Now, “Phase One” of Marvel’s blockbuster film schedule – kickstarted by Iron Man - is complete, Downey has two more performances and a cameo as Stark under his belt, and Phase Two has begun, with the North American release of Iron Man 3 today. Marvel and Disney’s advertising has been omnipresent for months, but if you’ve somehow been living under a rock recently, check out the trailer below.
Given that The Avengers is the highest-grossing movie of 2012 and the third highest-grossing film of all time (not to mention the third highest-ranked of 2012 on Flickchart), it’s little wonder that Marvel wants to keep the interest (and the money machine) churning while Joss Whedon preps The Avengers 2. This year will see Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. television series (starring Clark Gregg as beloved Agent Coulson), and Captain America leading the charge for 2014.
Given that Captain America: The First Avenger saw Chris Evans‘ titular character displaced from his World War II timeframe to the modern-day, it’s unlikely that Hayley Atwell – who played his love interest, Peggy Carter – will return in any of Marvel’s movies. A shame, since she was one of the more enjoyable elements of Joe Johnston‘s film. But it seems that Marvel has found a new leading lady to take her place in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in the person of Emily VanCamp.
At 22, VanCamp is already a veteran presence on television, with roles in popular series Revenge, Everwood and Brothers and Sisters. Her role in the Marvel sequel is not yet specified, but she is in talks to star alongside Evans.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will see Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Sebastian Stan and Toby Jones reprising their roles from The Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger. Scarlett Johansson is also expected to return as Black Widow. The Winter Soldier will also star Anthony Mackie as superhero The Falcon and Frank Grillo as villain Crossbones.
Though there is no firm date yet for the start of production, Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (also veterans of television, with Community and Arrested Development). A release date has been set for April 4, 2014.
Following last week’s announcement that the Walt Disney Company has purchased Lucasfilm for over 4 billion dollars and scheduled Star Wars Episode VII for release in 2015, the Internet has been in a flurry of speculation over the future of the saga. Far be it from us not to jump on the bandwagon.
Even more than questioning where the story is supposed to go in the future, everybody seems to be talking about who will direct the next episode of the franchise, given that George Lucas himself is reportedly leaving Star Wars behind (to serve merely as a consultant on Episode VII). Rather than offer any actual suggestions here, let’s take a look at some possible contenders in true Flickchart fashion: two at a time.
If you’re wondering how Joss Whedon is feeling after becoming the new king of the cinematic world with his Hulk-smashing box office bonanza, well, so is he… He can explain it better himself:
“Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type. People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon.”
Read the rest of his thoughts over at the Whedon fan-site, Whedonesque, where he tells us which films are “perfect” (The Court Jester, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Godfather I & II), his best Avengers accomplishment, and reveals how much he really wants to reboot Air Bud.
There hasn’t been a movie that has been built up the same way The Avengers has. It all started in 2008, when Samuel L. Jackson – as Nick Fury – showed up in Iron Man after the credits had rolled to tell Robert Downey Jr. that he was not the only superhero in the world and S.H.I.E.L.D. had a little something called “The Avengers Initiative” in the works. Speculation ran wild on the internet with people wondering which members of the team would be involved and who the villain might be. As the years went on the details started to mete themselves out. Films like The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, and Iron Man 2 gave us our heroes, villain, and a lead in to what the plot was going to be based around. Finally on May 4, 2012, four years and two days after Iron Man opened in theaters, The Avengers was released to an audience that had been dying to see it.
This is important to mention because it was almost impossible for a fan of superhero movies to not get excited and to not have high expectations. Interestingly, this makes the movie liable to be judged in an extreme way. If the movie was very good, people’s excitement would propel it to be viewed as great. If the movie was a disappointment, people would rightfully be angry about it after placing more money and hours into it than most other franchises. As it happens, Marvel succeeded and The Avengers does in fact tiptoe the line between very good and great. Currently it appears most people think it’s great (already sitting in the global Top 20), but I found it to be closer to the latter. A solid action blockbuster that exceeded the majority of the movies that came before it in the series. As more time goes by and the honeymoon period starts to fade, I think more people will tend to agree with me. Read the rest of this entry »