It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a Marvel Studios update. Though with news on Agents of SHIELD, Ant-Man and Daredevil coming in each week, it’s time we round up the important stuff and figure out what it means. Hearing that Actor A is playing Character A doesn’t really mean anything if you don’t know who that character is. So as always, I won’t just update you; but actually show what these reveals can mean. Let’s get started!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (Season 2):
The show that went from just ok to amazing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for its second season in a few weeks; and things are looking even more awesome. Now for those of you STILL think there’s a happy ending for Skye and Ward – I know, they’re out there – LET IT GO! Honestly, there are much more important and awesome things in store for this season. For starters, let’s check out the new cast addition.
The Warrior Princess herself, Lucy Lawless, will be joining the team as a S.H.I.E.L.D. veteran Isabelle Hartly. If you need someone to trust in this post Hydra world, it’s Isabelle – and she doesn’t trust many. This is the woman who always sleeps with a knife by her side, and is ready for anything. Though she isn’t the only badass lady joining the team. Adrianne Palicki will join as Bobbi Morse aka Mockingbird. Who is Mockingbird you ask? Well her story might change slightly in the show – as Marvel does with all their characters – but Bobbi is usually known for having romantic ties to another bird-named S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent: Hawkeye. I’m sure Bobbi and Clint will have some sort of ‘history’ between them; or maybe that history will start in the show.
As for this Season’s big villains, we start off the first episode with Carl ‘Crusher’ Creel aka Absorbing Man who will be played by Brian Patrick. Continuing with the theme Lorelei started in Season 1, Absorbing Man is another staple Thor villain. Given the powers to absorb whatever material he touches, Absorbing Man might seem pretty simple; but is actually a ridiculously powerful villain. In the comics, he’s even been known to take on the power and properties of Thor’s mighty hammer itself. How much of this power he’ll retain in the show is again debatable; but fear not! There is another villain waiting in the background who is going to be the main Hydra baddie this season.
Reed Diamond has been cast to play the villainous Daniel Whitehall. Now I know that might not seem scary; but maybe it’ll be better to know Daniel’s other name ‘The Kraken’. Much like the Winter Soldier, ‘The Kraken’ is a ghost and very little is known about him. He’s one of the founding members of Hydra and has incredibly advanced armor. Now I’m sure those details might be changed a bit – much like how Von Strucker is usually a founding member; but he looks pretty young in the Marvel Studios version. Though the Kraken’s most dangerous ability is his power of manipulation, which he uses to bring out a person’s full potential – or what he sees it to be.
Who Daniel will use this ability on – or if he’ll even retain it – remains to be seen; but there are two prime candidates that he could target story-wise. The first of which is obviously Grant Ward, the traitorous agent who didn’t believe in the Hydra Creed but still tried to kill all his former teammates and friends. Daniel could definitely turn Ward fully to the cause or maybe give him a new villain identity – the cold and calculating Taskmaster perhaps?
The other possible target for Daniel would – also – obviously be Skye considering we know there is apparently a darkness inside her. Whether or not it’ll work is a different story since Coulson is a really good influence and she’s not a weak character by any means. Though Skye will have bigger problems as her father makes his return, this time played by Kyle MacLachlan. You might recognize MacLachlan as ‘The Captain’ from How I Met Your Mother, so the idea of him playing her father is hilarious but also very exciting. I’m intrigued to see where he’ll – and everything this season – will go with this, especially since we can expect some build up/consequences from Avengers 2: Age of Ultron to take effect in the second half of the season.
With all the problems Ant-Man had at the start of this year – and the fact that it’s been in production since Ironman (2008) – it’s SO satisfying to hear that filming has already begun for this film. We can see Paul Rudd in costume as Scott Lang; and if you aren’t familiar with Scott origins, you can see that he doesn’t really look like the hero type. Despite the disheveled looks – and thieving ways – he’s a thief primarily to save his daughter Cassie – who WILL be in the film. Though Rudd isn’t the only one we got to see in character.
Evangeline Lily was revealed to be playing Hope Van Dyne, Hank Pym’s daughter, in Ant-Man during San Diego Comic Con; but fans really wanted to know if she’d be picking up her mother Janet’s mantle as The Wasp. Well judging by new set photos of Evangeline, she has a definite Janet/Wasp vibe. I highly doubt Wasp will appear in the film; but I’m willing to bet there’ll be a quick nod to her future identity – whether it be a post credits scene or joking pass like Rhodey did in Ironman (2008) to signify War Machine was coming.
Beyond these two getting into character, a ton of additional cast members have been announced including Judy Greer from Archer. Corey Stoll will also be playing Hank’s former pupil/ Yellowjacket in the film as the primary antagonist. Though the real casting surprise will be John Slatter’s return as Howard Stark (Ironman 2). Some might be sad it’s not Dominic Cooper (Captain America), but with flashbacks approximately 20 years in the past, Slattery’s Howard would be closer in age, not the young WWII Howard Cooper brought us. Perhaps this film will even touch upon how Hydra assassinated Howard Stark. At the very least, we’ll get to see some Stark/Pym teamwork.
Quickly checking in with the first in Marvel’s line of Netflix exclusive content, Deborah Ann Woll is set to play Daredevil’s love interest Karen Page and Daredevil has even begun filming already. Though the best news right now comes from Vincent D’Onofrio, who as I previously covered will be playing the villainous mob boss known as The Kingpin. He might not have any super powers; but he is one of the most frightening and ruthless villains in Marvel. Fans have already been rejoicing at D’Onofrio’s casting as Kingpin – and it looks like that rejoicing was well earned.
In an interview with Screencrush, D’Onofrio went to great lengths to explain how everything that’s going on right now is to make the absolute definitive Kingpin. He isn’t just the behind the scenes mob boss; but he actually gets his hands dirty and is an absolute beast of a fighter. “There will be no other Wilson Fisk [Kingpin] but this one after we’re all done with it.” Though he didn’t stop there. D’Onofrio even hinted at future crossovers for Marvel’s Netflix series and special – though he wasn’t at liberty to discuss anything specific.
We’re still waiting on casting updates for Doctor Strange – come on Cumberbatch or Leto – but I’m going to use this section to address an idiotic rumor that’s is trying to get spread: that ‘Doctor Strange won’t be an origins movie’. WRONG!!!! Whether you ask Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige or just us common sense, this rumor is clearly laughable. Here’s why…
For starters, what makes Marvel Studios films so popular is that they make accessible characters people wouldn’t otherwise know. Exhibit A, most of us had no idea who the Guardians of the Galaxy were so Marvel explained it. Hell, even Ironman’s story wasn’t universally known before Ironman in 2008. So by skipping that origin for Doctor Strange, Marvel would be leaving a huge part of Doctor Strange’s history out. Especially since Doctor Strange has quite possibly one of the best origin stories of them all!
It’s not just about a self centered – yet brilliant – surgeon who finds humility after he loses the use of his hands. Doctor Strange’s biggest triumph is that is a man of science who learns to trust in fate and forces beyond the unseen eye. It’s dualisms such as these that any good Doctor Strange story must possess; and if the audience doesn’t see this growth, then they might as well label the film ‘for pre-existing fans only’.
But if you don’t trust my word for it – or your own rational – then listen to Marvel Studios Head Kevin Feige. Feige spoke at length about how Doctor Strange will be a classic Marvel origin story – again because “he’s got one of the best origins ever”. Even if the movie begins in media res – like Thor – he won’t be the full-fledged Sorcerer Supreme yet. We learned he’s a ‘possible threat’ in Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, so he may have begun his mystic training already. Either way, he will still have things to come to terms with in this film. He’ll still try to figure out scientific explanations for things he doesn’t yet understand. He WILL be introduced and grow with a new generation of fans.
Ms Marvel and Black Panther Incoming:
To say fans want a Black Panther or Captain Marvel/ Ms Marvel movie is an understatement; and Marvel Studios knows this. When asked about these films, Kevin Feige said:
“They’re both characters that we like, that development work has been done on and continues to be done on and certainly the public… it’s a question I get asked more than anything else. More than Iron Man 4. More than The Avengers 3. And that’s sort of the fist time that’s really happened to us so I think that makes a difference. I think that’s something we have to pay attention to.”
So if Marvel Studios is doing research and is says that these are the biggest things they know fans want, you can bet its going to happen; but when? Well as I first hypothesized, we might get a reference to Wakanda in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron – depending on whether or not Ultron’s composed of vibranium. Though after seeing the hearing about the teaser trailer for the film, it seems like Captain America’s shield gets shattered. This points more and more to a need for Black Panther story-wise.
Though even without story elements, Black Panther is an incredible character. Besides being the first black Superhero in mainstream American comics, he’s an incredible badass. Brilliant, Olympic level abilities and superhuman senses, add in some a bunch of vibranium weapons and gear and you have an all around amazing hero. He also pairs quite well with Captain America – since they respect each other a lot – so we might be seeing him very shortly (introduced in Captain America 3 perhaps?).
As for Captain Marvel/Ms Marvel, people have been theorizing this to be Coulson and Skye for a while now – since it looks like their alien donor was Kree and the mantel of Mar-vel is given to those who have Kree biology/tech. Also, let’s face it. Clark Gregg is basically Mr Marvel, so he’d be a good fit. Either way, either/both characters would be an amazing addition as well – especially Ms Marvel. There’s even a theory that she or at least her human counterpart in the comics – Major Carol Danvers – will be introduced in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron since Whedon hinted at their being 4 major females in the film (Maria Hill, Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow being 3 of them). Now personally I think the 4th might be Pepper Potts since Ultron is created in Tony’s likeness; but that’s just me. Either way it’s a lot of fun to think about and Marvel Studios at least realizes that this is the way to go.
Avengers 3: Infinity
With Avengers 2: Age of Ultron due out in less than a year – and us still waiting desperately for leaked SDCC footage – Marvel Studios has already begun work the the Avengers 3. Thanks to This Is Infamous, who first broke the story, word is that the final installment in the primary Avengers trilogy will be entitled Avengers: Infinity.
As you could already gather from the end credits of Avengers and the revelations of gems known as Infinity Stones, Avengers 3 is going to deal with the Mad Titan Thanos getting his hands on all 6 Infinity Stones and … well … take a wild guess what happens when a homicidal conquerer known as ‘The Mad Titan’ is in control of 6 reality controlling gems. Three Infinity Stones have already already been confirmed and a fourth is suspected, leaving 2 to be revealed. Phase 3 will undoubtedly deal with bringing more of these stones together – as well as possibly re-introducing the Infinity Gauntlet we saw in Thor.
So are you excited yet? After all this news I don’t know how you can’t be. Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to sound off in the comments below about what you’re MOST looking forward to.