Tag Archive: the first avenger


Marvel’s Phase Two is now underway with Iron Man 3 becoming the first movie of the year to gross over one billion dollars. With Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The First Avenger and Guardians of the Galaxy resulting in The Avengers 2 it looks to be another successful couple of years for Marvel. Then with Phase Three some new arrivals are set to touch down in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Ant-Man and Doctor Strange making it to the big screen, and rumours Black Panther will be there, Marvel are taking risks developing new properties. Runaways seems to be a comic book that would fit beautifully into the world that the MCU has taken on.

For anyone not familiar with Runaways, it is one of the most exciting and innovative Marvel comic books in recent years. A group of teenagers find out that their parents make up the super villain group known as The Pride. These teenagers decide to run away from home and set about making up for their parents’ wrongs by becoming superheroes in their own right. Along the way they make some startling discoveries (one of them is a mutant, another a witch, one an alien, one owns a pet dinosaur) but their group dynamic makes for some very interesting reading and would make a great story on the big screen.

Back when the MCU was first coming together Runaways was one of the films under consideration: a script was being written (Drew Pearce actually got the job of co-writing Iron Man 3 due to the strength of his Runaways script), casting calls were put out and actors and actresses were even being contacted about the film. However, Marvel decided (rightly judging by the huge amount of money they have made) to focus on bringing The Avengers to the big screen and as such the Runaways project was unfortunately shelved. Recently though, Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige stated that a Runaways film is being developed along with Ms. Marvel and Iron Fist among others.

So why is Runaways such a good choice? Well the comic book series is laden with references to the wider universe. The teenagers themselves are fans of superheroes like Spider-Man and Hulk, in fact it begins with them role playing as other Marvel superheroes. In a universe like the one Marvel has created with their films it is obvious that children will want to imitate these heroes and they will have an effect on ordinary people, which could be explored in Runaways.

Up to this point, the effect that these films has on the wider world has not been touched upon all that much. That may change with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D television series but it can also be shown in Runaways. The way that Runaways could intertwine with other Marvel characters and franchises would be different to everything that has been done so far. With Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk the movies just focus on the primary characters with nothing else really being explored; Runaways opens up the door for a self referencing corner of their universe where other films can be discussed as well as allowing this new team to have their own stories.

More importantly, with the popularity of Runaways it would be guaranteed to be a financial hit (lets face it, anything with Marvel attached to it is going to make money right now) but it is not a safe choice. This would be their first film featuring adolescent protagonists and can discuss more social and personal issues than the science of Iron Man or magic of Thor allow for. It would take the MCU to a grittier corner where everything isn’t always fine and where fighting your parents or dealing with an ultimate betrayal is everyday life.
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Lara Croft is the most recognisable female video game character in the world. At the beginning of this century two Tomb Raider films were released with Angelina Jolie taking on the role and, despite the original film still being the most successful film adaptation of a video game in the United States, both this and its sequel were not too well received by critics. Also, in recent years, the video game side of the Tomb Raider franchise has been waning. Until 2013. Earlier this month a reboot of the video game series hit the shelves, simply titled Tomb Raider. It received huge critical acclaim, is one of the best games I have ever played and obviously went on to sell more than a million copies in less than 48 hours. So it seems the time is right to reboot the franchise on the big screen, but who should play Lara Croft?

Here are my candidates:

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Gemma Arterton

Arterton has had experience in big action films before: Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans. While none of these films were exactly brilliant it has given Arterton the skills necessary to be let loose on her own big action franchise. She is currently one of the best British actresses working today and her talent is undeniable. I would definitely like to see her given a chance as Lara Croft.

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Hayley Atwell

Atwell is more of a television actress but made her break in Hollywood recently in Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger where her performance as Peggy Carter won her a lot of fans. She has shown her skills in Pillars of the Earth and The Duchess. However, her stock as a leading lady is yet to be tested and helming the Tomb Raider franchise could be a leap too far so early in her film career.

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Camilla Luddington

You may not know who Camilla Luddington is but she is the voice behind Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot of this year. On screen she has been in Californication, True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy but is yet to make her break in the film industry. However, depending on how closely involved the game’s publishers and producers are in making the film (my guess being not very) then she may have an outside shot at landing the role.

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Alice Eve

This is a long shot and probably won’t be considered. She is set to appear in Star Trek Into Darkness later this year so will be getting a lot of exposure both on screen and off it (if you’ve seen the new trailer you’ll know what I mean) and so she may be worth the risk?

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Bryce Dallas Howard

As the only non-Englishwoman on the list she would probably be my least favourite for the role (I just think that as Lara Croft is English it would be nice to see an English actress take the part this time) but Bryce Dallas Howard could be a nice fit. Previously appearing in Spider-Man 3, Terminator Salvation, 50/50 and The Help she has shown off her action credentials as well as her acting abilities.

For me, it’s between Gemma Arterton and Hayley Atwell with Arterton just winning in my mind!

Whenever Marvel move along with their casting that always interests me and there are two important pieces of casting news this week. Firstly, it has been announced who will be playing Star-Lord, the lead role, in the ambitious Guardians of the Galaxy. That man will be Chris Pratt. Pratt is currently on cinema screens in Zero Dark Thirty where he is receiving a lot of praise for his performance and he has also recently starred in Moneyball and The Five-Year Engagement (where he was by far the best character) so this looks like a fine piece of casting!

And the brilliant Emily VanCamp (of fantastic hit show Revenge) has landed the lead female role in Captain America: Winter Soldier. I’m a huge fan of Revenge and VanCamp is incredible so hopefully we’ll get to see her show off her fighting skills in the Marvel sequel too. No official word on who she will be playing has been released yet but it is thought to be Sharon Carter, a relation of Cap’s love interest Peggy Carter in The First Avenger.

Pratt and VanCamp appeared alongside one another in Everwood.

 

Star Wars news: Disney looking to cash in as quick as possible! This week Disney have announced that they will be working on standalone spin-off films. Now, I don’t like this idea because I’m not a fan of Star Wars on the whole, but as I understand it Star Wars (all six episodes) is the story of the Skywalker family. And that is how it should stay! Sure, lots of people want to explore the Star Wars universe but do you have to really do this blatant money making scheme to achieve that? Anyway, it is rumoured that a Yoda spin-off is going to be the first to be developed.

Back in 2007 Timothy Olyphant was the star of the Hitman film, an adaptation of the successful video game series that fans could never really decide whether they liked it or not. Just a mere six years later and Fox have decided what they are going to do with the franchise: reboot it with Paul Walker in the title role of Agent 47. I like Walker as much as anyone in the Fast & Furious franchise but has anything else he has done been a hit? Don’t even mention Into the Blue, what the hell was that?! But anyway, I just don’t see Walker as a good fit for the role and would have preferred to have seen Olyphant return to shave his head once again.

And finally, Benedict Cumberbatch has landed the lead role in The Imitation Game. The film follows Alan Turing, an important man of British history said to be the father of computer science as he played a pivotal role in the creation of the modern computer and also helped crack the “Enigma Code” during World War 2. The script was bought for seven figures with Leonardo DiCaprio set to star in the film but with him deciding to take a break Cumberbatch has landed the role. There’s sure to be some Oscar love for this when it eventually gets released.

Cumberbatch’s career is really taking off!

With the UK release of The Avengers, or Avengers Assemble, just one week away I have decided to look back over the films that Marvel studios have made in the lead up to this huge movie event. Ranking them from worst (which is a horrible word to use, especially in this case as none of the films are exactly bad) to best. Here we go:

 

5. Iron Man 2

It seems fairly obvious that this is the worst, sorry 5th best, of the lot. It had too much to do, trying to tie in The Avengers with another storyline meant that the inclusion of Nick Fury and Black Widow felt almost too forced and Jon Favreau really annoyed me with his desperate plea for attention by giving himself more screen time. Iron Man 2 just fell short of capturing the essence of wit, style and charm that had won over audiences with the first film.

 

4. The Incredible Hulk

This is incredibly harsh on the big green fella. It’s just a testament to the high standard Marvel have set themselves with their films. The Incredible Hulk places Ed Norton in the role of the scientist with huge anger management issues and Norton is superb in the role. The film also left itself open for a sequel, although that probably won’t be happening, with the hint at The Leader. Ending with an appearance of Tony Stark himself, it got fans drooling at the thought of a connected movieverse.

 

3. Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America is the big one really. Eventually becoming leader of The Avengers in the comic books, he is a well loved hero across the world. The film brought us the morale compass that is Steve Rogers and introduced one of the best love stories in comic book movie history which eventually ended in heartbreak as Steve said goodbye to Peggy Carter just as he managed to save America from Red Skull. The final film before The Avengers, everything was tied up as Steve woke up in the modern day and was found by Nick Fury himself.

 

2. Thor

There were worries about how it was possible to make a Norse God into a  character that would fit in with the realism of the world established in Marvel movies that came before this. These such worries were put to rest as Chris Hemsworth took over the mantle and brought everything to the role. Over the course of the movie we saw this arrogant, war hungry young prince become a well rounded, real noble person as he fought to save his friends, both God and human, from his evil half-brother Loki.

 

1. Iron Man

It couldn’t be anything else. Iron Man was what started the whole franchise. If Iron Man was not a success then The Avengers sure as hell would not be happening this year or any time in the near future. Iron Man became one of the greatest comic book movies so far; the characters were great, the special effects on the Iron Man suit itself were outstanding. Where Marvel’s characters had appeared in films before (not mande by the studio itself) they had either gone too cheesy (Fantastic Four) or dark and gritty (X-men), but Iron Man managed to combine the two and instantly became a classic. We got Tony’s charm, his wit, his playboy lifestyle combined with the underlying story of terrorism and arms dealings. Iron Man is brilliant and we all have this to thank for The Avengers.

Chris Evans is probably one of my favourite actors at the minute, not necessarily because he is a brilliant actor because he is far from the best, but he brings with him to every role a huge amount of enthusiasm and fun which helps the audience no end. I have never seen him put in a bad performance in a film and he is fast becoming one of the go to guys for an action film in Hollywood.

Evans made his action debut in 2000 and has since gone on to appear in over twenty films to date. After making his film debut in The Newcomers, Chris Evans was given a starring role on television series Opposite Sex, alongside Milo Ventimiglia. The show ran for just one series.

After the series ended Evans appeared in comedy Not Another Teen Movie. Once he was finished filming that he began to work on a couple more films: The Perfect Score and Cellular, both of which were released in 2004. Cellular, in my opinion, was a great action film, it was fast paced, it had a great cast pitching Chris Evans against action heavyweight Jason Statham. This is one of my favourite performances from Evans as he manages to combine humour and action greatly!

Evans 'flames on' for Fantastic Four.

In 2005, Evans starred in two independent films. The first being Fierce People and the second being London, which saw Evans reunite with Statham. It was also in 2005 when Chris Evans received mainstream attention. It could have come in a better film but anyway, Evans starred as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four film. Yes, the film was awful, yes, the characters were ruined, all except for Evans’ Johnny Storm who was the highlight of the film for fans of the comic book and the movies alike. Evans showed once again that he is charming, witty and a great pick for an action film with his performance.

The Human Torch was a role he took up again in the sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (a movie that managed to be even worse than the train wreck of the original film). 2007 was also the year that Evans made his debut in voice acting providing the voice of Casey Jones in the CGI film TMNT. The Nanny Diaries and Battle for Terra, Evans providing the voice once more in the latter, also came out this year, but it was his other film of 2007 that really caught my attention.

Evans plays level-headed engineer Mace in Sunshine.

Sunshine. Danny Boyle’s sci-fi film about a group of astronauts sent to re-ignite the dying sun taking place fifty years in the future. Chris Evans starred alongside Danny Boyle favourite Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne and Mark Strong. Sunshine was not a commercial success but it was critically and rightly so; this is one of the best sci-fi films I have probably ever seen, I really enjoyed it and Chris Evans’ character, Mace, was in fact really good.

The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond followed before Evans returned to the action genre once more for Street Kings; a film that had a lot of noteworthy names in its cast (Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie for example) but really failed to deliver on all fronts. Then Evans went on to Push, another sci-fi/action film where he had superpowers.

Chris Evans took up comic book movie roles twice more when he appeared in The Losers and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. With the latter, despite only having a small part Evans put in a humorous performance and served the film well. Recently he starred in rom-com What’s Your Number? alongside Anna Faris before taking on his biggest project to date.

Chris Evans as the iconic hero Captain America.

Chris Evans became Captain America for Marvel’s The First Avenger. He played the part of Steve Rogers and at first people had their doubts because he had been in a Marvel film before or he wasn’t big enough to play the super soldier. But Evans soon put those doubts to rest as he showed off his new bulked up figure in the war/superhero film and proved to be a success.

The role of Captain America is one that Evans will of course be reprising in this summer’s sure fire hit, The Avengers and the release date for Captain America 2 has been confirmed. Evans really became Steve Rogers, he played the character superbly and brought to the role the same commitment and enthusiasm that he has brought to every role in his career.

Chris Evans is a fine actor and in interviews he always comes across as the nice guy. He definitely deserves more attention in movies as he has shown his versatility, starring in action, sci-fi, dramas, comedies and rom-coms. Sure, he has some bad films in his past but there are some real gems in there too. What a guy.