Comic Strip: Marvel Drops the (Infinity) Gauntlet and DC Preps a ‘Wonder Woman’ Trilogy
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, Marvel breaks the internet with its Phase Three announcement, DC prepares a trilogy for Wonder Woman, and Sony plans a really strange Spider-Man spin-off.
Marvel Drops the Phase 3 Gauntlet
Unless you live in a cave without internet access, you've surely all about the special Marvel Studios event where the company announced its "Phase Three" slate of films. Now, a week after the fact, the impact of the announcement doesn't feel diminished at all. Unlike DC, who revealed their longterm plans during an investors call, Marvel went out of their way to build hype and anticipation, with studio president Kevin Feige once again proving himself to be the best showman working in Hollywood today.
Look, Warner Bros. and DC could make some pretty great superhero movies in the next six years, but Marvel and Disney know how to sell themselves better. When it comes to generating hype and enthusiasm, it makes all of the difference.
So let's just run down all of the films that were officially announced, shall we?
As he had previously heard, 'Captain America 3' will loosely adapt the "Civil War" storyline, pitting Steve Rogers and Tony Stark against each other in a battle over the ethics of superheroics. In the comics, this storyline was all about how the government wanted all masked heroes to register their true identities and receive proper training. Since there are no secret identities in the Marvel cinematic universe, Feige explained how the movie version will change the original miniseries:
I don’t want to give too much away, but needless to say, the generalities of the act are the same. Something happens, perhaps it’s cumulative for things that have happened though all of the movies leading up to this point. It has made the governments of the world say “we need to have some oversight of these guys. They need to report to somebody. So it becomes more… it falls under that umbrella, rather than “you have to take off your mask.” It’s not about the secret identity thing, as much as it is about, overall, who reports to who, and who can agree to oversight committee. Because as of now, in Avengers 2, there is no more security council, there is no SHIELD, obviously. Stark is paying for it, Captain America is running it, and things occur that will make governments begin to question.
'Captain America: Civil War' will open on May 6, 2016 and will be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the duo behind 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier.'
Everyone was convinced that the official 'Doctor Strange' announcement would be accompanied by Benedict Cumberbatch taking the stage and officially accepting the mantel of Sorcerer Supreme, but what looked like a sure thing is now starting to seem a little less sure. Is Cumberbatch actually the guy for the part or did the entire internet just jump the gun?
Anyway, 'Doctor Strange' will be directed by Scott Derrickson and will open on November 4, 2016.
Initially announced for a few months later, 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' was bumped up to the start of the summer of 2017. That's what becoming the biggest hit of 2014 will do for you.
James Gunn will return to direct and the film will open on May 5, 2017.
We don't know much about 'Thor: Ragnarok', but with a title like that, it sounds like things are going to get awfully apocalyptic. Expect Asgard to get wrecked in this one, guys. The one thing that has been confirmed is that the story will pick up moments after 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' and will affect the Marvel universe in a huge, sweeping way (think the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 'Winter Soldier').
No director has been announced yet, but the film will open on July 28, 2017.
After years of rumors, Marvel officially announced 'Black Panther,' which will bring the fictional nation of Wakanda and its super-powered leader into this universe. And unlike Doctor Strange, Marvel had its Black Panther on hand in the form of '42' star Chadwick Boseman. Marvel also confirmed that Wakanda will be introduced in 'Avengers 2' and that Boseman's Black Panther will have a significant role in 'Captain America: Civil War' before getting his own movie.
'Black Panther' doesn't have a director, but it will arrive on November 3, 2017.
As excited as we are to see Carol Danvers on the big screen, we have no idea what her big movie will be about. Marvel says it'll be "cosmic," but that's it. No writer, no director and no actress. Hmm. Can we throw out Emily Blunt's name for the part?
'Captain Marvell' will open on July 6, 2018.
The Inhumans are characters that only seasoned Marvel fans are familiar with, but expect that to change soon! A possible replacement for Mutants in the Marvel cinematic universe, the Inhumans are people with DNA modified by alien technology, which gives them odd and unusual powers when exposed to "Terrigen Mist." This could be Marvel's riskiest endeavor yet, but look at what happened with 'Guardians of the Galaxy.'
'Inhumans' is set for November 2, 2018.
That brings us to the craziest news yet. There won't just be an 'Avengers 3' -- there will be a two part movie called 'Avengers: Infinity War.' As the name implies, this sounds like it will be the climax to every film from the first three phases, with all of the various superheroes and teams coming together to battle Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet. This will be a two-part event film that has literally been a decade in the making. That's just crazy.
And just because we're four years away from these films doesn't mean we can't get a glimpse at things to come. Yes, they already have a teaser for 'Avengers: Infinity War.' Yes, really.
Oh, and somehow, the ever-crafty Loki will find his way into the plot as well. Start making your guesses now, folks.
Part one will open in May 2018 and part two will open one year later in May 2019.
Here's all of those dates one more time in a single handy-dandy list:
May 1, 2015 - 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
July 17, 2015 - 'Ant-Man'
May 6, 2016 - 'Captain America: Civil War'
November 4, 2016 - 'Doctor Strange'
May 5, 2017 - 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2'
July 28, 2017 - 'Thor: Ragnarok'
November 3, 2017 - 'Black Panther'
May 4, 2018 - 'Avengers: Infinity War Part I'
July 6, 2018 - 'Captain Marvel'
November 2, 2018 - 'Inhumans'
May 3, 2019 - 'Avengers: Infinity War Part II'
Of course, there are two big names missing from that list. Where the heck are Black Widow and the Hulk? It seems that those two won't be getting their own solo films anytime soon. However, that probably means they'll float through other movies, popping up as needed. After all, we have heard that a certain big, green menace could pop up in 'Guardians of the Galaxy 2.'
Getting Into New 'Avengers 2' Details
What? You want more Marvel news? Okay. Fine. Here's the extended trailer for 'The Avengers 2,' which features a great scene with the entire team hanging out, drinking and trying to lift Thor's hammer. This banter has us more exited for the film than any big action scene.
Elsewhere, director Joss Whedon discussed the "global approach" of the film, which takes place in multiple locations all over the world and has a story that reflects that:
We wanted the world perspective on the Avengers, what they’re doing, what they’ve been doing and who they are. They’re being the Avengers, and that’s a global thing, and it’s also… it doesn’t make everybody love them. So we wanted to see both sides of that.
Watch the whole interview right here:
Finally, it seems that Idris Elba's Heimdall and Tom Hiddleston's Loki will have a brief cameo in 'Avengers 2.' Elba confirmed that he shot a brief scene that also included Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth, but didn't spill any additional details. However, you can bet on one thing: whatever it is, it'll be there to set up 'Thor: Ragnarok.'
Wonder Woman is Getting Her Own Trilogy
Let's take a break from Marvel for a bit and jump across the aisle to the world of DC. More specifically, let's take a look at the new rumors of a 'Wonder Woman' trilogy and how cool the actual details sound.
Gal Gadot will appear as the Amazonian warrior in 'Batman vs. Superman' before playing a more central role in 'Justice League,' but the current buzz suggests that her first solo film (set to arrive in 2017) will take place before those films. Looong before. Since she's a demigod who doesn't age like mere mortals, it would make sense for her first adventure to take place in the 1920s and follow Diana as she leaves Paradise Island for the first time and encounters a world where women have just gained the power to vote. Naturally, there will be a lot of sexist asses in need of a good kicking, we're sure.
Here's how cool this idea is: we have a hard time believing it's true. The idea of Wonder Woman actually being an ageless being straight out of Greek mythology who gets to fight evil during the roaring '20s is an incredible idea. The news that the second film in the trilogy will take place during World War II and feature her battling Nazis is even better. If true, that's a ballsy and awesome move from Warner Bros. Hopefully, the plans for Aquaman, The Flash and the rest of the Justice League are that cool.
And in other news, the three 'Wonder Woman' movies and the two 'Justice League' movies have forced Gadot to drop out of the 'Ben-Hur' remake. Because duh.
Additional DC Movie News of Interest
A lot of people have been scratching their heads over the decision to keep the film and TV DC universes completely separate and 'Arrow' star Stephen Amell is one of them. When asked about the upcoming 'The Flash' movie, he had this to say:
"Yeah. Of course. And I feel like it should be Grant doing the movie. But the important thing to remember is just because Grant Gustin plays the part of Barry Allen doesn't mean Ezra Miller can't also play Barry Allen. There can be different interpretations of the character. Anyone who is a fan of the comics knows the Flash character is one of the forces that leads to parallel universes. And who knows, they might find a fantastic actor to play Oliver Queen on the feature side who has a different take on the character. I'm certainly a departure from the typical Oliver Queen from the comic books. I just think that everybody needs to be patient with the whole thing. The fact that DC and Warner have announced all these comic book features is nothing but good for business."
On the cinematic side of things, it sounds like Batman is going to be pretty well-armed for his throwdown with the Man of Steel in 'Batman vs. Superman':
The big revelation is that the armored suit is covered in Kryptonite and has the ability to shoot missiles. It’s the part about the Kryptonite that should be most interesting to fans. In Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Strikes Again,’ Batman uses Kryptonite gauntlets to beat the snot out of Superman, and from what we’ve learned already about ‘Batman v Superman,’ we know that Batman breaks into Lexcorp to steal some Kryptonite. If his armored suit is covered in the stuff, it seems like we know why needs so much of it.
Speaking of all things Batman, if you're holding out hope that 'The Dark Knight' director Christopher Nolan will return to the superhero genre, don't hold your breath. Go ahead and say never:
I think I had a great experience with the superhero genre and got to explore a lot of things, but it was a good decade of my life and I find it hard to imagine returning to it. But never say never.
After all, it seems that Warner Bros. desperately wanted him involved in their upcoming slate of films (and probably backed a dump truck full of cash up his driveway), but he declined completely:
Retaining Mr. Nolan for its key franchises has been a top priority at Warner. One of the reasons its slate of DC superhero films have rolled out more slowly than rival Marvel’s comic-book movies was the studio’s lengthy pursuit of him to produce a Justice League film and Batman reboot. He declined, though he did produce last year’s Superman movie Man of Steel.
That's probably for the best. These new films need to find their own identity and not be tied in any way to Nolan's trilogy. Onwards and upwards, right?
Your Weekly Superhero TV News Update
Based on the DC Comics character, the drama tells the story of Kara Zor-El, who was born on the planet Krypton, but escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin Superman. But now, at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.
It looks like the series is going old school, pre-Crisis, adapting the earliest version of the Supergirl character rather than going with more modern interpretations. Here's the casting breakdown for Kara herself, along with her scientist best friend (because all TV superheroes need a scientist best friend):
For Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers, the show is eyeing Caucasian females, age 22 to 26, to play 24. As the series’ mythology goes, Kara at age 12 was sent from her dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where she was taken in by the Danvers, a foster family who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers. After repressing said skills for more than a decade, Kara is forced to bust out her super moves in public during an unexpected disaster. Energized by her heroism for the first time in her life, she begins embracing her abilities in the name of helping the people of her city, earning herself a super moniker along the way.
The other lead role currently being cast is that of 26-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Kara’s gorgeous, brilliant, science-minded foster sister. Growing up, Alex was partly jealous of her sibling yet also fascinated by her abilities, prompting Alex to learn as much as she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture. Today, Alex works for a secret government organization and, alongside her heroic sis, will face many challenges, both mundane and super.
If you thought the series going old school with Kara Danvers was crazy, just wait until you see who else they're casting. Sure, everyone knows who Jimmy Olsen is, but two of those names eventually become the supervillain known as the Toyman and the bizarre, third string character Cyborg Superman in the comic book world. If this casting breakdown is any indication, 'Supergirl' is going to be one weird show:
CAT GRANT | The project is eyeing females in their 40s, open ethnicity, to play the fonder of CatCo, a media conglomerate that Cat built from the ground up. Kara (Supergirl’s mild-mannered alter ego) will work as a personal assistant to Cat, who is described as “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour.”
JAMES OLSEN | In his late 20s/early 30s, open ethnicity, James is a smart, worldly and (duh) attractive photographer for CatCo. Though an alpha male, his salt of the earth nature elicits a huge ol’ crush from Kara.
WINSLOW ‘WYNN’ SCHOTT | This twentysomething tech whiz/Comic-Con stalwart toils for CatCo as a programmer, unaware of his own potential. Wholly uanware of her secret, he carries a torch for Kara, whom he lives next door to.
HANK HENSHAW | As an upstart CIA agent, Hank grew obsessed with intergalactic intel. Now in his 40s and lording over the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), he is on high alert when Supergirl reveals herself, worried that her otherworldly abilities pose a threat to humankind.
Let's take a quick leap across the aisle and take a good, long look at the official series synopsis for 'Agent Carter.' If you're a total spoilerphobe, skim past it, but know this: it sounds really, really cool.
ABC presents its second action packed series from the creative minds at Marvel in “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” inspired by the feature films Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” and Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” along with the short “Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter.”
Years before Agent Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team swore to protect those who cannot protect themselves from threats they cannot conceive, there was Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell, Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), who pledged the same oath but lived in a different time when women weren’t recognized as being as smart or as tough as their male counterparts.
But no one should ever underestimate Peggy.
It’s 1946 and peace has dealt Peggy a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy finds herself stuck doing administrative work when she would rather be back out in the field; putting her vast skills into play and taking down the bad guys. But she is also trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life, Steve Rogers – aka Captain America.
When old acquaintance Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper, Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”) finds himself being framed for unleashing his deadliest weapons to anyone willing to pony up the cash, he contacts Peggy – the only person he can trust – to track down those responsible, dispose of the weapons and clear his name. He empowers his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”), to be at her beck and call when needed to help assist her as she investigates and tracks down those responsible for releasing these weapons of mass destruction. But Jarvis, who is a creature of habit and sticks to a rigid daily routine, is going to have to make some major life changes if he’s going to be able to keep up with Peggy.
If caught going on these secret missions for Stark, Peggy could be targeted as a traitor and spend the rest of her days in prison – or worse. And as she delves deeper into her investigation, she may find that those she works for are not who they seem, and she might even begin to question whether Stark is as innocent as he claims.
And wouldn't you know it? Here's the first trailer for the series:
If you think there are already too many superhero and comic book shows in the works, close you eyes and start humming because David S. Goyer is currently working on a new series called 'Krypton,' which will take place on Superman's doomed homeworld. Details are unknown, but we imagine it'll draw heavily from the opening scenes of 'Man of Steel' (which Goyer wrote), which painted Krypton as a highly dangerous and bizarre place full of all kinds of conflict.
And finally, the latest 'Gotham' promo introduces the character of Victor Zsasz, a classic Batman villain who is very hard to screw up, so this show will find a way to do so:
Gambit and Spider-Man News That Didn't Fit Anywhere Else
We can't help but wonder if the 'Gambit' movie will every actually happen or if Channing Tatum is just twiddling his thumbs and waiting for a better offer. However, the project took another step closer to reality by hiring the man behind the screenplay for the 'RoboCop' remake to write the script. Take in that news in any way that you see fit. However, the really interesting news here is that he'll be working from a treatment written by Chris Claremont, the creator of Gambit and one of the most acclaimed writers to ever work on the X-Men comics. Everyone all together now: Hmmmm...
And now we jump from 20th Century Fox to Sony...
It's no secret that the people behind the Spider-Man franchise have no clue what to do with the character following the disaster that was 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' and at this point, it's looking like 'The Amazing Spider-Man 3' and 'Sinister Six' are dead in the water. So we have a hard time believing that the previously rumored "female-led Spider-man spin-off" will ever be a thing. With that said, the project is supposedly code-named "Glass Ceiling" and features a bunch of Spidey's lady allies teaming up for their own adventure. Still, if people rejected Spider-Man himself last summer, will they actually go see a movie starring Black Cat, Spider-Girl, Silver Sable, Spider-Woman, Silk, and Firestar? It seems unlikely.
And you didn't think you wanted a Pee-wee Herman voiceover for the 'Avengers 2' trailer.
And here's how you can help the cast and crew of 'Batman vs. Superman' save real bats.
And here's how you can win your very own Infinity Gauntlet.