A comic-relief character is a difficult thing, always at risk of becoming obnoxious or feeling out of place, particularly in a superhero tale that jumps between cosmic happenings and a dusty desert town. Kat Dennings demonstrated a deft touch as the quippy sidekick Darcy Lewis in Thor, and it appears that Dennings is returning with an expanded role in next November's Thor: The Dark World.
With the Thor sequel just about starting production in London, the movie has been in need of an actor to play the villain. Anyone hoping that San Diego Comic-Con would see a casting announcement on the bad guy were disappointed when that didn't come to pass, but the news of a full title, Thor: The Dark World doubtless assuaged their grief. Now they can move on entirely, since Christopher Eccleston has joined the cast as Malekith the Accursed, leader of the rumored Dark Elves.
Iron Man 3, the first movie of Marvel Studios' post-The Avengers "Phase Two," is about halfway through principal photography and will shoot in China later this summer. Another sequel, Thor: The Dark World, meanwhile, is preparing to begin production in England. Except for revealing the title at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel's kept things fairly tight on the Thor follow-up, but a few teeny-tiny details have emerged online today.
Turns out the guy we thought would play the villain in next year's Thor 2 will not, in fact, be causing mayhem in the Nine Realms or getting He-Man pimp-slapped by Mjolnir. Mads Mikkelsen, who was previously in talks to portray the unspecified bad guy in the Thor sequel, has revealed that the plan to have him join Chris Hemsworth and company went awry, meaning Marvel has to find somebody new to go up against the titular Thunder God and Avenger.
Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg didn't have too much to do in last year's Thor. They tagged along to Jotunheim and then showed up on Midgard to be all like, "Hey buddy, your dad's in an Asgardian coma and Loki's being a total douche" before a brief engagement with a metallic bad guy. Hopefully in Thor 2 they'll have more to do, but one of them will have a new face, as Josh Dallas won't be returning as Fandral, necessitating a new actor to fill out the eponymous thunder god's posse, The Warriors Three.
With The Avengers, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, has now served as the principal antagonist for two Marvel movies, so we couldn't expect that he'd be shouldering the villainous burden alone for a third time. Thor 2 is set to be Marvel Studios' second post-Avengers movie, and it looks the studio and director Alan Taylor have found an actor to play a new villain, as a familiar bad guy is in talks to join the cosmic party.
Just yesterday, Disney announced that Maleficent, the live-action retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story starring Angelina Jolie as the eponymous villain, would arrive in theaters on March 14, 2014. Before she moves into the realm of a fantasy origin tale, though, Jolie might just join a very different type of project for a brief spell. That would be The Counselor, the next film from Ridley Scott that is attracting attention from very famous people and a potential distributor.
About two months ago, The Counselor was a project of which we were wholly unaware. It wasn't even really a project, really. Now, though, the Cormac McCarthy-scripted The Counselor is one of the most exciting things going. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist's first screenplay immediately got no less a director than Ridley Scott on board, and with Michael Fassbender attached to star, the supporting cast is coming into focus. Right now, a trio of Oscar-caliber actors are in early talks, as Natalie Portman, Jeremy Renner, and Javier Bardem all look to join the film.
Hey look, it's five spiffily-designed posters for the 3D rerelease of The Phantom Menace, all apparently intended to remind us all of the days when we thought The Phantom Menace was a good idea. Anyone who was taking in oxygen back in 1999 will have memories of the delirious hype leading up to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. The goodwill towards the Original Trilogy and George Lucas's rare status as a modern mythmaker combined with a perfectly calibrated marketing machine to create total pop-cultural permeation and a collective expectation that The Phantom Menace would inevitably be the greatest human achievement since the pillowcase. Then the movie actually happened and became a symbol of theatrical disappointment and narrative tone deafness.
After the ambitious undertaking that is The Avengers, Marvel Studios and Disney have an ambitious plan to release two Marvel movies a year. The second scheduled post-Avengers release, Thor 2, has experienced some very public growing pains, what with not being able to find or maintain a director for very long. It looks as though Marvel's directorial troubles are over, though, as previously-reported candidate Alan Taylor has been hired to cross the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard with the sequel to this year's surprisingly proficient Thor.