Clearly, Marvel is giving themselves options for the future of their multi-media empire by introducing new versions of their top tier heroes so that when business and Hollywood contracts get in the way of their expansive cinematic plans, they can work around it and bring in new talent while keeping their titular heroes alive. They're even killing off Wolverine this summer in the books just as Hugh Jackman talks about ending his film career as the fierce mutant antihero. So, if Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth don't extend their six-picture deals with Marvel Studios after their three solo movies and three Avengers appearances each, Marvel can just bring in other actors to play new versions of Captain America and Thor, respectively.
The PR angle is to address concerns over lack of female characters in the genre and the official announcement is quick to point out that the new Thor is the 8th title to feature a lead female protagonist and the move was designed to appeal to women and girls to expand the audience of the books. On the film side, with Wonder Woman set to be introduced in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 and still no female-led Marvel movie in sight (that could theoretically change next week if Marvel Studios announces Ms. Marvel), the timing is crucial to introduce some diversity to Marvel's headlining characters.
Old Thor will no longer be worthy of Mjolnir. Old Steve Rogers is too old and frail for combat. Are you excited and hopeful of these major changes to the Marvel Universe and do you want to see them translate to the silver screen via the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Could we see an introduction of this character in Thor 3?
Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!
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