The Week in Spandex – Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange, Batman v Superman, Aquaman, DC TV and more

Our weekly round up of all the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Captain America 3, The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, Malignant Man, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, The Batman, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Heroes Reborn and more…

GoTG - UK 1-Sheet - LocalisationWith less than six weeks to go until its release, Marvel Studios has stepped up the promotional for Guardians of the Galaxy this week, releasing a UK trailer packed with exciting new footage from the film [watch the trailer here], as well as a couple of TV spots [see here], an international poster [see here], and a series of official images featuring Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) [see here and here]. The James Gunn-directed space opera is set to open here in the UK on July 31st, and hits North American theaters the following day…

…After Guardians of the Galaxy, Joss Whedon will bring the curtain down on Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he reassembles Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for Avengers: Age of Ultron. This week has brought us some more spy photos and video from the UK set of the Avengers sequel featuring Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Chris Evans (Captain America), which you can see here and here, while the latter link also includes a set report which suggests the surprise inclusion of a few familiar faces from the MCU, including a cast member from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

…Sticking with spoiler territory and a few rumoured plot details have surfaced for Avengers: Age of Ultron and Marvel’s first Phase Three release Ant-Man, as well as possible details on the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s nothing majorly spoilery, and if you want to read them you can do so here…

doctorstrange_article…Screenwriter Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) has signed on to work alongside Scott Derrickson (Sinister) on Doctor Strange (which has Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Jared Leto allegedly under consideration for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange), while Derrickson has opened up about the attraction of bringing the Sorcerer Supreme to the screen: “I think when you consider the work that I’ve done it makes sense that he’d be my favorite comic book character, at least in the Marvel universe. Probably the only comic character in that mainstream world that I’m suited to. I feel such an affinity for the character and the story and the ambition of those comics, especially the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko “Strange Tales” – I think those are my favorite of all of them. The entire history of the comics is extraordinary. I wanted it really bad. More than any other project that I’ve gone after, I felt compelled to do everything in my power to get on that project. Genuinely felt like I was the right guy to do it… I think the nicest surprise for me, the most unexpected surprise, is the positive reaction [from fans]. Both to me getting the film – I guess I expected the detractors, and they just haven’t been there, it’s all been quite positive. More than that, it’s just the general enthusiasm for Doctor Strange. I think people who know the comic world and the Marvel universe, they all feel the same way I do, which is, ‘This is the Marvel movie we’re all ready to see now.’ This movie needs to exist. The outpouring of excitement that people have shown is the thing I’ve been most pleasantly surprised…”

Crossbones_Head…In other Phase Three news, Captain America: The Winter Soldier star Frank Grillo has been discussing the chances of his character Brock Rumlow returning to the MCU in the more traditional guise of Crossbones: “I’m cautiously optimistic that you will see me in the not too distant future in the next installment of Captain America. We’ve had multiple discussions about what comes after that, that thing [at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier]. So, you know, it’s obvious Rumlow is covered in rubble and burned to crisp at the end, but you see he’s still there. They don’t do that for no reason. He needs a costume! Coincidentally it could be a mask with a crossbones on it.” Grillo then went on to suggest that Crossbones could also feature outside of the Captain America series, stating that: “He could show up in anything. He could have his own thing. He could really have his own thing…”

…One character who has been absent from Phase Two of the MCU – at least, until Age of Ultron – is The Incredible Hulk, and according to Mark Ruffalo, Marvel may finally be ready to give the go ahead to a second MCU solo movie for the Green Goliath: “I think they are, for the first time, entertaining the idea of [another Hulk movie]. When we did The Avengers it was basically ‘No!’, and now there is some consideration for it. But there’s still nothing definitive, not even a skeletal version of what it would be. I look forward to going down that road, if we could crack that nut…”

Daredevil and Kingpin…Marvel has added another name to the cast of its upcoming Netflix miniseries Daredevil, with Rosario Dawson (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) signing on to play “a dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city.” Dawson joins the previously announced Charlie Cox (Stardust) as Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket) as The Kingpin…

…Before we move on from Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige was in attendance at CineEurope in Barcelona this week to showcase footage from Guardians of the Galaxy, following which he took part in a Q&A that saw him discussing all things Marvel, including the status of Ant-Man following Edgar Wright’s departure, the studio’s plans to explore the supernatural side of the MCU with Doctor Strange, its ever-expanding TV output, and the chances of Marvel Studios partnering up with Fox and Sony for the ultimate Marvel crossover. Read what he had to say here

…Moving on to Sony now and as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 edges to $702 million at the global box office (and looks like it may just fall short of Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s $710.5 million), details of the home-entertainment release have hit the web, with the Spidey sequel set to arrive on Download on August 5th and Blu-ray and DVD on August 19th. Check out a rundown of the special features here

Apocalypse…Over at Fox, Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past extended its record as the highest-grossing instalment of the X-Men franchise and has now amassed $671.6 million by close of play on Thursday night, while some concept art from the mutant superhero sequel has arrived online showing how Juggernaut would have appeared before the decision was made to switch his character with Quicksilver [see here]. Meanwhile, Simon Kinberg has briefly spoken about the next instalment in the series, confirming that X-Men: Apocalypse will take place in 1983, ten years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past

…Fox has picked up another superhero property, with James Wan (Saw, Insidious) set to adapt his own comic book series Malignant Man for the studio. Released through BOOM! Studios, Malignant Man tells the story of Alan Gates, “a cancer patient with a terminal diagnosis who is resigned to his fate until he discovers that his tumor is actually a mysterious parasite. Granted a second lease on life and incredible, otherworldly powers, Alan must fight against an evil army buried beneath society’s skin, all the while unlocking the secrets of his forgotten past.” Wan is producing the adaptation, with a view to also directing…

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