The Avengers 2: What We Know So Far About Age Of Ultron
Spider-ManOf all the characters mentioned on this list Spider-Man is easily one of the biggest longshots Ė mostly because heís one of the only characters mentioned who doesnít actually belong to Marvel Studios. Just as he has been for years, the wall-crawler is still nestled cozily in his web over at Sony with a sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man scheduled to begin production in the coming months. We can all hope that someday Marvel and Sony will come together and unite their respective universes, but itís going to take a lot of money and a lot of legal talk to make that happen. For now we just have to settle with pictures of Andrew Garfield carrying Avengers comics with Thanosí name on them.
DaredevilAfter one of the most surprising and awesome developments of 2012, The Man Without Fear is finally back under Marvel Studios control. The character was owned by 20th Century Fox for years (remember that awful movie with Ben Affleck? Yeah.), but last August it was confirmed that they were going to let their contract for the character expire and let him return to the Marvel fold. That news has since been confirmed by Kevin Feige himself. And now that heís back the possibilities are endless. The character has never really been a part of the studioís plans due to the rights issues, so it may be a while before we see Daredevil getting his own storylines and/or solo films. But at this stage itís hard to imagine that a cameo in one of the solo movies or The Avengers: Age of Ultron is out of the question.
Ghost RiderWhile the comic book character still has many fans, Ghost Rider has not had good luck in live-action film. The first movie, directed by Mark Steven Johnson and starring Nicolas Cage, was a piŮata for critics, and the sequel, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylorís Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, was both beaten down by critics and considered a box office flop. But itís possible that the demonic superheroís fate has changed. According to recent reports, Ghost Rider once again belongs to Marvel Studios. Much like the situation with Daredevil, however, itís unclear how exactly he could fit into plans going forward. Itís hard to imagine that heíll show up in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but perhaps they will come up with something in Phase Three or beyond.
BladeThe more characters that return to Marvel Studios the bigger the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets, so weíre always excited to read about a superhero coming home. Itís great that both Daredevil and Ghost Rider have once again returned to the company that bore them, but theyíre not alone: the great vampire hunter is joining them as well. While the circumstances regarding how it happened are still a bit unclear, it has been said that Blade now once again belongs to Marvel Studios. The character hasnít been in a film since 2004ís Blade Trinity, so itís possible that the contract simply expired, similar to Daredevil. Unless Joss Whedon has some truly ridiculous surprises in store for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, donít count on seeing Blade in the MCU any time soon, but itís good to know that heís out there somewhere.
Doctor StrangeWeíve now known for a few months now that Doctor Strange will officially be making his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, studio President Kevin Feige having confirmed reports back in late January. The question that has remained, however, has been exactly when that might occur. While nothing is official, the answer could be May 6, 2016, July 18, 2016 or May 5, 2017. The studio has planted a flag on all of those with untitled projects, meaning that one of them could be reserved for the mystical superhero. In other news, a rumor has arisen saying that the villains of the solo Doctor Strange movie will be Dormammu, Karl Mordo and the Giant Mindless Ones, a.k.a. the exact villains youíd expect to find in a Doctor Strange movie.
Black PantherRemember what I said about Marvel announcing two new dates for their upcoming films? Is it too much of a stretch to think that one of them could belong to Black Panther? Marvel Studiosí plans for the Wakandan king Black Panther have been up in the air for a while now, but if the rise of recent casting rumors are anything to go on perhaps something is starting to develop. Actor Morris Chestnut took to his official Facebook page back in April and left a message reading, "It's time to get familiar with the Black Panther character!" along with a comic book cover of the hero fighting alongside Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and other characters. Perhaps Marvel has reached out to him to gauge his interest level in taking on the role? There has also been some talk saying that the studio was impressed by Chadwick Bosemanís performance in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 and have added him to the shortlist of potential actors to play TíChalla. We donít know if these are plans for The Avengers: Age of Ultron or a solo movie, or if theyíre complete bunk, but itís a lead worth following.
Guardians of the GalaxyAfter seeing the first footage from James Gunnís Guardians of the Galaxy at Comic-Con 2013 we are more excited than ever to see the movie come out. The amazing lead cast includes Chris Pratt, star of Parks and Recreation and Zero Dark Thirty, as Star-Lord; WWE's Dave Bautista as the warrior Drax The Destroyer; and Avatar and Star Trek actress Zoe Saldana is set as Gamora, but it's the ridiculous supporting cast that we find ourselves most excited about. Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, and Lee Pace have all been confirmed as part of the awesome ensemble, playing a mix of both good guys and bad guys. The bad news, however, is that it doesn't sound like the movie will have too much of a connection to The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Whedon has said that the two movies won't really have much to do with one another and "won't be swapping actors." Still, donít count out the possibility of some crossover.
Galactus and the Silver SurferThere was once a time when it sounded as though there was a chance Galactus and Silver Surfer would be making their way back to Marvel Studios and into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but sadly it would appear those plans are moot. In late summer 2012 it was reported that 20th Century Fox reached out to Marvel for an extension on their contract for the character Daredevil, and Marvel said that they would grant the extension in return for the rights to characters like Galactus and Silver Surfer, who have always been packaged alongside the Fantastic Four. But if there ever even was an offer it was turned down because, as mentioned earlier, the rights to Daredevil were returned to Marvel Studios in October. The two characters could end up making an appearance in Foxís upcoming Fantastic Four reboot Ė which has been dated for March 6, 2015 Ė but even that is probably a long shot.
Scarlet Witch and QuicksilverYou are now entering the drama hotspot of the comic book universe. It all began at the premiere of Iron Man 3 when Whedon hinted that his Avengers 2 script included "a brother-sister act," and while it was pretty obvious that he was referring to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Kevin Feige basically confirmed it just a few days later. Unfortunately, this left the folks over at Twentieth Century Fox with a predicament. Because the characters are primarily identified both as early members of The Avengers and as mutants, both Marvel and Fox have the rights to feature them in their respective movies, though they both have limitations (Marvelís version canít mention that they are mutants and Foxís version canít say that they belong to The Avengers). With Marvel officially moving forward with their live-action takes on the character, Fox decided to step into action and cast a Quicksilver of their own, casting Evan Peters as the speedy hero in Bryan Singerís X-Men: Days of Future Past. And all of that studio vs. studio drama doesnít even cover the casting rumors. While nothing has been made official yet, itís been said that Marvel is looking at Kick-Assí Aaron Johnson as Quicksilver and possibly Saoirse Ronan as Scarlet Witch. Will they end up actually getting the part? Stay tuned and find out.
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