Marvel Movie News Roundup

Courtesy of Marvel
A lot has been happening behind the scenes of the various Marvel Cinematic Universe films currently in production. So, lets dig in.

Iron Man 3: Chinese actor Xueqi Wang has reportedly been cast as Chen Lu in this third film of the series. In the comics, Lu became the Radioactive Man, an agent of the Mandarin. However, an obscure bit of the character's history also has him working beside Ant-man, and now speculation exists that Wang's seemingly late in the day casting might point to his role consisting more of a cameo, setting up Edgar Wright's Ant Man film, which would logically be the next first film to come out of the MCU.

Thor: The Dark World: Rumours are that Doctor Strange will be making a cameo in the currently filming sequel. Whether this will be an in-film cameo, like Hawkeye's appearance in the first Thor, or a stinger cameo like Nick Fury's appearance in Iron Man is unknown, as is the Doc's involvement at all. It is also rumoured that Lord of the Rings star Viggo Mortensen is favoured by Marvel for the role. [Updated: Marvel has confirmed that they are interested in Strange appearing in Thor: The Dark World. They have also confirmed they do not want Viggo for the role.]

On this, I have several comments. First, of all the films for Strange to be introduced in, Thor certainly makes the most sense, having the closest thing to magic the MCU has to offer. It certainly would seem out of place in a Captain America film. And the first Thor did feature a cameo, in Odin's vault, of the Orb of Agamotto. The orb was one of the many 'mystical' devices that gave Strange his power. Perhaps the vault gets plundered in the sequel, with some items finding their way to Earth?

Second, the timing makes little sense. All the Marvel movies for between now and 2015 have been announced. Another Thor, Iron Man, and Cap, with Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-man preceding the Avengers 2. Strange, and any actors cast, would have to wait until Marvel Phase 3, at least four years from now, before he got his own film. Why not hold off and use Strange in Thor 3?

Finally, while I myself favour David Duchovny for the role, Mortensen is at least in the age bracket I envision for the characters, and the MCU as a whole (no younglings). Clearly, this would be Marvel's first step in attempting to replace Robert Downey Jr., after his inevitable departure. But what level of enthusiasm would Mortensen bring to his career with Marvel? He seems like a dour fellow. In many ways, he reminds me of Christopher Eccelston, who will also be appearing in Thor 2.

Hit the jump for pictures from the set of Thor: The Dark World, and Joss Whedon's thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy, and his role in general in the MCU.

Joss Whedon, who is in Toronto now at TIFF, and getting absolutely wild reviews for his no-budget adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing (seems like Mr. Whedon has got himself the extremely rare cinematic hat trick), which also just got a distribution deal through Lionsgate, has been fielding questions about his Marvel deal. On the subject of Guardians of the Galaxy, he said this:
"I myself was sort of like, 'Well, I liked Rocket Raccoon as a kid, but I'm not sure how that plays'. And then they said, 'Well, we're thinking about using James Gunn'. And I said, 'Oh, then no, you're fine'. He is so off the wall, and so crazy, but so smart, such a craftsman and he builds from his heart. He loves the raccoon. Needs the raccoon. He has a very twisted take on it, but it all comes from a real love for the material. It's going to be hard for the humans to keep up. I know he's going to come from left field and I'm going to go, 'What?' And then, 'Of course, why didn't I think of that?' And then I'm going to beat him!"
He also revealed that his Marvel deal is not as exclusive as one might have thought (as I did), and that aside from overseeing the entire direction of the MCU, the creation of the SHIELD series, and the writing and direction of the Avengers 2, he is still free to work on his own original material. Because, obviously, he'd have all the time in the world to also do the Dr. Horrible sequel, a Serenity reunion and that Giles series he's been talking about while doing all the other stuff. His role as overseer of the universe isn't as all powerful as you might believe. He said:
"Very talented people are writing and directing these movies, and what I don’t want to be is the guy they dread, who’s going to come in and say ‘Oh, well I have the power to say change this.’ I’m not that.”
And even if he was that guy, I doubt he'd be that guy.

Finally, set pictures are beginning to surface for Thor: The Dark World, and it looks like we'll get getting what Thor didn't give us: full scale Asgardian war. Warriors, in battle dress! Sif, on a war horse! The first look at what the Dark Elves might look like! Thor! So exciting. Considering Alan Taylor's involvement with Game of Thrones, I think a nice big, intelligently shot battle sequence is exactly what Thor needs.

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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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