Thursday, 25 July 2013

Thanos Will Be The Main Villain in The Avengers 3 and A Theory On Marvel’s Avengers Trilogy Plans

I haven’t seen any one write about this since Comic Con, but I think at this stage all indications are clearly pointing towards Thanos being the main villain in Marvel's third Avengers film.

There have been rumours ever since the post-credit reveal in The Avengers that Thanos would be the main antagonist in the second Avengers film or Guardians of the Galaxy. However since this weekend, we’ve learnt that the next Avenger movie is going to be called Avengers: Age of Ultron so we can safely say Ultron will be the main villain in that and it was confirmed The Collector will be the big bad in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now that’s not saying Thanos won’t appear in those films, if anything I think he will in more cameo sized roles. Probably to be revealed to be pulling the strings behind the scenes, more and more as the films continue through Phase 2 and 3.
So let’s assume the main Avenger films are going to be a trilogy (with Robert Downey Jr only signing on for Avengers 2 and 3 I think that’s a safe assumption) and the other Phase 2 and 3 films all build up to Avengers 3. So it makes sense to have Thanos as a climatic villain in that film.

Now we’ve already learnt that Avengers: Age of Ultron will be more of global threat, so now we have a sense of increasing scale for the trilogy as well. Avengers had a city under threat, Avengers 2 will have a world under threat and therefore Avengers 3 will have a galaxy under threat. And whose better to lead that attack than Thanos.

We’ve also heard Guardians of the Galaxy won’t cross-over into Avengers 2, but it makes sense that they will fit into Avengers 3. So this increases the scale of a third film even further because not only do you have a cross-over with the original team you also have the five leads from another franchise joining.

Now you have 6/7 core members of The Avengers, 5 members from Guardians, probably some of the new Phase 3 characters (Ant-Man, Dr Strange, etc) plus a huge galactic villain. That sounds like a pretty crowded movie, but this is where Marvel are masters of planning and building up to these type of event movies. You see Avengers 3 isn’t due until 2018, by then we’ll have had movies establishing all the main heroes, which means Avengers 3 isn’t going to waste any time having to introduce or build emotional connections to these characters (a feat that helped the original Avengers movie get on and tell it’s story).

Obviously this is all purely my opinion and I have no official connections to Marvel to know if this is true, but I’m willing to bet this is how it’ll play-out (broadly). I guess we’ll find out in just over 5 years…

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Batman / Superman Movie: Is it too soon? And how to do it right.

After watching Man of Steel, I couldn’t help but ask myself “How are they going to top that?” With full on super human fights, half a city being destroyed and an alien invasion that almost consumed the earth, it seemed pretty impossible to better in terms of scale. It turns out the answer is simple…

Add Batman.

Yes, this weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con, Warner Bros announced that the follow up to Man of Steel will be a Superman / Batman cross over. The extent to how much Batman will be in the film is yet to be revealed, it could essentially be Man of Steel 2 Featuring Batman but all indications are pointing towards a full blown Batman Vs Superman movie.

Now, as much as I want to see a Batman / Superman movie, part of me is slightly concerned this is being rushed into production so Warner Bros can get some Avenger sized box office for a superhero movie. Don’t get me wrong a Batman / Superman movie stands to make huge money, but it needs to be done right not quickly. Also bear in mind that the script isn’t finished yet, with a release scheduled for summer 2015, that’s less than 2 years away. That may sound like a lot of time, but in terms of a big summer blockbuster it’s not really, Man of Steel was in production for over 3 years.

The other potential problem is this film is going to have a new Batman, so part of film will have to re-introduce him, I don’t think they’ll go retelling the origin but an introduction to who Batman is in this world will be required. Remember, this movie is going to be released only 3 years after The Dark Knight Rises, so general audience are going to expect this to be linked to the Nolan Trilogy version of Batman. Warner Bros has said it won’t be linked, but mainstream audiences won’t necessarily know that so re-establishing Batman will be important.

Now, if this film was to feature Christian Bale’s version of Batman then I’d be less concerned, as we’d be dealing with two versions of the lead superheroes that are already established. I also think if they want to have box office returns the size of The Avenger they need Bale, otherwise we’re dealing with an unknown quantity for a new Batman which could go either way and audience won’t have any previous connections to that version of the character. I’d be paying Christian Bale whatever he wants to get him in this movie, the additional money the film stands to make would be worth it.

Part of me is also sad we won’t get a standalone Man of Steel 2, I really enjoyed the first film and was looking forward to a second film which establishes the Clark Kent we know working for the Daily Planet and (I assume) the introduction of Lex Luthor. I’m sure we will get elements of this in the new film, but you can guarantee if Batman is included he’ll be getting the limelight.

I think Man of Steel 2 should have been done as a standalone, a reboot of Batman if a new version is definitely required and then the Batman/Superman cross over to follow. Yes, we’d have to wait a few more years but I think it’d pay off in the long run, not only commercially but as a quality film in general. However, if Christian Bale somehow gets announced for this and they decide to tie it in with the Nolan films then I’m all in for it now!

Now before you scream that’s never going to happen, allow me to explain how I think it could… (I’ve already discussed why I think Bale is required in general).

Nolan, Bale and Warner Bros have consistently said the Dark Knight trilogy is a standalone series and will not be linked to any future DC universe films. But I can still see this working, firstly I think the tone of both Man of Steel and The Dark Knight trilogy is similar enough that they won’t feel out of place together. Secondly, although the The Dark Knight trilogy was set in the “real” world, Man of Steel is also set in the “real” world and plays on the fact of what would happen if someone from outer space arrived on Earth so the Batman films up to that point could have been in the same universe. Finally, and this is where the real ties can come in, the film is supposed to be based loosely on Frank Millar’s The Dark Knight Returns. In this story Batman is retired and comes back for one last time in the cowl. Based on how The Dark Knight Rises ended, this puts Bruce Wayne / Batman basically in the same place (however a lot younger than he was in the comics). Bruce Wayne see the destruction of Metropolis on a news report, doesn’t trust Superman and decides he needs to return as Batman to protect Gotham/the World one last time. I’ll leave the rest of the story up to the filmmakers but that’s how it could happen.

Alternatively you rush this, get a new Batman that nobody cares about and don't give Superman a Man of Steel sequel he deserves. Sure you'll make a load of money opening weekend, but in the end it may not be a satisfying movie and therefore could ruin both character reboots. I hope I'm wrong, but only time will tell...


In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

2015: The Biggest Year For Movie Franchises Ever?

Well I thought 2012 could never be topped in terms of one year that saw a selection of huge movie franchise releases. We had The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Skyfall and The Hobbit all in one year.

Well 2015 was already looking bigger, now with the Superman / Batman movie news 2015 is going to absolutely destroy the movie box office. Let me put this into context, the new franchise movies we're going to have are: -

The Avengers 2
Man of Steel 2 / Batman Cross-over
Pirates of the Caribbean 5
Star Wars Episode VII
Finding Dory
(Nemo sequel)
Bond 24
Independence Day 2
Jurassic Park 4
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Avatar 2

These aren't just any franchises though, these are the biggest movie franchises in history. Literally the only thing missing is a Spider-Man and Harry Potter film.

2015 is also going to see the release of the Fantastic Four and Terminator reboots, and it"s rumoured Star Trek 3 is also due. This is going to be a ridiculous time for cinema!

Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket, hey Hollywood?

In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

My Thoughts On Monsters University - Movie Review

Well it's good to see Pixar back on form, I was beginning to think the studio had lost their touch after the poor Cars 2 and just ok Brave. Although Monsters University doesn't quite reach the heights of Up, Wall-e or Ratatouille it can happily sit with Pixar's best.

Whether its the result of returning and beloved characters, the film just feels like Pixar again. The story has heart, the characters are charming and the creativity is awe-inspiring.

This is also probably one of the greatest prequel films I've seen (don't get me wrong the bench mark isn't high), but Monster University genuinely succeeds as a standalone film. It never feels restricted by having to set-up the original and as such we can enjoy the story for its own merits. With the exception of the improved CGI you'd be forgiven for thinking this film was released first and that Monsters Incorporated was released as the sequel. In that regard this is exactly how a prequel should be done.

As to be expected the animation is incredible and the detail in every scene is phenomenal, from the main characters in the foreground to everything going on the background. You'll definitely need to see this a few times to catch all the additional bits hidden away.

I haven't been a fan of Pixar's increased leaning towards sequels/prequels in recent years, but Monsters University proves (as they did with Toy Story 3) that when it's with characters you want to see again the results can be great.


Bonus Review - The Blue Umbrella

Wow. Just wow.

As with every theatrical Pixar release there is a short before the main feature. This a little film called The Blue Umbrella which tells the story of (you guessed it) a blue umbrella and his love at first sight affections for a red umbrella.

The heart and emotion that goes into this five minutes as will follow relatively inanimate objects reinforces why Pixar is the gold standard when it comes to story. The animation is also the most realistic we've ever seen out of Pixar and is genuinely jaw-dropping.


In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

My Thoughts On Pacific Rim - Movie Review

We've had some solid summer blockbusters this year, none have been bad but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly underwhelmed by most of them. Whether that's the fault of my own pre-built up hype or the films themselves, I was left wanting more. Pacific Rim is not one of those films.

Pacific Rim is the first truly worthwhile movie to be screened in 3D since Avatar. That statement is actually even more impressive when you consider that Pacific Rim was converted to 3D and was not natively shot in the format. Watching the film I couldn't believe Guillermo Del Toro hadn't planned this movie in 3D from the start, every frame of the film is composed masterfully.

The three core actions scenes are spectacular, and even some of the fights we only glimpse via news footage are equally impressive. This is big-budget sci-fi fantasy action on a scale like we've never seen before.

I'd read some pre-reviews of the film that said the films story and characterisation is average and a bit cliche. Although I agree to an extent with some of these comments, you've got to think they're missing the point. This movies concept is built around giant monsters fighting giant robots. The story is there purely to facilitate that happening, if I'd paid to see this movie and it spent half the time with two people sat in a field contemplating life I'd have wanted my money back. Pacific Rim delivers exactly what it promised it would and it blew me away. That's not to undersell the story, I thought it was great but I can understand the criticism.

Warner Bros have taken a huge risk with this movie, it cost easily $200 million to produce and could potentially only appeal to a small niche of people. I loved it beyond believe, but I think it'd be hard to convince my girlfriend to see a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters. I truly hope it makes lots of money and it deserves too, even if its from toys and merchandise rather than tickets sales. Time will tell...

Personally, I can't believe we're lucky enough to be in a time where a movie like this exists. This is Japanese anime come to live. This is every 8 year old boys dream. This is a true summer blockbuster. It's an event movie to be seen in 3D on the biggest screen you can find.


In addition to writing original content for MoviePush, I link to a lot of articles all over the web through my twitter @rossbishop mainly focused on movie marketing. If you’re interested and like to keep up to date, please follow me.