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, we explore what went down with Gambit this week, check out the latest updates on the DC movie universe, and drool over that upcoming Hulkbuster figure.

Channing Tatum and His Gambit Gambit

Last week brought shocking news: after a year of shepherding the project forward, Channing Tatum was leaving the upcoming Gambit movie, which would have seen him playing the Cajun-accented Mutant superhero with the power to transform any object into an explosive weapon. The internet reacted accordingly. Everyone, including us, covered the news. What happened? What went wrong? Why would Tatum ditch a project that he was so obviously passionate about?

Those questions became a moot point just a few days later, when another outlet reported that Tatum had officially made a deal to star in Gambit and all was seemingly well. Huh. Huh.

This incident proved two things. First of all, it proved that even the folks at the major Hollywood trades can’t always 100% confirm the stories that drop into their lap. Secondly, it proved that the people making these superhero movies are totally aware of the fact that people like us write up every sliver of news and people like you devour all of it.

There’s nothing wrong with this. We love covering superhero stuff and since you’re reading a superhero movie new column, you obviously love reading it. Understanding every project in the works and knowing who is playing who and what story lines the movies are borrowing from is fun. Nerds used to gather in the comic book shop to swap stories and compare notes. Now we do it on the internet and everyone is involved. Our enthusiasm hasn’t changed, but the arenas in which we are enthusiastic has entered a new level.

Here’s what happened. Tatum probably never intended to leave Gambit. He took one look at the internet’s undying enthusiasm for superhero movies, had a quick phone call with his agent. After appearing on the Comic-Con stage alongside the rest of the assembled X-Men, everyone would have been awfully bummed out if he ditched the project. And 20th Century Fox added another zero to his check.

It’s hard to get mad at Tatum for negotiating his deal in the press. If we were movie stars, we’d do it, too. But this incident is further proof that this is all one big game. Covering superhero movie news involves knowing when to ask your readers to take a story with a grain of salt and being a fan involves keeping that salt shaker at the ready at all times.

The Latest DC Stuff

Before we get to far from the subject of superhero movie news transforming the internet into a confusing place filled with misinformation and what-not, note the news that Chris Pine has apparently been locked in to play Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman. So the rumor that he was actually playing Hal Jordan in Justice League and Green Lantern Corps has been officially proven untrue.

But before we can get to Wonder Woman and her boyfriend, we have to get to Batman vs. Superman and we have officially reached the point in the press cycle where everyone is not longer afraid to start talking details. Here’s Ben Affleck on playing Batman, where makes it very clear that he’s going to take this dark and gritty character and make him darker and grittier:

Initially I thought, ‘I’m older, it doesn’t seem like the right sort of fit for me. Then Zack pitched me his concept for this older, more broken, kind of f**ked up Batman. It was something we haven’t seen. We have seen that Batman is willing to cross the line to protect people. That vigilantism has been a part of his character all along, and we are tapping into that mentality when faced by something as potentially as deadly as Superman.

And here’s Zack Snyder explaining what we’ve assumed for quite some time now – Affleck’s older Batman will exist in a world where many of the character’s most famous stories have already happened:

We are playing him 45 or 46. He has been Batman for 20 years. All the history is there. Was there a Robin at one time? Possibly. We want to assume that Batman has reached this point in his life and career as a superhero, and Superman represents a sort of philosophical change. He is a paradigm shift for Batman: ‘I’ve been fighting criminals all my life, trying to find justice, and now I am confronted with a concept that is transcendent to me.’ In the face of Superman, a man robbing a bank doesn’t matter. He’s having a crisis of conscience. ‘Am I really just a vigilante who stalks the alleys of Gotham?’ It is rich stuff that he deals with. Ben does an amazing job.

And while Batman vs. Superman is set to arrive on March 25, 2016. And even if it’s a total disaster, it won’t stop Wonder Woman, >which begins filming this Fall for a June 23, 2017 release date. And even if that’s a disaster, the two-part Justice League movie is officially set to begin filming next Spring for November 10, 2017 and June 4, 2019 release dates.

Fun and Games

The trailer for that LEGO Dimensions board game features a fair amount of superhero action, if that’s your thing (and it probably is).

If you’re still interested in Avengers: Age of Ultron between April and May of next year, Hot Toys’ massive 21-inch Hulkbuster Iron Man figure will finally be hitting shelves. You know, a whole year after the movie’s release date. The company has released a slew of new details about this very cool collector’s item:

- Authentic and detailed likeness of Hulkbuster in Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Approximately 55 cm tall (approximately 21 inches)
- Metallic red, gold and silver colored painting on armor with weathering effect
- Over 30 points of articulations
- Over 16 LED light-up areas located in the eyes, arc reactor on chest, repulsor palms, back, and legs (white light, battery operated)
- Shoulder armors can be opened
- Interchangeable neck armor for when displaying the Mark XLIII bust
- One (1) pair of removable forearm armors
- One (1) pair of hands with movable fingers and light-up repulsors (white light, battery operated)

And they’ve also released a few new images, one of which you can check out below. If you feel so inclined and have $824 on hand, you can pre-order it right over here.