SDCC 2012: Marvel Teases THOR 2, IRON MAN 3, CAPTAIN AMERICA 2, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and ANT-MAN
Marvel Studios won this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. There may not have been an official contest or anything but they won. There’s no denying that. Marvel head honcho Kevin Fiege and company rode in high off the box office success of THE AVENGERS, trotted out tons of juicy info and sneak peeks about their upcoming releases, delivered a few high-profile surprises (Robert Downey Jr.’s epic entrance to the IRON MAN 3 panel being one), and pretty much Hulk-smashed the competition into the ground. DC and the rest of the panels never stood a chance.
First up is IRON MAN 3. As you can see from the pic above, Marvel and director Shane Black (I’m totally psyched to see what he’s going to do with the franchise) unveiled the Mark VIII armor. Love that they’ve went back to the circular arc reactor after the triangle one featured in THE AVENGERS. I know that’s a nerdy nit-pick but circles are circles and triangles are triangles. There’s a difference.
Just like there’s a difference between a red/gold armor and a gold/red armor. Red/gold is the standard color palette that’s been used for the cinematic Iron Man armors (War Machine being the major exception) thus far. That’s what the fans are used to. What’s above is …not that. The overabundance of gold paint is ostentatious even for Tony Stark (not as much as the new red, white, and blue War Machine armor seen a couple months back) and it kinda makes it look like the armor is missing pieces. Oh well. The next bit is more exciting.
Marvel showed four clips from IRON MAN 3 at SDCC. The first was a Christmas-themed variation of the standard “Tony Stark suits up” sequence. Hmmm. Christmas. Guess that makes this flick an official member of the “Christmas Chaos” movie club director Shane Black created with DIE HARD, LETHAL WEAPON, THE LAST BOY SCOUT, THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, and KISS KISS BANG BANG.
Per Cinemablend: Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) is in his technical laboratory. He asks Jarvis to cue up some seasonal music, and we get Run DMC’s Christmas in Hollis (confirming yet another Shane Black movie set at Christmas time). He’s suiting up, and he tries to summon his new armor … with his body. It doesn’t work at first. But then a glove flies over and attaches to Stark’s hand. He gradually calls more pieces, but they come flying at him at a rapid clip. At one point, the back plate hits him so hard that he almost falls over, but uses his gloves to right the ship. The last piece to fall into place is his face mask. To get it on properly, Stark has to fly and flip over, lands in the classic three-point Iron Man pose.
The second featured a little bit of banter between Tony and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) along with a couple of funny nods to THE AVENGERS.
Per AICN: It started on Jon Favreau’s head as he’s trying to figure out a Facetime-like feature on a tablet device. Stark: “Is this forehead of security?” Favs: “Hey, don’t talk to me like that. I don’t work for you anymore.” “You quit.” “Of course I quit. Do you know what it was like when I would tell people what my job was? ‘I’m Iron Man’s bodyguard.’ They’d laugh in my face. Now you’re off with the Super Friends, I don’t know what’s going on with you anymore. My grandmother lives in Manhattan, alright. She jumped out of a second story window last year because she saw a giant snake robot coming out of the sky!” “Yeah, we handled it.”
The third scene was a montage showing off co-stars Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Guy Pearce. Big thing to take away here is Tony’s house is completely obliterated at some point. Oh and Guy Pearce is in the movie. I kinda forgot he was in this flick. Sidenote: The UNRATED cut of LOCKOUT, Pearce’s recent sci-fi actioner, is wayyy better than the version that was shown in theaters.
Per Cinemablend: The rest is a montage of footage showing Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Rhodey (Don Cheadle). In one of the quick-cut shots, Pepper is picking up a banged-up Iron Man mask from a pile of rubble. We see newcomer Guy Pearce briefly, dressed in a suit, but it’s his powerful voice-over that damn near steals the footage. “Ladies, children,” Pearce says, “Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: there is no such thing as heroes.” We then see a helicopter flying outside of Stark’s Malibu mansion, firing missiles. Pepper and Tony are blown backwards, as the mansion starts tumbling into the Pacific Ocean. The whole house is destroyed. Iron Man suits are blowing up in their pods. And Tony, now in a gold and red suit, is pulled with the wreckage into the sea.
The final clip was full-on reveal of Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin. That’s right, the rumors are true!
Per AICN: Most of the rest of the footage was action stuff with a mysterious, villainous voice-over. Armored choppers firing missiles into Tony’s sweet Malibu pad while Pepper and Tony are there, seeing it crumble off the hillside, falling in giant pieces into the ocean. His row of Iron Man suits exploding one by one, a shot of Iron Man in the suit, hitting the water and being dragged to the bottom by a large piece of his own house.
His [Ben Kingsley] look is pretty out there, though (in a good way). After the Iron Man 3 logo it cuts to a shot of his hands, fingers ringed, of course and we see a shot of him from the back, cloak on, hood up. He drops his cloak, revealing a bald head, with ponytail and then we see him from the front and he’s both menacing and obviously incredibly intelligent.
What’s missing from AICN’s description is Kingsley’s also sporting a beard which means Marvel isn’t toning the character down or altering his appearance for the big screen. Good call. I’ve always been of the thought if you can’t present Mandarin in all of his Fu Manchu glory (incredibly un-PC but that’s how he was originally drawn) then don’t bother at all.
Lastly, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) might cameo in IRON MAN 3. Lots of conflicting reports with this bit but the overall gist is Kevin Fiege confirmed Hulk would NOT be appearing in the film but he hinted Bruce Banner MIGHT. This kinda makes sense since the last time we saw Banner he was driving off with Tony Stark at the end of THE AVENGERS. My guess is he’s somewhere in Stark Tower performing gamma experiments or something.
Marvel didn’t spill too much about THOR 2 but here’s what was revealed:
- The official title is THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Shooting has already begun in London.
- Marvel didn’t reveal what exactly “The Dark World” is. MTV is speculating it could be Svartalfheim (the home of the Dark Elves), Muspelheim (a realm of eternal fire populated by the Fire Demons), Niffelheim (the barren wasteland where Death resides), The Negative Zone (an area composed entirely of anti-matter), or Earth (home of the Kardashians).
- Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Ray Stevenson (Volstagg), Jaimie Alexander (Sif), Tadanobu Asano (Hogun), and Stellan Skarsgard (Erik Selvig) are all returning. Josh Dallas (Fandral) is not returning (he’s busy with ONCE UPON A TIME) and has been replaced by Zachary Levi (who, ironically enough, was director Kenneth Branagh’s first choice to play Fandral in THOR). No word yet other whether Kat Dennings (Darcy) or Rene Russo (Frigga) will be back.
- Mads Mikkelsen was in talks to join as an unspecified villain — "a major, major new antagonist," according Feige — but apparently the offer came in "too late" and he opted for the title role in the upcoming HANNIBAL prequel TV series instead.
- While Loki IS in the film, he is NOT the main villain.
- Fiege revealed to Collider the Thor/Jane and Thor/Odin relationships will be at the center of the film: “Well it’s sort of the crux of the whole sequel and it’s what Hemsworth is most excited about diving into, and it’s what is the heart of story; it’s Thor and Jane, to continue that dynamic. Really they were only together for three days, and do they love each other? Do they like each other? Do they know each other? We’re acknowledging that that love story in the first movie was sort of a quick crush, essentially, over the course of three quick days in the middle of the desert. And [the heart of the movie is also] the relationship between Thor and Odin, which does change drastically as it did over the course of the first movie, and picks up and continues from there.”
After months of speculation, Marvel Studios has finally confirmed they’re working on a GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY feature film. This intergalactic superhero team (the best way to describe them would be “THE AVENGERS meets GREEN LANTERN”) consists of Star-Lord (a space cop), Drax The Destroyer (a powerful alien warrior), Groot (a living tree), Gamora (a Zen Whoberi assassin), and Rocket Raccoon (a genetically altered raccoon). Rumor has it they’ll be squaring off against Thanos (AKA “The big purple dude who loaned Loki the Chituari army in THE AVENGERS”).
Joe and Anthony Russo’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER will be hitting theaters on April 4th, 2014. Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan will be returning as Cap and Bucky. Anthony Mackie (REAL STEEL, THE HURT LOCKER) will be joining them as Sam Wilson (AKA The Falcon).
THE WINTER SOLDIER refers to a popular Ed Brubaker storyline from the Captain America comics that revealed Bucky (SPOILER ALERT!!!) didn’t actually die. A Russian patrol submarine found Bucky's cold-preserved body, minus one arm. He was then revived in Moscow, but suffered brain damage with amnesia. Scientists attached a bionic arm, upgrading it every time technology improved.
Programmed to be a Soviet assassin for Department X, under the code name "The Winter Soldier", he was sent on covert wetwork missions, i.e., missions involving assassination, becoming increasingly ruthless and efficient. While a Soviet agent, he also had a brief relationship with The Black Widow. He was also kept in cryogenic stasis when not on missions, and as a result has aged only a few years to a young adult since the closing days of World War II.
Good to see Marvel is going is probably going with this storyline (I say “probably” because the only thing they technically revealed at the Con was the new title) for the sequel. It’s interesting, loaded with Cold War thrills and chills, and continues the Cap/Bucky friendship which, in my opinion, was one of the best parts of the first film.
Not sure what to think about The Falcon being thrown into the mix. Anthony Mackie is a talented dude …but is he talented enough to pull off playing a mildly psychotic pimp-turned-superhero who uses jet-powered glider wings to fly and can mentally communicate with falcons? Here’s hoping Marvel gives this character a S.H.I.E.L.D agent makeover like they did Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye.
One of the biggest surprises of the panel was a screening of the test footage director Edgar Wright (HOT FUZZ, SHAUN OF THE DEAD) recently shot for his proposed ANT-MAN feature. Marvel still hasn’t confirmed whether or not this project is actually going to happen (rumor has it that it will but not until after IRON MAN 3 and THOR: THE DARK WORLD hit theaters) but it is nice to see them finally acknowledging they are toying with the idea of it. Reminds of how Disney dropped test footage for TRON: LEGACY at the Con nearly a full year before they actually began production on the actual film.
Here’s Cinemablend’s description of what was shown: The footage began with a shot of a long, white hallway with two armed guards standing at one end, guarding an elevator. The camera tracks back and goes through a grate where we see Ant-Man for the first time. He quickly leaps out of the gate – the effects weren’t 100% complete – and lands on the ground, still tiny, and starts running towards the guards. He then hits a button to become normal sized and the guards react quickly and start firing at him. Ant-Man then leaps in the air, shrinks to avoid the bullets, jumps on one of the guard’s guns and then leaps to punch the guard in the face (which causes his cheek to ripple and makes his entire body get thrown against a back wall). Ant-Man then get back to normal size and punches the other guard through a glass window. He then hits the button on the elevator and as the doors open we hear some muzak as he steps in, turns towards the camera, and the doors close.
Posted by J. Bryant
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