In a week when we can only hope Ryan Reynolds doesn’t pull another Deadpool-related hoax between the completion of this column and its publication—seriously, we’re really hoping that doesn’t happen again—it’s time to focus on the important things in life. Like, for example, the fact that we’re less than a month away from the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron (squee!). If you thought that meant a potential winding down of the movie’s heavy promotion, think again, true believers! And for the rest of us, here are the highlights of the last week’s superhero movie news.
SUPER IDEA: ABC Stands for Avengers Broadcasting Company, It Seems
If you can’t wait until May 1 to see the Avengers again, ABC is flexing its corporate sibling muscles (the network, like Marvel, is owned by Disney) to bring the actors together twice before the release of the movie, once on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on April 13 and again on Good Morning America on April 24. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner will be meeting and greeting the television masses to promote the new team-up movie out next month, because the alternative is watching this final trailer over and over again until May 1.
Why this is super: It’s always been clear the cast of the Avengers movies really get on, and they’re all almost offensively charming. Having them all show up on TV to be charming together? That might even be more fun than the movie itself.
SUPER IDEA: Meet the Fantastic Four
While we wait for a new trailer for Josh Trank’s take on Marvel’s First Family, the director and Fantastic Four screenwriter Simon Kinberg have made four videos talking about each member of the super team, as well as the actors playing them, ahead of their big screen debut. Well, re-debut:
Why this is super: OK, so we didn’t really get to learn a lot more about the characters as much as Trank’s love for the actors, but there remains something unexpectedly thrilling about some of the casting choices being made in this movie. (The less said about Doctor Doom being hacker, mind you, the better.)
MEH IDEA: Guillermo del Toro’s DC Movie Might Be Made Without Guillermo del Toro
Dark Universe, a movie featuring some of DC Entertainment’s supernatural and horror heroes—including John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, and Zatanna—is a project that’s been in development for years, with director Guillermo del Toro having come up with the concept before Man of Steel was even released. Now, it seems, he might not get to bring the project to completion because of scheduling. “It all depends on the calendar, you know?” he told IGN last week. “You cannot say, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it after I do this’ or ‘I have the first season of The Strain‘ … [the movie] needs to fall into the plan of the DC Universe.”
Why this is villainy: Del Toro isn’t entirely removing himself from contention for the movie (he said, “If I can do it, I would love to do it,” adding that he thinks that “the screenplay and the characters are very solid”), but the idea of any other director taking on the project at this point feels almost as disappointing as Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man just before shooting. Isn’t there one superhero movie that can keep its auteur director all the way through its creation?
SUPER IDEA: Captain America Will Be Taking It From All Sides in 2016
Quick: who’s Captain America fighting in next year’s Captain America: Civil War? Tony Stark? Well, sure, that’s the entire point of the movie. What about Daniel Brühl’s mystery character, expected by most to be Baron Zemo, neo-Nazi and all-round bad egg? Probably. But, it turns out, he’ll have even more trouble on his plate, with Frank Grillo—who appeared as HYDRA agent Brock Rumlow in the last Cap movie—tweeting a suggestion that he’ll be showing up in the movie as well:
Cap, you better hope you have some super team or another backing you up in the next movie, otherwise you’re going to end up very busy (and probably very sore).
Why this is super: Sure, adding a third source of trouble might seem like overkill, but bringing Rumlow back not only works on a narrative level (he’s normally a flunky, so he could be working for Zemo, making him less an additional threat than emphasizing an existing one) but keeps some feel of continuity between Civil War and 2014’s The Winter Soldier. Now all we need is for Chris Evans’ star-spangled hero to go out in a blaze of glory and get replaced by Sebastian Stan’s Bucky. That’s not impossible, right…?
SUPER IDEA: Deadpool Gets Some Ajax
Yup, spoke too soon. Turns out there is a Deadpool bombshell this week—but it didn’t come from Ryan Reynolds. Ed Skrein, who you might remember from such roles as Guy Who Originally Played Daario Naharis on Game of Thrones, confirmed via Twitter that he will be playing Ajax in the upcoming, definitely-R-rated Deadpool movie.
Why this is super: Ajax is pretty much the reason for Deadpool being Deadpool. (He like invented Deadpool, you know what I mean?) They both came out of the Weapon X facility and spend their time antagonizing and/or trying to kill each other, and Ajax is a huge part of the Deadpool story. Knowing Skrein is already hard at work playing him is good news indeed.
SUPER IDEA: Space Moves to Atlanta, GA
James Gunn has been talking about the progress of the follow-up to last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, telling fans via Periscope that he’s turned in the treatment and is 70 pages into the screenplay and saying that his experience so far was “the best experience [I] ever had with a pitch.” Not only will the main heroes be back for the sequel, but Karen Gillan will be back as Nebula as well, with Gunn having apparently figured out a way for her to show up without having to shave her head again. In a second Periscope session, he revealed production will begin in February 2016, at Pinewood Atlanta Studios, a shift from the London location of the original.
Why this is super: Really, despite its flaws, who didn’t like the first Guardians movie? While we can be cynical about other comic book sequels (there are so many, after all), feeling churlish about another chance to spend time with Groot just seems petty. Roll on, May 2017.