Marvel announces it will continue making sequels to everything and then some other stuff

While the DC filmmaking universe languishes and prepares to go into hibernation after Man of Steel is released next year, Marvel is doubling down on every movie it's made already. Can you really blame them? I mean, they're kind of on a roll here. Marvel execs -- such as Kevin Feige -- might also might be convincing themselves that S.H.I.E.L.D. is real and they are S.H.I.E.L.D., what with their official announcement at Comic-Con of "Phase Two." No, really, Marvel's slate of sequels is being referred to as "Phase Two," as if it was a second wave of Chitauri arriving on Earth. I just hope that Phase Two includes a certain cellist-dating S.H.I.E.L.D. agent...

While there was no Diamond Jubilee for Marvel like there was two years ago when the cast of The Avengers was first revealed (remember that, you guys?), it was still "exciting business as usual" with the panel for Iron Man 3, which featured Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle (making penis jokes, according to the AV Club, and that's just delightful, because what better people to watch make penis jokes, really?), and Feige, the head of Marvel Studios. That's where Phase Two was mentioned, and it's pretty straightforward what it's all about: all the sequels to all the Marvel movies that have been made in the last few years. There's Iron Man 3 hitting theaters May 3, 2013, plus Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (coming April 4, 2012) and Thor 2: The Dark World (November 15, 2013). No real plot details about either of the latter two movies were revealed, but readers of the comics are speculating that the Cap sequel will include the return of Bucky Barnes, who we all saw fall to his death in the first movie. But since Bucky was resurrected as the Winter Soldier in 2005, then it kind of makes sense for people to speculate about something so blatantly obvious.

What did get some special attention was the non-sequel news, specifically new information about Guardians of the Galaxy -- expected to fill the August 1, 2014 slot -- for which Feige provided some concept art (a tease of which appears above; see AV Club for the full picture) as well as one of the characters, the Guardian of the Keystone Quadrant himself, Rocket Raccoon.

Don't be fooled -- just because you have seen a similar creature dead on the side of the road does not mean you should underestimate Rocket's superb marksmanship.

Edgar Wright, who was lying about being in London and not Comic Con while he was totally at Comic Con, also showed his test footage for Ant-Man also showed off his test footage for Ant-Man, which has also been officially confirmed. That video has not hit the web yet (because Wright must be holding a gun to someone's head), but Empire has a blow-by-blow:

It begins with two agents - ominous, shades-wearing - at the end of a long, white corridor. We pull back behind an air vent to reveal... Ant-Man, tiny as they come, sporting a red-and-black suit, with a mask that's a nod to the original Kirby design. ... He then jumps through the vent, runs along the corridor and zaps to normal size. The agents draw their guns. Ant-Man changes back and leaps INTO the mouth of one of the agents, knocking him out. He then grabs the tie of the other and flips him through the window. Agents dealt with, he changes back to normal size, enters an elevator and then zaps back down again.

All we know is that Ant-Man is really, truly happening -- no casting, no release date, basically nothing except precious hope.

Marvel unveils surprise plan to keep making Marvel movies [AV Club]


    1. Given the public’s ever changing appetite (Vampires are cool, no, wait, they’re lame!), I can’t blame Marvel for churn out as much as they can before it all goes awry for them. 


      I mean, it’s not like they haven’t gone through boom and bust cycles before.  They’ve got to ride that pony until people stop betting on it.  And they’re at least providing entertaining movies with decent character development these days.  Anyone else remember Ghost Rider?  Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher?  Elektra?

      Yes, it will eventually get all Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin on us, and I’m not looking forward to that, but right now things are at least fun.

      1.  >Ghost Rider?  Dolph Lundgren as The Punisher?  Elektra?

        Marvel Studios productions have been of higher quality and performed better than non-Marvel Studios productions. I don’t think they’ll be licensing their characters out to other studios anymore, in fact I predict they’ll make every effort to bring their stray IP (Ghost Rider, The Punisher, Elektra, X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four etc.) back into the fold.

        1. With the exception of the X-Men and Spiderman series, you are entirely correct.

          Singer did really well by those and a good pile of money was made by all.  Not even Brett Ratner could screw it up in the end.

          And since they keep rebooting Spiderman every few years (when do we get a third Hulk reboot?) it seems there’s always money in that vein.

          1. I really, really want to see a Hulk reboot with Mark Ruffalo. He just nailed the character in Avengers, IMO.

          2.  When you say ‘keep rebooting Spiderman’ are you talking about the comic or the TV shows? Because there’s been only one movie reboot.

  1. Sorry to be critical of the text rather than the announcements, but in the spirit of constructive criticism:

    “While there was no Diamond Jubilee for Marvel like there was two years ago when the cast of The Avengers was first revealed (remember that, you guys?), it was still “exciting business as usual” with the panel for Iron Man 3, which featured Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle (making penis jokes, according to the AV Club, and that’s just delightful, because what better people to watch make penis jokes, really?), and Feige, the head of Marvel Studios.”

    This sentence baffles me. I have no idea what you’re talking about. What do you mean, there was a Diamond Jubilee when the cast of The Avengers was revealed? And that there wasn’t one for Marvel? Doesn’t the one from when The Avengers cast was revealed count as one for Marvel? I’m not being facetious, this is genuinely confusing me.

    1. Well, this whole article makes more sense if you think of the author as being deliriously excited about the items that he is writing about, and thus ignoring minor things like sentence structure.  That would explain things like:
      “Edgar Wright, who was lying about being in London and not Comic Con while he was totally at Comic Con, also showed his test footage for Ant-Man also showed off his test footage for Ant-Man, which has also been officially confirmed. “

  2. What we really need at the core of all this big-cinema Marvel news is a new Fantastic Four movie that doesn’t suck donkey balls! With the REAL Dr. Doom in it, please…

  3. I’m a Marvel fan, but not really in the loop about Ant-Man.  Couldn’t he be killed fairly easily, like by being stood on?  Or trapped in honey?  What is he really bringing to the table in a bout?

    1.  Well, of course the Pym Particles, which give Henry Pym the power to change size at will would prevent any sort of hijinks such as those.

      He pretty much brings the ability to be small and talk to ants.  You can see why he was replaced by Namor (regular size, talks to fish), it’s hard to draw all those varying size perspectives.

      1. Fair enough, but what does he actually do, like ruin Doctor Doom’s annual picnic or something?


        1. Well, he would presumably return to regular size to unlock the door and let the people who beat up Dr. Doom in.  I mean, it’s comics during an era when someone thought “I just saw Them the other night, what if we had a little guy who had to fight ants and stuff?”  and filled in a lot of the answers later on.  I mean, Superman couldn’t even originally fly (but he could leap over a building in a single bound!)

          But I am enjoying the thought of Dr. Doom at a picnic right now, so many thanks for that.

          1. Word is the test footage shows him doing exactly that–using his shrinking abilities to become “invisible” and quickly re-sizing to normal to punch his opponents. All in the blink of an eye. That said, many of his silver age cover appearances show him under some baddie’s foot about to get squashed.

        2. Nerding out here, ant/bee societies are not socialistic. They are extremely stratified and held to work to death in the service of the hive/swarm. Each citizen does not have any possessions, and is not allowed to go outside the bounds of their duty, unless they are a new queen. I am guessing Absolute Monarchy is a little too light here, perhaps they are more Cultist?

    2.  IIRC, the current version has him retaining his strength at tiny size; so he’s delivering the force of a normal person’s arm through a fist the size of a pin point. The same trick keeps him from being squashed by a foot. In addition, most versions of Ant Man have ant pheromone powers, so he can control swarms of ants to attack people and ride flying ants around. It’s never really discussed where these thousaands of ants come from when he needs them.

      There’s also strategies based on doing things like growing to full size while very close to someone and knocking them over. I mean, it’s comic book physics so questions of mass, etc.  are pretty slippery, but they do find ways for him to beat people up.

      If you’re looking to do some reading, I quite enjoyed the stuff with the third Ant-Man (Eric O’Grady); morally bankrupt and funny. His Ant-Man appeals to the same sort of audience that Deadpool does.

    3. Ant-Man is a founding member of the Avengers. He wears a helmet can control ants and has a suit with the ability to grow dozens of feet tall or shrink down to the size of an insect.

    4. Henry Pym is one of the most intelligent characters in the Marvel Universe.  Right up there with Mr. Fantastic and Tony.  His inventions and capacity to nerd out are a huge part of the character.

      He is called Ant Man but in addition to shrinking he can become huge.  Maybe 50 ft. tall or so.  Luckily his strength increases in proportion when he grows but is not affected when he shrinks.

       He has an Ok love story with the Wasp and basically just suffers from an unfortunately outdated name.  Which allows us to trivialize him in online comments.


    1. Even as a big SG fan, I don’t want them to do it unless/until they do it right. 

  4. >”what better people to watch make penis jokes, really?”
    I’m not a native speaker, and after some head-scratching I even understood what’s meant here, but that doesn’t look like proper English to me.

    >”also showed his test footage for Ant-Man also showed off his test footage for Ant-Man”
    Apply directly to the forehead.

    Is this writer like an intern here? A replacement for Leigh Alexander?

    Well then, at least you replaced HER.

  5. I’d love to see the Fantastic Four and Galactus in a movie. Or how about Apocalypse with the X-Men? 

    1. FF, Galactus, and Silver Surfer were in a terrible flick already. Probablly won’t be in the first film of a reboot series.

      What we should all be wishing for though is that Fox herp-a-derps and runs out of time so that the rights go back to Misney so they can add them to the current Avengers universe.

  6. Ant-man? Meh, been done before…


  7. Rocket Raccoon is headed for the big screen.
    Is the epic, universe-altering awesomeness of this fact not apparent to you people?
    Why yes, I am serious.

    1.  Some of us are still having terrible Bruce-Willis-as-raccoon flashbacks from Over The Hedge.

      I recall being a little excited for Howard the Duck back in the day as well, so I’ll at least wait until I see a trailer.  :)

  8. I don’t get the hullaballoo around Marvel pressing forward with all these sequels. This isn’t a greedy hollywood thing – this is a comic book thing. Comics are serials – this is what they do – they go on forever. My argument carries over to reboots to, like the recent Spider-Man. Comics are constantly re-telling the origin story and re-booting the issue numbers. That’s how they work. You don’t have to be young to read comics but it is larely in the relm of youth culture – which means the target audience is refreshed every so often – and the comics follow suit. Unless this is veiled DC-fan-boo-hooing, I don’t really understand.

    1. My general impression is that Hollywood is dangerously close to just rebooting itself in an endless loop  and Marvel just sorta reinforces that paradigm by basically just releasing sequels. Of course, they will make money, but call me crazy, but it would be nice for Hollywood or Marvel specifically, if they also produced new stories, not just rehashes of comics already in existence. It would fantastic for example, if they could commision their own creative talent to produce something new. Entirely new. Part of the magic of cinema is in the unknown, and sadly this is just more of the same.  

      1. I think a Guardians of the Galaxy movie would fit that “new” mold. It’s a storyline and characters unheard of to non-comics and maybe even non-Marvel readers, so hats off to them there, instead of trying another Punisher or solo Hulk movie.



      Not necessarily.  Word on the street is that the Ruskies put Bucky on ice for a few years themselves and used him sparingly through the years, so he’s about the same age as Cap.

  9. Yeah, Green lantern put the breaks on DC.  Batman has been wonderful but… with only one more to go there isn’t much of  a future, unless the bain broken back thing creates an oppurtunity..

    I am really surprised that a Wonder Woman movie hasn’t had money thrown at it by the fistful.  Judging just by the lunchbox sales, that would be a blockbuster.

    BTW, The FLash,  Gren Arrow, Martian Man-hunter, and many more are out there and a lot better than Thor.

    1. You know, as much as GL didn’t wow everyone, they should just say “fuck it, let’s do a sequel” and scale back to a better script. Also, kill off Blake Lively’s character or recast it because she was the wretched sea anchor that sank that ship.

      It was great seeing Oa on screen though.

      1. You know, it really hurts to be the person who kind of liked Green Lantern, loved John Carter but thought Avengers Assemble was a bit of a dog’s breakfast.  I did enjoy it, but probably not as much as the other two.  I can only assume that it was because I grew up with Hal Jordan and Dejah Thoris, whereas I couldn’t give two hoots for Iron Man or Thor.

      2.  What are you crazy people talking about?  In green lantern they made a movie about a popular jock and a nerd getting super powers.  And for some reason they thought it would be an interesting change of pace to make the jock the good guy, and the nerd be bad, and then have the jock kill the nerd without remorse.  All the while craming in tons of poorly timed exposition.  It was an emotionally devoid piece of crap that involved a gian matchbox race set made of green imagination energy…   Need I go on?

  10. i’ve seen most of the marvel movies (most recent THOR) and they are absolute rubbish! i mean, honestly, the stories are boring if not pointless and super basic. the action is high end cgi to the point of bleeding from all orifices. the red letter media  captain america review is pretty good and they made brief mention of other comic book movies that fall under the same umbrella. i feel that if you’re going to do something do it right. comic books work because they’re comic books. subsequently they become storyboards for movies. unfortunately, a majority of the details, storytelling, emotions and character development gets cut in order to produce a 90 minute movie. hollywood is churning these out because they’re huge moneymakers  and they know it! why should they invest in quality storytelling formulas and character arcs and complex creative stuff that goes into a good movie when they can just pop them out left and right and rake in the profits?

    1. the action is high end cgi to the point of bleeding from all orifices.

      I saw an early production still of Chris Hemsworth and thought, “Yeah, I could look at that rack on a big screen.” And then I saw some more production stills and thought, “Oh, it’s going to be one of those dingy, blue-gray, CGI-bodies-with-human-heads looking films. Maybe I’ll just skip it.”

  11. Am I the only adult in the known universe who has absolutely no use or interest for anything superhero?

    ‘Super powers’, stupid costumes, ‘secret identities’, ludicrous super-villains – Wasn’t the entire concept dreamed up in comic books for 12-year-old boys?  When did this become an adult thing?

    1.  Well, one could pretty much say the same thing about any escapist fantasy ever.  Star Wars.  Indiana Jones.  Shakespeare.  Greek drama.  Opera. It’s all kind of silly when you think about it (Really, Hamlet?  Your uncle married your mom after offing your dad?  Get over it.).

      1. Really, Hamlet? Your uncle married your mom after offing your dad? Get over it.

        You mean like how the Yorkist Richard III married the widow of the Lancastrian heir, who was killed in battle?

        1.  Yes, yes, I think we all know Shakespeare was pandering to the Tudorian throne, let’s not go over ancient history with the rest of class.

          My point was, to those who don’t enjoy it, whatever it is, baseball, Shakespeare, comics, it can be seen as stupid or ludicrous.  Personally I enjoy an evening with MacBeth more than an evening with Jeter and company (or any of your local team’s heroes) but I recognize that I am certainly in the minority.

      2. Those things are all relatively “grown-up” though, even if they all are ludicrous in their own way. The very concept of superheroes is simply juvenile and I think that was @boingboing-37fc487ab6d2b447b8c767892ba60c64:disqus ‘s point.

        That’s not to say that I don’t think you can do grown-up things with superheroes (that came out wrong) but to me superheroes and other juvenile stuff is simply not that interesting, and in most cases actually a turn-off. If you can overcome that with a great story, acting, and writing, then great – and the best superhero movies achieve that, combining the whiz-bang stuff the kids like with stuff that entertains people with different tastes too. But most don’t and are boring.

        I don’t go out of my way to see most superhero movies, but I end up seeing most of them for one reason or another. Most I completely forget immediately, the main exception being the original Superman film which is excellent :)

    2.  I generally share your opinion, but interesting things can be done by using the fact that it’s a ‘disposable’ pulp medium for teenagers and turning those conventions around to make something interesting… The Alan Moore run of Miracleman/Marvelman, for example, did this, as did Watchmen… asking the question of what would realistically be the implications for society if we had a bunch of god-like beings running around, or borderline psychotic people in costumes… or in the case of Johnny Bates aka Kid Marvelman, a young hero sidekick character who over the decades turns into a legitimate psychotic with god-like powers and ends up killing half of london because he’s bored… terrifying

    3. “When did this become an adult thing?”
      Well, when those 12-years-old boys (and girls !) you mention became adults, of course. To be completely honest, Marvel and DC did try to go with the flow and they did some interesting things with the universe that are completely readable by an adult, with complex characters, morally ambiguous situation, etc. 
      For a few examples of this, see Garth Ennis’ run on The Punisher, Frank Miller’s Watchmen or Michael Straczynski’s Supreme Power.

  12. I normally have no interest whatsoever in superhero comic books and movies, but I have to say I am extremely pumped up about the prospect of a GOG/Rocket Raccoon film. A sentient raccoon blowing stuff up with rocket launchers is a must-see situation for me… plus Cosmo the talking russian astrophysicist dog. Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty much the only well-written ‘superhero’ comic I’ve read in the past 10-15 years…

  13. DC sucks. MAKE HEROES FOR HIRE!!!! Or even Better Thunderbolts! And Stop Making Ultimate Versions of Movies those story lines are Terrible and ruin the 616 Universe that we all grew up on.

  14. If Disney knows one thing recently, it’s how to make great movies, as long as there’s no mention of Mars (John Carter, Mars Needs Moms).

    Glad to see their commitment to a great genre of movies.

  15. I long for the day that Marvel gets back the right to all of their characters. People say that comic movies will die out but I think the smart folks in Hollywood are catching that they have decades of strong stories and story boards already made up for some awesome movie material.  People love good mythology and they also love good stories.  They have both and Marvel has just had the foresight to transfer it to film with as much care as they did their core comics. Kudos to marvel. I hope they become a movie power house. I look forward to years of good movies. Now, DC and other good sources of “graphic” novels get on the ball.

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