In the third Jungle Book trailer we get an extended shot Kaa making a meal out of Mowgli, all in a bid for an IMAX audience.
Iron Man and Captain America battle it out for superhero rights in the new Captain America: Civil War trailer. Whose side are you on?
We’ve been talking a big game about anime recently, and we apologise if that’s not really your thing. It’s only because there’s a set of anime adaptations coming out over the next few years, hopefully with a few more to join in the interim. Aside from Death Note, which has just gotten a new lease of life with The Guest director Adam Wingard taking the wheel, we’ve also got Ghost in a Shell coming out of Disney. Now we here that the film’s being moved up in the calendar.
Deadline is reporting that Ghost in the Shell will be moving from Easter weekend — April 14, 2017 — to March 31, 2017. This may be because Disney wants to avoid the competition of an Easter weekend ticket fight, and instead let the film sell in it’s own merit. In any case, it’s a quicker release which is always an ambiguous thing. The film will now go up against the new Smurfs movie coming out of Sony, which is clearly an entirely different demographic.
In case you haven’t heard, Ghost in the Shell tells the story of covert operatives tackling cyber crime in Japan. Doesn’t sound like your thing? Ok sure, Blackhat wasn’t great, but what if I told you the original manga already has an anime series and three animated film under its built? The series is hugely popular, and not just in Japan: Ghost has a very strong following in the West as well.
Rupert Sanders will be directing Scarlett Johansson in the starring role. Johansson took over the role from Margot Robbie, who left to star in the upcoming Suicide Squad.
So at least we won’t have to wait until Easter weekend to see if Ghost lives up to it’s predecessors success.
Are you a Ghost in a Shell fan?
Between all of the phases we have seen in Marvel’s universe and the 10 or so Marvel Studios movies we will be seeing in the next few years, it seems as though every hero with movie potential has been accounted for and is being accommodated into the ongoing continuity. But as can be the the case when parents have a large number of children, sometimes kids can be left out or forgotten from time to time. In the Marvel family, that child is The Incredible Hulk. Sure, he’s one of the older kids and he developed early, but one too many slip-ups and he’s just not a priority anymore when you’re picking where everyone’s going out to eat on Sunday night. Nowadays, the not-so-jolly green giant is one of the only characters in the Marvel Universe who has been deliberately demoted to an ensemble player.
To be fair, Hulk has had his fair share of chances. First there was Ang Lee’s Hulk, which with perfect hindsight was never going to work in the current continuity – if only for it’s soft and at times quiet intensity. There were teasers and posters and famous actors galore but in the end it didn’t wow the kids, and that matters. So Hulk peaked too soon, so what? That sort of thing can easily be remedied with a reboot. Dump damaged Eric Bana and morose Jennifer Connelly and give us Edward Norton and…Liv Tyler, as a physicist? Really? Ok, whatever. Well Louis Leterrier was directing with a few Transporter films under his belt, so balls-out action wouldn’t be a problem. No, the problem was once again timing. The Incredible Hulk hit theatres a month after Iron Man. In a direct comparison – and be honest, how could there not be in such a small time span? – Hulk just couldn’t cut it. Also, Liv Tyler was supposed to be a physicist. Just saying, it’s weird.
So we have one Hulk film that went for critical acclaim and lost popular appeal, and a second film that opted for action and lost to Iron Man. The continuity for the reboot could have been salvaged if talks hadn’t broken down with Norton. Don’t get me wrong, Mark Ruffalo is an impeccable Banner, but where does that leave our favourite gamma-giant?
Looking back on it, it’s not hard to see why Marvel would be more than a little gun-shy with the Hulk property. Whether they like it or not, a Hulk movie would always be in direct comparison with another Marvel movie a few months before or after. Well we know for a fact that the risk isn’t planned for the next four or five years since Hulk didn’t make an appearance in the run-down of upcoming Marvel films. The question becomes, is it worth taking the risk again in the future?
There is a lot more working in Hulk’s favour now. For one, we have the makings of a Robert Downey Jr. factor with Mark Ruffalo. Say what you will about the popularity of Iron Man, if an actor even 10% less charismatic than Downey was wearing the suit then the glaring flaws in Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3 may not have been so compassionately overlooked. The character is as popular as the actor, and that balance is what we could see in mark Ruffalo. Sure, he was a little quiet at times in The Avengers, but he got his hands dirty when it was needed and a fair few scenes were based entirely around him. When you compare how much attention and plot was shared out between Hulk and, say, Thor, it’s pretty even – maybe even a little more for Hulk.
And everyone loved Ruffalo as Banner, in many ways because is anti-Iron Man. A soft spoken, fidgety, unstable man with unmatchable power that is completely out of his control – a destroyer to Stark’s creator. So what we see happening is a bedrock being established that may not have as much money, love or attention behind it from Marvel as Iron Man does, but whether intended or not there’s a popularity that’s getting some muscle to it.
So a Ruffalo/Hulk film is definitely something that the audience wants to see. the question becomes how feasible it is. For one, expectations from story-lines are not what they used to be, back in the day, you could just have a dude with superpowers figuring stuff out and end it with a huge testosterone-charged fight. But with more films comes more variations, and with more variations comes more expectations for something new and daring. Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy have a similar team-up premise, but could they be more structurally different? And despite being the classic action hero, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was as much an espionage film as an action flick. Bottom line, you can pick any number of early Hulk story-lines and throw a dart at one and you’ll come up with a big green dude not wanting to be a big green dude and fighting against another big green dude. Or a green dude with a big head. And as much as we’d like to see a Planet Hulk film, what are the chances without a heck of a lot more foundation that just isn’t there?
Maybe it’s stupidly simple. Maybe it’s just Hulk’s affiliation with war and the justification of wild violence that Marvel just doesn’t want to probe to closely – unless he’s a cartoon where it’s easier to write off destruction. The phrase “today’s political climate” is one that I’d like to punch repeatedly in the face, but it’s something that a big studio has to have a ten minute conversation about every month. So is Hulk only a hero when he’s around other heroes who can point him in the right direction and tell him what to smash?
Bottom line, Hulk is the kid that Marvel just can’t deal with right now. They have to make sure that the more well behaved kids are eating right and have the support they need to get onto college. Once all the other kids have flown the nest and can make it on their own, then they can turn their attention to Hulk. Maybe by that point the landscape will be more accepting of alternative, darker story-lines in the Marvel continuity. It’s definitely going in that direction, so perhaps 7 or 8 years down the line, we’ll want to see banner when he’s angry.
After its record for most viewed trailer of 2014 being blitzed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s no surprise that Avengers: Age Of Ultron is looking to gain back some of its hype. Well an Official Website can go some way to doing that. Well, I mean a full fifteen minutes of unseen footage could do the job a lot better, but hey I’m not greedy.
The site is really an offshoot of the Marvel website, so most of the links for videos, games and characters will take you out of Avengers territory and into general marvel-land. The teaser is up on the site, along with a decent enough synopsis for the film. It reads as follows:
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, the epic follow-up to the biggest super-hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Arguably the best new material that appears on the site is the soundtrack sample that plays in the background. It’s a far-cry from the Alan Silvestri orchestral flurries of Avengers Assemble , and is a handy nod to the techno-thriller edge of the sequel.
So what do you think of the site? What would you like to see on it next?