In case you missed it somehow—maybe you were busy watching Daredevil—Avengers: Age of Ultron is very close to hitting theaters, when it’ll become the biggest movie ever released or something (well, until the new Star Wars in December, at least). There has been all manner of promotion for it in the last week, including livestreams of the red carpet premiere and revelations that one of the biggest mysteries about the movie’s trailer wasn’t actually meant to be a mystery at all. But let’s just presume you already knew all that and move on. Here, instead, is the cream of the superhero movie news crop from the last seven days that isn’t Ultron-centric (apart from one item).
SUPER IDEA (MAYBE?): A Change for Wonder Woman
On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter had the news that director Michelle MacLaren had left Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman movie due to what are being called “creative differences”—in other words, the go-to euphemism for “we’re not really going to tell you what happened.” But don’t worry, the WW movie isn’t in too much trouble. Just two days later, THR broke the story that Patty Jenkins would be replacing her, and that everything was surprisingly still on track.
Why this is just confusing: The MacLaren Wonder Woman held a lot of promise, considering her amazing work on television, and the “creative differences” reasoning is something that almost always covers up a bad scene that nobody wants to talk about, so we’ll probably never know what happened there. However, bringing Jenkins in is a smart move, not just because it shows that Warners is dedicated to keeping a woman at the helm of the movie, but also because Jenkins famously left Marvel’s second Thor movie over similar “creative differences” back in 2011, to the upset of the movie’s stars. Managing to avoid an Ant-Man-esque situation while also hiring someone who has previously walked away from a Marvel gig? Double points for bluntness, Warners.
SUPER IDEA: Marvel Courting Guardians of the Galaxy, Pixar Writers for Captain Marvel
THR also had the story that Marvel is looking to bring Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve together to co-write a screenplay for Captain Marvel, its 2018 project that will see the studio finally let a woman play the lead. Perlman has previous Marvel experience, having co-written last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, while LeFauve is one of the writers on the upcoming Pixar movie Inside Out. Both had submitted pitches for the movie separately, but Marvel intends to combine them into one screenplay.
Why this is super: As Guardians shows, Perlman’s got what it takes to “get” Marvel, and it’s hard to argue with the Pixar pedigree, so this seems like a pretty solid team for what’s going to be an important movie for Marvel. Now all we need is a director and a star… (For those wondering, yes, the “Michelle MacLaren is being courted for Captain Marvel” rumors started about five minutes after she left Wonder Woman.)
MEH IDEA: Captain Marvel Isn’t in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Speaking of Captain Marvel, it turns out she really was going to be in the second Avengers movie … in Joss Whedon’s mind, at least. “The way we reveal Scarlet Witch [in costume] at the end of the movie? Those were Captain Marvel plate shots,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told Badass Digest during an interview to promote Age of Ultron. “Joss said, ‘We’ll cast her later!’ And I said, ‘Yeah Joss, we’ll cast her later.’ [Whispers to an invisible associate who isn’t Joss] ‘We’re not putting her in there!'” The reason Feige was against her showing up in the movie was that bringing her into the movie without a proper origin “would have done that character a disservice,” he explained. Sorry, Carol fans.
Why this is … well, common sense, more than anything: As much as there’s a certain element of the comic book fanbase currently very upset at this news, it’s hard to argue that Feige’s wrong. Just dropping Captain Marvel into the movie without a real introduction makes her seem peripheral to events and less important or interesting than the other heroes as a result (kind of like Hawkeye in Thor). It’s not the worst idea to let her rest until she can get the attention she deserves.
SUPER IDEA: Olivia Munn Is a Mutant
Clearly, Bryan Singer has reached the Jim Lee period of Uncanny X-Men in his research for next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Not only do we know that Jubilee will show up and have heard many rumors that Channing Tatum’s Gambit will also make an appearance, but now it turns out that The Newsroom’s Olivia Munn will be playing Psylocke, the caucasian supermodel turned Asian ninja much beloved by teenage boys because of her fighting skills and knife, which is the focused totality of her psychic powers and not her figure-hugging costume at all.
Why this is super: We abandoned X-Men just before Psylocke came into ascendance as a character, but we can’t deny that we’re looking forward to hearing whether or not Munn actually has to deliver the line about her knife being the focused totality of her psychic abilities. If she doesn’t, we can at least hope she’s asked to do so at every interview and convention appearance to promote the movie.
SUPER IDEA: Ant-Man Might Not Be as Bad as You Feared
What with all the overwhelming hype surrounding the oh-so-close release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, you might have forgotten that another Marvel Studios movie is set for release this year. In case that’s true, Marvel tried to rekindle interest in Ant-Man by releasing another trailer—one that’s thankfully not as dull as the first.
Why this is super: Putting aside the really distracting performances of everyone involved that isn’t Paul Rudd (seriously, everyone comes across as weirdly affected and unconvincing, right?), there are a couple of lines and/or moments here that suggest that there’s a funny and fun movie struggling to be released from under all the self-importance. Please, oh please, let the finished product end up being more like that than the first trailer suggested.