There’s been quite a bit of news surrounding Marvel Studios of late, so we’ve collected it all in one handy place. Casting news, behind-the-scenes shakeups, and more!
To begin with: Marvel Studios and Netflix have released the first teaser for Jessica Jones, which now has an official release date of November 20. This is earlier than the previous reports having the show’s arrival in December.
We’ve also got our first batch of photos from the show, giving us a first look at David Tennant’s Killgrave:
Krysten Ritter (Jones) recently spoke about her work on the upcoming Netflix series created by Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight, Dexter). Ritter spoke about the comfort level she has with Colter, especially during the more adult scenes. The Alias comic Jessica Jones is based on has a strictly adult tone in nature and features sex scenes between Jones and Cage. It appears Netflix will be embracing the darker, more mature parts of the story, as Daredevil has.
Ritter also mentioned during this podcast that the show’s depiction of the villain Killgrave, aka The Purple Man, played by David Tennant, will be “twisted around and expanded on and developed to include some changes from his comic book counterpart.”
There has been a LOT of Luke Cage casting news lately. Luke Cage is the third series in Marvel’s four-series package for Netflix. It centers around Luke Cage (played by Mike Colter), a wrongly accused man who escapes prison to become a superhero for hire after being given super strength by a sabotaged experiment.
Alfre Woodard (State of Affairs, Memphis Beat, Primal Fear) is expected to play some version of Marvel villain Black Mariah, a nemesis to Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Frank Whaley (Pulp Fiction, The Doors, Vacancy) has joined the cast of Netflix’s Marvel series in a recurring role as Detective Scarfe, described by Deadline as “a hard-nosed detective.”
Simone Missick has been cast as the younger female lead opposite Colter and Woodard. Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva reports that the breakdown lists her role as Missy, “a woman with a strong sense of justice” who opens her own detective agency helping Cage. However, Andreeva believes the actual character is Marvel’s Misty Knight, a former NYPD officer with a new bionic arm from Tony Stark after losing hers in the line of duty.
Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy) has been cast as a regular. Deadline reports that, while most breakdowns for Luke Cage use fake character names to preserve the mystery, Rossi may have been cast to play the “Sonny” role, “described as relentless and menacing, smooth and manipulative, street smart and controlling.” Deadline also speculates that Rossi may be Cage’s enemy Shades, aka Alvarez, a well known criminal.
Rosario Dawson (Daredevil, Sin City, Seven Pounds) will be reprising her Daredevil role as Claire Temple. Her Temple character is also set to appear in the second out of four Netflix Marvel series, Jessica Jones, premiering in November. Colter’s Cage will also make his debut on Jessica Jones before moving to Luke Cage.
Kevin Feige and the Marvel Shake-up
Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president, is now reporting directly to Disney studio chief Alan Horn. This reorganization completely bypasses Marvel Entertainment CEO Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, to whom Feige was directly reporting for years.
A Disney spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, “Marvel Studios is taking the next logical step in its integration with The Walt Disney Studios, joining Pixar and Lucasfilm in centralizing many of its film-related functions in Burbank, with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and co-president Louis D’Esposito continuing to lead the Marvel Studios team reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.”
THR also obtained a statement from a source close to the company: “Everybody knows Ike is difficult. This has been a long time coming. Kevin has grown his entire career under Ike and now it just makes sense.” While Feige no longer has to report to Perlmutter anymore, Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television, continues to report to the Entertainment CEO. Perlmutter, alleged to be a micro-manager, will also maintain oversight of Marvel’s TV group, publishing, animation and other New York-based operations. The only division affected in this reorganization is the film division.
Feige was reportedly so tired of having to fight with the frugal Perlmutter over films, he almost quit over Captain America: Civil War. Perlmutter disagreed with Feige over Feige’s necessitated large budget for the film, so much so, Feige threatened to quit, forcing Iger to find another solution. Perlmutter is also rumored to have been one of the main roadblocks to including Black Widow in much of the merchandising (see below).
Following the top-level Marvel reorganization, it seems another large change has occurred. Reports say the Creative Committee has been shut down, or in the least, removed from the film slate going forward.
The Creative Committee is a group of creators and Marvel Comics executives and alums that were formed to keep the Marvel films, in tone at least, close to the comic books. Creators that worked on the comic books had a say in the film portrayals of them.
Devin Faraci of Birth Movies Death reported this news may not be a hindrance but a help to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future:
“[The Creative Commitee] was a group of people who would give notes and thoughts on Marvel productions as they made their way from script to screen….On paper that sounds like a great line-up of talent, but it seems as if in practice it was often a source of frustration. Over the years I’ve heard many stories of the Creative Committee giving notes that are pedestrian, motivated by ‘save the cat’ story logic and sometimes a drag on creativity. One Marvel creative talked to me about battles with the Creative Committee where they focused on details of nit-picky science that ignored the general tone of the script itself….What’s more, the Creative Committee was often very tardy with their notes, making movie development a much slower process. All of the Committee members have other, very important jobs, so you understand why that would be the case, but it was a pain for filmmakers.”
[MORE from BMD]
Frustrations from the newly disbanded Creative Committee may have been the very thing that drove director Edgar Wright from Ant-Man. Science Fiction reports that when everything initially went down, it was said that rewrites and creative differences were the main reason for Wright’s exit. It was unclear where the tension was then, but now it appears it may have been the Creative Committee’s oversight. Birth Movies Death’s report over the Marvel reorganization (above) reported that the notes that drove Wright out of this role came from the Creative Committee.
[MORE from SF]
Overall at Marvel
The next stage in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will tell if the Creative Committee and Perlmutter were holding them back. The film division will be as independent now as it can be, with Feige given the freedom to truly run the division.
Everything coming after 2016 could reflect a new energy and new direction at Marvel. As Birth Movies Death reports, “Key creative decisions are now being made by Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito and Victoria Alonso alone. Any drag or difficulty caused by the Creative Committee is over, and any skinflint choices and bizarre decisions made by Ike are out of the way, and now we’re going to see Marvel Studios operating at full power as it goes into Phase Three.”
Chris Evans’ contract as Captain America with Marvel is currently set to end after the two-part Avengers: Infinity War. However, Evans says that if Marvel finds another route for him after Infinity War, he’d be happy to stick around. He is even quoted saying, “If they want me, they got me.”
Black Widow Toys
According to a report from Birth Movies Death, Ike Perlmutter is reportedly behind the lack of Black Widow merchandise released with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Devin Faraci of B.M.D. writes, “I understand the reason there are no Black Widow toys is specifically because Ike, with a background in toys, believes girl toys do not sell and thus vetoed them again and again. One guy was the roadblock.”
[MORE from Outhousers]
Stephen Rider (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Host, Safe House) has been cast a season two regular on Netflix’s Daredevil. Deadline broke that he will be playing Blake Tower, “a District Attorney for New York City who helps Charlie Cox’s Daredevil…with information to help track down and capture criminals.”
[MORE from Deadline]
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The new teaser trailer for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has officially been released. It teases a threat greater than the S.H.I.E.L.D team has ever faced, one more inhuman than even themselves.
Season 3 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will debut on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
[MORE from EW]
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn answered fan questions surrounding the 2017 sequel.
Quick tidbits and general information:
- There is zero chance that The Hulk will appear in the film
- Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill will be the only human character
- There may be a new female member of the Guardians
- Gunn has 12 songs in mind for the Vol. 2 mixtape
- Tyler Bates is busy writing music for the score, which will be played on set during production
- GOTG Vol. 2 will begin filming in February ahead of an April 28, 2017 (UK) and May 5, 2017 (US) release date
- Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu) and Sean Gunn (Kraglin) are all confirmed as returning to the cast.
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Gambit continues to have its issues. After rumors that star Channing Tatum might leave the project (which he didn’t), Deadline has received confirmation that Rupert Wyatt has exited as director. Wyatt says that despite rumors to the contrary, the decision came down to timing. The film’s production schedule was moved back and it then interfered with another commitment.
Wyatt issues this statement: “I was very much looking forward to working with my friend Channing and the team at Fox, but regrettably a push in the start date now conflicts with another project. I thank them for the opportunity, and I know that Gambit will make a terrific film.”
[MORE from Deadline]