Are Marvel Comics Preparing the Way for New Actors?

thor-001The big news that a woman will soon be wielding Thor’s hammer got me thinking…

Not too long ago, Chris Evans, current Captain America in the Marvel Film Universe, revealed his intention to leave the role after his six film contract was done. That’s not all. Robert Downey Jr. is done with Marvel after Avengers 2 & 3. Chris Hemsworth has the same number left as Chris Evans.

Now, Marvel has said they aren’t really into reboots. In fact, Kevin Feige, who heads Marvel Studios, says he has a rough timeline going to 2028 for the Marvel movies. So either we won’t see these roles again, or they have to be recast.

But what if the comic books, those wonderful beacons of light which guided these movies to success in the first place, showed the way? What if they found a fan friendly way to have someone else take on these roles. There would be no need to have fans be disoriented by a “new” Tony Stark, they would just be shown someone new in the armor. Thor wouldn’t be a new person, we’d see the hammer being handed over. In essence, the comics could forge a new path for these characters with new people occupying the role long before the movies catch up and require new casting.

So we now have two of the three roles recast in the comics. Steve Rogers will soon be replaced as Captain America. And now the news this week that Thor will also be replaced. If, in the next year, these changes stand and we have a new Iron Man, I’d say this is a done deal. After all, we probably have at least three to four years before Avengers 3. If that’s the case, Marvel comics have four years to get comic fans happy with the new versions of these characters. Then it’s just up to Marvel movies to make it happen.

Maybe like a massive throw down with Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet would cause some of our heroes to bow out of their current roles and hand the power to someone else? Is it just a coincidence that the three big players all have their contracts ending with Avengers 3?

I haven’t seen anyone say this. Maybe because they’re all too busy freaking out about Thor being a woman. I say, meh. The character design actually looks pretty cool, and it could provide material for some amazing new arcs, especially if the new Thor isn’t Asgardian.

So what do you think? Is this just more comic reshuffling to build hype, or part of a larger plan to aid the movie universe down the road?

How Did Captain America Become the Most Pivotal Character in the Marvel Film Universe?

shield_of_captain_america-HDI’ve always been more of a Marvel fan.

In terms of Comics, Batman was the only DC character whose monthly issues I purchased regularly. On the other hand, I had numerous Marvel titles including the heavies, X-Men & Spiderman.

I never got into Captain America. To be honest, I always assumed he could never exist outside American patriotism. Since I wasn’t American, I wasn’t overly interested.

The first Captain American film was a surprise. An engaging every-man’s tale, it had all the things a movie needs to be decent; good directing, excellent casting, and a strong script. I admit it, I ate humble pie. Captain America’s tale was more than just American breast beating. It was a tale about a man who wanted to do the right thing, and when the opportunity came, he did the right thing.

Still, despite Marvel’s above average batting score on films, I had to wonder if Captain 1 had been a fluke.

Thor 2 dispelled some of those fears. After all, Thor seemed like even more of an unlikely film franchise, and I enjoyed both movies.

When the trailers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out, I was excited. It looked thrilling, an action feast.

What I didn’t expect was it would prove to be the biggest game changer for the entire Marvel Film Universe. What I didn’t expect was a strong script that featured some amazing character moments and even elevated secondary character, Black Widow, to feature character material.

I don’t want to spoil it, though I suppose most fans have seen it already, but now that I see how this played out, it’s so obvious Captain America was the only character on screen who could’ve told this story. Only Cap, with his patriotism, fight for the truth attitude, could possibly make this work. It also helps that of the current Marvel roster, Cap is the most human. He lives on the government dime, he’s stuck in his past while trying to figure out his future. He’s strong, fearless, and a master using a shield, but take that away, he’s very human. Stark without the suit is still brilliant and wealthy, Banner can’t exorcise the Hulk, and Thor is…well, a demigod. Captain America is a man with principles, and while his abilities allowed for some stunning action and fight sequences, he still bled, he still bruised, and he still felt every betrayal.

Some reviews have compared this film to the espionage films from the Seventies. They’re not wrong. Despite the action sequences, which were stunning, this movie had a lot of exposition, a lot of plot and twists. And funny enough, it actually did what many amazing Indie comics have, and continue to do, which is act as social commentary. Captain America has a message, and it’s timely. It made me think about our world and current society. It gave me pause, because its ideas weren’t all that implausible.

UnlikeĀ  Thor 2 and Iron Man 3, this film didn’t feel like a stopover while waiting for Avengers 2. It felt vital and refreshing. It left the Marvel films, and especially the TV show Agents of SHIELD, in a different, and thrilling, place.

Comic Book movies have often fell into a paint-by-numbers rut. Hero meets girl, girl (and world) get in trouble, hero saves both, teaser for the next film, The End.

Captain American didn’t do that. It broke a few of those conventions. And I’m going to spoil this… MINOR SPOILER… Cap doesn’t end up with Black Widow. Which I thought for sure they would angle for. I mean, every DC movie would have. But Winter Soldier manages to avoid it plausibly.

Yes, I loved this movie. Because it was everything I would want a movie to be, comic book based or not.

The Marvel Universe has been greatly altered, and it all hinged on Captain America. It’s awesome.

And my humble pie continues to be delicious.

JR

Two Commercials That Evoke More Emotion Than Hollywood Films

I love movies. That said, most fail to make a considerable emotional impact outside of “That was cool!”

So imagine my surprise when I see two ads from Thailand that make me feel all welly-in-the-eyes.

The first has seen some considerable sharing on Facebook. The second I saw because someone posted it in the comments of the first. Both are inspirational, both deliver messages about how we should live and what truly matters in life. And sadly, they’re both trying to sell us something. But ignore that. Just watch the actual content and stop it before the real commercially bit at the end. I love these. And it shows you don’t need a long time to impact your audience emotionally, you just need to be honest and speak from your heart.

Megatron?

So the excellent toy site Tomopop has some leaked images of toys from the new Transformers movie, Dark of the Moon.

I’m liking the cloak vibe on, what I’m guessing is, Megatron. Not sure how I feel about him being some sort of tanker truck. Long-time fans of Transformers would know that Megatron has been jets and tanks in various incarnations of the shows and comics, so those weren’t too much of a stretch… but a tanker truck? Hmmm. Still, I like the vibe of the robot mode.

I wonder if they can get this third movie right. The first movie was a straight ahead action flick with a simple, yet effective, origin story. It seemed with the second film that the writers lost their way. Not only did it have crude and sexual humour that seemed out of place in a Transformers movie, it also had a plot that seemed too ambitious. While creating a character supposedly as important as the Fallen (I mean, the father of the Decepticons?!) they actually made the Decepticons seem weak. I mean, Optimus owned the Fallen in a matter of three minutes! Hardly an epic battle.

I’m liking the new teaser trailer for Dark of the Moon that’s circulating around the web. Maybe they learned from the last movie and are looking to deliver the goods this time. Us old Transformers fans can only hope!