This summer is going to be fantastic (or at least my optimistic inner-child thinks so). I’ve been a lifetime fan of Marvel comics and everything related (I grew up on X-Men and Spiderman mostly).
In the past few years, Marvel has broken into the film business with their own movie production branch, starting with Iron Man, which was a huge commercial and critical success. Hulk was decent and Iron Man 2 was a little forgettable, but this summer will mark the arrival of two new franchises, leading up the first-ever on-screen imagining of the Avengers.
Thor. Now, I’m Norwegian so I hold a special place for the God of Thunder.
If you’re unfamiliar, Thor is the Norse God of Thunder and he commits (somewhat) of an act of defiance against his father Odin and is banished to live amongst the mortals. In doing this, I assume he finds redemption and comes to find a home among the other heroes on Earth.
The storyline for the Thor film will follow what he does to get banished to Earth and then how he connects with the rest of the Avengers. Anthony Hopkins stars as his father Odin and Natalie Portman stars as a psychologist or something that helps Thor (because they think he’s crazy).
Anyways, from what I’ve heard, they’re aiming to make this film feel very fantasy-oriented, especially the segments of the film that takes place in Asgard. There’s a battle between the gods and the frost giants that I can’t wait to see.
Thor opens in a few weeks, so I’ll definitely have a review up. And hopefully it’s a positive one.
Captain America. I’m not as familiar with Cap as I am with the other movies coming out but I still know the basics. I’ve always been a fan of Chris Evans (he was the only bearable part of the Fantastic Four movies and I really enjoyed Push) and Hugo Weaving has an incredible track record as well (Lord of the Rings, the Matrix, even the decent Wolfman remake).
This movie takes place during World War 2, so it’ll be interesting how they set up Captain America’s involvement in the current day Avengers storyline.
X-Men: First Class. Now… This is tricky. Fox started making X-Men movies before Marvel became its own entity. Because they’ve made so many movies, they retain the rights to keep making them (until they stop for 5 years or something like that). Well, Wolverine: Origins reset the clock and then this summer, they’re releasing this prequel of sorts. The same rights issue is happening with Spiderman.
So… I’m hesitant. X-Men is like… my heart song. X-Men 3 and Wolverine: Origins were both action-packed films but played too fast and loose with the canon of the original series (the first two films though, I thoroughly loved).
But I’m also excited for Matthew Vaughn, who did an amazing job with Kick-Ass recently, so he showed he can do some awesome action scenes and treat the superhero genre with some respect.
The variety of X-Men they chose for this movie also intrigues me. There is no Cyclops, no Wolverine, no Iceman… They’re giving some screen time to the X-Men that have been pushed away for years. We finally get to Banshee take to the skies. We get to see Havok and Emma Frost (the White Queen) go head-to-head. It’s a whole new story and I hope they prove to the world that you don’t need Wolverine to sell an X-Men movie. I do wish though that Marvel had regained the rights and incorporated the X-Men into their world.
I know I started talking about this summer but I feel like I have to talk The Avengers now.
Iron Man. Captain America. Thor. Hulk. Nick Fury. Black Widow. Hawkeye. And then probably some others. It’s crazy.
I’m hoping that by giving each character their own movie first, we’ll have a solid foundation to have a truly epic ensemble cast. Hawkeye is the only newbie to the cast that is really substantial and is played by Jeremy Renner (star of The Hurt Locker). Hopefully he gets enough screentime to validate him being in the movie (as opposed to the Black Widow in Iron Man 2 which felt shoe-horned in and really out of place).
If successful, this will be a first in comic book-to-movie history. X-Men is a cohesive team already but The Avengers is a cast of individuals, so we’ll see if Hollywood buys into the film. But with director Joss Whedon at the helm (who is a comic book fan and actually wrote issues of The Astonishing X-Men comic book), I have much faith in his ability to deliver.