It has been nearly ten years since Fox released the poorly-received Ben Affleck vehicle Daredevil to theaters. Though much of the criticism of that film was justified, it was certainly exaggerated. Yes, it was far from perfect, but much of the hostility about that film had more to do with Bennifer “Gigli” Affleck’s shaky career and tabloid popularity at the time, and less to do with the actual quality of the film. Given Affleck’s meteoric rise in the director’s chair in the last few years, if Daredevil were made with Affleck today, I doubt very much it would have been panned so harshly. It still would have received its fair share of deserved criticism, but Affleck wouldn’t have gotten a Razzie for it. Daredevil definitely had its problems, but many of those were remedied in the 2004 Director’s Cut version of the film. If you’re a Daredevil fan and were disappointed with the theatrical release, then you need to check out the R-rated Director’s Cut. It’s darker, more violent, and includes an interesting subplot that was entirely cut from the theatrical version. Yes, some unforgivable problems still remain, such as the atrocious soundtrack where the orchestral score would have sufficed, and the unintentionally funny fight scene in the park still made the cut. But in general, it’s a vast improvement over the original, and certainly worth two hours of your time. It’s a very fun movie, and it looks great. And frankly, I think Ben Affleck looks the part and did a good job playing it too.
Hey, remember that time that Joss Whedon wanted to make a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show and everyone lost their shit? Well that’s happening sooner than you thought. It has been reported that filming for the pilot could start as soon as this coming January, putting it in line with the Fall 2013 season. The idea for a tv show had only come out as an inkling of an idea just a few months ago and now it seems like they’re just about ready to make it happen.
The show will take place in the Marvel cinematic universe where all the events of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers took place. S.H.I.E.L.D. would not have any of the Avengers in the actual show, but it will be tying into a lot of events that happen in the movies. It has been stated that the show will focus more on government agents rather than super-heroes with new characters being created for the show. Agent Phil Coulson, as seen in all the Marvel movies, will be the main character, even though he kind of died in The Avengers. Clark Gregg as the aforementioned Coulson and Ming-Na Wen (Mulan from Mulan and Chun-Li from Street Fighter!), as new character Agent Melinda May are the only known cast members at this time. I also have to imagine that Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury will have at least a cameo or two.
Mark Millar was just recently announced to be 20th Century Fox’s “creative consultant” for their line of Marvel movies. I couldn’t imagine a worse person to choose.
Let’s get this out of the way, okay? I don’t like Mark Millar’s body of work. It tends to be crass, juvenile, demented, adolescent wish-fulfillment where everyone curses like a sailor, people explode into buckets of blood and gore when they die (and boy do a lot of people die in Millar’s stories), and everyone but the main character is a warped misogynist. Kick-Ass 2 is especially guilty of this, where the villain of the story, known, sigh, as The Mother-Fucker, shoots a bunch of children for no real reason and then rapes the protagonist’s girlfriend, all to show how evil and sick he is. Really, Millar? That’s the extent of your imagination? Don’t get me started on Nemesis, where the villain kidnaps the hero’s daughter and son, impregnates the daughter with the son’s sperm, and then rigs the daughter’s uterus to collapse if they attempt an abortion. These are actual words that Mark Millar actually wrote down that were actually published.
In the third installment of Marvel Studios’ Iron Man franchise, Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) steps in as director, while Jon Favreau, the director of the last two films, shifts over to executive producer. Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany all return to their roles. Jon Favreau will also be returning as Happy Hogan.
Joining them will be Guy Pierce and Rebecca Hall as Aldrich Killian and Maya Hansen, respectively. The film’s villains will include Firepower, played by Ashley Hamilton, as well as a character based on Coldblood (a villain not traditionally associated with Iron Man), played by James Badge Dale. Ben Kingsley will be playing Iron Man’s archenemy, The Mandarin. Chinese actor Wang Xueqi will be playing a character named Chun Lu, who is also known as Radioactive Man. It is unsure whether he will be the super powered villain, or if this is a setup to another movie.
Iron Man 3 will be an adaptation of Warren Ellis’ and Adi Granov’s “Extremis” arc from 2006. It served as an updated origin story for Iron Man, moving away from the Vietnam War and setting it in Afghanistan. 2008’s Iron Man used this origin instead of the original. It also introduces an updated and more powerful armor.
The Iron Patriot armor has been revealed to be present in the film as well. Iron Patriot was the armor used by Norman Osborn to lead the Dark Avengers during the “Dark Reign” storyline when he served as the top cop of the Marvel Universe for a time. A new Iron Patriot will also be appearing in the Secret Avengers and in the Ultimate Universe. It is rumored that Rhodey will, in fact, be the Iron Patriot in the film.
Iron Man 3 will be in theaters on April 26th 2013, in the UK, and May 3rd 2013 in the US.