August 19, 2014

Marvel's Kevin Feige Finally Confirms Active Development On CAPTAIN MARVEL And BLACK PANTHER Movies

It looks like we all missed-out on the coolest tidbit of information about Marvel's upcoming projects, that Marvel's Kevin Feige briefly mentioned to IGN at SDCC. He was asked point-blank about Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies. In which Kevin replied in a much more positive way, than previously when asked about the projects. It's the first time Feige has confirmed development on a Captain Marvel film, which I've been talking about being in development for months now.

"There both characters that we like..development work has been done on it, and it continues to be done on...and certainly the public.. It's the question I get asked more than anything else...More than Iron Man 4, more than Avengers 3, and that's sort of the first-time that's ever happened to us...So I think that makes a difference, I think that's something we have to pay attention to."

He was asked if public opinion or online demands fuel Marvel's choices to what to make next. Kevin reaffirmed that they have their plans set out in advanced (likely by phases), and that fans attitudes change frequently. While stating Black Panther and Captain Marvel might be exceptions to this. It's also extremely possible that Marvel has been keeping plans in-house for the moment, and wanted to see Guardians success before moving forward with similar "risky" projects.

"But in this particular case, I think it's a groundswell, and I think it means something substantial." 

It's sort of a big-deal for this to happen, considering we have Marvel about to release their 11th film in May. None of the films have included female or non-white solo leads. Having Marvel's most recognizable female and black superheroes in theatres is something fans have been demanding since Avengers. It could change the landscape of the genre, and open-doors to actors/characters which might have been ignored for tentpole potential.

I have a feeling we'll see a bit of diversity casting when it comes to Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage. However, making the jump to the big-screen, might ruffle the feathers of the studio dinosaurs, who have been blocking the change-up. Warner Bros. has both Aquaman and possible Wonder Woman films in development, which won't have the typical white-male lead. Sony is actually the first of the new wave to announce development on a female-driven Spider-Man spin-off coming in 2017. The likelyhood is that film will focus on Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat. Kevin might be saying it's fan demand, but it's also pressure coming from competing studios.

As it stands now Marvel has two in-house scripts for both Panther and Captain Marvel. Both characters are expected to be hinted-to in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not unlike Doctor Strange's Stephen Strange in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The former project has a draft by Mark Bailey, which Marvel seemingly likes but could eventually get extensive rewrites. The latter has a script, which is rumored to have been written by Guardians of The Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman.

It was told to me that the Captain Marvel script was written in-house (as usual), and by someone who has already produced scripts for the studio. Nicole also wrote an updated draft for the Black Widow script while being apart of Marvel's screenwriting program. It's actually unknown how many scripts Marvel had her working on, because Marvel hasn't made that information public. Considering both Guardians and Widow are female-heavy scripts, it would make sense that Perlman would at least get a shot at Captain Marvel. Perlman is also one of the best known writers from the program, and one of the few that has actually earned writing credit for her work.

Speaking of casting, we haven't heard much in the way of T'Challa, since LatinoReview first revealed Chadwick Boseman (Gods of Egypt, 42, Get On Up) as a strong candidate back in May 2013. Boseman himself has been coy, but recently stated.."Ahhh, I don’t know anything about that…Until the contract is signed, I don’t know". It's not definitive, but sounds like the usual runaround answers actors talking with Marvel would be expected to say. Chadwick is charismatic and charming as hell, and would make one hell of a Black Panther.

The only source concerning the casting of Captain Marvel goes all the back to October 2012, which comes from the DailyMail (usually right when it comes to Bond news). They said that both Emily Blunt (Looper, Edge of Tomorrow) and Ruth Wilson (Lone Ranger, Luther) were the main candidates for the role of Ms Marvel, at the time was linked for Avengers 2. Since then, we've got confirmation that Ms Marvel indeed appears in the Age of Ultron script, and could make a cameo in the sequel. Interesting enough, Joss Whedon confirmed to HeyUGuys a fourth major female lead in Age of Ultron, which some have assume is actually Ms Marvel/Captain Marvel.

It would make sense that Emily Blunt would be in the mix for this role, considering she was forced out of the Black Widow role in Iron Man 2, because of a contract with 20th Century Fox. She's been since linked to a few other Marvel roles including Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger. I assume that she could become Marvel's go-to actress to head-up this franchise. We've seen her play badasses in both Looper and Edge of Tomorrow, which the latter seemed like a test-reel for a campaign to play Captain Marvel. I wouldn't rule out Ruth Wilson considering she's closely worked with both Thor alumni Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba, but Blunt is currently my favorite for the role.

If I had to guess release dates, I would place Black Panther for either May or November 2017 (since we don't have a non-sequel announced for 2017, but have a cosmic one with GOTG2 and Thor 3 will take the Avengers-era spot), and Captain Marvel for a release in 2018 (since that year doesn't have either a cosmic film or new character). We can't be sure what Marvel's ultimate plan is until they make it official, but it sounds like Captain Marvel could be our next cosmic franchise and Panther our next new Earthbound hero.


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