Yesterday was a crazy time for reporting on a certain government-based ensemble. I mean, of course, The Avengers. Disney and Marvel's huge comics-to-movies success story is not something the industry can let go of right now, especially with this summer's team-assembled blockbuster now reaching $600 million domestically, which might be too much for even The Dark Knight Rises to outdo. The Avengers is getting an incredible Blu-ray release later this year and The Avengers 2 has already received a logo if not a definite release date yet. Before then, we've got Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 and...?
Previously we'd heard The Black Panther would join the Cap for the summer of 2014, but now Latino Review is claiming Marvel's secret movie to reveal at Comic-Con next month is The Guardians of the Galaxy. While not the most well-known of properties, to many this title seems very logical. To me, from a consideration of scope, it's perfect. What could possibly top what was done so epically in the mostly Earth-bound The Avengers than go bigger, cosmically? I think both this and The Avengers 2 will arrive together in 2015.
What people are saying about the idea that The Guardians of the Galaxy will be produced in the next few years and serve as lead-in to The Avengers 2? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:
We kind of doubt it. This would be an insanely expensive undertaking, even for a behemoth like Marvel Films. They'd have to bring the 31st century to life, a world (an entire universe, actually) filled with crazy technological advances and other visions that would bear a heavy price tag. [...] are the Guardians of the Galaxy "big" enough to warrant their own movie? Pretty much everyone even vaguely familiar with comic books (and pop culture in general) knew who the Hulk and Thor and Iron Man were before their respective live-action movies, but can the same be said for the likes of Groot and Moondragon? - Bryan Enk, Next Movie
If you're talking about risks for the studio, this would represent one of the biggest they've taken so far, and I'm excited to see them step outside the safety zone of the established name-brands they've been using so far. After all, industry types were convinced that "Thor" was too obscure a name for the mainstream, and he's way more visible in the media landscape than "Guardians Of The Galaxy." - Drew McWeeny, HitFix
Fans will realize that Guardians is the perfect way to lead into Thanos and bring them into the Marvel Universe. I know people really want Ant-Man but there is always 2015 right before the Avengers 2 comes out. I know it might not be ideal and maybe Marvel will surprise everyone and do 3 movies in 2014, but I agree with Marvel on this one and Guardians is the best route. - Graham Malin, Movie Buzzers
I know that the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Infinity Gauntlet don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. But I want them to so badly that I’m going to just start speculating wildly about what this could mean. [...] every super hero and his mother was in the Infinity Gauntlet series. It was the most epic crossover nerd wet dream of its kind, and that translates to MONEY. Yeah, I know that different studios own different characters’ rights, but they can figure that all out. - Vince Mancini, Film Drunk
What's the Deal with Ant-Man?
So what would the reality of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie mean for the anticipated Edgar Wright-helmed Ant-Man film? Well, the Scott Pilgrim director, who has already penned a script for the size-changing hero with Joe Cornish, has reportedly just shot test footage to show Disney/Marvel what his vision for the character looks like on screen. Because Wright is working on The World's End, he's not likely to hop aboard an Ant-Man feature too soon, so there's a lot of room for speculation. One idea is this might relate to rumors that Ant-Man could show up in a post-credits sequence tacked onto Iron Man 3 next summer.
What are people saying about Edgar Wright's Ant-Man test reel? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:
Seeing how Joss Whedon directed the post-credits button on Thor, which served as a lead-in to The Avengers, it makes sense to see Marvel doing the same with Edgar Wright on Iron Man 3 - and what better way to market a new, lesser-known character than with their biggest solo character franchise? - Rob Keyes, Screen Rant
The timing of this reel, just a few weeks out from San Diego Comic-Con, is extremely exciting. While the odds are it is for internal purposes only, can you imagine the reaction Kevin Feige would get in Hall H if he was like, “Who wants to see some Edgar Wright directed footage of Ant-Man?” The place would go through the roof. Dare to dream. - Germain Lussier, Slashfilm
As to what Wright would have been testing, we’ll have to wait and see but I have a hunch. The film will feature a lot of action set pieces, and make much play of Ant Man’s ability to shrink, and return to full size. Imagine what he can do in a fight if he can ping up and down in scale at will. The possibilities are mind boggling. - Brendon Connelly, Bleeding Cool
We have our doubts the character has enough draw power to warrant his own movie. There's too much to Pym to have him play in the background like Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, but he's not interesting enough to sell as his own standalone franchise. He wasn't in The Avengers, so why introduce him at all? [...] Considering the number of heros Marvel has plans for (Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, etc.), the Ant-Man movie might still get made, but we're not getting our hopes up. - Connor Simpson, The Atlantic Wire
Is Spider-Man in The Avengers 2?
Somehow Ant-Man will have to make it into The Avengers 2, whether his solo feature arrives ahead or behind the ensemble sequel. Who else might be rounded up for the monster of all superhero sequels has been an ongoing topic for speculative discussions. Now, thanks to a photo of Andrew Garfield that popped up online, some are wondering if Disney and Sony could strike a deal to allow Spider-Man to make an appearance or fully join-up in the fight against Thanos.
Does anyone think Spidey could or should actually show up in The Avengers 2? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:
It's a win-win for both sides, especially if The Amazing Spider-Man is a hit-- you connect the two audiences, you beef up the superpowers for what's already the biggest superhero franchise in the world, and you please a whole lot of comic book fans who have wanted this to happen for ages. - Katey Rich, Cinema Blend
Being the douchey realist that I am, I think it’s fair to say that this was a brazen stunt on Sony’s part to turn attention towards The Amazing Spider-Man - Steve Lemlek, Unleash the Fanboy
My Associate Producer Blake Garris gave them to him. Because Andrew’s a comic book fan and Blake’s a nice guy. Nothing else to it. - Ryan Penagos, Agent M Loves Tacos
What's Big Hero 6?
Finally, another Marvel adaptation expected to be confirmed at Comic-Con is Big Hero 6, a Japan-based, Avengers-type team property that will apparently be given an animated feature, which is a studio cross-over idea pondered ever since the Mouse House bought the comic company (though most expected it to come from Pixar rather than Walt Disney Animation). Even less familiar to the mainstream than Guardians of the Galaxy (I'd at least heard of them), this property seems a difficult sell.
But here's an idea that'd be interesting: tie Big Hero 6 into the Avengers franchise, too. Give us a little animated interlude somewhere in The Avengers 2, like sequences we've seen in Kill Bill or Kick-Ass, in which the Big Hero 6 characters also join in a bit against Thanos. Maybe even the Incredibles will show up in there. With so much going on in that sequel, as far as we all can tell, it'd be nice to have some visual changes here and there.
What are people saying about the Big Hero 6 animated feature? Here's The Conversation heard around the Internet:
Could Big Hero 6 be what Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was hinting at when he previously said we could be seeing more than two Marvel projects in theaters during any given year? We shall soon find out. - Kofi Outlaw, Screen Rant
It sounds weird, unique, and maybe even a little crazy; if you’re going to jump into animation, it might as well be on an experimental scale. - Nick Newman, The Film Stage
Given that no one has heard of these guys except the most nerdy of nerds, we'd wager they may not be exactly like they are in the comics by time they hit the big screen. Nonetheless, it's a pretty intriguing development. - Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
Something interesting to note about that: In the comics, The Silver Samurai is a member of the team... but he's also been widely-presumed to turn up as the villain of the still-cooking "Wolverine" reboot. Hm... - MovieBob
Hey, why not? Let's just get Fox to agree to the cross-over and throw Wolverine into The Avengers 2 along with everyone else.
Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic) to join The Conversation.