Thor is finally about to debut to North America in just a few days and it's not long after when Captain America: The First Avenger follows suit. These two films provide lead-ins to the ultimate comic book movie event, The Avengers, which has already begun production.
We've known about these films and their casts for quite some time, but what happens next? Outside of an official release date for Iron Man 3 and the hope that Ant-Man will someday come to fruition, we don't yet know the official film slate for Marvel Studios going forward.
After the success of Iron Man back in 2008, it didn't take long for Marvel to realize the potential of their intellectual property in Hollywood and they quickly announced and pushed into development a sequel, solo films for Thor and Captain America and then, the ultimate team-up superhero film, The Avengers.
Since then, outside of wishful talk from cast members, Marvel President Kevin Feige and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, we've seen nothing official on future feature film projects and what characters may hit the silver screen. We've long known about the studio's interest in expanding their franchise to explore more of their B-list characters, like Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, and we've heard the reports of someof those films having scripts in development, but still, no release dates.
The reason for this is two-fold: first, to focus fans' attention on the current line-up so they can establish The Avengers brand, and second, to gauge the success for what films, which universes and which characters work for audiences. Cap takes us to WWII, Thor to the cosmic Marvel Universe, Iron Man and the SHIELD agents of all the films, ground us in modern reality.
With two of the SHIELD agents, Hawkeye and Black Widow, becoming key parts of Iron Man 2, Thor and both partaking in The Avengers, it's no wonder there's potential for each to earn an increased role in the franchise. Both are played by popular actors, and we reported on the interest last year of Black Widow solo film. Renner on the other hand is one of Hollywood's most in-demand actors and certainly could warrant his own action pic as Marvel's greatest archer.
The Playlist chatted with Kevin Feige who revealed that "towards the end of the summer" we'd find out more on their upcoming films. That likely means that during their Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con, they'll make some major surprise announcements, assuming they can maintain secrecy until then.
“There’s no definitive plans, but we have started talking and talking with Scarlett about what a Widow movie could be. Internally we’ve also started thinking what a ‘Hawkeye’ movie could be, how we could continue to explore the organization [which Samuel Jackson‘s Nick Fury leads] S.H.I.E.L.D, which has a pretty big part in ‘Thor,’ smaller parts in the two ‘Iron Man’ films and has a giant part in ‘The Avengers.’ [So it’s like], what would a stand-alone “S.H.I.E.L.D.” be like? It all goes back to the comics. Sometimes the answer is—when looking at a certain run of issues— ‘no way’ and sometimes the answer is ‘maybe, let’s continue to explore it’ and certainly with Hawkeye and Black Widow those are two that we’re exploring.”
A year ago, Samuel L. Jackson apoke about starring in a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie after The Avengers and that may be a be a better path for Marvel to take, one that allows them to make use of Sam L, along with ScarJo and Renner all together for a more bankable film.
“The Avengers should start shooting some time next year, and then some time after that there’ll be a big S.H.I.E.L.D. movie.”
I'd much rather see a SHIELD movie instead of a Black Widow solo affair, and for Marvel to move on with Dr. Strange, Black Panther and a Heroes for Hire film with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, let alone the Ant-Man movie from Edgar Wright if that's still happening.
Kevin Feige already made it clear that Marvel is planning movies five years out at all times, so they know what they want, they just need to decide which comes first. The plan was to have two films per year with the hope of expanding to four a year, but with Runaways getting canned and the writer moving over to Iron Man 3, The Avengers is seemingly all by itself in 2012 and as it stands, Iron Man 3 lonely in 2013. Expect another film to be announced for 2013, and sequels to Captain America and Thor in the next few years as well. If they hope to also introduce more characters, while continuing the franchises they've started, they're going to have to bump up production to 3-4 films per year.
The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgard.
The Avengers opens in theaters on May 4, 2012.
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Source: The Playlist