Friday, January 23, 2015

MCU Secret Wars

A while ago I posted my thoughts on how MARVEL, SONY, and FOX could theoretically cash in and form a single Marvel Cinematic Universe with all characters living in the same dimension at the same time. Fans have been craving this for years. You can read that article here: How Marvel Could Make Worlds Collide

I listed some ways the characters licensed to the three studios cold crossover into each others universe. But I neglected an idea that Marvel Comics is using to make a single comics universe. (Side note, Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios are separate entities living under one parent company) Marvel Comics will be relaunching Secret Wars. The original story was a limited crossover series which featured The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the X-Men being kidnapped by a being called The Beyonder, and forced to fight a select group of their villains on a planet called Battleworld. The planet was comprised of chunks of different planets that the Beyonder stole.

In the new Secret Wars story, Battleworld will be made up of the various Marvel Comics universes. For the uninitiated, there is the main Marvel universe where all our heroes live. There is also the Ultimate Universe where many of the characters were restarted. This was a way to give new fans a way to get into Marvel without having to study up on all (and there is A LOT) of back stories and events that exist in the regular Marvel Comics Universe. There is also the Marvel Zombies Universe (zombie virus infects heroes and villains) and other alternate timelines that have come about. All these universes will combine for Secret Wars. Now comes the fan theory.

Marvel (and DC Comics) have thrown these big "everything changes" kinds of events over the years. But I find the timing a little interesting. Again, Marvel Comics has no control over what happens at Marvel Studios. So my fanboy thinking is this... Is the comics arm of Marvel dropping hints to Sony and Fox? Marvel Studios has been trying to strike a deal to combine universes. Most recently, they were trying to work a deal with Sony to co-produce a Fantastic Four film that would take place in the MCU. This of course would blend the FF with the Avengers onscreen at some point. It would also seamlessly incorporate Galactus and the Silver Surfer into the MCU as well. Marvel would take over the bulk of the production and Sony would enjoy the financial benefits. Sony unfortunately decided to make their own FF film. I have not read anything on the X-Men at Fox, but that is a whole ot of mutants and stories that would have to be incorporated into the MCU. It would be fantastic. It's just more complicated than bringing in the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man from Sony.

But back to my point/theory. Marvel Studios plans things WAY OUT in advance. It almost feels to me like Marvel Comics is kind of hinting to Sony and Fox a story that could unite all these characters if not onscreen, then at least into the same world. When all these franchises run their course, could a Secret Wars multifilm event (think trilogy) bring all three studios together? There is a lot (A LOT) of money to be made. And fans (including myself) would eat it up.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Captain Marvel Casting

We won’t see Captain Marvel until the Summer of 2018. That is three and a half years away. It gives MARVEL Studios plenty of time to make their casting decision for Carol Danvers. Unfortunately for us, that gives us way to much time to wonder who will be Captain Marvel. Some lists of potentials have already been published. And without going into too many details, most of what I have seen have been okay. Some names are pretty obvious, but others… All I can say is, “Really?”
So, how do I put together my list? Firstly, there is plenty of time for an unknown or little known actress to have a breakout moment, or get noticed by the right people and make my and every other list irrelevant. Marvel has done well with its casting so you know whoever is chosen will be the right choice.
Now back to the list. In the comics Carol is Caucasian and blonde. So… most likely the actress who gets picked will be white. But outside of the comic reading culture, she is not very well known. So there is always the outside chance a person of color could be chosen. Another Captain Marvel who was not Carol Danvers and had different powers was an African American woman. So again, not impossible.
I’m also considering the average age for an Air Force Captain being 27. (Internet research but it sounds about right) So let’s say, late 20s to mid 30s. But the point is, Carol does not have to be in her twenties. Also, Danvers is Captain Marvel for the same reason Captain America is a Captain. She is actually a Captain, a commissioned Air Force officer. Anyway, in my mind that kinda makes anyone who looks like they just got out of high school not look quite right.

So... on with my picks.

Here is the obvious choice that is on every list and honestly, my first pick as well. Being Kara Thrace, (aka Starbuck) on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series is more then enough to qualify Katee Sackhoff. She also expressed an ongoing interest in the role and has been backed up by lots of fans for a while now.

I would say that she is the next best option. Arguably, Charlize Theron could be the best actress for the role considering her career and skills as a performer. To say she an be dedicated to a role is an understatement. Let's also not forget how willing she is to transform herself for roles.

It's hard not to mention Emily Blunt in this discussion. She nails her role in the sci-fi genera with her performance in Edge Of Tomorrow. Yeah, the Tom Cruise film that not a lot of people gave a try at the box office. Sadly, I'm one of the ones who took a pass on it. It's actually really good. REALLY GOOD. You should give it a chance now that it is out on video. On a side note, Blunt was the first choice to play the Black Widow in Iron Man II but has scheduling conflicts. She was also the front runner to play Peggy Carter but turned the role down. Marvel likes her.

Of everyone on this list, she has the most nerd cred besides Katee Sackhoff. And like Sackhoff's Starbuck, you could mold Torres' Zoe Washburn (Firefly, Serenity) into Carol Danvers very easily. Plus she is a skilled and seasoned actress. Let's also not forget the Joss Whedon connection here.
If Aisha Tyler she were Carol Danvers, I could really imagine her saying that she likes punching things and Star Wars convincingly. Actually, I'd find that convincing if she said that as herself. A hard core gamer and friend of the nerd/geek world, you can be certain Aisha Tyler would do her best to do Captain Marvel justice.

She's already been in one comic franchise. And maybe it's time she headlined her own. Maggie Gyllenhall has taken on some seriously good roles. Like her brother, a lot of them have been in indie flicks. But she has the caliber to do justice to a major comic book movie.
The Hunger Games has done a lot to showcase strong female leads. Jena Malone has plenty of experience. She can bring the attitude and humor to the Carol Danvers role.
You might be more familiar with Natalie Dormer  from her role as Margaery Martel on Game Of Thrones and most recently as Cressida in Mockingjay Part 1. Shes also been the subject of fan theories that Marvel has already locked her down for the role. I have not seen her in that many things myself, but I can see why she is a fan favorite for the role.

She is not a stranger to Whedon projects. And she technically has already played a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the mother of Sky in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But why not? Dollhouse proved she can handle various kinds of roles.

Have you seen Orphan Black? I think it is safe to say she could pull off almost any role. Tatiana might be a bit of a stretch being on the smaller side, size wise, compared to my other picks, but she has been really impressive in Orphan Black, playing multiple clones with different personalities.

There are no doubt other great choices out there. I just haven't seen everyone and everything so forgive me if I neglect anyone. If I were to bet any money, I'd say Sackhoff, Theron, and Blunt are the most likely. Of course MARVEL could always go will a lesser or unknown name. But we'll see.

Comments and suggestions are appreciated and encouraged. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Speed Racer

You could call this a guilty pleasure, but I don't think that would be a good term for it. I don't feel any guilt or shame for enjoying the 2008 film version of Speed Racer. Yes, it is cheesy. But would you really expect a serious film adaptation of the Speed Racer manga and cartoon? Maybe working against it are the names it's producers and directors, Lana and Andy Wachowski. The last two Matrix films didn't exactly do much for their names. And I'm still scratching my head over Cloud Atlas. But anyway...

Instead of trying to be experimental, with this film the Wachowskis kept things light and fun. The Racer family includes a chimpanzee after all. This is an origin story. We see where Speed makes his name and becomes a super star. I can't state enough the cheese factor in this movie, but for me it works. And it looks spectacular. I don't  know of any other movie that has colors this bright and vibrant outside of animation or dream sequences. And the details are amazing too. The cars are over the top and the tracks that they race on are even more so. Speaking of the cars,  the Mach 5 built for the movie is designed to be drivable. It was mainly used on green screen though.And all the cars, real and fake, look good. If you really want this film to jump out at you, see it in high definition.

There is the theme of corporate greed and corruption, but it's not heavy handed. The movie is meant for fun. There is also a stellar cast that seemed to enjoy not so serious roles. More known for his indie roles, Emile Hirsch is pretty comfortable playing Speed Racer. Trixie, Speeds helicopter pilot/highly skilled race car driver girlfriend, is played by Christina Ricca. Mom and Pops Racer are brought to screen by Susan Sarandon and John Goodman. The Mysterious Racer X is Matthew Fox. You might also notice a young preModern Family Ariel Winter as the young Trixie.

Not a lot of people seem to like this movie, but I think it is pretty well put together and a fun family film. It is not meant to be taken seriously. But I think it is a seriously good film that is way underrated.