Presenting our weekly round-up of all the big news stories from the world of movie superheroes…
It’s been quite an active week from The Dark Knight Rises camp, with several of the film’s cast talking (briefly) about Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman feature; Tom Hardy told The Scotsman that the director “has relative carte blanche with the studio” for the epic conclusion to his trilogy, while Gary Oldman wasn’t giving much away during an interview to promote his latest release, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, apart from to say that it’s going to be “something very special.” Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt managed to avoid being drawn into speculation over the identity of his character, ‘John Blake’, with the Inception star refusing to confirm or deny the rumours about him portraying Robin when asked directly by both MTV News and Jay Leno.
While the true identity and motives of JGL’s John Blake remain a mystery, this past week brought further confirmation (if it was really needed) that Marion Cotillard’s ‘Miranda Tate’ will be a villain as the actress was pictured in the front seat of Bane’s armoured truck during the filming of a major action sequence. A few videos have emerged that seem to give a pretty good idea of how the scene will go down, with an explosive showdown between the ‘bomb truck’ and the Batwing likely resulting in said truck crashing through a barrier and plunging to a lower level road. It looks like it will make for an exciting action set-piece on screen, and its this kind of emphasis on practical effects from Nolan that makes me sceptical over the recent claim that the end sequence of The Dark Knight Rises “will be done completely in VFX”.
Update – some set photos have made their way online today via JustJared showing Anne Hathaway in her full Catwoman costume filming a scene with Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon and Christian Bale’s Batman. It confirms the previous rumour about the goggles doubling as cat ears, and also confirms that the costume is a bit on the ‘meh’ side.
Moving on and filming may have wrapped on next summer’s epic team-up The Avengers, but there’s been plenty of activity within the Marvel Cinematic Universe this past week as Marvel Studios push on with their superhero slate post-Joss Whedon.
2013 will of course see the return of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark for the Shane Black-directed sequel Iron Man 3, which Latino Review suggests will commence filming in Wilmington, North Carolina next May, while Tom Hiddleston also told Collider that he expects Thor 2 to go before the cameras in the spring. On the subject of Thor 2, it appears that successor to the departing Kenneth Branagh is also imminent, with Deadline reporting that Monster director Patty Jenkins is the studio’s surprise choice to take over the reigns for Chris Hemsworth’s second outing as the God of Thunder.
Looking beyond 2013, The Playlist interviewed Chris Evans, who pinpointed Captain America 2 as a likely candidate for one of Marvel’s two mystery summer 2014 releases and also revealed that his contractual obligation to the studio will likely prevent any cameos outside of the Cap and Avengers series. Evans also passed on his thoughts about screenwriter Christopher Markus wanting to use Emmy Award-winning Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage as MODOK in a potential Captain America sequel, telling Moviefone: “I don’t know. I don’t know. It sounds like… heh. Heh. I don’t know. I don’t know.” Anyone think he’s a bit undecided on the issue?
Sticking with the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a moment, the success of this summer’s Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger has seen the franchise break into the top ten of the highest-grossing film series of all-time, with its five installments pulling in a global haul of $2.26b to date. Only two other superhero franchises manage to make the list (topped unsurprisingly by Harry Potter), with Spider-Man sitting in ninth on $2.49b and Batman one place higher with $2.58b, adding a little extra spice to next summer’s box office showdown between The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises.
The San Diego Comic-Con may have been a little short on superhero goodness this year but October’s New York Comic Con looks set to make amends with a number of highlights including brand new footage from The Avengers. The Marvel Television panel will present a sneak peak of Ultimate Spider-Man, along with updates on live-action series in development, including Guillermo del Toro’s small-screen take on The Incredible Hulk; meanwhile DC/Warner Bros. will also deliver some footage from the upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movies feature, Justice League: Doom, along with the world premiere of the animated Catwoman short and special guests such as Kevin Conroy, Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano. The NYCC runs from October 13th – 16th.
Rounding up the best of the rest…
…According to MovieNewz, character actor Michael Cerveris (Fringe) is under consideration for the role of Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder’s rebooted Superman universe, although the character is unlikely to pop up until the sequel to the currently in-production Man of Steel…
…Warner Premiere’s animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic story-arc Batman: Year One arrives on DVD and Blu-ray in the U.S. next month and InsideMovies got their hands on a clip from the movie, which shows Batman issuing a warning to Gotham’s crime bosses. Have to say I’m not overly impressed with Ben McKenzie’s voice for the Dark Knight…
…Former Spider-Man star Kirsten Dunst passed on her thoughts about the upcoming reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, telling Scotland’s The Herald that “It’ll be a fun movie. But it’s weird. Usually it happens when people are much older. I’m only 29! It’s like, ‘We need younger, fresher!’ It’s a totally different take on it. It’s not Mary Jane and Peter. It’s Gwen Stacy and Peter…”
…And finally, Hugh Jackman had a few words on the oft-delayed The Wolverine at the UK premiere of his latest movie Real Steel, reaffirming his commitment to the character and stating that: “I still don’t feel like we’ve really nailed him… and I really wanna get it.” Let’s hope Jackman and new director James Mangold can pull it out of the bag… if it ever manages to get off the ground, that is.
Holy Franchise, Batman! – Coming 2012.