ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, some pretty interesting ‘Batman vs. Superman‘ spoilers emerge, ‘Daredevil‘ casts a vital character, and ‘Gotham‘ goes all-out with the marketing.
‘Batman vs. Superman’ Details and Spoilers Galore
‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is going to be a cultural event and like all movies of this size, everything surrounding it is turning into a circus. For starters: No, Daniel Radcliffe will probably not play Robin in a future sequel.
But, there was other news this week that’s actually worth taking a look at. First, there was this video chock-full of interesting tidbits, the most interesting of them being a potential description of Wonder Woman’s costume in the film:
Then character actor Scoot McNairy joined the cast in a mystery role, leading the entire internet into a game of “Which DC Mainstay Could He Possibly Be Playing?” Our favorite theory is that he’s playing Steve Trevor, beau to Wonder Woman and “handler” of the Justice League in the current DC comics, but that’s all speculation. Think what you like until you hear otherwise!
And then we come to the point where some potentially huge SPOILERS will be revealed. Advance with caution beyond this point.
First, we saw the set photos showcasing the construction of a huge Superman statue. Now, there are new set photos of the statue in ruins, with people dropping flowers on the wreckage. Unless our eyes deceive us, it looks like the new film may very well feature a take on the iconic ‘Death of Superman’ storyline. Of course, he’ll probably be alive in time for the third act.
‘Avengers 2? News…in Helpful List Form!
Things were fairly quiet on the ‘Avengers 2‘ front this week, so let’s knock this one out with a series of bullet points. No gristle here!
- Harley Davidson’s new electric motorcycle will debut in the film, which, while certainly being product placement, makes certain sense. After all, Captain America loves motorcycles and we can probably assume that he likes the environment, too.
- A new series of photos have emerged from the set and they’re fairly uneventful. But if you’re a completist who has to soak in every single photo of Chris Hemsworth hanging out on set, here you go!
- Mark Ruffalo said a whole bunch of vague things about the Hulk and future Hulk movies in an interview with Collider, but he also confirmed that the film’s cast will be heading back to Hall H for this year’s Comic-Con. Trailer premiere, anyone?
- And then Andy Serkis teased his mystery involvement in the film, saying that he’s been working closely with Ruffalo, helping him hone his motion capture performance.
More ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Goodness Than You Can Handle
As has been the case for the past month, this week was so jam-packed with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘ stuff that it’s tough to even know where to begin. So, let’s throw a dart and see what we land on…
Oh! The footage preview! On July 7, select IMAX theaters will screen 17 minutes of the film in 3D. Considering how lousy Marvel’s 3D has been in the past, this could, hopefully, be a sign that everyone is happy enough with how it turned out to use it as a major selling point (director James Gunn has not hid his enthusiasm for the 3D and IMAX presentation on his Facebook page). Although we’re hesitant to watch an extended preview for a movie that will open only a few weeks later, we’re very interested to see what people have to say about what gets screened.
Moving on, a few magazine scans featured new stills from the film have made their way online. They’re too rough-looking to insert into this lovely column, but feel free to go check them out over here. And, while we’re talking about awful images not even worth inserting here, some people believe this image is an indication that at ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ animated TV series is in the works. Is there any truth to this? Maybe. Perhaps. But it’s too early and that picture is too ugly.
Meanwhile, director James Gunn tweeted our best look yet at big baddie Ronan the Accuser and the accompanying tweet couldn’t get us more excited to see what Lee Pace does with this odd character.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 26, 2014
The week also saw a barrage of new clips and featurettes and such, the least of which is this ‘Entertainment Tonight’ clip, which makes watching nifty new footage chore because it’s busy being, you know, ‘Entertainment Tonight.’
These two featurettes are better, offering a deeper look at the new characters without irritating voice over narration from people who have never picked up a comic book in their life.
Best of all is this new extended TV spot, which swaps out “Hooked on a Feeling” with “Cherry Bomb” to great effect.
Just when you think it’s over, the Guardians and their nemeses appeared on the latest cover to Empire Magazine. It’s strange how much more evocative the bad guy cover is, no?
And finally, James Gunn announced the near-completion of his film on his Facebook page, sharing a warm and slightly bittersweet note with his fans:
I swear, I’ve gotten angry with filmmakers like Ridley Scott and George Lucas who can’t let go of their old films and want to keep going back and offering up different versions, but I can easily see myself doing that now.
This is essentially my last week of actually making Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s been two years straight and I’ve starting to become terrified of actually having to STOP. But on July 7 I leave for Singapore to begin the press tour so I suppose I really have no choice.
There isn’t much left. I’m still playing with the sound mix and the 3D and the DI (digital intermediate – basically the color-timing) – and there are some outstanding visual effects shots. But I still want to do what I can with what I have left to make the most stunning film I can for you guys on August 1! I think the Marvel producers are starting to understand my almost psychotic inability to be happy with anything, and to pick apart things to the very bitter end. They’re going to have to tear this movie from my bloody grip.
I’m starting to get very sad every time I think of how I’m going to miss all of the people I’ve been working with side-by-side for the past two years. And – to show you how strange I really am – I get teary-eyed when I think of how I won’t be working with Rocket (at least for a little while). He’s been the center of my life for a long time now, and I’ve come to love the little son-of-a-bitch. Really.
Let’s be honest. I’m getting teary-eyed now writing those words. And yes that may be a sign that I really am in need of a break.
But for now, it’s back to work. Love to you all. Have a fantastic weekend.
Marvel Casting Updates
While ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ winds down, Marvel Studios continued to ramp up other projects.
The one new bit of casting news that made us stroke our real and/or imaginary goatees was the suggestion that Edgar Ramirez could end up in ‘Doctor Strange.’ While promoting ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (which is directed by ‘Strange’ director-to-be Scott Derrickson), IGN asked him if he would pop up in the Marvel universe and he responded with a cryptic “We’re talking. We’ve been talking.” There’s no indication that Ramirez will even be in the final film and there’s even less evidence that he’s being considered for Stephen Strange himself of another role, but we’ll just say this: we could totally see Ramirez as the Sorcerer Supreme and we have our fingers crossed on this one.
Meanwhile, Marvel’s ‘Daredevil’ Netflix series has gone and cast Elden Henson as Matt Murdock’s lawyer partner and best friend, Foggy Nelson. We have no strong opinions on Henson (who will be seen in ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay‘), but we do have strong opinions on Foggy, who is one of the Marvel Universe’s great sidekicks. Loyal, sweet and slightly bumbling, he’s the foil that the dark and brooding Daredevil truly needs. We hope Henson knocks it out of the park.
‘Gotham’ (and Other Shows but Mostly ‘Gotham’)
Jumping into the land of small screen superheroics, The CW revealed that ‘The Flash‘ will premier on Tuesday, October 7 at 8:00 and that the new season of ‘Arrow‘ will premiere the next day, Wednesday, October 8, also at 8:00. Not since those two years of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel’ overlap have we been so interested by two such tightly intertwined series.
However, the bulk of the news this week belonged to Fox’s ‘Gotham,’ which has entered the “all-out” phase of its marketing push. First, here’s this new featurette, which allows the cast to talk about bringing iconic Batman characters to life (even when there’s no Batman around).
And speaking of characters, series director Danny Cannon claims that additional villains are in the pipeline, teasing one partciularly cold-hearted baddie:
I have a big pitch with Bruno about the Mr. Freeze character, whose origins are uncertain. If I can win Geoff Johns over and if I can win Bruno over, then I look forward to the moment where that character can be realized.
Finally, a new series of character posters arrived, giving heroes, villains and a baby Bruce Wayne their time in the spotlight.
‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ Still Exist, Offer Updates
While Marvel and Warner Bros. continue to make a lot of noise with their upcoming productions, Fox is doing what they’ve been doing for over a decade now: keeping their head down and pumping out superhero movies that do good business. The next two on the docket are the ‘Fantastic Four‘ reboot and ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ which Fox’s president of production spoke about in a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter. She had particularly effusive things to say about new FF director Josh Trank:
We’re making a big bet for 2015 with The Fantastic Four and director Josh Trank. To me, the key is the originality of the filmmakers and the choices they make. Josh is another really interesting example, who is using the vision he gave us in Chronicle to reinvent a franchise he’s loved his whole life. It’s not that you can’t make original ideas — you can, and we did it with Chronicle. The director is the key to not letting superhero movies go stale. That’s the truth.
She had less to say about ‘X-Men: Apocalypse,’ but she says that Bryan Singer is still definitely attached, even after all of the recent problems in his personal life:
Right now we are totally at the outlining phase. But nothing would make me happier than if it all worked out. It’s always been the intention for him to do it.
“Where Does He Get Thse Wonderful Toys?”
You know what everyone has? Toy versions of the Avengers. Do you know what few people probably have? Toy versions of the Chitauri, the anonymous alien race they smash to bits in the Battle of New York. Thankfully, you can now own a beautifully sculpted Chitauri figure (and SlashFilm has a much closer look at it).
But let’s face the facts here: why own a gorgeously recreated, highly detailed statue when you can own a Rocket Raccoon that you could actually cuddle with?
But the real must-own item of the week is this Batman sculpt, which recreates the Caped Crusader’s appearance in the earliest days of Detective Comics. Yes, please:
You can find more images of this astonishing statue right over here.