocket Raccoon and Groot yet to be filled…

…It’s been widely assumed that after his mid-credits cameo in The Avengers, Thanos would feature as the bad guy in Guardians of the Galaxy, building up to a big showdown against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in The Avengers 2; however, Thanos creator Jim Starlin has moved to distance himself from his earlier “confirmation”, stating on Facebook that: “Setting the record straight: It keeps getting reported that I claimed that Thanos will be in both the upcoming Guardians of the Universe and Avengers II movies. Sort of true but not really. All I said, in some interview way back when, was that I had heard (as in convention scuttlebutt) that the Titan would be in both movies. I have absolutely nothing to do with Marvel films and not all that much with Marvel Comics. So I am no reliable source to quote on anything to do with what’s happening in any future Marvel film.” Nor the names of future Marvel films, it appears…

…We might have an explanation for Agent Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) resurrection in the Joss Whedon-directed TV pilot Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with Slash Film reporting that: “In the pilot, it’s revealed Nick Fury, the ultimate super spy, faked Agent Coulson’s death on purpose to motivate The Avengers. Some S.H.I.E.L.D. members were in on it (including, possibly, Maria Hill) but The Avengers were not. Their security clearance wasn’t high enough. Coulson was forced to hold his breath as part of the ruse and that’s a point of contention among his colleagues After the fact, Fury moved him to a remote location until things died down, and then he was reinserted into duty at the time of the show.” However, according to Clark Gregg in an interview with Crave Online, should ABC opt against a full season order for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which would surely be a crazy decision), then fan-favourite Coulson will likely remain dead…

…Kevin Feige has officially confirmed that Marvel Studios has reacquired the rights to Daredevil from 20th Century Fox, meaning that we can now add the Man Without Fear to the list of possibilities for Phase Three, which is set to begin in 2015 with Edgar Wright’s long-awaited Ant-Man adaptation. It’s been strongly rumoured that Phase Three will also see the introduction of Doctor Strange, while the third batch of movies will surely see the long-awaited big screen debut of Black Panther (assuming he doesn’t appear in The Avengers 2 beforehand)…

Halle Berry as Storm in X-Men: Days of Future PastFrom one Marvel universe to another now and with filming well underway on Fox’s mutant time-traveling epic X-Men: Days of Future Past, director Bryan Singer has given us our first look at Halle Berry’s Storm in the 2014 sequel, as well as revealing via Twitter that both Bishop and Warpath are included among the roster of mutants (and presumably portrayed by Omar Sy and Booboo Stewart respectively). It’s also been announced that Adam Canto (The Following) has signed on for an-as-yet unrevealed role (with speculation pointing towards that of Sunspot), where he’ll line up alongside a who’s who of the X-Men franchise including Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy), Magneto (Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Rogue (Anna Paquin), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) and Blink (Fan Binbing), while Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage is set to play the main antagonist, thought to be Bolivar Trask…

…Before we get to Days of Future Past, there’s the small matter of this summer’s solo sequel The Wolverine, which sees Hugh Jackman donning the claws for sixth time as Logan heads to Japan in director James Mangold’s adaptation of the 1982 Wolverine limited series from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller; this week Fox debuted a new international trailer for the Japanese market (where it’s known as Wolverine: Samurai), and while there’s only snippets of new footage, considering how long it took Fox to release the official theatrical trailer, we might be looking at a lengthy wait before we see any more

…Last week we got our first look at Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) in full make-up as Electro thanks to spy images from the NYC set of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and now we have the first official image of Electro’s alter-ego Max Dillon, along with Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines) as Harry Osborn [check out both images here]. Of course there’s also been plenty of unofficial set photos surfacing online this past week, including shots of Foxx, DeHaan and Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker [see here], an exterior of the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane [see here], and a Spidey stuntman in full costume, giving us our best look yet at the wall-crawler’s redesigned suit [see here]. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is due to swing into cinemas on May 2nd, with Marc Webb directing a cast that also includes Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Sally Field (Aunt May), Shailene Woodley (Mary Jane Watson), Paul Giamatti (The Rhino) and Chris Cooper (Norman Osborn)…

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel

…While Marvel continues to dominate the multiplexes, DC fans will soon have something to shout about with the release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, and after the excitement of the third trailer last week, Warner Bros. has served up a selection of new images featuring most of the main players from the upcoming reboot, including Henry Cavill (Clark Kent / Superman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Russel Crowe (Jor-El), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Antje Traue (Faora) and Michael Shannon (General Zod) – the latter complete with glowing heat-vision eyes. Meanwhile Henry Cavill revealed to Entertainment Weekly the comic book titles that have inspired his take on the Last Son of Krypton, revealing that his primary influences were ‘The Death of Superman’, ‘The Return of Superman’, ‘Superman: Red Son’ and ‘Superman/Batman: The Search for Kryptonite’, while Amazon has released the track listing for Hans Zimmer’s original score, which offers up a few clues as to the plot of the hotly-anticipated reboot. For more news and opinions on Man of Steel, be sure to check out Martin Deer’s latest Countdown to Man of Steel round-up ..

…It’s become increasingly obvious these past few months that Warner Bros. has been waiting to judge the reaction to Man of Steel before pressing ahead with its plans for its various DC properties – including the long-rumoured Justice League movie – but it seems that the studio may be confident enough about the upcoming reboot to have already given the go ahead to a shared DC movie universe before Henry Cavill’s Kal-El flies into cinemas. A couple of weeks back WB president Jeff Robinov said that “we’ll announce something in the next several weeks that will hopefully position the DC characters and the movies we’re going to be making” and now DC’s VP of Marketing John Cunningham has responded to a question at C2E2 about the possibility of a Justice League or Wonder Woman movie by stating: “We we’re going to say anything until Warner Bros. studios allowed us to do it, but since you asked the question. Watch this space. Watch it. It’s coming… I think the best thing I can say to all of you is go out and see Superman opening weekend. Drive that box office. Make people sit up and pay attention to what you want. But I think that the movie business works years and years in planning. These decisions are being made, have been made, and we will all know what they are shortly. And I think we will all be happy when that comes down…”

Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill

…Assuming Man of Steel doesn’t pull a Green Lantern (which it’s not going to, is it?), then it appears we could see several DC movies given the green light, and according to Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleischer, if Justice League does get the go ahead, then “”that’s something that Zack Snyder is going to wind up doing.” Meanwhile, Snyder himself has acknowledged that Man of Steel has planted the seeds for a wider DC universe, although he stopped short of confirming that there are any specific plans in place at this point in time for him to build upon the world: “We didn’t design the movie like Batman [i.e. as a trilogy] but I don’t think anybody would say you design a Superman movie as a one-off… I have been making references to the DC Universe, just to let you know that world is out there…”

…During an interview with IGN, Thor: The Dark World star Jaimie Alexander has once again expressed her interest in swapping the world of Asgard for Themyscira, responding positively to a question about the fan support for her to portray the Amazon Princess: “It is extremely flattering, because I really did love that character growing up. I think that if there was the right script and the right timing, like I’ve said before in interviews, it’d be nice to see Wonder Woman done sort of like The Bourne Identity or something a little bit more masculine and a bit more tough, because really all we’ve seen thus far is her running around in hot pants and big, huge boobs and not really doing much. And I’m talking about film and television, I’m not talking about the comic books, because actually in the comic books — especially Allan Heinberg’s version — she’s pretty badass! She works for the CIA, she’s incredible. But, you know, if something was done a little bit more classy and it had a lot more strength to it, I would consider it. There’s nothing I wouldn’t consider. Of course, I am Lady Sif in a Marvel franchise, and that may not work out, for me to play Wonder Woman, but I am absolutely flattered that people want me to play her because I’ve always loved her since I was a kid…”

Stephen Amell in Arrow

…The CW has released an extended promo and images from this week’s 21st episode of Arrow, entitled ‘The Undertaking’, which you can check out over at GreenArrowTV. Here’s the official episode description: “Finding it difficult to mend fences with Tommy (Colin Donnell) and Diggle (David Ramsey), Oliver (Stephen Amell) instead focuses on crossing another name off the list. While digging through a crooked accountant’s laptop, Felicity (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) discovers a transaction that could help Oliver find Walter. To reconfirm the lead, Oliver gambles that Felicity can be counted on in the field for the first time. In a flashback, Malcolm (guest star John Barrowman) reveals to Robert Queen (guest star Jamey Sheridan) and Frank Chen (guest star Chin Han) painful details surrounding his wife’s murder, and how that shaped his plans for the Glades. Meanwhile, Tommy stuns Laurel (Katie Cassidy) with the truth…”

…After cancelling Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series earlier this year, Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. Animation debuted the first of two new DC cartoons this past Tuesday with the premiere of the animated comedy series Teen Titans Go!. Despite coming in for some heavy criticism from Young Justice and Green Lantern fans, the Teen Titans enjoyed a successful launch, becoming the #1 rated kids programme of the day on basic cable among boys 2-11, 6-11, 9-14 and male teens, as well as comfortably beating its competitors on Nickelodeon and Disney XD in its key demographics. The first episode is repeated on DC Nation this weekend, while The World’s Finest has a selection of clips and images from episode 2, which airs this coming Tuesday at 7.30pm (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network…

Superman: Unbound

…Warner Bros. is also set to release the latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie Superman: Unbound on May 7th, and we’ve got a selection of new promotional material from the direct-to-video feature, including a clip of Supergirl and Lois Lane in action and video interviews with Stana Katic (Lois Lane) and John Noble (Brainiac). Superman: Unbound is based upon Action Comics’ 2008 ‘Brainiac’ story arc by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank and sees James Tucker (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) directing a voice cast that also includes Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Superman, Molly Quinn (Castle) as Supergirl, Frances Conroy (American Horror Story) as Martha Kent, Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Perry White, Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) as Steve Lombard, Stephen Root (Boardwalk Empire) as Zor-El and Alexander Gould (Finding Nemo) as Jimmy Olsen…

…Marvel Animation hasn’t got off to the best of starts in 2013 with the diabolical direct-to-video anime Iron Man: Rise of Technovore [in my opinion at least - read my ★ review here], so hopefully we’ll see something a little better on the small screen when Avengers Assemble and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. arrive on Disney XD this summer; we’ve got two news banners and updated synopses for both shows which you can read here, and be sure to head on over to MarvelKids.com for promotional artwork and character bios for all of the main players from the upcoming series…

…And finally, we’ve been celebrating Comic Book Movie Month here at Flickering Myth throughout April, and this past week has seen Scott Davis revisiting The Dark Knight Rises, as well as our countdown of the Top 50 Comic Book Movies of All Time drawing to a close. The top ten was dominated by superheroes, with Sin City the only non-superhero movie at #10, followed by Batman at #9, Spider-Man 2 at #8, The Dark Knight Rises at #7, Iron Man at #6, Superman: The Movie at #5, The Avengers at #4, X2 at #3, Batman Begins at #2 and The Dark Knight at #1. You can see our full Top 50 here, and be sure to let us know your thoughts on the list.

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

Gary Collinson


Around the Internet…

  • Ruth

    At the end of Iron Man 3, after the after-credits scene, it said 'Tony Stark Will Return'. So I guess he'll back, even if its just a small role in The Avengers 2. The after-credits scene kind of suggests that too.

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

    Yeah I have no doubt Tony Stark will be back for The Avengers 2, and Iron Man 4 is inevitable really. Will it be Robert Downey Jr. though? I'm not sure. I think (and hope) we'll see him in The Avengers 2, but if Marvel are going to replace him with another actor, probably best to do it in The Avengers rather than a solo movie.

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

    The idea of replacing Robert makes me sick , if they were smart they'd give him whatever he wanted. If I was Disney I'd give him his own production company.

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

    Those unused photos are incredible, I want them more then the one that's coming out

  • http://twitter.com/LukeWritesStuff Luke Owen

    My theory is that Tony Stark will appear, but not as Iron Man. Perhaps just in a small cameo.

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

    That could be a possibility. They don't need to have him front and centre to promote the film anyway. Maybe use it to introduce some new heroes who could then go on to have solo movies in Phase Three. But I still suspect they'll want Iron Man 4, especially when 3's box office totals are in.