The trailer is below, delivering all the goods in a way that feels very akin to Anchorman 2, but will hopefully deliver vastly different results (i.e. it may be great!).
All the right ingredients are there, from the stupid artistry that defines Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) with kooky additions of Kristen Wiig and Penelope Cruz.
And let us never forget Will Ferell, back as the villainous, latte throwing Mugatu. This movie looks more fun than a freak, gasoline fight accident!
Next, how could Breaking Geek not share the Captain America: Civil War trailer and posters?!? We may have been away with technical difficulties for a few weeks, but the trailer must appear on this site! It’s been tracking at nearly double the views the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron had in the same time.
Check out the trailer 1st and stick around for commentary as well as the three official posters!
How awesome is that? The exact tone and feel of Captain America: Winter Soldier from the same writers and directors, with an Avengers sized spectacle. That fight scene at the end…. bananas!And the heart…. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) telling Tony Stark that he has to side with Bucky (Sebastian Stan) because they’re friends, only to have Stark reply “So were we.”
Here are the posters I promised….
Both these films hit in 2016 along with other Geek Fantasies such as Deadpool, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Star Trek Beyond, Doctor Strange, and yet another Star Wars film!
Everyone’s a Super Hero these days… or at least a character based on a comic iteration, be they a powerless vigilante or a supporting character. Playing just “3 Degrees of Marvel” is easier than “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”
There are many memorable superhero performances that have redefined comic book characters. Who can imagine anyone but Hugh Jackman playing Logan / Wolverine? Is it possible to think of the Joker without conquering images of Heath Ledger? Even now that we’ve seen Chris Cooper as Norman Osborne in the failure that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, who could forget Willam Dafoe from 2002’s original Spider-Man film?
Sure, great performances all, but not exactly accurate depictions of the character. Wolverine is about four feet tall in the comic; Tom Cruise would actually be a more accurate portrayal of the character (not that he would be ideal either).
What I’ve collected, is a list of the most accurate casting choices of comic book characters, not the “best” or most “memorable.” Not the biggest characters or Super Heros, necessarily, but the best characters minor otherwise. These are the castings that can’t keep a Geek from smiling because he couldn’t imagine a better interpretation himself when first reading a comic. And after seeing it, this actor will always become the character’s voice when reading decades of comics to come.
5) Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man
Most people use RDJ as Tony Stark as the industry standard of comic book casting… and they ain’t wrong! I just managed to find 4 other castings that are even more accurate.
It turns out that Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark… both on screen and doing interviews. He has all the charm and brilliance that defines Tony Stark, bringing the darker edge of the character into play in Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which writer/director Joss Whedon labels Stark as the villain in the film’s commentary.
RDJ pulls off both sides of Stark, the hero who regrets his own and companies’ past as “War Mongers” and the man so tortured by his experience bringing a Nuke through a wormhole to outer-space that he creates the greatest villain the Avengers have ever faced, and will further be driven to oppose teammate Captain America (Chris Evans) in Captain America: Civil War.
Donwey Jr. is both the perfect physical rendition of Stark as well as a man who share’s Stark’s darker, “less sober” past.
4) Mark Hamill as The Joker
No silver screen actor can touch Mark Hamill’s interpretation of Batman’s nemesis, The Joker, started in Batman: The Animated Series and lifted to nirvana in the Video Game, Batman: Arkham Knight (as well as the franchises earlier chapters, Arkham Asylum & Arkham City).
Hamill’s joker just has more… fun. Hamill has worked an almost endless versions of the laugh, also bringing the Joker’s voice in and out; letting the madness seep from his performance.
Though Animated, Hamill’s Joker is also the most accurate; a man with a giant grin, but none of those scars the film version of the Joker mysteriously decided to use. With the exception of 1989’s Batman and 2008’s The Dark Knight, The Joker has never had scars (Thankfully it looks as though Jared Leto’s Joker will repair this remedy… though his appearance calls to question how accurate his performance will be).
Hamill offers the most fun interpretation of the unstable Joker, with an animated face that can’t be topped by any of the feature presentations of Batman’s greatest nemesis.
3) JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
There comes a casting every now and then, that is so legendary that not even a reboot of a franchise can top the original. In the case of The Amazing Spider-Man films, the creative talent realized that J. Jonah Jameson was so well cast by J.J. Simmons, that they didn’t even attempt to offer a new take on the character.
J.K. Simmons timing is so perfect, his look so accurate, that it is impossible to read a Spider-Man comic today without hearing the actor’s voice. He’s Spider-Man’s perfect hater, an actor I would still recommend Marvel Studios use for their 2nd “reboot” of Marvel’s Webslinger.
2) Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock
Fox’s Gotham is really the 1st time I’ve seen Jim Gordon’s partner and eventual right-hand-man portrayed by a live-action actor. Even Christopher Nolan, who used the Dark Knight Trilogy to reintroduce us to lost Detective Comics characters like Lucious Fox, failed to produce Harvey Bolluck, an essential character in the comic realm.
Benjamin McKenzie was a hard sell as Jim Gordon, as his most famous role was from female teen show The O.C., but he’s worked out fine. On the other hand, Donal Logue, best known from an equally “shitty” comedy Grounded For Life, lives and breaths Harvey Bolluck into existence in a way that makes the comic impossible to read without hearing Logue’s voice.
A drunk with a conscience and extreme loyalty to his partner, Logue is incredible as Batman essential Harvey Bolluck.
1) Matt Ryan as John Constantine
Finally, we arrive at the best of the best; Matt Ryan as DC Comic’s (formally Vertigo’s) John Constantine! Forget Keanu Reeves who was terribly cast in the big-screen version of DC’s best “master of the dark arts!” Matt Ryan plays the character with the coy cockiness and James Bond-esque womanizer that perfectly reflect the comic counterpart, right down to his appearance.
This is the prime example of an actor breathing life into a formally written & drawn character with no real voice. I know can’t read Justice League Dark or John Constantine: Hellbazler without hearing… and even picturing Matt Ryan. I’d never enjoyed the aforementioned film… or comic until I saw Matt Ryan play Constantine. And since them, he has become one of my most favorite comic characters of all!
There you have it, the 5 most ACCURATE Comic Book Castings… of all time! It may not be the main characters you expected, but these supporting and less known-“Heroes” could not be better represented on the screen!
It seems like the marketing team at Marvel Studios can’t take a week off until ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is released… unless they start the ‘Ant-Man’ train in a similar manner once they have assured themselves ‘Age of Ultron’ is the biggest movie… ever. (Until ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ that is…)
We now have a featurette with writer/director Joss Whedon introducing us to the two Avengers he’s always wanted to use: siblings Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
Watch the clip, with plenty of new Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch action now!
I went ahead and did a few original screen grabs of new footage of the dangerous Maximoff twins. Again, you’re welcome.
The team arrives, sans Hulk.
Scarlet Witch whips up some magic.
Quicksilver certainly is fast. Too fast for Captain America, at least!
The Siblings plan.
Captain America debriefed on Maximoff twins.
Quicksilver is even faster!!! Much too fast for Hawkeye also.
Scarlet Witch blasts Iron Man. Hard.
We need to work together to defeat them.
Scarlet Witch explosion!
Captain America holds tight as he goes for a spin.
Siblings in action.
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ hits cinemas May 1st, here in the US. We may see the entire movie in clips, trailers, & featurettes by then!
Monday night Marvel made an announcement on their website (web… site… webs… like Spider-Man!) announcing to the world that Sony and Marvel Studios/Disney have reached an agreement to bring Marvel’s most popular character Spider-Man into Marvel’s most successful franchise/universe: the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).
The official announcement from Marvel’s website is below. Following that quick read, let’s break down what all this means for Spider-Man, Sony, Marvel Studios, and the rest of the MCU’s Phase 3, which has been shuffled due to the addition of a Spider-Man solo pic in 2017.
(Culver City, California, and Burbank, California February 09, 2015) – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced today that Sony is bringing Marvel into the amazing world of Spider-Man.
Under the deal, the new Spider-Man will first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony Pictures will continue to finance, distribute, own and have final creative control of the Spider-Man films.
Marvel and Sony Pictures are also exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.
The new relationship follows a decade of speculation among fans about whether Spider-Man – who has always been an integral and important part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comic books – could become part of the Marvel Universe on the big screen. Spider-Man has more than 50 years of history in Marvel’s world, and with this deal, fans will be able to experience Spider-Man taking his rightful place among other Super Heroes in the MCU.
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: “Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s great characters, beloved around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.”
“We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.”
“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.
“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”
Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.
Let’s put all this in Layman’s terms. I’ll answer the questions this deal raises right now!
Does Marvel Studios Own the ‘Spider-Man’ License now?
No. In fact, no money has changed hands. Marvel doesn’t need to pay Sony anything for Spider-Man’s inclusion in the MCU. Sony doesn’t need to pay Marvel Studios any money for their characters’ appearances in ‘Spider-Man’ films.
Spider-Man will make an appearance in a MCU property, most likely 2016’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ which already features Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Anthony Mackie back from ‘Winter Soldier’ as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Frank Grillo back as Brock Rumlow now running around as Crossbones, new classic Capt. villain Baron Zemo played by Daniel Bruhl, and introducing Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther.
That’s a very full playing field and I would be worried, but the same writers and directors from ‘Winter Soldier’ are returning and, simply put, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is the best MCU film yet.
After appearing in ‘Civil War’ made by Marvel Studios (there’s a small chance Spider-Man may instead appear in 2016’s ‘Dr. Strange,’ but that hero pairing makes less sense), Spider-Man will get his own solo-pic on July 28th, 2017.
Marvel makes the MCU movie, Sony does all production on the solo-Spider-Man films like the apparent “reboot” of Spider-Man as a member of the MCU. They split the money.
Sony saves their crumbling 4 billion dollar ‘Spider-Man’ franchise (after ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ fell below expectations and alienated Spider-Man fans who have seen 3 bad films too many) with the might and creative input of Marvel’s incredibly successful MCU overseen by Kevin Feige.
Sony keeps all rights and has all final say on the new ‘Spider-Man’ films, though Feige will partner with Amy Pascal, who recently stepped down as President of Sony to head the production company handling Spider-Man for Sony.
Sony gets the good-will of the MCU and Marvel gets to use Spider-Man in their extended universe.
They will split the profits as they have in the past with the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise.
What Does This Deal Mean For ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3’ and ‘Sinister Six?’
There’s a bit of confusion here. Since Marvel is introducing a new Spider-Man, said to be high-school age to contrast the older Avengers who are all in their thirties and forties, it seems Andrew Garfield is out. It is also assumed the ‘Amazing’ header is kaput, with a brand new era starting for the web-slinger.
There are reports that Sony still wants to make ‘Sinister Six,’ ‘Venom,’ and a female-team-up with characters from Spider-Man’s universe like Spider-Woman. It is not clear how these fit in the new continuity, as ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ was basically a big set-up for ‘Sinister Six,’ and now it appears we are entering a new age of Spidey, ignoring not only the original Sam Raimi films but the Marc Webb directed ‘Amazing’ titles.
How Sony gets the other projects off the ground is a mystery; the scariest part of the equation. As they don’t need to consult Marvel with these titles which could be as poorly handled as ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2.’
‘Amazing Spider-Man 3’ appears to be dead, making way for a new title. Is it back to ‘Spider-Man’ with a subtitle (please!) or another book’s name like ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ or ‘The Sensational Spider-Man.’
Is Andrew Garfield Returning?
No! Both Garfield and director Webb are out of the equation now. Rejoice!
This movie is still about Peter Parker right?
Not necessarily. Unless I missed it, the name Peter Parker is never mentioned in the announcement.
One way to shake up the franchise is to not use Peter at all and instead go with Miles Morales, who took over for Spider-Man in the ‘Ultimate’ Comics Universe after Peter Parker was killed by the Green Goblin.
Mile Morales is black, which would be an amazing change for the franchise. Is the story of a black nerd in Queens any different than if he was white?
You could even keep the name Peter Parker and go black. I really want the franchise to go this direction, mainly because I think comedian/rapper/actor Donald Glover would be an amazingly geeky, yet hilarious Spider-Man. Sony needs a funny-man like Glover to make those quips quippy enough for Spidey.
All this being said, Sony is apparently looking at Dylan O’Brien from MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’ and ‘The Maze Runner’ and Logan Lerman from ‘Fury’ suggesting Spider-Man will remain a white Peter Parker.
What Does This Mean for the Rest of the MCU?
It’s shuffle time. Marvel may have already released their ‘Phase 3’ lineup last year, but the addition of Spider-Man shakes things up. First, by hitting July 2017 he takes ‘Black Panther’s release date, pushing Panther’s solo movie to November. Other films are pushed by several months including pushing the ‘Inhumans’ movie to AFTER ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Part 1 & 2.
Spider-Man’s inclusion in ‘Civil War’ could possibly bump or drastically shrink Black Panther’s role in that film.
Who knows what other changes Spider-Mans addition to the MCU will cause, as he could be a main player in a new Avengers team containing newbies Black Panther, Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, a Bucky Barnes or Sam Wilson Captain America, and likely Quicksilver and his sister Scarlet Witch in ‘Infinity War’ and beyond! As long as Sony and Marvel continue to play nice.
Sony gets the Marvel Studios bump to save their ‘Spider-Man’ property. Hopefully Kevin Feige’s influences improve the quality of films to a point even above Raimi’s.
Marvel Studios gets to use Spider-Man in at least one film, if not through Phase 3 and possibly 4. Their characters, like Daredevil, can also cross over into a Sony made, Spider-Man solo film.
We get to see Spider-Man alongside our new favorite heroes. Rocket and Spider-Man shooting the shit in ‘Avengers: Infinity War?’ Why not!
Rejoice! We’ve all won something special, something to look forward to for years to come.
Let me start by saying, “I was wrong.” I didn’t think Marvel could or would do it, but Avengers 3 has become ‘Avengers: Infinity War Part I’ in May 4th, 2018 with ‘Part II’ following on May 3, 2019.
I (we as the internet) was also right… Steve Rogers’ next adventure, shared with Tony Stark, will be titled ‘Captain America: Civil War.’
That’s just the tip of the iceberg as we now have titles for all those dates Marvel blocked off at Comic Con this year, including ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Dr. Strange,’ ‘Captain Marvel,’ and ‘The Inhumans,’ as well as ‘Thor 3’s telling subtitle. Official logos too!
Without further ado, here’s Marvel’s ‘Phase 3’ slate; all the titles we will see before ‘The Avengers: Infinity War Part II’ in 2019.
Though slated after ‘Age of Ultron,’ Marvel Studios is calling ‘Ant-Man’ the last film in their ‘Phase 2.’
Perhaps this is because it all ties back to ‘Age of Ultron’ and the planned TV show ‘Agent Carter;’ the latter about the adventures of Steve Rogers’ 40’s fling, Agent Peggy Carter. You know, his lady to whom he promised that dance before nosediving into the arctic.
Ant-Man has John Slattery back as as older Howard Stark, reprising his role as Tony’s father from the archive footage in ‘Iron Man 2.’
So, ‘Ant-Man’ does seem to have ties to the past involving a still living Howard Stark with a younger Hank Pym, creator of Ant-Man (and Ultron in the comics…)
‘Ant-Man’ stars Michael Douglas as inventor Hank Pym with Paul Rudd playing his protege Scott Lang. Evangeline Lilly plays eventual ‘Wasp’ Hop Van Dyne, while Corey Stoll plays the antagonist, Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket.
Official synopsis from IMDB:
Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
With Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark joining Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers for ‘Civil War’ has the makings of the biggest non-‘Avengers’ titles, seeing as how it features Marvel’s two most popular characters this side of the galaxy.
We don’t know all the other players, but the film will be used to introduce…
Like ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ is a given for Marvel Studios, not a newbie with risks like ‘Ant-Man,’ Dr. Strange,’ and ‘Black Panther.’ If Marvel has it’s way, they will somehow spin these lesser-known characters into the cinematic gold they mined out of the completely unheard of Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Drax, and Gamora.
No way this film continues ‘Civil War.’ No way the Guardians defeat Thanos (though he may make his first major appearance in ‘Guardians 2’ or ‘Captain Marvel;’ the 2nd film we will discuss in a bit). The Guardians have other shit to deal with, like who is Peter Quill’s father? (Darth Vader?)
‘Infinity War’ will finally have Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet at the center of the Avengers 3rd adventure.
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – July 28th, 2017
Loki returns! After all, eventually Thor needs to pull Loki off the throne of Asgard to set things right on his home-world.
Though there is a character in the Marvel Universe named ‘Ragnarok,’ the title likely refers to Norse Mythology
Ragnarökis a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures including Odin, Thor, and Loki. ‘Thor 3’ will likely be a giant battle between the two brothers resulting in near-apocalypse at Asgard and perhaps around the nine-realms.
Black Panther – November 3rd 2017
Though he will be introduced in ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ Marvel is giving the Prince of Wakanda his own solo feature. Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in ’42’ and James Brown in ‘Get On Up,’ stars as the title character, who rules a fictional African nation rich in Vibranium, the invincible metal that makes up Captain America’s shield.
The final battle begins! Thanos will have his Infinity Gauntlet, made up of the four Infinity Gems we’ve seen thus far (Loki’s mind gem, the aether, the tesseract, and “The Orb” from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) and the two that Mavel Studios needs to introduce in Phase 3.
How it all plays out is a mystery, but once the Mad Titan Thanos gets his hands on all 6 Infinity Gems, it’s going to take more than the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy to defeat him.
Finally, that mid-credit sequence introducing Thanos at the end of ‘The Avengers’will be paid off! In full!
‘Captain Marvel’ – July 6th 2018
Carol Danvers is set to be our version of Captain Marvel (there have been male versions as well, but Danvers is the most recent Captain Marvel in the comics), the only female Marvel character to lead her own movie.
DC will beat Marvel to the punch by a year with their ‘Wonder Woman’ movie in 2017.
Captain Marvel is space-bound; a closer part of the larger Galaxy-spanning Marvel Universe to The Guardians and Thanos, than the Avengers. Between ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘The Inhumans’ who are next up, it looks like Marvel Studios is building a bigger team than just the Guardians of the Galaxy from across the universe that will help the Avengers in their fight after their assumed failure in Part 1 of ‘Infinity Wars.’
Inhumans – November 2nd, 2018
Like the Guardians, Avengers, and The Defenders (who are getting their solo-series on Netflix followed by a ‘Defenders’ show, also on Netflix), the Inhumans are another fascinating group of heroes. They have ties to alien mythology and the part of the universe that is home to the Guardians and Captain Marvel.
It looks like Marvel is building a team of non-Earthlings between their ‘Infinity War’ movies to provide back-up to the Avengers who know little of Thanos compared to the Guardians, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans.
These two films following ‘Infinity Wars, Part I’ set a new precedent for Marvel, three movies in one year (2018) as opposed to the usual two!
‘Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2’ – May 3rd, 2019
Everything comes to a head. Technically, you can trace this storyline back to the discovery of the Tesseract, but really, we’ve all been waiting for the arrivial of Thanos since we saw his smirking face at the end of ‘Avengers.’
It’s the payoff of 2o movies and 10 years. A final, climatic film with all players fighting the most powerful enemy introduced in the MCU (the comics have greater threats than Thanos; threats he has had to step in and help stop himself).
Rest assured, Disney & Marvel won’t let the MCU die there, but this round of Avengers movies will be over, with newer characters like Dr. Strange and Black Panther carrying the weight once actors like RDJ, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans are done with the super-franchise.
What About Hulk, Black Widow, and Loki?
All three characters have become fan favorites as a result of ‘The Avengers,’ yet none will see their own film in Phase 3.
Though Hulk really shined in ‘Avengers,’ he’s had two flop solo-pictures between Ang Lee’s ‘Hulk’ and the MCU’s ‘Incredible Hulk.’ But we’ll still see him, not only in ‘Avengers’ movies but also some solo movies as well. ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ perhaps?
Said Marvel Movie Mastermind Paul Feige:
“I wouldn’t say Hulk is absent from the timeline. I would say that Hulk is going to appear in many of those movies – particularly all of those Avengersmovies leading up to 2019. And Infinity War, Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films, and we’re excited to bring him to all those films.”
As for Loki, it sounds like he’ll have his biggest role yet in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ which should please fans to end.
And for Black Widow… apparently Marvel Studios is more concerned with introducing new characters played by new actors who will work for cheap. It’s a lot cheaper to hire an actor to play ‘Captain Marvel’ than to pay Scarlett Johansson to continue her popular established Avenger into a solo move.
So, that’s Marvel’s plan for the next five years. I will be in my thirties by the time I see the end of Phase 3.
Our first look at the movie fuels my speculation on the path the film’s storyline will take by providing new information and images not offered in Marvel Studios’ official synopsis, early photos, and leaked information.
First, Marvel Studios’ official synopsis:
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
In addition to the preceding summary, what did we see in the trailer and what will likely happen in ‘Age of Ultron?’
Act 1 – Assault on Baron Strucker’s Castle
During the mid-credit sequence on ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ we were introduced to Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and his Hydra operation, in possession of both Loki’s staff with the Mind Infinity Stone and “the twins;” Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, who played husband and wife in 2014’s ‘Godzilla’).
Baron Strucker speaks of Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. being two sides of a coin “that is no longer currency” vowing to feed other Hydra bases to “Captain America and his colorful friends” in order to continue their own important research which has resulted in dead volunteers and the twins which, to Baron Strucker, ushers in the “Age of Miracles.”
I assume Loki’s staff from ‘The Avengers’ is the source of Baron Strucker’s experiments on humans that results in giving the Pietro and Wanda their powers, making them Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively.
I propose the movie will open with an Avengers assault on Baron Strucker’s castle (seen below), freeing the twins and acquiring Loki’s staff which was confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. after ‘The Avengers,’ only to fall into Hydra hands due to their secret doings within Nick Fury’s old organization.
The assault on Strucker’s castle would serve as the perfect action scene to kick off one hell of a movie with a blast while also serving the story. The twins have to be freed somehow. The Avengers need an opening action sequence to get them to their next scene; the party at Avengers Tower. It’s a win-win-win, if you include the audience.
The above photos offer a snowy Forrest, very simialar to what we saw in ‘Captain America: First Avenger,’ evidence we’re in Europe or Germany in these scenes, NOT Wakanda as suggested by other blogs.
ACT II – The Party and The Arrival of Ultron
The first footage revealed at Comic-Con showed the Avengers on their day off, throwing a shindig at Avengers Tower. The scene has a party-trick sort of contest between the members of the Avengers who each try to lift Thor’s hammer to the Asgardian’s amusement. When Captain America moves it an inch, Thor is a bit peeved… and shocked. Steve Rogers is worthy indeed…
The party is interrupted by an unexpected visitor. Presumably Stark already revealed his plan; the creation of Ultron taking world security off of the Avengers’ backs. But why is the Ultron in such bad shape? Did The Avengers already try to take him down after he overstepped his bounds? Is Stark still building him, C-3PO in ‘Star Wars: Episode I’ style?
Or were Ultron and this other drone and/or Iron Man suit made to fight to the death, Mandingo style?
Likely, Ultron overstepped his bounds, and the 2nd drone or Iron Man suit was dispatched to take him out, only to fail as seen below.
It’s safe to assume the party is over.
“The Twins” – Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
How exactly do Joss Whedon’s favorite Avengers, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, play into the plot of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron?’
Assuming they get their freedom from the Avengers assault on Strucker’s castle, they may face off against the Avengers early. Or, maybe they are gone by the time the Avengers steal back Loki’s staff and take care of the Baron.
Some footage suggests we will see them pre-experimentation. Above they appear to be pre-powers and in the screen-grabs below it looks like some sort of surgery is taking place… with tools shaped like the tentacles of the Hydra Seal.
However it goes down, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch end up as allies of Ultron before they join up with the Avengers.
What’s Up With The Hulk?
Something is going seriously wrong with Bruce Banner and “the other guy:” the incredible Hulk!
First he seems to be collapsing during the assault on the castle, as he is in the same snowy forrest as Hawkeye in the earlier screen-grabs.
And he looks to be in terrible shape on the Quinjet.
Finally, he’s fighting Iron Man? After causing destruction at what looks to be a European city. (We’re not in New York anymore).
Yet, he still has time for a gentle moment with Black Widow. Maybe he accidentally Hulks out against the Avengers, requiring Tony to don the Hulkbuster and Black Widow is able to calm him down.
Ultron isn’t known for mind games; in the comics it is Loki who manipulates the Hulk to be the first Avenger baddie. Perhaps Scarlet Witch uses her powers to turn him against the Avengers and cause mass destruction in this scene and strip him of the Hulk in the snowy forrest?
Or does Tony deserve a Hulk attack? After all, he’s not the only Avenger pissed at Tony Stark. So…
What’s Up With Tony Stark?
Tony Stark seems to be pissing everyone off, based on the trailer.
First, Thor attacks Stark…
I assume this is retribution for creating Ultron. Or maybe Tony’s done something worse?
Finally, he does fight the Hulk… maybe…
I predict that Ultron is using his drone controlling powers to control the Hulkbuster armor, just as Tony Stark controls his empty armor remotely in ‘Iron Man 3.’
Unless my predictions of Scarlet Witch manipulation or an Ultron controlled Hulkbuster suit are true… Hulk is on the Avengers side and has been seen fighting alongside them with very little confrontation (with Thor, of course) in the first Avengers film. Maybe it is Tony who is out of line.
How Did Ultron Break Captain America’s Invincible Shield?
Capt.’s shield is made from Vibranium, the most invincible metal on Earth (even Thor’s hammer couldn’t break it in ‘The Avengers’). In ‘First Avenger,’ Howard Stark says the S.H.I.E.L.D. is made from all the Vibranium on Earth.
But there is more in the comics… and it all comes from Wakanda, home of the Black Panther.
Some websites assume we will see Black Panther in ‘Age of Ultron,’ but I think that’s more than a long-shot; it’s not going to happen!
How do we even know Wakanda will be featured in the film?
Well, the official summary calls the film a “unique global adventure,” so locations like the snowy European forrest and Wakanda make a lot of sense.
After all, if Capt. hopes to fix his shield or if Ultron hopes to destroy it, then Wakanda and Vibranium are totally in the mix.
Plus there’s this photo of a mysterious character played by Andy Serkis.
As the photos show, Serkis looks a lot like Klaw.
Klaw is a Black Panther villain, but I don’t think his appearance means we will see Black Panther (he may be name-dropped, like Stephen Strange in ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’). I think Klaw may be doing a job for Ultron…
It is doubtful a villain like Klaw, who does specialize in Vibranium – the reason he lives in Wakanda – would help the Avengers fix Captain America’s shield. But it is totally feasible that Ultron hires (or forces) him to give the robot a fresh coat of the indestructible metal.
How does one break a shield made of the stuff then? Well, in ‘The Wolverine,’ Wolvie’s Adamantium claws are cut off by the Silver Samurai using heated Adamantium. Perhaps Ultron uses a similar tactic to break Capt.’s shield? Because if Thor’s hammer doesn’t destroy the thing, how can a punch from Ultron do it?
Ultron and the Places They Go
As originally described in Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Age of Ultron’ cover story months back, Ultron is not just a machine, he is a consciousness on the cloud that can control a number of drones, like the one below.
The trailer features dozens of these drones attacking another old-school, stone, European structure, that does look to be different than Baron Strucker’s castle. One that, on the inside, might look like this…
That has the Avengers in New York at Avengers Tower, a stop in what is likely Germany for Baron Strucker’s castle, some time in Europe/Eastern Europe where the Hulk fights the Hulkbuster, Wakanda, and this other European looking stone structure.
The Avengers are covering more ground than James Bond, which is especially exciting considering they spent the first film entirely in the United States.
As for Ultron, he may have many drones and start out as a freaky looking suit, but he finally reaches his full potential (with Vibranium?) and ends up looking like this…
Of course, some sort of finale happens with all the Avengers, including Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, against this final incarnation of Ultron and perhaps an entire army of drones.
Even though he was absent in the trailer, Vision will be in the film as seen in the upper left corner of the above Comic Con exclusive poster. He’s that dude hovering in the air. Ultron makes this robot companion using Tony’s J.A.R.V.I.S. artificial intelligence, only to have it eventually turn on him like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
Will We See Nick Fury?
Nick Fury had to fake his death in ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘stayed dead’ after the film. But he does make some sort of appearance in the film, though it has been said that it will be a much smaller role than in ‘The Avengers’ or ‘Winter Soldier.’
Who knows what role his character will play in all this.
What’s This About the 1940s?
There is one screen-grab that looks like Captain America back home in the 1940s.
Some suggest that Scarlet Witch’s powers could cause Rogers to have a false perception that he is back in the past, putting him out of commission. After all, like manipulating the Hulk, the Avengers are easier to fight when they are not “assembled.”
I bet it’s a flash back. The summary from Marvel also reads ‘When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry.’ It is assumed Hank Pym, who we will not see until August 2015 in ‘Ant-Man’ may have created the program initially as he creates Ultron in the comics. But, if it was Steve Rogers’ old friend Howard Stark who attempted to start the program in the 40’s, then a flashback with the Capt. makes sense.
Do I have all the answers? Obviously not. But I think I’ve made a few good points based on the material Marvel Studios has provided in the form of that excellent new trailer.
All questions and assumptions will be answered on May 1st!
When we hear about a movie we are excited for, we all have certain expectations for what we want to see and what don’t.
Tell me you didn’t have things you hoped for in ‘Star Wars: Episode I’ that were crushed. And maybe now, especially after the prequel debacle, you may have strong feelings for what you want to see in ‘Episode VII’ and what you hope never see again.
In this spirit, welcome to the 3rd and final installment of ‘Captain America 3 – The Dos and Don’ts!’
If you have made it this far, you are a true believer and I thank you. What started as one post spiraled into three. I am passionate about these topics; ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ is my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Capt. is my favorite Avenger, and I can’t wait to see Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man “share” the screen with Steve Rogers in a non-Avengers film.
So, let’s do this!
What About ‘Winter Soldier’s’ Loose Ends?
Like the common sequel, future Marvel films build off what came before. Plotlines from solo-franchises like ‘Captain America,’ ‘Thor,’ and ‘Iron Man’ continue in their own sequels, sometimes including bigger, MCU changing events like the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the reveal of all the Infinity Gems.
‘Winter Soldier’ left plenty of loose ends within the ‘Captain America’ franchise. Some may just be “Easter eggs,” but we will see which ‘Winter Soldier’ story elements payoff in ‘Captain America 3.’
First, both the last line of the ‘Winter Soldier’ from Steve Rogers to Sam Wilson at Fury’s grave and the final post-credit scene set up Steve Rogers’ quest to save Bucky from his brainwashed, Hydra obeying, Winter Soldier self.
Many of these other loose ends will most likely be there to add more depth to the MCU and delight comic book readers, but this plotline seems too important and was obviously very much set-up to continue in ‘Capt. 3′
Perhaps movie kicks off with Falcon and Captain tracking down the Winter Soldier, confronting him, and finally saving Bucky. After all, Bucky eventually came to his senses in the comics. He even became Captain America after Steve Rogers’ death! (More on that later…)
Next up, remember Rogers’ right hand man on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “Strike Team” at the beginning of the film on the Lemurian Star? When he wasn’t “helping” Captain America on missions, he was hunting Rogers down for Hydra. Said man is Agent Brock Rumlow… who in the comics often fights ‘Captain America’ under the identity of Crossbones.
Seeing as how we witnessed Rumlow’s charred body survived the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Triskelion HQ at the end of ‘Winter Soldier,’ the complete set-up for Crossbones is there; it’s just a question of whether or not it will pay off or simply be an ‘Easter egg.’
I’m wager there is no room for Crossbones in the already crowded ‘Civil War’ storyline. Especially if Winter Soldier / Bucky Barnes returns as I predict he will.
I believe the ground work is also there for the return of Zola, if need be.
The drive Black Widow plugged the USB drive into containing “Project Insight” had more than one USB port. And based on the dust patterns, someone used more than just one USB port. If it takes a warehouse full of old-school computers to contain Zola’s mind, then wouldn’t he fit on a modern day thumb-drive of sorts?
Zola can come back, but just like Crossbones I’m not sure he fits into ‘Civil War’
Red Skull. Red Skull, Red Skull, Red Skull. Will we ever see you again?
Red Skull’s appearance would make the third ‘Captain America’ film less grounded than the new standard tone set by ‘Winter Soldier,’ but no more wacky than ‘Captain America: First Avenger.’
The special effect that swallowed Red Skull when he gripped the Tesseract too tightly in ‘First Avenger’ is identical to the special effect when Thor and friends get launched across space by the Bifrost. That means Red Skull could come back, just like the two aforementioned characters, though his appearance is the least likely.
If all three characters and their loose ends were crammed into ‘Captain America 3,’ it would be a disaster. That being said, I would love to see all three eventually return, especially Red Skull.
If they return, Crossbones could be the 1st act combat scene instead of facing Winter Soldier; seeing Rumlow in ‘Capt. 3’ is the most likely of the Hydra group including Zola and Red Skull. Zola may play a role in the superhuman registration act, but that would be repetitive of “Project Insight” in ‘Winter Soldier.’ And there is NO chance we’ll see Red Skull in ‘Captain America 3’ if the film’s focus is ‘Civil War.’
No time for Red Skull, Dr. Jones!
Maybe next time. If there is a next time.
Which takes me to my final point…
Will Steve Rogers Die?
Like Superman, Captain America’s death was one of the biggest superhero deaths in the history of comics.
It’s nearly impossible to imagine a ‘Captain America’ franchise not including ‘The Winter Soldier’ storyline and ‘The Death of Captain America.’
Seeing as how the two rumored titles are the straightforward ‘Captain America: Civil War’ or ‘Fallen Son,’ the death of Captain America is likely in ‘Capt. 3.’
Perhaps he will die fighting Iron Man. Or more likely maybe he will be assassinated for his views.. or his past (Crossbones could be a likely candidate for Steve Rogers’ killer).
No matter the case, I would say there is a 99.99% chance Steve Rogers doesn’t make it past ‘Avengers 3,’ if he is alive to see even that.
Further support of this theory comes from the rumor that Sebastion Shaw is signed on for nine MCU films (which seems like an exaggeration) while Chris Evans wants out. Like RDJ, he doesn’t want to play his signature Marvel character forever and has expressed interest in leaving the Avengers sooner rather than later. Meaning he might not even make it to ‘Avengers 3…’ because he may die in ‘Capt. 3!’ Boom! Full circle.
And then the comic storyline can continue on the big screen, with Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier taking up Captain America’s cowl… Sam Wilson / Falcon taking over for Steve Rogers is less likely, though that is exactly what is happening currently in the ‘Marvel Now!’ run of comics.
There you have it. That’s the end! No more parts to read! Sorry I wrote a novel and I thank you reading it, because you are one of the few who made it this far. You deserve a reward! Super Geek-cred, yo!
To quickly sum it all up…
DO keep that ‘Winter Soldier’ tone/vibe.
DON’T make ‘Capt. 3’ the Tony Stark story. Keep it focused on Steve Rogers and his point-of-view.
DO keep ‘Civil War’ contained to ‘Captain America 3.’
DON’T load the movie with too many superhumans.
DO tie up as many loose ends as possible without making the movie feel crammed together.
DON’T kill Steve Rogers, even though they will, because he is my favorite Captain America.
‘Winter Soldier’ heavily involved S.H.I.E.L.D. in the overall plot, while also involving the more personal battle between Steve Rogers and his brainwashed former partner. The film still managed to move the MCU forward with the larger plotline involving Hydra (which is always tied tightly to Captain America), “Project Insight,” and the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D.
While riding this universe altering event, the film never felt like a partial movie or just a chapter meant to get us to ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ also carried the universe forward with “the Orb” and mention of other Infinity Gems, as well as the inclusion of the MCU’s biggest baddie to date: Thanos, the Mad Titan. Yet it works completely on its own; proven by its huge domestic gross, bolstered by most movie-goers who don’t know a thing about Infinity Gems, Thanos, or any other way ‘Guardians’ ties into the rest of the MCU. ‘Guardians’ is a completely independent movie with those MCU strands that tie it into the rest of Marvel Studios’ world.
Better ‘Captain America: Fallen Son’ and then a stand-alone ‘Civil War’ than a storyline that consumes the MCU across multiple films and franchises.
Don’t Load The Film With Too Many Heroes
The comics version of ‘Civil War’ involves nearly the entire Marvel Universe, from the Avengers owned by Marvel Studios, to Fox’s X-Men and Fantastic Four, and most importantly, Sony’s Spider-Man (who plays a huuuuge role in the ‘Civil War’ comic event).
This isn’t an Avengers film; Marvel Studios could have made an ‘Avengers’ movie about ‘Civil War’ but they went for a ‘Captain America’ film featuring Iron Man.
With the current characters from the MCU not being loaded with that many Earth-bound superhumans – Captain America, Falcon, Winter Solider, Iron Man, War Machine, Thor, Hulk, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, The Vision (these last three being introduced in 2015’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’), Ant-Man (also introduced in summer 2015), and Daredevil (whose Netflix show should precede ‘Captain America 3’) – the team would have to be much smaller in the film than the comic which features years and years worth of Marvel characters.
(I intentionally left Black Widow and Hawkeye off the superhuman list as they have no powers, nor suits that give them superhuman abilities like Iron Man, War Machine, and Falcon.)
So, who all is in the movie?
I’d wager Marvel keeps in small, especially since other characters have their own business right now.
I don’t expect we’ll see Thor as he has to deal with a Loki run Asgard in ‘Thor 3.’ The Guardians are across the Galaxy have no reason to get involved in what is really an Earth security issue that doesn’t deal with extraterrestrials the Guardians are involved with… like Thanos.
My best bet is two small camps, especially if they want to keep the movie contained.
On one side, you have Steve Rogers / Captain America and Sam Wilson / Falcon. That’s a given.
On the opposite side you have Tony Stark / Iron Man and surely James Rhodes / War Machine.
That’s a sweet finale right there. Falcon is the perfect character to take on one of Tony Stark’s suits and Captain can hold his own in a ground based fight.
Those four characters are really all you need. Captain America who doesn’t trust the government and his new partner Sam Wilson who follows Capt.’s lead and also must be mistrusting after the S.H.I.E.L.D./Hydra debacle with NSA undertones.
And Rhodes is in the US military who fund his whole War Machine / Iron Patriot plight, even if Stark provided the initial suit that Hammer Industries and then A.I.M. updated.
Maybe we’ll see Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, The Vision, Black Widow, or Hawkeye. But looking at that list, most those heroes would oppose the measure. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver probably don’t want anything to do with the government, Black Widow made her stance clear in her senate meeting scene in ‘Winter Soldier,’ and I’d wager Hawkeye isn’t that keen either after working for an agency that turned out to be Hydra. Plus, if he and Black Widow are as close as they seem, then they would take the same side, would they not?
The Vision would likely take Stark’s lead, and if they are able to fit Bruce Banner / The Hulk in there he may be in favor of registration due to his want to control “the other guy.” Or, he might not like the government knowing his whereabouts or what-have-you.
Finally, I don’t think Ant-Man will make it, as I assume they will wait for an Avengers film to tie in new Phase 3 characters like Ant-Man and Dr. Strange. Same goes for Daredevil, I don’t think we’ll see him on the big screen until Marvel produces their four Netflix shows leading up to ‘The Defenders.’
So, I’m calling it as small teams. Possibly as small as Captain America, Falcon, and Winter Soldier (will Steve Rogers convert him in the 1st act?) vs. Iron Man, War Machine, and Vision.
I don’t see ‘Civil War’ blowing up too big, both to not flood ‘Capt. 3’ with too many characters and because Marvel’s movie roster is much smaller than their decades of comic characters.
Brief ‘Civil War’ review: people die as the result of reckless superheroes, the security council wants all superhumans to register their powers and identity with the government, Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) supports the government, Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans) opposes the measure.
Inner Avengers conflict ensues with the two heroes duking it out with their superhuman allies on both sides, splitting the characters of the MCU. Again, conflict ensues.
Which brings me to the issue at hand: The Do’s and Don’ts of ‘Captain America 3.’ What I want to see and what I hope Marvel Studios avoids.
Keep That ‘Winter Soldier’ Vibe
‘Winter Soldier’ is my favorite Marvel film; Marvel Studios or otherwise (the Marvel projects at Sony and Fox).
Writers Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely worked incredibly close with directors Anthony and Joe Russo. What resulted was an incredibly taut thriller reminiscent of 70’s political thrillers with a couple of superhumans and talking computers thrown in.
But ‘Winter Soldier’ isn’t sci-fi crazy; it is the most grounded film in the MCU, without being so realistic that you lose colorful costumes, living computers from WWII, and an assassin with a metal arm.
More importantly, it balances the prevalent serious aspects with the occasional lightness/comedy that defines the tone of Mavel Studios’ films, separating them from DC’s “no joke policy;” creating films that are too dark and gritty, no matter the hero.
(‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy is perfectly fantastic the darker it gets, because that’s Batman. On the other hand, ‘Man of Steel’ seemed way too dark for the lighter Superman character. A lot of other DC characters will seem out-of-place in a DC cinematic universe that carries the same tone as ‘Dark Knight’ and ‘Man of Steel.’)
I consider the film ‘The Dark Knight’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. ‘Winter Soldier’ may not be as good as Nolan’s trilogy, but it is the gold standard for Marvel Studios films as well as the darkest. Darkness is okay for some heroes, whereas others deserve a lighter tone (learn that, DC).
In Avengers: Phase 2, Marvel Studios finally got adept at separating all their solo films into different genres, making the Avengers we love more unique in both their stories and how they exemplify said genre/story.
‘Iron Man’ was a really well-done, but not highly original, superhero origin story. ‘Iron Man 2’ continued the almost generic superhero formula, but by Phase 2 ‘Iron Man 3’ had evolved into a film about Tony Stark, spending more time as “the mechanic” (as he tells the kid who saves his ass in that quiet mountain town) , using his own inventor/MacGyver skills, than in the suit. It’s an old-school action movie with superhero elements.
‘Incredible Hulk’ very much followed the superhero formula with the monster twist. ‘Thor’ & ‘Thor: The Dark World’ subverted the genre with elements of fantasy and magic (they are Norse Gods steeped in Norse mythology…). ‘The Avengers’ was pure superhero movie with the awesome gimmick of the first major team up.
Meanwhile, Captain America went from a superhero origin story / war movie with supernatural elements (the Tesseract) in ‘First Avenger,’ to full on political thriller with some real grit and relevant issues (NSA type issues) in ‘The Winter Soldier.’
Captain America makes the best movies and is my favorite character due to how he does combat compared to the other Avengers.
Iron suits, Hulks, and Gods result in a lot of action sequences with CGI versions of the characters zipping along. Capt. has less powers so his battles are on the ground involving hand-to-hand combat (with a Shield throw here or there), with lots of stunt work instead of CGI.
I love stunt work. That’s why 80’s movies are the best; it was the golden age of ‘Indiana Jones,’ ‘Lethal Weapon,’ and ‘Road Warrior;’ extreme action movies done with practical effects before the advent of CGI.
They just don’t make them like that anymore… except for in movies like ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.’
The directing Russo brothers (who are rumored to also direct ‘Avengers 3’ and possibly ‘Avengers 4’ due to Marvel’s extreme satisfaction with the final version ‘Winter Soldier’) say they want to keep Steve Rogers grounded in the more realistic part of the MCU, with more down-to-Earth thriller action and realistic, stunt driven fight scenes. No Capt. fighting giant green monsters, Gods, or men in metal suits… unless said man in question is Tony Stark.
Adding Iron Man into the mix doesn’t change the tone / genre or make things too ridiculous (like I said, Zola isn’t exactly realistic, but he is Sci-fi working in the more realistic realm of the MCU than the expanded universe that features a talking raccoon and tree person), as besides ‘Winter Soldier,’ ‘Iron Man 1 & 2’ are the two most grounded films in the MCU (Iron Man 3 gets wacky – in a good way – with Extremis).
We (hopefully) should be good on Vibe/Tone of ‘Captain America 3,’ but what about that lil’ comment I made about Steve Rogers having to fight Tony Stark?
Steve Rogers Needs To Be The Star, Not Tony Stark
The movie is ‘Captain America 3’ (at this point). Maybe ‘Captain America: The Fallen Son’ or ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ but it’s not currently called ‘Captain America & Iron Man’ or simply ‘Civil War.’
If the 2016 film indeed remains ‘Captain America 3’ than Steve Rogers is our star and we must experience the film from his perspective. And Capt. definitely needs more screen time than RDJ’s Tony Stark. Even if RDJ is Marvel’s poster child.
Too much Iron Man would steal the movie from the title character, while a Black Widow in ‘Winter Soldier’ sized role might be the sweet spot. ‘Winter Soldier’ never felt like it was anyone’s movie but Captain America’s, even with the inclusion of Black Widow, Nick Fury (with his own badass action sequence and subplot that both kick off the events of the film), and Sam Wilson aka Falcon.
If we see the world from Capt.’s point-of-view, does that mean we are meant to be on his side of the ‘Civil War?’ Does that make Iron Man the villain? It seems like a hard task to either make fan-favorite and Marvel’s highest grosser a ‘villain’ to this plotline or to show us both sides of the argument equally without loading the film with too much RDJ.
Robert Downey Jr. has been hinting for a while now that Marvel Studios has big plans involving his trademark character Tony Stark; he who kick-started the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2008’s ‘Iron Man.’
Speculation about ‘Iron Man 4’ has been thrown around for weeks, with RDJ accidentally(?) sending the impression that he would do a fourth film in the franchise that saved his career, even though he has been denying interest in said project for several years now.
Instead, the other day RDJ confirmed at least part of Marvel’s master plan for the ‘Avengers: Phase 3’ solo films, announcing he is in negotiations for a rather large role in ‘Captain America 3,’ set to be released May 6th, 2016.
We’re not talking a cameo, we’re talking a Black Widow in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ sized role.
There’s a rumor floating around the net that ‘Avengers 3’ may be split into two movies.
We have, of course, seen many films adapted from young-adult novels that split the final book into two movies. ‘Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2,’ ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2’ and now ‘Hunger Games: Mocking Jay 1 & 2.’ Meanwhile Peter Jackson believes ‘The Hobbit’ is actually 3 super long movies; just as long as the non-extended versions of the entire ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.
Splitting a book in half is one thing, but splitting ‘Avengers 3’ in half actually creates ‘Avengers 3’ and ‘Avengers 4.’
The problem? If I am not mistaken, all the stars, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, and even Samuel L. Jackson are only under contract for 3 ‘Avengers’ films. And I know that Robert Downey Jr. only has 1 movie left on his contract; a single ‘Avengers’ movie, following ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’
I’m not sure how the contracts with franchises like ‘Harry Potter’ work when it comes to splitting the final book into two movies, creating eight films instead of seven. They may have had to renegotiate the actors’ contracts for ‘Deathly Hallows, Part 2,’ but I’m sure the original contracts for ‘Twilight’ and ‘Hunger Games’ included the extra fourth film (aka ‘Part 2’ of the finales), as was likely the plan from the beginning.
Which is where the problem for ‘Avengers 3, Part 1 & 2’ arises.
RDJ (Robert Downey Jr.) got the sweetest deal of all, as no one expected the first ‘Iron Man’ to spawn two sequels and three ‘Avengers’ films. He got to negotiate his pay for the sequels and three Avengers films AFTER Marvel made him a superstar in the first ‘Iron Man’ film.
On the other hand, actors like Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth where hired on the cheap, pre-stardom, allowing Marvel to throw two sequels and three ‘Avengers’ movies on their contracts for a lot less cash than RDJ’s salary.
Villains are no longer underwritten stereotypes to be trifiled with. They are now the stuff supporting-actor-Oscars are made of.
As discussed in Part II of “A Better Class of Criminal”, the academy award-winning-villains Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and the Joker (Heath Ledger) were really the catalysts that transformed the average blockbuster movie villain into the eccentric, playful, oh-so-personal, well-spoken masterminds of today.
This post, we will journey up to 2012, wrapping up next time with the likes of Bane, Silvia, and future villains including IRON MAN 3’s Mandarin and STAR TREK INTO THE DARKNESS’s mysterious villain (whom I still assume is Gary Mitchell).
I’ll cover the antagonists who followed 2008’s Joker prior to the current year, including Col. Hans Landa from INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and A GAME OF SHADOWS’ Moriarty.
2009 – Captain Nero (Eric Bana), STAR TREK
Nero is not a fantastic villain; he shouldn’t necessarily be on this list. Eric Bana disappears into the role, but Nero is pretty one-dimensional, due to the filmmakers’ wise decision to focus on introducing the crew of the USS Enterprise in this origin story.
(A fairly long deleted scene features more back-story – and J.J. Abrams’ Klingons! – adding to his character.)
Still, the make-up looks badass (suck it, Darth Maul), and Bana is clearly having a great time chewing the scenery; “Hi, Chris. My name is Nero.” Nero is lots of fun, though in most other ways he is not the prime example of a 21st century antagonist. He’s not all so scary and lacks the intricate plans of most of his modern peers.
Nero isn’t the ultimate baddie, but he does indicate Abrams has the potential to do something special with Cumberbatch’s antagonist in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.
“James T. Kirk was considered to be a great man. He went on to captain the U.S.S. Enterprise… but that was another life. A life I will deprive you of just like I did your father!”
– Col Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS
Waltz is simply perfect, injecting quite a bit of fun into a very serious role; after all, his nickname is “the Jew Hunter.” Again, we have a scary man who always has the time to stop and drink a cool glass of milk.
Landa is so scary because he is relaxed and matter-of-fact, hiding a very violent, short-temper underneath (as illustrated when he snaps and strangles Bridget von Hammersmark).
Waltz is the heart of many incredibly acted scenes: Landa calmly smokes from an over-sized pipe (he upstages all opponents in every way, always) as he draws information about hidden Jews from a poor, sweating farmer who doesn’t stand a chance against Landa’s charismatic/terrifying persona. Landa also has quite the chat with Brad Pitt and Ryan from THE OFFICE (B.J. Novak).
Landa is nearly always smiling, enjoying his game.
The game? Ensuring he ends up on the winning side.
Truly a slime-ball of a villain, a man that has no code except ensuring his own survival, only Waltz can pull off Hans Landa, flawlessly switching between more than a few different languages, sounding fluent and poetic in all.
Landa may just be the 2nd best villain on this modern list… behind Anton Chigurh, of course.
“That’s a bingo!”
– Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), SHERLOCK HOLMES
I have a soft spot for Mark Strong. He’s not quite Bardem or Waltz, but he’s still great in nearly everything -KICK-ASS, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, BODY OF LIES, ROCK’N’ROLLA – you name it he’s great in it. (I haven’t seen 2010’s ROBIN HOOD, smart-ass.)
In the first SHERLOCK HOLMES, Blackwood is a decent villain for Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) to cut his teeth on, though he is no Moriarty.
Blackwood ticks nearly every modern villain box; he gives great, menacing speeches, he’s got a sprawling plan that keeps him streets ahead of Holmes, and he’s even got a Bond-villain style deformity (those fucking teeth!). I just wish Blackwood took a little more joy in his scheme. Especially since his plan is great fun, involving “dark magic” and “supernatural powers,” a great challenge for even the world’s greatest detective (of the 19th century – we’ll get to Batman’s baddies again next time…)
I always love exchanges between villains and heroes, especially when the antagonist cockily taunts and foreshadows coming events that the hero cannot comprehend. The interplay between minds like Holmes and Blackwood makes you glad most of today’s villains are “master-minds.”
“Holmes, you must widen your gaze. I’m concerned you underestimate the gravity of coming events. You and I are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of nature. But beneath your mask of logic I sense a fragility. That worries me. Steel your mind, Holmes. I need you.”
Holmes gets to deliver an equally astounding monologue as he “Scooby-Doo’s” Blackwood’s plan, breaking each supernatural trick down, one-by-one.
Besides the supernatural elements, Blackwood has a great plan indeed. What’s better than world domination, the old fashioned way?
“My powers and my assets were given to me for one purpose. A magnificent, but simple purpose: to create a new future. A future ruled by us. Tomorrow at noon, we take the first step towards a new chapter in our history. Magic will lead the way. Once the people of England see our newfound power they’ll bow down in fear. Across the Atlantic lies a colony that was once ours. It will be again. Their civil war has made them weak. Their government is as corrupt and as ineffective as ours… so we’ll take it back. We will remake the world. Create the future.”
2011 – Jerry (Colin Farrell), FRIGHT NIGHT
Colin Farrell just kills it in a horror/comedy with just the right vibe.
Again, smooth and charming on the surface, yet animalistic and dangerous underneath. Le package totale.
Farrell, like Waltz, has so much fun with the role, and his character takes great pleasure and malice in his work. In this case, it is almost entirely the acting that makes another one-dimensional villain (as written) an absolute joy to watch.
– Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris), SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME SHADOWS
Holmes: Are you familiar with the study of graphology? Moriaty: I have never given it any serious thought. No. Holmes: The psychological analysis of handwriting. The upwards strokes on the p, the j, the m indicate a genius level intellect. The flourishes on the lower zone denote a highly creative yet meticulous nature. But if one observes the overall slant and pressure of the handwriting there is a suggestion of acute narcissism, a complete lack of empathy, and pronounced inclination toward moral insanity.
Perhaps the original criminal mastermind, Sherlock Holmes has been come up against his arch-nemesis time and time again, though we had to wait for 2011’s GAME OF SHADOWS to watch Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes face off against his intellectual equal (possible better).
Having the two most brilliant men on the planet face off is a recipe for awesome, and Jared Harris’ interpretation of the rotten Professor does not disappoint one bit.
Throughout the film, the two men encounter each-other 3 times. Knowing my love of hero and villain banter, these scenes obviously strike quite a chord with me (the HOLMES franchise is quite good at this, apparently). The fact both men respect each-other’s genius while considering himself the other’s better, makes everything all the more interesting and tense. May the best man win…
Their 1st encounter comes in Professor Moriarty’s office, involving some damn-delicious dialog, introducing the fish metaphor and setting the rules of their most-dangerous “game.” Moriarty promises he won’t leave Dr. Watson out of “the equation” even though he is on honeymoon, while also revealing to Holmes that he has already murdered his love, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams). If I didn’t mention it last time with the Joker (who- SPOILER – killed Bruce Wayne’s “main squeeze”), I’ll say it now; personal is always better.
Moriarty has made it very personal.
And so, the game is afoot! And what a game it is, with Moriarty appearing to always be one step ahead of Holmes in a way that would make the Joker proud.
While the Joker planned to be caught, Moriarty instead sets up a serious of false clues to lead his rival to the Opera, all while his plan is going off without a hitch across Paris.
Their second encounter gets uglier, with Holmes in Moriarty’s possession. Holmes has figured out Moriarty’s world-wide-scale mastermind plan, but the professor literally has his hook in him. Moriarty is having a great time as he tortures Holmes. And the fish metaphor continues.
“You are…familiar with Shubert’s work? The trout is perhaps my favorite. A fisherman grows weary of trying to catch an elusive fish. So he muddies the water; confuses the fish. It doesn’t realize until too late that it has swum into a trap.”
Finally, the pair play chess.
Here comes the reversal; unlike Batman, Holmes was actually one step ahead of his villain’s plot nearly the entire time. In fact, he’d been scouting Moriarty months before the two officially met.
Holmes stops the plot, but Moriarty himself is not-so-easily defeated. Just like Holmes, he sees the world a different way; he sees all possible outcomes and knows he actually has the advantage if the two are to fight to the death. Holmes sees it too, which is why he “sacrifices” his own life to defeat the most dangerous man in the world, his intellectual equal but physical superior.
What villain’s better than that? Moriarty’s personal, brilliant, and morally insane. He is Holmes’ equal so much so that Holmes need kill himself to defeat him.
“I wonder, which one of us is the fisherman and which the trout?”
In actuality, there are villains better than Moriarty.
We’ve already discussed three of my favorites thus far – Anton Chigurh, Col. Hans Landa, and Joker, yet some of the best are yet to come next time!
In 2012, we’ve watched three of the greatest villains in cinema, including the aforementioned Bane and Silva (as well as a nice surprise!). They continue the traits we’ve discussed, making them all surprisingly similar while each attempts the erase memory of the last.
Part IV will also anticipate three upcoming villains including those of IRON MAN 3 and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, suggesting they will continue the pattern established while bringing something even newer to the table.
After all, crime never sleeps. Though masterminds might… (and I do).