Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
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.
In what very well could be a precursor to Captain America: Civil War, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes squared off against each other last night in a no-holds-barred game of “Avengers Family Feud,” with the host Jimmy Kimmel caught in the middle.
On one side, Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner); on the other, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). It was a fierce battle marked by cheating, widespread confusion, malfunctioning name tags and some pretty bad answers.
We frequently marvel at — or else are unsettled by — the uncanny realism of the figures from Hot Toys and other high-end collectibles companies, but they may have found a rival in artist Xiang Zhang.
Based in Shanghai, China, he works with 1/6th-scale models, creating photorealistic likenesses of Heath Ledger’s Joker, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson and more. Make notes that Zhang is so skilled at repainting and implanting hair, that he’s frequently accused of using Photoshop to fudge the final results.
Yep, this year’s Marvel kickoff film is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, due out April 4 (which is a little weird considering the studio historically releases its films the first week of May, giving Free Comic Book Day a boost), so we’re starting to get that media blitz a-rollin’ with teaser trailers, Super Bowl spots and the like. However, nothing will be seen as consistently or as widespread as the movie posters.
Keep in mind, posters are a little boring these days, especially for action films. There’s a certain color palette used, that gray-blue shine and airbrushed effect that has become shorthand for “cold and hard.” You know, like an action hero. But I digress. The movie posters released for Captain America: The Winter Soldier have the traditional “‘people walking at you from a horizon line,” two different profiles of Cap with headgear on or off, Nick Fury looking like Samuel L. Jackson looking mean and, the one a lot of people are talking about: Black Widow.
There’s just something about Natasha. Everyone has an opinion about Black Widow as a character, about Scarlett Johansson’s body shape and about what the retouching of photos does to our perception of beauty and realistic expectations of women. A single image has caused so much of a stir, I can only imagine what people will do when she actually shows up in the film. Because we can’t talk about Johansson’s performance and Natasha’s place in the storyline, let’s focus on the poster.
WARNING: No spoilers, but if you’re sensitive to body issues, I understand if you’d want to skip this one today. Everyone is beautiful, Photoshopped or not, voluptuous or rail thin! Now let’s go complain about a celebrity.