Marvel’s Busy Month
BY CODY SEYMOUR→ May has come to a close. For many, this means that school is over, summer is in full swing and two months of freedom and blockbuster movies is upon us. Over the last 6 years, who has been a better source for some great blockbuster summer fun than Marvel? Well, it looks like Kevin Feige and the rest of the crew at Marvel Studios are already gearing up for next summer. Sure, we still have Guardians of the Galaxy to look forward to this year, but next year will bring us two more Marvel films in The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the new Ant-Man. Avengers will most certainly be fantastic, but I find myself most intrigued by Ant-Man.
I’m intrigued by this film for a couple of reasons: partly because it’s a character we have yet to see on the big screen, but also in part due to Marvel’s choice of director, Edgar Wright. However, those who follow movie news likely already know that Wright recently left Ant-Man. As so many times before, we can chalk this one up to “differences in vision”. But we have to keep in mind a couple of things. First, Wright has been attached to an Ant-Man film since 2006, before there was a hugely successful Iron Man film and a Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, in those eight years, Wright and Joe Cornish (who penned the script with Wright) have crafted a film that is likely very Edgar Wright-ish and might not fit in well with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This may make Marvel seem like a micromanaging overlord, but when you have billions invested in a franchise it makes sense that you need a unity of vision. So Wright is out. Where does this leave Ant-Man? Well, it leaves a film without a director mere months shy of it’s expected production.
But Marvel aren’t amateurs; of course within days a few names for possible directorial candidates popped up. This is where things get more interesting. We have Adam McKay (Anchorman 1 & 2), Rawson Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) as just a few of the possible candidates. Granted, McKay has already removed himself from the running, but what is the common theme in all of those names? Well, they all have backgrounds in comedies. I feel like this really has given us our best glimpse of Marvel’s vision for Ant-Man. We still have Paul Rudd (who is well-known for his comedic roles) as a star and the same script by Wright and Cornish. It’s likely that we will see a more lighthearted film, or at least one that has strong comedic roots. I, for one, am still excited for the film, even without Edgar Wright.
But Marvel’s moving and shaking does not end there. In fact, this isn’t even the only director who has walked away from a Marvel project in the past month. Drew Goddard, best known as a director for Cabin in the Woods, recently stepped down as the showrunner for the Netflix Daredevil series. If you are thinking that Marvel must be the worst boss ever, you have to remember that Goddard has been tapped to write and most likely direct the Sinister Six film in Sony’s Spider-Man franchise. It’s pretty likely that he just decided to focus on the bigger project; who can blame the guy? As they have with Wright’s replacement, Marvel has wasted no time. Steven S. DeKnight has already been chosen as the new showrunner for Daredevil. Daredevil fans can still rest easy; DeKnight is a long time Whedon man having worked on Buffy and Angel, as well as some other great shows such as Smallville.
But wait, there’s more! To accompany this shakeup with the Netflix series, Marvel announced another move by casting Englishman Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/ Daredevil. Cox may not be well-known, but fans of the criminally underwatched Boardwalk Empire may be familiar with him. I have no problems with the casting of a lesser known actor, but I must admit I felt a pang of disappointment with Cox’s casting mostly because I was really hoping those rumors about Michael C. Hall taking the role might be true. We’ll see what Cox can do though, as Marvel has really nailed casting to this point.
Did you think that was the end of the article? Well, it wasn’t. Marvel did a lot this month. Most recently, they announced that Josh Brolin would be the Avatar of Death himself, Thanos. Marvel may have downplayed the announcement (partly because Brolin was most likely cast well before the news broke), but this is big news. You are looking at your “big bad” for quite a few years. He is set to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 3; I also suspect that we may see him in Avengers: The Age of Ultron as well. Brolin certainly looks the part. Well, as much as anyone can look the part of a hulking, purple space titan.
It will be interesting to see what route Marvel decides to take when portraying Thanos; can we expect a more practical, realistic look or will they stick with a relatively comics-accurate depiction like we saw in the post credits scene for The Avengers? Only time will tell. That wait until August 1 is going to be a long one…