Director James Gunn's Guardians Of The Galaxy is a big gamble for Marvel Studios. It's an unknown quantity even to most comic fans. It's a space opera at a time when non-Lucasfilm space operas don't perform well. It's a movie with a talking raccoon at a time when even Disney princess movies don't have talking animals.
Of course, all of Marvel's movies have been gambles. Iron Man wasn't a household name, despite how we think of the character now. Thor was a sci fi fantasy movie -- what could be worse? Captain America seemed an impossible sell for overseas markets. Bringing those franchises together for Avengers? Insanity. Marvel Studios' safest bet was probably Hulk -- a household name and a proven quantity -- and that's been the studio's weakest performer. So it looks like the big gambles are where Marvel excels. If Guardians Of The Galaxy is the studio's biggest gamble to date, it makes a weird kind of sense that it's also one of the studio's most delightful successes.
Marvel Studios held its annual crowdpleaser panel in the vastness of Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday afternoon. The casts of Ant-Man and Avengers: Age Of Ultron were both on hand -- but there wasn't much in the way of announcements, beyond confirming a lot of things we already knew. No new movies announced. No casting news that hadn't already leaked long ago. But with those disappointments suitably girded against, here's what we learned...
With hundreds of panels to choose from at San Diego Comic-Con, the show can be an overwhelming experience — and it’s far too easy to miss a panel you think you might have loved, or to find yourself on the wrong side of the con floor five minutes before a great panel is about to start!
Take heart, brave reader. ComicsAlliance has sifted through the schedule to offer up our pick of the best programming at the con. Today we offer our suggested highlights for day three, Saturday July 26, 2014 — with an emphasis on comics programming. We’ll also let you know where and when you can find ComicsAlliance contributors at the San Diego show.
Marvel Studios and director Edgar Wright have both been pretty mum about the reasons for why they ended up parting ways on the Ant-Man movie, but Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige did open up a bit to The Guardian last week to try to quash some of the scuttlebutt about Wright's vision being too out-there for Marvel.
As the future of its Ant-Man movie remains pretty uncertain, Marvel Studios has switched gears and announced the director of its upcoming Doctor Strange flick: Scott Derrickson, the writer/director of horror movies including Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Deliver Us From Evil.
Edgar Wright, the Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim director who's been working on a feature film adaptation of Marvel's Ant-Man for the better part of a decade, has parted ways with the studio over what a press release describes as "differences in their vision of the film."
The following was authored by Megan Margulies, granddaughter of the late Captain America co-creator Joe Simon.
Today Marvel Studios releases Captain America: The Winter Soldier. These movies are not only a cause for celebration by comic book fans, but also for the artists who created the superhero decades ago. In 1941, Jack Kirby and my grandfather, Joe Simon, dreamt of Captain America in an attempt to keep their heads above the turbulent waters of the comic book industry. Much to their surprise and joy, the character went on to receive worldwide fame.
All Hail The King is a short movie -- a "one shot," as Marvel calls them -- about what happened to Iron Man 3 character the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) after he went to prison, written and directed by Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce. It's light, it's funny, there are some good lines and a neat twist. For the most part, I liked it.
One thing left a bad taste in my mouth.
If you haven't watched the Marvel one-shot/short movie All Hail The King, released a supplemental feature with Thor: The Dark World on Blu-ray/DVD, and you haven't watched Iron Man 3, and you want to see either of them unspoiled, skip the rest of this post. That's your spoiler warning.
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