As is par for the course these days, there’s quite a bit of Marvel news floating around out there; we’re going to throw it all at you and see if it sticks.
Guardians of the Galaxy
In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed a few things that were basically already known about Guardians of the Galaxy. First, Zoe Saldana is definitely on-board to play Gamora; that’s good news. Second, Feige confirmed that the film will take place within the current Marvel Cinematic Universe canon—however, on the other side of the universe. I’m glad it’s not set in the future or—given the fact that Feige also confirms a central reason for Marvel making this film is because he wanted to do a space film like Star Trek or Star Wars—it’s good to know that influence didn’t result in the film being set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”. This basically means, even though it’s not all that likely, The Guardianscould potentially run into The Avengers, at some point.
The Avengers 2
Also in Entertainment Weekly (the upcoming issue shown above), the magazine quotes a source confirming the recent rumors—sparked by a Joss Whedon comment—that mutant siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are currently in The Avengers 2. I say “currently” because Feige does not confirm it, rightly stating that the draft could change “6 months from now”. It’s a fact that the eagerly anticipated sequel is still in its early stages, with Whedon having stated that he only recently completed his first draft of the film’s script. What’s less of a fact is how exactly Marvel will reveal the duo’s mutant background—or if they even can—given that Fox currently owns the film rights to X-Men. This will be an intriguing story that promises to develop several more times over the course of the next two years.
Now we’re moving into Marvel’s Phase 3. At this point, we have to think that Black Panther is, at long last, going to come to fruition. Even though it has already been “coming” for over twenty years, Marvel is in the best position to finally make it happen that they will ever be in. They’ve already established Captain America, whose shield is made of Vibranium, an element only found in Black Panther’s home of Wakanda—and an element Black Panther’s costume also utilizes; and they’ve already shown the Avengers’ quinjets, which were designed by The Wakanda Design Group—one guess who heads that operation; if we don’t get this movie in the next 3-5 years, we will probably never get it. To that end, it was recently rumored that Morris Chestnut is in talks for the role, but now it seems there is an apparently “short list” of actors Marvel is looking at, and Chadwick Boseman is at or near the top of that list. Boseman can currently be seen in theaters playing Jackie Robinson in 42, and it’s likely that role is what put him on Marvel’s radar. I like Boseman (42 is a fantastic film), but frankly, as I previously stated, I think he would be great as DC’s John Stewart/Green Lantern in their Justice League movie, and it would be a little difficult for him to be both that and Black Panther; If it’s between the two, I’d rather he be Green Lantern (and romance Gemma Arterton’s Hawkgirl). Plus, he already played Jackie Robinson, an icon of the civil rights movement; I’d guess it would also be up to whether he wants to take on a similar—albeit, less intense—role as the “first black superhero”.
The Fantastic Four
Finally, outside of Marvel Studios’ Cinematic Universe (for now), there’s a rumor circulating that Fox and theFantastic Four reboot’s director Josh Trank are looking at Michael B. Jordan for the role of Johnny Storm, The Human Torch. Given the history between Jordan and Trank, they worked on Chronicle together, this would seem to have some legs. Some have taken issue with the fact that Jordan is black, while The Human Torch, traditionally, has not been. I could not give less of a shit about that. He’s a great actor (I loved him onParenthood), and superheros don’t have to remain frozen in place, unable to be amended; it’s called acting—that is, unless it’s pivotal to the character’s origin and identity, as with Black Panther’s race. The one thing that could be a problem with this news is the other recent rumor that Alison Williams (of HBO’s Girls) had been in talks to play Sue Storm, The Invisible Woman. In case you’re unaware, Sue Storm and Johnny Storm are siblings. There are really two ways the film could work with Alison Williams, a white woman, and Michael B. Jordan, a black man, portraying these two characters: 1. One of them is adopted. This option, to me, is completely fine. In fact, I think that would be nice. 2. They aren’t siblings. This option is a nonstarter. Not just to me; it’s a fact that this cannot be the case. Sue and Johnny have to be siblings, because Sue has to have been a mother-figure to Johnny; she has to have ostensibly raised him, and they have to have that bond. Remember how I said “unless it’s pivotal”? Well, that shit is pivotal as fuck.