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Film, News, Pop Culture

Marvel’s Phase Two: What You Need To Know

Man, oh man, this year’s Comic-Con was amazing, from news about new films like Wolverine (New villains, including Jessica Biel as Viper cast!) and Fantastic Four (Chronicle’s Josh Trank will be directing the reboot!) to first looks at Man of Steel (Watch the trailer for the Superman reboot before screenings of The Dark Knight Rises…and here on SaveTheSeat as soon as it appears online!) and RoboCop. But there was no other huge event than what Marvel brought to the table, effectively revealing their plans for “Phase Two”, the next several Marvel films leading up to “The Avengers 2”.
The King of Comic-Con himself, Robert Downey Jr., joined a panel to reveal the new Mark VIII armor and early footage of Iron Man 3, including big villain story: Ben Kingsley will be playing the Mandarin, Iron Man’s infamous foe in the film. While in the comics, the Mandarin was a genius with remarkable strength and ten magical rings with mysterious and distinct powers, it seems that his backstory will be updated and more realistic to fit the tone of the previous Iron Man movies. In the film, he would be the leader of the Ten Rings, which were mentioned in the first Iron Man as the terrorists who took Tony Stark hostage for Obadiah Stane. In the promo footage for Iron Man 3, the Mandarin’s voice over is heard, saying “Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: Heroes. There is no such thing. As you cry out for mercy, you will be silenced.” While not as exciting, but still fun trivia, writer-director Shane Black earlier revealed that – as with all of his previous films – he will have a Christmas-themed scene, a nugget for Black’s fans to enjoy.

Iron Man 3 hits theaters May 3rd, 2013, and stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Ashley Hamilton, James Badge Dale, and Ben Kingsley. You can expect to see the first trailer sometime this Thanksgiving!

The next film, a sequel to Thor has been officially titled Thor: The Dark World. Not much information was revealed on the film, but we do know that Alan Taylor, who has directed several episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones, will be directing, and Mads Mikkelsen, who played Le Chiffre in Casino Royale has turned down a role as the villain in the film due to his commitments as Dr. Hannibal Lecter on NBC’s upcoming series based on the character made famous by Anthony Hopkins in the 1990 film, Silence of the Lambs.

So what is “The Dark World”? Previously, it was rumored that the Enchanter and the Enchantress would be the primary villains in Thor, but the reveal of the title – there is no “Dark World” in Marvel comics – could allude to the world of the Dark Elves, a villianous race led by Malekitch the Accursed and his right-hand man Algrim the Strong, who have served as enemies of Thor. While this is all speculation, we do know that Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Ray Stevensen, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, Zachary Levi, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki will star, and will arrive in theaters November 8th, 2013.

There were loud cheers when Marvel revealed their next film, the Captain America sequel is officially titled Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In the comics, The Winter Soldier is the alias of Bucky Barnes – Steve Rogers’ best friend and an American soldier who is thought dead, but is instead discovered, brainwashed, kept in stasis to maintain youth, and trained to become an assassin for the Soviet Union. After battling Rogers/Captain America and remembering his identity, he becomes a SHIELD agent.
Sebastian Stan, who played Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger, has a multi-picture contract, so he is expected to play The Winter Soldier. While we don’t know if he will be the primary villain in the movie, it is also long-rumored that Captain America will feature SHIELD agents such as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). We also know that Hurt Locker star Anthony Mackie has entered negotiations to play Sam T. Wilson, the superhero known as Falcon. In the comics, Falcon – the first black superhero – is recruited under false pretenses by the Red Skull and given telepathic powers by the Cosmic Cube to communicate with birds. He later joins Captain America and dons a flight suit, becoming a superhero and frequent ally to Captain America. It is also rumored that the film will be structured as a globe-trotting espionage thriller. Anthony and Joe Russo of NBC’s Community are directing and Chris Evans returns as Captain America for a April 4th, 2014 release.

And now the new additions:

The mystery film coming August 1st, 2014 is the Guardians of the Galaxy. This is probably Marvel’s biggest gamble, a cosmic CGI adventure that will feature an outer space team that are supposed to be included into the eventual Avengers sequel. The reveal of conpert art also revealed the characters that will form the Guardians (from left to right in the image), Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, and Gamora. In the comics, their main villain is Thanos, the mastermind behind the events of The Avengers.

Who are the Guardians? Drax the Destroyer is Arthur Douglas, a human killed by Thanos who resurrected into his green form by the God Chronis so he could seek revenge on Thanos. He has super strength, can sense the power of Thanos anywhere in the universe, can blast energy from his hands and can travel across space with no aid. Groot is a fire-resistance race of tree monsters who can control and gain strength from trees. Star-Lord is Peter Quill, a human orphan who became a astronaunt and is given a battle suit and alien sub-machine pistols. Rocket Raccoon is a talking, genetically engineered raccoon from a planet where animals are trained to care for the mentally ill. One he has completed his task, he and his animal pals – including a first mate named “Wal Russ” (You can guess what sort of animal he is) – take off into space. A brilliant pilot and marksman, he could be – And I’m not joking – the rogueish Han Solo of the raccoon world. Lastly is Gamora, the last of her people who was adopted by Thanos. Trained in martial arts, gymnastics, and wielding god-slaying daggers, she abandoned her adoptive father to battle against him.

As you can tell, it would be Marvel’s most ambitious and risky film yet, based on the balancing act of making a convince space adventure with a heavy budget, and tying in the Avengers down the road.

Finally, Edgar Wright, the director of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – who tweeted that he had been in London – suddenly appeared at Comic-Con to reveal test footage of his long-awaited film. While Ant-Man does not have a set release date, it is expected to be the last Marvel film to be released before Avengers 2, and because Marvel announced they want to release two film a year, we could expect the film to arrive in Spring/early summer 2015. Written by Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is expected to have both Hank Pym and Scott Lang appear as Ant-Man, a SHEILD agent who can shrink down to six inches and grow back, and is expected to be an action-comedy in the vein of Wright’s earlier works.
This post first appeared at SavetheSeat.

About Richard L. Vargas

Among many things, I'm a writer, blogger, news junkie, and pop culture enthusiast from New York City.


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