Sigourney Weaver Teases Villainous Role in ‘The Defenders’

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Next year, not only will Marvel lead the genre in diversity with the upcoming Black Panter and Spider-Man: Homecoming films, but it will also debut three new Netflix series including Iron Fist, The Punisher, and the culmination of the entire Netflix corner yet, The Defenders.

The studio already dominates the superhero landscape with its epic blockbusters. But Marvel has managed to dig deeper, past the glossy popcorn flicks into something darker and moodier with its Netflix corner of the MCU. The streaming service offers Marvel a chance to explore adult themes that show us the consequences of being a street level hero fighting against corrupt politicians and the criminal underworld as the heroes try to cling to some sense of normalcy in their lives.

The Defenders is currently shooting on location in New York City. An official synopsis has yet to be released but it is known that the series will follow Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and Finn Jones (Iron Fist) as they put their resources together and team-up to take on Sigourney Weaver who’s villainous character is still unknown at this point.

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While promoting the new film A Monster Calls, Weaver was asked by Variety about her role in The Defenders:

“I can’t say much, because they might kill me. I think everyone I work for might kill me if I tell you anything. But I have the most delicious character. She’s really smart, and she’s very in charge.”

When Marvel officially revealed Weaver had been cast as the villain for The Defenders at New York Comic Con, the room erupted. So far each Marvel Netflix series has offered a more compelling villain than any of its theatrical outings yet. Continuing that trend, the team-up series has to serve up a villain who can not only challenge all four of the main heroes but shake them to their core. Weaver certainly has her work cut out for her because following Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, or Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth is going to be no small feat. But having an iconic actress such as herself in the mix playing a powerful woman seems like the perfect way to elevate the villains of the Netflix corner even further.

The Defenders hits Netflix sometime in 2017.

SOURCE: VARIETY

‘Black Panther’ Adds Angela Bassett

Marvel continues to add A-list talent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Today Marvel announced via Marvel.com that actress Angela Bassett has officially joined the cast of the upcoming Black Panther solo feature. Bassett will play Ramonda, the mother of the Black Panter himself. A casting choice that seems too good to be true

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Bassett joins an already star-studded cast which includes Chadwick BosemanForest WhitakerMichael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’oDanai GuriraDaniel KaluuyaWinston Duke, and Florence Kasumba. The film will be directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station).

The film is set to begin principal photography this January and will shoot up until May.

Marvel’s Black Panther hits theaters February 16, 2018.

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SOURCE: MARVEL

‘Marvel’s The Inhumans’ To Hit IMAX Theaters Before ABC Run

Rather than make their debut in phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvels The Inhumans is coming to television instead, however. In an unprecedented move, the show’s first two episodes will first premiere exclusively in IMAX theaters before beginning its first season on ABC in the fall of 2017.

This marks the first time a television show has had a theatrical debut in history as well as the first time IMAX has ever produced a television series. IMAX will partner with Marvel Television and Disney/ABC TelevisionGroup to bring the series to life after the film version was dropped from the MCU’s already crowded release calendar.

The official press release describes the superhero team as a race of superhumans with diverse and singularly unique powers. The Inhumans were first introduced in Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965.

CEO Ben Sherwood, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, and president of Disney/ABC Television Group offered insight into the establishment of the groundbreaking new partnership.

This unprecedented alliance represents a bold, innovative approach to launching great TV content for a worldwide audience. It highlights Disney/ABC’s unrelenting commitment to finding new and creative ways to showcasing our very best programming and increasing global engagement and reach.

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SOURCE: MARVEL

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’: Tom Holland Reveals Planned Trilogy; Zendaya Talks Role; Feige Confirms Vulture

This week’s cover story for The Hollywood Reporter features Holland in the spotlight and the charming talent reveals some interesting information about his contract with Marvel and the direction Spidey is headed within the MCU.

It’s a big morning for Spider-Man: Homecoming. The web-slinger made his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe this past summer in Captain America: Civil War. While I can still remember the incredible experience I had seeing Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in theaters like it was yesterday, the moment I saw Tom Holland appear on-screen in the Civil War, it hit me like a truck: for the first time ever I was seeing the real Peter Parker.

Hollands performance was universally praised by critics and fans alike. It was a much-needed win for Marvel (and Sony) after not one, but two Spider-Man franchises fell apart across town in Culver City, California. Sony wasn’t ready to relinquish the rights back over to Marvel Studios but the two were able to find a common ground. Marvel would produce the film and Sony would distribute while maintaining final approval on the creative direction of the project.

This week’s cover story for The Hollywood Reporter features Holland in the spotlight and the charming talent reveals some interesting information about his contract with Marvel and the direction Spidey is headed within the MCU.

They give you options and those could be exercised whenever. Like a cameo in Avengers. I’m unclear as to which movies, though. I do know I have three Spider-Man [appearances in other] movies and three solo movies contracted. But if you have another movie, Marvel is so good at working around it. They’re very respectful of your life, really. They understand that you have to work on other movies, and they try and fix it up so you can work around each other.

So far, Holland has one appearance and one solo feature under his belt. Marvel currently has the next two Avengers films in development, the first of which, Avengers Infinity War begins shooting this spring. With two more appearances currently written into Hollands contract at this point, it would seem likely he will appear in at least one of the next two Avengers films.

Actress, singer, and dancer Zendaya is set to make her American silver-screen debut in Spider-Man: Homecoming. There has been a lot of speculation on the internet as to who she would be playing after her character was revealed to be named Michelle, which many thought to be a misdirect to conceal her role as Mary Jane Watson. After a photo posted to Instagram revealed the actress with red hair, the internet exploded with click-bait headlines suggesting Zendaya was, in fact, playing the jackpot herself. But other than a photo of her with red hair, there was no concrete evidence suggesting she was playing MJ. As it stands, she is still officially Michelle and the more we learn about the upcoming film, the less likely it seems she’ll be Mary Jane.

Zendaya also spoke with THR and confirmed that she is indeed NOT the love interest in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

My character is not romantic. My character is like very dry, awkward, intellectual and because she’s so smart, she just feels like she doesn’t need to talk to people, like ‘My brain is so far ahead of you that you’re just not really on my level.’ So she comes off very weird. But to me, she is very cool because she’s deep. She’s always thinking about something, always reading.

Zendaya also offered a very candid reaction to the rumors on the net about her playing the role of MJ.

People are going to react over anything. But nothing [about who she is playing] is fact. It’s like, you guys are just making shit up at this point and then reacting to it. Whenever we were on set, one of us gets some random character name [on the call sheet]. [Bloggers were] like, ‘Oh they must be so and so.’ And we just crack up about it, because it’s like, ‘Whatever you want to think. You’ll find out.’ It’s funny to watch the guessing game.”

Zendaya is absolutely right. Some bloggers tend to sell rumors as fast or totally misconstrue comments made by an actor or someone involved in a production for the sake of clicks. I’m glad to see the actress is offering some clarification and putting the kibosh on the rumors surrounding her character.

Lastly, the villain known as the Vulture, a former electronics engineer who creates a special harness of his own design allowing him to fly and providing him with enhanced strength has been rumored to be featured in the last several Spider-Man films including the Sam Raimi’s cancelled Spider-Man 4 as well as Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro.

Naturally, when it was announced Michael Keaton was on board to play the film’s villain, the rumors once again began to spread that the villain was going to be The Vulture. In this case, it has actually turned out to be true. President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige casually confirmed Keaton would indeed be playing the character to the Toronto Sun (h/t IGN) last Wednesday.

We’ve had a wish list and most of them in the near-term are coming together. Cate Blanchett is playing Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. Michael Keaton’s Vulture in Spider-Man is something. And of course, finally, we’re showcasing Josh Brolin’s Thanos (in Avengers: Infinity War). We’re looking forward to that very much.

An official synopsis for the film so it’s difficult to speculate as to which comic storyline the film will take influence from. The only thing we know for sure is that tonally, the film will take influence from the teen comedies by John Hughes in the 80’s.

The film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Donald GloverZendaya, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. with a script penned by Jonathan Goldstein and John Frances Daley, directed by Jon Watts.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7, 2017.

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SOURCE: THR, TORONTO SUN

Kevin Feige Wants A More Diverse Cast; Teases Unexpected Team-Ups

President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige discussed with Vulture about the evolution of the marvel cinematic universe as we near phase 4 of the franchise which will begin to diversify the line-up of characters featured in the MCU starting with the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.

President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige discussed with Vulture about the evolution of the marvel cinematic universe as we near phase 4 of the franchise which will begin to diversify the line-up of characters featured in the MCU starting with the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Our filmmaker [Jon Watts] came in and had pictures of real high schools, and they are as diverse as you could imagine…That was something that was important to us, to set it apart from other Spidey films that have been made — to carve that niche — and to have it represent the world today.

As a white person, I find myself totally taken out of most films which feature an all white cast. We need our art to reflect the way in which the world looks. While Hollywood is beginning to make some progress with diversity, most notably productions that fall under the mouse house Disney, there is still a long way to go. I can only imagine how other races must feel watching nothing but white superheroes kick ass in these films. I would feel incredibly alienated.

I also think we need to see more ordinary looking people represented in a film today. It’s hard to identify with characters when everyone who playing them is so stunningly attractive. We can sit back and admire them, but many of these blockbuster films — especially Marvel movies — exist so far outside of us that as much as we can enjoy them, it prevents us from having a transformative film going experience. I find myself consistently gravitating back to 70’s, 80’s and 90’s cinema not because I grew up with motion pictures shot on celluloid, but because of the more ordinary and somewhat disheveled leads of the past, I find I’m able to establish a deeper connection with the characters.

Feige also teased unexpected team-ups in future Marvel films, encouraging fans to be a bit more imaginative when speculating about which characters could share scenes in phase 4.

Particularly in Infinity War and the movie after that, there are … unexpected team-ups

Who would you like to see team-up in a future Marvel film? Personally, I am all for Spider-Man and Ant-Man as I think they would make for a hilarious duo on screen. They both have that natural charm that I think would bounce well off of each other. I can’t really imagine how their powers would combination in action which is exactly why I would love to see it.

SOURCE: VULTURE

Kevin Feige Talks ‘Infinity War,’ The 2019-2020 MCU, Spider-Man, and ‘Doctor Strange’

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sat down with Collider recently to discuss the plethora of projects that are currently underway, and quickly approaching on the horizon. With candor, and a palpable sense of excitement, Feige talked at length about what is and what’s to come, having nearly a decade of time at the helm of the studio behind him.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sat down with Collider recently to discuss the plethora of projects that are currently underway and quickly approaching on the horizon. With candor and a palpable sense of excitement, Feige talked at length about what is and what’s to come, having nearly a decade of time at the helm of the studio behind him.

Fans have been clamoring to have Spider-Man back on the Marvel roster on the regular more than in just a battle royale from time-to-time. Feige was optimistic while discussing the upcoming Spidey film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will bring star Tom Holland back into the webbing, as well as what has been viewed as an icy relationship between Marvel and Sony, especially where the shared characters between the two have been concerned.

“We’re figuring it out. I mean, it was really the specifics for Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Spider-Man: Homecoming just wrapped as you know and we’re just getting into cutting that movie, so that’s the primary focus but we are…that iceberg is thawed and is non existent. So we talk to them all the time about what could be fun for the future.”

As to whether or not Spider-Man is going to appear in Infinity War:

“I would say that is part of the surprise. I don’t want to spoil anything one way or another.”

Speculation on whether or not there will ever be ongoing or even one-shot crossovers between the growing ensemble of incredible characters in the Netflix MCU has driven a lot of hot topics. To answer those particular lines of thought at this moment:

“I think it’s extremely impressive what Netflix has done and it will be the same answer I always give, which is, “It all depends on timing.” It all depends on how to do it because I don’t think what anybody wants to do is have such important characters show up for one second.”

There are varying thoughts about how many characters will actually appear on-screen in Avengers:Infinity War and the more ardent researchers have even surmised that there will be over 60. Feige’s thoughts on this are humored and delightfully vague.

“There are a lot of characters in [the first[ Captain America; there are a lot of characters in The Winter Soldier, and of course Civil War has as many as we’ve ever had, so it’s in very capable hands [when] it comes to divvying up the storylines in a way that services a primary narrative but [also] showcases many characters. How many times will all 30, 50, 60 whatever it is be in the frame at the same time that is the hard part. And not much.”

Moving ahead, as far as the years 2019, and 2020, Feige ruminates on the projects up ahead, while pulling from the successes in the rear view mirror.

“We know what we’d like them to be for 2020. Over the years, where we’re aiming we’ve been lucky enough that it’s usually been the same thing but we always leave ourselves the opportunity to bob and weave and adapt if we have to. But we know where we’re headed for 2020 and we have ideas and were beginning to solidify the years beyond that.”

With the imminent release of Doctor Strange looming large for November 4th, 2016, Feige also talks about introducing an entirely ‘new’ character into the MCU fold.

“Whenever we introduce a new character or a new conceit, it’s another tool in the storytelling story box for future movies. I think with all of those tools there are great examples in the comics of how to utilize them in really fun and amazing ways. There are [also] examples of how the whole thing could collapse in on itself—if you’re not careful. So I think we’re well aware of that and want to always try to use new conceits sparingly and in a way that enhances the story we’re telling versus making it unwieldy and confusing to people who haven’t followed along the whole journey.”

Straightforward, and getting to the heart of the matter as always, Feige is definitely comfortable hefting the mantle of the MCU as studio President, and anticipating the astounding journeys we all have ahead of us is going to be just as fun as striding up to the comic book racks of old and summoning our heroes to inspire us as we join them on their journeys.

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SOURCECOLLIDER

Kevin Feige on The Defenders Appearing in the MCU

At the recent press junket for Doctor Strange, Collider’s Steve Weintraub A.K.A. Frosty spoke with Kevin Feige about what it would take for one Marvel’s Netflix heroes to appear alongside the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

At the recent press junket for Doctor Strange, Collider’s Steve Weintraub A.K.A. Frosty spoke with Kevin Feige about what it would take for one Marvel’s Netflix heroes to appear alongside the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

KEVIN FEIGE: I think it’s extremely impressive what Netflix has done and it will be the same answer I always give, which is, “It all depends on timing.” It all depends on how to do it because I don’t think what anybody wants to do is have such important characters show up for one second. Black Panther and Spider-Man to me are the high bar in Civil War of how you can bring in new characters into something. Vision and Ultron, Wanda and Pietro in Ultron. And it takes a lot of screentime, and it takes a lot of work. Infinity War has a lot of people in it already. So it just depends on how we could figure it out.

While I would love to see any of The Defenders — or one of the villains for that matter —   in a Marvel movie (cough cough, Kingpin), my concern is that there would be a tonal clash. It’s not that I don’t think they could work in a movie, it’s that the Netflix corner of the MCU would obviously earn itself an R-rating — or in this case a TV-MA rating if it were to air on Network television. For it to work Marvel would need to strike a balance between the dark, moody, and violent tone of the Netflix shows with the shiny coke and popcorn flavor of the MCU. I also think it would work better if The Defenders were to crossover with a solo Captain America, or Spider-Man film — not with The Avengers. It would end up being exactly what Feige is saying he doesn’t want to be. The Defenders would need to play a key role and serve a crucial purpose for it to feel organic.

If it were to happen — and for it to work, Marvel would need the right director, or possibly directors. But I think they already have the right guys in the mix. If anyone could do it, it would be The Russo Brothers. I think it’s evident in the tone of the scene when (spoiler alert) Winter Solider kills Tony Stark’s parents. It had the same dark mood that is consistent with all of Marvel’s Netflix series.

What do you guys think? If you could hand pick a director to cross The Defenders over with the MCU, who would it be and why?

SOURCE: COLLIDER