The Biggest Superhero Films That Didn't Happen, Part 2
Comic Books, Film
David Letterman’s farewell last night after 33 years on television was packed with tributes from the likes of Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Peyton Manning and the Foo Fighters. While the Simpsons apparently weren’t able to appear in person on the Late Show — hey, Beavis and Butthead pulled it off in 1996 — they did send along a clip that pokes fun both at Letterman and their own long-running series.
Samsung today teased an Iron Man-themed special edition of its Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone that’s so glorious the contents of the box glow, like the briefcase from Pulp Fiction. Or maybe that’s simply a marketing ploy.
As for what’s inside, we only have a Korea Times report from last month in which a Samsung executive said the phone will (of course) be red, and reflect the design of Iron Man’s armor. It’s expected to be released either this month or in June, but the teaser says only “Coming Soon.”
Much has been written and said about the dearth of female characters in superhero films, but I’m not sure anyone has addressed the issue quite like Agnes, an 18-year-old blogger from Hungary: She created a series of incredible portraits gender-swapping the cinematic Avengers.
For her alternate movie universe, Agnes recasts Captain America as Amber Heard, Iron Man as Kate Beckinsale, Bruce Banner as Mila Kunis, Thor as Jennifer Lawrence, Hawkeye as Shailene Woodley and Loki as Kristen Stewart.
That recent “Saturday Night Live” parody is the closest we’re likely to get anytime soon to a Black Widow movie. However, while fans wait (and wait and wait), they can enjoy this beautiful imagined title sequence created by Christopher Haley as a final project for his After Effect class.
Set to the sound of Portishead’s “Sour Times,” the animated sequence suggests the influence of Maurice Binder and Saul Bass, with bold graphic elements in red, black and white. And Haley doesn’t stop with envisioning a cast –Scarlett Johansson is joined by Rosamund Pike as Yelena Belova, Samuli Edelmann as Red Guardian, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson and Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May — he also dreams up a premise:
Saturday Night Live and host Scarlett Johansson this weekend skewered both the romantic-comedy formula and Marvel Studios with a trailer for Black Widow: Age of Me, a parody that’s probably already fueling a few misguided Hollywood pitch meetings.
Demonstrating that “Marvel gets women,” the imagined solo movie mines every romcom trope for the story of Natasha Romanoff, who tries to juggle an internship at Fashion Weekly, a circle of good friends (including Thor as the stereotypical gay BFF), and a burgeoning romance with … Ultron.
There’s been a lot of Avengers: Age of Ultron promotional material, but there may not be anything quite as distinctive and as capable of holding large amounts of beverages as this Australian souvenir cup, shared by on Instagram by Tim Dillon, Marvel Studios’ executive director of marketing.
Shaped like the iconic Avengers “A,” it’s perfect for grabbing with two hands as you excitedly slurp down Coke Zero while Earth’s Mightiest Heroes attempt to fend off Ultron’s minions.
The two brothers, who own Horizon Comics Productions, first rang this bell in April 2013, issuing a press release to announce a cease-and-desist letter just ahead of the premiere of Iron Man 3. However, as THR, Esq., first reported, on Thursday they finally filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts federal court against Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, The Walt Disney Co. and a string of other defendants.
Nearly a year and a half after Man at Arms took up Thor’s hammer, Man at Arms: Recharged sets out to recreate Loki’s staff (aka the Chitauri scepter) from Marvel’s The Avengers.
It’s a labor-intensive process — would we expect anything less? — that yields impressive results, even if the staff doesn’t quite match the one from the Marvel Studios film.
Never let it be said that Disney and Marvel Studios don’t know their market. To help promote the release this week of Avengers: Age of Ultron in Italy, they enlist a quartet of soccer stars.
For the promo spot Juventus Football Club’s Andrea Pirlo gets a boost from some custom Stark technology, Arturo Vidal sports an eye patch (and, apparently, moves) like Nick Fury, and Claudio Marchisio slings Captain America’s shield to block Giorgio Chiellini’s kick.
Now that we’ve all giddily watched the latest trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, we can all agree it needed more Spider-Man. Now that Marvel Studios is free to use the web-head in its ever-expanding cinematic universe, it’s kind of all you want to see, right?
Spider-Man is unique in that, despite not having the best box-office track record recently, he’s the most profitable superhero in the world. Slap his face on a lunchbox orT-shirt and it will move more cash than Batman, and that’s saying a lot. There’s something universal about the Spider-Man story (if you ignore the Spider-Totem arc — and I do); he’s not a billionaire, gifted with an Übermensch’s physique, or born into greatness. He’s just a guy who took the circumstances life gave him and set out to make a better world. He’s one of the few heroes with a full face mask that hides every element of his identity. His world is our world, in that he lives in New York City and swings by places we recognize.
And there’s nothing inherently race-specific about his story.
Last week, Robert Downey Jr. simultaneously revealed the Iron Man-themed poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron and promised a “big announcement” arriving eight days later.
While the aforementioned announcement isn’t slated to arrive until Thursday, Downey took to social media again today to promote his and Marvel Studios’ involvement in a promotion for Julia’s House, a children’s hospice charity.
Unwilling to wait for Spider-Man to appear on screen alongside Earth’s Mightiest Mortals, ScreenCrush and mashup editor Sleepy Skunk have integrated the wall-crawler into the epic Battle of New York from 2012’s The Avengers. It’s impressively seamless, from the back and forth between Black Widow and Spidey to the bus rescue to the Chrysler Building sequence.
Of course, the next time we see Spider-Man on the big screen, he (alas) won’t be played by Andrew Garfield …
Grumblings that Marvel alters its comics to more closely resemble their on-screen depictions date back to at least 2001, when Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely put the X-Men in leather.
With the founding of Marvel Studios and the rise of the tightly knit Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, there are increasing complaints about continuity changes perceived to be in service to corporate synergy, most recently in the parentage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
But in a wide-ranging interview with ICv2.com, Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley dismisses any assertion there’s a conscious effort to align continuity — “I think people like to jump to conclusions” — while acknowledging that of course the films are going to have some influence on creators.
“We all remember picking up our X-Men books in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” he said. “The Professor would go in to put Cerebro on and he’d wear a helmet in a room, and whatever room that was and whatever it looked like was up to the artist du jour. But that room now, after the X-Men movie when he rolled into that big open area with the metallic globe that he is sitting inside of with the ramp, and then he puts the helmet on, you go into a Marvel comic now and that’s what that room looks like. The movie defined the mass market perception of what Cerebro looks like. The comics guys are looking at it and thinking, ‘That’s pretty cool, I think I’ll do that!’ So, to say that one medium does not influence the other a great deal would be lying.
Many fans will likely already be familiar with YouTube user Alex Luthor — he put together the epic Marvel Vs. DC movie trailer that cleverly spliced together footage from a number of sources to make it look like the two Cinematic Universes were doing battle. His latest effort is a fan-made trailer for the upcoming Inhumans film that knits together footage of Vin Diesel, Eva Green and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, respectively.
Some of the excitement about seeing Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Doctor Strange among Marvel Studios’ Phase 3 plans was tempered in some circles by disappointment over the absence of a Black Widow solo film. That feeling was given voice in a #BlackWidowMovie Twitter campaign, which received support from Nathan Edmondson, writer of Marvel’s Black Widow comic.
However, Edmondson didn’t stop at a mere retweet; instead, he “whipped this up”: the first six pages of a hypothetical Black Widow screenplay. It’s a sequence that’s sure to please fans of the Marvel super-spy (and, judging from Twitter reaction, already has).