UPCOMING MARVEL MOVIES - The Roadmap
A look at some future movies based upon Marvel comic book characters
There is now a light at the end of the Avengers movie tunnel. This is a hub that I wanted to hold off on writing until something more concrete or definite was known about the slate of self produced upcoming Marvel movies that are in the works. i think that it is now the right time for a summary of the different odds and ends that have come to my attention concerning all of the different live action films that Marvel Entertainment has in its schedule. Earlier this year, the big news seemed to be the fact that Marvel had publicly confirmed that it had green lighted movies based on several of its iconic characters, and that they would be developed in a series of films spread out over the next few years. This and the fact that it was reaffirmed that Marvel's intention was to finance all of these movie projects in-house. It wasn't really news that Marvel was going to go the route of assuming any potential risk and stand to reap the potential rewards - they had already outlined this self financing plan a few years back - however now we got to see confirmation that it would be put into operation. There have been several announcements from Marvel relating to the slate of future films that they will be making. To make things easier to go through, I thought that maybe it would be appropriate to present the info I do have in the form of a Marvel movie roadmap.
The future movies to expect from Marvel's own production house are the following:
IRON MAN II
THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA
Okay, here we go.
IRON MAN II
This sequel to the mega successful Summer 2008 blockbuster will see Robert Downey Jr. reprise his role as Tony stark/Iron Man and see John Favreau back as Director. There willl be some changes however; gone from this production will be the original screenwriters for Iron Man, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby: they will be replaced by Justin Theroux. Also out of the picture is actor Terrence Howard who was not resigned to reprise his role as Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes. The character will instead be played by actor Don Cheadle. One can't help but wonder if the rumors concerning Howard having some friction on the set might have been - at least in part - true? Downey Jr. is reported to have originally signed a three picture deal with Marvel, but it does not look like there wil be a third Iron Man film in the works anytime soon which has many speculating that the third film in the deal might be the upcoming Marvel Avengers movie (see below for more on the Marvel Avengers movie). IRON MAN has a May 7th, 2010 release date.
No matter what any Marvel comics fan might tell you I think that this Marvel character is one of the least known of those in development, and because of this the question mark factor for this project is quite huge; the potential is here for this movie project to revitalize interest in this Marvel character and garner it a new wave of fans, or consequently, this film could potentially be the biggest money sink of all the upcoming Marvel in-house productions. The Marvel Thor movie has a working release date of July 16th, 2010 and little else at this point, except for some recent reports that famous British actor and director, Kenneth Branagh (Henry V, Frankenstein) has been in talks with Marvel to handle the directing reigns for the film. This could be good news or bad news, but at least it means that the film would have a distinct style tio it. (period piece with hammers, anyone?)
Okay, talk about little to go on at this point, and you get this Marvel movie project; the movie doesn't even have much of a tentative date beyond being scheduled for 2010. There is however a director and a screenwriter attached to it at this point: Edgar wright is set to direct and Joe Cornish is presently working on the screenplay.
THE FIRST AVENGER: CAPTAIN AMERICA
Okay this new Captain America movie looks interesting for a couple of reasons; First, it is strongly rumoured to be a period piece set during World War II, which means that either the movie itself or the subsequent Marvel Avengers movie following after it would need to deal with the events that brought Captain America to the present day. Not a big deal, I suppose, but something that has to be done if you go the period piece route. Second - and more importantly - this movie has a title that suggests ity will be haevily tied into the subsequent Avengers movie. That makes this movie a linch-pin in the Marvel comics movies franchise. Personally, I think that this movie might be the hardest to cast given the extremly iconic nature of the character. As well, this character is one of those which I have the most difficulty visualizing for any film: the costume has never turned out well on screen so far and I wonder what route they would have to go to make it work. What we do know about this film is that it has a scheduled release date of May 6th, 2011, and it has a director confirmed: Joe Johnston.
Okay, this Marvel Avengers movie is the finish line for the current crop of Marvel movies in production; sure there are more rumoured to be in the development pipeline, such as Doctor Strange, but this is the last of the current slate and by the time of this film's release Marvel will have a very clear idea of whether or not it should continue with the self financing route or not. If most of these movies end up pulling in a decent profit for Marvel or at least do more than break even, then they will also serve as a source of very desirable promotion for the Marvel brand, exposing their flagship characters to a potentially much wider audience and customer base. If the movies mostly barely make back their money (or worse) then Marvel would probably go back to taking the easier money up front by selling the movie rights to different characters to the different movie studios like before with the X-MEN and SPIDER-MAN franchises. All that has been confirmed at this point is a release date of July 15th, 2011.
I like many other comic book fans, look forward to the ride that this road map will lead us on...