19 October 2009

Marvel Studios' Ammends Its Film Slate Thru 2013

Contrary to our previous posting in Studio 22's premiere blog, Marvel Studios has announced scheduling changes to their very ambitious slate of feature film properties.
The Kenneth Branagh film Thor, based on the Marvel Comics character Thor, the Norse god of thunder, moves its release date from July 16th, 2010, to June 17th, 2011.
The studio had originally paired Thor with the release of Marvel's second Iron Man film, Iron Man 2.
Now, Marvel's postponement will instead directly pit their hammer-wielding superhero against the ring-slinging Green Lantern, the next DC Comics' property on-track for a big screen debut from DC Entertainment. Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds and the just-announced Jackie Earl Haley, is also set to open June 17th, 2011.
Thor's push-back also resets plans for the proposed 2011 release date of The First Avenger: Captain America.
I get the impression that Marvel's somewhat uncertain to title Captain America's feature film, which is ironic given that the character has been established in popular culture since the early days of World War II. So, while a name change in film's title wouldn't surprise me in the least, the movie does appear to be on schedule and production is set to begin June 28th, 2010.
Marvel's most ambitious project is their Avengers feature film project, which is planned to be an ensemble flick uniting Robert Downy Jr.'s Iron Man with the new screen versions of Thor, Captain America, the Black Widow, Nick Fury, and possibly even Edward Norton's green Goliath from the last feature film version of the Hulk.
Logically, Avengers has to be the final film of Marvel's trio of forthcoming projects, and had been initially scheduled to premiere two months after Captain America in 2011. With Captain falling back one year, Avengers now will be seeing its first film audiences assembling in summer 2013. Beyond some rough sketches for cast and production crew, including Samuel L. Jackson's portrayal of Marvel's very human super-spy 'Nick Fury' in the big-budget super-team epic, more concrete plans for Avengers have not been announced.
Aside from Iron Man 2, the only other Marvel movie sticking to its original plan is Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4, which will begin filming this January. Both Raimi and Sony Pictures have been tight-lipped about specifics for the next Spider-Man movie, although they have confirmed both Tobey McGuire and Kirsten Dunst will be returning to their lead roles.
Spider-Man has no plans tobe included in 2013's Avengers, either, as ol' Web-Head was never a member of the original Marvel Comics' Avengers team. Depending on the success of the fourth film in the Spider-franchise, however, even this could change. The movie will likely be McGuire's last time in the superhero suit, and how Sony / Columbia Pictures will take the property in the future is anyone's guess.
One other key point to consider is that it's Paramount, not Sony, behind the 2013 super-team mash-up movie. Sony has been very protective of its Spider-Man property, especially in the wake of the Marvel-Disney announcement last August. Nonetheless, Spider-Man 4 is set to swing into theaters and IMAX on May 5th, 2011.
There's a war brewing in Hollywood of super heroic proportions, dabblers. I'm making the call now.
And I'll share my thoughtswith you on the 'battle that's yet to be' this week on abbracadabbling!
PLUS! Stay tuned into Studio 22 for even more Marvel Movie News -- all coming soon!

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