If you consider yourself a fan of comics then you have to be happy with the movie business over the past couple of years. Films like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, the unexpected awesomeness that was X-Men: First Class, a second chance for Spidey and of course Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (just to list a few) have dominated the box office in the past few years. In the coming years we loyal nerds will be rewarded over and over again with films that a lot of us have been waiting on for a long time. What kinds of films you say? Well here I’m going to map out the next couple of years we have to look forward to.
Iron Man 3 – May 3rd
Just like how Iron Man one kicked off phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man 3 looks to do the same for phase 2. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltro, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau will all be returning to reprise their roles as Tony Stark/ Iron Man, Pepper Potts, James “Rhodey” Rhodes/ War Machine and Happy Hogan respectivly. Additions to the cast include Sir Ben Kingsly portraying the global terrorist and arch enemy of Iron Man, Mandarin and also Guy Pearce who will be playing a character named Aldrich Killian. We don’t know much about Guy Pearce’s role, but I’m led to understand he’s not a good guy.
Jon Favreau, who directed the first 2 Iron Man films will be handing the reins off to Shane Black for the 3rd film. Shane Black’s most known for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
From the 2 trailers that have been released and the official synopsis, this one already looks like it’s going to redeem the previous movie. I personally felt a bit cheated in Iron Man 2. In Iron Man 1 you’ve got an excelent origin story and then Iron Man goes toe to toe in an awesome battle with Iron Mongul, which is just a big version of Iron Man. Iron Man 2 features an ok story filled with a drunken Tony Stark doing cruddy stand up comedy and is concluded when Iron Man goes toe to toe with Whiplash… another dude in an Iron Man based suit. The battle at the end was like 2 minutes long and it was just a bit lame. That being said I thoroughly enjoyed Favreaus take on the Iron Man franchise. Shane Black however seems to be taking a bit more of a serious approach. What I’ve gathered from the trailers is this. Mandarin is going to destroy everything Tony holds dear and he isn’t going to pull any punches. I think we’ve gotten about 2 or 3 sentences of dialogue from Ben Kingsly and I can already tell he’s going to be hard to top as far as actiong goes in 2013.
Star Trek into Darkness – May 17th
I’m not going to spend too much time on this one, but I’ll give you the quick rundown. The entire cast of the first Star Trek film will be returning for the sequel and it will be directed once again by the incomparable J.J. Abrams. There will be one new addition to the cast however and that is going to be Benedict Cumberpatch. Cumberpatch is becoming a bit of a hit in the film and TV business with his brilliant performance as Sherlock Holmes on the show “Sherlock” and he will also be voicing the dragon Smaug in the upcoming Hobbit films. Abrams is guarding the identity of Cumberpatches character pretty well. We’ve been told he is playing a John Harrison which would be a new addition to the Trek universe as far as I know. (I’m not a Treky but I did love the first Abrams film) But Entertainment Weekly seems to have confirmed that he will actually be playing… wait for it… KHAAAAANNNNNN! Yes that Khan. Fans of Star Trek will remember Khan from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan. Only time will tell if this is the actual identity of Cumberpatches character. On a side note I will say that Benedict Cumberpatch actually studied terrorism and history for this role, so that’s kind of cool.
Man of Steel – June 14th
So this is it. The granddaddy of comic books, finally getting a breath of fresh air. Helmed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Suckerpunch) and Executive Producer Chris Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception, Memento) this movie is bound to redeem Bryan Singers melodramatic take on Supes in Superman Returns. Superman will be played by Henry Cavill (Immortals) accompanied by Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod and Russel Crowe as Jor-El. It seems to me that we are getting a pretty standard origin film here, but with Christopher Nolan on board I’m sure there’s going to be a bit more to it than that. Not much to tell about the plot just yet, but with a star studded cast it’s sure to be a hit.
I suppose the big question surrounding this film for fans of comic book movies is this. Will this film be connected to WB’s planned Justice League film. Well from what I’ve read online yes indeed it will. You can read a more in depth piece on that at Screen Rant by clicking this link http://screenrant.com/man-steel-justice-league-connection-zack-snyder/
Kick Ass 2 – June 28th
This is going to be another short one because there isn’t much to know here. If you want to know what the big plot is then go out and read the graphic novel. The first film was awesome to me and I’d suggest reading the first two Kick Ass books before seeing the sequel. Unlike last time however the film will not be directed by Matthew Vaughn. Instead we will see Jeff Wadlow in the directors seat. As far as cast goes we’ve got Aaron Taylor-Johnson returning as Kick-Ass, Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl, Christopher Mintz Plasse will be returning, but not as Red Mist. His character has a new name and that name is The Mother F**ker. Also Jim Carrey will be making an appearance as Colnell Stars and Stripes.
The Wolverine – July 26th
Yes yet another installment to the already confusing frachise of the X-Men. But fear not! It seems that the dust is settling and continuity is starting to form in this massive series. James Mangold will be directing this film. He is perhaps best known for Walk the Line and 3:10 to Yuma. Of course Hugh Jackman will be returning to play Wolverine. Joining him will be Will Yun Lee who will be playing the Silver Samurai.
The film is set to take place after the events of X-men: The Last Stand. Mangold has said the film will be similar to a film noire take on the character. If you aren’t familiar with the Wolverine mythos then allow me to explain briefly the story I expect will be told in the movie. In a nutshell, Wolverine heads to Japan to train and falls in love with a woman (for the life of me I can’t remember her name). Well that doesn’t sit to well with Silver Samurai (a mutant samurai who can super charge his blade to cut through pretty much anything) who, if memory serves, is also in love with the woman. This obviously sparks a viscious rivalry. The film is set to hit theatres July 26th.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill for – October 4th
Who could forget the classic Sin City film? I mean if you didn’t like it then get your head checked! October 4th sees a new instalment in the Sin City universe and it’s shaping up to be an awesome sequel. Or I suppose I should say prequel.
Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller return to tell the story of Dwight McCarthy’s earlier life. Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba and Clive Owen will all be returning to surley spill blood and raise hell. We are also being introduced to a character played by Crystal McCahill. From what we know she appears to be one of the women from Old Town, but that’s about it . If you want to know anything else about the plot then go read the second installment of Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novels.
Thor: The Dark World – November 8th
The second film in phase 2 of the MCU is Thor: The Dark World and what a film it’s shaping up to be. Chris Hemsworth will be returning to play Thor alongside the amazing Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Natalie Portman will be returning as well to play Jane Foster. Now here’s where it gets good. From what I’ve read at comicbookmovie.com Thor will go head to head with the dark elves. If you know Thor comics than you know that the leader of the dark elves is Malekith the Accursed. Well we will see Malekith on the big screen and he will be played by the 9th Doctor from Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston. Another bit of good news is that Game of Thrones’ Alan Taylor will be directing the film. He’s already pretty familiar with fantasy so there’s that to look forward to.
Again the guys over at comicbookmovie.com have already dug up a lot of awesome stuff on Thor: The Dark World. I’m just here to tell you about what they’ve found. So I’ve been led to understand that by some turn of events, Jane becomes possessed by some kind of evil spirit (most likely the work of the dark elves) and Thor has to work together with his evil brother Loki in order to save her. We’re still waiting for the trailer for Thor:TDW which will surly shed more light on the movie.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – December 13th
Wrapping up 2013 will be the 2nd installment in Peter Jacksons Hobbit trilogy (you can read my review of the first film here http://odinreviews.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey/). Similar the the LOTR trilogy most of the filiming was done all at once. There isn’t much to tell here as the film is based off of a book. If you read the book then you’ll know what the movie will be about. The big question is who are we going to see in part 2? Smaug? Beorn? Mirkwood? So far it is known that Orlando Bloom will be making a cameo as Legolas and it would make sense for him to be in this film as Mirkwood is one of the traveling companies next stops. We just have to sit back and wait until we know anything more.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 4th
Here’s a big ball of fun. As the title indicates, Captain America will in some way interact with The Winter Soldier. Now fans of the comics have to know that the Winter Soldier is actually Bucky Barnes, Caps old best friend from the war. Sebastian Stan will be returning, but instead of being Caps old buddy he will be his enemy. Also staring in the film is Samuel L. Jackson as Director Nick Fury, Colbie Smulders as Maria Hill, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widdow. What’s very interesting is the Anthony Mackie will be playing Sam “Snap” Wilson A.K.A. The Falcon. The Falcon is a Marvel Comics African- American super hero who can telepathicly communicate with birds and using big mechanical wing can also fly. I’m very interested to see what role the Falcon will be playing and if he will be included in The Avengers sequel or not.
Directing the Captain America sequel will be the Russo Brothers. An odd choice in directors seeing as they are known for more comedic films and TV shows.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – May 2nd
Marc Webb returns to direct the second installment in the Amazing Spider-Man series. The first film split fans and critics alike striaght down the middle. It was a good film, but was it the “untold story” that all the promotions were making it out to be? No. It was the same origin story Sam Raimi told with a few minor changes. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone will both return as Peter Parker/ Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy. Recent casting news confirms some very strange casting choices if you ask me. Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, The Soloist) will be playing Electro, Paul Giamatti (John Adams, the Illusionist) as Rhino, Dane Dehaan (Chronicle) as Harry Osborne and Shailene Woodly (???) as Mary Jane Watson. Colm Feore was also cast, but it hasn’t been revealed as far as his character goes. I think he’d make a good Norman Osborne but that’s just me.
Not sure what the plot will entail, but I’m on board for it. If Webb can repeat the feel of the first film and Foxx and Giamatti can put on a better villainous role the Rhys Iffans did, then it should be a great film. Let’s also hope that we find out who that mysterious character was during the end credits scene from the first film. Let’s be honest with ourselves though. If the bring back J.K. Simmons as J.J. Jameson then the film will be flawless.
X-Men: Days of Future Past – July 18th
Annnnd another X-Men movie. I believe this makes 7 for the series. This film will follow the same roster of X-men from Matthew Vaughns X-Men: First Class. All of the actors and actresses will be returning for this sequel/prequel thing. Matthew Vaughn was originaly set to direct the film but has since stepped down and X-men film veteran Bryan Singer has taken his place. But don’t worry, Singer has promised us via Twitter that there will be “no leather suits”. What’s more, a lot of the cast from Singers first X-Men films will also be returning. Ian McKellen as Magneto, Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Shawn Ashmore as Iceman, Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde and so on and so forth. You might be saying “Wait. How can Stewat and Macavoy both be playing Professer X? Why have Fassbender and McKellen both play Magneto? Well the answer lies within the title of the film (which is also the title of Claremonts famous X-Men story) Days of Future Past. Two words. Time. Travel. Or to make you more excited. Three words. Time. Traveling. MUTANTS!
It has been confirmed that we will see a lot of time travel which explains all of the old actors from the first X-Men trilogy returning. We will also be seeing an enemy that X-Men fans have been waiting to see on the big screen since X-Men 1. Sentinels. No one is sure how close the film will follow the story of the graphic novel, but with time travel and Sentinels both playing a part, it’s safe to say it’ll be pretty close.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again – July 18th
Not much here either. Except that maybe Bryan Singer and 20th Century Fox might want to consider changing their release dat for X-Men DOFP.
I guess the only thing we know for sure is that Bard the Bowman will make an appearance and he is played by Luke Evans.
Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1st
The MCU phase 2 continues in James Gunns Guardians of the Galaxy. People involved have refered to it as Avengers in space, which if you don’t know what the Guardians of the Galaxy was, is a pretty good explanation. I thought this was an odd move on Marvel Studios part. I mean it makes sense that they chose GOTG as a film having introduced Thanos at the end of the Avengers. But let’s get real. Where’s the Doctor Strange movie? Where’s the Black Panther movie? They could have went with a lot more popular and easier choices than GOTG, but I trust them so far and with Joss Whedon pretty much in charge of Marvel Studios it should turn out fine. I’m just not sure how the public will react to a gunslingin space racoon.
A few days ago we got our first casting news for the film and the only one so far and that is the role of Peter Quill/ Star-Lord. He will be played by Chris Pratt (Zero Dark Thirty, Parks and Rec). Again, kind of an odd choice, but we’ll see. There have been rumors of Adam Sandler and Jim Carey being in negotions, most likely to voice Rocket Racoon or Groot. Michael Rooker has openly claimed that he would love to voice Rocket Racoon, most of you will recognize Rooker as Merle from AMC’s The Walking Dead.
2015 is 2 years away and that means we don’t know much about the movies scheduled to come out that year. I’ll tell you that we are getting a Fantastic Four reboot, The Avengers 2, the Justice League film that still seems like it isn’t fully confirmed, Ant-Man which is being directed by Edgar Wright and the most exciting news of them all: A new chapter for Star Wars. Like I said not much is known about any of these films. The only one that really can be talked about is Star Wars. If you didn’t know by know, Disney has purchased the Star Wars franchis from George Lucas. A lot people didn’t like that move and feard that it meant more Gungans, but please remember, Disney owns Marvel and look at how well that turned out. As if that wasn’t good enough news, Sci-Fi master J.J. Abrams has been put in the directors seat for Episode VII. We know it takes place after the original trilogy, J.J. Abrams will be directing it, Michael Ardnt (Toy Story 3) will be writing the screenplay and best news of all? George Lucs is only a consultant. I’m very thankful to Mr. Lucas for bringing Star Wars into this world, but dear lord he messed up a bit with the prequel trilogy.
There are still a few more titles I’d like to see brought to the big screen. Titles like Doctor Strange and The Flash which has been in pre production for like 12 years or something. All in all we’ve got a beautiful couple of years to look forward to and I’m just counting down the days until Iron Man 3 kicks things off.