Captain America Uniform From ‘The Avenger: Age Of Ultron’

Captain America (Age of UltronHere’s a picture from “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” of Captain America (Chris Evans) in his new costume.  It looks like a combination of the suit he wore in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” combined with the one he wore in his most recent adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

I think it looks great, particularly the way the wings are integrated into the design of his helmet (which looks a lot like the leather helmets pilots wore in World War II).WWII Pilot's Helmet

You can find some more shots here, which is perhaps a better use of your time than following the legal travails of Bryan Singer, who like Icarus flying too close to the sun, may lose it all if the allegations of Michael F. Egan III are proven true.

And even if they’re not, they may have cost him the next film in the X-Men franchise because people may have a problem going to see a multi-million dollar production helmed by a alleged pedophile.

 

‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Official Trailer 3

Here’s the latest trailer for “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” were our not-quite-so-merry band of mutants have to send one of their number back to the past to prevent a all-out war against mutant-kind led by the Sentinels.

If the early trailers were guilty of giving away too little, this one reveals a litte too much, though it does keep how things will end hidden.

But we already know that, don’t we (considering that all the X-Men properties have earned over $2 billion dollars, I think the outcome is pretty obvious)?

Though with movies of this sort, it’s less the outcome than the journey to reach it.

A Female Superhero Needs To Lead, Though It Shouldn’t Be Mystique (Not Yet, Anyway)

MystiqueI read last week on ScreenCrush that the producer of the X-Men films, Lauren Schuler-Donner, “is interested in taking that character (Mystique) into a solo film.

And if anyone were to ask me–and they haven’t–I would say, “Don’t do it.”

That’s not coming from the perspective of a hater.  I personally think that it would be awesome that a female character were popular enough to play lead in a superhero films, but Mystique isn’t a great place to start.

Mystique (comics)

And she looks much more interesting in the comics, too.

It’s not that I don’t like the character, she’s actually very cool and in the comics has a rich, vibrant history.

A history which the movies haven’t touched on virtually at all.  Most people don’t know who she is, other than she’s blue, a mutant, often seen as a villain, and a shapeshifter (though it doesn’t hurt that Jennifer Lawrence, who plays the character, is essentially nude).

And speaking of Lawrence, there’s what I like to call the ‘Jennifer Lawrence effect.’  The actress has been successful in everything that she’s been in, from the Hunger Games films, the X-Men movies, to the films she’s done with David O. Russell, though I don’t think that she’s big enough to carry a film based on a character that’s barely a supporting character in the X-Men movies.

And the thing is, filmmakers cannot afford to get this wrong.  The last film I recall a superhero film featuring a female character was 1996′s Barb Wire (based very, very loosely on the Dark Horse comic).  Boxofficemojo doesn’t list its production costs, but considering that it didn’t quite make $4 million, I think I understand why there wasn’t a sequel.

It took 9 years for another female superhero to appear, with the 2005 Jennifer Garner starrer, “Elektra (based on the character from Daredevil)  It cost $43 million to produce, and earned almost $57 million at the box office.

That not terrible, but it’s not profitable either.

And the other female superhero character was…There is no other.

Which is my point.  Studios cannot afford to get this wrong, and if they go with Mystique, they might.

Though that’s not to say that there no way that a female superhero can be successful, though if it happens it probably won’t be from Fox (and the X-Men franchise they license from Marvel).

It will more than likely be from Marvel Studios, and the character will be Black Widow.  As far as I am aware she’s the only female character that has the background and the presence to support an entire movie on her own.

And Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, is considering it.  Hopefully he firms-up on the idea before Lauren Schuler-Donner does because we have all seen what happens when studios don’t get it right (when it comes to women) the first time around.

Five Reasons That Will Contribute To Guillermo Del Toro Directing Doctor Strange

This post is entirely speculation, though it is based upon logic as well as current news.

Notice that in the title of this article I sad “could” as opposed to “would” because the last I heard was that Del Toro was busy working on Legendary Pictures’ upcoming fright-feature “Crimson Peak,” as well as executive producing the FX series based upon the trilogy he wrote with Chuck Hogan, “The Strain,” “The Fall” and “The Night Eternal.”

But I have been reading the tea leaves and checking the entrails regularly, and here’s what I have seen:

1.  Despite Rumors To The Contrary, Guillermo Del Toro Will Not Be Doing “Justice League Dark” Anytime Soon

Why?  Because NBC is working on “Constantine,” a series not based on the Francis Lawrence movie of the same name, but the DC (formerly under their Vertigo imprint) series, also of the same name.  While it’s possible that the character could appear in both places at the same time (this is, of course assuming that the television series has a long life), it’s probably not going to happen.  The character of John Constantine is the lynchpin that the team revolves around, and without him the concept is pretty much dead in the water, besides being somewhat esoteric.

Matt Ryan/John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

And that’s even considering how much Warner Bros would have to invest from the budget end of things, which would probably be huge (though they could do it with a partner, as long as it’s not Legendary Pictures, since they and Warner Bros. somewhat acrimoniously parted ways.  That being said, they still work with Village Roadshow Pictures).

2.  DC/Warner Bros. Doesn’t Seem To Have Much Of A Plan Toward Developing Their Characters

Whether or not someone likes what Marvel is doing with their characters, you have to admit that they not only have a plan, but they are executing it really, really well.  This is primarily because the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has apparently developed a plan to develop their characters, and is following it.  Marvel’s roadmap is divided into Phases:  Phase One consisted of “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” ” Captain America: The First Avenger,” and “Thor” and culminated in “The Avengers.”

Notice the pattern:  First there’s an introduction of the characters–which may or may not have more than one film in the future–and a film that brings them all together.

Phase Two consists of “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “The Guardians Of The Galaxy,” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Phase Three will consist of “Ant-Man,” “Captain America 3,” “Thor 3″ and “The Avengers 3.”

As I said, you don’t necessarily have to like what Marvel is doing, but what you can’t deny is that there is a plan at work.

Warner Bros/DC?  Not so much.  What seems to be driving them is profit above all, which I understand, but that’s not a plan.  Though it didn’t exactly start that way because for awhile it appeared that DC was building toward a Justice League feature–and probably still are–which began with “Green Lantern.”

Oh, but wait!  Green Lantern?  Don’t I mean Batman?  No, I don’t because Christopher Nolan’s Batman films aren’t necessarily part of DC’s greater cinematic plans because Nolan quite deliberately kept them separate from the rest of the DC Universe, which was probably not a great decision in retrospect.

Though that’s why “Green Lantern” was so important:  It was the beginning of DC/Warner Bros. establishing a larger canvas on which to display their properties.  If Green Lantern had worked they could have brought Ryan Reynolds back as the character in other DC films, such as the Justice League, or even the upcoming “Batman Vs. Superman” feature.

But it was not to be because Green Lantern was unable to recharge either his lantern or the box office, where it earned almost $220 million on a $200 million dollar budget; not enough to make a profit.

So DC rebooted Superman, in “Man of Steel,” without a doubt the most violent Superman film ever made.

Which could perhaps explain why that film made “only” $668 million dollars.  It’s a lot of money, but for a character as iconic and as firmly established in the public consciousness as Superman, it actually wasn’t that great a performance.

For the sequel, “Superman Vs. Batman,” DC will not only feature Superman and Batman, but Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor as the villain.  It seems apparent that they are trying to follow a strategy similar to Marvel, except more compressed.

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And Here’s Ronan!

Not the MSNBC newscaster, who looks too young to drive, never mind host a news show.

I was watching ETC, on Machinima’s Youtube channel, where they did a little explaining about who’s who in Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Guardians Of The Galaxy.” It’s actually pretty interesting, though if you’re familiar with the characters, or paid attention to the trailer, there are no surprises.

Though it’s interesting more for what it doesn’t include, which is only the lead villain in the movie, Ronan the Accuser.  As far as I am aware, he happens to be working for Thanos, and Nebula works for him. In the comics he’s a Kree, though as far as I know the Kree are tied up with the X-Men, who are licensed to Fox, so that’s something that either they will not go into with any detail or they may perhaps make up a new race for the movie.

Here’s an image of Ronan, from the Marvel Universe Wiki:

Ronan One

If Being Awesome Is A Crime, Guilty As Charged!

And Ronan (Lee Pace), from the trailer.

Ronan Two

He turns up around the 1: 59 mark.

‘Inkmaster’ ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Trailer

Since I am not willing to pay the ridiculously high prices charged by cable providers, I get my television by computer.  One of my favorite shows is Spike TV’s “Inkmaster,” which has a new episode every Tuesday, though it appears on Spike.com the following Saturday.

And I have no problem with that, minus the occasion streaming hiccup (and the interesting way that companies like Verizon seem to think that people actually like watching commercials).

I just watched the most recent episode, Number 405, which had Hugh Jackman as a guest judge.  It was obvious that the episode was going to tie-in with the upcoming Fox feature, “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” because it felt like every other challenge had something to do with the film.

I was right, though what I didn’t expect was that they would show footage that was significantly better than anything yet released for the film; in fact it’s hands down the best yet.

There’s quite a bit of Sentinel action initially, as well as some shots of Quicksilver using his power (super-speed) as well as other X-Men.

It’s an awesome trailer, though it should have been what they went with from the get-go.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Trailer

Can Michael Bay make a movie where buildings aren’t being pulverized?  As a child was he almost hit by a piece of falling masonry, forever embittering him against buildings and their ilk?  I didn’t see “Pain & Gain” but I have to wonder if any were destroyed in that film too.

Though Bay only produced “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, his fingerprints are all over the trailer, at any rate.

And what is William Fichtner (I recently saw him in “Crossing Lines” currently on Netflix.  He’s the best thing in it) doing in this movie, anyway.

Shots Of Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch From ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Image courtes of Moviefone

Quicksilver (image courtesy of Moviefone)

I am not terribly easy to please when it comes to real-world interpretations of superheroes that I have followed since I was a kid.  Then again, I also Quicksilver (image courtesy of Beyondhollywood.com)understand that costume designers have quite a balancing act to maintain.

Sometimes, they cannot be too literal, because it would mean spandex, and virtually no one looks good in spandex.

So some degree of creative license has to be taken.

Then again, fans also don’t want their heroes to look drastically different than what they remember.

So, on one hand you have the recent interpretations of the Flash and Quicksilver (from “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), neither of which I found particularly inspired.

So I placed my hopes in Marvel Studios, and their interpretation of the character from the upcoming “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Seeing some of the pictures that have come in, now I am not so sure.  The actual photos will definitely look different, when lit properly, but I am not too crazy about it so far.

Scarlet Witch (image courtesy of

Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen, fares better.  She doesn’t look anything like the comic character, though there’s no way that it would translate to the screen.

The Scarlet Witch (courtesy of Moviefone)

The Scarlet Witch (courtesy of Moviefone)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checkout Moviefone for more information.

‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past,’ Trailer 2

Better.  Finally we’re getting a feel for what the X-Men are up against.  A plus is that we’re getting a look at the man-sized Sentinels; a minus is that we’re not seeing the plus-sized version (except for one shot from the back).

‘Quicksilver’ And ‘Scarlet Witch’ Revealed! (Sort Of)

QuicksilverIn Whedon We Trust.  Somewhat sacrilegious, I must admit, but I had no choice.  I was looking for a half-decent rendition of what a costume for someone that could run at super speeds would look like, and found the designs for the upcoming television series “The Flash” somewhat lackluster.

Though even worse were the designs Bryan Singer settled on for “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”

So when I heard that Joss Whedon was going to feature both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch I new that if anyone could choose a decent costume for a speedster, it would be Whedon.Scarlet Witch

And I was right.  This picture, a bit of production art from “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” doesn’t necessarily dictate what the costume that Aaron Taylor-Johnson will be wearing in the Avengers sequel, though it looks a heck of a lot better than anything that I have seen so far.