For us, the summer movie season officially begins on May 2, with a Marvel superhero, and closes on August 1 with our last Marvel film of 2014. Captain America: The Winter Soldier just barely misses this list because of its April 4 release date, but here's why we think it could be Marvel's most important movie to date.
It’s Marvel's world, we’re just living in it.
May 2, 2014
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
What’s It About? Spider-Man’s troubles with Oscorp grow exponentially when Max Dillon, an engineer with a chip on his shoulder, gains electrical powers through a lab accident.
Who’s in It? Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker along with Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. They’re joined by Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti and Dane DeHaan as baddies Electro, Rhino and Green Goblin, respectively.
Why Should I Get Excited? This is Sony’s big attempt to start its own Spider-Man universe of films, so the studio is stacking the deck with characters (Sony would call it “world building”).
What Comics Should I Read? There’s a lot of this film -- namely the revitalization of Electro and Rhino -- that reminds me of Spider-Man’s “The Gauntlet” storyline that ran a few years ago. Though not matching the plot of the new film, “The Gauntlet” features a villain from Spidey’s past running him ragged by forcing him to take on all of his most powerful foes, one after the other. It fleshes out these villains very well, so you get a better handle on who Electro and Rhino are and what motivates them. Amazing Spider-Man: The Gauntlet Vol. 1 stars Electro and Sandman, Vol. 2 features Rhino and Mysterio. Not to spoil one of the most infamous Spider-Man stories of all time, but Spider-Man: Death of Gwen Stacy is probably worth looking into as well.
Who’s It From? Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer, Amazing Spider-Man) directs from a script by Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci (both from Star Trek Into Darkness), and Jeff Pinkner (Lost). Sony Pictures.
There are 45 days till release.
May 23, 2014
X-Men: Days of Future Past
What’s It About? Events in the X-Men’s past cause a darker future for mutants, so the team is sent back in time to do some major damage control.
Who’s in It? Almost every major player from both the original trilogy X-Men cast as well as the fresh faces from First Class. Judging from the trailers, Hugh Jackman is the central character amongst returning faces Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Ellen Page, and newcomers Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy and Evan Peters.
Why Should I Get Excited? This is reportedly Fox’s most expensive movie since Avatar and it has a lot riding on it. What should really matter to fans, though, is that this is the first “big idea” science fiction X-Men movie, which has been too long coming if you ask me.
What Comics Should I Read? Days of Future Past, which collects Uncanny X-Men #138-143. The movie uses these comics as its blueprint, but also looks to be making some pretty big changes of its own.
Who’s It From? Bryan Singer (X-Men 1 and 2, The Usual Suspects) directs from a screenplay by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class). 20th Century Fox.
There are 66 days till release.
August 1, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy
What It’s About? A band of interstellar outlaws (Starlord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot) protect a powerful artifact from ruthless warlords and space pirates.
Who’s in It? Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation), Zoe Saldana (Avatar), Dave Bautista (WWE Superstar), Lee Pace (The Fall), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Benicio Del Toro (The Wolfman), and the voice talents of Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) and Vin Diesel (Riddick).
Why Should I Get Excited? Because Marvel is making a Star Wars-style space opera, expanding the cinematic Marvel universe into all-new territory. Also, because it reportedly paves the way to Avengers 3.
What Comics Should I Read? Start with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers. If you’d like to dig deeper, check out our full guide to Guardians comics.
Who’s It From? James Gunn (Slither, Super) directs from his own script. Marvel Studios.
There are 136 days till release.
Which of these Marvel movies are you anticipating the most?
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