May 12, 2012

MARVEL'S EXTENSIVE POST-AVENGERS PLANS: Release Dates And Other Films In Development

With Avengers breaking a decent amount of box office records it's apparent that the market for well-made superhero films is stronger than ever before. Now it seems like the studio that Iron Man built can finally make the films they've been developing for years (some of them decades) featuring new heroes and the worldwide audiences will flock to them. Thanks in-part to the goodwill done by the Avengers and the previous movies from Marvel Studios. I've put together a brief rundown of upcoming projects and ones currently still in developmental stages. So fans have a solid idea of what to expect in the next couple of years.


IRON MAN 3 (MAY 3RD 2013): It's apparent that none of Stark's friends at SHIELD or his Avengers pals will be coming to save him when things go bad. The Extremis storyline will be the main influence for the film written and directed by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Last Boy Scout). A bulk of the production will be shot on location in China, the first Marvel film to be shot in the country. It's possible that Stark will be teaming-up with Chinese superheroes to fight this new threat. New actors could include Guy Pearce (Lawless, Memento, Hurt Locker), Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast) and Rebecca Hall (The Town, The Prestige). A main villain hasn't been named but rumors have pointed to Mallen, Mandarin, Ten Rings, Ghost or Whitney Frost (Madame Masque).

THOR 2 (NOVEMBER 15th 2013): Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) is directing the sequel which will be set in a more grounded Norse-based Asgard. While Loki is back he'll be taking a backseat as the film's main baddie. The rest of the original cast will be returning as well. Jane Foster and her friends will be taken to Asgard and possibly to other realms/worlds. The main villain hasn't been announcement but there is a likelihood that Thanos will show up at one point to collect Loki's head and maybe even the infinity gauntlet. The cast of Asgardians will be doubled which could lead to infighting among the immortals and question the leadership/reign of Odin might bring about civil war amongst the Asgardians.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 (APRIL 4TH 2014): The Cap sequel is currently without a director as a few candidates are being considered. What we do known about the film is that it will directly follow the events of Avengers including Steve's role in SHIELD and integrating as a man-out-of-time. Kevin Feige confirmed that the film will be for the most part set in present day with possible flashbacks. There had been talk of the reunion of Peggy and Steve being in Avengers but Whedon wisely axed it out of the film. It's emotional scene best saved for Captain America 2. No word on new additions but Sam Wilson aka The Falcon is a strong possibility along with Sharon Carter. As SHIELD will be in film cast members such as Sam Jackson (Fury), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Scarlett Johansson (Widow) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) should be appearing in the film. A baddie or villain organization hasn't been named but Baron Zemo and Baron Strucker were included in original drafts of the script for First Avenger. It's possible A.I.M. or a resurrected HYDRA could be trying to take out SHIELD and the World Counsel.

ANT-MAN (2014-2015): While the film doesn't have an official release date it has a solid script and a director confirmed. Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) and Joe Cornish (Attack The Block) co-wrote the film with Wright set to direct. First we'll be seeing World's End go into production in September with a Spring 2013 released. It's assumed production on Ant-Man will move forward seemly as soon as Cap 2 wraps.

INCREDIBLE HULK 2 (2015): Mark Ruffalo is confident that he'll be able to convince Joss Whedon to help develop a solo adventure for Hulk. Giving the impression that Joss could end up tackling the film's script. Kevin Feige revealed that Hulk could appear as a supporting character but won't be showing up in Iron Man 3 or Thor 2. Another Marvel executive recently mentioned plans to bring a new Hulk film to screens in 2015 following a new television series on ABC.

AVENGERS 2 (2015-2016): Disney officially announced the sequel to Avengers but have yet to confirm that writer/director Joss Whedon will be returning. It would be odd not to bring him back as he's now seen as the Christopher Nolan of the Avengers franchise. Even thought the film is already a massive success they won't be rushing to make the sequel just yet. Feige wants to see Civil War used it won't be until the third film. Thanos was teased as a possible villain for the sequel which would be a bigger and better threat than Loki and his army.


THE RUNAWAYS: Brian K. Vaughan and Drew Pearce were writing the script with with Peter Sollett (Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist) hired to direct. Casting was underway when it was eventually put on hold so the studio could focus on Avengers' large production budget. Drew would keep the Marvel train running and signed on to help Shane Black write Iron Man 3. It's unknown if the project will ever get made as it seems Marvel is focused on other team-based projects like Inhumans and Guardians of The Galaxy.

DOCTOR STRANGE: Wes Craven, David S. Goyer and Neil Gaiman were involved or asked to work on scripts. Craven (Scream 1-4, Nightmare On Elm Street), Stephen Norrington (Blade) and Guillermo del Toro (Blade 2, Pacific Rim, Hellboy) were in talks or attached to direct at some point. Johnny Depp's name had been bounded around as a possible lead wanted by del Toro. Recently Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, War Horse, Star Trek 2, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and Javier Bardem have been linked for the project. Marvel hired Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Cowboys And Aliens, Conan The Barbarian) who seemly developed a screenplay the studio was happy with. The film is without a director but back in August the studio put the script out to prospective directors. It was also reported that Strange could be apart of Marvel's small-budget experiment ($20-40 million range). There had a been a hint to Strange with an item in Odin's Vault. It would be interesting to see Marvel move into the mystical world which somewhat similar to the cosmic world of Thor. A character like Scarlet Witch could easily slide into a movie like this.

BLACK PANTHER: Years ago John Singleton had been approached to direct. Documentarian Mark Bailey was hired by Marvel to pen a script. Wesley Snipes (pre-Blade/jail), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Idris Elba have been linked for the role of T'Challa. In Iron Man 2, a small Easter Egg pointed to Panther's fictional African country Wakanda on a SHIELD map pointing out the locations of "Meta-Humans". I think that along with Strange, Black Panther could be so different from the other movies they'd be worth making. Considering Panther would be set in a futuristic and technically advanced mysterious country steeped in tribal traditions on Earth. Wakanda is technologically superior to most developed nations rich in natural resources, particularly the rare metal vibranium which Cap's shield is made up of. T’Challa is a rigorously trained gymnast and acrobat, showing mastery in various African martial arts as well as contemporary ones and fighting styles that belong to no known disciplines. Not to mention an superior intelligence equal to Reed Richards or Tony Stark.

IRON FIST: Ray Park (X-Men, G.I. Joe 1-2) had been wanted for the lead when the film was originally announced. A year or so ago Richard Wilkes (xXx) was hired to write a script. It's possible that the film will take influence from The Immortal Iron Fist series which had two Iron Fists (Daniel Rand and Orson Randall). Plunging his fists into the molten heart of the dragon Shou-Lao the Undying infused the dragon’s superhuman energy into Rand; this along with training by Lei Kung the Thunderer gave Rand the power of the Iron Fist, allowing him to summon and focus his chi (or natural energy) and enhance his natural abilities to extraordinary levels. His strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes and senses can all be astronomically intensified, making his already formidable martial arts skills even more so.

LUKE CAGE: Originally the film had a script from Ben Ramsey (The Big Hit) with John Singleton set to direct. Singleton wanted Diamondback, Chemistro and The Wrecking Crew as the film's villains. Actors Jamie Foxx, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne Johnson, Isaiah Mustafa and Idris Elba were all linked for the lead role with Terrance Howard once wanted for the villain Diamondback. Wrongly sent to prison and in order to get early parole, Luke submitted himself to an experiment that gave him superhuman strength and impervious skin.

NAMOR THE SUB-MARINER: At one point Namor was about to get his own film with Universal Pictures hiring Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3, Surrogates, U-571) to write and direct. The studio would later hire screenwriter David Self (Road To Perdition, Wolf Man, God of War) to pen a script. Self was also involved with Captain America: The First Avenger and an adaptation of Deathlok. Prince Namor is half-human and half-Atlantiean along with being the first mutant in the Marvel universe. He's best known for his war-time comics alongside Captain America in The Invaders and his solo adventures against the Germans/Japanese during WWII. Actors such as ex-professional diver Jason Statham (Expendables 1-2), Dwayne Johnson (G.I. Joe 2, Pain And Gain, Fast Five/Six), Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hulk, Angel, 24, Hawaii Five-0) and David Boreanaz (Buffy, Angel, Bones) have been linked for the role. It was rumored that he would show up in Captain America (didn't) along with the upcoming Iron Man 3 (likely not). Kevin Feige hasn't mentioned that Namor is back at Marvel but I assume that the rights have or will revert because the film was never made. However, Namor with Black Panther was teased in Iron Man 2 as apart of the "Meta-Human" map.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: Guardians could very well end up becoming Marvel's first completely cosmic focused feature with the entire film set entirely in outer space and on alien planets. The lineup has been confirmed as Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Groot and Rocket Racoon. Nova and Adam Warlock are likely apart of the team as well or supporting heroes. While a writer hasn't been named I wouldn't be surprised to see J. Michael Straczynski involved in some way. Straczynski wrote the two Fantastic Four films, credited on Thor (also had a cameo), created Babylon 5 and helped adapt Word War Z.

INHUMANS: The Inhumans has been talked up as a potential new X-Men-like franchise for Marvel Studios. The lineup would likely include Black Bolt, Medusa, Karnak, Crystal, Gorgon and Triton. The comic tells the story of a group of beings who were the result of experiments by the alien species Kree to create a race of super soldiers. The aliens abandoned their test subjects, and the “inhuman” mutants formed their own society.

BLADE: Since the Blade rights (that New Line Cinema held) reverted back to Marvel there have been rumblings that the studio had been searching for a new actor to play the Day Walker. Nothing has been officially announced and since the graphic nature of the series they'd have to create an R-rated shingle for the new film to be even possible. The Marvel Studios brand is attributed to family friendly features so a new company might be needed. I would assume they would bring back the Marvel Knights company name to release adult geared films like Blade and Punisher (also back with Marvel). Idris Elba (Thor, Prometheus, Pacific Rim) has mentioned that he'd love a shot at playing the anti-hero.

BLACK WIDOW: David Hayter (Watchmen, X-Men 1-2) wrote a Black Widow film that he was expected to direct back when the rights were at Lionsgate. A bunch of female driven action films bombed which put the final nail in the project's coffin. The rights reverted back to Marvel and they decided she would better suited as the female member of the Avengers. In the film her backstory was slightly touched upon including her relationship with Hawkeye. There seems to be enough richness to her background as an assassin giving reason a film of her origin would be worthwhile. Johansson has stated she'd want a Black Widow movie similar to the Bourne franchise.

NICK FURY/SHIELD: Andrew W. Marlowe (Air Force One) wrote a treatment for a SHIELD film a while back but nothing come of it. Captain America actor Neal McDonough (Dum Dum Dugan) stated that he would be reprising his role in a 70's set SHIELD film alongside Samuel L. Jackson (Fury). However, without an official announcement from Marvel it's hard to take the actor on his word. He very well could be talking about Captain America 2 which will have a large SHIELD presence and will hopefully answer some questions with flashbacks. Like what happened to the Howling Commandos, Bucky and Peggy.

WAR MACHINE: Since January 2011 there has been talk of a War Machine spin-off which actor Don Cheadle confirmed. It's expected that after Iron Man 3 Robert will be taking a rather lengthy break from Iron Man. It would allow War Machine pick up the slack in a solo film between Iron Man 3 and Iron Man 4. War Machine did lead the Iron Legion which was a group of suited loyal Stark employees and friends.

HAWKEYE: Oddly enough a Hawkeye film has been in development before he was even added to the Avengers lineup and placed in Thor as a cameo. It's doubtful Hawkeye will be anymore than just a supporting character in the Marvel film universe. Since he is slightly more useful as a secondary character in a SHIELD franchise or the partner of Black Widow in her film. That said, Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker, MI4, The Town) is slowly building himself up as a franchise actor. He'll be starring in the Bourne spin-off The Bourne Legacy, the fairy tale action comedy Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters and possibly Mission: Impossible 5.

Other possible future projects include Ka-Zar, Power Pack, Dazzler, Vision, Nighthawk and Killraven.

No comments:

Post a Comment