ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie 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 takes over Anaheim for Disney’s D23 Expo, and Warner Bros. tries to find a new Lex Luthor.



Marvel moved its act from San Diego Comic-Con to Anaheim for Disney's D23 Expo, where multiple movies teased fans with footage for upcoming adventures.

Marvel President Kevin Feige kicked the Marvel presentations off with ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ bringing Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins on stage to rousing applause. The Comic-Con footage was shown – which, basically, is an extension of the recent ‘Thor’ trailer [SPOILERS] only with the hand-chopping scene included, for dramatic effect. Then a new ‘Thor’ scene was shown, documenting Jane’s (Portman) first day in Asgard. There are spoilers to the details of the footage, so only click HERE if you want to learn the specifics.

The ‘Thor’ panel gave way to ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ which rolled out Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan … the Winter Soldier himself. As with ‘Thor,’ the ‘Cap’ panel aired Comic-Con footage, as well as an additional scene. And once again, it’s spoilery, so I’ll hide it behind THIS LINK, and will let you click and read if you choose.

Marvel wrapped its panel with the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ footage from Comic-Con, and the same teaser reel for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ only this time, with no Joss Whedon. Bummer. Still, it was better than the nonexistent ‘Star Wars’ panel … but I’ll leave that for a different section of the website.

- No sooner did D23 conclude, though, then news started to break that Vin Diesel’s Marvel role will be in ‘Guardians.’ The actor teased his Facebook fans with the idea that he might lend his signature voice to the tree-like hero Groot for director James Gunn’s adventure-comedy, which was confirmed shortly after.

Perfect. Sign him up, immediately. Then all ‘Guardians’ needs is a voice for Rocket Raccoon, and we’ll be ready to rock. Do you believe the current rumor that Sean Gunn, brother to director James, will voice the gun-wielding raccoon? I don’t … at the moment. But things could change.

Speaking of ‘Guardians,’ the film continues to shoot in and around London. So if you happen to see rainbow-colored aliens sprinting across the city’s Millennium Bridge, don’t panic. Just snap their photo, and send it to us!

Via ComicBookMovie

Additional set pics can be found HERE.

- The last bit of Marvel news from the D23 Expo centered on the animated ‘Big Hero 6,’ director Don Hall’s adaptation of a sci-fi story set in a futuristic blend of San Francisco and Tokyo. The hero is brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who, according to the studio, “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.” A new photo was shared and we have it for you below:


‘Kick-Ass 2’

You know what superhero movie wasn't at the D23 Expo? Jeff Wadlow’s ‘Kick-Ass 2’ (because it's not a Disney property), which – from what we’re hearing – is about as un-Disney as any movie can be.

The topic of on-screen violence continued to plague the production leading up to the movie’s August 16 release, with Wadlow telling the NY Daily News, “We’re showing that violence has consequences.”

That was an important point of the original movie, that this teenage kid (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) willingly takes a bloody beating if it means standing up to the forces of evil. But will the sequel take it too far?

An international TV spot for the movie arrived online over the weekend:

And Universal also released a featurette introducing one of the chief baddies in Wadlow’s movie: Mother Russia (played by bodybuilder Olga Kurkulina). Check it out!

Batman and Superman

The Internet won’t let Christian Bale stop playing Batman.

A new ebook documenting Bale’s ‘Dark Knight Dilemma’ suggests that Bale might be in for a Robert Downey, Jr.-level payday to get back in the Bat suit, with Latino-Review saying Bale could bank a “potential $50 million payday.” It’s all hearsay at the moment, and Bale has said on record that he’s done. But Warner still might give him 50 million reasons to change his mind.

Conversations related to Warner’s planned Batman-Superman pairing shifted away from “Who will play Bruce Wayne?” to “Who will play Lex Luthor?” This, of course, assumes that Lex will in fact be the bad guy at the center of Zack Snyder’s movie, though that hasn’t exactly been confirmed at the moment.

Still fans – and eager actors – haven't stopped from commenting on the possible casting for Kal-El’s classic nemesis. Two names rose to the surface last week, both with extreme potential. Digital Spy gets credit for sitting down with Mark Strong and asking him if he’s interested in playing Luthor in a future Superman movie. The actor replied, cryptically:

All I can say is … watch this space.”

Now that’s how you say something without saying anything at all. Strong has comic credits on his resume, acting in both ‘Kick-Ass’ and ‘Green Lantern.’ He’d make an excellent Luthor, if Warner wanted him for the role.

So would ‘Breaking Bad’ icon Bryan Cranston, whose name was floated in a subliminal tweet by the guys at Latino-Review. Cranston, of course, was in Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo,’ as well as the upcoming ‘Godzilla’ reboot, plus his hit show is coming to an end. Is this last reason enough to believe that the studio would court him to play Lex? Sure, and Cranston would be an amazing choice … basically because he’s brilliant at essentially everything he attempts.

There have been persistent rumors that the Batman-Superman movie, due in theaters in 2015, could use Luthor and The Joker. We might have one half of that equation cast – or damn close to it. Stay tuned. Or, as Strong says, “watch this space.”

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’

Bryan Singer's Twitter

How does one film a mutant who can travel at the speed of light? According to Bryan Singer, you flood your soundstage with light and photograph him at 3,600 frames per second.

“Brightest set I've ever filmed on," Singer tweeted last week, following with the hashtags, "#3600framespersecond #Quicksilver." It’s a hint as to how he’ll capture Evan Peters in character as Pietro Maximoff, aka Quicksilver. The above contraption comes from Singer’s set, which appears ready to close.

In a later tweet, Singer confirmed, “Show’s almost over.” Then, it’s off to the editing suites, when Singer will prep ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ for a May 23, 2014 release.

Before we get there, has anyone else seen this Trask Industries poster, released as part of the ‘DOFP’ viral campaign? I love the vintage design of the Sentinels. Singer has a chance to really build on the success of ‘First Class,’ and offering up brutal, mutant-killing Sentinels is a step in the right direction. Now, who wants to put this one sheet on their wall?