Venom – Official Trailer # 2

Screenshot 2018-04-24 03.07.17Do you recall the first Venom trailer and how disappointing it was?  Apparently Sony picked up on that vibe, so this time they gave us quite a bit more of Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) exhibiting his powers.

And that’s a good thing though for some perhaps it’s a little bit too late.

 

 

 

Though Venom aside, I found this more interesting.

Screenshot 2018-04-24 01.53.58

The reason why is because because it’s new, and apparently a sign Marvel Studios wants to separate its productions from those that just happen to use their properties.

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Marvel’s Inhumans is Officially Dead

img_0340-2Anson Mount is joining Star Trek: Discovery in Season two, so it’s safe to assume that Inhumans is kaput (though as far as I am aware there’s been no announcement from either ABC or Marvel Television).

Though to be fair that’s hardly a mystery.  The ratings-challeged series has been plagued with problems since it’s inception   Originally part of Marvel Studios’ Phase Three plans, it was abandoned when studio president Kevin Feige got out from under the thumb of Ike Perlmutter (head of Marvel  Entertainment, who’s apparently a bit…odd).

The series first premiered as an Imax movie, but never lived up to it’s potential.

Is it any coincidence that they are being killed off in the comics as well?

Avengers: Infinity War – Final Trailer

“Let’s talk about this plan of yours.” says Star-Lord, while Peter Parker looks on bemused, while Drax looks just grim. “I think it’s good, except it sucks. Let me do the plan, that way it might be really good.”

“Wow.” Tony Stark relies, perfectly capturing how much of an ass he thinks Quill is in a single exclamation.

If I weren’t already sold on Avengers: Infinity War that exchange between Star-Lord and Iron Man sealed the deal because in that one moment you get more character development than the entirety of virtually anything from the DCEU (plus it showed what happens when you have two massive egos occupying the same space at the same space at the same time).

And can Doctor Strange catch a break?  Dormammu literally spent an eternity–or what felt like one–killing him in his own movie, only to have one of Thanos’ children try a similar trick.

Avengers: Infinity War – Trailer #2 Teaser

I don’t know who these ‘Avengers’ are, though it’s about time John Steed and Emma Peel got a movie they can call their own.

All kidding aside–though it would really be awesome if they did get another try at a feature–I find it always interesting when we get a teaser for a trailer (which is a huge indicator of how hot the buzz is for Avengers: Infinity War) when the trailer under normal circumstances IS the teaser (for the movie).

Marvel Television’s Problem (And How to Fix It)

imageWhile Marvel Studios’ Black Panther literally tears through box office records Marvel Television–the arm of Marvel Entertainment that handles television projects–is doing…okay.

They’ve got four shows on Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage and the The Defenders), one on Hulu (Runaways), one coming up on Freeform (Cloak and Dagger) and another on ABC (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is rumored to be ending) though it’s worth mentioning that the parent company of both Marvel and ABC is Disney, so that there’s a bit of synergy there shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Though there’s a problem, namely if Marvel Television wants to expand beyond ABC they’re going to have to move beyond the ‘grounded’ superheroes they have become comfortable depicting and start walking on the more fantastical side of the Marvel Universe.

And there have been attempts have been made to do so (Inhumans) though it didn’t fare so well for one important reason, namely Marvel Television isn’t willing to spend the money for what a sprawling epic like Inhumans should have been (which is odd if only because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is likely one of the best looking–and highest budgeted–comic-based television shows on television).

Though Marvel Television can’t afford another misstep, which is in a way ironic because the only way that history is not going to repeat itself is if they go bold and loosen up the purse strings along the way.

The Roar Heard Around The World

Screenshot 2018-02-15 02.43.15Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is a bit of an anomaly less because it was written by two African-Americans, Ryan Coogler and Joe Ryan Cole, with a primarily African-American cast than taking those things into account the movie has been gifted a relatively large budget–for a Marvel Studios feature–of $200 million.

And that’s pretty convincing sign of Kevin Feige’s faith in the production, which has been borne out by the box office.

Domestically the movie has (so far) earned $235 million, while pulling in $169 million in international receipts, for a total or $404 million.

It should go without saying that’s pretty amazing opening, increasing the likelihood that this movie joins the Billion Dollar Club before its run is complete.

Next Black Panther will be released in Russia, Trinidad, Peru, Venezuela, Japan and China.

Black Widow Will Be A Huge Hit (If A Few Things Are Taken Into Account)

imageThe upcoming Black Widow movie has a lot going for it–2017’s Wonder Woman has proven that a female-led superhero movie can not only be profitable, but revered bay both critics and moviegoers alike–but that doesn’t mean that it should take some very significant advantages for granted.

First there’s Scarlett Johannson, who’s shown with 2014’s Lucy that a movie can be built around her successfully (it was essentially a ‘secret’ superhero movie in the same way Unbreakable and even 1980’s Altered States were, if you think about it).

Then there’s the fact that it’s coming from Marvel Studios, who seemingly don’t know how to make a bad movie

But pride comes before a fall, so to ensure that that doesn’t happen, here’s what the producers could do to minimize the odds.

  • Consider a Guest Appearance 

Johannson’s Black Widow is a great character, but imagine how jazzed fans would be to know Captain America or Hawkeye were going to show up (and I know, some contracts are expiring, but if Evans’ enthusiasm for the characer is any indicator he’d likely turn up in a heartbeat).

And speaking of costs, if you recall Avengers: Age of Ultron, there was a scene Black Widow and Hawkeye were talking about ‘Budapest’ and what happened there.  Now imagine a adventure featuring them both, taking place in the past and perhaps revolving around the organization known as A.I.M (Advanced Idea Mechanics, who were sort of teased in Iron Man 3).

It would be in the Winter Soldier vein, and could be very awesome and gritty. 

  • Control Costs

Part of the problem with DC Films–and Zach Snyder in particular–is that their movies are relatively expensive, compared to Marvel Studios, which is why they tend to make middling profits (by way of illustration, Justice League cost somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million before the Joss Whedon-helmed reshoots.  Having seen it I’m not entirely sure where that money went, but it wasn’t on screen).

And speaking of costs, during Avengers: Age of Ultron Black Widow and Hawkeye were reminiscing about ‘Budapest.’

Suppose Black Widow was the movie about that particular incident?  I have no idea what the actual movie will be about, but it would be pretty cool to see a Jason Bourne-type adventure featuring Black Widow and Hawkeye for no more than 80-$100 million?

Such a, relatively speaking, low-cost action movie would likely turn a profit in a week, if not days. 

  • Not to Belabor the Obvious, But Make an Entertaining Movie First

Black Widow’s movie needs to be entertaining in and of itself, instead of having a female lead be it’s primary draw.  If it becomes the latest feminist cause cèlébre it runs the risk of alienating a huge swath of their potential audience.

Now, the producers of the movie can embrace every one of the above steps and the movie still under performs, though I think that’s highly unlikely.