The Week in Spandex – Man of Steel, The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Justice League, Arrow, Beware the Batman, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and more

Our weekly round up of all the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Man of Steel (and Man of Steel 2), Justice League, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (3 and 4), Kick-Ass 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Big Hero 6, Arrow, Beware the Batman, Young Justice, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Ultimate Spider-Man and more…

Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill Man of Steel

Superman faces some stiff competition in the States this weekend as Man of Steel goes up against Pixar’s Monsters University and the Brad Pitt zombie epic World War Z, with the Zack Snyder-directed superhero reboot expected to place third in the chart (early Friday estimates indicate a huge 71% drop, having pulled in $12.7 million yesterday). Man of Steel got off to a fine start last week, setting a June record in North America with a three-day haul of $116.7 million and $128.7 million including Thursday previews. That is of course a franchise high – Superman Returns opened with $52 million back in 2006 – and the second biggest debut of the year so far behind Iron Man 3 ($174 million), although it also trails Marvel’s The Avengers ($207.4 million), The Dark Knight Rises ($160.9 million), The Dark Knight ($158.4 million), Spider-Man 3 ($151.1 million) and Iron Man 2 ($128.1 million). Still, with all of those being sequels to already established properties, it’s certainly an impressive start for Warner Bros., and with $242 million in the bank globally by close of play on Thursday (including a solid £11.2 million opening here in the UK), Man of Steel should find itself hovering around the $400 million mark by the end of its second weekend…

…So, the big question is, will that be enough for Warner Bros. to officially pull the trigger on a DC movie universe? Well, according to reports, the studio already has, with Man of Steel 2 said to be on the fast-track to release in 2014, followed by the long-awaited Justice League in 2015. With Henry Cavill readying himself for a starring role in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., that seems like a mighty ambitious plan, especially as WB has struggled for so long to bring its superhero team together…

Doomsday New 52

…Sticking with the Superman franchise for a moment and Warner Bros. has released a ‘Crafting the Score’ featurette centred around composer Hans Zimmer [see here], while Zack Snyder has provided a video commentary for the fight between Kal-El and Antje Traue’s Faora [see here]. Meanwhile Snyder has also taken the opportunity to discuss the controversial ending of the showdown between Superman and General Zod (Michael Shannon) [see here], screenwriter David S. Goyer has discussed the collateral damage during the Battles of Smallville and Metropolis [see here], and Total Film put the question to the cast and crew as to when would be the right time to unleash Doomsday…

…We’ve posted a few DC-themed features here on Flickering Myth this past week – be sure to check out Martin Deer’s Man of Steel: Ridiculous Criticisms Rebutted, Anthony Stokes’ How to Make a Justice League Movie Work and Anghus Houvouras’ Fandom: How Hardcore Fans Are Killing Superhero Potential

…It’s been a busy week in Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise, beginning with the announcement that the studio has set 2016 and 2018 release dates for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 respectively. But of course that’s been completely overshadowed by all of the speculation surrounding the status of Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson; on Wednesday, it was revealed that director Marc Webb had cut The Descendants star’s scenes from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and would be holding them back until the third instalment, which was quickly followed by reports that the studio was looking to recast the part. Adding to all the drama was the news that Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method, Cosmopolis) had joined the franchise, and while Gadon has since confirmed her casting, she has denied reports that she’s set to take over from Woodley as MJ…

…Another mystery surrounding The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the identity of the character portrayed by Felicity Jones (Like Crazy). It’s been heavily rumoured that Jones will be playing Felicia Hardy / Black Cat, and judging by her reaction when asked point blank by Flicks and the City, it seems another villain may be joining the party: “Um, well… errrr… possibly, I don’t know. Yeah. I kind of… it’s umm… Yeah, if that happens, that would be wonderful, yes.” So, with Jamie Foxx (White House Down), Paul Giamatti (Sideways) and Chris Cooper (American Beauty) confirmed as Electro, The Rhino and The Green Goblin and Colm Feore (Thor) said to be The Vulture, we might just be one bad guy away from the Sinister Six…

Kick-Ass 2 movie poster…Having pushed the release of Kick-Ass 2 back to August to avoid competition from the likes of Man of Steel and The Wolverine, Universal Pictures has released a new poster and trailer for the upcoming comic book adaptation. Kick-Ass 2 is directed by Jeff Wadlow (Never Back Down) and sees the returning Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Hit-Girl) teaming up with Jim Carrey’s (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) Colonel Stars and Stripes and the team of Justice Forever to battle Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s The Mother F*cker and his band of supervillains, The Toxic Mega-C*nts…

…20th Century Fox has announced that its updated its 2014 schedule, swapping the release dates of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and bringing forward Bryan Singer’s X-Men inbetweequel to May 23rd, 2014. Singer has been snapped hanging around the Montreal set of Days of Future Past with a 70s-styled Hugh Jackman [see here], and the director has also offered up a few thoughts on bringing Fox’s two X-Men timelines together, as well as competing with Marvel Studios: “I’ve basically rebooted the universe twice already, in that I booted it up once with X-Men and then rebooted it with X-Men: First Class. I’m very keenly interested in exploring the X-Men universe in the same way that Marvel have done with the Avengers. It’s an enormous universe and not just in the issues that it confronts. A lot of Marvel’s famous characters have already been used but there’s still a few left. DC have got some as well; the Justice League film is going to be a monster! You can never compete with [the Marvel Cinematic Universe]. Tonally it’s a very different experience as the X-Men movies operate on very specific themes and it’s a much more serious kind of universe as the Marvel movies universe is not so serious. It’s got its own emotional points and the characters are obviously amazing…”

…That brings us to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as Iron Man 3 crosses $400 million domestically, the speculation over the future of Tony Stark has been put to rest with the news that Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to reprise the role for The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3, meaning it’s looking highly unlikely that Iron Man 4 will feature as part of Phase Three of the MCU. The third movie is finishing up its box office run, having become the fifth-highest grossing movie of all time, and Marvel Studios has kicked off the promotional for the home-entertainment release with a trailer ahead of its arrival here in the UK on September 9th. Included on the special features on the Blu-ray release are the Agent Carter Marvel One-Shot featuring Hayley Atwell, an “Analyze the Scene” featurette on the attack on Air Force One and an exclusive behind-the-scenes preview of Marvel’s next Phase Two offering, Thor: The Dark World

…Last week we got to see Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain) soaring high above Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier as Falcon in the currently-in-production Captain America sequel, and now Mackie has offered some details about his take on the character during an interview with EW: “[Captain America: The Winter Soldier] is a cool story and brings in some amazing characters and the Falcon is one of the things that fans are already excited about. [Falcon] is a really smart guy who went through major military training and becomes a tactical leader,  he’s not some guy that fell into this. The most important thing I got from everybody at Marvel about the Falcon was the need to show that he’s a very righteous, man-forward kind of guy. He would do anything to protect the man next to him and to protect his country. That’s the integrity of the character and the integrity of the man and that that’s what I have focused on…”

…With filming on Captain America: The Winter Soldier moving to interior locations, there’s been a distinct lack of set photos this past week, although a potentially spoilery snap of the returning Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter has surfaced, which you can check out here

…Marvel’s other 2014 release Guardians of the Galaxy is set to commence production in the UK this month (it’s actually “pre-shooting” at the moment), and director James Gunn (Super) has taken the opportunity to express his excitement over the opportunity to expand the MCU ahead of the start of principal photography: “I am a HUGE Marvel geek. I love Marvel comics and have read them since I was four years old. I have never stopped. I have read at least one comic almost every day of my life! I feel a part of the Marvel universe and its characters. I feel lucky to be entrusted with helping to create a whole new section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – not just one planet or society but MANY. There is no part of me that doesn’t appreciate people’s excitement for the possibilities Guardians represent – there is no one more excited than I am. I could go on and on and on… Shooting is just a few weeks out and I’m more pumped than ever…”

…Marvel has a habit of knocking it out of the park when it comes to their San Diego Comic-Con offerings, and it’s been revealed that Joss Whedon and Jeph Loeb will be heading up Marvel Television’s panel on July 19th as the duo introduce their first live-action offering Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ahead of its premiere in the Fall. Presumably we can also expect a SDCC return for Agent Coulson himself, Clark Gregg too, along with appearances from the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s new roster…

…Before we move on from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Joblo has posted a selection of rumours about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and Disney’s first animated Marvel movie Big Hero; in terms of the live action movies, the site reports that Captain America 2 “is pretty much a sequel to The Avengers and plays the biggest role in leading into The Avengers 2” as well as going “more in-depth on Black Widow’s back story and gadgetry”, while Guardians of the Galaxy will see Ronan the Accuser as the lead villain, although “Thanos does indeed play a large role in the overall scheme of things” and that “the Guardians will operate out of their base of operations, called Knowhere, a space station with the ability to teleport throughout the universe. Lastly, our source confirmed that there would be no members of The Avengers featured in the film, but that it does take place in the same time/universe as the current phase of films.” And for those of you looking forward to Disney’s Big Hero 6, the 2014 animated feature from Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) is said to see “the lead character, Hiro Hamada, joined by Wasabi No Ginger, Honey Lemon, Fred, and Baymax, who are trying to stop Hiro’s invention, called ‘swarm microbots’ which fall into the wrong hands [and] one of the key plot elements is that Hiro’s brother was killed in a mysterious accident…”

will operate out of their base of operations, called Knowhere, a space station with the ability to teleport throughout the universe. Lastly, our source confirmed that there would be no members of THE AVENGERS featured in the film, but that it does take place in the same time/universe as the current phase of films. – See more at: http://www.joblo.com/movie-news/exclusive-spoilers-details-on-a-number-of-disney-and-marvel-projects-including-captain-america-2-cinderella-the-good-dinosaur-and-more#sthash.fuQwryTr.dpuf

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t be the only superhero series to have a presence at Comic-Con, with executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg and stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards and Colton Haynes set to take part in a panel for The CW’s hit superhero series Arrow ahead of its second season. Meanwhile Stephen Amell has teased a “game-changer” when the show resumes this Fall, telling Access Hollywood that “I can’t say [specifics] but it’s something and some people that aren’t just familiar to DC Comics fans – they’re like more familiar than Green Arrow.” Of course the natural assumption is the Justice League, and although we can safely scratch off Superman and Batman from making an appearance, it’s certainly possible that WB and The CW could use the second season to incorporate their Wonder Woman pilot Amazon, or perhaps even bring in an incarnation of Green Lantern…

Beware the Batman

…Also featuring as part of Warner Bros. TV’s lineup at SDCC is Warner Animation’s upcoming CG series Beware the Batman, which received its first full trailer this week in addition to a host of stills [see here]. The new series has been developed by Glen Murakami (Batman Beyond) and features a voice cast that includes Anthony Ruivivar (Banshee) as Batman/Bruce Wayne, JB Blanc (The Count of Monte Cristo) as Alfred and Sumalee Montano (ER) as Katana, Wallace Langham (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as Anarky, Grey DeLisle (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) as Magpie, Udo Kier (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc.) as Mr. Toad, Lance Reddick (Fringe) as Ra’s al Ghul and Brian George (The Big Bang Theory) as Professor Pyg. Beware the Batman is set to premiere on Cartoon Network’s DC Nation programming block on July 13th…

…In other animated DC news, The World’s Finest has a selection of stills and images from this coming week’s episode of Teen Titans Go! entitled ‘You’re Fired’ [see here], as well as a report from the Young Justice panel at the Denver Comic-Con, which featured producer Greg Weisman, voice actors Dee Bradley Baker, Khary Payton and Phil LaMarr, and artist Chris Jones [see here]. Meanwhile, DC fans hoping to see the Justice League on the big screen will get their wish next year – albeit in brick form – as the superheroes link up with the likes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in The LEGO Movie, and you can check out the first trailer and poster for the CG-animated comedy adventure here

…And finally, in addition to a Hulk-centric clip from this weekend’s Ultimate Spider-Man, we also have the first trailer for the newest addition to Disney XD’s Marvel Universe programming block, the comedy series Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., which you can see here. Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. is due to premiere alongside Marvel’s Avengers Assemble on August 11th, with a voice cast that includes Fred Tatasciore (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) as the Green Goliath, while the rest of the voice cast includes Seth Green (Robot Chicken) as A-Bomb, Eliza Dushku (Batman: Year One) as She-Hulk, Clancy Brown (Wolverine and the X-Men) as Thunderbolt Ross / Red Hulk and Benjamin Diskin (The Spectacular Spider-Man) as Skaar. 

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

Gary Collinson



Around the Internet…

  • Ryan

    Please, for the love of god, don’t call Days of Future Past an “inbetweenquel.” I like to think this site is sophisticated enough to use the correct term interquel, not reduce itself to words coined by twelve-year-olds on comicbookmovie.com.