As you can see by the pic, Thor will thankfully NOT be wearing jeans or a black leather jumpsuit as his costume in the upcoming flick from Marvel Studios (releasing May 6, 2011). Which is yet another sign that we should all be thankful that Marvel is now making it’s films in-house, as opposed to handing them off to soulless Hollywood suits with no imagination or affinity for the source material who obviously hate you and your childhood. Even more shocking is a leaked image of Thor adversary The Destroyer, who looks EXACTLY like the comic book version. Try not to wet yourself as you look upon it. Now, again, if this movie were presented by Fox Studios, instead we’d be invited to share in such brain nuggets as “How about instead of enchanted ‘armor’, it’s just a magical necklace??” or “Can’t we just get Michael Clarke Duncan?” Thankfully it looks like Marvel doesn’t subscribe to the baffling belief that you have to take something people already like and change it into something else, otherwise they won’t like it.
Speaking of Thor, be sure to stick around after the credits of Iron Man 2 for a brief send-up (just don’t expect to see a costumed Chris Hemsworth). If there’s one thing that can be taken from Iron Man 2, it’s that Jon Favreau and company are certainly playing nice with the larger Marvel sandbox (expect Sam Jackson to Sam Jackson his ass off as Nick Fury), because this film largely seems to act as a precursor for The Avengers project and future inclusion of other heroes into the world . In fact, Favreau himself touches on that when discussing potential Iron Man 3 villain, The Mandarin. Essentially, Favreau would love to use the Mandarin, but still isn’t sure his 10 magical power rings fit in the tech-based universe of the Iron Man franchise, so he’s waiting to see how films like Thor and The Avengers introduce other fantasy elements to gauge the sliding scale of reality that he’ll be able to work with in Iron Man 3. This is actually a nice concession, considering he’s seemingly willing to allow those other films by other directors affect what he will or won’t do in further Iron Man films, as opposed to a less collaborative director who might just stick to their vision, for better or worse…
And just to geek about it, the Red Skull in the upcoming WWII era Captain America film (supposedly July 22, 2011… although I remember when Marvel said it would be out in 2009, so we’ll see…) is going to be played by Hugo Weaving, which may in fact be the best casting ever in the history of both man and film. Along with lead Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, The Expendables, Scott Pilgrim… CLEARLY he wants to be a superhero more than Nic Cage), director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, October Sky, effects/art director for original Star Wars & Indiana Jones flicks) and screen writer David Self (Road To Perdition, long tied to a never-developed Sub-Mariner film trilogy), this one is shaping up to have all the ingredients for one delectable cinematic cookie.
Also in comic movie news, Scott Pilgrim vs The World (out August 13, 2010, based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s brilliant and hilarious manga series), for which shooting wrapped months ago, is actually heading for a round of re-shoots. According to director Edgar Wright, the extra footage is actually warranted because the film is testing so positively, and is something that he’s done with previous films, including Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Hopefully they can still add a CGI layer over Michael Cera to make him ANYONE BUT MICHAEL CERA.
Jonah Hex (June 18, 2010, starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox) has finally nervously pulled back it’s veil and released a full trailer, although anyone who’s a fan of the comic may be put off by the bizarre inclusion of supernatural elements to the genre book that may have been better served as a straight-up Western. Of course, it’s doubtful that the film would have survived solely on the mercy of all 87 die-hard Jonah Hex fans to begin with, so scaring off the fan base was probably never an issue for the studio… Conversely, the Solomon Kane film (based on the Robert E. Howard character), which was released partially last year and this year overseas to favorable reviews, is still awaiting general release here in the states. Rogue Pictures has apparently acquired the release rights, but a date has yet to be set. Check out the trailer here, which is surprisingly spry for only a $35 million budget.
…and don’t forget to brush up on your comic trivia before attending weekend openings! I won a shirt for answering an easy question at the Iron Man 2 premiere. Unfortunately it was at an AMC theater, and the shirt was actually a Paranormal Activity shirt, which somehow must have escaped from the garbage pile into the trivia-prize pile. I threw it to a man 5 rows back, who was far too excited to be receiving such a shirt.