With Thor: The Dark Work on the horizon, Marvel and star Natalie Portman are launching the Ultimate Mentor Adventure to inspire more girls to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Girls 14 and up are eligible to apply. UL (Underwriters Laboratories), Dolby Laboratories, National Academy of Sciences and Girl Scouts USA are also sponsoring the effort.
Portman, who reprises her role as astrophysicist Jane Foster in the film, also had some interesting things to say about female characters:
“I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.”
She joins a long line of Marvel ladies speaking up for variety. (via)
Marvel may not have any (announced) movies with an undisputed female lead in the pipeline, but could they have a TV show? Deadline reports that they’re currently developing a show based on Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter. Atwell recently starred in Agent Carter, a short film on the Iron Man 3 DVD, that takes the character beyond the events of 2011′s Captain America. The short was well-received by early audiences.
Atwell’s return isn’t a sure thing, and the show going forward will no doubt be somewhat dependent on how Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. does, but it’s a welcome development. The Iron Man 3 DVD and S.H.I.E.L.D. both debut next Tuesday
Following in the footsteps of Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale, Warner Brothers has dropped the bomb that Ben Affleck will be the next Batman. He’ll join the reigning Superman, Henry Cavill, in the Man of Steel sequel that was announced at SDCC. It’ll be the first live-action film in which the two characters face off.
My reaction can only be summed up with an animated GIF.
Affleck’s doing pretty well for himself these days as a star and director, taking home a second Oscar earlier this year for Argo’s Best Picture win, but who among us doesn’t remember 2003′s Daredevil? Still, if the second superhero role was the charm for Chris Evans, certainly Affleck can turn it around as well.
And, lest we forget:
So the spate of summer cons where Lucasfilm might announce news related to Episode VII has come and gone, and we’ve gotten some announcements, but nothing mind-blowing. As Dunc said earlier this week, let’s not lose our heads over it. Is it frustrating that Celebration Europe’s big reveal was John Williams, and nothing much came from D23 Expo? Perhaps. Especially when compared to the glut of Marvel movie news that came out at Comic-Con and appearances made at D23. But as film franchises go, Marvel is not Star Wars. And Star Wars is not Marvel.
The latest trailer for Thor: The Dark World reportably contains some of the footage that was shown at Comic-Con, and also features plenty of Loki.
Below the cut: New looks at Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Back in April, Patton Oswalt appeared on Parks and Rec and delivered a citizen filibuster outlining his plot for Star Wars episode VII, incorporating the Marvel universe, and a full version of the improvised rant popped up on the internet for all to see. Now Nerdist has gone ahead and animated the rant, to help bring Oswalt’s vision to two-dimensional life.
Saturday night’s highlight was the Marvel Studios panel, which opened with Tom Hiddleston as Loki (in full costume!) taunting the crowd and introducing a new new trailer for Thor 2: The Dark World. They continued with the full cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and more footage… And then the Guardians of the Galaxy cast, who’ve only just begun filming. Somehow they brought footage as well, and then… Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan, who will be playing space pirate Nebula, revealed she’s shaved her head for the role. They introduced some new Guardians concept art, above. And then Joss Whedon came out to reveal that Avengers 2 is titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. [Recaps: Tor, THR, HitFix/HitFix, Hero Complex, EW]
For the Marvel properties that live at other studios, Fox brought out the entire cast of X-Men: Days of Future Past, a time travel story which includes mutants from the original films and the prequel First Class. [THR, EW, /film] And Sony touted the just-wrapped Amazing Spider-Man 2. [/film]
As for DC… They announced that the Man of Steel sequel will also involve Batman – a new one, as the studio has previously said that they’ll be rebooting the character for any future films. Both writer David S. Goyer and director Zack Snyder will return. It’s aiming for… You guessed it… 2015. Rumor has it that they plan to follow the team-up with The Flash and Justice League. [Hero Complex, THR, EW]
The date was also part of an earlier rumor, but Cosmic Book News claims that a second source has collaborated the date.
A May 29 release does put a few weeks time between the release of Episode VII and The Avengers 2, which is currently set for May 1 that year. And other studios are certainly planning like that’s the case, although a May release date for a Star Wars movie is always a pretty safe assumption.
While we’re on the topic of The Avengers sequels, Marvel confirmed yesterday that Robert Downey Jr. will be back as Tony Stark for The Avengers 2 and 3, and they took a page from Lucasfilm’s book to do it.
The TV stations held their upfronts last week, giving advertisers (and viewers) their first look at fall’s new shows. So your first trailer park of the week is devoted to genre and genre-ajacent TV show trailers.
Up top, the biggest gun: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Joss Whedon and the Disney/Marvel conglomerate, coming at you on ABC, Tuesdays at 8:00. And yes, there is already a push to abbreviate this as MAoS, so pass it on.
Note that yes, some of these are spoiling their show’s first episode, but love it or leave it, their main purpose is to sell ads.
In ‘Nightmare and Silver,’ the Doctor and Clara head for ‘the greatest theme park in the universe,’ only to find it closed and inhabited only by a shabby few, including Warwick Davis. Cybermen ensue, because of course they do. The episode is written by Neil Gaiman and is the last before next week’s season finale, ‘The Name of the Doctor.’
In other sci-fi TV news, it’s pilot season! ABC picked up Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., bringing the Marvel synergy to live-action TV. (ABC will air a preview of the show on Sunday.) They also picked up Once Upon a Time spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and sci-fi mystery show Resurrection
Two J.J. Abrams pilots were picked up as well: Fox nabbed robot police drama Almost Human, while Fox picked up Believe, a collabration with Alfonso Cuarón about a telekinetic ten-year-old. It’s no big shock that The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals got picked up, but the CW also greenlit post-apocalyptic The 100, a remake of The Tomorrow People and the human/alien romance Star-Crossed.
Meanwhile, in the cable realm, both SyFy’s Defiance and BBC America’s Orphan Black are getting second seasons.
You can check out the full slate of pilots – picked up and passed over both – at The Hollywood Reporter.