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Comic Strip: ‘Ant-Man’ Casting, ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Begins and Rocket Raccoon

Ant Man Batman Superman Rocket Raccoon
Marvel/DC

ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie news items. From Marvel to D.C. and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic-book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, we have footage of Zack Snyder filming ‘Batman vs. Superman,’ and we catch you up on the latest ‘Thor’ and ‘Ant-Man’ news and rumors.

‘Batman-Superman’

Zack Snyder officially kicked off filming on his eagerly anticipated ‘Batman-Superman’ movie over the weekend in Southern California, and the above video was taken by SadPuppyProductions from the set. Snyder took over a football stadium on the campus of East Los Angeles College, where extras sported these jerseys for a game between Gotham and Metropolis (images courtesy of Batman-News, if you couldn’t guess that from the huge watermark:

Batman-News.com

For more pics of Snyder and his crew filming a brief scene during the game’s halftime, click here.

Snyder didn’t limit his action to the gridiron. Check out this animated short, directed by Snyder, which celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel. With all due respect to Hans Zimmer, that John Williams score gives me chills every single time I hear it. Triumphant.

‘Man of Steel’

‘Man of Steel’ hits DVD and Blu-ray on November 12 and in a sneak peek at the bonus features, we get a look at how they made Henry Cavill and Michael Shannon fly.

‘Thor: The Dark World’

Alan Taylor’s ‘Thor: The Dark World’ screened for press last week as journalists from around the globe gathered in London for the sequel’s official media junket. While most everyone is under strict embargo not to talk at length about the next Marvel movie, some juicy facts drizzled out over the Internet.

Marvel

For instance, there will be two end-credit sequences, though good luck figuring out what they contain. As we reported, one person who’s seen the film posted the following hint:

Mid – Forshadowing [sic]. End – Shreddies.

As you puzzle over those vague hints, Marvel has 15 minutes of ‘Thor’ B-roll, which includes so many on-location shots from the upcoming sequel. This link also packs in-depth look at Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s villain Algrim and the beast he transforms into, Kurse.

Behind-the-scenes footage not enough for you? OK, fine. Marvel has official clips from ‘The Dark World’ to share. I’m personally swearing off watching anything else until we’re able to see the real movie, but here are more clips from the sequel for you to enjoy:


‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

As Marvel prepares audiences for another trip to Asgard, the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ cast wrapped production in London and worked their way back to the States, where James Gunn raced to reunite with his cat – seriously – and Chris Pratt spilled the beans on the importance of the animal hero:

You think it’s a cartoon character, but it’s not, it’s a very real creature. [Rocket Raccoon has been] tortured his whole life and no one else likes him, so he’s lonely and he’s angry and it’s like, [there are] all these elements [to the character]. You sort of forget about that, you wouldn’t think about, [and] hopefully will come to life. I think it will and that’s why they hired a really good actor to do the role. I could not be more excited that Bradley Cooper is voicing Rocket Raccoon. It’s a great character. It’s probably the best character in the movie, just because it’s not what you would expect.

With Gunn directing, nothing about ‘Guardians’ will be “expected” in the traditional sense. But, Gunn says he hopes that this will still develop into the traditional superhero franchise with sequels and spinoffs:

I want to lay down the rules, I want to start it – I would love to be able to see it grow into other things.

More on this standalone Marvel movie as it develops.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

Marvel

Viral videos are the rage, with studios cooking up original ways to drum up publicity. (That café “scene” for ‘Carrie’ was one of the most memorable ones we’ve seen in a while.) Well, Sony has been running The Daily Bugle to keep the Internet buzzing about ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ which reaches theaters next May. And an article has fans speculating that Spencer Smythe and his Spider-Slayers might show up at some point in the ‘Spider-Man’ series.

Other highlights included a preview of a flight harness for the military and significant advancements in robotics by the head of the engineering division, Spencer Smythe.

So Smythe exists in Marc Webb’s Spidey universe. Which you might have known if you played the video game associated with the first ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ movie (because Smythe was the cause of all the cross-breeding Spider-Man had to fight against as the game progressed). But just because he works at Oscorp doesn’t mean he’ll play a significant part in the upcoming sequels … especially since we already have potential villains in Electro (Jamie Foxx), the Rhino (Paul Giamatti), the Greeb Goblin (Chris Cooper) and possibly a second Goblin (Dane DeHaan).

What catches my eye is the “flight harness for the military,” which might explain how the Osborns secure their Goblin glider. What are your thoughts?

‘Ant-Man’

DreamWorks

From ‘I Love You, Man’ to ‘Ant-Man?’ This is one of those casting rumors that’s so very strange, we just hope it ends up being true.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt shot down the news that he was on the short list to play Ant-Man in Edgar Wright’s upcoming movie. After ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ JGL gets mentioned for EVERY superhero movie. Most of them are empty rumors.

The other name on the circulating list for Wright’s film, though, was Paul Rudd … and so far, he has stayed silent.

In fact, not only is Rudd’s name still in the mix (and he’d be an amazing choice, for the record), but his frequent collaborator Rashida Jones reportedly is being considered to play Janet Van Dyke – aka The Wasp – in future Marvel movies. Superhero Movie News has the “scoop,” though it hasn’t surfaced on very many other sites. It’s worth considering, however, as Rudd and Jones have strong chemistry that has carried movies like ‘I Love You, Man,’ ‘Our Idiot Brother’ and the NBC sitcom ‘The Office.’

Is that enough reason to cast them in a Marvel movie? No. But Marvel has gone off the grid when it comes to its casting and director selections. Could this one come to fruition? Absolutely, and deep down, we’re hoping it is confirmed … soon.

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