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Holy Kang! The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes animated series gets the go ahead

Posted by LiveFor on March 5, 2010

Looks like this could be a winner. Show will premiere on Disney XD’s Fall / Autumn 2010 line-up

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Disney has bought Marvel for $4 Billion

Posted by LiveFor on August 31, 2009

That is a lot of money. So the House of Mouse now owns an awful lot of superheroes.

I personally think this may well be a good thing. The current slate of Marvel Universe films are still going to go ahead and once the contracts are up with other studios – Spiderman and X-Men – then they should return to the fold and crossovers a plenty should follow.

However, it does mean another level of men in suits to throw their thoughts in and possibly mess up what could be great.

Mind you we could see Pixar having a go at some Marvel heroes which can only be a good thing.

Worldwide leader in family entertainment agrees to acquire Marvel and its portfolio of over 5,000 characters

Acquisition highlights Disney’s strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value

Burbank, CA and New York, NY, August 31, 2009 – Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

thor_comic_image_02.jpg“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s properties.

What do you think of the news?

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Jon Favreau sees Iron Man 3 and The Avengers in 3D

Posted by LiveFor on July 30, 2009

“I really love the 3-D,” director Jon Favreau told MTV at the San Diego Comic-Con. “I think ‘Up’ was probably my favorite movie I’ve seen this year.”

Marvel has plans to make at least one more “Iron Man” film, as well as an “Avengers” film in 2012 that will feature Tony Stark. If Favreau has his way, he’d like at least one of those films to be three-dimensional.

“I like all the new technologies, 3-D being one of them. James Cameron had brought me around a few months back to see what he was doing with ‘Avatar’; that’s what’s been seen now by many of the fans,” he said of the 3-D footage shown last week. “It was exciting to go in there and see what he’s doing with cutting-edge technology. He’s just a great storyteller as well, and to see a great filmmaker working with the cutting-edge of this technology is amazing.”

“I talked to Marvel after I’d seen [Cameron’s footage] about doing ‘Iron Man 2’ in 3-D,” he said. “I was hoping to get a shot at doing it this time around, but it didn’t work out that way. … There are a few drawbacks to it at this point — there’s more cost involved, and it also forces you to shoot digitally. My cinematographer [Matthew Libatique] really likes film, and ‘Iron Man’ had a certain look because it was film.”

As of right now, Favreau isn’t certain he’ll direct “Iron Man 3” or “The Avengers.” But Feige is on record as saying that he’d like to see Marvel films jumping off the screen soon, and Favreau is convinced that the technology will be there for whichever film he makes next.

“We haven’t had any talks about [me directing ‘Avengers’], although we do have talks about what the content of ‘Avengers’ will be,” Favreau said of the film expected to feature Iron Man, Nick Fury, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and others. “I’m going to be involved in some capacity with it, but as far as directing goes, we’re still working on this one. … I’m happy they brought me back to do ‘Iron Man 2.

“But I think that, as the digital technology gets better, 3-D is going to be a lot easier,” the filmmaker continued. “Certainly for ‘Iron Man,’ I think it would work out well.”

Would you like to see the Marvel superheroes go 3D?


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Captain Jack as Captain America

Posted by LiveFor on July 30, 2009

The Avengers film draws ever closer and we have our Iron Man, Thor, Nick Fury, and a few others. However, there is still no news on who will play Captain America.

Worryingly Will Smith’s name keeps getting bandied about. Don’t get me wrong, I like a bit of Big Willy stylee (hmm a dodgy sentence if ever there was one!) but they should stick with the Steve Rogers set out in the comic. However, another actor, who would agree with the sentiments of my previous sentence but in a whole different way, has said they’d like to give it a go.

During the BBC “Torchwood: Children of Earth” mini-series panel at Comic-Con last weekend, actor John Barrowman revealed that he would like the chance play Captain America in The First Avenger: Captain America and The Avengers films.

“You know what I want to play? Captain America,” he said to the wildly receptive crowd, before adding that it “so won’t happen.”

Barrowman plays the fixed point in time, Captain Jack Harkness and is pretty good at it.

The question is would he make a good Cap? To be honest I think he would. He’s got the looks (my wife and mother love him as do many other men and women), he’s a bit of an unknown for the mainstream audience (only fans of TV sci-fi, musical theatre and 1980’s Saturday Morning Kids TV would know him) which would make them buy into him as the character rather than as a big name playing a part. Although Kevin Feige has said they are looking for a star with international appeal.

Of course, there would be none of the shenanigans that Captain Jack gets up to if he took on the role of Steve Rogers.

I seriously doubt that this will come to pass or that he will even make it to an audition, just one of those things that the Comic Con throws up once in a while. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there are people working away on making vids and pics of Barrowman as Captain America right now.

Would Barrowman be a good Captain America?


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The Avengers and Captain America – Could the Skrulls and The Invaders feature in them?

Posted by LiveFor on July 29, 2009

Some interesting facts have been hinted at by Kevin Feige, over on CHUD, regarding various things that may feature in their forthcoming Marvel films.

‘Will the Skrulls be the villain in The Avengers?’ I asked.

Feige gave me one of those looks he’s good at giving and just said, ‘We do own them.’

More digging turned up the fact that Marvel Studios owns the Skrull race, while Fox own the Super Skrull.

The Skrull are a shape changing alien race who have had a hard-on for Earth for quite some time. They would make a pretty great big bad for the film for a number of reasons: first of all, there’s a bunch of them, so the film wouldn’t have to contain just one or two fight scenes with the main threat, and each of the team members could have their own battles at their own power level. For another, they allow Marvel Studios to do something really cool – what if it’s revealed that certain characters from the previous Marvel movies have been Skrulls all along? And Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch proved in the first Ultimates series that the Skrull (called the Chitauri there) make a convincingly cinematic threat.

Of course the other possibility is that The Avengers will battle Hydra. As I mentioned in this story about The Invaders possibly appearing in The First Avenger: Captain America, Feige name-dropped Hydra as being something with which Steve Rogers had to contend. Might the truth be that Steve Rogers would just meet some of the Nazi supervillains who go on to head Hydra? And with The Avengers being a SHIELD group in the movies, it might make sense to make the villain a SHIELD villain. On top of that, like the Skrull, the sheer number of Hydra agents mean the film could contain lots of battles and that each of the Avengers could get something to do during the course of the film.

Having the Skrulls in the Avengers films throws up some interesting possibilities – the Hulk may feature but turn out to be a Skrull, other characters in Iron Man, Thor etc may turn out to have been replaced by Skrulls at some point.

What do you think of the news?

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Iron Man 2 won’t end on a cliffhanger for the Avengers to resolve

Posted by LiveFor on July 28, 2009

At the moment we know that War Machine (check out the screenshot from the Iron Man 2 footage) will make a significant appearance, Black Widow could be good or evil, and Sam Rockwell will be reinventing the character of Justin Hammer. Director Jon Favreau weighed in as well at Comic-Con with his own details on the film, stating that the sequel won’t leave an open-ended cliffhanger for Marvel’s 2012 “Avengers” movie. We also know what heroes to expect in the Avengers film.

“We’re working towards ‘Avengers,’ but by the same token we want to resolve this film and make [‘Iron Man 2’] play on its own,” Favreau told MTV News. “It’s not a serial. It’s a self-contained film.”

Since Marvel Studios began planted movie crossover appearances in “The Incredible Hulk” and the first “Iron Man,” continuity buffs have had a great deal to speculate about, given Marvel’s ambitious calendar of releases, including “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Favreau stressed that while the movies would all be working off of each other, his focus remains on making his film work on its own.

“It’s not building towards a cliffhanger that’s the next movie,” he explained. “It’s about wrapping up our story and making it a complete tale.”

What about Iron Man 3? “There’s an Iron Man 3. Here’s how I know. When they make the option deals, they include Iron Man 3. So I know they’re planning on 3. Whether that would be before or after Avengers, they’ve announced that Avengers is next but they pushed back The Avengers once which I thought was encouraging.”

As for whether, like many sequels, there will be too many villains in Iron Man 2 Favreau had this to say, “Well, we had to walk a fine line. I think you’re good for number two. Two seems to be the charm because you got your origin story out of the way. You can add some complexity to it and you have room, because you don’t have to tell the origin story, to introduce the characters. When you get to number three, you can get hidebound. You’re like a beached whale sometimes because you have so much, you collapse under the weight of the complexity that you’ve created. We looked at the successful sequels that we liked. I’m not talking about Two Towers or films that are chapters based on novels or Harry Potter. I’m talking about true sequels. The two that we liked the most, this was me and Kevin Feige talking, were Wrath of Kahn and Empire Strikes Back. Those were the two that we said, “They did it right. Now let’s look at what they did right.” There were so many others that didn’t feel as good as the first but for those two, what we found was that it really gave room to explore the characters and the villain plotlines were very simple but the stakes were very high. The less you get bogged down in complexity, the more you could really let the audience enjoy what they really like which are the relationships. Two years later, I know I’m a pretty savvy audience member, I don’t remember the dynamics and the subtleties of it. It’s not as precious to me as it is to the filmmakers. So it’s putting yourself in the seat of the audience and saying, “What do they want to see more but you want to go bigger.” You go from Alien to Aliens and then you want to show them the characters that they’ve invested in and how they’ve changed and change those dynamics by introducing new characters. Don’t just add to the action but throw the relationship into a little bit of a curve ball.”


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The Avengers – Which heroes will make the cut?

Posted by LiveFor on July 26, 2009

Kevin Feige,the President of Production of Marvel Studios, spoke to Collider at the San Diego Comic Con and gave a run down as to who we will be seeing in The Avengers movie.

Kevin: I think we know. It’s going to be Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Nick Fury. I think it’s safe to assume that there will be some members of the Hulk universe in the film as well. In terms of the additional, I think Black Widow for sure. SHIELD’s organization for sure. And, again, what’s exciting to me about the Avengers movie are seeing those four characters together and interact with each other. Anywhere from the first issue of the Avengers to Civil War, the dynamic between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark is awesome and fascinating. It brings out sides of the others that won’t be brought out in their own franchises. Throwing Thor into the mix is a whole other thing and I think that will be cool. So to pile in another ten or fifteen…or frankly even four…I think will be too many.

Is the Hulk in it?

Kevin: You know Zack Penn is outlining it as we speak so we’ll see.

Looks like no Wasp or Hawkeye then. What do you think of the line up?


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Kenneth Branagh acted out the whole Thor film

Posted by LiveFor on June 18, 2009

In his latest Cup O’ Joe column, Joe Quesada spoke about his time with Thor director Kenneth Branagh and head of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige. He mentioned one specific meeting as “one of the highlights of my time here at Marvel”.

“It was performance art,” Quesada recalled. “Kevin would give us the establishment of the shot and the situation: ‘Here we are. We’re in (take your pick of location). And here’s Odin and he’s coming up to (pick a character.)’ And then Kenneth would come in and give you the color commentary. ‘Odin has an air of majesty to him’ and he’d act out the Odin part or the Thor part. So we sat there and literally got a three-hour one-man show from Kenneth Branagh. It was fantastic.”

Quesada said that the “very Shakespearean” Kenneth Branagh had a phenomenal grasp on the characters of Thor, Loki, Odin and the rest of the film’s cast.

He’s definitely about character, which is the quintessential trait you have to have to understand the Marvel characters,” he said. “It’s not just big hammers and capes and things like that. It’s about what makes the character tick. There’s definitely a reason for Thor, a reason for him being and a very deep family relationship and story in the movie that I think is going to be very cool.”

“I think it’s going to be [a tougher sell] on the surface,” he said when asked if it was going to be harder to market the film compared to Iron Man. “[But we’ve] got plans already to get Thor’s name out within a younger group of kids. I think the upcoming ‘Super Hero Squad’ and ‘Avengers Animated’ shows are going to do wonders to get that across, and then we’re working on a couple of ancillary things here and there to boost the desire for kids in particular to know more about Thor and the general public as well.”

I would love to see some video of Branagh acting out the Thor film. It would be amazing to watch. I wonder if he will have a cameo in the film as Jon Favreau did (although it was a bit more than a cameo) in Iron Man.

The more I hear about the Thor film the more excited I get.

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.


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Lots of Marvel movie news -Iron Man 2, Bucky in Captain America, Loki in many films and more

Posted by LiveFor on June 8, 2009

Iron Man 2 director Jon Farveau recently tweeted some interesting news: “Mickey Rourke just did a marketing photo shoot. It’s the first time I saw him in full costume. I can’t wait for the images to be released.”

He later added “Scarlett, Rockwell and Paltrow all did their marketing shots. Downey is under the lights looking dapper as I tweet.”

FirstShowing where at theProducer Guild of America’s panel on Producing Marvel Movies. Marvel Entertainment producer Kevin Feige mentioned a few things about their upcoming films.

– Steve Roger’s sidekick Bucky is going to show up in The First Avenger: Captain Ame. As the majority of the film is set in World War 2 then this is to be expected. Who could play Bucky? It’s “primarily” a period piece that takes place during WWII. He said they went and looked at Raiders of the Lost Ark, which he says he “didn’t know” was a period piece when he was watching it. They want to make Captain America with the “same level of fun” as that. And in regards to director Joe Johnston, he said that this would be a little bit of The Rocketeer, lots of October Sky, and a little bit of the ship designs that Johnston did for Star Wars, alluding to how this is the perfect movie for him to direct. “It’s the movie his entire career has been leading towards.”

– Scarlett Johansson character in Iron Man 2 has “two sides,” entering the picture as an assistant to Tony Stark, but later revealed as Black Widow. Johnansson is signed up for multiple films.

Iron Man 2 is up next, then Thor, then Captain America, then The Avengers in the summer of 2012. Feige said that they’re “ordered this way for a reason.” And confirmed that Samuel Jackson (Nick Fury) and Scarlett Johansson as well as Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) are signed on for multiple movies or “multiple franchises,” further extending that hint that Loki will be a villain who shows up quite often. Feige kept saying often that he’d love for audiences to have the same experience that comic book readers have – where characters make surprise appearances in issues they pick up almost out of nowhere. More an more I feel that they are going to be riffing on The Ultimates storylines from the first two volumes with Loki manipulating everyone from behind the scenes. I wonder if Hiddleston will have blink and you miss them cameos in Iron Man 2?

– Marvel is planning on announcing another new movie for 2012 within the next few months. What could it be? Doubtful that it will be Ant-Man as Edgar Wright is bust on Scot Pilgrim. Maybe it will be a Nick Fury film or maybe a SubMariner one. Possibly a sequel to the Incredible Hulk film.

All in all it is all very exciting news for all comic book fans.

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.


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Kevin Feige talks Avengers, Captain America and Thor

Posted by LiveFor on June 5, 2009

There is a great interview ove on Ugo with Marvel Films President Kevin Feige about the new films coming out over the next few years. He talks about the Hulk with the Avengers, Will Smith as a possible Captain America (which I think is a big mistake although he could fit into that universe as Isaiah Bradley that I’ve previously mentioned), Thor on Earth, the return of Blade and more. Here are some of the highlights.

Are you planning on putting The Hulk in The Avengers?

Feige: I think it’d be cool. I’d like to see The Hulk again. It will have been a number of years, four years since he was in a movie by that point, by 2012. So I’d like to see him in it. I’m not being coy. We’re just starting the story. I was on the phone with Zak Penn this morning. He’s coming in next week and he’s going to work on the outline this summer, but because it’s so intertwined with what we’re doing before – I almost wanted to get done with production on Iron Man 2 [and] the scripts to Thor and Captain America well underway before we even started Avengers.

Is there any possibility of having SHIELD show up in a Spider-Man movie? Is that something you guys would like to do and is there a possibility of bringing these disparate properties back into the fold?

Feige: If we were talking about this four years ago and you asked if there was a chance to do an Avengers movie and a Marvel Cinematic Universe under one roof, I would’ve said that anything was possible, but that it’s a long shot and I’m not sure. Now we’re doing it. I’ll kind of give you the same answer to that now. Anything is possible. Right now they’re certainly different. What’s at Fox is at Fox. What’s at Sony is what’s at Sony and what’s at Marvel is what’s at Marvel. When I say the MCU that’s a goofy internal thing, but that’s [how] we’re referring to it.

You’ve got a lot now, but what other characters would you like to see make it onscreen?

Feige: Ant-Man. I want to make Ant-Man one of these days. I think that’ll be surprising and a funny thing. I love that what Edgar [Wright] likes about it is that when he says he’s doing Ant-Man people go, “Ant-Man? What the hell is that?” I think that’s fun. I think Dr. Strange would kick ass. I think we’ve done very well at the superhero genre, if you will, this street level superhero aspect of the Marvel Universe. I think with Thor you’ll see us cracking into the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe in a very good way that’s never been done before in our movies and I’d love to get into that supernatural element. I think that Dr. Strange could be a good way of being the lynchpin to that universe with Werewolf By Night, with Blade again someday – that side of the Marvel Universe.

Recently it’s been announced that more of the Thor story will take place on Earth. Is it a contemporary earth or Viking times?

Feige: It’ll be contemporary.

How are you going to deal with the fish out of water aspect of it? Are you concerned at all about Thor dealing with the wacky modern day aspects of his life, being on a cell phone or something like that?

I am concerned about that and that’s why we’re not going to do that. We always think about, not in terms of “Thor,” but if you talk about fish out of water; if a character is goofy at any time he’ll be goofy. If you bring in an idiot from the past he’s going to come into the future and go [holding a recorder up to his face] “What is this? Hello?” That stuff is not funny and it’s overdone. If Indiana Jones came to the future he’s going to be cool. He’s not going to be an idiot bumbling with things. There might be some fun humor out of him just getting something wrong for a minute, but he’s going to play it cool and just not come off like an idiot. I think that Thor…if you look at [Jack] Kirby’s Asgard, if you look at Walt Simonson’s Asgard; they are technologically superior to us by far. They’re not going to come and be flummoxed by much on Earth. There might be cultural differences that could be amusing or endearing, but he’s not going to be talking to a lamppost for five minutes.

Is Donald Blake going to be in Thor and is he still going to be handicapped?

Feige: No.

Will Thor still be recognizable as a what we understand to be a superhero movie or is it going to be closer to fantasy?

I think it’s going to be very much a Marvel superhero movie, but I think to the movie audience it’s going to expand that definition more and more. Again, we’ve got a forty four year old guy who’s going to be a superhero in a movie and he puts on an armored suit. That didn’t necessarily mean superhero to people. In that same way, I think, someone who’s got superpowers coming to Earth and dealing with other character from his realm will come off very much as a big ass superhero movie. But it’s going to expand that definition, I hope, in a way.

QCan you talk about the casting of Chris Hemsworth and what it was ultimately about this guy after looking at all these other actors?

Feige: You couldn’t take your eyes off of him. When he did his auditioned he worked for it. He put himself on tape. He put himself on tape again and then did it again and then came in and sat with Branagh and then worked again with Branagh and then ultimately did a very late in the process screen test and there was no question. It was very much like going back to 1999 when Dougray Scott got injured on Mission Impossible 2 and we had to go back to the videotapes and suddenly we saw Hugh Jackman who came in and did a screen test and it was like, “There’s no question that this is our guy.” In this case it was actually even cleaner with Chris because with Hugh he was like two feet taller than the character was supposed to be which was nerve racking, but Chris is six four and looks exactly Thor.

Are you going to get a big name for “Captain” or are you looking to get another unknown?

Feige: We’ll see. I do think that’s something that we’ll take into account, international appeal. There are only a handful of stars that mean anything here much less overseas. But I do think that will be a factor in it. As long as we have the freedom to do so at Marvel….to just cast the best actor for the part whether it’s an actor who’s been a great actor, but hasn’t starred in marquee action movies before like Downey or somebody that came out of Australia that they’ve never heard of.

There’s been some talk of going with a Will Smith and using the “Truth” storyline of Captain America.

Feige: I love the “Truth” storyline. I think that’s very cool. I wouldn’t do that as a first Captain America movie though. I think Will Smith is probably one of those handful of international stars. But I think that [arc] came about four or five hundred issues in to the “Cap” run. I don’t see launching with that comic.

If one of the movies doesn’t do well in this run, how will that effect The Avengers? It’s the riskiest one of the bunch because you’re relying on people wanting to come and see Thor again and Cap again.

Feige: I think Avengers is going to have it’s own vibe. I think Avengers will feel very much like…it’ll have a different tone than the other Marvel movies. I’m not talking budget level here, but it’ll have a much more massive global feel to it. Our movies aren’t about saving the world. Iron Man doesn’t save the world. Hulk doesn’t save the world. Captain America, a little bit. But it’s not about these comic bookey “I will save the world” things. The Avengers is about saving the world because there’s no other reason for characters that powerful to band together. So I think the scope and the scale will feel like a much bigger thing. So whatever you had seen – whether Starscream was your favorite character or Megatron is your favorite character or Soundwave is your favorite character – you’re going to see the experience of that epic thing together. I think it’ll be the same thing. Clearly I hope it’ll all work. I hope that people will, like they’ve done with the comics for years and years, argue about who their favorite is and who would win in a fight and all of that fun stuff.

For Avengers,will the threat to them come from outside the Earth?

Feige: It’ll be big. It’ll be something that no single hero can handle.

Discuss in the forum or leave a comment below.


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