…Moving on to the Marvel Cinematic Universe now and Captain America: Civil War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have given an update on their progress with the script for Avengers: Infinity War and its now untitled sequel: “We’re many drafts in. We’re on the third draft of movie one and the second draft of movie two. [We’re writing them in tandem] as much as we can. On any given day, you’re only working on one but that doesn’t mean that next week, you aren’t working on the other one. And certainly, notes are coming in and all sorts of production stuff is coming in, like for instance, ‘that thing over there is now a window not a door so adjust that.’ Or, ‘we’re not going to this town now, we’re going to this town.’ That kind of stuff happens constantly and will continue to happen for the next few months.” Read the rest of their comments here, where they discuss keeping track of all the characters and also namedrop a certain Devourer of Worlds…
…There is of course still plenty of Marvel to look forward to before Infinity War, starting with November’s Doctor Strange, and this week brought the first TV spot, while Benedict Cumberbatch has been talking about the character arc for Stephen Strange this week, stating that: “He controls his fate and the fate of people under his knife—by skill, by hard work, by stuff literally at his disposal at the end of his hands. And the metaphor of him losing that through the crash, the tendons, the muscles, every manufacture of damage you can imagine, is sort of an emblem for how, when you lose control, you have to find something else. He finds this other, ultimately different way of thinking about things which is through Eastern mysticism and, beyond that, what that opens up into other dimensions. Literally. [The existence of other dimensions] is exciting for the Marvel Cinematic Universe because you have this huge new canvas that he brings to the whole thing. And as an actor playing someone who starts there and goes to that it’s just wonderful. It’s a riot. And there’s a lot of humor in the collision between Easter mysticism and Western scientific, sort of logical binary. That’s good fun to play and that was important for me to take that element into our version of Strange…”
…On the Doctor Strange merchandising front, this week has saw the release of LEGO’s Sanctum Sanctorum set [check out some promotional images here], while Funko unveiled its Pop! Vinyl and Dorbz figure line-up [see here], and Hot Toys showcased its rather fantastic 1/6th scale collectible figure for the Sorcerer Supreme [see here]…
…Next up from Marvel will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and this week saw Elizabeth Debicki discussing her role as the film’s primary antagonist Ayesha: “She is the leader of the Sovereign people, so they’re really kind of incredible race we haven’t seen before, I think. I’ve never seen anything like it. When I was being shown the graphic art for it I just thought this was going to look incredible on screen and it does. She enlists the help of the Guardians to fight an intergalactic battle, cause she doesn’t want to get her hands dirty basically. They’re this ragtag group of you know, they’ll clean up that mess in the universe and that mess in the in the universe. So she just gives them a call and they come over to her planet and clean up some mess and so that’s where the relationship with them starts, but it shifts very quickly into something different…”
…As production continues on Spider-Man: Homecoming, it’s been announced this week that comedian Martha Kelly (Baskets) and UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (Kickboxer: Vengeance) are both set to appear in the Marvel and Sony reboot, while rumours are suggesting that Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark may not be the only Avenger to appear in the movie – we’ll not give it away in this post, but if you’re interested you can read our report on the rumours here…
…Some new set photos from Thor: Ragnarok surfaced online this week showing that construction on the Asgardian sets is almost complete; however, it looks like The Hulk won’t be shooting on them, as Mark Ruffalo took to social media to announce that he’s wrapped his scenes on the Taika Waititi-directed threequel…
…Turning to the small screen and a rather detailed synopsis for the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. landed online this week [read it here], while Jason O’Mara (Complications, The Good Wife) has signed on to portray the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., “a character whose Marvel roots go back to the 1940s…”
…Hayley Atwell may be moving on to her new ABC series Conviction, but the actress has revealed that she’d be delighted to return for more Agent Carter adventures should the opportunity arise: “It was unclear if Agent Carter would go ahead. We felt by the end of the second season, that it was always one of those much-loved but little kind of places in the world of ABC. It was always very much up in the air… When [Conviction] came about, ABC said, this is not ‘We’re cancelling Agent Carter,’ this is ‘we’ve got a great new project, we really want you in the center of it, we want to see if it’s going to go.’ There was talk of, do we do an Agent Carter special? Does this not get picked up and Agent Carter does? Does the opposite happen? Do neither of them happen? All of that was a possibility. In terms of making an [Agent Carter] special or waiting until we finish this season and then doing something else with another network, perhaps … All I’m saying is that it’s still a much-loved show for the people involved with the making of it, and we know that the fans, it has a special place in their hearts. That’s something I would be very happy to go back to if the opportunity came…”
…ABC’s president Channing Dungey has spoken about the network’s decision to pass on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Marvel’s Most Wanted, as well as revealing that there are more plans for future Marvel shows: “We all came to an agreement that the next show that we want to do together is something that is as creatively strong as it can be. Most Wanted, ultimately at the end of the day, did not feel as strong as some of the other pilots that we shot. It was a joint partnership between Marvel and ABC Studios. We certainly are open if they are to find another home for it to have that happen…”
…Over at Fox and X-verse “architect” Simon Kinberg has offered a few words on Deadpool 2, as well as an update on where they’re at with the casting of Cable: “I think Deadpool 2 will comment on anything that’s happening in movies today especially in superhero movies. The sort of glut or saturation of these movies and the proliferation of sequels is definitely something we’ll play around with. I’ve seen rumors [for Cable] from about everybody from Arnold Schwarzenegger to I can’t even remember. We haven’t cast him is the truth…”
…Kinberg also discussed the oft-delayed Gambit movie, stating that: “I think the truth is when you have these movies that need a very special and unique tone, it takes a little while to find that tone. Deadpool feels like it exploded out of nowhere but it was a ten-year development process on that movie. I think it was honed over those ten years. I hope that Gambitdoesn’t take ten years but it takes a little honing to get that tone and that voice exactly right. The character has such a specific voice in the comic in the same way that Deadpool has a specific voice in the comic, that we want to make sure that we capture that voice on the page. Really it’s just about getting a screenplay that is worthy of that character and I think we’re really close right now…”
…As well as the movie side of things, Kinberg is also serving as producer on Legion, and he spoke about the origin of the X-Men TV series: “Legion came out of a conversation that Noah Hawley and I had when I was in Moscow for the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Noah was somebody I really admired and we were talking about doing X-Men TV shows. We had a bunch of different ideas. Legion wasn’t one of them and Noah said to me, ‘I want to do Breaking Bad in the superhero world. I want to actually tell the story about the origin of essentially a villain.’ It evolved from there and became Legion…”
…50 Cent is getting in on the superhero business, with the rapper and actor signing a deal with Starz to write, produce and star in his own superhero show Tomorrow, Today, which sounds an awful lot like a Luke Cage ripoff to me, with the description stating that it follows “a veteran from the south side of Chicago who, after being falsely imprisoned, becomes the personal experiment of a deranged prison doctor trying to create the perfect man – and an unstoppable killing machine. Set free, but on the run, the veteran must reconcile with the world that has turned against him, and use his newfound abilities for good…”
…And finally, be sure to check out Anghus Houvouras’ latest superhero op-ed, as he asks the question ‘Why Does It Always Have To Be Marvel vs. DC?‘.
Gary Collinson is a writer and lecturer from the North East of England. He is the editor-in-chief of FlickeringMyth.com and the author of Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen.