Monday, May 28, 2018

Marvel News

There's a ton of news to cover (SPOILERS for all MCU films & Netflix properties): news for Daredevil, Captain Marvel, the Spider-Man sequel, The Eternals, The Punisher, and Jessica Jones.

We've learned potentially big news for Daredevil season three, as That Hashtag Show is reporting Wilson Bethel will be playing iconic villain Bullseye (something a now-deleted Instagram photo from a member of the crew seems to confirm). News of Bethel's casting came out months ago, but at that time THS thought his role was that of Sin-Eater--an idea I thought was preposterous (he's a Spider-Man villain, ergo Sony property, and he's very much like the Punisher). Instead we are getting Bullseye, one of Daredevil's most iconic villains.--it will be interesting to see how he is handled--will he be as well-developed as the Kingpin or Punisher? Or will he suffer the fate of Elektra and The Hand? His more grounded nature as an antagonist helps quite a bit--if it's done as well as Jigsaw in the first season of The Punisher it will be fantastic. Vincent D'Onofrio says the season is "really something."

Image result for bullseye marvel elektra

Bullseye was created by Marv Wolfman and Bob Brown back in 1976, but what he's most known for is Frank Miller using him to kill Elektra in her original (and superior) storyline in 1981. That seminal event is what made him the character he is. While they could use Elektra in season three, I highly doubt they will given how poorly she's been received. I do think, however, that the general plotline (Bullseye/Kingpin from Miller's run) can work just fine without her inclusion (Karen Page could take her place for the emotional note from the story, for example).

News continues to come out for Captain Marvel. Marvel Producer Nate Moore was giving an interview and said the following about the movie:
I think there is a structure to origin films that audiences sometimes can get ahead of very quickly. So, if we do origin films, internally, we talk about how we can subvert that structure. For instance, Captain Marvel is an origin movie in that you haven't seen her before, but we think we've stumbled upon a structure there that isn't the traditional structure of what origin movies typically are, which is you meet the character, they have a problem, they get powers at the end of the first act, and the end of the second act they learn about the powers, the third act they probably fight a villain who has a function of the same powers. That's a lot of times what a typical origin movie is structured like, but as we introduce new characters moving forward, we want to find ways to subvert that structure, so at least the experience of the film feels new to audiences. We're very conscious of making sure that audiences don't get things that feel like they've seen them before.
It will be interesting to see how that expected formula is subverted. One direction they could take it is that instead of accidentally gaining her powers, Carol Danvers volunteers to get them.

McKenna Grace, who was announced as part of the Captain Marvel cast back in March, is confirmed to be playing a young Carol Danvers (sometime in the 1980s, with Kenneth Mitchell playing her father). Actress Ana Ayora has also been cast in an undisclosed role.

Physicist Dr. Spiros Michalakis was a consultant for the Quantum Realm for both Ant-Man movies and last year said this in reference to Captain Marvel:
There are different ways that some of these ideas appear on-screen in a few years. Not just for Ant-Man, but also for Captain Marvel and all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Does this imply Danvers is in the Quantum Realm? Or that she'll being using it? It's hard to say, but the quote adds fuel to the belief that it is an element in Avengers 4.

Image result for monica rambeau

There's some very loose speculation that Monica Rambeau will appear in the Captain Marvel film. The character has a history with Carol Danvers (and was once known as Captain Marvel herself), but the rumour is born of two very thin slices of evidence: 1) the movie filming in the Baton Rouge area of Louisana where the character is from (something I see as irrelevant), 2) the casting of DeWanda Wise and then Lashana Lynch in the role of a "contemporary" of Danvers (the belief being they are playing Rambeau). While it's possible she could appear, it's a film already cluttered with characters and as evidence this is pretty weak (you'd also have to ask what's the point of introducing Monica in the 1990s unless she's also time-travelling with Carol--or whatever it is that prevents Captain Marvel from aging).

Not surprisingly, Michael Keaton is returning as the Vulture for the Spider-Man sequel (link below; how much he'll appear is unknown--it might just be a cameo). It appears as though Mysterio is the antagonist, with Jake Gyllenhaal in talks for the role. There's no reason to doubt that Sony wants to continue planting the seeds for a Sinister Six movie (original Daredevil showrunner Drew Goddard left the show to helm Sinister Six film for Sony, only to have it cancelled). Like Keaton's character, Mysterio has never been portrayed in the movies before--he's also a fairly earthy villain (as in, doesn't have huge, dangerous powers) and I suspect he'll get the rounded treatment we saw for the Vulture. Where that leaves the hints about the Scorpian in Homecoming is uncertain (who, minus the costume, was introduced there), but I imagine Marvel won't push things the way Sony did in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. My only concern for the film is Sony's marketing, which was atrocious prior to Homecoming.

There's still no word on the actress role they've been trying to cast for some time (a woman in her 20s reportedly). Given that Zendaya's Michelle will serve as the love interest (I'm curious if Marvel will push her "MJ" nickname given how poorly it was received--Sony would double down, but will the MCU?), I don't think this will be any of Spider-Man's femme fatale's (especially given his movie-age), although nods to Black Cat or Silver Sable are possible if unlikely (the latter more so if the reported travel through Europe is correct, as she is from Symkaria, a fictional Eastern European country in Marvel which borders Doctor Doom's Latveria).

A Reddit rumour is making the rounds--ComicBookMovie doesn't offer a reason why we should trust this specific one nor does it link it, but I thought I'd go through it since it's being covered:
  • the film takes place before Infinity War--this is in direct contradiction to what Amy Pascal (Sony) has said, which is that the film occurs immediately afterwards (this doesn't nuke the theory immediately, but keep it in mind), with the end of the film linking up to the beginning of Infinity War (something which, dramatically, makes no sense at all--that whole plot will be resolved before this film comes out)
  • Peter is visiting a number of countries in Europe (which matches, in spirit, other rumours about the film)
  • the Rhino will be a secondary villain
  • both Ant-Man and Daredevil (!) will appear
  • the femme fatale referenced above is apparently a version of Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), although she's going to be based more on Felicia Hardy (Black Cat)--these are very different characters so I'm not sure in what way
  • Easter Egg or cameo of Oscorp
  • the film will double down on the Michelle=MJ scenario
I find this largely preposterous. It reads like someone's hopes based on the limited leaks thus far. Marvel is very careful in avoiding character clutter in its solo films, so other than hints I don't think we'll see Rhino (if he appears at all, which I doubt, it will be ala the Scorpian in the first movie); Sony's agreement with Marvel was that A-list heroes would appear in the films and neither Ant-Man nor Daredevil qualify (while I love the Netflix characters I have no idea what would be accomplished having them appear here). Other than the travel (which has already been heavily rumoured), I don't find this credible. Speaking of that MCU character, it's difficult to parse who it could be since it's unlikely to be Iron Man again--Captain America makes sense, but we'll have to see how Avengers 4 resolves before we can make educated guesses.

With that said, in looking for the source of the above I came across another thread [originating on 4Chan] claiming to be from a reliable source which has a much more plausible set-up:
  • Set after AVENGERS 4. Peter is revived, and it appears Tony Stark will indeed die and Peter will be mourning his death. The plot revolved around something groundbreaking that Stark has created, and which is stolen and Spider-Man must retrieve.
  • Set mainly in London [where filming of the movie begins in July]. Peter and his friends are there for a conference sponsored by Stark Industries. Michelle, Ned, Liz, Flash and Aunt May are returning, alongside the Midtown students and staff from HOMECOMING [this is a bit odd since Liz Allen moved away at the end of Homecoming, but it's not a major issue with the theory]. Gwyneth Paltrow is also supposed to appear as Pepper Potts [which makes sense given that she would be running Stark Industries].
  • Mysterio is the main villain. He is an international thief and master of illusion, who has stolen Stark’s creation at the behest of a mysterious employer. Apparently, there are plans to include the fishbowl helmet, but he will not wear it throughout the movie.
  • Jessica Drew [Spider-Woman] is a MI6 operative pursuing Mysterio, who begrudgingly teams up with Spider-Man to stop him. She has no superpowers, but is a combat expert and skilled tactician.
  • Peter develops a rivalry with a new student, Alistair Smythe [Spider-Slayer], a technology prodigy who is determined to upstage him. Smythe is “manipulative” and tries to turn Peter’s friends against him. His father, Spencer Smythe, works for Stark Industries.
  • Vulture and Scorpion will appear in minor roles. Scorpion is apparently working for the same man who hired Mysterio to steal Stark’s creation, and they attempt to get Vulture to betray Spider-Man’s identity to them.
  • Mysterio’s employer is apparently a major villain from the comics and will be prominent in SPIDER-MAN movies going forward. No word on who he is yet, but he will have a minor appearance in the movie. Marvel and Sony eyeing A-list actors. Casting won’t be officially announced. Supposed to be a surprise twist.
This is a far more plausible story that doesn't raise the red flags of the one above. Is it true? Jessica Drew has an English background, so the fluff included is correct (as would it be not having her adopt her hero identify initially--it's hard to accept a Spider-Woman when Peter Parker is still a teenager--granting that the background described here is thematically similar to Black Widow). The mysterious employer of Mysterio could very well be Norman Osborn and having Stark tech at the heart of the plot has a nice synergy with the first film. The theory would also fit my guess that Iron Man dies at the end of Avengers 4. The Smythe inclusion seems odd, although given that Flash wasn't well-received in Homecoming he might be replacing his role as the bully. With that said, there's no telling if this is accurate or not--we can judge it properly once more information comes out.

Writers Matthew and Ryan Firpo have been hired to write the Eternals movie. A question Jeremy Conrad addresses is why there's a push for new IP prior to the return of the Fox characters. He writes:
Marvel Studios cannot legally work on any of the Fox characters yet. That even means nothing as “innocent” as concept art. ... Yet Marvel still has to release a slate of movies every year. ... Marvel still needs to plan for 2020 and 2021 as it’ll take time to get those movies going and they can’t sit around hoping for the merger to complete. That’s why James Gunn is currently writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, writers are working on Black Widow as the director search continues, and writers were just hired for The Eternals. Sersi, Ikaris, and the rest aren’t expected to make their big screen debut until 2021, however the rumor is that they’ll be introduced in the MCU in some way prior to then.
That legality should cool the jets of those hoping for Fox-related Easter Eggs in Avengers 4--something only possible if the deal is approved months before its release. When I went through my speculation for the announced MCU release dates my 2021 slate was filled with various sequels, imagining new IP for James Gunn's cosmic side not to show up until 2022 (with either a Nova Corps film or an Adam Warlock film). Introducing the Eternals in another movie makes a lot of sense, even if its just a tease (Guardians 3 makes the most sense in that respect). It's also a shot across the bow to DC's hypothetical New Gods movie (announced in March with A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay attached).

I mentioned previously that I was confident Jigsaw would return in season two and we now have confirmation of that. Filming has been underway since March 10th and given the usual Netflix time frame for seasons should wrap in August--I'd expect its release in early 2019, assuming we get all four Defenders in 2018 (as I've previously surmised).

Jessica Jones season three will start filming shortly, although as yet we don't have a specific start date. Nothing was hinted about what the show will be about, but Krysten Ritter did say she wanted Jessica to be less of a trainwreck--something I would like as well (as I said last time they really need to move the character forward). One thing I want to point out from that post: in it I said that in Netflix casting calls the first letter of the character's name was often the same as who they really were--Daredevil broke that connection with Bullseye such that we'll have to take speculation based on that with even more grains of salt.

Early reviews for Cloak & Dagger have been very positive, but we're well beyond the point of paying attention to reviews for Marvel properties (there's no getting around how ridiculous the 100% for Agents of SHIELD is when The Punisher is sitting at 62%). The trailers have been underwhelming, but I'm not part of the targeted YA-audience so I won't judge purely from that. As a fan of the source material the show has a pretty big mountain to climb for me (this is unlike The Runaways where I came in with no expectations). In terms of surface details I was much happier with the Hulu casting versus what we've got with Freeform, but seeing the actors act really makes all the difference.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

No comments:

Post a Comment