Ewan McGregor As Doctor Strange? Not Buying It

Doctor Strange  Sorceror SupremeEvery since Joaquin Phoenix decided to pass of the role of Marvel Studios’ Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange, all sorts of names are being bandied about, such as Ethan Hawke and Keanu Reeves.

The latest is Ewan McGregor, and I think it’s unlikely (Ethan Hawke would be my choice, and it helps that he’s worked with the director, Scott Derrickson before in Sinister–that being said he also worked with Reeves in the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still) because McGregor may be up for another Star Wars film, though without knowing the timeline or even if it’s something he’s interested in or was even if it was offered to him, it’s hard to say.

That being said, I hope an American actor plays Strange (which isn’t to imply that it’s in any way unusual that a very American character isn’t played by one, like in the case of  Thor (Chris Hemsworth’s, who’s Australian, though his accent worked really well), Loki (Tom Hiddleston, British, and for similar reasons) and Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield, also British).

 

‘Iron Man 4′ Is A Go!

Iron Man Flying

According to Robert Downey, Jr. Iron Man 4 is happening and truth be told I am a little torn by the decision.  It’s a good thing because Downey, for millions of people (including this writer) embodies Tony Stark.

It’s not such a good thing because Marvel has to know that they’re just delaying the inevitable.  Originally when this question was posed to Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios,  he said something to the effect that the plan was to have the Iron Man franchise to be similar to James Bond, in that the actor who plays Bond is important, but less so than the franchise itself.

In other words, the actor who plays Iron Man would change from time to time.

The thing is that Marvel Studios is known for their thriftiness (or miserliness, depending upon how you look at such things) and it goes without saying that they must be paying Downey a butt-load of money, to put on the red and gold suit again (though in Marvel and Feige’s defense, Iron Man 3 made over $1.2 billion on a $200 million budget, so $50 million–what he earned for Iron Man 3–was just a drop in the bucket).

Click Bait: Paul Rudd Edition

First off, let me begin by saying that Paul Rudd is one of my favorite actors.  He reminds me a lot of Chris Pratt, minus the occasional athleticism and seemingly boundless optimism.

I mention him because recently a bunch of sites–such as Deadline: Hollywood, though I am sure there’re others–have featured pictures of Rudd from Marvel Studios’ upcoming Ant-Man and…

Is it Rudd in the Ant-Man costume?  Perhaps facing off against Yellowjacket? Something to get fans over the seemingly earth shattering debacle of Edgar Wright being replaced by Peyton Reed?

No, it’s Paul Rudd being…Paul Rudd.  How awfully lame.  And I get it.  It’s supposedly a picture from the Ant-Man set, but how can you tell?  It could literally be a picture of Paul Rudd wondering anywhere, who’s to know?

Dancing Groot

For the one or two of you that have seen James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, this is the scene at the end (not the ‘button,’ or ‘stinger,’  only a tool would spoil that), and part of the reason why this is, so far, quite the most innovative Marvel movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

It’s such an odd, cute little scene, bursting with the love that screenwriters Gunn and Nicole Perlman clearly felt for the material.

See Warner Bros?  When you take something that under normal circumstances would be too treacly for words, and place it in the movie in a way that it serves a purpose and belongs, fans will get it.

 

Turtle Power Dominates Weekend Box Office

A few months ago I misread that prospects of Disney’s Maleficent, so I have been a bit leery about trying to predict the success of films that I don’t care for (in other words, just because I don’t think much of Angelina Jolie as an actress doesn’t mean that the films she stars in will necessarily be unsuccessful.  After all, I feel nothing but disdain for what Keanu Reeves calls ‘acting,’ yet it hasn’t stopped him for being quite successful at it).  So, imagine my surprise to learn that Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles earned an estimated $65 million from from Friday to Sunday.

I just don’t see the attraction myself, but clearly there are lots of people that do.

Guardians of the Galaxy is still performing quite strongly, earning $41.5 million.

And speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy, last week was James Gunn’s birthday, and what Marvel gave him was the Infinity Stone from the Guardians, which Gunn directed.

What an awesome gift.

James Gunn Birthday Gift from MarvelThe Infinity Stone from Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Warner Bros Moves ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ Premiere Date

Numerous sources reported today that Warner Bros moved the launch date of Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice from May 6, 2016, where it would have competed directed with Marvel Studios tentatively titled Captain America 3, to March 25 of the same year.  This ensures that it doesn’t–initially–compete with Captain America 3.

This is probably a good move on Warner Bros part because it can be argued that Captain America: The Winter Soldier outperformed Man Of Steel, despite Superman being better known, as well as a more iconic character.

3 Hurdles Marvel’s ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Overcame To Be One Of The Biggest Movies Of The Summer

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy opened in the United States last week, and looks to have a very bright future, seeing that based on advanced buzz along, Marvel has already locked in a sequel for 2017 while Thursday it earned $11.2 million, besting established franchises like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Soldier for a Thursday debut.

Worldwide, its earned over $160 million; pretty impressive for a movie that’s based on a bunch of characters literally no one was familiar with before the movie.

Though what’s most interesting is how risky a venture it actually is, for I think three reasons:

  • First, there’s nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy.  Marvel Studios features, from Iron Man to The Avengers, have always featured a balance of action as well as humor.  That’s has always been a part of the Marvel formula, but Guardians is different.  Some have described it as a comedy, and while there’s plenty that funny, it’s more a case of viewers caring and being invested in the characters–particularly Groot and Rocket–that they come off as fully-realized characters that just happen to be a raccoon and an alien tree, as opposed to just a bunch of pixels.
  • Second, as many have stated prior, there are no recognizable characters in Guardians of the Galaxy (other than Thanos, and I think it’s reasonably same to assume that no one is seeing it for him–which is something that Sony should keep in mind before doing a movie based on The Sinister Six, most of whom are unknown to most viewers and whom are also villains) which goes without saying is a huge risk, made even more so when you take into account that it was directed by James Gunn, who prior directed two smaller films, Slither and Super, which cost 17.5 million to produce.

For both movies.  While Guardians cost $170 million.

And when you combine this fact with the fact that Gunn doesn’t particularly like making movies (around the 12: 58 mark) then the odds were more than even that Guardians could have potentially been Marvel’s weakest performer, if not a box office failure.

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