After a nice long rest, BAM! is back with a powerhouse POW! and a jolty ZAP! for 2014. We’ve got the Hulk, Nick Fury, Howard Stark, Green Arrow, Carol Marcus and maybe even the Sandman and Doomsday to kick the year off.
Can’t Throw a Rock Without Hitting a Comic Book Star
Scrambling through the winter TV-network press tours, I gathered a few quick hits from some folks with feet planted heavily in the genre world to gather a few tidbits:
I for one am not going to challenge former Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa, who while chatting with me about his new series The Red Road insisted that whispers of his potential involvement with the Man of Steel sequel are, for now, unsubstantiated. “Oh, man – it's rumors. Everyone obviously wants to ask, but I can't really comment on rumors,” he said. “When it popped up, I even had people going like 'Congratulations!' I was like, 'On what?'”
Arrow star Stephen Amell continues to believe incorporating his TV iteration of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow into any planned big-screen Justice League film is worth doing. “All we have to do for something like that to happen, or even be a possibility, is continue to take care of business with our show and then we put ourselves in a position – but the important thing is our show,” he says.
Mark Ruffalo is keen on reprising his role as Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk on the highly anticipated Avengers: The Age of Ultron, especially after getting a first look at Joss Whedon’s screenplay. “We start shooting in April,” says Ruffalo, “I got to read the new script and it's pretty great – I get to do some great stuff!”
And then there was Don Jon star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who let slip a tantalizing tease when asked what books he’d been reading lately: “I've been reading an awful lot of Sandman recently.”
Marvelites: Hanging with Mr. Cooper – and Mr. Jackson
Two stalwarts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe unite on-screen at last: badass, superspy Nick Fury and Tony Stark’s suave, supersmart dad Howard Stark. Well, kind of.
Samuel L. Jackson and Dominic Cooper share the spotlight in the new film Reasonable Doubt (which opened in limited theaters last Friday), a thriller that casts Cooper as an ambitious prosecutor involved in a hit and run, only to see an innocent man (Jackson) charged with the crime – seemingly innocent, at least, since he’s a suspected serial killer.
The actors are serious admirers of each other’s work, having met in passing offscreen thanks to their connection to the Marvel movies. In fact, Jackson is hoping Howard Stark – though a 1940s-era contemporary to Captain America – finds his way into more of the films (perhaps via flashback in Captain America: The Winter Soldier or the rumored retro Agent Carter TV series). “It's your gene pool, man – you're Robert Downey's gene pool!” Jackson says, addressing Cooper. “Without you, there'd be no Downey.”
Cooper (currently shooting the video game-to-film adaptation Warcraft for director Duncan Jones) says any actor taking on even a minor player in Marvel lore has a huge responsibility.
“You can't really think too much about – because of so many years and so many fans, you're answering to quite a lot of people's idea of who they expect that person to be,” he says. “Hopefully, they'll work out a way to bring Stark back in somewhere. I don't know how because it was set in the past, but he's a really fun character to play. It's great. He's an old-fashioned playboy.” One thing Cooper hopes for is a story construct that allows him play a scene with his filmic “son” Downey Jr. one day. “There's some fun to be had with Howard Stark, there really is.”
Jackson insists he has no idea about the road ahead for Nick Fury beyond the Captain America and Avengers sequels. “Nope, none whatsoever,” he says proudly. “I just know that the Marvel Universe is there, that there are things going on, and that I have three pictures left on my nine-picture deal. That's all I know. I've done six of them, and I'm about to do seven, so I'm running out of Marvel pictures – unless they extend my contract.”
But don’t worry: if the deal’s right, Jackson’s game for nine more.“Hell, yeah! Why wouldn't I?”
Alice Eve: From Trek to Sharing Scenes with Bryan Cranston to Taking Direction from Captain America
After working opposite Bryan Cranston in the recent limited release Cold Comes the Night, Star Trek's Alice Eve’s next gig had her sharing scenes and taking direction from Captain America himself, Chris Evans, starring in his directorial debut 1:30 Train. “That was a very interesting process of being in a scene with someone, and then them being like, 'Okay, could you do that one differently?' You want to be like, 'Well, hey buddy! YOU do it differently,'” she says with a laugh. “He really had the vision of the film in his head, which is obviously quite necessary if you're going to be in it as well. You have to have a very clear idea of what you want it to look like. You don't want to be led by someone who is doubtful.”
And then there’s her presumptive return to the U.S.S. Enterprise, this time with a new, to-be-determined director and some fresh screenwriters at the helm. “I have faith that the story that they construct will be a great one. I know they're working on it. I'll just be happy to be back, and they'll hopefully have Carol pregnant and saving the Enterprise.”