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 tons of Mary Jane Watson talk, potential villains for a ‘Doctor Strange’ movie, and a ‘Sin City’ sequel delay.

‘Kick-Ass 2’


How does a movie studio promote a film when one of its most recognizable stars denounces the project on Twitter?

We’re about to find out, as Jim Carrey – who plays Colonel Stars and Stripes in Jeff Wadlow’s hyper-violent ‘Kick-Ass 2’ – took to Twitter on Sunday evening to say that in light of the tragedies in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, he “now in all good conscience … cannot support that level of violence.”

The actor apologizes to everyone who worked on the sequel with him saying, “I am not ashamed of [the movie], but recent events have caused a change of heart."

Needless to say, Carrey’s comments caused a firestorm on social media, both in support of and fierce opposition to his new opinions. The one person who’s response really matters, though, is ‘Kick-Ass’ co-creator Mark Millar, who posted a lengthy response (that you can read in full on ComicBookMovie) and said:

As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun-control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I'm baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn't in the screenplay eighteen months ago. Yes, the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin.

Like Jim, I'm horrified by real-life violence (even though I'm Scottish), but Kick-Ass 2 isn't a documentary. No actors were harmed in the making of this production! This is fiction and like Tarantino and Peckenpah, Scorcese and Eastwood, John Boorman, Oliver Stone and Chan-Wook Park, Kick-Ass avoids the usual bloodless body-count of most big summer pictures and focuses instead of the CONSEQUENCES of violence.

Ironically, Jim's character in Kick-Ass 2 is a Born-Again Christian and the big deal we made of the fact that he refuses to fire a gun is something he told us attracted him to the role in the first place. … Jim, I love ya and I hope you reconsider for all the above points. You're amazing in this insanely fun picture and I'm very proud of what Jeff, Matthew and all the team have done here.

‘Kick-Ass 2’ opens in theaters on Aug. 16. It will be interesting to see how much promotion, if any, Carrey does for the sequel … as you know producers were banking on his extremely famous face to be front and center on talk shows and red-carpet premieres to sell the sequel to casual fans.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’


Oh, what a tangled web ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ continues to weave.

Very few could have predicted how much time we’d have spent last week discussing Mary Jane Watson and her role in the upcoming Spidey sequel. But multiple developments kept Peter Parker’s love interest on our radar … starting with the news that M.J. wouldn’t show up in ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ and would be held for the recently announced parts three and four.

From there, rumors ran like wildfire. Shailene Woodley’s contributions to the sequel went from “bumped” to “cut entirely” to “she’s being recast.” That talk heated up once Canadian actress Sarah Gadon revealed that she’d joined the franchise in an undetermined role. Would she be the new Mary Jane? Is she playing someone else?

The Wrap says Gadon’s NOT playing Watson while Sony, and director Marc Webb, have not weighed in. My educated guess is that Webb suddenly has room to breathe with the promise of multiple Spider-Man sequels, and doesn’t have to cram characters and plotlines into ‘ASM2.’ This means Watson and other key figures can be properly developed over time … leading to what I believe is going to be a showdown with The Sinister Six.

-- Gadon probably isn’t playing Felicia Hardy, aka The Black Cat, because earlier this week, actress Felicity Jones kind of, sort of confirmed that she’s excited to have fans see her playing that part in ‘ASM2.’ (Skip to around the 1:00 mark.)

Jones didn’t stop there. In a subsequent interview with the Belfast Telegraph, the ‘Like Crazy’ beauty admitted of her character:

It's TOP secret. I can tell you that she's sort of on the baddie's side, but I can't explain much more than that. … The scale [of the movie] was incredible. It's a different challenge to be on an enormous set, surrounded by hundreds of extras, as opposed to just being 20 people in the room.

-- Instead of commenting on either the Mary Jane or Black Cat scandals, Webb stayed busy Tweeting amazing production photos of Andrew Garfield and the city he is sworn to protect:

Marc Webb's Twitter
Marc Webb's Twitter

-- Looking for more on-set “spy” pics? The guys at SocialLite have plenty of photos of Andrew Garfield in his Spidey suit and Paul Giamatti making amazingly bizarre faces in his Rhino mechanism. But why are there THREE costumed Spider-Men in these shots?


-- And if you want a detailed description of what the Green Goblin’s costume might look like in ‘ASM2,’ head on over to MovieWeb.

‘The Avengers 2’

Adding Robert Downey Jr. to an ‘Avengers’ sequel isn’t exactly breaking casting news, but the significance of the actor’s future Marvel contributions will make fans happy.

This week, Marvel confirmed that Downey would stay in the Iron Man suit for ‘The Avengers 2’ and ‘3,’ squashing rumors that the Tony Stark role would be recast … at least, for the time being. There’s no mention of ‘Iron Man 4’ in the announcement, however, which likely means Marvel will use the time between ‘Avengers’ sequels to develop other heroes -- like Doctor Strange and Ant-Man.

-- ‘Avengers’ director Joss Whedon spoke with talk show host Stephen Colbert about a crucial development in Stark’s story: The location of the arc reactor he removed from his chest at the end of ‘Iron Man 3.’

“I can’t give it all away, but he’s still got it,” Whedon said. Listen to the whole interview below:

-- And those prepping for the continuation of Marvel’s Phase Two films likely will be
paying attention to the ABC television show ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ which recently announced that it will make an appearance at Comic-Con 2013 in July, with Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) rising from the “dead” and presiding over a panel.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

“Today we face the gravest threat in our history. What the world witnessed in Paris was not an isolated incident … ”

Bryan Singer's Twitter
Bryan Singer's Twitter

So begins a message from the desk of the U.S. President that Bryan Singer Tweeted from the set of his ‘X-Men’ prequel/sequel, ‘Days of Future Past.’ It suggests a terrifying incident that takes place either in the 1970s (with the ‘First Class’ cast) or in the present day. Maybe this attack is what triggers the time-travel portal that links to two universes?

-- The good news is that we won’t have to wait quite as long to find out. 20th Century Fox moved the release date for ‘Future Past’ forward by several weeks. The sequel now will open on May 23, 2014 instead of July 18, 2014, as was previously planned.

-- Just don’t expect James Mangold’s ‘The Wolverine’ to feed in to ‘Future Past,’ as the director tells SFX his movie will be a true standalone film that exists outside of the work Singer and his team is doing.

Bryan and I have talked and he’s seen what we’ve done. Clearly the reality is that we are all trying to work together and make things groove together. But the trick is we were making our movie before Bryan came on and before I knew what they were up to in that film,” Mangold said. “Our agenda was always our agenda and our movie stands alone, so the journey we take Logan on in ‘The Wolverine,’ we bring to a close.

‘Doctor Strange’

Courtesy of Cinar
Courtesy of Cinar

Marvel’s Phase Two currently is mapped out, including standalone films for Captain America and Thor (and more on their adventures below). But a casting rumor has us believing that Doctor Strange could be on the studio’s docket for Phase Three, meaning things at Marvel are about to get mystical.

Latino-Review broke the news that Strange would face three recognizable villains in his movie: Dormammu; Karl Mordo; and the Giant Mindless Ones were “100% confirmed” by the site as being the antagonists in a ‘Strange’ movie.

But there was no additional news on when the movie would hit. Marvel did circle summer release dates in 2016 and ’17, respectively, so we expect Marvel President Kevin Feige – who has gone on the record as being a BIG fan of the character – to program ‘Strange’ into those slots … likely at Comic-Con 2013 in July.

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) gets a partner in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ when he recruits The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) in his war against the former Bucky Barnes. Mackie opened up to EW this week about the character and his approach, saying:

He’s a really smart guy who went through major military training and becomes a tactical leader. He’s not some guy that fell into this.

The most important thing I got from everybody at Marvel about the Falcon was the need to show that he’s a very righteous, man-forward kind of guy. He would do anything to protect the man next to him and to protect his country. That’s the integrity of the character and the integrity of the man and that that’s what I have focused on.

The biggest thing for me, the most exciting thing for me, is to come out on Halloween and see all the little black kids dressed up like the Falcon. There are so many parts of our society that are not catered to or represented fully and this will give a new generation of our society someone to look up to and identify with. That’s why I am so intensely focused on bringing the character to life in a special way.

-- The ‘Cap’ sequel knows a thing or two about bringing characters back to life. They thawed their main hero, for starters. And they also are resurrecting a key character from the first movie. This is EXTREMELY SPOLERY, so I’m hiding it behind this link, in case you want to protect your viewing experience.

‘Thor: The Dark World’

Film Music Reporter has been all over the composer transitions on Alan Taylor’s ‘Thor: The Dark World.’ We know that ‘True Grit’ composer Carter Burwell has departed the projective over creative differences. Now FMR says that he’s being replaced by Brian Tyler, who recently composed music for ‘Iron Man 3.’

‘Man of Steel’

There was a surprising lack of significant news regarding Zack Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel,’ or possible sequels, in the week following its release. Perhaps Warner is regrouping and making its DC Comics plans. But we did dig up this interesting conversation the director had with Total Film, where he spoke about the possibility of tackling the ‘Death of Superman’ storyline, which would mean Doomsday:

‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

And finally, Robert Rodriguez has been busy shooting sequences for his anticipated ‘Sin City’ sequel, ‘A Dame to Kill For,’ leading us to believe he had chunks of footage in the can and ready to edit.

Turns out, he’ll need more time. Dimension Films announced that the sequel will not hit theaters on Aug. 22, 2014 … instead of Oct. 4, 2013, as was originally planned.

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