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Archive for June 20th, 2009

Avengers Assemble

Most Marvel Comics take place in what has become known as the Marvel Universe.  It is basically like the world as we know it with the addition of these unusual characters.  The Marvel based films seem to be in a slightly different world with no crossover between films, for example the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man have not appeared together in the recent films .  However recently things have changed.  Iron Man introduced S.H.I.E.L.D. to the Marvel film universe.  Then after the credits of the film we had a cameo by by Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury who tells Stark (AKA Iron Man) that he is not “the only superhero in the world” and tells him he wants to discuss the “Avenger Initiative”.  Stark makes a similar appearance in The Incredible Hulk when he visits Thunderbolt Ross.  This is all leading up to an avengers Movie, possibly in 2012.

captain americaThe incredible HulkSpeculating on a future film three years before it comes out isn’t my normal thing but this one looks interesting to me as they are doing it the opposite way around.  X-Men had three films before splintering off to make Origins: Wolverine and the announced Deadpool (a spin-off from a spin-off, very comic book!) and the suggested Magneto origins film.  Members of the Avengers appear to be making solo appearances first before joining up.  We have already had Iron Man and there is a sequel on the way next year followed by The First Avenger: Captain America and Thor, both in 2011.  These are all possible members along with the Hulk who has made two film appearances to date.

The original members of The Avengers were:

  • Ant-Man
  • Wasp
  • Thor
  • Iron Man
  • The Hulk
  • Captain America joined in issue #4
(I have never read any Avengers so have little knowledge of them.  This list is from Wikipedia blame them if it is wrong!)

thoriron manMy research also told me that the underlying theme of the Avengers is that the characters unite to fight super-villains that they would not be able to defeat on their own.  This suggests a possibility of a large scale enemy of even multiple enemies.  The group also has a constantly changing line-up.  This could work well for follow-up films replacing less popular characters when needed.  Members of the Avengers in comic books who have already appeared in a Marvel Studios film are:

  • Iron Man (Irion Man and Iron Man 2 is on its way)
  • The Hulk (The Hulk and The Incredible Hulk)
  • Beast. (X-Men The last stand and briefly in X2)
  • The Fantastic Four (Fantastic 4 and its sequel)
  • Spider-Man (Three movies and a fourth on the way)
  • Sandman (Spiderman 3)
  • Wolverine (three X-Men Movies and his own origins film.

By the time the film comes out we will have also had movies about:

  • Thor
  • Captain America

Black Widowthe scarlet witchThe list so far has a very male slant to it (only Wasp of the original members is a woman).  A quick look on the internet give numerous suggestions for possible female Avengers. The favourites are Scarlet Witch (mentioned a few times she also has X-Men crossover potential), Black Widow and Tigra.

 

There is no sign of a director as yet but IMDB has Zak Penn listed to provide the screenplay.  His previous writing credits are a mixed bag but with plenty of Marvel adaptations including:

  • The Incredible Hulk (not bad)
  • X-Men The Last Stand (not good)
  • Fantastic Four (oh!)
  • Electra (Shall we give up now?)
  • X-Men 2 (Better) 

Thunderbolt Rossnick furyCasting at the moment is little more than rumours  but IMDB does have Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Don Cheadle who is taking over from Terrence Howard as Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes AKA War Machine in the next Iron Man film.  It makes sense that they will use the same cast as in other films so: Chris Hemsworth who is due to play Thor.  Samuel L. Jackson who we have already seen (briefly) as Nick Fury and William Hurt as Thunderbolt Ross.  Edward Norton could return as Bruce Banner/The Hulk but his current storyline possibly doesn’t work as a member of a team.  The Hulk has been a sympathetic character in the first two films; A story where he loses control and becomes a villain that the Avengers have to bring down could be interesting? This could thenleave an opening for him to be a member in a following film.  This would also pave the way for Tim Blake Nelson to return as Samuel Sterns AKA the Leader as a second villain. 

This is all academic as if the films that go before it fail to make money this film will never see the light of day. But lets be honest with the first three Spider-Man movies grossing around $2.5billion Marvel know how to make money out of their films.  The Avengers (whoever they may be) will be assembling in about three years time.

Update

It has just come to my attention (although common knowledge to others for months) that Scarlett Johansson is to play Black Widow in Iron Man 2 due out next year.  This looks like another possible future Avenger.

Scarlett Johansson Black Widow

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