1. Feige Says...
Kevin Feige (capofamiglia of the MCU) dished out a healthy serving of news on some upcoming films and the future of the MCU. Feige reaffirmed that while Thanos will play a role in next summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, he is not THE bad guy. He did, however, surprise me a little bit by mentioning that the role of main villain would be played by Ronan the Accuser (learn all about him here) and that one member of the Guardians, Gamora (learn all about her here) begins the movie in league with Ronan, and his associates, Nebula and Korath, under the instruction of chess-master Thanos. While we all new that Ronan would fill the role of a villain, it was expected that Nebula was going to carry the label as THE bad guy. But, as my friend Zangief would say, just because Ronan is a bad guy doesn't mean he is a bad guy. Gamora's shift of allegiance is also not wholly surprising or unexpected. In the books she's had a long history and large reputation for doing some nasty things; how else do you get to be the deadliest woman in the galaxy? Feige also assured us that Thanos will be doing more than getting 3 seconds of face time in this one which means, at some point, we are going to get an actor to fill that role. What you waitin' on El Mayimbe??
In the same interview, Feige gave a little information about Avengers: Age of Ultron and also addressed the future of the MCU. On Age of Ultron, Feige made sure to mention that this time around, Hawkeye, who was relegated to mop up duty in the first film, is going to have a much bigger role noting that writer/director Joss Whedon has "a great storyline in mind for him." Feige also mentioned that with the huge fan response to Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Bruce Banner and the Hulk that Marvel was intent on getting more screen time to the actor and that he'll play "a significant role" in the Avengers sequel. It's also very likely, as I mentioned here, that one of the yet unannounced Phase 3 movies, which Feige mentioned would be announced sometime late next spring, will be a Hulk-centric film with a story similar to the current Marvel Now title, The Indestructible Hulk. With Ant-Man the only announced Phase 3 film (currently slated for November 6, 2015) and Doctor Strange all but a lock for another spot, a Hulk solo-film would give us 3 of the 4 announced Phase 3 slots that will cover 2016 and 2017. At this point my money would be on the fourth slot being filled with something cosmic (Nova???) One character we know we will not be seeing in the MCU anytime soon, either in a cameo or his own film, is Namor, the Sub-Mariner. It had been believed that Namor's rights had reverted back to Marvel Studios but Feige told Empire that the screen rights to the Prince of Atlantis reside at Universal Studios for the time being. I'll look forward to more detail on this news, specifically when they might possibly revert to Marvel.
2. Thor: The Dark World Bonanza
Given that it is the October issue of Empire magazine (which is clearly why I'm able to read it in late-August) the big focus is on Marvel Studio's next entry into the MCU, Thor: The Dark World.
Director Alan Taylor said quite a bit in few words. We can glean from his interview that Thor's destruction of the Bifrost at the end of the first film had many implications aside from keeping Thor away from his baby gurl, Jane Foster. Without the Bifrost not only was Thor cut off from Earth (though Odin did get him there by summoning unknown "dark energy") but Asgard,home to the peacekeepers of the 9 realms, was cut off from EVERYWHERE and, in the absence of the Asgardians, many shady characters have done some damage.
|The Dark Elves ark crashing the party in Asgard|
|Thor about to disassemble a Kronan|
Noticeably absent in the leaked Guardians of the Galaxy footage were appearances by Ronan, Korath, Thanos and Yondu. Thanks to some set pics we now have our first look at Michael Rooker all Yondid up for his role in GotG. The photos seem to show a crash site on Earth and the presence of other non-Earthers. I don't expect what we see is the final look for Yondu as I can't imagine them taking away his fin and the makeup around the fin is too shabbily done for it to be final. Safe to say Rooker's fin will be CGId in in post-production, but the rest of his look is far removed from that of Yondu in the books.
That's a wrap on what's been going on since Thursday. I'll be back with more and don't forget to sign up for the mailing list so you don't miss a drop of Brain Splatter!