Kevin Fiege

Marvel with the Phase 3 Knockout Punch

So back in 2008 Marvel and DC really started swinging. DC took a few jabs and hooks in the early rounds, with the Dark Knight trilogy, but nothing devastating. Marvel really started to wear them down with the beginning of Phase II. Yea DC got a knock down with Man of Steel, but Marvel was up by 4 count. It was late in the fight when Marvel hit DC hard with uppercut called Guardians of The Galaxy. They seemed content to with the points in the bag and they’d just wait out the fight, win by decision. DC started swinging for the fences, boom, Justice League and an entire slate of films. DC was going for the knock out. Until to day, when we all realized Marvel was just rocking the rope-a-dope, and kaboom. Knockout punch. Marvel is the reigning champ.

So when DC released their slate of films in their shareholders meeting it was pretty cool. Named off their upcoming properties, got everyone excited, but in true Marvel fashion they upped the game at completely out of nowhere press event. Disney sent out invitations on Monday inviting media outlets and film pundits to come to a special Marvel Event at the El Capitan Theater. They spent the day dropping their Phase III plans that will cumulate in a 2 part Avengers Infinity War film extravaganza.

The upcoming Phase III reads like this:

  • Captain America 3: Civil War on May 6 2016
  • Doctor Strange on November 4 2016
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017
  • Thor 3: Ragnarok on July 28 2017
  • Black Panther(Starring Chadwick Bosewick) on November 3 2017
  • Avengers: Infinity War part 1 in May 2018
  • Captain Marvel on July 6 2018
  • Inhumans on November 2 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 on May 3 2019

So that’s what we have to look forward too. Before we get into what this all means let’s first look at what is missing. Iron Man 4. Not that it is needed. But it’s odd that it’s not there. And I do not know what the new picture deal is the Robert Downey Jr. and Marvel have come too, but I’d assume it includes both Avengers, Captain America, and either Black Panther, or Guardians 2. I think Black Panther makes more sense, but I’d love to see him Guardians.

Also missing is your solo Hulk film. No personally I don’t think we need a solo Hulk film. Yes the Ed Norton film The Incredible Hulk was good, but not as good as Hulk was in Avengers. However when asked about another solo film for the big ball of rage, Kevin Fiege replied:

“I wouldn’t say Hulk is absent from the timeline. I’d say Hulk is going to appear in many of those movies, particularly all the Avengers movies leading up to the Infinity War. Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films and we’re excited for all those films. What happens with a standalone Hulk film? I’m going to say what I would have said about Black Panther last week or Captain Marvel before that, or Guardians of the Galaxy two years ago or Ant-Man ten years ago: We’ll see. We’d love to do it, we’d love to find a place to put it, but right now Hulk will be appearing with his friends in the other films.

So looks like we won’t be getting the big guy by himself, but that’s not to say we won’t be getting him. Where he will show up is anybody’s guess.

Well that leaves us with an exciting couple of years ahead of us. With as much as they gave us, they Marvel has also created more questions. Like when we will see Hulk. As well we will be looking for casting, who is Captain Marvel? Katee Sackoff? Is Benedict Cumberbatch Dr. Strange? Who will the Inhumans line up, will Black Bolt be a part of it? Is Vin Diesel going to be Black Bolt? Where will Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. play in all of this? How about the Netflix characters? Will they be a part of this? Dare Devil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist? So many questions, so much to come!

Let’s look at Civil War first. The rumor says that after the events of Age of Ultron the government will be coming down on our heroes. And rightfully so. Looks like Iron Man has created the world’s biggest threat, based on something Ant Man began! So who should the Heroes of the world answer too? Welt he government obviously. And I would assume Stark is going to agree do to the creation of Ultron. You know who won’t agree? The worlds number 1 Boy Scout Captain America. This will further the rift between the leading heads of the Avengers and set them on a path that ends shield to flight stabilizer. With Black Panther caught right in the middle. But that’s not all. I predict, rightfully so, that Black Widow, Falcon, and Hawkeye will play crucial parts. But that’s not all. I bet War Machine/Iron Patriot makes his presence felt, as well as, wait for it, The Winter Soldier. That’s right. I’m where else does he fit in? He has to be involved in some potential.

Rumor for Strange says that Benedict Cumberbatch is close to signing. Well so was Phoenix. So I won’t put all my eggs in that basket just yet. I’m ok with the casting, but just okay. Seems like Cumberbatch is up for any and every role, and while I like him, and he’s obvious, I’d love something out of left field. Someone no one is expecting. The introduction of Strange will be significant. Especially if we want an eventual Planet Hulk. Maybe a phase 4 set on World War Hulk?

Black Panther is the one we as fans have been clambering for the most. And finally we will be getting it! And with Chadwick Bozeman no less! I think this is inspiring casting! I loved him in 42, I loved him Glory Road, he played Boobie Miles! And he was The Funk! He is one of the best! His inclusion in this universe really adds another level of talent! Looks like we will be getting hiom first in Civil War, probably without much character development, and we will probably get the real look at him when Black Panther hits us! The concept art is bad ass! BlackPanther If that doesn’t scream awesome, I don’t know what does!

Not much else is known about the other projects. Guardians 2 will look to recapture the magic, while Thor 3 will set us on the path to the Infinity War. Infinity War will be really interesting. Especially with the comments on how the Avenger line up will be forever changed after Age of Ultron. I expect the original line up, and the Guardians not to really make their presence felt until Part 2 in 2019.

However, all though Marvel has knocked out DC with this one, you best believe, DC is prepping for the rematch. We are looking at 30ish superhero films and shows in the next 6 years. The fight will continue, and no matter what happens, I think it is us fans who are the true winners.

San Diego Comic Con Day 3

Ok, so major news Saturday out of Comic Con, I know I am two days late, but there was a lot to talk about. So without any further au due, let’s get into it.

DC opened up with nothing but Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. No rumored Shazaam info, no rumored schedule. Just pictures, and footage. The footage which is unable to be seen by anyone not at Comic Con, which is crap. But, I have a slight description. The footage allegedly opened up in Gotham, Supes is hovering in the air then on comes the Bat Signal. He glances down and it reveals Batman on a rooftop. Batman’s eyes glow blue revealing him to be in his tech armor, very reminiscent of Frank Miller’s the Dark Knight Returns. Supes eyes glow red and he flares up toward Batman and the footage ends. The film seems to take a lot of its cues from the graphic novel, which I think is a great idea. If you’ve read the novel The Dark Knight Returns or seen the animated film, you know how detailed and incredible that story is. From the announcement of the film with the quote from the graphic novel to this test footage, it’s been pretty clear what direction they are taking it. I for one am still not 100% onboard. I think Bat-Fleck is the best thing going for the film but it has its issues. The casting of Mamoa as Aquaman, great casting, but putting Aquaman in the film, unnecessary. Same with Victor Stone, AKA Cyborg. And for Wonder Woman, the casting of Gal Godat is horrendous. They have finally released an image of her, and yes, the costume looks phenomenal. Yes she is very hot. But I don’t by her as Wonder Woman. Yes she was in the Iraqi army, she just too skinny. Not to mention, she is not an actress. She is a model who acts. If you didn’t care to have a trained actress play the most iconic female superhero ever, why would not just get Gina Carano? That’s just my 2 cents. Facebook-20140728-012253 Facebook-20140728-012328 Facebook-20140728-012357 Facebook-20140728-012414

Next up we had Legendary. Legendary had two pretty big major announcements. Godzilla 2 will include more of our favorite monsters. Mothra, Rodan, and King Gidorah, AKA Monster Zero. I was in the camp of the not so thrilled with Godzilla. I felt they needed much more Godzilla in the Godzilla film. However, with the introduction of these three iconic monsters, I am back on board. Will they let me down? That remains to be seen. I will say though, historically, sequels give you more of what you want. Batman Returns more Batman, Terminator 2, more Terminator. So I assume that Godzilla 2, will give us more Godzilla. On a possibly related note. Legendary and Universal will be teaming up to give us what a teaser called Skull Island. Skull Island the legendary home of the iconic King Kong. Rumor has it that the film will give us an origin of Kong. How he back King of this island and the islanders began to worship him. As well that it will be taking place within the Godzilla universe. If this is true, it makes me even more excited that we could get King Kong Vs Godzilla later on down the road!

Warner Brothers also released a trailer and new poster for Mad Max: Fury Road. The film looks fun, Tom Hardy plays the title character and is definitely a good successor for Mel Gibson. It looks action packed, it looks like them going back and taking their time really paid off for them. I cannot wait to see this film!

WB also aired the Pilots of both Flash and Gotham. While most people have already seen the Flash pilot, The Gotham pilot was aired for the first time. Reception seems to be pretty positive. It is said to be much grounded in reality. Not being a Superhero television show, but a cop drama. Even characters like Robin Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot, and Corey Michael Smith’s Edward Nygma are believable. The Arrow panel seemed to be the most fun with them showing an extended trailer for season 3. Looks like we will be upping the action and drama. Ra’s Al Ghul will apparently be making his long anticipated debut. They spoke of the crossovers that will take place between Flash and Arrow. Most notably Felicity’s presence on both show. The Constantine panel answered a few questions and also showed an extended trailer. Needless to say, DC is on top of their TV game.

I don’t know if there was a full panel, or not but at some point this weekend this image of The Thing pre CGI from the Fantastic FOur reboot surfaced. Looks about the same as The Hulk from the Avenges. First bit of good news in a while coming out of this film. Facebook-20140728-012312

Finally, the bread and butter, the winner of Comic Con, in my opinion. All though they did not announce any of their untitled projects, Marvel did give us a lot. Evangeline Lily will be playing Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym. Will probably be Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang’s love interest. Corey Stoll will be replacing Patrick Wilson as Darren Cross AKA Yellowjacket. Plot seems to revolve around Pym and Cross being business partners. The Ying and Yang of the business. Cross seems to be the one who wants to take the company in an evil direction while Pym is out to help mankind. Seems as Pym will recruit Lang to take his place and become the Ant Man.

Marvel brought out the Avengers and they answered some fun questions. Hemsworth was asked where he would like them to take Thor, to which he replied “I’d like to see them turn him into a woman”. Ruffalo joked about how he used to be nobody now he walks down the street and has a name, everyone yells “Hi Hulk”. All he pieces of the puzzle have been released and they create an amazing picture of the Avengers all being over powered by Ultron Drones. Most notably The Vision appears in the background in the top left corner. Finally they showed some footage. Do you remember the photo released a about a week ago with the Avengers all hanging out in plain clothes in Avengers Tower? Well the apparently the footage opened up there will all the Avengers joking and hanging around trying to pick up Mjolnir. Stark can’t do it, not even with an Iron Man glove or help from Rhodey, Banner can’t move, then Cap steps up to the plate and it budges just a little and they all go nuts. That is until a ruffling is heard and out walks a damaged Iron Man suit, that begins to speak of the extinction of the human race, and that he is the Ultron. A montage of action footage rolls, including Black Widow in her new outfit, Banner in a strait jacket, tanks being thrown. The footage ends with the Avengers laid out in a desolate desert. The Hulk raging out, then in comes Iron Man, in the Hulk Buster gear. The two go at it and the footage ends. I don’t know about you, but just the mere thought of how this looked gives me Goosebumps. I am so excited for next year!

To end Marvels panel they brought out James Gunn who revealed that Guardians 2 is coming. Says a lot for the studio to green light the film before the first has even been released. Guardians of the Galaxy is my most anticipated film of the year and I cannot wait to see it this Thursday night!!!!

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