Fanboy Fix: Massive Updates on 'Fantastic Four,' 'Wolverine,' 'Iron Man' and More
Contrary to popular belief, The Avengers isn’t the only superhero game in town … not by a longshot. Obviously, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man will compete for audience attentions as the summer season continues. But major studios are lining up blockbuster comic book projects for 2014 and beyond. Here’s a quick look at some of the major stories breaking involving some of your favorite (and potentially new favorite) super hero adventures:
The Fantastic Four
Rumors of a reboot for Marvel’s dysfunctional family, The Fantastic Four, have been floating around ever since Tim Story put the finishing touches on Rise of the Silver Surfer. But while in Las Vegas for CinemaCon, 20th Century Fox chief Tom Rothman said he believes that Chronicle director Josh Trank – in addition to helming a possible sequel to that surprise hit – will take over the development of a new FF movie.
“Josh Trank … is gonna come on and work on a take, or a vision, that he has for it, so we’re very excited about that,” Rothman told Collider. ““I think there’s a possibility of [him directing]. I mean he’s gonna develop it now, and then it depends on the script.”
Some critics, in their reviews of Chronicle, mentioned that Trank understood the dynamic that could fuel the characters in Fantastic Four. And that franchise really deserves a better pass than the treatments it has received to date. But it sounds like we’ll see a second Chronicle before we see a new Four, as Rothman says that sequel “is in very active development. I think you’ll see that sooner rather than later.”
Yes, I know, I said we’d be moving on from The Avengers in this particular column, but then Marvel President Kevin Feige had to go and say that the Iron Man franchise could go on without Robert Downey Jr. someday, and so we have to circle back to address that situation.
Feige was talking to Badass Digest about the possibility of Downey wanting to step down from Tony Stark’s iron platform after Iron Man 3 and, we assume, The Avengers 2. Feige, when pressed a little, said it’s possible the franchise could move on with a new Stark … James Bond style.
Who’d replace him? ScreenCrush took a few guesses, coming up with names like Josh Holloway, Josh Brolin and … Tom Cruise?
Feige also said the upcoming Iron Man 3 has been “structured specifically to be the antidote” to Joss Whedon’s Avengers film, effectively rebooting Stark to Square One.
“We wanted to take Tony back to, metaphorically speaking, the cave from 'Iron Man,' the first half of 'Iron Man,' when he's cut off from the world and needs just focus on his intellects to get himself out of his situation," Feige tells The Playlist. "So he's not calling Thor, he's not calling Captain America, he can't press a special button to have the helicarrier come rescue him, so I think that'll be a nice complement to the team up of Avengers."
Wolverine / The New Mutants
Back to Rothman, who was a “Chatty Cathy” in Vegas regarding his studio’s upcoming projects.
Rothman spoke to MTV about Hugh Jackman’s The Wolverine, saying that contrary to early reports, the sequel will film in Japan (but also will film interior shots in Australia, as one report had stated).
Rothman then went on to talk about a project that early comic book collectors might recognize: The New Mutants. Assembled as an answer to the harder-edged X-Men, the New Mutants were teenage heroes put together by Charles Xavier who often fought internally but relied on their powers to vanquish evil. It was as popular as it was short-lived, but Rothman tells Collider the characters could be resurrected for an on-screen adventure.
But he was very careful about the words he chose, so as not to give fans too much hope just yet.
"Let me just say this, “Rothman said. “All I have to say is, I agree with you in your assessment of the potential in a lot of these characters."
So New Mutants isn’t happening soon. I loved the comic growing up. The group’s unofficial leader, Cannonball, was a flawed teen who had no interest in leading … which is what made him so interesting. You could do a lot with The New Mutants as a property, and indications are that Fox and Rothman are interested. We’ll see what becomes of it.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.
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