GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Is Now the Highest Grossing Film of the Year, But for How Long?

by     Posted Yesterday

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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new 2014 box office champion.  After a stellar opening weekend and extremely solid legs in the following weeks, Marvel’s swell Guardians of the Galaxy now stands as the highest grossing film of the year at the domestic box office with a grand total of $262.1 million.  The year’s previous champion, fittingly enough, was Marvel’s other 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which totaled out at $259.7 million domestically.  Though Guardians’ worldwide total of $507.4 million is still eclipsed by The Winter Soldier’s $714 million take, the galactic film’s international rollout will continue in the weeks to come, including a Chinese debut.

Hit the jump for more on the Guardians of the Galaxy box office standing, why it’s unlikely to remain the champion, and an overview of the full domestic Top 10 of the year thus far.

Exclusive: Joaquin Phoenix in Final Talks to Lead DOCTOR STRANGE

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Given the cloud of secrecy that surrounds each and every Marvel Studios property while in development, there are bound to be unconfirmed rumors about almost every major aspect of their upcoming films—particularly in the casting department.  The studio is currently filling out its Phase Three slate, and while Ant-Man is the first film out of the gate in July 2015 followed by Captain America 3 in May 2016, we then have the Doctor Strange movie on July 8, 2016.  Marvel recently signed Scott Derrickson to direct the mystical comics adaptation, and in keeping with the rumor tradition, speculation has run rampant as to who will fill the title role.

After rounds of shortlists and cryptic comments with regards to who will inhabit the character, the trades reported in mid-July that Joaquin Phoenix was finally in negotiations to star in the film.  It’s been over a month since that time and there still hasn’t been confirmation from Marvel’s end, so the speculation machine kicked up again recently with word going around that Jack Huston is now “under consideration” for the part.  However, we’re hearing there’s absolutely no truth to that rumor, as Phoenix’s deal is currently being finalized.  More after the jump.

CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 Directors Joe and Anthony Russo Talk Filming Dates, the Title, the Evolution of the Script, Marvel’s Involvement, Hawkeye, and More

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was—and is—one of the biggest films of the year.  Though its status as the domestic box office champion of 2014 will be usurped, fittingly, by Guardians of the Galaxy, the Cap follow-up garnered positive reviews and an overall stellar reaction from fans in general.  As such, many were pleased to hear that The Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo would be returning to helm the next sequel, Captain America 3.  Though the pic’s May 6, 2016 release date may feel far off, it’s actually on deck as the next Marvel Studios film to start production after Ant-Man.

Steve recently sat down with the Russo brothers in anticipation of the release of The Winter Soldier on Blu-ray, and during the course of their conversation the duo also talked fairly extensively about Captain America 3.  In addition to revealing that filming on Cap 3 begins in April in Atlanta, the Russo brothers also discussed how much of sequel’s story was dictated by Marvel beforehand, revealing that Kevin Feige offered up a concept that’s been in his head for a long time.  They also talked about the script’s evolution since February, Hawkeye’s involvement, when they’ll announce the title, delving further into the Winter Soldier character, envisioning the sequels as a two-part story, the return of Frank Grillo‘s Crossbones, and more.  Watch and read the interview after the jump.

Netflix Chief Says Marvel TV Characters Could Cross Over to the Film World; Confirms Netflix Plan Is Based on THE AVENGERS Model

by     Posted 5 days ago

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When Marvel Studios finally executed its plan of teaming up various individual film characters into one big movie, The Avengers, it was a smashing success to the tune of $1.5 billion.  After that, the studio turned its attention to the small screen with its first self-produced TV series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The show was met with a less-than-enthusiastic response, and while faithful viewers say it found its footing in the latter half of its freshman season, much of the show’s look-in audience had already abandoned it.

And so it’s with a certain mix of anticipation and caution that fans await Marvel’s upcoming series of Netflix shows.  The studio will kick things off with a 13-episode Daredevil series, followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage and culminating in a 13-episode team-up season of The Defenders.  Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos recently spoke a bit about the shows, revealing that a crossover into the MCU “has been talked about” and confirming that the Netflix plan is modeled off The Avengers.  Much more after the jump.

Stellan Skarsgard Says He Has a Role in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

by     Posted 13 days ago

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Principal photography just recently wrapped on one of next year’s (many) heavy hitters, the Marvel sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, but an interesting bit of casting for the film has now surfaced.  Stellan Skarsgard, who was last seen running around sans clothes in last year’s Thor: The Dark World, says he will be reprising his role as Dr. Erik Selvig in the Avengers sequel, adding another piece of Marvel Cinematic Universe connective tissue to the highly anticipated follow-up.  More after the jump.

ANT-MAN Begins Production Today in San Francisco before Moving to Atlanta; John Slattery, Judy Greer, and More Added to Cast

by     Posted 13 days ago

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Ant-Man was supposed to begin filming around the beginning of summer, but when Edgar Wright and Marvel parted ways in mid-May over the studio’s massive changes in the script, Marvel began a hunt for a new director.  After spending a few weeks looking for a replacement, the studio settled on Yes Man director Peyton Reed with Adam McKay working on the script followed by a last-minute polish by writers Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer.

Now we’re at the end of the summer, and filming has finally begun.  Hit the jump for more.  The film stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey StollAnt-Man opens July 17, 2015. [Update: We've added the full Marvel press release after the jump, which reveals that John Slattery has been added to the cast presumably as 1970s Howard Stark (possibly confirming this story), in addition to Judy GreerT.I., and more.  Additionally, final credits on the screenplay still haven't been revealed and likely won't be until the Writers Guild of America arbitration.]

THE INHUMANS: An Introduction to Marvel’s Upcoming Galactic Franchise

by     Posted 16 days ago

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With our exclusive announcement that Marvel plans to move forward with an Inhumans film, now feels like the best time to explain to you who this band of misfits actually is and why they’ll be so important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward.  In a nutshell, think of Inhumans as a Game of Thrones story with superpowers.  The residents of Attilan, the Inhumans’ hidden city, live in a kingdom far away from humanity.  Ruled by the silent Black Bolt, a king whose voice can literally shatter mountains, the people aren’t so much superheroes as they are a civilization that just happens to be populated with fishmen, women who can control their own hair, and guys with hooves.  Hit the jump for more info on one of Marvel’s next big franchises.

Exclusive: Marvel Moving Forward on THE INHUMANS Movie; Screenplay by Joe Robert Cole

by     Posted 19 days ago

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Guardians of the Galaxy was Marvel’s big gamble on whether or not they could sell a group of unknown characters in a unique world based on the studio’s brand alone.  They won that bet, and now it’s given Marvel the confidence to move forward on another team of mostly unknown, strange characters: The Inhumans.  As we reported back in March 2011, the studio was considering adapting the comic into a movie.  In July 2012, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told Entertainment Weekly that if either Guardians or The Inhumans became a movie, audiences could expect an “X-Men-style ensemble, a la The Avengers.”  In a broad sense, that’s true: A team of misfits and outsiders comes together to battle a larger foe; beyond that, I doubt many would compare Guardians to X-Men or The Avengers.  But for over two years, there was no word on The Inhumans.

The other day, Vin Diesel dropped a hint about being part of The Inhumans, and it turns out he wasn’t just blowing smoke.  The studio is happy with the existing script by Joe Robert Cole, and now the next logical step is to take it out to filmmakers.  Hit the jump for more.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2: James Gunn Talks Peter Quill’s Father, How Much Thanos Fits into the Sequel, and More

by     Posted 19 days ago

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It was clear that Marvel Studios was happy with Guardians of the Galaxy when it went ahead and announced a release date for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 a week before the first film even hit theaters.  James Gunn returns to write and direct the follow-up, and despite the fact that he’s been on a worldwide press tour for the last month, Gunn admitted that he spent the Guardians opening weekend already working on the sequel.  July 28, 2017 might seem like a ways off, but given that every Marvel movie is a puzzle piece on a larger board, it’s no surprise that story and character elements for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 are already being hammered out.

Though it’s obviously early days for the Guardians follow-up, Gunn recently spoke a bit about what fans can expect in the sequel, specifically revealing a key piece of information regarding Peter Quill’s father and discussing how significantly Thanos will figure into the plot.  More after the jump.

Vin Diesel Hints at His Involvement in Marvel’s Adaptation of THE INHUMANS

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Vin Diesel‘s unwavering self-promotion is at turns oddly endearing and incredibly frustrating.  I admire his conviction at making another Riddick movie, and gobsmacked that he thinks anyone other than him wants a third xXx.  His desire to be in a Marvel movie was also indefatigable as he dropped hints like saying the studio wanted to meet with him, and the two might “merge brands” in 2016.  But so far, his collaboration with the studio has extended to Diesel voicing a character who only says “I am Groot.”  He did a fine job of it, but Diesel wants more.  He wants to be Inhuman.

Hit the jump for more on Vin Diesel possibly starring in Marvel’s The Inhumans.

The Problem with Superhero Sagas: Why Treating Movies Like Television Is a Bad Idea

by     Posted 22 days ago

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When Marvel Studios started producing its own films with Iron Man in 2008, many in the industry and the public at large were quite sure that they would fail.  Headlines famously accused the comic book company of delving into its “second-tier superheroes” in order to compete with the likes of Batman and Spider-Man at the box office, and few could have predicted just how successful the studio’s new venture would be—or that Iron Man was only the beginning.  The tag at the end of the Iron Man credits introducing Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury kicked off one of the more ambitious feats in recent film history, beginning a series of interconnected movies that featured different lead characters inhabiting the same cinematic universe.  This culminated in the 2012 team-up film The Avengers to the tune of $1.5 billion.  Marvel Studios is now no longer just a production company; it’s a brand.

As with any successful brand, imitators followed.  Other major studios are aiming to mimic Marvel’s success with their own interconnected universes, and just recently Warner Bros. announced release dates for nine untitled DC Comics adaptations that will surely all connect to one another.  However, this new approach to franchise filmmaking—ostensibly treating movies as episodes in a TV series—may actually be robbing us of more creatively satisfying superhero adaptations. 

Josh Brolin Talks Thanos’ Love for Death, Future Appearances, Character Comparisons, and More

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Although some might argue that Thanos kind of sucks at being a supervillain, I would counter that we’ve barely seen the big guy get going since he’s had less than five minutes of total screen time over the course of ten movies.  He’s going to be the culmination of a massive balancing act, and while it may all fall apart, Marvel at least has a great actor playing the part.  While doing press for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Josh Brolin was asked about playing Marvel’s Biggest Bad, and if it was similar to the Emperor from Star Wars.  “That sounds awesome, I love that,” said Brolin.  “It’s what he is.”  He also said that Apocalypse Now‘s Colonel Kurtz is also a source of inspiration, although Brolin noted he was drawing primarily from the comics.

Hit the jump for Brolin talking about how he prepared for playing Thanos, the character’s relationship with Death, his dynamic with Robert Downey Jr., and when we’ll be seeing Thanos again.

THE COLLISION: Episode 99 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and the Lack of Female-Led Superhero Movies

by     Posted 26 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we talk about Guardians of the Galaxy, but we also spend a large portion of the show talking about the lack of female-led superhero movies.  The time for these pictures is long past due, and we break down the ridiculous arguments against making these films.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Comic-Con 2014 Preview”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Watch: Every Marvel Easter Egg Explained Through THOR: THE DARK WORLD

by     Posted 30 days ago

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When Marvel Studios kicked off its first independent production with Iron Man in 2008, few could have predicted that it would become the juggernaut that it is today.  “Marvel” is no longer just the company, it’s the brand name.  This is why Guardians of the Galaxy is much less of a risk than people might think; a “Marvel Movie” is a massive selling point in and of itself.  One of the benefits of the autonomy that Marvel Studios has enjoyed over the past few years is the ability to pepper its films with Easter Eggs that actually pay off, rather than ones that are just simply sly nods to the source material that never go anywhere (though there are a few of those too).  In celebration of this weekend’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy, a video has been put together that points out every single Easter Egg in the Marvel films through Thor: The Dark World, from obvious ones like Cap’s shield in Iron Man to more obscure comics references.

Hit the jump to watch the Marvel Easter Eggs explained, and sound off in the comments if there are any that were missed. 

Kevin Feige Talks AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ANT-MAN, DOCTOR STRANGE, the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Plans for Thanos, and Much More

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Under Kevin Feige‘s guidance the Marvel Cinematic Universe has blossomed into the one of the most popular, well-loved, and financially successful set of films ever produced.  He’s an undeniable force in the industry who clearly understands what fans want to see.  Earlier today, before hitting the stage for Marvel’s Hall H panel, I had the opportunity to sit down for a group interview with Feige.  He talked about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, the possibility of Netflix/MCU crossover, plans for Thanos, actor contracts, releasing more movies per year, and a lot more.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

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