Over the last several days, The Avengers and its buzz-worthy cast have been making headlines thanks to new photos and images from Entertainment Weekly. While these character shots provide fans a closer look at their favorite live-action Marvel superheroes, there was something even more interesting in the magazine.
Two weeks ago, Chris Evans spoke of his long-term contract with Marvel Studios and his expectations for when he will play Steve Rogers/Captain America again after The Avengers, revealing that it likely wouldn't be until 2014. If the latest news turns out to be accurate, it could be even longer...
Within The Avengers cover issue of EW was some info about the upcoming slate of Marvel Studios projects, something we at Screen Rant have been speculating and discussing for a very long time. But first, here's what we know is coming up for certain:
- The Avengers (May 4)
- Iron Man 3 (May 3)
- Thor 2 (July 26)
- Unknown (May 16)
- Unknown (June 27)
The Marvel Studios plan was to have two major feature films debut during the summer blockbuster season each year. As we know, the lesser known Runaways was put on hold/canned so 2012 is only seeing one Marvel release. Runaways was to be directed by Peter Sollett off a screenplay from Drew Pearce. Pearce - who's now working with Shane Black on Iron Man 3 - says the script is done and Marvel is happy with it, but that it was pushed to make way for all the focus to be placed on The Avengers. He's hopeful Runaways can still happen post-Avengers but they're going to be hard-pressed to find a slot for it in their production schedule as it stands.
According to the EW report, after listing Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, they say we can expect Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Inhumans next. Not what you expected?
With only two slots for 2014, the obvious assumption would be that Marvel Studios would use these for Captain America 2 and The Avengers 2, so either they're going to add another movie or two for 2014 or it's going to be a long wait for more Chris Evans as the star-spangled Avenger.
What this also means is that there's still no word on Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Heroes for Hire and other secondary characters who fans have been waiting years for. The Avengers is likely acting as a launch pad of sorts, to push the interconnected franchise even deeper into the Marvel cosmic universe.
I wrote about the realistic possibility of Guardians of the Galaxy becoming a viable film for Marvel due to some rumors related to it and The Avengers but it does seem strange that they'd go for very obscure Marvel characters and an entirely new cast instead of the safe bets with spin-offs or sequels to their existing characters and/or the introduction of other better-known heroes.
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This is also not the first time we heard about The Inhumans as six months ago, a logline was spotted which detailed the potential plot of an Inhumans movie: "aliens who were put on Earth as sleeper cell aliens to eventually call back their race to take over the planet. Ultimately, the group of aliens fully assimilates and don’t want to cause war."
Both Guardians and Inhumans can (and will if true) tie into The Avengers since the origins of the Inhumans date back to when the Kree experimented on pre-historic humans in an attempt to examine their own evolution and create soldiers in their war against the Skrulls (Avengers villains). Guardians of the Galaxy on the other hand, will be based on the the 2008 revamped comic series which includes characters such as Adam Warlock and Quasar who have both been rumored for appearances in The Avengers.
As for Ant-Man, Edgar Wright told us at Comic-Con in July that another draft of the script was handed in and they have concept art done but with his record, there's still no telling when that movie will see the light of day.
Either way, there is a lot to look forward to. We just don't know what yet.
For now, we await The Avengers, opening in theaters on May 4, 2012.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.