After the success of The Avengers, Marvel Studios and parent company Disney couldn’t have found a better followup than the record-breaking Iron Man 3 – a movie that serves as the first chapter in the next phase of the expanding franchise. Up next on the two-films-per-year schedule is Thor: The Dark World this Fall, followed by the sequel to Captain America and a brand new IP in Guardians of the Galaxy next year, all before Marvel’s heroes reunite in the summer of 2015 for The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Far, Far Away
In the latest issue of Empire, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke a little on Guardians of the Galaxy and how it compares to Disney’s other upcoming space epic coming in 2015, Star Wars: Episode VII:
“We’re not making this to make Marvel’s Star Wars. We’re doing this to explore the other side of the existing Marvel Universe. The fact that Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is a human from our time, that he carries a personal cassette recorder with him, already it’s very different. It’s not a long, time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it’s now in a galaxy far, far away.”
On Thanos’ involvement with Guardians of the Galaxy after a brief teaser introduction during the credits of The Avengers:
“Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) is very much the main bad guy. And Thanos is lurking above it all. You will learn more about Thanos in Guardians, for sure. Certainly you’ll get more than the one turn-around-and-smirk. You’ll get much more than that.”
That’s just one more confirmation of what we already knew – Thanos will appear and play a crucial role in Guardians of the Galaxy and we expect he’ll continue his work behind the scenes of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and beyond, leading to the main event in Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy is just over two-thirds through principal photography according to star Chris Pratt who plays Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in the film:
As of today we are 66.3% done with #GOTG 55/83 = X/100 MATHEMATICS— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) September 3, 2013
A Complicated Loki
In an interview for MTV’s fall movie preview, Tom Hiddleston spoke on playing Loki once again after stepping into the God of Mischief’s boots as the primary antagonist of Thor and The Avengers.
“Loki has a very complicated relationship with Thor. He is an agent of chaos without equal in the world he inhabits. He knows his true nature. He knows he doesn’t belong in the family of Asgard, and he’s locked away in the beginning of the film in the deepest, darkest recesses of the dungeon as public enemy number one… Lo and behold, Asgard needs his help. That’s going to be a very complicated allegiance.”
These words echo what star Chris Hemsworth told us about the Thor-Loki relationship while we were on the set of Thor: The Dark World last fall. While we know little of Loki’s future outside of knowing he won’t be in The Avengers sequel, Hiddleston did offer one fun tease on a Hulk vs. Loki rematch:
“I do feel like there’s some unfinished business between Loki and the Hulk. I feel like he didn’t get a fair fight.”
Falcon, Another Flying Avenger?
As additional leading and supporting characters earn spotlight attention throughout Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the actors playing every single one of them cannot avoid being asked the big question of whether or not they’re going to earn a spot on the coveted roster of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes come time for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. We know Don Cheadle would love to suit up as War Machine, but as for Anthony Mackie’s Falcon who will be introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier next spring?
“I’m under contract for a bunch of movies but I don’t know if Avengers 2 is one of them. You’ve got a bunch of guys that get paid to go to work with their friends and have fun every day. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?”
Mackie also told Total Film (via The Global Dispatch) while promoting the home video release of Pain & Gain that when he put on the Falcon costume and wings he felt “invincible,” and despite looking like a “cartoon hero” he quickly bought into it. He’s lucky he’s wearing the realistic Ultimate Falcon costume and not the classic red and white tights.
After this fall’s release of Thor: The Dark World, Chris Hemsworth will be halfway through his six-picture contract with Marvel Studios. With his quick rise to stardom, is the Aussie actor getting tired of the role? In an interview with THR for the upcoming release of Rush, Hemsworth says he’s not and that he appreciates the gravity of the part he gets to play.
“No, as long as I get to squeeze in other things and do stuff in between that inspires me, which I’m managing to do. To be part of something that people love — whether it’s Thor on his own or Thor in The Avengers — is a chance you get once in your career, if at all. I’m not going to complain about it, certainly, but it’s a challenge each time you do it because you don’t want to fall into just Thor, just being a two-dimensional character.”
For more, read our on-set Thor 2 interview with Chris Hemsworth.
A Female Superhero Lead
Speaking with CS, Marvel Studios producer Louis D’Esposito and director of Marvel One-Shots Item 47 and Agent Carter reiterated what he told us at Comic-Con this summer when presenting the Agent Carter short (attached to the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray). With a male-dominated Avengers team and only male characters getting solo flicks so far, there will be a day when Marvel Studios launches a franchise based around a female hero.
“There’s obviously a drumbeat that is banging louder and louder that we want a female lead superhero. We have strong female characters in our films from Black Widow to Pepper Potts to Peggy Carter and you never know. Maybe there’s an offshoot film with one of them. Or Captain Marvel, you know?”
As for increasing the production slate to accommodate such a thing in the near future, it’s not realistic, D’Esposito explains, for the studio to release more than two films per year.
Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!
Captain Marvel art by Arkenstar