Conspiracy Theory – Justice League Edition

I don’t consider myself to be a cynical person, nor am I prone to conspiratorial thinking–though the ‘Single-bullet theory’ is so nonsensical you’d have to be an idiot to take it seriously–so, while I avoid looking at the world through rose-colored lenses, things aren’t all gloom and doom either.

So, when I heard that Zach Synder’s daughter, Autumn, had committed suicide in May, and because of the effect that had on him and his family, he decided to step down from completing directing DC Films’ upcoming Justice League feature.

And that makes sense because his daughter was only twenty when she died; making her death even more devastating because she never really lived. By way of further illustration, Roger Moore also died recently, though he was 89 years old.  We all have to go sometime and 89 years is a really good run, so it’s not like he was somehow cheated at life.

Joss Whedon–who will be directing a movie based on Batgirl, his first for DC  Films–stepped in to complete the movie.

Now he’s where the conspiracy comes in.  Originally Snyder was the guiding force behind the DCEU (DC Extended Universe), sculpting the entire look and feel of all the movies and–I assume–the primary person dealing with issues of continuity (crucial to movies that are interconnected).

But a strange thing happened: namely movies like Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice revealed that Snyder either barely understood either character–which is ridiculous, but at least understandable–or he understood both characters, only didn’t care enough to respect them and people expectations of them, which is in a way much, much worse.

So he began to be demoted in the sense that other people began to take a more aggressive role in overseeing his movies, such as Geoff Johns and Ben Affleck.

So, Zach Snyder needed a way to leave the DCEU gracefully and while I am not saying that Warner Bros had anything to do with the death of his daughter, other parties–including Znyder himself–may be using it to do what would be next to impossible otherwise.

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Are Back for Season 5!

If there were an award for Most Improved Television Series, the likelihood is high that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be a contender, if not the winner.  It started life not sure what it wanted to be, and seemed to survive primary on the strength of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who’s character had seemingly died in  2012’s The Avengers.

So, while it’s taken time to find its footing–arguably around the Second season–it’s developed into one of the best comicbook based series on television (seriously, if you haven’t watched since its first or second seasons you might want to give it a try because it’s really that good).

Though the bonus is that the series has been renewed for its fifth season!  Part of what aided in its renewal is the idea of story ‘pods’ by the producers, which is  a typical season consisting of three or four stories, as opposed to one or two,which has a curious effect of creating a faster-paced and much more enjoyable series.

Then there’s Ghost Rider (who arguably hasn’t been done better) and Inhumans.

‘Guardians’’ Box Office Is Out Of This World!

Marvel Studios’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 has–so far–earned over $425 million worldwide!  The likelihood is high that the it will surpass half a billion by this week, and will more than likely finish its theatrical run over a billion dollars.

It’s worth mentioning that the first movie at the end of its run earned a bit over $773 million, though the sequel is outperforming it handily both domestically and abroad.

Though with Alien: Covenant coming out in 10 days the xenomorphs are looking to to take a bite out Guardians’ box office aspirations, which truth be told is unlikely because Alien: Covenant is R-rated, while Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 is PG-13, which means that not only are each geared to a different audience age-wise, but also viewer-wise.

Alien: Covenant will likely skew male, while Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 will not only draw males, but a greater percentage of women, and children (the latter of which should not be watching the Alien movie at all).

Close The X-Files

Everything that lives, eventually dies.

And that’s okay because it’s the fear of death, of Thanatos, that drives all animals, of which we are, to procreate (so that our genes–and what are we if not the genetic material that literally makes us up–live on in our children).

Immortality of a sort.

What does the above idea have to do with The X-Files, a series that aired from 1993 to 2002 on Fox, and spawned two movies, The X-Files: Fight the Future in 1998 and The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008?

Well, there’s talk of another ‘event series’ of The X-Files, following the last six-episode series that aired in 2016.

And I wish they’d just stop.  The original series started promisingly, with two FBI agents working to uncover secrets that our government denied ever existed, with an emphasis on UFO mythology, combined with stand-alone stories that existed outside the aforementioned overarching mythos.

And that was good, till it became so entangled in that ungainly mythology that it literally collapsed under it (and I’m not being hyperbolic.  The series literally became incomprehensible and nonsensical, sometime with job a single episode).

If it had just gone away longer it would acted as a breather, a palate cleanser, to remove the bitter, ash-like taste of a show that just.  Refuses.  To.  Die.

And maybe David Ducovny and Jillian Anderson would be unable (or unwilling) to return.

If so then just recast, creating a world that would be both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time to those who remembered the original series with fondness.

As it stands, these X-Files event series remind me less of the original show than The Walkind Dead, which is the true face of immortality.

Gunn’s World

It’s James Gunn’s world, we just happen to live in it.

Reason being, reviews of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 have begun to filter in, and they’re pretty good.

Though what’s interesting is that they’re not ALL that way, yet there’s not been a peep from either Marvel or Disney as a result.

This to me says that they have faith in the movie, which bodes well.

Another fortuitous sign is that James Gunn is returning to write and direct Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 3 which is sign that not only does Marvel Studios want him to return, but perhaps more importantly HE wants to return.

Kevin Feige also mentioned in a interview that Gunn could perhaps play a greater role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shepherding the ‘Cosmic’ side of things.

So, apparently it’s not only Gunn’s world, it’s Gunn’s universe as well!

Will Kraven the Hunter Appear in the Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel?

Ben Affleck originally planned to star, write (with Geoff Johns) and direct a solo Batman movie for Warner Bros and DC Entertainment though he eventually decided to step down from the latter (it’s believed that he did so because Warner Bros was insistent that he make a 2018 release date, which he felt he could not do if he were to maintain the quality fans of the franchise had come to expect) and was replaced by Matt Reeves.

And when a new director comes onto a project–especially one in as strong a bargaining position as Reeves–they tend to rewrite a project, as opposed to going with the script that was already in place.

This means that much of what had been in Affleck and John’s screenplay will more than likely be discarded (though whomever does a rewrite could use the Affleck and Johns screenplay as a starting point).

Supposedly, the villain in the original screenplay was  Deathstroke, who was going to be played by Joe Manganiello.

Now let’s for a moment look at another franchise, namely Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.  

The third iteration of Marvel Comics venerable wall crawler will premier in theaters in 2018 though producers have said that they’re avoiding using villains from he earlier movies–which despite their iconic status makes a lot of sense–which means that it’s unlikely we’ll see the Green Goblin, the Lizard, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Venom (and speaking of Venom, that’s a special case that I cover on my Screenphiles YouTube channel) or Electro.

Which means that villains that we have had yet to see will be appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming–such as the Vulture, Tinkerer and Shocker–and its sequels.

Such as Kraven the Hunter

One of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes–created by Stan Lee and Stece Ditko and who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15–Kraven sought to defeat Spidey because he believed himself to be the world’s greatest hunter, though that’s not the only reason Kraven comes to mind as the next villain to menace Tom Holland’s Spider-Man because if you recall I mentioned Joe Manganiello a few paragraphs ago?  Well, here’s where things get interesting.

Here’s a picture of Manganiello.

And while I have no idea if there’s room in his schedule to play Kraven–nor that the villain is even being considered–there are few roles that an actor is so perfectly suited to play.

Iron Fist Revealed!

I understand that Marvel Television in its ‘street-level’ heroes tends to seek a more grounded, realistic esthetic than those typically employed by Marvel Studios.

That probably has a lot to do with why of all the Defenders only one, Daredevil, has a costume (which is more in the vein of tactical armor than a costume, per se).

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage wear civilian clothes, as does Iron Fist (at least in the first season of his series).

And for awhile I thought that the latter in his civvies that might be a good decision, till I saw this image from the series.

 That’s Johnny Yang as an ‘Iron Fist’–which is less an individual than an honorific, though only one seems to exist in any given period of time–and he looks pretty awesome.

The way they muted the colors and gave the costume a very real-world feel works really well, and I would have been glad to see it in more detail.  It was technically in the series, though the footage of it was so (deliberately) blurry you couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Maybe they kept it under wraps because Danny Rand (Finn Jones) in–hopefully The Defenders–tries to capture some of his lost history, and dons the costume as a result.