The VH Weekly News Round-Up (18/06/2017)

Once again, it’s been a rather quiet news week, but there’s still been some juicy details regarding the various super-hero films that have been frequenting our screens since 2008. Whether you love or hate comic-book adaptations, the fact is that they’ll be sticking around for a while.

With that in mind, we’re doing something a little different this week with our weekly news round-up. Rather than the five usual stories, we’ll be looking at four super-hero themed news pieces; it’s a VH super-hero extravaganza!

DC’s future is looking pretty wonderful

Picture courtesy of DC

People around the world are still raving about Wonder Woman and it’s various triumphs. While we spoke last week about how Warner Bros., in an effort to try a different approach to how they handle the directors of super-hero films (and because they weren’t expecting Wonder Woman to be as big a hit as it was), hadn’t yet signed on director Patty Jenkins to do a sequel. This week continues the trend of how Wonder Woman may or may not help shape the creation of DC’s Extended Universe films going forward, as we get some insight from DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns.

In an interview with The Wrap, Johns said the following:

“Get to the essence of the character and make the movies fun. Just make sure that the characters are the characters with heart, humor, hope, heroics, and optimism at the base.” 

This is very much in line with how Johns has been writing comics, as of late. A year or so ago, Johns wrote a one-shot comic that was both the first chapter in a new era of DC comics and a criticism of the dark and gritty storytelling that has permeated comic books since the release of Watchmen back in the 1980s.

Johns was later promoted to have a greater say in DC’s films, as word was that Warner Bros. wanted the course-correct after the critical backlash against Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Now, with Wonder Woman standing strong and demonstrating that DC films can work well when filled with hope and optimism, Johns seems to be taking the same aproach with the films as he has in the comics.

   Wonder Woman is in cinemas now.

 

Spider-Man sticking around for a trilogy of new films

Picture courtesy of Marvel Comics

Good ol’ Tom Holland let slip in an interview with the french magazine Allocine that on top of the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming that we knew would be coming in 2019, there will in fact be a third film to round out Holland’s trilogy of films as the titular web-slinger.

While you may be thinking ‘Duh, movies generally do get sequels green-lit when they’re going to make lots of money’, this stands in direct contrast with the rumours that Sony were planning to snatch back Spider-Man after Homecoming, it’s sequel and the Infinity Wars films to take another shot at their own cinematic universe. The idea was that his appearance in the MCU would boost his profile once again so that when it came to their spin-offs like Silver and Black and the Tom Hardy-starring Venom, they could properly kick-start their own Marvel Universe separate from the one made by Marvel Studios. This seemed to be in line with a comment by head-Marvel-producer Kevin Feige, who insisted that the Sony spin-offs would be unrelated to the MCU.

However, now that Holland has let slip he has more movies on his slate than anticipated, and Sony producer Amy Pascal has given a contrasting (sort-of) statement to Feige in a recent press junket…

…we can relax for the moment knowing that Spider-Man, and perhaps even his amazing friends, will remain in Marvel’s safe hands going into the 2020s.

   Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into cinemas July 7th 2017.

 

Thanos’ minions may have very personal ties to the ‘Mad Titan’ in Avengers: Infinity War

Picture courtesy of Marvel Comics

Ever since the end of Avengers Assemble (or just The Avengers) in 2012, fans of the MCU have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Thanos, the Mad Titan, who has been lurking in the background of the various films, scheming over the powerful Infinity Stones.

While he has since popped up in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron, perhaps the most development he’s received has come in a film that he didn’t even appear in. Namely, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

 [MILD POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR GUARDIANS VOL. 2 AND AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR TO FOLLOW]

During Guardians Vol. 2, as the somewhat-heroic team find themselves on Ego’s planet and Star-Lord reconnects with his father, Gamora also has a family reunion, as she faces off against her sister Nebula, before the pair argue and lament the foul treatment they received at the hands of their father, Thanos. This was the main instance of us getting any real insight into Thanos’ personality and motives, and his harsh treatment of his children may be set to continue into Infinity War.

It’s been understood for a while now that when Thanos clashes with the Avengers in the next few years, he will be aided by his group of lieutenants known as the Black Order (two of whom are seen in the above picture). These villains, introduced in the pages of the Infinity comic-book crossover a few years back, sported a series of unique and deadly weapons, some of which have been seen on the set of the upcoming Avengers film in the hands of actors wearing motion capture suits.

However, what’s truly interesting is that, while in the comics these characters are just an assortment of deadly villains Thanos has picked up as he has cut a bloody swathe across the universe, the MCU Exchange posits that in the context of the films, the Black Order will in fact be Thanos’ other children, mentioned by Nebula in Guardians.

   Avengers: Infinity War blasts into cinemas May 4th 2018.

 

 

Veteren X-Men reunite to face Dark Phoenix

Picture courtesy of Marvel Comics

While we’ve been hearing details about the X-Men spin-offs Deadpool 2 and New Mutants coming next year, things on the Dark Phoenix front have been rather quiet. That’s all changed this week, however, as we’ve learned that James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) will all return to the ranks of the X-Men, alongside the newcomers from Apocalypse, Alexandra Shipp (Storm), Sophie Tuner (Jean Grey/Phoenix), Tye Sheridan (Cyclops) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Nightcrawler).

While this may not seem surprising, the contracts for the four stars ended with Apocalypse, and for a while there was doubt that the foursome would return to the world of the X-Men, having starred in the films since the release of First Class back in 2011.

But now we know the group will return and will be joined by Simon Kinberg, one of the producers who has been working on this franchise since X-Men: The Last Stand in 2005. With Dark Phoenix, Kinberg steps into the forefront, as he makes his directorial debut, alongside work as a writer and producer for the film.

Rumour has it that the cast and crew will also be joined by Jessica Chastain, who is apparently in talks for the role of Lilandra, an alien empress who seeks to capture the Phoenix and execute it for it’s crimes against the universe, which in turn, leads her into conflict with the X-Men.

Lilandra has long been a supporting character in the X-Men comic books, and also a long-time love interest of Charles Xavier. How much of that will remain as the character jumps from page to film is uncertain, but one thing we can say is all that talk of the X-Men going cosmic seems to be coming to fruition.

   X-Men: Dark Phoenix flies into cinemas November 2nd 2018.

 

One last thing…

While I did state up-top we’d be doing something different, and only going with four news stories this week, there is one more thing I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you in this super-hero themed post.

As you’re probably aware, Adam West, the actor who famously played Batman (and himself, more recently, in Family Guy) sadly passed away at the age of 88 last week. As a testament to all the fans whose lives he enriched with his performances, the city of Los Angeles gave a well-deserved tribute to a real-life super-hero:

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