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 extensive details on Marvel’s Phase Three plans, action-packed photos from the ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ set, and an update on Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Justice League Dark’ movie.


The biggest comic book story from the previous week, arguably, was Marvel’s reveal of the projects occupying its production slate for Phase Three and beyond.

Outside of the projects we already know about – which include Thor and Captain America sequels, as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy – Marvel confirmed its plans to make features centered around Ms. Marvel, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Black Panther, The Runaways, and Ant-Man (which Edgar Wright is on board to direct). In addition, Marvel is mapping out a reboot of ‘Blade,’ while important characters such as Daredevil and Ghost Rider have fallen back under the studio’s domain. These would lead to ‘The Avengers 3,’ of course …. which is funny to talk about because we haven’t even reached ‘The Avengers 2’ yet.

Stories like these go to show, however, how far along in its thought process Marvel happens to be at the moment. And it solidifies the fact that we’ll have plenty of Marvel stories to look forward to for years to come.

- Starting with ABC’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ television show, which we advise fans to pay attention to if they want to see how the feature films could bridge together. The network began teasing the program, now that it officially has been picked up. Look who’s still alive!

- Just stop believing the rumor that Joss Whedon is
earning $100 million to direct more ‘Avengers’ movies. Because he says that he isn’t. Also, he doesn’t eat unicorns.- But Whedon does want
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in his next ‘Avengers’ sequel, and a casting notice that went out this week confirmed that the studio would like a “Saoirse Ronan type” to play Scarlet Witch -- who will not be a mutant (as she was in the comics). And likely will be British instead of Eastern European.- Last Whedon note. He’s on Twitter. Officially!
IAmRogue about how his cameo in ‘Iron Man 3’ came about, explaining:

"Marvel had had an idea but then they scraped it and I thought it wasn’t going to happen. Then I saw Robert [Downey Jr. at the Academy Awards] and he said, 'What do you think about coming and doing a day?' I said, 'Are you kidding me? Bang, lets do it!' We sort of spitballed that scene, then I came in and we shot for a couple of hours and laughed. I haven’t seen it yet but people seem to like it."


As for whether Marvel has Ruffalo ready for additional cameos in Phase Two projects, the actor deflected, “I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.”- In a lengthy conversation with Collider, Marvel President Kevin Feige says he believes that the rights to Elektra transferred over to Marvel in the Daredevil deal. That means fans officially can begin speculating about a proper adaptation of Frank Miller’s classic storylines.- Finally, Walt Disney revealed first-look concept artwork for its planned adaptation of an offbeat Marvel book ‘Big Hero 6.’ The studio revealed a plot synopsis for the animated feature, which is set in the futuristic setting of San Fransokyo:

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Big Hero 6,” an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion — a robot named Baymax — Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated “Big Hero 6” hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

And followed that up with a clip reel giving us a sweeping view of the authentic, neon-infused setting.

’The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

Marc Webb's Twitter

“Say hello to Aleksei Sytsevich.”That was the message Tweeted by ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ director Marc Webb when he posted the first official photo of Paul Giamatti in character as Sytsevich … aka, The Rhino!Want to see who he’s yelling at? Click here for a spoilery photo of the “man” perched on Aleksei’s truck hood.And click here for one more.And here for one last one.- Spidey fans caught a TON of recent action swirling around Webb’s sets. Rochester’s own Democrat and Chronicle posted a set video of Spider-Man hitching a ride on some New York City police cars as they chased a fleeing Oscorp van:

And snapped hi-res shots of Spidey catching a bus … you know, before it landed on some innocent New York tourists!

‘The Fantastic Four’

Forbes took a shot at casting Josh Trank’s upcoming ‘The Fantastic Four’ … and their suggestions don’t entirely suck. Carey Mulligan or Naomi Watts for Sue Storm? Ron Perlman or Craig Robinson for Ben Grimm? And I want to see Matthew Goode cast as Red Richards so bad, it hurts.

’The Wolverine’ & ‘X-Men’

“Cameo” was the magic word when it came to ‘The Wolverine’ this past week.

Fans who acted as extras on the Montreal set of James Mangold’s upcoming production spotted a familiar face filming what we believe will be a post-credit sequence connecting this standalone Wolverine adventure. Click the link if you want to know who it is.

20th Century Fox

Meanwhile, the cat is out of the bag regarding Famke Janssen once again playing Jean Grey in ‘The Wolverine.’ But given the fact that the character died in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand,’ fans are still trying to figure out how Mangold plans to use her. Well, Janssen spoke with WhatCulture and gave away some specifics regarding her involvement in the sequel, which arrives in theaters on July 26.

And Nerd Reactor posted a lengthy interview with ‘Wolverine’ co-star Brian Tee, who plays Japanese politician Noburo Mori in the film. And while he was a little protective of the movie’s plot secrets, he does tease us with the following:

“I’ll say this much, this ‘Wolverine’ is going to be so action-packed, it’s ridiculous. They’ve pulled out all the stops. I’ve been a part of a few larger big-budget action movies, and I’ve never been in one of this scope and size that they’ve taken ‘The Wolverine’ to.

On his very busy Twitter feed, Bryan Singer confirmed that he’s shooting ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past' in 3D. This photo is his Mission Control:

Bryan Singer's Twitter

And one last tease for McAvoy as Professor Xavier in his 1970s garb. Hashtag “Serpico.”

‘Justice League of America’

Guillermo Del Toro popped up at the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex Festival over the weekend, where he spoke to Collider about the status of his planned production of ‘Justice League Dark.’

The ‘Hellboy’ director says his current version of the script features a team up of Constantine, The Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Deadman and Zantanna. However, he refers to the project as hypothetical, saying that the studio has yet to officially greenlight the effort.

If [Warner Bros.] like the [script], I’ll do it. If not …”

Now, if Del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’ makes boatloads of money, he’ll be able to pick and choose his next project(s), and ‘Justice League Dark’ could be that film. However, if ‘Man of Steel’ does extremely well, I think Warner will want to do a traditional ‘JLA’ movie, and not ‘Dark.’

- While we’re on ‘JLA,’ the Web site Nuke the Fridge is running a massive RUMOR saying that we could have a tremendous villain team up of The Joker and Lex Luthor for the ‘JLA’ movie. But they quote a source, and say that they can’t confirm anything. So read it, if you are interested, but know that for now, it’s just wishful thinking.

’Man of Steel’

D.C. fans continue to wait patiently for a ‘JLA’ movie, yet Superman fans know that ‘Man of Steel’ is on the horizon and arriving … quickly. The studio just revealed that Zack Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’ will open two days earlier as part of the L.A. Film Festival. Tickets went on sale May 10 for the June 12 screening in Los Angeles.

- A new preview for Hans Zimmer’s ‘Man of Steel’ score was posted to SoundCloud.

- This arrives alongside a slew of posters and TV spots that dropped this week, most showing Superman (Henry Cavill) in various positions of flight. The sixth TV spot, posted below, has the most explosive action we’ve seen to date:

Some audience members attending theatrical screenings of other films this week, though, witnessed new ‘Man of Steel’ footage through the ‘Soldier of Steel’ campaign, courtesy of the movie’s partnership with the National Guard.

And here’s a cool behind-the-scenes clip on the making of these spots, with Snyder’s insight.