Director Marc Webb revealed on his Twitter account that the full trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would debut with Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Webb tweeted out the following message:
For those of you not learned in the languages of Middle Earth, the message translates to,
WATCH FOR THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 TRAILER IN FRONT OF THE HOBBIT IN 3D
So there you have it folks! The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits the big screen on December 13th, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set to hit theaters on May 2nd, 2014.
The actor rumored for the role since July, The Wrap is reporting that Kick-Ass and Savages star Aaron Taylor-Johnson is officially set to play Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff in Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Taylor-Johnson’s portrayal of the speedy mutant will be the second take on the character to hit the big screen. Evan Peters is set to play the same role in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
“We both have them,” Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige told SuperHeroHype of the shared studio rights to the character last summer. “There’s a specific arrangement with those two characters that would allow us to use them with ‘Avengers,’ but not discuss or reference their mutant or Magneto-related lineage. They can use them as mutants and as Magneto’s relatives, but cannot have anything to do with ‘The Avengers.'”
Quicksilver’s sister, Wanda Maximoff (aka The Scarlet Witch), is also going to be featured in the superhero ensemble sequel with Elizabeth Olsen still said to be the frontrunner for the part. Check back for confirmation as soon as it becomes available.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled for release on May 1, 2015.
In case you’ve been wondering where Prometheus 2 and Blade Runner 2 currently stand, director Ridley Scott talked to Empire recently and offered a brief update on each.
Scott confirmed that Prometheus 2 is written, saying,
“Prometheus 2 is written… Prometheus was a great experience for me. Chasing number two, we can start evolving the grand idea.”
Jack Paglen was the last screenwriter brought in to work on the script for the film, so it sounds like the film is progressing nicely. As for Blade Runner 2, he says that it’s still in the works.
“Yeah, we’re working on [Blade Runner 2] right now – that will happen sooner or later.”
The director won’t get to making these project for awhile though, as he has projects already lined up through 2015, so unless he gets someone else to direct them, he might not get to then until 2016 and 2017. His next two projects are Exodus and The Forever War.
The next highly anticipated Marvel Studios film this year – Thor: The Dark World is soon hitting the theatres. Following the events of The Avengers, Thor returns to the big screen and sets upon a journey to confront a new enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand.
To celebrate the launch of this epic sequel of Thor, Hot Toys is proud to present the new 1/6th scale Thor (Light Asgardian Armor Version) Collectible Figure which will be available for selected markets only. This movie-accurate collectible is specially crafted based on the image of Chris Hemsworth as Thor in the movie, featuring the newly developed head sculpt and muscular body, highly detailed costume, weapon, and specially designed diorama base.
Kieron Gillen gets deeper into the origin of Wolverine, including the role of Mr. Sinister and how Adam Kubert makes it work!
This December, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Adam Kubert revisit Logan’s early days at the turn of the 20th Century with WOLVERINE: ORIGIN II. The sinister geneticist Nathaniel Essex takes note of the wild man the villagers call “the Wolverine,” eager to study his first “x-man.” Logan also meets his lifelong nemesis.
We spoke to Gillen about returning to Wolverine’s early years, the cruelty of Victorian science, and finding familial love in the wilderness.
Marvel.com: It’s hard to believe but ORIGIN was first published over a decade ago in 2001. What are some of the key concepts and themes that you latched onto as a reader? Why revisit this period in Wolverine’s life?
|Origin II #1 cover by Adam Kubert|
Kieron Gillen: As you said, it’s been over a decade, and this is one of the books that was right at the start of the Joe Quesada era of Marvel. It was one of those definitive projects and Marvel has always said they didn’t want to rush to do an ORIGIN II. “We’ll do it when we have a story to tell.” So it’s quite complimentary when they decide to do it now. I like the period piece of it. That’s what is most fun about it. It’s very clean, you know; there’s the kind of sense that it’s for people who could even just read it as a graphic novel. Obviously, it answers all these kind of questions about the core of Logan and his origins and those big shocks for the fans. But it’s still got the kind of period novel vibe to it. It’s got a really good sense of place and that’s kind of what I lean into, me and Adam [Kubert]. It’s like a period novel in the Marvel Universe with a minimum of moving parts; the idea that I don’t make it too fantastical. I make it just the correct level of fantastical, I’d hope. In addition, several questions remain from that first series.
When we leave Wolverine in ORIGIN, he’s running off to live with wolves. He’s not really much like Logan. This is where he came from but he has still clearly got some change in store between the guy we met then and the guy we now know. The next time we see Logan in the timeline is with Silver Fox, isn’t it? So what happens to basically turn him from that boy into the man we meet with Silver Fox? That’s kind of what this story’s about, in a way.
Marvel.com: So we pick up not too long after the conclusion of ORIGIN?
Kieron Gillen: Yeah, he’s been living with wolves for a few years. So it’s between 1905 and 1908, that kind of period; circa the futurists, circa quite a few interesting things. I think I said in the year the Schlieffen Plan was first finalized, which was the German’s plan to win World War I very quickly. It’s all kind of gone with the World War I approach, which is one of the themes. He’s been living with a family of wolves ever since, so he’s essentially rebuilt a family. And he’s found a safe way to be. The story is very Jack London; it’s sort of like “White Fang.” It’s Logan’s return to “civilization”—whatever that means—and the question of what civilizations means is one of the things hanging all over the story.
Marvel.com: Logan isn’t really Wolverine yet. Do you think of him as a separate character, or perhaps as a broken or alternate version of the Wolverine we know?
Kieron Gillen: It’s just people. People develop mental traits and ways to approach the world. It’s like, at the end of the story, the kind of fundamental lessons he has learned are very much shaping him into someone who’s very familiar. It’s all about healing. That’s sort of the subtext. It’s a book about the concept of healing and what wounds you can heal from and what wounds you can’t.
Marvel.com: Part of what made ORIGIN so compelling as a parable, was finding those analogous relationships: Rose and Smitty as stand-ins for Jean Grey and Scott Summers, Dog as a proto-Sabretooth. Do we meet anyone here with a dynamic that’s reminiscent of any of his present relationships?
|Origin II #1 preview art by Adam Kubert|
Kieron Gillen: There’s a little bit of that. I will say there’s a little bit of that. I would say the earlier drafts had a little bit more of that in some ways. Kind of almost a Magneto/Professor X sort of vibe in an earlier draft but I ended up narrowing it down as the elegance doesn’t really matter in this story. It’s a lot about those. There’s sort of a surrogate family; yeah, a little. Maybe there’s a proto-X-Men. I’m not saying, “Oh, it’s the X-Men of 1905,” or whatever. But there’s something resonant in that. The X-Men have always been about family.
Marvel.com: So that sense of community predates Charles Xavier and his monogram? It’s bigger than that?
Kieron Gillen: This is really kind of sub textual. You know why x-rays are called x-rays? Basically, when the x-ray was discovered, which was only a few years before this, they didn’t know whether they were known rays. Hence, the x-ray.
Marvel.com: Or Planet X?
Kieron Gillen: Exactly. If you discover an unknown form of man, let’s say a man was discovered in the woods [that] was an unknown form of life before anyone knew anything about mutants; they perhaps call them an X-Man. You know? One of my sort of working titles was, “Origin of the Species.” This is about the first brush with mutant life in the Marvel Universe, or at least the first public brush with mutant life in the Marvel Universe. I said I really want to keep it pared down, so if you really don’t know the Marvel Universe, you can read it as a story of a man with claws who lives in the woods and this is what happens when he’s brought to civilization. It’s almost “King Kong,” in that sort of way. I’m convinced if you actually do know the Marvel Universe, everything does fit in, and when we get to the end we get to the core of the animosity between him and his greatest enemy. Basically, when I was thinking about the story, ORIGIN has to explain stuff we don’t know. It can’t just be a five issue Wolverine [series]. It has to be something bigger than that. This is a big sort of statement.
Marvel.com: So during his youth, James’ healing factor manifests itself sort of adversely at first, as a block on painful memories, which is why he doesn’t recall all of these events as an adult. Can you speak on the challenge of writing about amnesia and memory?
Kieron Gillen: I write stuff as realistically as I can and if I can’t do it realistically, I do it credibly. That’s generally my watch-word. And there’s also the separate kind of issue where I want to treat the story clean. This is a big Marvel event, I want people to be able to pick up the book and be able to just read it without having picked up ORIGIN. As such, there [are] enormously important issues which I have to work out a way how to reintroduce in our story as part of his messed up history. In some ways, it’s quite helpful, as that’s sort of a core part of Logan as a character. As in, the awkward past and how that hangs over him or it doesn’t. That’s a core part of the archetypal Logan story. And of course, an origin story for Logan has to be in some ways archetypal. It also has to be surprising. The credibility matters. Writing the first issue, Logan living with wolves, is almost silent. It’s all based around our better understanding of wolf packs. As opposed to when Jack London wrote it, “White Fang,” I think is a bit more credible than “Call of the Wild,” but even so, it’s obviously quite fantastical. Understanding how a wolf pack works now is very different to how a wolf pack worked then. Essentially, a wolf pack is a family unit. A lot of the ideas of how a wolf pack works, the alpha male stuff, is all based around studying wolves that were in a zoo. And that’s like trying to draw a general [grasp] of human existence from studying a prison. This is an extreme condition and people act in really [expletive] ways. If you study how humanity acts in its natural habitat, which is kind of a degree of freedom, that changes things entirely. There’s stuff bubbling around underneath it. The idea of Logan finding a family with wolves, I kind of like that. There’s something quite fun there.
|Origin II #1 preview art by Adam Kubert|
Marvel.com: Is he truly feral or does he simply prefer that sense of purer, bestial community to humanity?
Kieron Gillen: The question of how feral he is is important to the story. The characters you meet, that’s a thing they discuss, how Logan doesn’t speak much, especially early on. The first issue is silent. There’s no spoken dialogue, except maybe howls. [Laughs]. Where ORIGIN left off, Logan has rejected everything. He’s gone off because he prefers it. Despite the enormous distress, he rejected it, in some way because he prefers it. And that’s one of the things we explore.
Marvel.com: You said the first issue is largely silent?
Kieron Gillen: No dialogue. It’s comics; I can always change my mind. There [are] captions. It’s got a narrator, but it’s a very clip narrator and it shuts up when we don’t need it. When you’re working with a guy like Adam Kubert, you don’t need to over-worry about storytelling. This is kind of a real showcase to what he can do with the page. I’ve joked quite regularly that I could write complete crap and people would love this because Adam has made it look so astounding. It’s just incredibly romantic and raw and exciting and beautiful comic storytelling. It’s a good way of making a book, it feels very different. The five issues feel like a real single unit. I don’t often like using the world “filmic” as a comparison but Adam makes it feel filmic as well. It’s a story that lets the atmosphere breathe.
Marvel.com: Of course, Logan won’t spend the entire time dancing with wolves. Someone takes an interest in this filthy man carrying on in the wilderness. Let’s talk about your friend Nathaniel Essex.
Kieron Gillen: Mr. Sinister is referred to as Nathaniel Essex all the way through the book. He’s very clearly in disguise. So people who know the Marvel Universe know it’s Mr. Sinister and know he’s in disguise; but in the book itself, or at least as far as I’m telling you, there’s no obvious sense that he’s anything more than a frankly, ludicrously dark and talented scientist. He’s a big archetype for that, everything that was wrong about science at the period. When I was writing Mr. Sinister before, one of the things that really appealed to me is he’s a guy who knew Darwin. He’s a guy, if you want to talk about the science, that’s always kind of interesting. The idea of him discovering or his first brush with a contemporary mutant species, is the way I would phrase.
Marvel.com: Is he a man ahead of his time or is he a scientist very much of his time?
Kieron Gillen: He’s pretty much of his time, and pretty much the worst of his time. I’m interested in the stories like the dinosaur hunters and the “Bone Wars” between Marsh and Cope, each blowing up fossils so the other couldn’t get at them. That kind of influences it very much. We have two scientists, one who is a bit more positive, and the other one who is Mr. Sinister. That idea of dueling scientists is definitely in there. He’s very much of his time. And if you know the continuity, Mr. Sinister has kind of expected a species like this to arrive. And when [he] discovers Logan and sees him, it’s like, “My God, we’re finally here. We’re finally going to get a species to look at. I finally discovered something.”
|Origin II #2 cover by Adam Kubert|
Marvel.com: Even at this stage, would Sinister prove an apt name, or does that come later?
Kieron Gillen: Trust me, people might call him Mr. Sinister because he’s a scary [expletive]. People have seen me write Mr. Sinister before and this is over a hundred years later and he’s transformed himself in both a literal, very “Frankenstein” way. He’s become something else of his own creation and right here he’s cold. If anyone knows Mr. Sinister’s origin, it’s kind of one of the reasons why it’s right at the core of it, he emotionally purged himself. That story is mostly set in Canada in the icy wasteland and he’s by far the coldest thing in it. So “sinister” is a good way of describing him but it’s not really a super hero name at this point. Or it’s not a public super hero name at this point. It’s the idea of Nathaniel Essex in the mold of the scientist creature. Obviously, this is one that I’ve really had to work on and I’ve gone through different drafts and different approaches. I really wanted to speak to the period it’s in. This is the period where the futurists happen. That’s the bit with the Schlieffen Plan. I think it was an earlier draft where I had bit part by Sigmund Freud in it. [Laughs]. It’s completely digging into the mood and Sinister embodies a lot of that.
Marvel.com: Wolverine has been experimented on several times in his long, miserable life. Do you think it’s merely a case of wrong place/wrong time, or is there something about his temperament?
Kieron Gillen: He’s a good one. He’s a difficult one to break which I think makes him appealing to many people. That was one of the reasons I wanted to put Sinister and Logan together. They happen at the same time, they’re around at the same time, it’s possible that they would meet. And Nathaniel would have a very serious interest in Logan at the time.
Marvel.com: What’s most important to Wolverine in this story? What does he care about?
Kieron Gillen: The question about whether or not Logan feels capable of caring about anything ever again or whether caring is even worth bothering with. That’s right in the heart of the story.
ORIGIN II slashes its way on sale December 24
This may not come as a surprise to you, but AMC has officially renewed The Walking Dead for a fifth season, and I couldn’t be happier! This current season has been really intense, and it’s safe to say that it’s not going to end very well. Now that I think about it, it never ends well does it? Damn, this is a depressing series, but it’s so good!
AMC President Charlie Collier had this to say in a statement,
“We are very happy to make what has to be one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever: ‘The Walking Dead’ is renewed for a fifth season. This is a show that has erased traditional distinctions between cable and broadcast. Its expanding base of passionate fans has grown every season, most recently – and most notably – with the season four premiere earlier this month, which broke viewership records for the series and became the biggest non-sports telecast in cable history. On behalf of the incredible team on both sides of the camera, thank you to the fans and here’s to more ‘Dead.’”
Scott Gimple will stay on as the series showrunner for Season 5 along with executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Ann Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, and Tom Luse.
AMC will keep this series going as long as they can, and I think it has the potential to be one of the longest running live-action dramas ever. All I know is that I’m not getting tired of the series, and I want to see more. I can’t wait to see how Season 4 ends!
Here’s the first trailer for Bryan Singer‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past! This is the exact trailer that fans got to see at Comic-Con earlier in the year. It’s such a beautifully cut trailer that does a great job pulling on the emotional cords. I love this trailer, and this looks like it could be the best X-Men movie yet!
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.
X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 23, 2014, and it stars Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy,Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, and Evan Peters.
Marvel has yet to make a superhero movie that centers around a secret identity. We have yet to see a film that has a Superman/Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne/Batman dynamic from Marvel Studios. While talking to Bleeding Cool Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege addressed this, saying,
KF: The one we haven’t done in the MCU is the secret identity thing. I thought that had been overplayed for a long time which is why we had Tony Stark out himself at the end of his first movie. We were sort of announcing to the audience that we’re not going to play that game.
BC: There must be a new spin on that, though?
KF: I think there is and I think we will get to it at some point. We have an idea. As a matter of fact, I was just talking about it the other day with one of our filmmakers. The fun thing about the job, though, is that idea I was talking about with a filmmaker might not happen for four or five years because it may or may not be appropriate for a first movie.
BC: How is that fun? That sounds like torture.
KF: It’s fun because we’ve been doing it now for seven years and the things we talked about seven years ago we’re doing now and so I have confidence at least we’ll get to them.
One of the characters they could play this aspect with is Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, which is a character we know Marvel has been discussing. That’s just speculation, but it would make sense to see. What other Marvel characters do you think would work with the secret identity story angle? It will be cool to see what kind of spin they do on it!