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, a weird ‘Batman v Superman’ rumor springs up, ‘Ant-Man’ releases its first trailer, and ‘Daredevil’ locks in a release date.
No, They Are Not Splitting ‘Batman v Superman’ Into Two Movies
A very strange rumor hit the internet a few days back that sent a lot of people into a frenzy despite the fact that the whole thing fell apart once you examined it for more than three seconds. A blurry supposed screenshot from the end of the first ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ trailer popped up online with a surprising twist: The film would now arrive in two installments, with ‘Enter the Knight’ arriving in October and ‘Dawn of Justice’ hitting on the previously announced release date of March 25, 2016.
To be fair, the image was so crummy looking that it was actually easy to buy as legit and “Enter the Knight’ is such a bad title that it just had to be real. However, the URL at the bottom was not legit (and was quickly scooped up by a third party for sh*ts and giggles). And then there’s the fact that Warner Bros. would never, ever wait until the trailer to announce that they’re splitting their next huge tentpole into two films. That’s just silly. That’s not how this business operates. They would have been out in front with that information to prepare fans (and investors).
Oh, and then Superman himself, Henry Cavill, said that it’s all a bunch of B.S. So there you go. ‘Batman v Superman’ is still one movie.
Speaking of trailers, current Internet buzz suggests that the first teaser for ‘Batman v Superman’ will arrive with ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ which is an unconfirmed rumor that actually feels authentic. Of course they’d attach such a hugely anticipated preview to a very expensive movie that looks too weird (i.e., fantastic) to attract audiences. Anything to sweeten the pot, right?
Oh, and before we move on from DC movie news, it seems that Viola Davis, our new cinematic Amanda Waller, has signed on to multiple movies outside of the upcoming ‘Suicide Squad.’ In other words, she’s signed up for an entire cinematic universe, not just a movie (Marvel style!). Considering Waller’s reach over the DC universe, this makes sense. Expect to see her pop up all over these movies.
Mutant Mayhem Over at Fox
Since ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ hit the reset button on the ‘X-Men’ movies, the upcoming ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ is free to do whatever the heck it wants with its plot and characters. Step one: recast Jean Grey even though she technically died a few movies back!
Since ‘Apocalypse’ takes place in the ‘80s, Jean Grey 2.0 will be significantly younger than the Famke Janssen version. The latest news confirms that the earliest names are no longer in contention, with Elle Fanning falling out of the running and Chloe Moretz simply turning the role down. Now, director Bryan Singer is apparently looking at Saoirse Ronan (who almost played the Scarlet Witch in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’) and ‘Game of Thrones’ star Sophie Turner to play the telepathic mutant superheroine. Both are fine choices, but Turner feels like the more likely choice. She may be lesser known, but she’s a fine actress who is, uh, cheaper than an Oscar nominee with name recognition.
Speaking of ‘Game of Thrones’ vets starring in Fox-produced superhero movies, the ‘Deadpool’ movie has found its villain in Ed Skrein. We do not know who he is playing. We also don’t know who T.J. Miller is playing, but the same report has him cast as an ally of the Chimichanga-loving “Merc with a Mouth.” Skrein is fine, but Miller is a very funny guy and one of the best parts of HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ (and the only good part of ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’). That’s some nice casting right there.
Finally, Channing Tatum took to Twitter to announce a release date for that ‘Gambit’ movie no one really wants. Can you make more things like ‘Foxcatcher’ instead? Or maybe a sequel to ‘White House Down’?
How do you say October 7, 2016 in Cajun?
— Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) January 6, 2015
‘Ant-Man’ Begins its Marketing Salvo
It was a big, huge, crazy week for ‘Ant-Man’ news as Marvel Studios and Disney seemingly realized “Holy crap, this thing opens this summer!” So let’s go.
First, let’s take a look at the first trailer, which has already proven instantly controversial amongst Marvel movie fans. The whole thing looks solemn, grim and totally unlike a Marvel movie starring Paul Rudd should look. And then it ends with a really great, self-deprecating joke that suggests that this is actually going to be the fun, poppy experience we were all expecting. Honestly, the trailer doesn’t offer much in the way of anything, but Rudd does look really good in that suit.
Anyway, the film’s sense of humor is more readily apparent in the first poster, which is either going to making you laugh or roll your eyes really hard (we laughed). This is now you sell a truly bizarre superhero who literally sounds like a joke:
Marvel Studios also released a new batch of photos from the film. We’ve included a few below, but you can check out the rest right here if you want fresh looks at the film’s cast and set. Our favorite one is definitely the first one below, which features the Ant-Man costume on a clothes hanger hanging from a shower. Seriously, the sense of humor seems to be lurking all around the fringes here.
While we’re talking about images, Marvel also released two pieces of concept art from the film. The first is a look at a scene that was teased in the trailer, where Scott Lang tests out the Ant-Man suit by shrinking down in a bathtub. The other is notable because it’s our best look yet at the Yellowjacket costume that chief-baddie Corey Stoll will wear during the film.
And that gives us a nice segue to this quick interview with Stoll himself, who talks about his villain’s origin. The short version: he’s the former protege of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) who is now using his mentor’s technology for unethical, militaristic purposes. Here’s the full quote:
I was this child prodigy that Michael Douglas’ character Hank Pym discovered at an early age. He nurtured me and I was part of his technology company. I started to become aware of these rumors of this fabled technology that can shrink people to half an inch while keeping their full-size strength. And I became very obsessed with it and demanded that we move forward. But Pym had sort of buried it for ethical, moral reasons.
Now, I’ve discovered my own version of that technology and I’m using it for militaristic purposes. I’ve even started to use the technology myself, which has a sort of psychotic effect on people if they use it too much. I can’t get into the details of all the goodies of the Yellowjacket suit but it’s several generations advanced from what Ant-Man has. And then I put it on—and then I am Yellowjacket!
Before we move on to other superhero movie pastures, note that the final screenplay is credited to Adam McKay and Paul Rudd, which hopefully means that their final, intensive rewrite of the screenplay fixed the problems that forced original director Edgar Wright to bail from the project. Also, it’s hard to imagine this movie not being hilarious with those two penning the script. Sell us that comedy, Marvel!
Everything Else Marvel
This may have been the week of ‘Ant-Man,’ but the Marvel train slows down for no one! Let’s take 60 seconds to run through the other, more minor, Marvel news that came out over the past seven days. Do you have a stopwatch ready? Okay. Go!
First up, Benedict Cumberbatch is spending a lot of his time in the award season spotlight answering ‘Doctor Strange’ questions and he promises fans that he’s doing his homework and devouring the comics in between losing statuettes to Eddie Redmayne.
Jeremy Renner took to social media to tease that he was getting back into his Hawkeye costume for … something. Chances are strong that he’s simply talking about ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ reshoots, but could it be something else? A secret Hawkeye solo project that no one know about? Nah, probably ‘Avengers’ reshoots.
The Falcon himself, Anthony Mackie, has confirmed that ‘Captain America: Civil War’ will begin filming in April. Between him, Steven Rogers, Bucky Barnes and Tony Stark, this will probably be the most bromance-heavy film in the Marvel canon yet.
And finally, Marvel has released a new image from ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ that looks really, really boring at first glance. But we went into great detail about how this is more significant than you think it is and how it teases an interesting new location in the film.
‘Agent Carter’ and ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and ‘Daredevil’
Although the early rumors suggested a May release date for Marvel’s ‘Daredevil’ Netflix series, it has been officially revealed that the show will make its grand debut on April 10 at midnight. Start preparing your all-night marathon now!
To mark the announcement, they released this teaser poster and while it’s not a bad poster, it reeks of the colossally bad 2003 film. We get it: it’s an iconic symbol. But yikes. Way to dredge up some bad memories!
Oh, and here’s the motion poster version of the same thing if that is what floats your boat.
Although we like showrunner Steven DeKnight and star Charlie Cox, we still don’t know what to make of series. As long as they keep releasing new images like the one below, it’s easy to be cynical. We get it: Daredevil begins his superhero career dressed like a pirate. But can we please get some king of confirmation that he’ll put on his proper red suit? We are genuinely dreading a series where a hero as cool as Matt Murdock only wears that.
And if that’s not enough, how about a trailer for the next episode that shows off Jarvis kicking ass and the Howling Commandos (huzzah!) in action?
And finally, the great Edward James Olmos has joined the cast of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ but his role remains under wraps. Still, it’s hard to argue against casting Olmos in anything, especially since he has a history of lending his gravitas to geeky projects like ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ Here”s Marvel’s official statement on his casting:
Edward James Olmos brings an amazing gravitas to any role he inhabits, something we knew we needed for Robert Gonzales. When Olmos first appears on our series, everyone will have to take notice–including our favorite Agents.
So say we all!
‘Arrow’ and ‘Flash’ (and ‘Constantine’, I Guess)
Yeah, Marvel television is busy and getting busier, but it still has nothing on DC TV. This week saw ‘The Flash’ renewed for season two and ‘Arrow’ renewed for season four, continued talk about the upcoming ‘Supergirl’ series and rumblings that Brandon Routh will be spun-off into his own ‘The Atom’ series. That’s just crazy.
And then ‘Arrow’ producer Marc Guggenheim really brought the crazy when he suggested that Batman himself could eventually put in an appearance on his show. Seriously:
At the end of the day it’d be so awesome to have Batman on the show. That’d be really cool. I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon, but you never know … one day. One thing we’re always saying … we never expected to have had the Huntress [Jessica De Gouw], Deathstroke [Manu Bennett] or Deadshot [Michael Rowe]; we ended up with a lot more DC Comics characters becoming part of the show than we had ever planned. It wasn’t initially part of the pitch or the conception of the show. Now here we are in our third season and we’ve got Flash [Grant Gustin] and the Suicide Squad and we’re going to have Katana and we have Ray Palmer [Brandon Routh], and it seems like you could field an entire show off the characters that we have introduced on ‘Arrow.’ That’s so beyond anything we expected. That’s a long-winded way of saying I’ve learned not to expect anything or make any predictions because the reality has far exceeded any of our initial predictions or initial conceptions.
Fox may have ‘Gotham,’ but The CW would probably make a killing if it could get its own Batman series off the ground (after introducing him on ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash,’ of course). Since the DC movies and shows are going to be 100 percent different universes, this is actually a thing that could truly happen if the fates align.
Speaking of ‘Arrow,’ here’s the trailer for the show’s impending return. Go nuts:
And that takes us right to the new trailer for ‘The Flash,’ which features villains as varied as Pied Piper, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave. Yes, there is a TV show being made in 2015 that features those characters.
And you’ll soon be able to add another strange villain to that list. ‘Spartacus’ star Liam McIntyre has been cast as the Weather Wizard. How do we have a live-action, semi-serious show that features the freakin’ Weather Wizard? What an age we live in.
That brings us to NBC’s ‘Constantine,’ which has been fighting an uphill battle since its first episode (because it hasn’t been very good). Will casting ‘Breaking Bad’ veteran Mark Margolis as longtime villain Felix Faust fix the show? Probably not by itself, no. But that is some fine casting.