Last month’s TTC brought word of just who was in mind to play the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man. At that point it was believed that Ender’s Game’s Asa Butterfield was the frontrunner to nab Spidey’s classic red and blue duds, but this last month has actually seen six names screen test for the MCU’s Wallcrawler. As well as Butterfield, also present at the Atlanta, Georgia screen tests were The Impossible’s Tom Holland (another name previously linked to the role), Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Plummer, Red Band Society’s Charlie Rowe, Pixels’ Matthew Lintz and relative newcomer Judah Lewis. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige was present for the tests, as were Captain America: Civil War directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal. It’s believed that Butterfield is still the favourite to land the gig, and it’s expected that an announcement will have been made by the time you’re reading this. If so, here’s hoping we’ve got a worthy Webhead. Spider-Man will be making his MCU bow in the Russo brothers’ Captain America: Civil War, which is already shooting and is set for a May 6th, 2016 release, before then spinning off to his own solo movie on July 28th, 2017. Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures are working together on all Spidey appearances, hence why Amy Pascal is involved in the casting process.
On the topic of the first of the relaunched (again!) SpiderMan franchise, this past month has seen Marvel and Sony getting together to find a director for Spidey’s first MCU solo foray. Drew Goddard, having previously been on board to write and direct Sinister Six, was believed to be in the frame for the next Spidey film, rumoured to be the first of a new trilogy titled Spectacular Spider-Man. Unfortunately for Goddard, he’s now no longer in consideration. Instead, the names being looked at are Warm Bodies’ Jonathan Levine, St. Vincent’s Ted Melfi, Pitch Perfect’s Jason Moore, Napoleon Dynamite’s Jared Hess, and Vacation’s duo of John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein. What’s arguably even more interesting is that recent speculation claims that Oscar-winning Matthew McConaughey is the top pick to play the MCU’s Norman Osborn, a role played by Willem Dafoe in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and by Chris Cooper in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man series. McConaughey recently revealed that he has had talks to join both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Cinematic Universe, and Marvel is extremely keen to pin him down as their new Norman Osborn, a character best known for his Green Goblin alter-ego, but also one who plays a major part in the aftermath of the comic book Civil War event. Could something similar play out on the big screen? We’ll have to wait and see.
Sticking with the MCU, there’s a rumour doing the rounds that Captain America: Civil War will introduce another Hulk. Yes, with Bruce Banner having set sail for isolation at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s going to take something special to drag him back in to action alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. That special something is speculated as being the Red Hulk. What better way to grab Hulk’s attention than by introducing a monstrous red rival? The Red Hulk is the alter-ego of General Thunderbolt Ross, and adding further fuel to this fire is the confirmed return of William Hurt as General Ross in Captain America: Civil War. And Ross is just one of a plethora of characters recently confirmed to be appearing in Civil War, with a new official synopsis for the film revealing that the movie’s roster will be made up of Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, The Falcon, The Vision, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Agent 13, Baron Helmet Zemo, Crossbones and Thunderbolt Ross. Notable by his absence is Thor (although that could change), and notable by his inclusion is Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man.
And much like Ant-Man is yet to make his MCU debut (that’s coming on July 17th), Doctor Strange is another character being lined up to join the cinematic Marvel realm. Whilst we’ve known for a while that Benedict Cumberbatch will be headlining Doctor
(because, you know, he’s in everything!), Tilda Swinton is in talks to play The Ancient One. Now the comic book Ancient One has generally been a male throughout the character’s existence, and he’s somebody who served as a mentor to Stephen Strange on his ascension to becoming the Sorcerer Supreme. Even in death, The Ancient One has still often been summoned to advise Strange when needed. Marvel was initially looking for a male actor for the role, but then decided to adjust the character from a he to a she. Swinton is no stranger to comic book movies, having appeared in Constantine and Snowpiercer, as well as being familiar to genre fans for The Chronicles of Narnia movies. At present, Doctor Strange is set for a November 4th, 2016 release.
Still with us? Good, for we have one final piece of MCU news, with much-praised Selma director Ava DuVernay in demand to helm an upcoming Marvel Studios movie. DuVernay is currently under consideration to direct either Captain Marvel or Black Panther. The studio were looking for a female to direct Captain Marvel and an African-American to helm Black Panther, so DuVernay ticks both of those boxes. With Chadwick Boseman playing T’Challe, Black Panther will be making his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War before getting his own July 6th, 2018 movie. As for Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel is currently set for a November 2nd, 2018 release.
Flipping over to 20th Century Fox’s Marvel properties, Hugh Jackman has now finally revealed that the upcoming third Wolverine movie will indeed be his last outing as Logan. The plot details of the film are being kept schtum at the moment, but Jackman claims that it is “the perfect way to go out.” Here’s hoping we get some sort of play on the Old Man Logan arc. What? We can hope, right? As well as Wolverine 3, there’s still talk of some form of Wolverine appearance in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse and also in the Ryan Reynolds-starring Deadpool, which itself finished shooting this month and has us all tight in the pants with excitement. Wolverine 3 is currently set for a March 3rd, 2017 release and will see The Wolverine director James Mangold returning for this final Wolvie outing.
In terms of X-Men: Apocalypse news, as well as this month confirming that we will finally see James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier going bald in that movie, director Singer has revealed that Caliban will be appearing in the film. Comic bookwise, Caliban is a Morlock, whose main ability is that he can essentially track mutants, almost acting as a GPS system.