‘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

Why Obi-Wan Kenobi Can’t Be Rey’s Father

Continuing on her press tour promoting the new documentary ‘The Eagle Huntress’ for which she serves as executive producer, actress Daisy Ridley offered a clue as to when we might get to learn the parentage of her character Rey, who was introduced to audiences last Christmas in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Continuing on her press tour promoting the new documentary The Eagle Huntress for which she serves as executive producer, actress Daisy Ridley offered a clue as to when we might get to learn the parentage of her character Rey, who was introduced to audiences last Christmas in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

When asked by Vulture about the fan-theory that Obi-Wan Kenobi is Rey’s father, Ridley had this to say:

We will see in a year. Just sit tight on that question.

Sounds like we will definitely be getting the answer in a year when Episode VIII hits theaters. But there is one thing I can tell you for sure, Rey’s father is most certainly not Obi-Wan Kenobi.

What we know:

The Force Awakens is set 32 years after Return of the Jedi, the end of the classic trilogy which spanned 6 years in the timeline — making it a total of 38 years since the death of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. At the time of The Force Awakens, Rey is 19 years old, which means she would not be conceived for another 19 years after Obi-Wan’s death so it would be impossible for the Jedi Master to be her father unless he donated to a galactic sperm bank before his demise.

What makes sense:

While some signs point to Luke Skywalker being the father of Rey, there is a bigger chance that Rey is actually a vergence in the force. A vergence or nexus point was a phenomenon of the force that was centered on a place or around an object, and in some rare cases a person.

I have encountered a vergence in the Force.”
“Located around a person?”

―Qui-Gon Jinn and Mace Windu on the discovery of Anakin Skywalker.

When the force is out of balance, the force itself will create a vergence to restore balance between the light and the dark. With the dark side rising with Snoke and Kylo Ren — and Luke in exile on Ahch-To, it’s possible that Rey was created with the purpose of finding Luke and restoring balance to the force in the galaxy together.

SOURCE: VULTURE

Kevin Feige on ‘Captain Marvel’ Director; Strongest Superhero Yet

Marvel is still taking its time finding a director for its first female lead superhero film, Captain Marvel. After the studio announced Brie Larson in the title role at Comic-Con, several sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the studio had it zeroed in on three female directors — Niki Caro (Whale Rider), Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) and Lesi Linka Glatter (Homeland). As of today the studio has still not made it’s decision, however. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has promised they will have made their choice by the end of the year.

Marvel is still taking its time finding a director for its first female lead superhero film, Captain Marvel. After the studio announced Brie Larson in the title role at Comic-Con, several sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the studio had it zeroed in on three female directors —  Niki Caro (Whale Rider),  Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) and Lesi Linka Glatter (Homeland). As of today, the studio has still not made its decision, however. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has promised they will have made their choice by the end of the year.

In an interview with Vulture, Feige was asked what the holdup was. His response:

I expect to have a director by the end of the year. We’ve been meeting amazing filmmakers, but often the way we work, as was the case on Doctor Strangeand most of our movies, is that we have a … I don’t want to say a ‘road map,’ but we have a general view of what the movie is and then we meet with filmmakers and share that with them and then they pitch it back to us in a better fashion.

The movie won’t release until March 8, 2019, so the studio still has a while before cameras roll, however. It is expected that we will get our introduction to the character a year prior in Avengers Infinity War. 

Feige also expressed why Larson was it was so important to have Larson in the role.

It’s very important to us that all of our heroes do not become silhouette-perfect cutout icons. All of the Marvel characters have flaws to them, all of them have a deep humanity to them. With Captain Marvel, she is as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie. Her powers are off the charts, and when she’s introduced, she will be by far the strongest character we’ve ever had. It’s important, then, to counterbalance that with someone who feels real. She needs to have a humanity to tap into, and Brie can do that.

I hate to draw comparisons to D.C., but while I was totally captivated by Gal Gadot’s performance (in the brief screen time we got of her in BvS), she didn’t do much besides save the day and kick Doomsday’s ass. It’s good to know that Marvel is looking for someone who can do more than just look good while in action. Larson will no doubt bring an emotional depth that could help the film transcend the superhero genre (even as fantastical as the character is — flying around blasting energy from her hands as she defends the earth from alien threats) and make the film as the first female lead Marvel feature stand out as something more than just another comic book movie.

Captain Marvel is slated to hit theaters March 8, 2019.

SOURCES: VULTURE, THR