It’s Marvel’s world and the rest of us are just living in it— at least when it comes to Comic-Con. The superhero studio juggernaut hasn’t even presented anything yet (not til Saturday), but they’ve dominated the buzz and conversation down at the marketing tradeshow that is San-Diego Comic-Con. Firstly, they announced a sixth release date last night now that “Amazing Spider-Man 4” is no longer slotted for May 2018 (Marvel scooped up the empty date immediately). Then they’re garnering rave reviews for “Guardians of The Galaxy,” and they’re stealing a lot of thunder with just teaser posters for “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” and “Ant-Man.” Suffice it to say if anyone wants to unseat Marvel as the kings of Comic-Con this year, they’re going to have to start working harder.
So let’s look closer at all things Marvel for a sec, staring with the rumor that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing “Dr. Strange” and he’s here promoting “Madagascar: Penguins” (or whatever its called) only as a decoy to the real announcement on Saturday. Well, Cumberbatch himself says that’s not true. “As far as I’m aware, even if that was the case, it couldn’t work out because I’m doing a little play called ‘Hamlet’ in London,” Cumberbatch told MTV. “So I don’t think I could even if that was in the cards. It sounds like a fantastic project. It’s a shame if I miss out, but who knows?”
Cumberbatch was said to be on Marvel’s wishlist just as of a few weeks ago, were there any talks? “I couldn’t possibly comment,” he said. Of course fan boys will cry, “he’s lying!” which, hell, could be true, but let’s decide to believe him and move on for now (watch the video below too).
Over in the ‘Guardians’ world, director James Gunn has been asked and addressed if he thinks the ‘Guardians’ and ‘Avengers’ will eventually crossover (as is the conventional wisdom of the day).
"I think that there’s certainly a decent chance that in the near future some of the Guardians or some of the Avengers or the Guardians AND the Avengers or some sort of permutation of that, they’ll meet at some point in time,” he told Digital Spy not so coyly. As for a sequel, the filmmaker said, "I’ve been thinking about a sequel from the beginning. When I was setting up ‘Guardians,’ I wanted it to be a movie that worked by itself, but also helped set up a whole galaxy of characters that we could play with in different ways. I have tons of ideas of things we can do, but we’ll just have to see how things go…"
So, in other words, Gunn is likely doing a ‘Guardians’ sequel unless the movie tanks which seems unlikely, even if it is Marvel’s first true new risk.
Meanwhile, across the pond British actor John Boyega (“Attack The Block”) has been tweet hinting that he’d love to play Black Panther for Marvel: “Marvel role? ….hehehe … I’m dam right aiming for it. Currently booking flight to Wakanda” (the fictional African country that Panther rules over)" Sure, almost every African-American actor asked has said that at one point, but with Boyega joining a little film called “Star Wars: Episode VII,” and rumored to be a big part of the story, it’s very possible he could be exactly the kind of on-the-rise star that Marvel usually seeks.
And so that brings us back full circle to the aforementioned mystery release dates that Marvel still hasn’t unveiled. Marvel now has dated unknown movies from July 2016 through May 2019. That means three movies in 2017, three movies in 2018, two movies in 2016 and so far, just one movie in 2019. That’s an insanely ambitious game plan, but Marvel’s already said they’re looking to release one new film and a franchise title a year. So that means, one new Marvel character film and a sequel to a film property we already know.
So… while Marvel might not reveal everything, it’s a pretty good bet that Marvel will announce what’s coming on at least a few of those dates on Saturday at Comic-Con, so stay tuned.