Marvel Studios has been launching all kinds of news this week as Phase II of their Cinematic Universe approaches. . .
We saw a first official production photo of Chris Hemsworth and new series director, Game of Thrones’ Alan Taylor on the set of Thor: The Dark World.
It was also revealed just recently that Hayley Atwell would not be returning as Peggy Carter for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Which makes sense, considering the character would be most likely dead or close to it after Cap had been frozen for seventy years. But the role of her niece, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter, was cast just earlier this week. If played out as it was in the comic lore, Cap’s new love interest will be played by Emily VanCamp, from ABC’s Revenge.
We also got news for even further in the future, with Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) being cast as Star Lord, the lead role in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as Doctor Strange and Ant Man’s big screen debuts officially coming to theaters after the sequel to The Avengers, kicking off Marvel’s “Phase III” in the fall of 2015 at the earliest. All of this is immensely important to keep the Helicarrier floating.
By far the biggest news, and most currently relevant, was the Iron Man 3 spot during Super Bowl 47. (was it 47? I can’t remember anything from high school Latin).
The 30 second trailer shows a lot of different looking shots of what we saw in the first trailer a few months ago, but now features a very “Superman” kind of sequence, in which Tony needs to save people from a crashing airplane.
“How many in the air, Jarvis?”
“How many can I carry?”
New to the series, director Shane Black is giving us a different kind of challenge for Tony where, rather than inventing something more powerful than what he has to face, he’s going to need to strain his mind, spirit and armor as far as he can to overcome the terror of the Mandarin (Ben Knigsley), who apparently can also smash mangoes? (see 1:03 in the video below)
But, after the airing of the roughly 4 Million Dollar, 30 second advert during Sunday’s big game, an “Extended Look” at Tony’s next adventure launched online. . . and Marvel and Shane Black decided to take the phrase literally, and it lets all Tony Stark fans know exactly what kind of director Shane Black is.
With his talent for black comedy and smart writing, I’m not worried about Shane Black coming in to take over for Jon Favreau one bit. Marvel is planning to release roughly 5 movies in the next two years, and even more beyond that with Ant Man and Doctor Strange, and as a result, they are making superhero films its own entire genre rather than a part of of action, adventure and fantasy category.
Starting with Iron Man 3, we will be seeing a new Marvel Studios film practically every 6 months, and this may begin to feel stale if we have the same style through all the different films.
In the world of comic books, we often see multiple arcs for multiple characters, each with completely different artists, writers and story backgrounds, but for years Marvel has achieved an impressive continuity between their characters despite the consistent creative changes. The way I see Shane Black in the director’s chair for Shellhead’s next movie is that of a different perspective, or lens, rather.
Its the same fresh perspective we get when a comic series changes artists. This could be a bad thing, but given his history with Robert Downey Junior and matching their mutual wit with Black’s writing style this will no doubt be entertaining, possibly even more than the first Iron Man. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Black’s first directing effort back in 2005, is a perfect example of the awesome dark humor these two can accomplish together. If you’ve never seen it, you should definitely watch it. Like tonight. It’s that good.
Stay tuned for more updates on how the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Iron Man 3 approaches on May 3rd.