The Labor Day's worth of Marvel Comics news items from Aug. 31st - Sept. 2nd, 2013!
While the internet has been set aflame (metaphorically) with Warner Brothers' casting announcement involving Batman, Marvel Studios quietly released some major casting news of their own over the past week. Marvel's main website itself noted that noted actor James Spader, best known for playing Alan Shore for years on TV in "Boston Legal" and "The Practice" has been cast as the notable Avengers villain for "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (set to debut on May 1st, 2015). Having won three Emmys for his role as Shore from 2003-2008, he's appeared in a slew of films including "Stargate" in 1994 and alongside Robert Downey, Jr. in "Tuff Turf" (1985) and "Less Than Zero" (1987). Marvel Studios announced Ultron as their villain for the sequel to the Joss Whedon directed blockbuster back in July's San Diego Comic Con.
Speculation also continues as to what form Ultron may take in the film and the creation of the artificial intelligence itself, since prior statements have confirmed that unlike the comics, Hank Pym would not be his creator and Ultron was never intended to appear in 2015's "Ant-Man". Unleash the Fanboy has heard from their exclusive source that the classic villain could bud from Tony Stark's own artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. in the "Marvel cinematic universe". It makes sense to link the villain to Iron Man, and this is supported in the Marvel/Lion's Gate animated film "Next Avengers" from 2008. Paul Bettany has voiced J.A.R.V.I.S. in four films, and is set to return for "Avengers: Age of Ultron".
Bradley Cooper officially cast as voice of Rocket Raccoon!
Last week, it was merely a "rumor" that "The Hangover" star Bradley Cooper was in negotiations to voice the CGI creation Rocket Raccoon in next year's "Guardians of the Galaxy" film. Apparently the negotiations are over as Marvel's own website has confirmed this casting choice. He would join director James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), and the still officially unconfirmed (but likely) rumor of Vin Diesel voicing Groot. The character of Rocket himself will be produced via motion capture of actual raccoons.
The "Bubble Head" conspiracy continues in "Uncanny X-Men #11"!
In last week's "Uncanny X-Men #11", writer Brian Bendis and artist Frazer Irving introduced a mysterious "bubble headed" villain who isn't Mysterio at the end of the issue. As Newsarama reminds, this character bares some resemblance to a cover David Finch drew for "New Avengers #1" back in 2004 which featured the character which sparked much internet debate; when the cover was officially released, Ronin had replaced him. X-Men editor Nick Lowe stated that while the character won't turn up for the "battle of the atom" crossover, he will return in subsequent issues.