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!

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HUGE Doctor Strange Villain Confirmation

As I’ve said before, and bears repeating; I really hate spoilers. There’s often something about the early reveal of crucial plot-points that reeks of someone out to steal everyone else’s joy.

That being said, what I stumbled upon an article from Wegotitcovered.com it confirmed what I long hoped about the latest entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) long before it even hit theaters. 

Namely, the identity of Doctor Strange’s enemy (and I don’t mean Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelson, below)


What tipped me off were his eyes and how the prosthetic he’s wearing looks as if he were burned.  

When I saw that I KNEW almost immediately who was either pulling Kaecilius’s strings or manipulating him to do his dirty work.

And that puppet master is the lord of the Dark Dimension!

As a result I don’t think that it’s a spoiler more so than a confirmation because people who know Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts probably suspected it all along, and those who aren’t familiar with him it won’t matter all that much for that very reason.  

The Origin Of The (Cinematic) Universe, Part One


‘Early Milky Way’ image via hubblesite.com

Success breeds imitation, and in the past ten years few movie companies have been successful as Marvel Studios.

And while many in the Hollywood community seem surprised, if they had any idea of the pent-up demand for seeing characters like Iron Man, Falcon and many others that millions of people have grown up with from Marvel Comics, on the silver screen, they probably wouldn’t have been.

Though what made Marvel Studios such a success wasn’t superheroes in and of themselves (despite the aforementioned demand) but the way they were presented.

What Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, brought to the table was the creation of an integrated cinematic universe, the likes of much had never been seen in movies before (coupled with extremely faithful interpretations of the characters).

And as far as ‘imitation’ goes, other companies have tried to mimic the approach of Marvel  Studios, with varying degrees of success.

Sony Pictures attempted to create a cinematic universe based on Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man movies. After an initially strong showing, the sequel–while profitable–indicated a definite downward trend, financially speaking, for the franchise.

So they, perhaps anticipating the franchise falling precipitously enough that the rights would eventually revert back to Marvel, instead entered into a deal where future Spider-Man movies would be under Marvel Studios’ creative control, while both studios produced (some have written that the upcoming movies would be produced exclusively by Sony, with Marvel providing only creative control.  This literally makes no sense at all because having only creative control gives Marvel Studios relatively little, while granting Sony access to the uber-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., is one of the most successful Marvel Studios’ characters, who’ll next appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming). 

Universal Pictures plans to create a cinematic universe based upon Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man and the Mummy (which is filming with Tom Cruise in the lead).  At this point it’s too early to tell how well it will do.

What’s perhaps most surprising is the current position of DC Films in the world of the cinematic universe.  ‘Surprising’ because before Marvel Studios was barely an idea they were producing movies based upon Superman and Batman.  The problem was that–for reasons that will probably never be entirely known–they never built and expanded their offerings, despite seemingly ample opportunities to do so.

Marvel’s Luke Cage – Trailer #1

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why the Marvel series being produced for Netflix are so successful.  After all, they’re working with characters that I wouldn’t exactly call ‘first-stringers.’

Though that’s not by any means to imply that they aren’t beloved to many people, only that they’re plenty of more popular superheroes that have yet to appear in either the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), or what I like to call the MTU–or Marvel Televised Universe (too late to copyright ‘MTU,’ I’m guessing)–or who’s rights aren’t tied up with other entities, like Sony, Twentieth-Century Fox or Universal Pictures.

And speaking of Netflix, I should mention that I take umbrage to attempts by other entities, such as NBC, to determine how it is their ratings–which they apparently keep track of, though they don’t release–work.

I suspect that the numbers for their series are in toto significantly larger than any estimates that have yet been reported because, unlike domestic networks, Netflix has a huge international scope, which means that when a series like Daredevil premieres domestically–I believe that it is doing exactly the same, at the same time, all over the world.

So it stands to reason that premieres on Netflix would–when total audience numbers are taken into account–decimate the numbers for a network that relies entirely on domestic consumption.

Which begats another question, which is how to separate domestic viewership of Netflix programming from international numbers.

Whomever can figure that out in a fashion that is close to accurate will probably make a lot of money, be it in Dollars, Euros, Pounds or whatever.

I Suspect I Know Who Mads Mikkelson Is Playing In Marvel Studios’ Upcoming Doctor Strange

According to Superherohype, Mads Mikkelson (Hannibal) will have a role in Scott Derrickson’s upcoming Marvel Studios feature, Doctor Strange.

Assuming that to be true, they also let slip a little more information than they may have intended, because they also mention that he’ll be playing a villain.

And since Baron Mordo is taken, there’s only one real option, in my humble opinion because, while Doctor Strange has a pretty deep Rogue’s Gallery, most of them are so esoteric that–like Marvel is doing in the case of Thanos–they’ll more than likely use Strange’s introduction to reveal a character who’s presence will reverberate throughout the entire MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

And that character will more than likely be…wait for it…Dormanmu (Eternity or the Living Tribunal would also be kind of awesome, but I suspect that it’s too early for either of them)!

image courtesy of Marveldirectory.com

Think about it, and I think you’ll agree that there are few Doctor Strange villains that they could introduce that would not only drive comics fans apeshit, but would impress casual viewers as well.

And Dormammu, played by Mikkelson, would be beyond incredible.

And this is where Scott Derrickson being a horror director will come into play, namely he has to create the atmosphere were one of Marvel’s stranger villains will not only appear realistic, but demonic and terrifying as well.

Something he’s well-equipped to do if you’ve seen either Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil or The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

And he actually has an interesting mythology, which should buttress his credentials, and connection, with the audience.

And keep in mind that Marvel has done this type of casting in the past, using big-name actors in roles that obscure the actor themselves, such as Vin Diesel as Groot in Guardians Of The Galaxy or James Spader, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

And Dormammu has the potential–especially if they stick to Steve Ditko’s original designs, as opposed to more modern interpretations of the character–to be absolutely unbelievable.

Spider-Man Returns To The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Morning After

Spider-Man, climbing

A few hours ago I wrote a piece for MoviePilot about Spider-Man’s return to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), and overall I am pretty happy about the way things have turned out.  Technically speaking, it’s not quite Spider-Man returning to where he belongs, but under the circumstances it’s probably as good as it’s going to get.

That being said, there are caveats.  The most significant in my eyes being that Avi Arad is still going to be involved with the franchise, though in an Executive Producer capacity–prior he was a producer.  The problem is that Arad supposedly forced Sam Raimi to shoehorn in another villain to Spider-Man 3 (a move that pissed off Sam Raimi so much that he hired Topher Grace to play Eddie Brock/Venom for no other reason than Arad DIDN’T want him in the role) resulting in the the weakest of Raimi’s three Spider-Man movies, critically speaking–though in Arad’s defense, it was the highest grossing Spider-Man movie.

Another is that Kevin Feige is producing with Amy Pascal, the former Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), who also produced Marc Webb’s tone deaf The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Despite TASM2 Webb is a pretty talented director, though perhaps not the right person for the franchise) and let Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and their mediocre magic-blood filled writing virtually ruin the franchise.

Though hopefully Feige will be able to keep things under control, after all he has done exceedingly well guiding the course of the MCU (that being said, part of the deal is for the next Spider-Man to be produced by Sony–Feige and Pascal remaining as producers–with Spidey meeting with his compatriots from the Marvel’s end of the street, which begs the question:  With the contracts for many of the heavy-hitters in the MCU expiring (such as Robert Downey, Jr./Iron Man and Chris Evans/Captain America) then who is Sony expecting to turn up in their movie?

Though the best news of all is that this pretty much puts the kibosh on any Aunt May spy dramas that were under consideration by Sony.

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.