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This is the blog that I was actually going to write yesterday, but that one took on a life of its own and went merrily along a tangent that I hadn’t planned on, so here we go with take 2.

Predictably enough, I’m looking forward to the summer blockbuster season, with this year shaping up to be another memorable classic, ahead of next year’s balls to the wall smorgasbord of summertime super heroics.

I’ve seen the trailer for Captain America: Winter Soldier (click here to check it out)  and truth be told – it’s simpy awesome. X-Men: Days of Future Past had the potential to be the tent pole film of the entire franchise to date, you can see why right here (and they’ve already announced Apocalypse to be the basis of the next film, so confidence has to be running high). And last, but not least, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 might well make my peepers pop out of their sockets looking from the sneak peek online. Marvel at the Spidey trailer here.

That has 3D eye candy written all over it. (Spidey works better in 3D than any other Marvel character. I’ve thought that since riding the 3D Spider-Man ride at Marvel Super hero Island in Florida….several times.)

The Amazing Spider-Man, being amazing. (Still from The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

The dark horse is Guardians of the Galaxy. Not only (and I blush with embarrassment as I type this) have I never read the comic, I had never even heard of it. I know, I know…how the hell does THAT happen? Actually – to this day, I STILL haven’t read any of them. I was at a total, complete loss as to who or what the hell they were. Even the sting at the end of Thor: The Dark World was lost on me, as it refers and leads in to Guardians of the Galaxy from what I’ve read.

Salvation came when I was watching an episode of the animated Avengers: The World’s Mightiest Heroes on DVD, and the Guardians were featured. My best “take” on them is that they’re Marvel’s version of DC Comics’ Legion of Superheroes – a bunch of galactic superheroes from the future. Now, if you’re a comics reader past of present, that’ll mean something to you. If not, dudes, I’m sorry I really can’t help you any further.

Exactly how the Guardians will fit into the established Marvel movie universe has yet to be seen, but it’s Marvel, so dollars to doughnuts it’ll be awesome.

Then, at the beginning of this past week – I read some news that practically put my ass on the floor.

One of next year’s Marvel movies is Ant Man. Okay, we knew that. Ant Man is a founder member of the Avengers in the comics continuity. He was one of the secondary characters never quite able to garner enough of a readership to gain his own title, despite really being two super heroes in one. Scientist Hank Pym could shrink himself down to ant size and communicate with ant, even to the point of riding them with a little harness. He also could reverse that process and become Giant Man. Cool, huh?

Anyway, Pym was a pacifist and a neurotic fruitloop to boot and he left the Avengers, returning several issues later in a new costume, calling himself Goliath, then (I think) he sulked again and returned as the miniscule Yellowjacket. Basically, he’s had more do-overs than Madonna. In the comics and also the animated Avengers series I mentioned above, a thief named Scott Lang stole the Ant Man costume and technology. (The character had reverted back to his original sixties costume and helmet with the ant communicator gizmo by then.)

So, this minor character with a variety of different guises, largely unknown to the mainstream public is to be a major player on Marvel’s ongoing quest for cinematic dominance. Hard sell. But then, a mere handful of years ago, hardly anybody not a fan of comics or cartoons had heard of Iron Man.

Robert Downey Junior sold Iron Man to the public, and now Marvel do it again with some truly inspired casting. On the same day that Warner Brothers/DC (they’re the same company) announced that the long awaited Justice League movie would be filmed back to back with next year’s Batman/Superman epic, Marvel announced that Hank Pym would be played by Michael Douglas. Marvel’s minor character (if you’ll pardon the pun) is now played by a Hollywood giant.

Although the finalised script is firmly under wraps, it’s rumoured that Ant Man will initially be seen in action in the sixties, with Douglas playing the now older Pym against the “new” Scott Lang/Ant Man. That film just became unmissable. (Not that I would ever have entertained the notion of not seeing it.)

As these films progress, it’s inevitable that some of the characters get a little more, shall we say, esoteric. It’s been said that Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts, the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange will be a part of Phase 3. We’ve been discussing this, Steve and I and we had an ideal candidate in our uber geeky little minds for casting in the part of Stephen Strange (the comic character, not the new romantic pop music weirdo of the eighties). How often does it happen that you hit the nail on the head?

I’ve read reports suggesting that Johnny Depp is in the running. Now that’s great news, any way you cut it. The man is a chameleon and adapts to each persona he’s acting. He’s never the same twice. This could really work. That piece of casting occurred to me when I saw him in the Ninth Gate a few years ago. Did anybody see The Lone Ranger? He was excellent in that as Tonto. He underplayed it beautifully, to the point of making him the antithesis of his legendary Jack Sparrow. If true, this imaginative and inspired casting shows there’s plenty of life in Marvel movies for years to come.

Okay, so that’s Marvel sorted for the foreseeable future – but what of their Distinguished Competitors? As I said above, there was an announcement that the long awaited Justice League movie would finally be filmed back to back with next year’s highly anticipated Superman/Batman movie.

Light and Dark - Superman and Batman

Whoa…… not so fast, Geek Nation. DC have now announced that there’s a bit of a delay.

To recap, Justice League was ORIGINALLY announced as being released in the summer of 2015, practically going head to head with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Then, they decided to go with a Man of Steel sequel instead for 2015, pushing the JL back to 2016. They sweetened that bitter little pill by announcing that the MoS sequel would also feature Batman. Okay, good. We’ve been waiting to see the Dark Knight and the Kryptonian orphan in the same film. And I still say Ben Affleck still seems like a great, if bold, casting choice for Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Then, they decided to add Wonder Woman into the mix, casting Gal Gadot from the Fast & Furious films in the role. (She’s going to need to bulk up a bit to play an Amazonian princess. Let's face it, she seems to have the upper body of an adolescent boy in this scene from Fast Five.)

Gal Gadot - Amazonian in training. (Still from Fast Five)

Hmmm….are they making it Justice League Lite before the main feature, or are they diluting Superman’s role in his own sequel because Henry Cavill needs some back-up to help cover his blandness?

In any event, we now have to wait another damn year.

Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman and whoever else they can fit in is now delayed until the summer of 2016, leaving the “yesterday hotly anticipated but today tepidly so” Justice League movie languishing until 2017. The official announcement was stunning in its spin doctored meaninglessness. The postponement is, and I quote to allow time “to fully realise the vision”.

What the hell does that even mean?

Have DC admitted defeat, taken their ball and gone home allowing Marvel to totally dominate the summer of 2015? It sure looks like it.

What do YOU think – hit the Facebook page and air your views and grievances.

Stay low, stay sharp and stay safe.  

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