Marvel President Kevin Feige is about to leave the stage in Hall H following the panels for Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. An amped up crowd is shouting “More!” Feige returns, takes a seat, and says “There’s only one more person here. He wanted to say, ‘Hi.’ Joss Whedon!” Whedon takes the stage. “Hi. I know it’s time to go,” he says, “and I don’t have a lot to say, but I have something to add.” We cut to a trailer of quotes from The Avengers over something metal being hammered. The metal has a strange red glow. The last quote we hear is what Nick Fury told Maria Hill about the group coming back together when they world will need them. The camera then pulls out to reveal Ultron’s helmet. We then get the title for the highly-anticipated sequel: The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Hit the jump for more. The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.
There was some slight doubt if Robert Downey Jr. would be putting on the Iron Man armor again. His contract with Marvel had ended, he carried a huge price tag (he told GQ he made about $50 million from The Avengers), and there was the possibility of recasting the role James Bond-style. But talks began about six weeks ago for Downey to join The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3. Director Joss Whedon even chimed in saying that he didn’t want to do Avengers 2 if Downey wasn’t on board.
But all those worries can be put to rest. The Tony Stark we know and love isn’t going anywhere. Downey has signed a two-picture deal to star in The Avengers 2 and The Avengers 3. Hit the jump for more.
The twin brother-sister superheroes Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have been likely contenders to join The Avengers 2 since April when Joss Whedon teased, “I’ve got these two characters, two of my favorite characters from the comic book, a brother-sister act. They’re in the movie.” Kevin Feige followed that even though the characters fall into a legal grey area (The characters are mutants, Magneto is their father, and Fox could have possession since they own X-Men), they would be available. Today, Whedon has confirmed that the characters will be in The Avengers 2.
Hit the jump for more including what Whedon had to say about bringing Iron Man into The Avengers 2.
The folks at Marvel are no doubt celebrating the massive opening weekend for Iron Man 3—which currently stands as the second highest of all time behind The Avengers—but the studio still has a very large question mark lingering over its future. With the release of Iron Man 3, star Robert Downey Jr. fulfilled his contract with Marvel. He is not contractually obligated to appear in any more Marvel films, and thus has a rather sizable amount of leverage over Marvel going forward given that he is, to the moviegoing public, the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man is the most recognizable character in Marvel Studios’ roster, and the character is now synonymous with Robert Downey Jr.
As such, everyone has been wondering whether RDJ will be back and if there are any more standalone Iron Man films in the future. The negotiations have now begun, and things are, well, a bit complicated. Hit the jump for much more.
Last month, it was rumored that The Avengers 2 would involve the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) being deemed too dangerous to live on Earth and he would get shipped into outer space. From there, Hulk would get a solo Phase 3 movie based off Greg Pak‘s comic book arc Planet Hulk. In the comic, Hulk becomes enslaved on the planet Sakaar, is forced to participate in gladiatorial games and eventually becomes a hero of the rebellion against the Red King. Then the rumor continued that The Avengers 3 would have Hulk and his subjects returning to Earth and wreaking havoc, which would be based on Pak’s World War Hulk storyline.
At some point, it’s difficult to tell how carefully Marvel Studios has mapped out their movies and at what point it’s just fanboy dreaming masquerading as a serious possibility for future films. Since Joss Whedon is one of the Marvel Movie Universe overseers now, IGN asked him about the Planet Hulk rumor. Hit the jump for his response.
We’ll dedicate more time to this topic after the jump, but in just a few sentences I want to share a quick thought I had while watching Netflix’s House of Cards last weekend. It’s not just that I think the show is great. When you involve talents like Kevin Spacey and David Fincher, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where quality work is in short supply. It’s that this level of material was birthed by and is only consumed via the Internet. I’ve been in debates where the question was whether or not the web would foster an age of amateurs. A future in which the training and dedication required to further perfect one’s craft would fall by the wayside leaving audiences with less than stellar work produced by those made lazy by the eased production and distribution technologies afforded by the Internet. While the fact that I’m writing to a considerable audience today via this site is evidence to that very argument, the overall quality of HOC is a strong rebuttal against those concerned about the quality of entertainment work in a digital age.
All thinking out loud aside, this week’s Top 5 features an editorial response to Disney’s announcement that Star Wars spinoff films are in the works, Side Effects interviews with Steven Soderbergh and more, a word about Hulk’s movie future, Matt’s editorial on Netflix and the affect time shifting has on viewing habits, and the latest news out of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 camp. As you’re probably expecting, a brief recap and link to each waits after the jump.
Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk in last year’s The Avengers was certainly a highlight of the superhero assembly movie, but fans were left wondering what Marvel’s plans are for the green meanie going forward. We already know that sequels to Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers are slated for release over the next two years (Marvel’s Phase Two) as well as new properties Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man. So where’s the Banner love? We’ve previously reported that Marvel’s Kevin Feige has stated that no new Hulk standalone movie will take place until after The Avengers 2 has opened and that popular comic arcs Planet Hulk and World War Hulk are not off the table. Now, some intrepid reporting from a reliable source has shed some possible details on the future of the Gamma Giant. Hit the jump for more, but consider this your spoiler warning.