Ka-Pow 101: Looking at Marvel’s Movie Future
As the country has decided to move past the Avengers and onto the rest of the summer movies, I decided to continue informing you about the future of the Avengers movies. Marvel Studios is already working on continuing and expanding the Marvel movie universe. I don’t know all the upcoming details, but I’m going to take this opportunity to speculate based on the information that I do have. We’ll look at movies that have been slated for release, are in development, and are rumored to be made. There will be potential spoilers in this article, but many of these will be based on comic stories. Let’s continue, shall we?
Starting with the production slate as it exists.
Iron Man 3
Now being directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), the third film in this series is scheduled for release in 2013. Filming has recently started on this upcoming blockbuster. Since this film is in production, we’ve been receiving news about casting and potential source material. Iron Man 3 is being reported as based on the recent Extremis story which actually can be watched on Netflix in motion comic form. This storyline revolves around the release of a nanotech super-soldier serum (these things are everywhere!) and results in an upgrade to Iron Man’s armor. We’ve already seen some of the effects of this story appear in the movie. Adi Granov’s designs have heavily influenced the Iron Man movies. Warren Ellis’ new origin story also was utilized in the film with the Ten Rings organization taking the place of Ellis’ real-world Al Qaeda. Let’s get into the casting.
Guy Pearce has been cast as Aldrich Killian, the scientist responsible for the release of the Extremis serum.
Rebecca Hall will be playing Maya Hansen, the inventor of the Extremis serum.
We will also get Jack Taggert (Firepower) and Eric Savin (Coldblood) played by Ashley Hamilton and James Badge Dale, respectively. Interestingly, there is a photo over on wwtdd.com showing Dale in the Iron Patriot armor. For those who don’t know, the Iron Patriot was an alias used by Norman Osborn (aka Green Goblin) following his takeover of the world defenses which he renames HAMMER instead of SHIELD. Perhaps we’ll see a mix of characters similar to Vanko (Crimson Dynamo) and Whiplash from Iron Man 2.
And probably most importantly, Ben Kingsley has been cast as the Mandarin. The Mandarin has been teased through the Ten Rings organization since the first movie. Early word was that Ben Kingsley would not be the main villain, which is suitable building up the Mandarin as a major threat as he works through others.
The sequel is scheduled for 2013, but won’t begin filming for a few more months. The main cast has been confirmed to return including Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Aside from that, what do we have? Mads Mikkelsen, probably best known as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, has been tapped to play the bid bad. We also know that we’ll be seeing “the other side of Asgard” according to Kevin Feige (he’s kind of a big deal at Marvel Studios). Based on the information we know, I would guess either Malekith the Accursed, due to his link to the Casket, the McGuffin of the first movie, or Surtur, based on the scale of his villainy.
Captain America 2
Set for 2014, this is going to be a lot more vague. Kevin Feige has been quoted saying, “Captain America 2 will be the most closely associated with Avengers.” It’s also made clear that the sequel will continue with Rogers in the modern day and his involvement with SHIELD. I hope this is where we get to see Hawkeye after the Avengers movie, which bring up my next point. Hawkeye has a throwaway line in The Avengers when asked where he got all the scientists and mercernaries who help Loki. “SHIELD has enemies.” Could this show the progression of Hydra in modern time? In that case, Baron Von Strucker or Madame Hydra make sense as successors to the Red Skull as leaders of Hydra. To me, Baron Zemo (or his son) is the most iconic Cap villain after Red Skull, but his position as the cause of Bucky’s death has been ceded to Arnim Zola in the first movie. An interesting twist would feature Baron Zemo pulling off a mask to reveal a time-displaced Red Skull.
What about movies in development?
Incredible Hulk 2
Following the strong reception of Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner in the Avengers, Marvel has decided to put into development a follow-up to the 2008 film. Tim Roth is contracted for sequels, but the groundwork has been laid for Samuel Sterns, aka the Leader.
This one has been in the works for a while. Edgar Wright has been writing the screenplay for this one for a while. It apparently features Hank Pym in the 60s in adventure mode. We will then get Scott Lang, in the modern day, acquiring the suit and teaming up with Pym. These plot details were mentioned in an interview with Wright back in 2006, but Wright recently tweeted an ominous illustration featuring Ant-Man. I only mention this for one reason, Ultron, which I’ll talk about more later
Guardians of the Galaxy
While this movie is definitely further down the line, this will be the franchise that brings Thanos to Earth. I hope this series establishes a team dynamic and epic scale of the Abnett and Lanning series.
So what does all of this mean for the movie we’ll all be waiting for intently? Let’s talk about
I definitely don’t imagine Thanos being the big bad of the sequel. He should be built up. Fans should be made to wait. But who else can fill those big gold shoes in the mean time?
Masters of Evil - A villainous counterpart to the Avengers made up of various villains including Zemo, Enchantress, Wonder Man, Radioactive Man in the comics. But imagine the next series of after-credit scenes establishing a villanous team mirroring Fury gathering the Avengers.
Ultron - For me this relies on Pym’s involvement in the Avengers movies, but Ultron is a truly iconic Avengers villain. But why is Ant-Man required for this villain? Because he created him. Ultron is a power-crazed android with an artificial intelligence modeled on Pym’s brainwaves.
Kang – Probably the only Avengers villain capable of matching the scale of Thanos, Kang is the master of time. This would take quite a bit of back story but it would probably be a fun film.
Thanos - The one we are now waiting for. Like I said, I don’t see him being the villain for the second film, but he’s coming. How do they build to Thanos? Well introduce the Infinity Gems in interesting ways. For more details on Thanos check out our Ka-Pow 101 about his scene.