Here’s three pieces of promotional artwork for Marvel Sudios/Disney’s THE AVENGERS.
The artworks shows Captain America in a cowl with his ears showing, production photos have shown Cap (Chris Evans) in a masked helmet not unlike his recent WWII outfit, and maskless, fighting beside Thor (Chis Hemsworth).
In this week’s installment of the Cinefantastique Round Table Podcast, Dan Persons and Steve Biodrowski render their opinions on the week’s top news stories and upcoming theatrical releases: Will Arnold Schwarzenegger be back as the Terminator? Is Joss Whedon’s upcoming THE AVENGERS worth anticipating? Do we really need to know Conan the Barbarian’s origin story? And will THOR thunder into theatres like a mythical god?
Production has commenced today in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie “Marvel’s The Avengers,” directed by Joss Whedon (“Serenity”) from a screenplay by Whedon. The film will continue principal photography in Cleveland, Ohio and New York City.
Robert Downey, Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) as Thor, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (“Thor,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are Alright”) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (“Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (“Iron Man,” “Thor”) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury.
Set for release in the US on May 4, 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the first feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.
Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time.
The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature “Thor.”
“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.
The creative production team also includes Oscar nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).
Superherohype posted an interesting interview with Zack Penn on his work for Marvel’s THE AVENGERS and SyFy’s ALPHAS.
“I grew up reading X-Men. When I first got to Hollywood when I sold my first script, the first thing I said was, “Can I write the ‘X-Men’ movie?” At the time Marvel was… I don’t know if I remember if they were owned by foreign nationals or what was going on, but I’ve always been into comic books, and I’ve always really been into science fiction. But I grew up on Cameron and Spielberg and a very naturalistic sense of science fiction, and even the comic books I liked were the ones that were the most real. You know, the ones that bled over into reality the most, so that’s kind of where my heart lies.
I always point out to people AVENGERS is the first superhero movie I’ve ever written, because XMEN, THE INCREDILBE HULK, even ELEKTRA— none of those are really superhero characters. They’re all either science fiction premise, or something like the Hulk is not a superhero at all, and Elektra is an assassin. So THE AVENGERS is the first legitimate superhero movie I ever wrote, ironically.”
On his “real-world” superhero series for SyFy, Penn say he’s working from a “different paradigm”.
“… The show is probably closer to THE MENTALIST or THE X-FILES in its pitch. Seriously, that’s where we started from. And then I kind of got in some of the stuff I always wanted to do in superhero genre. I managed to find the real world equivalent of it.
So as opposed to HEROES, which is completely serialized—I haven’t watched the whole series, but it is a lot like X-MEN. We purposely started from the totally other direction in terms of what the show is actually like. In the same way that LAW & ORDER is nothing like HEAT. They’re two opposite ends of the genre. ”
I think for me I was less worried about that than I was about other procedural type shows that had some overlap with us. But luckily they all got cancelled.”
According to Latino Review, the villains THE AVENGERS will be facing in the Joss Whedon scripted/directed Marvel team-up film will be THOR’s big bad Loki and the Skrulls.
There’s some plausibity to this claim; back in 2009 Marvel Entertainment honcho Kevin Feige told the site:
“In my opinion, The Skrulls are really the only viable threat that would require so many super heroes to fight as a team. Sure, you could have The Hulk as a villain in the beginning, but then they have to come together for an even bigger threat. Something hinted about in IM2, Thor and Cap by Nick Fury’s presence.
Plus Fox doesn’t have the rights to The Skrulls, only the Super Skrull. But this is just my inner geek thinking out loud and hoping.”
Un-named sources claim that Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s evil “brother” is the main villain, and he uses the Cosmic Cube, which will be seen in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and THOR to summon the alien Skrulls to Earth.
Of course, we’re all leery of “unidentifed insiders”, so treat this as rumor. However, other pevious news stories have given this particular item some weight.
Interviewing Mark Ruffalo at the Oscars, the UK’s Daily Telegram learned a bit about the motion capture process that the actor and writer/director Joss Whedon will use in the upcoming Marvel team-up movie, THE AVENGERS.
Although he’s relatively slight in build, Ruffalo will be able to actually enact the role of his massive alter ego. Apparently the digital system being allows the actor to see the results in real time as he’s performing.
“There’s this algorithm that digitally puts 2,000lbs of muscle onto my body. It’s weird. I wear this skinny little suit with reflective balls all over it.
When we shot the stuff, I was actually standing in a warehouse with a couple of cardboard boxes and some foam mats. But when I looked at the monitor there I was as the Hulk in this landscape with cars and boulders and hills.”
I’m assuming the “stuff” Mark Ruffalo was talking about was test footage or perhaps some advance FX work.
THE AVENGERS begins filming in New Mexico in May, with work also to be done in New York and some other large city. The production recently pulled out of Detroit, unable to come to terms with the city regarding taax breaks and other incentives.
E! Online brought some details about the planned BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER feature film from Warner Brothers and Atlas Entertainment. This project is going ahead without Joss Whedon or Sarah Michelle Gellar.
DARK KNIGHT producer Charles Roven is quoted as saying:
“There is an active fan base eagerly awaiting this character’s return to the big screen. Details of the film are being kept under wraps, but I can say while this is not your high-school Buffy, she’ll be just as witty, tough, and sexy as we all remember her to be.”
According to Warner Brothers, Roven, Steve Alexander (GET SMART), Doug Davison and Roy Lee (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON) will be producing the new BUFFY feature film,and Whit Anderson, an actress (credited as Whitney Anderson) said to be a Buffy fan, will write the screenplay.
E! asked Joss Whedon for his reactions, and he replied in humorous fashion.
“… My thoughts on the announcement of Buffy the cinema film. This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths—just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my AVENGERS idea that I made up myself.
Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, “Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER.”
Apparently. I was misinformed. Then I thought, “I’ll make a mint! This is worth more than all my TOY STORY residuals combined!” Apparently, I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?
I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill.
I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie. Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.
Leave me to my pain!
Sincerely, Joss Whedon “
The re-boot film is apparently based on the original 1992 BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, starring Kristy Swanson as a rather less intelligent-seeming cheerleader-turned-Slayer. Joss Whedon also wrote that film, but doesn’t hold the rights.
According to Digital Spy, Mark Ruffalo is thinking that he’d like to make Bruce Banner a little more like Bill Bixby’s likeable underdog from his television version of THE INCREDIBLE HULK.
Describing what he and AVENGERS director Joss Whedon and he are hoping to achieve, he said the following.
“We want him to be an kind of an everyman, not so dour. A little more charming or accessible. We’re still sort of working it out with the script… I’m not exactly sure what it’ll end up being, but we’ve talked quite a bit about the Bill Bixby version of the Hulk.”
Hear the rest of his comments in the clip, including his expectation that working with Robert Downey Jr. will inject some humor into the situation.
According to LongIslandBusinessNews, Marvel Studios will be bringing THE AVENGERS production to Long Island, New York.
The former Grumman Aircraft plant in Bethpage, now Grumman Studios, expects the comic book adaptation to begin set construction next month.
Grumman Studios President Parviz Farahzad said: “THE AVENGERS is a huge movie. They’re taking all seven stages.”
The studio features the largest un-columned soundstage in NY, the 310’ x 120’ Stage 3.
Interestingly, the site is where the Grumman Avenger planes were built in WWII, and the plant is also where the Lunar Modules for the Apollo program were put together.
Farahzad expects the production to be at the facility for several months. The only other major feature film made at the new facility was Columbia’s SALT, starring Angelina Jolie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter and other sources, Warner Brothers Television is developing a new, modern-day version of WONDER WOMAN for television.
I was initally reluctant to pass on this story, as some of it didn’t seem all that likely, to me. Apparently, Warner Bros. has picked ALLY MCBEAL creator David E. Kelley to write and possibly produce a potential series.
A TV version does make some sense, as the studio has had a Wonder Woman film stuck in development hell for nearly a decade. In 2005, Joss Whedon signed on to write and direct a film adaptation. After two years, Whedon left the project, Warner Bothers and producer Joel Silver (THE MATRIX) reportedly unhappy with his approach.
Many viewers will remember the light-hearted Linda Carter WONDER WOMAN TV series of the 1970’s with some affection, and a series is less of a risk than a major theatrical film. However, recent ‘super-woman’ series, such as NBC’s BIONIC WOMAN re-boot and FOX’s DOLL HOUSE (from Whedon) did not fare well in the ratings.
It’s unclear if the potential series would follow the traditional Wonder Woman storyline, or DC Comic’s current re-vamp of the character. It’s unknown if the series might be aimed at one of the big networks or perhaps as a replacement for SMALLVILLE on The CW, now in its final season.
As far as I can tell, neither Warner Brothers Television nor David Kelley have made any comments that would confirm or deny this report.