If you’ve been thinking “It’s been kind of quiet on the Marvel front lately,” then prepare to find your fast broken by some almost literally unbelievable rumors, as well as some sad news about the progress of the Captain Marvel movie. Meanwhile, Fox’s X-Men franchise got the gift of a potential casting decision, and the United Nations got into the movie business. No, really. As always, here are the highlights of the last week’s superhero movie news.
He’s already broken bad to much acclaim, but Bryan Cranston has far grander ambitions in mind. At New York Comic Con this past weekend, Cranston revealed he would love to play X-Men villain Mr. Sinister in a future movie for Fox. (For those unfamiliar with the character, this might help.) “It intrigues me to be able to play a character that hasn’t been on film before, so you can create it from the beginning,” he told an excited audience.
Why this is super: Considering the love that Cranston seems to generate by his very existence, it’s hard to imagine that this news wasn’t immediately followed by Fox executives wondering how quickly they can write Mr. Sinister into an X-Men movie. He does share a vintage with Apocalypse, who gets his moment in the cinematic sun with next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse, FWIW…
With New York Comic Con in full swing, the rumors started getting, well, odd. Bleeding Cool ran a story suggesting that Marvel was about to cancel its Inhumans movie as the result of internal politics coming from the recent shake-up at the studio, only for Hitfix to follow very quickly with a story saying, no, that’s definitely not the case, although Heroic Hollywood allowed that perhaps the movie’s release date could change between now and 2019. In response Bleeding Cool ran another report, this time saying Marvel’s fourth Netflix show, Iron Fist, is in danger from interference from the movie division, and might end up shriveling and dying on the vine in the process. Given that we’re at least a year away from the debut of Iron Fist (maybe longer, given the already announced second season of Daredevil), such hand-wringing might be a little premature, of course.
Why this is unusual: It’s almost certain that there’s going to be some level of fall-out after the reshuffle of Marvel’s movie side, but these rumors seem more like the fever dream of someone wanting to imply that everything’s moments away from imploding than any kind of reality right now.
Another one to file under “Who Knows How Real This Is?” perhaps, but JoBlo is reporting that the Hulk will return to the cinema screen in the third Thor movie, of all places, with Mark Ruffalo’s CGI alter-ego fighting alongside Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder against the end of everything Asgardian. He’ll be joining Loki and Sif in a movie that will also, apparently, take place on “a distant planet [that is] not Asgard and not Earth.” Will audiences be seeing a miniature version of Planet Hulk when Ragnarok hits theaters in 2017? Only time, and the Marvel Studios system, can tell.
Why this is super: If true, this could make Thor’s third solo outing a lot of fun—and pay cinematic homage to Marvel’s history of team-up comic books (Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-in-One, Supervillain Team-Up, and so on) in the process. Plus, just the possibility of a Loki/Hulk rematch is a particularly amusing idea.
With the announcement of Ant-Man & the Wasp, Marvel re-arranged its movie release schedule yet again, with the net effect of pushing Captain Marvel out from November 2018 to March 2019. Which might explain co-writer Meg LeFauve’s comments that she and Nicole Perlman haven’t started work on the movie yet. “We just got the phone call to come over to Marvel,” she told Collider. But, you know, there’s no rush; there’s literally three and a half years before the movie will come out, presuming that the movie will come out at all. Who knows if Marvel will still be publishing Captain Marvel comics by then?
Why this is villainy: It could be argued that Captain Marvel’s buzz has already peaked—Kelly Sue DeConnick, the writer who reinvented the character and took her to the height of her popularity, has already left the property, and Marvel as a whole. With another three-and-a-half years to wait until her movie is released, will the character seem passé by the time her cinematic spotlight appears?
It wasn’t all Marvel news this week, however. Also announced at New York Comic Con was movie (and television) development for THUNDER Agents, a superhero property from the 1960s that has since been revived by both DC Entertainment and IDW in comic books, and will now come to the screen with, of all things, backing from the United Nations. Like, the actual United Nations. (To be fair, THUNDER does stand for “The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves,” so it’s not entirely out of the blue.) The property will be financed by the Chinese company Huayi Brothers Media, with Batman Begins producer Michael Uslan on board to guide the franchise.
Why this is super: Quite whether or not movie audiences are prepared for a fifth superhero universe in cinema (after Marvel’s, Warner Bros.’s DC franchise, Fox’s based on its Marvel characters, and upstart Valiant Entertainment’s) is an open question, but for sheer novelty value alone—it’s a UN-approved project!—this one could be a lot of fun.