If I were a Marvel sales rep, I would get down on my knees every day and thank Thanos for the series of events that led to Baby Groot. Baby Groot might just be the pinnacle of Hollywood marketing; not only is his cute visage the perfect thing to slap on every action figure, lunch box, and stuffed animal from here to the moon, it’s also a character that sidesteps typical customer cynicism. If fans felt for one moment that Baby Groot was a thinly veiled attempt to sell them more junk, they would push back on James Gunn and Marvel with all their strength. But instead, we are treated to one of the baddest killing machines in the galaxy who happens to be totally adorable, too.
It’s been nearly 17 years since Bryan Singer’s X-Men movie ushered in a new era of superhero movies, and in that time, we’ve seen studios crank through actors with alarming frequency. We’ve seen three Spider-Man, a handful of Batmen, three Punishers across the big and small screens, and dozens of big-budget Marvel and DC movies break records at the box office. In the midst of all this chaos has been Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, the one actor-character combination that seemed immune to bad reviews and flagging box office numbers. And with Jackman set to take one final turn as Wolverine in Logan, the actor is taking a little time to stop and reflect on his impact in Hollywood.
There’s just a few months left until Wonder Woman hits theaters, which means it’s time for Warner Bros. to get down to the business of promoting the crap out of this movie. When I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters, the crowd greeted her character during the climactic fight scene with wild cheers and applause, suggesting to me that audiences are ready to embrace the first standalone superhero movie. We’ve had the first two rounds of movie trailers; now it’s time to open the floodgates on teasers, TV spots, and production rumors. Let the games begin!
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if art house cinema had the same weird toy leaks as blockbuster movies. These days, we’re more likely to see a character’s design leak thanks to a brand new action figure than a behind-the-scenes photo; what if the same thing happened in the world of independent cinema? What if we’d encountered Moonlight spoilers thanks to a new line of beach toys? Or if La La Land’s third act was spoiled due to a fully posable Ryan Gosling action figure? Come to think of it, I’d probably buy the heck out of a Moonlight bath toy. No shame there.
If you’d asked me at the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe whether Nick Fury should get his very own movie, I’d probably have said no. I love Samuel L. Jackson as much as the next guy — perhaps even more after hearing his outstanding vocal work in the documentary I Am Not Your Negro — but Fury always seemed better on the periphery, a character who pull the strings in the shadows. Still, after seeing how well the Russo Brothers used Jackson in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I’m willing to change my tune. Maybe a Nick Fury standalone movie wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.
As part of the publicity for Logan, 20th Century Fox has identified six real-life movie theaters located along the path that Logan travels in the film. Each theater will be home to an exclusive Logan movie poster made specially for that location.
Someone light the Batsignal again, it looks like The Batman is in need of another new director. A week after he was tapped to helm Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie, Matt Reeves wants out. He’s exited the talks and is hard at work on post-production on War for the Planet of the Apes.
New York’s hottest club is today’s Power Rangers trailer. It has everything: teens breaking sinks, dinosaur robots, Bryan Cranston’s giant head, and Bill Hader punching a tiny homunculus made of dirt. Not to mention Elizabeth Banks in an uncomfortable green suit building a monster out of metallic Silly Putty. Man, there’s a lot going on in this movie.
There are big plans afoot in the DC Cinematic Universe, not the least of which is the upcoming Shazam movie (well — movies), which has a villain cast already (Dwayne Johnson, natch), but not the hero yet. It looks like DC is gearing up to move forward with it, because Warner Bros. is currently negotiating with David F. Sandberg, director of last year’s Lights Out, to helm the first film.
The first X-Men movie opened on July 14, 2000. A child born early that year would have just turned 17 by the time the tenth entry in the X-Men series, Logan, hits theaters next month. That is fortunate – viewers are going to need a driver’s license to get into this movie, which possesses the hardest R rating of any American superhero movie in history. In the past, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine would swing his razor-sharp adamantium claws and bad guys would simply fall to the ground. There was never any visible evidence of his brutality. There’s more graphic violence in Logan’s first scene – severed limbs, gruesome disembowlings – than in all of the other of the Wolverine and X-Men movies combined.