Comic Strip: 'Avengers 2,' 'Batman v Superman' and 'Ant-Man' Offer Big Updates

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Marvel

ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, 'Gotham' generates strong buzz, 'Ant-Man' reveals its villains, and Lex Luthor has hair.

Small Screen Superhero Updates

We already felt pretty good about Marvel's upcoming 'Daredevil' series, but then they went and cast Rosario Dawson, which has us feeling even better. We still don't know who she'll be playing in the series (probably not Elektra, huh?), but she's a terrific presence and would undoubtedly make a great romantic foil for Charlie Cox. But knowing Matt Murdock's luck, she'll probably have a run-in with Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin before the season is over.

Here's how Marvel describes her role. It's not much, but speculate away:

Rosario Dawson will play a dedicated young woman whose quest to heal the wounds of Hell’s Kitchen brings Matt Murdock unexpectedly crashing into her life, while her own journey forever alters the course of his battle against the injustices of this broken city.

Meanwhile, the DC side of the aisle didn't sit by quietly while Marvel scooped up more actors. The CW's 'The Flash' released this new featurette, which explores the various relationships between the characters on the series.

Elsewhere, the pilot episode of Fox's 'Gotham' has begun making its way out to critics and the response, so far, has been very positive. So yeah, it looks like they may have actually pulled off a Batman TV series that doesn't feature Batman. A whole bunch of responses have been compiled here, but we've grabbed a few for your reading pleasure:

'Guardians of the Galaxy' Reveals New Posters, Trailers and Images

This week, in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' news...

Things got started in style with the release of a new international trailer, which sidelines the goofy comedy of the first few previews for a far more serious take. We like seeing the film presented as a straightforward space opera, but hopefully that slightly goofy sensibility will extend beyond the first trailers.

In addition to the trailer, a new batch of official stills arrived. While they're mostly hi-res images from the latest trailer, some of them do give us a great look at some newer stuff, most notably the strange planet called Knowhere and the villain, Ronan the Accuser.

Marvel
Marvel

And while we're on the subject of images, a new Russian poster showed up and it's a weird one. Most of the crew looks determined and ready for battle, but Chris Pratt's Starlord looks like he literally just rolled out of bed after a night of heavy drinking.

Marvel

And speaking of posters, this fan-made one-sheet is so much better than most of the official art that it's not even funny. Seriously. Gorgeous stuff.

Finally, director James Gunn shared this awesome fan-made art, which imagines the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' toys that would exist if the movie was made in the '80s.

'Ant-Man', 'Dr. Strange,' a Solo Hulk Movie and More Marvel Studios Nuggets

Since no one at Marvel studios ever sleeps, this was another week filled to the brim with new nuggets of information regarding the studio's upcoming projects.

First of all, screenwriter Jon Spaihts was hired to rewrite the screenplay for 'Doctor Strange.' Although only a few of his screenplays have actually made it before a camera, he's developed a strong reputation for writing terrific science fiction and genre scripts, making him a great choice for Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme. Considering how his scripts for 'Prometheus' and 'The Darkest Hour' got heavily reworked before filming, we hope the starts align for him on this one. Heck, maybe this will lead to his acclaimed screenplay 'Passengers' actually getting made...

Meanwhile, Mark Ruffalo says that Marvel is finally considering another solo movie for the Hulk. Could this lend credence that they're planning a 'Planet Hulk' movie for Phase 3? Here's Ruffalo's statement:

I think they are, for the first time, entertaining the idea of it.  When we did The Avengers it was basically ‘No!’, and now there is some consideration for it. But there’s still nothing definitive, not even a skeletal version of what it would be. I look forward to going down that road, if we could crack that nut.

With the dust finally settling over the whole "Edgar Wright Leaves 'Ant-Man' And The Internet Is Pissed" situation, Kevin Feige has commented on the situation, attempting to put it all in the most positive light possible. This is going to be a "troubled production" until the day it's released, but we like new director Peyton Reed and we love new writer Adam McKay, so we'll stay hopeful. Here's the full statement, via Total Film:

Ant-Man is still going to come out on 17 July [2015], we start filming this August. Edgar Wright, who I’ve known for many years, who wrote the draft with Joe Cornish – much of the movie will still be based very much on that draft and the DNA of what Edgar has created up to this point, but Peyton Reed has stepped in [to direct]. Adam McKay, a very good writer, is reworking parts of the script – not the entirety of the script, but some of it – and it’s going to, we believe, come to life in the best version of Ant-Man that we could possibly make. Again Ant-Man is a very important character for us. We like that people don’t necessarily know what it is, we like that it sounds sort of strange when you first hear the notion of Ant-Man, or a hero that can shrink, but he’s a very key Marvel character. He’s a key Avenger. He’s an important character we want to bring into our universe and Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and an amazing cast all set to start in August, we believe that we’re on the road to the best version of Ant-Man that we could have.

With 'Ant-Man' set to begin filming in a little over a month, the identity of the film's villains has finally begun to leak. First, JoBlo reported that the film's baddies would be industrialist and frequent Ant-Man foe Darren Cross and his cousin William Cross, AKA, Crossfire. Then The Wrap chimed in, saying that 'House of Cards' star Corey Stoll would play Darren and Patrick Wilson would play William. Then Badass Digest jumped into the fray, saying that the bad guy will be Yellowjacket (once an identity of Hank Pym in the comics), but he'll actually be Darren Cross or William Cross in the outfit.

Okay. Phew.

Your Weekly 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Update

Yep, the highly anticipated follow-up to 'The Avengers' is still filming, but at least one major cast member has finished his on-set duties. If social media is to be believed, it's a wrap for Mr. Robert Downey Jr.

But let's talk for a moment about the people who are on the 'Avengers 2' set. It seems that actor B.J. Britt, who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Antoine Triplett on ABC's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,' was spotted on set. Although we don't expect this film to tie in as closely with the small-screen side of the Marvel universe as 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier,' it's interesting to see Marvel continue to tighten the connections between all of its various properties.

In slightly more interesting news, JoBlo has some new details on the film. The highlights:

  • Black Widow has a "Tron-style" suit that gives her significantly stronger powers.
  • The Quinjet has been redesigned to accommodate the entire team and is less militarized.
  • Ultron will have a "red firelight underneath, giving him a kind of 'Balrog' effect from LOTR." And as we expected, Ultron will have an army of drones that are very similar to himself.
  • Finally, The Vision will stick close to the classic design and will be "100% Paul Bettany."

Finally, someone snapped a bunch of pictures of the set and, while they're not that exciting, it's something. But if you want to check out some pics of Thor and Captain America's stunt doubles...

Updates on 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

Last week, we got a look at a massive Superman statue being built for 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' and this week, we've learned what that statue is all about. It seems that the film will acknowledge that Superman saved the Earth during the events of 'Man of Steel' (even if Metropolis got destroyed in the process) and he'll be honored with a massive ceremony, including "Superman Survivor" kids who help pull a sheet off the statue for its grand unveiling. Considering how much fans have already debated the destructive climax of 'Man of Steel,' we imagine this will be a controversial scene.

The same report also says that the new Batmobile may have retractable wings that let it fly. That's pretty cool.

Okay. Hold onto your butts for this next one: Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor will have long blonde hair. Yep, all of those hours spent Photoshopping a shaved dome onto the 'Social Network' star may have been wasted. However, the report says that we won't miss a bald Luthor because we're going to love to hate this guy:

You are going to hate this guy. You are going to root for him to be punched by Supes when he weasels his way out of legal trouble. He is cocky and confident because he is THAT good at what he does. He's a billionaire who knows he is more powerful than the Senator and Congressman visiting because he's a billionaire.

The same source that Holly Hunter will be playing a senator who faces Luthor's snobby wrath and that Tao Okamoto will be playing Mercy Graves, Luthor's bodyguard and personal assistant.

DC and Warner Bros. Look to the Future

Last week, we got a glimpse at a possible schedule for Warner Bros.' DC movie universe, which took us up through 2018. Now, we know their (possible) plans through 2019. According to new buzz, the next solo Batman movie will arrive in approximately five years and will be called 'The Batman.'

And that's all we know for now. And like those other movies, it may all be entirely untrue.

Let's talk about things that are a little closer, shall we? The 'Justice League' movie is apparently set for a 2017 release date and possible details are starting to trickle out. It should come as no surprise that Darkseid, one of the most iconic baddies in the DC comics universe, is apparently going to be the bad guy. It should come as less of a surprise that the template for the film is supposedly the recent "New 52" comic storyline that had the Justice League defending the planet from an all-out invasion by Darkseid and his forces. The same scoop also lists Martian Manhunter among the superhero roster, which means one of two things. It means that DC's great alien hero is actually getting a shot at the big screen and we can all rejoice ... or it means that this is all total BS because Martian Manhunter hasn't been a part of DC's plans at all.

Oh, yeah: and Jason Momoa still refuses to admit that he's playing Aquaman.

Fun Stuff For Fun People

Her Universe has revealed a new line of Marvel clothing and while a lot of it is pretty cool, the obvious standout is this S.H.I.E.L.D. shirt. In normal light, you look like an upstanding defender of freedom and justice. In darker light, your real intentions are revealed! Hail Hydra, indeed.
Her Universe

If you have $429.99 burning a hole in your deep pockets, this ridiculously detailed Iron Man statue is something that you could purchase to display in your home and make all of your fellow nerd friends accept your supremacy.

Sideshow

If you don't have hundreds of dollars to spare but still want to showcase your Marvel fandom, you could always do what these guys did and recreate the big fight scene between Iron Man, Thor and Captain America in 'The Avengers.'

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