SDCC 2012 Marvel Movie Panel: Confirmations Galore

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By Todd Allen

IM3 200x133 SDCC 2012 Marvel Movie Panel: Confirmations GaloreOK, so it’s supposed to be the Iron Man 3 panel.  And it is, but they started out by confirming a few things for the second phase of the MCU.  MCU?  Marvel Cinematic Universe.  What is there to be confirmed?  Here’s a handy list:

  • Thor: The Dark World; directed by Alan Taylor (of Game of Thrones); Nov. 8 2013
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier; April 4, 2014; Directed by the Russo brothers
  • Guardians of the Galaxy is confirmed: Drax, Groot, Starlord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon; August 1, 2014
  • Edgar Wright is confirmed for Ant-Man; he’s thinking about basing the script on an issue of Marvel Premiere
  • Ben Kingsley is The Mandarin in Iron Man 3

That’s a lot of rumors confirmed.  Creators rights buffs, take note: Drax and Gamora are two more Jim Starlin creations.  Drax goes back to the first appearance of Thanos in Iron Man, so this isn’t exactly going to be pouring water on the fire, if you get where I’m going.

No clue what Thor’s “Dark World” is going to be, but if the Winter Soldier is our old friend Buck Barnes, that is a really quick leap from the comics page to the big screen.

Depending on where Ant-Man gets scheduled, we’re probably looking at Avengers 2 following Guardians of the Galaxy.  I suppose that would make it entirely possible for Thanos to appear in Guardians and bridge over into Avengers 2.  I expect we’ll be hearing a few rumors about that until there’s a confirmation or denial.

That’s the upcoming Marvel slate. They’re going a little further out on a limb with Groot, er, Guardians of the Galaxy.  Ant-Man may not have a tone of visibility, but the character’s been in the comics with some regularity for 50 years, even if he wasn’t headlining his own book very often.  The Guardians have popped up much more sporadically over the years.  That will be a bigger test of how Marvel’s film unit has branded itself with the movie-going population.

Let’s leave with Marvel’s concept art for the Guardians film:

500201bc0916a SDCC 2012 Marvel Movie Panel: Confirmations Galore

Comments

  1. No Cosmo? :(

  2. JasonF says:

    I wonder if Dark World is going to build off those wonderful Lee/Kirby story where Thor flies off into space with the Rigelian recorder and deals with Ego, Galactus, and the like. It would be a great way to tie in to the Guardians and/or Thanos.

  3. I hereby volunteer to play Rocket Raccoon, my own stunts included, entirely for free.

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    Ant-man is an easy sell. He shrinks and talks with ants. I believe The Incredible Shrinking Man was the inspiration. Of course, shrink small enough, and you meet what’s left of the Micronauts license…which Disney has recently trademarked.

    Want to be audacious? End Guardians with a cliff hanger in May, and finish it in Avengers in December! (with lots of talk at comic-con in between!) What’s epic? maybe a rogue planet approaching our solar system, ala flash gordan.

  5. Apollo9000 says:

    Marvel’s most exciting news came from their movie slate. Image pretty much stole the publishing thunder with their numerous announcements. DC also had a good look publishing wise with the Sandman mini series announcement. It’s sort of the anti-Before Watchmen.

    I hope Ant Man does Egdar Wright what Avengers did fir Joss Whedon. In truth, Ant Man is the quintessential Marvel hero of the 21st century.

    If Marvel pulls off Ant Man, DC will have no excuse why they can’t make a solid, epic Aquaman film.

  6. Rocket Racoon was co-created by Bill Mantlo, who has been in ongoing care after having been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in the 1990s. It would be nice if there was some benefit from use of this most unlikely character, in terms of paying for his ongoing care expenses.

  7. MBunge says:

    I hearby predict that Guardians of the Galaxy will be the first huge bomb of the New Era of Marvel-Made Movies. The original Guardians had a ready-for-film origin story. How is this one going to start? With somebody picking names out of a hat?

    Mike

  8. @MBunge – Introduce Star-Lord, introduce cosmic threat, Star-Lord assembles a team of misfits, they go fight.

    Seems simple.

    They could also draw on the Star-Lord mini-series, and have the team assembled Dirty Dozen style. Since that was essentially the core of the team for the ongoing series, they too have a ready-for-film origin story.

  9. Rob J. says:

    I don’t see how you do a Guardians or Avengers movie starring Thanos, Drax and Gamora without Adam Warlock.

  10. Synsidar says:

    They could also draw on the Star-Lord mini-series, and have the team assembled Dirty Dozen style. Since that was essentially the core of the team for the ongoing series, they too have a ready-for-film origin story.

    As I recall, the STARLORD miniseries Giffen wrote was originally conceived as a parody. Characters were brought in for the purpose of killing them. The miniseries eventually became something other than a parody and sold well enough that the group continued. What a conceptual mess. How can Rocket Raccoon be taken seriously in a dramatic story any more than, say, Road Runner would be? And Road Runner even has superpowers. He runs fast, his beep scares people, and he can run into spots of black paint that look like holes.

    SRS

  11. @Synsidar
    If you go by the original Rocket Raccoon mini, from Mantlo and Mignola, the character was kept surprisingly serious in tone.

  12. MBunge says:

    “Introduce Star-Lord, introduce cosmic threat, Star-Lord assembles a team of misfits, they go fight.”

    And why should we give a crap about any of them? And exactly who is Star-Lord anyway?

    Compare that with…present day astronaut volunteers to be placed in suspended animation for 1,000 year voyage. Arrives at his destination to find humanity invented FTL drive in the meantime and he ends up a tragic anachronism rather than courageous explorer. He retreats from human civilization and bonds with one of the natives of his destination, only to see an alien armada invade and devastate Earth’s solar system. The time-lost astronaut must rescue the sole survivors of Earth’s colonies and launch a counter-attack to save Mankind.

    Hollywood could screw it up, of course, but that gives you both the bare bones of a real plot and the emotional/dramatic themes of the story. Compare that to the generic genericosity of “Here’s this dude. Here’s this threat. Here are these other dudes. Fight!”

    Mike

  13. @MBunge: “And why should we give a crap about any of them? And exactly who is Star-Lord anyway?”

    How is that different than the task facing any other non-sequel movie in terms of establishing characters the audience wants to see? Or any non-adaptation movie? Is this that different than the set-up for Star Wars? Not really. Establish characters, establish threat, set them on a collision course.

    “Compare that to the generic genericosity of “Here’s this dude. Here’s this threat. Here are these other dudes. Fight!””

    I’m not suggesting they keep it as simple as that. Come on, seriously. You introduce the characters, get the audience to start to like them, introduce the threat, continue to develop the characters while they prepare to combat that threat.

    And your summary of the old GotG is no different than what I’m suggesting. It’s the same exact thing: Introduce Vance Astro (“Here’s this dude.”), introduce threat of alien armada (“Here’s this threat.”), Astro assembles a team from the colonies (“Here are these other dudes.”) Then, as you say, “Fight!”

    The basic idea can be done with the old GotG characters, and it can be done with the new ones.

  14. @Synisdar: “As I recall, the STARLORD miniseries Giffen wrote was originally conceived as a parody. Characters were brought in for the purpose of killing them.”

    I haven’t read any interviews with Giffen about it, but it seemed more like an overt homage to “The Dirty Dozen.” That’s what you’re describing. (And if the purpose was to kill the characters, why did most of them survive?)

    “The miniseries eventually became something other than a parody and sold well enough that the group continued. What a conceptual mess.”

    How was it a conceptual mess? People liked what Abnett and Lanning did with the characters, liked the characters, wanted more, so Marvel had Abnett and Lanning write some more. It was a lot of fun, until the heavy crossovers hit.

  15. MBunge says:

    “And your summary of the old GotG is no different than what I’m suggesting.”

    Yes it is. I describe who the main character is and the personal challenge he faces. I also detail how and why he comes to be the one who heads up the fight against the main threat. And I explain who the other characters are, where they come from and why they get involved. This is stuff that has already been established in the comics. Again, they could screw it up, but it’s already there.

    Who is Star-Lord?
    Who are the rest of these jokers?
    What is the threat?
    Why is Star-Lord leading the fight against it?
    Why do the rest of the characters join in?

    The original GotG characters have an origin story that fits together fairly neatly and easily lends itself to big screen adaptation. Rocket Raccoon? Groot? Gamora? Starlord? Drax? How are you going to connect their disparate comic book origins? How do you then explain them coming together as a group? Even if you add Thanos to the mix, he only explains Drax and Gamora. How much time does everything else get in a film that will probably been 2 hours or less?

    Mike

  16. @Mbunge:
    I think you’re misunderstanding me. We’re still both saying the same thing.

    All the story you describe for Vance Astro is what I mean by introducing the character. It’s all “Here’s this dude.” I’m just condensing all that, his background, his arrival in the future, his alienation, etc., into a single sentence. I’m talking about larger structure here, not the details.

    “I describe who the main character is and the personal challenge he faces.” = Here’s this dude.

    “I also detail how and why he comes to be the one who heads up the fight against the main threat.” = Here’s this threat.

    “And I explain who the other characters are, where they come from and why they get involved.” = Here are these other dudes.

    I think we can agree that at some point, the film’s going to hit the Fight! stage.

    Your list of questions are things the GotG screenwriters will have to deal with, but they are no different, essentially, than the questions facing any screenwriter working on any action film with a group of protagonists. All of the questions you pose can and, if the film works, presumably will be answered within the film.

    “How much time does everything else get in a film that will probably been 2 hours or less?”
    The same question could be posed for a film of the original GotG.

    From what I know of the original GotG, and from what you’ve said here, I don’t see anything that either lends itself particularly well, or presents a particularly difficult obstacle, for a big screen adaptation. It’s material that could be used for a film, but other material, other characters could just as easily be used for a sci-fi, comic book-based, team-based action film.

    Either way, with either version of the team, it’s a bunch of sci-fi characters that need to be established, in a setting that needs to be established, going up against a threat that needs to be established.

    I responded to your original post because there’s nothing I can see in the original GotG that gives it any more or less of a “ready-for-film” origin story than any other group of Marvel characters.

    I’m not saying you couldn’t do a good film with the original GotG characters. I’m saying there’s nothing that makes them particularly more suitable for use in a film, and in that respect, no reason why Marvel should have chosen them rather than the modern incarnation of the team.

    If you just like the older version of the team better, and would prefer to see a movie featuring them because you like them better, that’s cool. That’s a whole different discussion, though.

  17. @Mbunge. No offense meant, that all came out sounding more argumentative than I meant it to. Feel free to ignore me if you still disagree.

  18. Torsten Adair says:

    Who is this hick farmboy?
    Who is this hermit?
    Who is this charming rogue with a giant gorilla for a friend?
    Why are they rescuing a princess?

    Because the hick farm boy watched a video from a webcam hottie and fell instantly in love. (Even though one of his friends was a porn star.)

    Because the charming rogue needs the reward money to pay off Sidney Greenstreet.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Franchise/StarWars?from=Main.StarWars

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