Captain America 2, Thor 2
Marvel announced the titles to the Captain America and Thor sequels. Captain America 2 will bear the subtitle The Winter Soldier. I could not be more excited. This is the possible story arc that has interested me most, but I supposed that Marvel would not make it the A plot of the film and either not adapt it at all or at best make it the B plot. We saw all too little of James Buchanan Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in The First Avenger. The sequel will be a chance to see more from him.
The sequel to Thor will have be subtitled The Dark World. This news also seems incredibly promising. In the first film, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) introduces the audience, by way of the audience stand-in Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), to the Marvel version of Norse myth’s nine realms. One realm is Svartalfheim, home of the swarthy elves, metal-working dwarves in the mold of Mime.
I am not one to say that something will be good just because it is dark, but it seems like a good direction to weave the ongoing threads. In Thor, the haughty god threatens to breach the peace between Asgard (realm of the gods) and Jotunheim (realm of the frost giants), and Odin (Anthony Hopkins) banishes him to Midgard (Earth) to learn the self-sacrifice that makes a worthy king. In The Avengers, Thor returns to Asgard with the trickster god, Loki, in custody and a means for traveling among the realms. A darker enemy of a dark realm may be the best challenge for the brilliance of our hero’s newfound success in selflessness.
Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man
Marvel has also announced production on Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Many voices, responding to early rumors, have been skeptical about mainstream audiences’ reception of these concepts. Among the Guardians, there stands Rocket Raccoon, who is indeed a humanoid raccoon with a jet-pack. Ant-Man is a scientist who discovers unstable particles that enable him to shrink and expand to incredible sizes. It will be interesting to see whether the execution of the concepts behind these films will win over them and the mainstream.
Iron Man 3, Some Speculations Beyond It
Marvel announced that one villain hinted at in the first Iron Man film will be the villain for the third. Good news again. The villain brings the character full circle in the nice, triadic number. Iron Man 3 will in some way be based on Warren Ellis’ Extremis storyline.
What may happen to Iron Man after the third installment other than a sequel to The Avengers is at this time completely unknown, but perhaps audiences will be receptive to other, still lesser-known characters than Iron Man was when the first installment came to theaters in 2008.
One option is Runaways, a team of teens and a tween who rebel against their supervillain parents.
Another option is the Heroes For Hire film that I have been asking for. Just as Marvel “assembled” The Avengers from Iron Man (1 and 2), Hulk, Thor, and Captain America, so Marvel could “hire” the Heroes from several stand alone films. The heroes in this case would be more steet-level, kung fu, and mystic in style than the global, technological, and god-level Avengers: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing or White Tiger, for example. The resulting team would comprise a number of specialists, as in a heist film, but the genre might be a sort of urban fantasy.
A line-up somewhat like this would have the added bonus of introducing new, interesting faces to the roster of superheroes on film that may inspire new waves of young film-goers.
Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Jessica Jones
Depending on how the legal issues concerning rights are settled, a Heroes For Hire film storyline could feature Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Dr. Strange. Daredevil is a personal favorite of mine, not always for the way that he is written, but certainly for the potential that I see in him. Blind lawyer with heightened senses by day, martial artist in a blood-red costume by night. The imagery is exquisite.
Fox’s planned film for Daredevil has just lost its director to another project. CinemaBlend reports: “The studio has to get a Daredevil film into production by the fall, or else they’ll lose the rights to the character back to Marvel.” If the rights revert to Marvel, then he may appear with his colleagues.
Opinion has it that Marvel is moving forward with a Dr. Strange film, and as Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme he could fit well on the mystic side with Iron Fist, White Tiger, and Moon Knight.
Jessica Jones, superheroine turned private investigator, is an intriguing character in her own right. She also comes to have a relationship with Luke Cage in Marvel’s continuity. A television series about her, AKA Jessica Jones, was recently in production for ABC. The network recently passed on the project, and its current status is unclear, but since Disney owns both ABC and Marvel, a film should suffer no rights-issue.