For the past two weeks, there has been a deluge of 'Avengers 2' footage - clips, trailers, extended trailers, future trailers! - and we were promised one last reveal last night. While 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' had the night off, ABC ran the Marvel TV special 'From Pulp to Pop,' which looked at the history of Marvel and Marvel Studios. It was mostly a rah-rah, pat-yourself-on-the-back kinda deal, but if you stuck around to the end, we not only got a look at 'Avengers 2' but also our first look at 'Ant-Man' footage.
Marvel has built their movie empire partially on anticipation and excitement among the core fanbase. Marvel has a tradition of post-credits scenes after their movies, ever since the first 'Iron Man' movie introduced Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and name-dropped the "Avengers Initiative." It's worked out quite well for Marvel. And, while DC and Warner Bros. are very eager to catch their competitors, don't expect them to follow suit. When Warner Bros. asked Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan to add a post-credits scene to the end of 'Man of Steel,' Nolan told them, "a real movie wouldn't do that."
Christian Bale has abruptly pulled out of Danny Boyle's planned Steve Jobs biopic, just two weeks after entering discussions with Sony Pictures and Boyle over playing the iconic Apple CEO. Though Bale hadn't officially signed for the part (and hadn't even begun contract negotiations), his participation was considered a near certainly and his unexpected departure is another casting blow for the project, which already had Leonardo DiCaprio turn down the starring role.
The 'Doctor Strange' casting has come full circle. After a series of stops and starts (we're looking at you, Joaquin Phoenix), Marvel has returned to one of the very first actors they had their eye on for their upcoming superhero movie: Benedict Cumberbatch. Deadline is reporting that the 'Sherlock' star is in "final negotiations" with Marvel to star in 'Doctor Strange' and, presumably, a number of other big 'Avengers' style crossover movies.
Were it not for the untimely and tragic death of Paul Walker, 'Fast and Furious 7' would have been released this past July and probably would be making its way to DVD and Blu-ray within the next few weeks. But, the release date was pushed back to April 3, 2015 and, after some lengthy reshoots, we're finally ready to see the first footage from the film next week.
As successful as 'Guardians of the Galaxy' was at the box-office (and, as the highest-grossing film of the year, it certainly was that), the film's iconic soundtrack was equally as successful. "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" spent two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and is currently the 10th largest selling album of 2014. You've been able to buy the digital album, the CD, vinyl and even a "Deluxe Edition," but so far, no actual cassette like the mix tape in the film. But, that's all about to change.
Robert Downey, Jr. reportedly made over $50 million for the first 'Avengers' movie, so if he wanted a giant "A" in his office (like the one seen on the side of Stark Tower at the end of the film) to celebrate the massive success of the film, he could've very easily just had a replica made. But, he didn't want a replica, he wanted a real thing. Or, at least that's what he joked to Marvel. So, imagine his surprise when he showed up at home and there waiting for him was the 30-foot tall "A".
It's almost surprising at this point that there has not been a 'Back to the Future' reboot or sequel. When you look back at the popular and successful properties of the 80s, there are few that haven't been modernized. Sony is practically falling all over themselves to get a new 'Ghostbusters' in theaters. This year alone saw new 'RoboCop,' 'Muppets,' 'Ninja Turtles,' 'Jump Street' and 'Transformers' movies. But, despite the frequency of these remakes, it doesn't look like you'll ever see a new 'Back to the Future' movie. And, that's a pretty great thing.
We'd previously heard that the 'Bond 24' filmmakers wanted the villain for the upcoming sequel to be unlike the modern day villains and instead a throwback to the big hulking henchmen like Jaws or Oddjob. The casting call was looking for "an imposing, extremely physically fit actor" over 6'2" tall. Not a ton of guys like that around, but the director Sam Mendes didn't have to look further than the biggest movie of the year.
There's been a lot of 'Iron Man 4' talk over the past few days as Robert Downey, Jr. continues his whirlwind promotional tour for 'The Judge' across a multitude of talk shows. He's confirmed it, issued demands, backpedaled, confirmed it again and now, via an appearance on David Letterman last night, he clarified all the recent rumors and (we think?) issued the definitive word on 'Iron Man 4' and his future at Marvel.
Just yesterday, we heard the very sad and strange tale of acrimony that currently exists between Marvel and Fox, the studio that owns the 'X-Men' and 'Fantastic Four' movie rights. It will very likely be a cold day in hell by the time we ever see the likes of Iron Man and Wolverine pair up on the big screen (regardless of what Hugh Jackman says), but is it possible that The Avengers could actually be crossing over with another superhero from another universe? Namely, The Amazing Spider-Man?
First, the good news: Robert Downey, Jr. has agreed to star in 'Iron Man 4' for Marvel! Considering everything he has been saying over the past year or so - essentially that he can't imagine an 'Iron Man 4' ever happening - that's a major step in the right direction and a huge win for Marvel Studios. But...Downey's agreement has come with one rather large condition. That his old friend, and current member of the Hollywood blacklist, Mel Gibson be allowed to direct.
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