Paramount via Everett Collection
In what is likely revenge on the public for not buying enough comic books in the last 20 years, Marvel is continuing its hostile takeover of popular culture with yet another television spin-0ff of its cinematic universe. According to Deadline, a television show based on Captain America's own Agent Peggy Carter will possibly go straight to series. The proposed show would star Haley Atwell as Peggy Carter, the no-nonsense army officer and one-time love interest of Steve Rogers A.K.A. Captain America. The show will likely detail the genesis of our favorite multi-national clandestine organization, S.H.I.E.L.D., as well. The character was first featured in Captain America: The First Avenger, and later on in her own one shot film called simply Agent Carter.
While the news is exciting to hear for Marvel fans, the company clearly has a lot to learn about the TV game. Its first live-action television outing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has exhibited flat storytelling, two-dimensional characters, and dull mysteries that have taken too long to unfold. While the show has enjoyed a recent upswing in quality thanks to a Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in plotline, this first season has been far from great. Here are a few things the Agent Carter series can do to avoid the mistakes made by its sister program.
Create better stand-alone episodesThe bane of many a TV watcher, standalone episodes are a necessary evil of adeventure-themed television shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A show like this needs to build an overarching plot while padding out the season, so the dreaded villain of the week plotline is oftentimes a must. But one-off episodes don't have to be a slog. Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, and Fringe excelled at creating fantastic stand-alone episodes that were engaging, and still taught us about the characters.
Don't waste so much timeS.H.I.E.L.D. took the better part of a season to become truly competent hour of television, and that was only because The Winter Soldier forced it's hand due to the game changing affects of that film. If Agent Carter wants to have a better start, it needs to come out swinging with a good overarching plot that hooks the viewer in. Nobody likes to play the waiting game.
Don't be afraid to get weirdThe Marvel universe is filled with C and D grade heroes to plum stories out of. Since the show will ostensibly occupy the same world as Captain America: The First Avenger, a film that wore it's Spielbergian camp on its sleeve, this show should readily embrace the comic book silliness of that film and take it a step further. The show should crack open the comic book anthology and embrace the antiquated, campy, and just plain weird heroes and villains that Marvel wouldn't dream of putting anywhere near one of their multi-million dollar productions.
Feel free to change the Marvel canonOne of the reasons why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has never felt like a true part of Marvel's cinematic universe is that it has been too afraid to make any actual changes in its own story. The show has never been able to veer away from the finally calibrated status-quo set up by the films, and the adventures have always felt like they carry much less weight than say an average Iron Man adventure. Simply put, S.H.I.E.L.D can't make any changes to the Marvel universe without affecting the films, and because of that, the show has felt largely inert. Since Agent Carter would take place in the '40s, long outside of the current scope of Marvel's films, the show should feel free to craft a more personal mythos and chronology that the writers can play and morph into something unique and special to the show.
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
It looks like you'll have to wait even longer for your return trip to Pandora. In a recent Reddit AMA, director James Cameron revealed that the scripts for the three Avatar sequels will be completed within the next six weeks, and that all three films will go into production simultaneously. In the AMA, Cameron opened up about his creative process, saying, "The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable." It's admirable that Cameron is taking the time to perfect the Avatar sequels, projects that are clearly special to him, but has he already taken too long to create them? The first sequel to 2009's Avatar is set to hit theaters in December of 2016, seven whole years after the first Avatar was released. Cameron may very well be crafting the next sci-fi masterpiece, but will people still care about the franchise two years from now?
Blockbuster filmmaking is often a game of timing; studios jostle each other for prime release date position from years out, and films are made at an assembly line pace. It’s all a necessary evil. The honest truth is that the average filmgoers are a fickle bunch, with memory leaking from their heads like a drippy faucet. Wait too long, and the next whiz-bang event movie can steal your thunder. Studios need to strike when the iron is hot, and Cameron has already waited five whole years to create the next Avatar film, a millennia in movie years. In contrast, it took less time for Sony to completely reboot the Spider-Man franchise. Unfortunately for Cameron, the iron might have already gone cold. We have our doubts that the sequels to the highest grossing film of all time will have the same game-changing affect as the first one.
The original Avatar was undiluted spectacle, a film that didn't have many big ideas rattling around its head but sure delivered on the big moments. Beyond just being pretty to gawk at, Avatar was a runaway success because it was the first film to really utilize modern 3D technology in a way that didn’t feel like a gimmick. It was a new technology, and going to see that film felt like standing on the cutting edge of something new in cinema... at least for a time anyway. It used the 3D technology to draw viewers into its world, and give the film’s vibrant visuals depth. It was a cool parlor trick, but circa five years later, and everyone else already has that same trick up their own sleeves. Just about every blockbuster under the sun is in 3D, and just like that, one of Avatar’s greatest strengths feels already like old hat. Moviegoers are already tiring of 3D, with percentage of 3D ticket sales slipping with each coming year. An Avatar sequel simply wont have the same spellbinding affect the first one did in 2009.
It also doesn't help that Avatar simply doesn't hold up all that well story-wise. The plot of Avatar is relatively generic. It's a sci-fi pastiche of other man vs. nature films, and it is often unfavorably compared to films like Dances with Wolves or Pocahontas. It's been a long time since 2009 and the spectacle has worn off for most. Public opinion of the film has also soured considerably, and beyond it's visual fidelity, it's not really a great piece of storytelling. At this point, the film probably gets more love showing off new Blu-Ray players or HDTVs, than being genuinely enjoyed for it's story.
With all that said, we're definitely not ringing the death knell for the Avatar franchise. James Cameron is a blockbuster mastermind, and when big even filmmaking can sometimes feel cynical and calculated, Cameron's films always feel like they're coming from a genuine and deeply felt desire to create something new. Each of his projects is full of ambition, so maybe the wait for the next Avatar will be well worth it. The coming sequels could very well rock the world the way Avatar did five years ago and Titanic did 12 years before that. Cameron is a man full of surprises, and maybe we shouldn't be doubting the director who created the two highest grossing movies of all time. Maybe this will be added to the cannon of James Cameron proving snarky film writers wrong. We sincerely hope it is.
Summit Entertainment via Everett Collection
Like The Hunger Games and Twilight, the Divergent series has just opted to jump on the YA bandwagon of splitting its final chapter in half. The upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Allegiant, the third part of her wildly successful Divergent book series, will take form in two separate films. So what can we look forward to? An inert first film that’s all build-up and exposition! One that ends abruptly and without payoff! And yes, a year-long wait before the second, largely unnecessary film that’s going to be all climax! We’re especially looking for to the awkwardly titled The Divergent Series Presents: Allegiant — Part 2 of 2: Based on the Novel Allegiant by Rothphire, or whatever gangly franken-title the studio comes up with, stapled together with enough semicolons to hospitalize a grammar teacher.
Frankly, We're tired of it. For all its good will, the Harry Potter series set a dangerous precedent. Now every YA adaptation under the sun just absolutely needs that two part finale to fill out the release calendar with one more film. There's tickets to sell after all. While it may have been a good idea to split the Deathly Hallows, the sprawling final chapter of J.K Rowling’s wizarding Saga, into two films (and since it was a novel concept at the time, it gets a pass), not every last book needs to be turned into two sequels. The last Harry Potter book was an 800-page behemoth that had to tie off dozens of dangling threads and loose ends sewn in by six previous novels. The final chapters of both Divergent and The Hunger Games don't need two films to end their stories. Just think of what all of your favorite film trilogies would look like if that last part were suddenly cut into two flicks:
The Return of the JediWhat if Return of the Jedi was chugging along smoothly, the rebels just formulated a plan to take out The second Death Star, the Ewoks saddled up to defend their home, and Luke unsheathes his lightsaber for one final battle against Darth Vader, the green beam of light pierces through the air and... BAM, fade to black, see you in '84 for a two-hour yubnub.
The Dark Knight RisesBatman finally escapes the sink hole of a prison in the desert. He travels to Gotham to face off against Bane in a climactic battle for Gotham's soul. The two rush in for battle with their armies at their backs and... what? you wanted resolution? Sorry, you'll have to wait until 2013 to find out that Marion Cotillard is the bad guy.
Spider-Man 3What if after Peter Parker finally strips the Venom Symbiote off of his body, and the sludge falls on Eddie Brock, the credits start rolling right before Brock turns into Venom? To be honest, it wouldn't be that much worse than the movie we got...
Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadePicture this: the last true Indy adventure severed in two right before Prof. Jones took the leap of faith? A big "To Be Continued" flashed on screen before the film's theme started blaring thoughout the theater. "Come back next year to see if Indy survived the jump!" No, I don't think I will.
Toy Story 3Imagine if Toy Story 3 had cut out while Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the others were still trapped in Ned Bearty's day care center, forcing now grown Pixar fans to stew in bitter resentment before the nostalgia really hit home upon Andy's goodbye to his best pal? Pure torture.
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the KingWhat if while Frodo and Sam are right on the edge of the lava pit in Mount Doom, The film cuts just as we see Frodo about to drop the ring into the molten abyss? Why recieve closure now, when you can get it later? Don't worry, Peter Jackson has you covered.
Back to the Future IIIAny more time spent in the Old West with Marty and Doc would be considered a crime against humanity.
We've just learned that Comedy Central's resident satirist Stephen Colbert will be inheriting CBS's The Late Show once David Letterman takes his final bow in 2015, but almost as important as the show's new host is the new band leader. Colbert has made a lot of musically gifted friends in his time at Comedy Central, but which ones would make a good fit once the comedian transfers his talents to late night?
Ed HelmsChemistry is the name of the game when it comes to a good host/band leader dynamic. Thankfully, Ed Helms and Colbert spent years working together in the early days of The Daily Show, and have shown a nice easy comedic flow back and forth. They're clearly still pals, considering the fact that Colbert made a guest appearance as Helms' college buddy on the final season of The Office. There's also the fact that Helms is a talented multi-instrumentalist.
Elvis CostelloWhile this one may be a bit of a stretch, the connection between the two is more than tenuous. Colbert has a great admiration for Costello, and the two have become good friends thanks to Colbert's show. Costello even sang a duet with Steven during his 2008 Comedy Central special A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! If that wasn't enough, there's the simple fact that Elvis Costello is just really cool. Not run of the mill cool, but old school cool. He's smooth, and has a big presence that won't get drowned out by Colbert's antics.
James MurphyJames Murphy, the former face of the now defunct LCD Soundsystem, eats, sleeps, and breaths New York, so it would be no problem keeping him in town to do the show. He's also has a lot of time on his hands now that LCD Soundsystem is done and gone. If all that wasn't enough, Murphy chose the Colbert Report for his band's final television appearance.
The NationalThese Brooklyn-based rockers would only be a short train ride away from Stephen's new digs at CBS. They've also sang a song on The Colbert Report with the host before, so the two entities are already well acquainted with each other. Plus, The National seems to really get a kick out of adding their moody brand of rock to pop to pop culture. They've created a haunting version of "The Rains of Castamere" for Game of Thrones, and have even covered songs from Bob's Burgers of all places.
Steve CarellBoth Carell and Colbert are Daily Show alums, and the duo used to host the recurring segment "Even Steven" where they debated topics as irrationally as possible. Beyond the comedy connection, Steve Carell does play his fair share of instruments, though they're not your typical late night fare. You'd be surprised to learn that Carell can play the baritone horn and the fife. Now, are we really going to deprive the world its only chance of having a late night band being led by a fife player? I think not.
Spoiler Warning: If you haven't watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier, turn back now! This episode divulges major plot points of the film. You should definitely try to watch the film before continuing with the series.
The aptly named Turn, Turn, Turn has finally given Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D some much needed verve, and its finest hour yet took a bevy of twists and turns until its audacious conclusion. The fallout from Captain America: The Winter Soldier has spread far and wide throughout the Marvel universe, and has given the storytelling in S.H.I.E.L.D. a swift kick in the pants. With intrigue, some deft character work, and a last-second reveal that was actually pretty shocking, S.H.I.E.L.D. is finally showing some signs of actually becoming a good, and - dare I say - possibly even great hour of television. And all it took was a multi-million dollar movie-tie in to do it.
Mission Briefing After Coulson and Co. catch May reporting their actions to an unknown handler at the end of an encrypted hard line, Coulson, May and Skye are in the middle of a good ol' Mexican stand off. May is pleading her innocence before the Bus is suddenly rerouted back towards the Hub and Agent Victoria Hand, who may or may not be the Clairvoyant. The team must figure out a way to rescue Simmons and deal with Hand, but is she really the true enemy?
The Agents May's being kept under lock and key and Simmons is being held captive at the Hub, but the rest of the team is ready to bust some heads, and finally get some answers to questions they've been asking all season.
Mission Fallout May reveals that she's been reporting to Director Fury since the beginning, who Coulson has been trying to get into contact with for the beter part of five episodes. Skye tries to figure out where the Bus has been re-routed to, but only receives a static heavy signal across all S.H.I.E.L.D communication lines. After saving Agent Garrett in a high-flying dogfight against two S.H.I.E.L.D. drones, Skye is able to decode the mysterious transmission: it's HYDRA, the same pseudo-Nazi organization that Captain America gutted during World War II. The terrorist organization has infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. at the highest level, and is taking out top level agents. Coulson forces May to contact Fury to gain some answers, but learns that he has been killed. May divulges that she knew about the medical experiments performed on Coulson all along, and that it was her job to make sure the agent remained stable, despite having experimental alien blood pumping through his veins. She also reveals that the team assembled around Coulson was specifically created to eliminate him in case something went wrong.
The Bus finally lands at the Hub, and Hand's men begin shooting the jet, but the agents escape and scramble to find Simmons. Meanwhile, Hand finds Simmons and Triplett and reveals that she's still loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. and believes Coulson to be a member of HYDRA due to his recent erratic behavior. Skye and Ward move to hack the system at the hub, but not before promising each other a drink date if they make it out alive (because that's the most pressing thing to do right now). Elsewhere, Coulson and Garrett are discussing the best way to deal with Hand, who they still believe to be the Clairvoyant. Garrett slips up and reveals himself to be the Clairvoyant and manages to take the team hostage thanks to other loyal HYDRA agents still inside the Hub. After an explosive diversion thanks to Skye, the agents are able to subdue Garrett and his posse of HYDRA agents before Hand arrives to put the cuffs on them, having overheard the entire exchange.
With S.H.I.E.L.D in shambles, Coulson and Agent Hand agree to meet up at the Fridge, which they believe to be the only base still under genuine S.H.I.E.L.D control. While their team is safe for now, trust among the members of Coulson's squad is at an all-time low, with Coulson giving May the cold shoulder. Later, while Hand and Ward are escorting Garrett to the Ice Box for imprisonment, Hand gives Ward the go ahead to assassinate Garrett. Ward ponders this for a second, takes the gun and instead shoots Hand in the stomach before giving the dying agent a quick double-tap with his pistol. Hail HYDRA, indeed.
Most Valuable Agent AwardCoulson gets an honorary mention for figuring out that Garrett was the Clairvoyant, but Fitz gets the MVA award for shooting that HYDRA agent and saving a team member's life.
Mission Highlights and Other Observations- With Ward shooting two agents in the head before capping agent Hand, this is definitely the most violent episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet.- Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly clear that S.H.I.E.L.D. is unable to make it's own changes to the Marvel status-quo, without getting the go-ahead from one of the films. That would explain why many of the episodes have felt largely like filler up to this point. While it's cool that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is connected to a larger, sprawling universe of other forms of media, it's sad that the show can't be its own master, and make its own significant changes without disrupting the Marvel film canon. An episode of this quality should have came about several months ago.- Even though Garrett's reveal as the Clairvoyant is interesting, I'm going to miss Garrett and Coulson's chummy exchanges. I guess evil Bill Paxton is better than no Bill Paxton at all.
There are times where directorial hiring feels like a good fit, but others where they feel like planetary alignment. After being considered for the position a couple of months back, Drew Goddard is in negotiations to both write and direct Sony's upcoming Amazing Spider-Man spin-off, Sinister Six. The titular group is a collective of Spider-Man's fiercest foes that team up after repeated attempts to foil the superhero by themselves prove futile. Goddard is an inspired choice for the director's chair. The filmmaker has made a career out of shaping and creating tons of memorable villains. His work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Lost has added texture and depth to those shows' bad guys, while his 2012 feature with fellow superhero helmer Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods, brought a cornucopia of awful monsters to theaters. Here's a list of some of the best villains Goddard had a hand in creating.
The Cloverfield Monster (Cloverfield)A seriously strange and unnerving creation, this freaky giant monster wrought terror on the streets of New York in Cloverfield. It gave the found footage film a terrifying legitimacy that it has seldom been able to attain since.
Anya (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)This quickwitted vengeance demon would rip out the heart of a unfaithful lover while talking his ear off. Like many of the Buffyverse's best villains, she becomes an official member of the Scoobies, but Anya was at her most enjoyable when she was the parton saint of bloody revenge. Goddard penned one of her best episodes, Season 7's "Selfless."
The First Evil (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)By Season 7, Buffy had pretty much run out of supernatural baddies to face off against, so the big bad in the show's final season was The First Evil, an ancient being comprised of all the evil in the world.
Caleb (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)Both charming and devilish, Caleb added some corporeal might to the First Evil's campaign to end the world. Nathan Fillion, always the jag.
Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)Spike was a swaggering, punk rock, bad boy vampire that spent the early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a recurring antagonist. Even though Spike does become a mostly good guy in the end, the Spike/Drusilla tag team from Seasons 2 and 3 is still the most terrifying duo in television history.
Dana the Vampire Slayer (Angel)In a Goddard-penned episode of Angel, a newly powered vampire slayer kills several people at a hospital before escaping. Dana probably blurs the line between victim and villain, considering she was tortured as a child and is mentally unstable, but great villains usually do.
Ben Linus (Lost)The sly and manipulative Ben Linus served as the primary antagonist in Lost for several seasons. His unerring devotion to the Island drove him to commit many cold-blooded actions across the show's run, but the character redeems himself (somewhat) towards the end. Goddard wrote Ben's first flashback episode, "The Man Behind the Curtain."
The Smoke Monster (Lost)This enigmatic plume of deadly black smoke that served as a constant threat to many of the survivors of Oceanic 815. It was later revealed to be the mystical Man in Black, a force of evil on the island.
Merman (The Cabin in the Woods)While mermaids are usually elegant redheaded beauties that sing show tunes and befriend high-strung Jamaican crabs, Mermen are horrid, disfigured creatures of the deep that murder with reckless abandon.
Angry Molesting Tree (The Cabin in the Woods)Probably the first living thing in history to be both and endangered plant species and a registered sex offender. This homage to a creature in the Evil Dead series is both silly and disturbing.
Zombie Redneck Torture Family (The Cabin in the Woods)The primary monster of Cabin in the Woods before the film flips the script into an all out monster bash, these creatures are suitably terrifying. Regular zombies are bad enough, but add on top of that a layer of backwoods ignorance and you've got yourself one doozy of a monster.
Unicorn (The Cabin in the Woods)So the horn on a unicorn's head is used to impale innocents. Makes sense, really.
Those Guys with Doll Masks (The Cabin in the Woods)These doll-faced humanoid creatures that pop out of an elevator don't have any claws, fangs, or any of the other standard horror movie staples, but they are probably the scariest monsters in the film.
Murdering Clown (The Cabin in the Woods)Our debilitating fear of clowns and bright colors were vindicated by the stab happy circus performer in Cabin in the Woods.
The Doctors (The Cabin in the Woods)Feeding off the fear that medical doctors are really sadistic maniacs with bone saws and slightly cold hands, 'The Doctors' from The Cabin in the Woods are the reason some of us haven't had a checkup since 2012. I'd rather just let this broken bone just sort itself out thank you very much.
Hell Lord (The Cabin in the Woods)With half a dozen buzz saw blades sticking out of his head, the Hell Lord is some serious nightmare fuel.
Klu Klux Klan (The Cabin in the Woods)Fictional monsters sure are terrible but really, racism is the real evil facing the world today.
The Killer Robot (The Cabin in the Woods)We'd like to think that the reason the show Robot Wars was canceled was because this mechanized monster became sentient and killed its creators.
The Office Drones (The Cabin in the Woods)With all their claws, tendrils, and unicorn horns, the creatures featured in The Cabin In The Woods are all deathly frightening, but the true monsters of the film are definitely the coffee-swilling desk jockeys that subject the unsuspecting teens to the deadly horror movie ritual. I hope giving up their souls were worth the sweet 401k plan.
Sigourney Weaver (The Cabin in the Woods)Shudder...
Hollywood is serving up blockbuster spectacle in high doses this year, but no film looks as towering and monolithic as Godzilla. The film looks to be the biggest thing hitting cinemas this year, and we're not talking about the measurements of it's Kaiju namesake. Godzilla seems like pure event filmmaking, simply massive in both scope and spectacle. But beyond the enormity of it all, director Gareth Edwards seems keen on not just creating a film about a giant monsters wreaking havoc, but about all the people being trampled out of existence.
If the latest extended look at the film is any indication, Godzilla looks to be a film about humanity. It's a film about pure, ragged, hard fought survival. A film about a species fighting tooth and nail against it's own extinction. The trailer has an overbearing sense of dread that gives the film a more weighty feel than the other tentpole films populating the crowded summer calendar, and the marketing thus far has been very cautious to keep the focus on the people as well as the monsters. In fact, the trailer winds on for a dramatic minute and a half before even showing a glimpse of Godzilla. Instead were treated to a campaign that's focused mainly on the human drama.
The trailer opens with an accident at a nuclear plant. We see Sandra Brody (Juliette Binoche) investigating a problem at the plant before a breach occurs and sends a team of scientists running for their lives. Sandra’s husband, Joe (Bryan Cranston) is forced to close a containment door that stops the toxic threat and his wife from reaching the outside world. We see husband and wife staring though a glass window one last time before they’re separated for good. Next we see Brody explaining to his son (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) that he did everything he could to save her.
Beyond the giant Kaiju rampaging through a city, This trailer is about a husband losing his wife, a father begging forgiveness from his son, and people struggling to understand a terror that's looming in the ocean deep. Any film can dazzle with whiz bang special effects, CGI spectacle is cheap commodity these days. It's wildly abundant. It’s story and emotional resonance that seems in short supply, and Godzilla looks to have those in spades. These are real feelings being delivered by actors giving the material its due respect, and really letting us understand the terror that they are facing.
Godzilla isn't a movie that will cause you to doze off into your nachos until the next booming set piece flickers on screen. There's something special happening here. The trailer dives into spectacle in the last few seconds, but the actual story and people seem more than just fodder to progress the plot between the action. It looks like we might actually care about the people in this film, and they actually seem just as interesting as the monsters themselves. Let's hope the film delivers on all this promise. It has already delivered on the monster designs, because the updated Godzilla looks all kinds of awesome.
Walt Disney Studios
When you think about it, superheroes can be a pretty fickle bunch. Through several decades of comic books and the dozens of comic book films released over the years, it's become abundantly clear that there's no such thing as a binding alliance. Comic book characters switch over the moral dividing line so often that keeping track of it all can be headache-enducing, a fact that one Captain America knows all too well. In the upcoming sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap sees himself facing off against an old friend, and in his honor, we've decided to list our favorite comic book movie frienemies.
Harry Osborne and Peter Parker (Spider-Man)High school best buds turned mortal foes, Peter Parker and Harry Osborne are the original frenemies. When Harry discovers that Spider-Man killed his father Norman (the OG Green Goblin), and later finds out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, the news sets him on a raging path of revenge. Harry picks up the mantle of the Green Goblin and tries to put a stop to the webslinger's heroics once and for all.
Loki and Thor (Thor)Being second sucks, doesn't it? Brothers Thor and Loki were always thick as thieves, but under the surface, certain injustices began to slowly gnaw away at their friendship. Jealousy over Thor's birthright plus the discovery of his true frost-giant origins were enough to send the already mischievous Loki into full villain mode.
Dr. Connors and Peter Parker (The Amazing Spider-Man)Peter Parker and Dr. Connors had a budding Teacher/protege relationship in The Amazing Spider-Man, but Connors was slowly driven crazy by his limb re-growth serum and becomes the Lizard. When the Lizard decides to turn the whole of New York into gigantic reptilian creatures, Spidey had to take the respected scientist down.
Andrew, Matt, and Steve (Chronicle)There's nothing like finding alien superpowers to make a friendship stronger. In Max Landis' Chronicle, Andrew, Matt and Steve bond after accidentally obtaining powers, but Andrew gets consumed by his new found abilities and his terrible home life. After possibly killing Steve, Andrew goes on a rampage through the streets of Seattle, and it's up to Matt to stop him before more people get hurt.
Todd and Dave (Kick-Ass 2)In the sequel to Kick-Ass, the eponymous hero continues to wage his inept war against crime, but when his best friend Todd feels left out of the superheroics, he almost unwittingly becomes a henchmen of Christopher Mintz-Plasse's The Motherfu****, and inadvertantly get's Kick-Ass' father killed. Things between the two are reconciled at the end, but there are some things you probably shouldn't forgive.
Magneto and Professor X (X-Men: First Class)Did I say Harry and Peter were the original frenemies? Nope, that honor clearly goes to Magneto and Professor X. While Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier were originally united in their fight for Mutant rights in the 60's, Professor X sought more peaceful methods, while Magneto was very much an ends-justifies-the-means type of guy, and the two have been at each others throats ever since. They still have mutual respect and affection for one another, but it's buried under years of hate.
Mystique and Professor X (X-Men: First Class)Wait, hold on. Did I say Magneto and Professor X were the original frienemies? Well, according to X-Men: First Class, the good Professor knew Mystique back when they were both children. The two were basically siblings growing up until Raven started to side with Magneto's more forceful ideas about Mutant rights.
Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne (Batman Forever)Harvey Dent was a by-the-books district attorney that protected Gotham with law and order, while allowing Batman clean up whatever scum slipped out of the court and onto the streets. Their tag-team was broken up when Dent's face was burned by a disgruntled crime boss in the middle of a court proceeding, and Dent is driven insane by his disfigurement, becoming the villain Two Face.
Sabertooth and Wolverine (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)Bound by blood and death, Wolverine and Sabertooth were half-brothers that spent the better part of two centuries fighting through American military conflicts across the globe. After being recruited by William Stryker to join a group of mutant military group called Team X and carrying out some wet work on behalf of the government, Logan leaves the team, feeling dismayed by all of the killing, and Sabertooth sees this as the ultimate betrayal.
Walt Disney Co. via Everett Collection
While every Marvel film to date has culled inspiration from a handful of the same comic book series, the studio has done a great job with diversifying its offerings to suit every taste. From Iron Man's unwavering confidence to The Incredible Hulk's appetite for destruction, your favorite Marvel movie speaks volumes about what kind of person you are. Here's what your favorite Marvel movie says about you.
Iron Man Who are you: You're the trendsetter. You have a type-A personality that's full of swaggering confidence, and you're not afraid to plunge into the unknown. You're prone to start great things. You're also pretty funny and like to quip incessently about everything and anything. Bigger and better things will undoubtedly follow after you're gone, but people won't forget that you're the one that started it all.
Iron Man 2Who are you: You know that first guy that liked Iron Man so much? Yeah, you're that guy's shadow. You try to ape what was so great about him. You wear the same kinds of clothes, and try to act that same way, but you don't need to be as smart as Tony Stark to know that you're trying too hard to be something you're not. You're a pale and disappointing imitation of something greater. You'd be better served to try out your own thing, than trying to imitate others.
Iron Man 3Who are you: You're unique. You march by the beat of your own drum and subvert expectations. You like changes to the status quo, and just because a movie might throw you for a couple curveballs and do some things that aren't totally by the book, you value daring. You know that an original movie trumps a faithful one every time.
ThorWho are you: You're a jack of all trades. While just looking at you might give off the impression that you're a small-minded gym rat, your heart truly belongs to the theater. You're a student of Shakespeare and love a good melodrama about tragic kingdoms, betrayal, patricide. Because really, Thor is basically a cosmic version of something like Hamlet or Macbeth... except, you know, with frost giants and Kat Dennings. Hidden depths.
Thor: The Dark WorldWho are you: You just want to have a good time. You're not an especially deep or nuanced person, but you know how to get down when it's time to party. You let other people worry about being deep and complicated. For you, it's all about instant gratification. A movie doesn't have to be complicated to be good. All you need is a couple of hours of wiz-bang action, and you're satisfied.
Captain America: The First AvengerWho are you: You’ve got an old soul. New and flashy things are fine and all, but you truly enjoy the joints with a vintage style. History books line your shelves, and those old school Spielberg flicks get your nostalgia engine firing on all cylinders.
The Incredible HulkWho are you: You're destructive. Breaking things into a million little pieces fires all the right synapses in your brain, and likewise, seeing a giant rage monster crumbling entire city blocks into dust is your idea of a great night at the movies. Your temper has gotten you into trouble in the past and you've been told countless times about the virtues of keeping your anger in check, but who needs peace and calm when blind rage is so liberating.
The AvengersWho are you: You're a team player, and you love taking charge over a team of knuckle heads and accomplishing a goal. You get a contact high from seeing people strive towards something greater than what they could have accomplished alone. Beyond your love of team building, you’re a crowd pleaser. You’re dripping with charisma and you can entertain for hours on end.
Walt Disney Co. via Everett Collection
Six years and nine movies in, Marvel has already payed tribute to several film genres with its cinematic universe. We've seen fish-out-of-water stories, political thrillers, pulpy throwbacks, and even a corporate super-villainy grace our screens, but there's still loads of genres that have yet to receive the superhero treatment. We've decided to take a look at the possible genres that Marvel's next batch of standalone superhero films could hone in on.
Iron Man 4Addiction drama
Iron Man 2 saw Tony Stark dip a toe in the well of self-destruction, but what if the character went all the way down the rabbit hole in his next outing? The comic book version of Iron Man has endured a long suffering battle with alcohol, and it would be great to see a superhero film realistically delve into the demons of addiction. We don't necessarily want Requiem for a Dream: Iron Man Edition or anything, but a comic book film with a frank arc about addiction could take Marvel's storytelling to the next level. Dream director: Danny Boyle.
Let’s be real. Hawkeye probably doesn’t get the call to "Assemble!" all that often. When Galactus comes tearing through the Milky Way, the first thought pinging through the minds of the more supernaturally-endowed members of the Avengers probably isn’t, "Hey let’s call that guy with the arrows!" A everpresent theme in the recent Hawkeye comics is that Cliff Barton also feels inadequate when standing shoulder to shoulder with his Avengers cohorts. So let’s take that stew of unfulfillment and inadequacy brewing inside the purple archer and refocus it into a genre where those feeling thrive: the indie drama. Think Frances Ha with terrorists, or Greenberg with ninjas. Honestly, when you think about it, Hawkeye is basically Hannah Horvath: a young adult living in Brooklyn, only first coming to realize that he is not as great as he's always thought. Dream director: Rian Johnson
Thor 3 Survivor's tale
Survival films had a monster 2013, with yarns like Gravity and All is Lost becoming critical and commercial successes. What if the next Thor standalone hopped on this trend before it flickered out. Picture this: after a night of a few too many jars of mead, Thor accidentally bifrosts himself into a uncharted section of the nine realms. With no way home, Thor has to survive an alien wilderness full of terrifying hell-beasts, and a caustic elements. It would be the ultimate story of man against nature, or more accurately, demi-god against nature. The best part would be that they couldn't shoehorn a Jane Foster romantic sub-plot anywhere. Dream director: Joe Carnahan
Black WidowCold War thriller
Countless vials of ink have been used up in order to tell the origin of Black Widow in comic books, but nary a drop of celluloid has been set toward the past of Black Widow's big screen counterpart. Doing an '80s period piece about the Soviet spy-turned-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent's ascension to goodness could be an awesome way to give the character a proper back story. Look at all the good going back to the '60s did for the X-men franchise with X-Men: First Class. Doing a quieter espionage film featuring Natasha Romanov defecting from the hemorrhaging Soviet Union would do much to diversify Marvel's portfolio and give cinema goers a break from rampant city destruction which is quickly becoming an overused play in Marvel's cinematic handbook. Dream Director: Joe Wright
The Incredible Hulk 2Gladiator/prison break film
The Hulk is a tricky character to script an entire film around, and there's a reason why Bruce Banner in The Avengers as a part of an ensemble, whereas he mostly floundered in his standalone outings. For a Hulk movie, it would be cool if Marvel took some inspiration from the Planet Hulk comic book storyline and told a story where aliens captured the Hulk and made him fight in gladiatorial style combat against the universe's most destructive entities. For one thing, it would give the Hulk an otherworldly challenge unlike anything he would face on Earth, but it would also give Marvel a chance to bridge their mainline cinematic universe with their more cosmic offerings. Maybe someone like Gamora from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy could make an appearance? The film could then end with an extended prison break sequence as the Hulk smashes his way back home again. Dream Director: Ridley Scott
Captain America 3Conspiracy thriller/occult romp
Captain America: The First Avenger did the whole Spielberg thing already, but if the Captain America comics has taught us anything, it's that you can't keep a good Nazi down. The Red Skull has always been permanent fixture in Captain America's long running mythos, and it would seem like a such a sin if he didn't rear his ugly mug in at least one adventure set in the modern world. After Cap is finished with the political thrills of The Winter Soldier, why not embrace the pulp once more with a country-spanning adventure, full of secrets being uncovered, ancient organizations being foiled, and Nazis being clanged in the head with shields? Dream director: Brad Bird
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