With The Avengers still kicking ass at the box office for the third weekend in a row and breaking all sorts of records, there has been a lot of talk about the next move for the beloved superheroes. It’s clear that Marvel will want to cash in on the success of the moment and some of the sequels were being put into production even before The Avengers hit theaters. Now that the movie has proved bankable, rumors have started circulating about other projects within the Marvel universe. There’s enough information on the internet right now to make your head spin, but luckily I’m the kind of person who can organize the chaos. My gift to you, fans of The Avengers, is a list of all the characters with updates on their sequels. I also included a little snippet about Ant-Man (who is apparently one of the founding members of the Avengers in the comics but did not appear in the film). No need to thank me.
Iron Man 3 – Release Date: May 3, 2013
I‘ve been keeping a sharp eye on this production because some of it will be filmed in my home state of North Carolina. It was previously reported that Jessica Chastain (from The Help) was going to appear as a scientist of nanotechnology opposite Guy Pearce. Unfortunately, Chastain had to turn down the role of Dr. Maya Hanson due to scheduling conflicts. And so now Rebecca Hall’s name is being floated around to take her place. You might recognize her from The Town or The Awakening. Another name being added to the cast list is James Badge Dale from 24. He is said to play “Savin” which is a little vague from a fan’s perspective. The popular theory is that it means Dale will be Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Savin who eventually becomes the cyborg villain Coldblood. As awesome as it would be to see a cyborg beat the crap out of Iron Man, I’m not going to get my hopes up until his role has been confirmed. I mean, Ben Kingsley has already signed on as a bad guy – how many enemies can Tony Stark have in one movie? I’m sure we’ll know more as the release date draws closer.
Thor 2 - Release Date: November 15, 2013
While Kenneth Branagh may not be the director, Thor 2 is still shaping up to be a pretty decent sequel. Alan Taylor, who is one of the directors for Game of Thrones, is taking over the helm and seems to have a clear vision of what to do in the next installment. According to Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Taylor plans to make the alien Asgard “more tangible and having a more organic feel” (/Film). I definitely felt that the scenes of Asgard in the first movie were a little too perfect and CGI, so that sounds like a good thing. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has had a lot to say about the relationships that will be explored in Thor 2. Apparently they will explore Thor and Jane Foster, from where they left off in the first movie. There will also be more family drama between Thor, his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and Odin (played by Sir Anthony Hopkins).
In terms of casting news, Kevin Feige has hinted that most of the cast from the original will be returning. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is signed to a deal with Marvel just like Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. Natalie Portman will be reprising her role as Jane Foster. The latest is that Idris Elba (from Luther and Prometheus) will be returning as Heimdall, the gate keeper of Asgard. Hopefully, if the film is set more in the alien world, we’ll get to see more of the guy in the gold suit. The role of the villain is a little up in the air with [SPOILER ALERT] Loki being under lock and key at the end of The Avengers. But Feige hints (via Collider) that there will be “a different villain, another big villain.” With the extra scene in The Avengers [ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT] featuring a purple dude who is rumored to be Thanos, a big bad guy who loves death, fans are hoping that’s who Feige is talking about.
Captain America 2 – Release Date: April 4, 2014
With Marvel already working on the sequels featured above, there isn’t a lot of information about this upcoming project besides it’s release date. But there are logical conclusions about the film that fans of the original and of The Avengers are making. Like the fact that it will focus on Steve Rogers continuing to adjust to being thrust into present day from the WW2 era. There is talk that while Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 are set away from S.H.I.E.L.D and their agents, Captain America might feature Nick Fury and his crew. Because the good Captain was the leader of the Avengers, it makes sense that his movie would function as a bridge between the recent original and The Avengers 2. There is also a rumor floating around that the popular Ant-Man will make some sort of cameo in the movie, especially if there is an Ant-Man movie in the works (more on that later). Production for Captain America 2 begins after Thor 2 is wrapped.
Black Widow/ Hawkeye
One of my favorite characters from The Avengers was Black Widow. Scarlett Johannson kicks some major ass in the film and I’m seriously hoping that she might one day headline her own film. I would even be happy if she and Hawkeye could team up for their own movie. There have been rumors of a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie that would feature the agents of the secret organization. But for now the only thing that has been confirmed for Black Widow is her appearances in other movies in the Marvel canon. According to Marvel President Kevin Feige (via ScreenRant), “we’re only going to make two movies a year… so there’s a kind of backup on the runway right now in terms of when something can go.” So perhaps we can expect a movie featuring the Russian vixen and her arrow wielding spy buddy in the distant future.
One of the biggest surprises of The Avengers was the excellent portrayal of the Hulk. After two movie flops for the franchise, it was great to see a renewal of fan love for the big green guy. Joss Whedon’s vision brought together Mark Ruffalo’s amazing Bruce Banner, an excellent CGI portrayal, and the voice of Lou Ferrigno (who played The Hulk in the 70′s television series). With the audience’s overwhelming approval of the character, Marvel is now dropping hints about his future. Ruffalo has recently signed a six movie deal with Marvel, which seems to be the new standard for the superheroes. It means that we will see a lot more of him. There are no definite plans for a solo picture as of yet, but that could change in the future.
For right now there are already plans in place for a television show. The show is said to be in development by Guillermo Del Toro (from Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy) and David Eick (from Battlestar Galactica). Since it will start with an origin story, it’s not likely that Mark Ruffalo will be featured. But according to Del Toro (via Deadline) the project is “a respectful but powerful way of retelling the Banner/Hulk story in a fresh way.” Sounds good to me, though I’m wary of anyone besides Ruffalo in the role which has already proved tricky for two great actors (Eric Bana and Edward Norton).
After earning all that money, it was inevitable that Disney would announce they were making a sequel to The Avengers. They officically confirmed it on May 8th, though there isn’t a release date attatched. Smart money is on 2015, so that there is enough time to plan and allow for the individual hero movies to tease the sequel. The big question is whether or not Joss Whedon will return. He did such an amazing job, I would love for him to come back. When asked if he would consider it, Whedon responded that he was “torn.” When talking to The Los Angeles Times he said, “it’s an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately someone else’s story… but at the same time, I have a bunch of ideas, and they all seem really cool.” I know this is one Whedonite who wants to see those cool ideas come to life. Especially since Whedon has already publically stated his desire to bring more female superheroes into The Avengers (as said in his interview in Entertainment Weekly). His hope that the success of The Hunger Games (with badass chick Katniss Everdeen as the main character) will have opened doors for more girls with superpowers is certainly refreshing. I can’t wait to see it happen.
One of the comic book characters that has been brought up a lot since The Avengers is Ant-Man. Since I’m not a comic book nerd (just a movie and book one), I didn’t have any idea who he was until several stories on the internet started popping up. I have to say, as an outsider, he looks like a pretty cool dude. His real name is Henry Pym, a brilliant scientist who creates a way to change his size. He can shrink down to the size of an insect (hence the name Ant-Man) and back again. Pym was one of the founding members of the Avengers, so fans were a little upset at his exclusion. But perhaps he will join the sequel, especially if he gets his own movie.
Edgar Wright (director of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) has been developing an Ant-Man project for years. But now there is talk that he could start filming some time this year, if the script is picked up. Wright announced at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con that he had turned in a draft and some concept art for the film. Kevin Feige has also hinted (via Bleeding Cool) that the project could “come together shortly.” But everything is still very vague because there is already so much on Marvel’s plate already (see above). Hopefully there will be some official plans soon and fans can rest easier.
It seems that all the box office success for superheroes will amount to even more movies featuring them. Will fans get tired of seeing their favorite comic book characters come to life? I suppose the answer to that question depends on the sequels. If Marvel keeps putting out good movies, then people will keep enjoying them. For right now, I’m excited about all the new movies that are planned. Let’s hope that the Avengers can keep it that way.
What do you guys think of all these sequels? Are you excited or upset about the next flock of superheroes?