As the August release date of "Guardians of the Galaxy" comes closer and closer, more hidden tidbits about the film are being revealed online, either by accident or design. Among them being a story from both Latino Review and the unofficial "Hollywood Bible" website Variety that Josh Brolin not only has been cast as the long time space villain Thanos, but that his first appearance in the role will be seen in this aforementioned film. It is believed that this role would be a smaller cameo role, as the film already has such nefarious figures as Nebula (Thanos' granddaughter, played by Karen Gillen), Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace), Korath the Pursuer (Djimon Hounson) and the Collector (Benicio Del Toro). It also isn't known if this role is a sheer voice role, or if it will be a role where Brolin performs some CGI "motion capture" akin to what James Spader is believed to be doing as Ultron in 2015's "Avengers: Age of Ultron".
Brolin's first big break was in the 1985 cult hit, "The Goonies", but he has gone on to appear in such major films as "No Country for Old Men", "True Grit", "American Gangster", and "Milk". This is hardly his first foray into a film based on a comic book, as he's also appeared in "Men in Black 3" as well as the Warner Brothers' bomb, "Jonah Hex". The character of Thanos, meanwhile, was created by Jim Starlin in 1973's "Iron Man #55" and has since gone on to become Marvel's most recognized space villain. The character did have a cameo at the end of 2012's "The Avengers", but this role was not played by Brolin. This role is expected to carry into "Avengers 3", which would presumably debut in 2017 or 2018.
Marvel Studios scrambles to find new director for "Ant-Man"!
Once it was revealed that Edgar Wright had dropped out of directing 2015's "Ant-Man" after some six years of working on the script, it became a mad dash to see which director would fill his spot. Most of the reason why this film was even in the pipe was due to Wright's work and pedigree, and his efforts predated the "Marvel Cinematic Universe" which began with 2008's "Iron Man". However, despite disagreeing on story terms, Marvel Studios now has a film which has a script, a cast (including Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas), and likely storyboarded.
Efforts to replace Wright have seemed to remain with finding directors whose main work involves comedies. Adam McKay, the director of the first two "Anchorman" films, was seen as Marvel Studios' first choice to replace Wright, but he's since rejected the offer via Twitter. Other directors stated to be on the bubble for this gig are Rawson Thurber ("Dodgeball", "We're the Millers") and Ruben Fleischer ("Zombieland"). If not for millions already invested in pre-production work and a set date to fill on the summer schedule for 2015, one wonders if Marvel Studios would have even continued to bother. Hopefully, the loss of Wright means the addition of Janet Van Dyne as a character, as Joss Whedon (and most Marvel fans) are fond of her. In the end, Marvel Studios' quest to scramble together a production team for this oddball film may turn out to be a better story than the film itself.
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" rules globally, falls 64% domestically!
The latest (and most expensive) of Fox's "X-Men" films saw a drastic drop in box office tallies within North America, but has quickly become the best grossing of the series internationally. In its' second week, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" raked in over $32.5 million for a two week total of $162 million. That U.S. performance alone is a mixed bag; it has outpaced "X-Men: First Class", "The Wolverine" and the first "X-Men" (from fourteen years ago), but is lagging behind "X2: X-Men United" and "X-Men 3: the Last Stand". Internationally, however, the film brought in another $95.6 million, mostly from China. Worldwide, the film has grossed roughly $500 million in its' first two weeks, and is the first of Fox's X-Men films to earn half a billion worldwide.
This creates an interesting dynamic, even if it reflects the reality of modern blockbuster films. Decades ago, relying on grosses from international releases of films was something which was known in the industry, but was often seen as a sign of failure to openly admit in North America. Now, not only are such tallies even more crucial, they're accepted as simply part of the blockbuster process.