MMA Weekly Web-Up, 08-31-14

Marvel Studios rode high on a wave of rumors this past week as their latest blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, retook the top spot at the box office and became the highest-grossing film of the 2014 summer movie season. With the $278.8 million domestic haul, Guardians recently passed the $500 million mark globally and is well-positioned to be the top earner for the year. In other cosmic-/global-related news, former and future Guardians writer, Dan Abnett, will be penning a new, original Marvel prose novel, this time featuring the Avengers scattered across the the planet titled “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Also in the Web-Up: comedian Donald Glover sees his dream of portraying Spider-Man come to fruition, Marvel announces launch parties for their upcoming AXIS event, and an Academy Award nominee moves into final negotiations for the role of Dr. Strange.

MovieNewsBannerDr Strange comic coverDr. Strange. The rumors surrounding the casting of Dr. Strange continue to swirl like the Vapors of Valtorr conjured by the Sorcerer Supreme himself. One potential candidate who has been tied to the project is Emmy nominee, Jon Hamm. The “Mad Men” star has denied having any sort of discussions with Marvel Studios, while at the same time expressing an interest in the doctor, calling him a “very cool character.”

Another name added to the growing list is Jack Huston, who starred as the half-faced, hitman Richard Harrow in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Huston, whose sharpshooting character was a fan-favorite in the drama series, has been reported to be in director Scott Derrickson’s sights for the lead role. Huston was also in contention to play Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy before the part went to Chris Pratt.

One name seems to be gaining more traction than others, however, as Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly moving into final negotiations. The Academy Award nominee has been circling the project since before this summer’s San Diego Comic Con, when negotiations began taking place. The report also claims that Marvel may be providing official confirmation soon.

Avengers: Age of Ultron: It did not take long for the Captain Marvel and Blank Panther rumors to start circulating after last week’s statement from Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege, which highlighted the two characters’ popularity among fans. Theories are flying that Carol Danvers will take flight in the upcoming Age of Ultron, as she will be one of the new heroes added to the Avengers’ roster by the time the credits role. Though the same report claimed that the studio may decide to not include the character in a fully-loaded film and will instead opt to cut the scene.

Fantastic Four. Anyone anticipating their first look at Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot were in luck. Earlier in the week, a Twitter account claiming to be associated with the film’s director released a photo of the Thing’s new look. Though the Twitter page was later clobbered as a false account with no relation to Trank, the Fox film did experience another potential photo leak. Dr. Doom, the movie’s presumed villain, appears on a set consisting of large green screens. In another picture, the actor hovers – with the help of wires – in front of another character which appears to be a pre-CGI Human Torch. Though these pictures are far from the final look, and in no way approved by the production company, they have yet to quell most of the fan’s ire associated with the reboot.

Blade. In a report which seemed to come out of nowhere, Wesley Snipes has agreed to reprise the role of Blade, a character the 52-year old actor brought to the big screen three other times between 1998 and 2004. This should be taken with a huge grain of salt since the film rights to Blade reverted back to Marvel in 2011, and casting an aging actor to reprise a role from a rival movie studio’s trilogy wouldn’t seem to mesh with Marvel Studios’ interests.


AXIS. Marvel has revved up the promotion for their upcoming event, Avengers & X-Men: Axis, announcing a launch party for the October 8 release. Retailers can participate in the event by receiving an Avengers & X-Men: Axis Party Kit from Marvel which includes exclusive promotional items such as postcards, a Skottie Young lithograph and a Deadpool party variant cover.

Marvel followed up the launch party announcement by releasing two teaser posters. One indicating the Red Skull is furthering his vendetta against Havok, the leader of the Uncanny Avengers; and the other featuring a smugger-than-usual Tony Stark in his Superior Iron Man suit.

Avengers. The Avengers and New Avengers are running out of time, in their story and on the shelves (at least in their current formation). Marvel has promised that the culmination of “Time Runs Out,” an Avengers event which sees the two teams jumping forward in time, will result in a relaunched series for both titles in May 2015. Yes, just in time for the movie. But could it mean something bigger for the Marvel Universe? Retailers are also offered the chance to exchange unsold copies of Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1 for an Avengers variant cover.

Star Wars. Marvel is looking to keep the Star Wars stories published by Dark Horse comics alive by releasing the “Star Wars Legends Epic Collection.” The first volume is a selection of comics from the past decade which tell stories of the Empire after “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” Marvel is set to take over the comic duties for the Star Wars franchise in early 2015 after Dark Horse held the rights for 23-year span.

Spider-Verse. Marvel has previewed another Spider-Man spinning out of the Spider-Verse event. Dr. Aaron Aikman is described as a high-tech hero who dons a sci-fi Spidey-suit.

GamesNewsBanner copyMarvel Heroes. Marvel is throwing their Midtown Madness event with buffs to bosses and 59% bonus to XP, SIF and RIF. They are also offering the popular BOGO sale (buy one, get one) until the end of Labor Day on Monday, September 1.

ShowsNewsBanner copyMiles Morales Utlimate Spiderman showUltimate Spider-Man. Before Andrew Garfield donned the Spidey suit for the recent movie reboots, actor/comedian/rapper Donald Glover had a wave of support to cast him in the role. Now the “Community” actor has his chance, sort of. Glover will voice Miles Morales in an upcoming arc of Ultimate Spider-Man. In the show’s new season, Peter Parker will traverse alternate dimensions and cross paths with other Spideys, similar to the Spider-Verse event in the comics.

Netflix. Netflix chief Ted Sarandos has answered some questions on the upcoming slate of Marvel shows heading to his service. Sarandos remarked on the structure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, potential for crossovers between the characters’ individual shows, and hinted that the crime dramas will not be afraid to go darker than the films.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Marvel has released a first look at Lucy Lawless’ character in the second season. Lawless will play Agent Isabelle Hartley, “a seasoned S.H.I.E.L.D. veteran helping to rebuild the organization.”

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