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mygif

Kevin Fiege’s whole “Black Widow is a super important part of the MCU, that’s why we’re not giving her a solo movie” thing is really fucking stupid and it’s cool that we’re getting Black Panther and Carol but come on.

I would like the Wonder Woman movie to be good and do well because, well, I like good movies but also because I’d like to see it drive a stake in both “conventional Hollywood wisdom” re: female-led action movies and also the idea that it’s too hard to do anything with Wonder Woman as a character but even comics writers struggle to do stuff with Wonder Woman and Warner Bros. is basically leaping into the whole cinematic universe thing as a “me too!” rather than something that’s been planned out so I don’t know how hopeful I am on that score.

Still, there’s plenty of time for Marvel to fuck things up on their own with Civil War: No Really, This Time It’ll Be Good, We Swear.

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mygif

I’m pretty sure that the good reason not to green light a Black Widow movie is just the fact that Disney doesn’t want to pay Scarlet Johansson’s price to star in a new movie. Whatever they’re paying her now probably dates back to Iron Man 2 and whatever multi-picture deal they signed her to, and that was before she really blew up as a mega-star. Renegotiating is not going to go in their favor at this point.

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Meanwhile, I’ll stand by my argument from the previous thread that Civil War actually has potential to be a great movie, because the MCU doesn’t have to and for that matter probably shouldn’t return to the status quo of everyone being on the same side so soon.

Marvel doesn’t want to keep on paying the salary RDJ can command and RDJ probably doesn’t want to keep on playing the same character for the rest of his life. If Tony Stark never returns to his current role as the most important person in the MCU, that would be neutral or even good for the franchise. Even if they want to keep him a hero (or make him a hero again, whatever) like in the comics, it would be a perfect reason for him to have a more chastened, reduced role in future movies. People have complained about the premise of a superhero registration act in the MCU, but it doesn’t have to be that specifically. Instead of a law, it could be a more militant version of what SHIELD was doing from Iron Man to Cap2. Or it could start with a conflict over Stark Enterprises, sort of like Armor Wars or something.

I am kind of assuming this movie (a) doesn’t try to push the “both sides are equally valid” idea, and (b) doesn’t end the way the comic book storyline did. (b) would definitely suck, and (a) would be pretty hard to pull off too. But the basic idea of a divide in the superhero community could work fine in a movie.

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mygif

I liked Green Lantern.

There. I said it. Whew.

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@Rich: There’s nothing wrong with that. I know people who have. But it lost a lot of money, which is why I kept using it as an example. Warner Brothers can’t afford to lose that kind of money very often.

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@tenken347: I’d actually have more respect for Fiege if he just came right out and said “We’re not making a Black Widow movie because we don’t want to pay Scarlet Johansson’s going rate, suck it nerds” instead of the disingenuous and asinine smoke he’s been blowing about it.

I mean, I still think that’s kind of a shitty approach to take considering Marvel’s movies are a license to print money at this point…Guardians of the Galaxy, the movie everybody was pointing to as a potential gamble considering how esoteric it was compared to the usual superhero movie fare, pulled in 760+ million worldwide…so, y’know, I find it hard to completely sympathize with Marvel’s penny-pinching approach to film production. But at the very least it would be more honest than talking up the importance of female superheroes and then just sort of conveniently glossing over the multiple-award-winning actress who you’ve had playing that exact sort of character in various other movies as a supporting role sitting right there.

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mygif

Given that it’s Captain America: Civil War, and not The Avengers: Civil War, I’d say it’s even odds that Iron Man isn’t even in it, and it’s just the use of an inflammatory subtitle to get people on the internet talking.

Which, granted, is what’s happened.

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@Phil: I would certainly pay theatre ticket prices to go watch Captain America travel through time and punch out Robert E Lee.

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No, RDJ is going to be appearing in Cap 3. Word is that he was originally just supposed to be a supporting role but it’s grown to “co-lead” status.

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Jack-Pumpkinhead said on November 8th, 2014 at 2:23 pm

The fact that they said it wouldn’t be the comic book version of civil war makes me optimistic. But yes, batman v superman has to do good, or WB is screwed.

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mygif

I have seen the future of comic book-based movies, and it’s Big Hero Six. Ooops, sorry, I mean Disney’s Big Hero Six, since it’s an original film that is in no way connected in any way to comic books.

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mygif

Apart from the salary possibility, the other speculation I’ve seen about why there’s no Black Widow movie is that Black Widow is going to die in Age of Ultron.

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@SidneyO: To be fair even comic book fans don’t really care about Big Hero 6: The Comic, probably because it’s bad and full of questionable ideas like “Wasabi-No-Ginger the superpowered sushi chef…because he’s Japanese, GET IT???” and if I could make a cool movie out of it while simultaneously pretending that the comic didn’t exist then I would probably do exactly that and not look back.

@Sean C.: I’m kinda taking “[CHARACTER] is gonna die” speculation with a big grain of salt when it comes to the MCU because a lot of people have been predicting that various characters are going to be killed off as contracts expire…but Robert Downey Jr. just renegotiated for another movie after everybody was sure that he was just going to fulfill his contract with Avengers 2 and 3 and call it quits so I dunno.

I guess there’s nothing stopping them from killing Black Widow but I think that’d be kind of a wasteful decision since her roles in the MCU movies have only improved since Iron Man 2. Plus it would make Fiege’s whole thing about “Oh Black Widow is such an important part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” even more disingenuous in retrospect.

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mygif

The thing the other studios need to pick up on is that Marvel/Disney are no longer making “superhero movies.” They’re making light-hearted action movies that happen to be about superheroes. They owe more to Donner’s Lethal Weapon than to Donner’s Superman. It’s hard to beat “take attractive, charismatic people and show them kicking ass and having a good time together” as a formula for an action movie. Certainly better than the “take an attractive, charismatic person and watch as they alienate everyone!” feeling many of the Spider-Man movies seem to be aiming for.

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@Chris K: I think you’ve got a pretty good point here which sorta ties into what SidneyO says (maybe in a way he intended it maybe a way that doesn’t) which is that Marvel has struck gold by making movies that appeal to moviegoing audiences first and foremost, comic book audiences maybe second. Like, there’s plenty in them for a comic fan to appreciate, but they aren’t focused on making movies primarily the comic fan, which is a wise decision because comics have, put mildly, a lot of baggage.

I’ll slightly disagree that Marvel’s success lies squarely in making light-hearted fare. Captain America 2 wasn’t exactly the deepest piece of thought-provoking media on the rise of drone warfare and post 9/11 terror paranoia culture ever produced but I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t have figured it to weigh in on the subject at all, let along be a loving homage to old-school conspiracy thrillers in the process.

I would say the strength of Marvel’s movies so far is their adaptability. Marvel Studios seems willing to experiment with various styles and types of movies beyond “general superhero movie”…a war movie, a conspiracy thriller, Star Warsian space pulp, high cosmic sci-fantasy, etc. They don’t always do it, some of their movies are just “typical superhero fare” which is fine, but I think it’s to their benefit that they’re confident enough to let the various directors they bring on (and sometimes cut lose afterward) experiment with things and put a different spin on them.

(This is one reason I’d be down for a Black Widow movie…because Cap 2 gave us the conspiracy thriller but with Black Widow you could do a straight-up Bondian/Bourn-esque espionage movie in Marvel-land and that’d be pretty rad. It’d have to be better than Agents of SHIELD at least.)

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mygif

re: Black Widdow movie.
If you assume Fiege hasn’t been lying when in the past he talked about wanting to do a Widdow movie, one OTHER reason exists beyond she dies in Avengers, or Scarlet Johansson is asking too much….

She gave birth just over a month ago. She might not want to commit to be the lead in a lenghty effects heavy film for the next few years.

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@Kai Yeah, I agree that Captain America 2, and some of the others, are more than light-hearted fare, but they still have that “we are having fun” vibe that I think is missing from movies like Superman Returns. But yeah, mainly my point is that Marvel has realized that you can do a lot more if you say “let’s make a good movie with superheroes” than if you say “let’s make a good superhero movie.”

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mygif

Allow me to chime in as another person who thinks the “Civil War” movie will have nothing to do with the “Civil War” comics plotline.

My reasoning? Aside from containing Bucky the Brainwashed Assassin, can anyone point to any other ways in which “Winter Soldier” at all resembled the comics arc of the same name? Hell, the name “Winter Soldier” doesn’t even make sense for Bucky in the context of the movie besides being a vaguely cool name. In the comics it is explained by his Russian roots, but Bucky wasn’t working for the Russians in the movie, now was he?

So I expect “Civil War” is only going to be vaguely, if at all, related to the comic arc of the same name. given how awful that arc was, I’m cool with that.

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Wolfthomas said on November 10th, 2014 at 5:25 am

@Murc Actually “Winter Solider” has it’s roots just as equally in American History. There was the Winter Solider Hearings, where US soldiers testified to the atrocities committed in Vietnam. That name itself was a reference/play on Thomas Paine Founding Father’s treatise on “Summer Soldiers” (basically men who quit when times get tough, like a “fairweather friend” but in soldier form)

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on November 10th, 2014 at 9:35 am

As Murc says, Marvel has shown willingness to vary HUGELY from its comic-book source (see also: Mandarin) when it wants to. Really “Civil War” just needs to be “any excuse for Iron Man and Cap to fight” and there’s no end of possible reasons.

Although, one of the most time-honoured ways to make a hero embark on a destructive course of misdirected vengeance (thus needing to be stopped by other heroes) is through great personal tragedy… which makes me worry about Pepper Potts’s future.

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mygif

My crackpot theory about why they haven’t announced a Black Widow movie:

They HAVE announced their Black Widow movie, but it would be a spoiler for Avengers: Age of Ultron AND for the current Thor comics if they revealed that Thor: Ragnarok is starring Scarlet Johansson and not Chris Hemsworth.

(Crazy theory is unlikely to come true.)

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Dropping By said on November 10th, 2014 at 11:41 am

Why no Black Widow movie?

I can see a few reasons (some valid, some not). Execs fear that audiences aren’t ready for a kung-fu agent woman flick (doubtful, given “Lucy”‘s success). Execs fear comparisons with “Lucy” which just came out (possible, but more for the sake of diminishing returns. You want to see a super-agent or a super-human movie, especially if the super-agent flick came out second?).

My bet: contractual limitations impacting future stories. Scarlett is a big star now, possibly one of the biggest out there, and while I’m sure her contract gives her some good money for a few films, that’s all she owes Disney. And while Disney could offer her more money, they don’t want to. So instead of offering her $$$$ to make 6 movies, they offer her $$ to make 5 that need her in them (Captain America is having a similar issue with its lead I’ve heard).

Meanwhile, Disney realizes they have a huge backlog of characters and stories to pull from. So they replace Black Widow with Wasp, or give Captain Marvel her own movie, or do one about the Scarlet Witch, or whatever. Heck, they could even recast the Widow as they did with the Hulk. Point being, they don’t need Scarlett. They know anything they “do right” will make them billions, regardless (e.g. Guardians of the Galaxy). And the more fans clamor for a Black Widow movie, starring Scarlet Johannson, the less you’ll see of her and that character both.

So yeah, it’s not that the fans want such a film, but that they’ve wanted it out of their price range.

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Halloween Jack said on November 10th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Another possible reason for ScarJo not to want to do a BW movie is that it would probably be very physically demanding, much more so than her IM/Cap/Avengers appearances; she’d either be doing a lot of them or at least a few knockout setpieces, and although she could get a lot of help from stuntpeople and effects, you know how nerds like to pick that shit apart. Which is not to say that they couldn’t do one anyway and never mind people who whine that it’s all CGI or whatever, and if Quentin Tarantino (who has wanted to do a Modesty Blaise movie for ages) was willing to play by MarvelDisney rules…

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mygif

Captain America is having a similar issue with its lead I’ve heard

Somewhat different, Dropping Buy. MArvel/Disney is willing to throw quite a lot of money at Chris Evans. The issue isn’t money. Evans wants to stop acting. Not just “stop being Cap” but “wants to direct.”

In fact, they had a hell of a time signing him in the first place because even before he was Captain America, he was thinking of getting out of the game. They had to approach him twice; after the first time they went back to casting and realized “we can’t find anyone better to be Cap.” They had to haul out RDJ to personally appeal to Evans, pointing out that playing Cap would give him fuck-you money and cred for the rest of his Hollywood life.

And even after all that, Evans bargained them down from nine movies to six. (I think they convinced him to take on a seventh, but it took some doing.)

So they replace Black Widow with Wasp

Unlikely. Word around the internets is that Janet Van Dyne has been pre-fridged to cause Hank some MANPAIN in Ant-Man.

I’m not 100% on that, but if true I won’t be paying money to see Ant-Man.

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mygif

Why would you pay money to see an Ant-Man movie anyway?

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The original writer/director was going to be Edgar Wright. It’s more a question of “why still see Ant-Man?”

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Seriously though, Ant-Man has like no buzz going for it. People were more hyped about Guardians of the Galaxy than Ant-Man. They’re more hyped about movies that won’t even be released for another two years or so than Ant-Man. Nobody gives a shit about Ant-Man. Them pre-emptively shuffling Janet Van Dyne into the “killed off to provide motivation” character pile is just another reason not to.

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@Kai: To be fair, nobody was really buzzed about ‘Guardians’ until they saw the first trailer. Until then, it was “This is going to be Marvel’s first disaster, it’s never going to sell, it’s going to flop hard” (Rob Bricken of io9 mentioned pretty much every single week that ‘Guardians’ was going to be a massive failure). Then the first trailer came out and everyone was wowed. It’s still too early to tell if that will happen with ‘Ant-Man’, even if it seems unlikely. :)

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mygif

@John Seavey: I think you’re sort of underplaying the buzz Guardians did have, largely centered around its casting decisions, the sheer oddity value (talking raccoon in space!), and yeah, people talking about how it was a big risk…buuuuut that’s all more attention than anybody is paying to Ant-Man outside of “Edgar Wright is directing!” Which he apparently no longer is.

Nobody even cares enough about about Ant-Man to talk about how it’s going to be a huge flop every week, is what I’m getting at.

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mygif

I’ll second the lack of Ant-Man buzz.

I’ll also second the notion that WB can’t seem to stay out of their own damn way when it comes to live action adaptation.

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mygif

I wonder who’ll replace Steve Rogers as cap in the movies if he does died/retire/get sideline. Falcon or Bucky?

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As long as it’s not Hawkeye, unless they start writing the movie version with a personality.

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You can thank Joss Whedon for having movie Hawkeye’s first major on-screen role (not counting a cameo in Thor) be 90% brainwashed lackey. Jeremy Renner’s being criminally underused and if Marvel’s not gonna pony up Black Widow: This Is What You Wish Agents of SHIELD Was Actually Like then by god they at least ought to give us a Hawkeye movie in the vein of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run, because I have a feeling Renner would kill in that.

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mygif

Hawkeye should NEVER have been an A-list character. They should’ve cast someone who’d be up for a TV show like… oh… say Agents of Shield.

The absence of Hawkeye and Black Widow on that was unforgivable.

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I read somewhere that the guy who plays Bucky has a six picture deal, so I’m guessing it’ll be him, Wolfthomas. But maybe I just want to believe that because I want Falcon to stay Falcon.

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@Ian Jeremy Renner’s done TV work before, he was on a pretty fun and sadly short-lived police show called The Unusuals. That said, if my dreams of a BW solo movie are too out there, good luck getting Scarlett Johannson to commit to something like that, and I don’t think casting either character with an eye towards “can we schlep these two off to TV land?” would have done any good. Movie Black Widow, at least, has been given steadily better and meatier roles as she’s appeared in more movies, going from essentially a minor bit part in Iron Man 2 to almost co-lead on Captain America 2. It’s just Renner that hasn’t had much to do, and I believe he’s talked about how he isn’t super thrilled with that state of affairs.

(Agents of SHIELD sucks anyway, I wouldn’t wish being signed to that show on anyone. Poor Clark Gregg.)

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mygif

SIDEBAR: Can we get a thread on the newly-announced 4chan Dr. Doom?

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@Matt: If there hasn’t been a post about it by tomorrow, I’ll write a post about it tomorrow. :)

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