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Sunday, December 08, 2013

The News of Last Week

Wow, lots of good stuff happening last week that I've been wanting to sit and blog about.  And now, with a relatively quiet Sunday night, it's time to put pen to paper and blog away!

First up, we've got our first look at the next Spider-Man movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  The next installment in this rebooted trilogy comes out in May.  Andrew Garfield is back as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Emma Watson is back as Gwen Stacey, and Sally Field is back as Aunt May.  New folks this time around include Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro, Paul Giamatti as Aleksi Systavich/Rhino, Dale DeHann is Harry Osborne, and Chris Cooper is Norman Osborn.

Behind the scenes, Marc Webb returns as director (and like every review for the first film, let's pause to appreciate the irony of his name).  Finessing the screenplay is the dynamic duo of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who wrote the Star Trek reboots.

Now that we know the players, let's gaze upon the film, shall we?

Wow. There is so much to love in that trailer, but it's giving me a sense of unease as well.  With our first glimpses of the Rhino, Electro, and a rebooted Green Goblin, plus hints of Dr. Octopus's tentacles and the Vulture's wings, it looks like we just may be getting a Sinister Six movie.  But is that a good thing?

With the runaway success of The Avengers, I fear that the current trend in superhero films is going to be to cram in as many heroes and villains as they can into a film.  For other examples, let's look at the upcoming mutant epic X-Men: Days of Future Past and the recent announcement that Gal Gadot will be playing Wonder Woman along side Ben Affleck's Batman and Henry Cavill's Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.  With all those characters, will we have room for them all?

See, at least with The Avengers and X-Men, we've had a whole film franchise before it so we could get to know the characters.  But with a Sinister Six in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we'll hardly get a chance to know all the characters, and they'll just be a group of splashy red shirts.

Plus it looks the whole "mystery of Peter Parker's parents and origins" is once again going to be a huge plot point.  Remember with the first film, how it was all over the ad campaigns, only for that plot thread to be dropped within the first five minutes of the film?  Will this actually be the plot, or just another colossal tease?  

That being said, the things to love are outweighing my trepidations.  May 2!

Speaking of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the film doesn't come out until May 23, but director Bryan Singer was the first to announce that they're already working on the sequel when he posted this tweet:

Yup, X-Men: Apocalypse is the next X-Film, coming in May of 2016.  For those not X-Men savvy, Apocalypse is one of the X-Men's deadliest foes.  One of the most powerful mutants, he is also supposedly the first one, having been born 5000 years ago.  His best-known storyline was called "Age of Apocalypse," where, thanks to an alternate timeline being formed, he became absolute ruler of Earth.

So the mind is beginning to boggle.  Will Apocalypse simply be the villain of X-Men: Apocalypse?  Will the time travel shenanigans of Days of Future Past lead to an Age of Apocalypse sequel?  The very popular rumour right now is that we'll at least be glimpsing Apocalypse is the post-credits scene of Days of Future Past.

And let's not forget, that's not the only X-Film in development.  Jeff Wadlow, the writer/director of this past summer's Kick-Ass 2, is already hard at work on trying to develop an X-Force film.  And The Wolverine's director James Mangold and Wolverine himself Hugh Jackman have been approached to give us another Wolverine solo film. 

So I think the X-Franchise is going to be around for quite some time.

And lastly, something that was announced late on Friday afternoon.  When Disney bought LucasFilm a little over a year ago, and the whole world got caught up in the announcement of a new Star Wars film, the more observant asked, "Wait...does this mean that Disney owns Indiana Jones now, too?"

Well, we can now say...yes.

Apparently, Indy was a little more complicated than Star Wars.  While LucasFilm owned Star Wars lock, stock and barrel, Indy was part of a partnership between LucasFilm and Paramount Pictures.  So the past year was spent re-negotiating the terms of that partnership.

So, with re-negotiations done, Paramount now owns the four Indiana Jones films, and Disney owns the Indiana Jones characters, giving Disney free reign to make more Indiana Jones films, should they choose.

Is the world ready for more Indy?  Can Harrison Ford, now pushing 80, don the fedora once again?  Will we get another Young Indiana Jones prequel?  Who knows?  I think Disney's a little more focused on making those new Star Wars films, first. 

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