Comic Strip: DC and Marvel Cast Their Aquaman and Kingpin
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, DC finds an Aquaman, Marvel finds a Kingpin, and the Guardians of the Galaxy find their way onto a bunch of new posters.
DC and Warner Bros. Get Their Act Together
After years of seemingly standing their while Marvel Studios lapped them like Steve Rogers lapping Sam Wilson, Warner Bros. and DC seemingly got their act together this week ... and we'd be lying it we said it all didn't sound very, very cool.
According to a (still unconfirmed) report, Warner Bros. is planning to get into the superhero business in a huge way in the next few years. 'Batman vs. Superman' is currently filming, but they're apparently planning 'Shazam' for 2016, 'Justice League,' 'Wonder Woman' and a Green Lantern/The Flash team-up movie for 2017, and the official 'Man of Steel 2' for 2018.
That sounds, uh, ambitious. We knew that a 'Justice League' movie was in the works, but the rest doesn't hold a ton of water. Either Warner Bros. is diving into the superhero movie business headfirst without looking back or this is a ton of BS. We hope there's some truth here: we really want to see that 'Wonder Woman' movie.
While we're on the subject of the Justice League, 'Batman v Superman' has officially added 'Game of Thrones' actor Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Although he doesn't look a thing like how the character is traditionally depicted, he's an inspired choice. This is a character that has the potential to be extremely silly and Momoa will give it the proper amount of weight to demand we take it seriously. According to the report, he'll only make a small appearance in this film before stepping up and being a major part of the ensemble in 'Justice League.' If the report is to be believed (and we think it is), Aquaman will show up to have words with Superman, angry about what Zod's World Engine did to the ocean.
Meanwhile, photos from the 'Batman vs. Superman' set have continued to leak onto the internet, giving us a great look at the new LexCorp logo and that large Superman statue we first glimpsed awhile back.
Oh, and in case you missed it, Warner Bros. is planning a truly badass Batman exhibit that offers a behind-the-scenes at costumes and props from all seven films. If you go near Los Angeles and skip this, we don't know what to say to you.
'Guardians of the Galaxy' is Done Being Shy
Remember the days when we were literally chomping at the bit for new glimpses of 'Guardians of the Galaxy'? Those days are loooong gone. This week continued the marketing onslaught, which got kickstarted with a serious four new character posters showing off the members of this utterly weird team.
Meanwhile, Disney has announced that it'll be holding special previews of the film at Disneyland in California and Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida, giving park guests a special glimpse of the film. So if you're already on vacation, why not take a few minutes to make your buddies back home a little jealous?
Over on Facebook, director James Gunn had a ton of nice things to say about Vin Diesel's performance as the sentient plant alien Groot:
Vin Diesel just finished his final session as Groot (well, for 2014 at least). All of us are astounded that one man can bring so much amazingness to a character who can only say three words. We don't affect Vin's voice at all and he sounds like an otherworldly tree! Every "I am Groot," every grunt and shriek and whine and holler is filled with heart and humor and passion. When I returned from the session, I told one of our producers, Victoria Alonso, that I think we could audition every single person in the world for Groot, and Vin Diesel would still be the best. I know directors almost always praise their stars - and, God knows, I've been fortunate with the entire cast of Guardians of the Galaxy - but I've never been more stunned by an actor able to bring so much more to a role than I originally thought possible. Rocket may be the heart of GotG, but Groot is its soul.
And finally, a trio of new TV spots popped up online this week, offering a few bits of new footage in addition to the same stuff we've already seen threaded throughout the other trailers.
A Real Life Spider-Man
We'll just leave this here with little introduction. Let's just say that the ambitious comedy/prank group Improv Everywhere decided to stage a real life Spider-Man stunt in the streets of Manhattan and it's pretty awesome.
'Big Hero 6' Teases its Rotund Robot Hero
We still don't know as many details about 'Big Hero 6' as we'd like, but we know this much from what we've seen so far: Disney really wants the character of Baymax to be Next Big Thing. He looks like the perfect combination of weird and adorable and we can see the stuffed version of him lining gift shops already...
And while we're on the subject of Baymax being weird and cute, Disney tried to sell that weirdness/cuteness to the World Cup audience with a short and odd little teaser:
Your Weekly Marvel Studios News Round-Up
Joss Whedon is still hard at work on 'Avengers 2' and we haven't heard an official peep from the set yet, but that hasn't stopped a fair bit of news from leaking to the wilds of the internet. First, Latino Review claims to have a fairly exhaustive description of what happens in the first 20 minutes of the movie and we definitely believe them. It sounds fun and clever and very much like Whedon's work. But, it also contains some fairly huge spoilers about a new romance brewing among Earth's Mightiest Heroes, so tread lightly. Also, a few fuzzy new set photos have leaked online, giving us some blurry looks at Thor and Captain America in action.
Since 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' is currently the highest grossing film of 2014 so far, it's only appropriate to mention that actor Frank Grillo fully expects that the villainous Crossbones will be back to menace Steve Rogers in 'Captain America 3.' Speaking with Collider, he said:
I'm cautiously optimistic that you will see me in the not too distant future in the next installment of Captain America.
It's not much, but we'll take it.
DC Goes Full Steam Ahead on TV (and Marvel Casts a Kingpin)
In some pleasant and awesome news, Marvel's 'Daredevil' Netflix series has gone and cast the fantastically weird Vincent D'Onofrio is Wilson Fisk, AKA, the Kingpin, AKA, one of the most famous baddies in all of Marvel comics. D'Onofrio may not have the massive frame of his comic book counterpart, but he certainly brings the necessary potential for psychotic behavior that the character so desperate needs. Shave his head and put him in a white suit and he's good to go. We can't wait to see him smash Charlie Cox's blind superhero into a pulp.
While D'Onofrio may be excellent casting, this week really belonged to DC comic book characters. Let's start with 'Arrow,' which accidentally revealed a group of new characters through a leaked casting call:
DANIEL: Though Daniel could be a fake name to throw off spoilerholics, this twenty-something gent — a major recurring character for Season 3 — is a handsome, enigmatic and highly intelligent entrepreneur developing groundbreaking technology. (Picture a business magnate in Ryan Gosling’s body.) Though exuding charm and confidence in public, he privately harbors a tragic past that will drive him to become a tech-powered superhero. Watch for this formidable fella to be a love interest for Felicity and a rival of Oliver’s – both personally and professionally.
SETH | A well-educated criminal with grand ambitions and a knack for chemistry, this potentially recurring character gains power over his enemies by exposing them to a drug that drains their willpower. Oh, and he is very much a physical match for The Arrow.
TOSHI | Majorly recurring in (at least) the Hong Kong flashbacks, Toshi will serve as Oliver’s teacher and handler, and eventually become a friend. A well-trained operative, skilled in weaponry, combat and intelligence gathering, he is also a devoted father and husband.
AKIKO | Toshi’s wife is another of Oliver’s Hong Kong caretakers, and is herself highly skilled in martial arts.
For those interested in knowing things a little early, the character of Daniel is heavily rumored to be a new take on the Blue Beetle, a B-level character who could best be described as the DC Universe's take on Iron Man.
From 'Arrow,' let's move onto its highly anticipated spin-off series, 'The Flash,' which revealed two new featurettes delving into the world's fastest man himself and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs the provides him with the appropriate back-up.
And that brings us to the second trailer for NBC's 'Constantine,' which still looks incredible promising. Yes, there is a quick shot of Doctor Fate's helmet. And yes, we forgive you if you don't know who that is. Just know that he's a bit of a DC universe deep cut and his presence makes us giddy. This show could be a playground for some of comics' greatest oddball characters.
Finally, 'Gotham' star Ben McKenzie sat down for a brief interview to talk about his new show. His best answers revolved around why he really likes playing Jim Gordon but can't imagine playing a superhero. The short version: he likes playing vulnerable characters.
Long story short: Gordon couldn’t be more human. In a DC universe where all of these characters are human, he is Exhibit A in being a simple, flawed human being. He’s strong and smart and tough, but he’s going to make wrong decisions and trust the wrong people. And he has no out — he can’t put on a cape and fly off.
Video Games and Toys and Other Play-Things
If you like Spider-Man and you like video games, you're in luck: this new trailer officially confirms that the webslinger is coming to Disney Infinity 2.0. Sure, it skews young, but if you're a decent parent, you'll pick this up for the young 'uns ... and play if after they go to sleep.
If you're more of a Batman person, you're in even more luck. This week was all about the recently delayed but incredible-looking Batman: Arkham Knight, which takes the Caped Crusader to a new generation of game consoles. The new gameplay trailer is a sight for sore eyes, selling a game that's apparently the next best thing to actually putting on body armor and fighting crime. Uh, actually ... just play this game. We do not recommend becoming a bat-themed vigilante. You will die.
How about that new Scarecrow, huh? That's the stuff of nightmares.
If you thought the game's Batmobile was nothing short of badass, please realize that a full-size version of was constructed for the game's E3 booth. Gaze upon it now!
If Batman: Arkham Night looks a little dark and complicated, just know that LEGO Batman 3 is on the horizon and it's going to offer its unique set of thrills. Sure, it looks like another LEGO game, but this is a LEGO game where you can play as countless DC superheroes in a large, colorful sandbox.
And speaking of LEGOs, someone has submitted a pretty sweet Dr. Strange set to the LEGO Ideas competition and it looks fantastic. The chances of it becoming a reality feel slim right now (if only they had waited until the 'Dr. Strange' movie was ready!) but there's nothing stopping you from admiring it and clicking on over the browse the gallery of images.