Marvel made our minds explode with the number of major announcements they made during their #MarvelEvent. What does it all mean, and how should we feel about it? Well, let’s take a look back at their game-plan and break it down a bit:
- October 14th, 2014: Variety reports that Robert Downey Jr. is in final negotiations to be in Captain America 3 to play a key role in bringing the Civil War storyline to the movie universe. Ivy talks about why Civil War as we know it won’t work in the MCU.
- October 15th, 2014: DC decides to bury the Marvel news with news of their own as they announce the movies that will fill the slate of dates announced this past summer. The slate includes the first named female superhero film (Wonder Woman) and three people of colour leading their own films (Aquaman, Shazam, and Cyborg).
- October 22nd, 2014: Marvel plans on showing the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer during Agents of SHIELD when it gets leaked online. Marvel opts to lean in with a funny tweet and release a better quality trailer.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 22, 2014
- October 28th, 2014: Marvel announces a live event hosted by Marvel Studios and surprises not only those in attendance, but the fans in the Twitterverse, as well. They make a ton of announcements including their first solo films led by a person of color (Black Panther) and a female hero (Captain Marvel).
Even with the Age of Ultron trailer, I still thought we would leave October with DC winning the month. The Age of Ultron trailer was expected to be awesome so it wasn’t a surprise when the trailer literally took my breath away. DC has yet to prove themselves on the big screen, but while Marvel is a guaranteed good time, DC brings with it a level of surprise. We don’t know the movie versions of DC’s characters yet, or the context of their shared universe, so we’re going in blind while Marvel is a comfortable blanket: familiar but not particularly surprising these days (at least not since the success of Guardians of the Galaxy). Currently, Marvel rules the superhero silver screen, and today, they answered DC’s thrown gauntlet.
Some people fear Marvel is rushing Captain Marvel and Black Panther to compete with DC’s recent slate announcement. That’s ridiculous: Not only is Marvel in a great position financially and critically, they’re also known to schedule their films according to the plan they’ve created for their universe with minor deviations. I’ve been hearing Captain Marvel rumours since before San Diego Comic Con (and Wonder Woman is scheduled to come out a year before Captain Marvel, anyway), and Black Panther existing in the movie universe has been hinted before with the introduction of vibranium in Captain America: The First Avenger and the rumours of Wakanda being featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron due to some of the movie being shot in South Africa. Also, Feige said during the Q&A portion of the #MarvelEvent that they wanted to make some of these announcements during SDCC, but “things hadn’t come together until recently.” And let’s not forget that Civil War is a story that requires a lot of superheroes. It would make sense that Marvel would introduce films led by a person of colour and a woman especially given criticisms that their current slate lacks both. Fans have been more vocal about their fatigue on the number of “white guy heroes” Marvel has been putting out, so it’s possible that has been a motivating factor for Feige and Co., as well.
So what’s with the timing? D23 has long gone and New York Comic Con was weeks ago. Why choose to make these big announcements today after only announcing the event a week ago? Well, the leaked Age of Ultron trailer was supposed to be shown during Agents of SHIELD to help boost the show’s ratings. It was announced that an Age of Ultron clip would be shown at some point during or at the end of the show (but from what I’ve been hearing from friends, they’d much rather wait for the link to show up online than to watch SHIELD). I’m sure Marvel hopes that yesterday’s buzz will motivate fans of the film universe to watch last night’s episode. Will it work? I think so. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the footage they showed during today’s event will be the same one they’ll show during SHIELD, alluding to the beginnings of strife between Captain America and Iron Man.
What’s there left to know? A lot.
- Who will play Captain Marvel? If she does show up at the end credit scene of Age of Ultron as rumoured then we won’t have to wait too long for the announcement.
- Will Spider-Man make an appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? During the Marvel Event Q&A, “Feige says he can’t confirm anything until it’s official or until he knows it.” That’s vague! Spider-Man plays a big role in Civil War. Sony hasn’t been doing well financially of late, but Spider-Man is their biggest money maker. If financial troubles persist, whether we’ll see Spider-Man in the MCU is only a matter of time, but how soon could it be?
- What will Civil War be about? Part of the plot of Civil War regards secret identities which don’t exist in the MCU. Feige cleared that up a bit during the Q&A:
Civil War won't be about secret identities but about who the heroes should answer and report to.
— John Campea (@johncampea) October 28, 2014
- What role will the Inhumans play? I suspect they’ll likely play the roles the mutants would have if they didn’t belong to Fox. Maybe play in the Infinity Wars/Civil War storylines…?
- Will we see a solo Black Widow film? As of right now, Feige says no. He addresses the question via the Q&A and “emphasizes that there are plans in which Black Widow is a key, key role” that would warrant her own film. “Like Hulk, her role will be in the Avengers films.”
I can definitely say that I’m very excited. I’m really happy that we finally have our Black Panther and Captain Marvel films. What do you guys think of all this? Excited? Have questions of your own? Theories or speculations? Drop them in the comments section!
A nod to Patrick Cavanaugh & Ryan Penagos for liveblogging the #MarvelEvent over at Marvel.com.
October 29, 2014 Edit:
I was wrong! Instead, we got to see the same footage that people saw at San Diego Comic Con. Check it out below!
They also showed the first TV spot for Agent Carter which is debuting in January. Canadians didn’t get to see any of the extra footage despite airing at the same time (*shakes fist* Come on, CTV!).