A gathering of new items from March 19th -21st, 2013, in the mighty Marvel manner!
"Ant-Man" stunt footage leaked online!
Director Edgar Scott Wright ("Scott Pilgrim vs. The World", "Shaun of the Dead") has been attached to an "Ant-Man" film from Marvel Studios for what has seemed like years (at least since about 2006) ironing out the script and moving various pieces in place. Last year, it was announced that his "Ant-Man" would debut in 2015 as part of a "phase 3" of Marvel films after Joss Whedon's "The Avengers 2" debuts that summer. In addition, some stunt and special effects footage was shown at the San Diego Comic Con as a teaser reel for Wright's film.
While various websites have posted the video and since had that video killed, for the moment JoBlo currently has the 57 second clip available. It features the titular superhero clad in a costume similar to a design seen around 2004 taking down two goons in some mysterious facility hallway from an air vent before moving into an elevator to proceed with the mission.
It remains to be seen which version of the shrinking hero will be seen on screen. There have been three different men who donned the helmet over the years, and in an interview during the script drafting phase, Wright noted that he wanted to have Scott Lang (the second Ant-Man) as his star with the original (Hank Pym) being a mentor who had been Ant-Man in the past. This would actually be a rare film in the Marvel Studios stable which didn't present the original incarnation of a hero first. It is possible that studio executives may find Lang a more tolerable lead than Pym due to having a daughter and not having as unstable a history; on the other hand, leaving Pym in the background eliminates related characters like Janet Van Dyne/Wasp and even the robot villain Ultron.
While Fox Studios is more willing to fudge things with their "X-Men" films, Marvel Studios has usually stuck to the originals. Since this interview, however, the script had been re-written twice, so the current "Ant-Man" could be vastly different. An "Ant-Man" film could be one of the studios' riskiest ventures, although if the budget is kept in control and the film executed well, it could be a modest hit.
To continue the news about upcoming Marvel Studios projects around unlikely franchises, the role of Drax the Destroyer has been cast in James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy" film, which is set to debut in 2014. It has gone to former wrestler and mixed martial artist Dave "Batista" Bautista. He was a WWE wrestler from 2002-2010 before moving into the mixed martial arts arena in 2011 and even appearing in some films. While most of his film credits were in minor direct-to-video productions, he was Brass Body in 2012's "The Man with the Iron Fists" and is set to appear opposite Vin Diesel in the next Riddick film, titled "Riddick".
This is the second character from "Guardians of the Galaxy" cast, after Chris Pratt was cast as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, the leader of the team. Other characters include the assassin Gamora, the living tree Groot, and the gun toting Rocket Raccoon. He is not the first wrestler to go on to play a Marvel Comic book character in a film, although the first cast by a Marvel Studios production. Former WCW/WWE wrestler Tyler Mane was cast as Sabretooth in Fox's "X-Men" in 2000, and Kevin Nash played the Russian in Lion's Gates' "The Punisher" from 2004. Often cast more for their physiques than any acting skill, one hopes that Batista manages to work within the film.
Created by Mike Friedrich and Jim Starlin, Drax first appeared in Iron Man #55, circa 1973. That was the same issue in which the villain Thanos debuted, and the two have always been connected. Originally an earth man seemingly killed by Thanos, Drax was remade by other aliens to become a warrior with the sole mission to slay Thanos. His daughter later became the heroine Moondragon, and it is somewhat odd that she's not been cast in this film, as she was a member of the incarnation of the team which it is based on (as written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning for over two years). One of Marvel Studios' riskiest projects to date, one hopes it will succeed beyond being a continuity cog for "The Avengers 2" in 2015.