Iron Man 2 is right around the corner, promising more lead-ins for the upcoming Avengers titles and the eventual movie that’ll draw them all together. I know MovieBob has already discussed the subject, but here’s my brief and nerdy pair of cents on the subject.
The Incredible Hulk
Say what you like about Ang Lee’s revision of the Hulk, Louis Letterier took it upon himself to bring the concept into the Marvel film universe and did so rather effectively in my opinion. Ed Norton, one of my favorite leading men, inhabited Bruce Banner with a soulful desire to be more than just a monster, a man struggling to bring a terrible and powerful curse under control and bend the creature within to his will. Beyond the stinger at the end of the film, if Bruce were to be tapped for the Avengers he’d likely see it as an opportunity to salvage something heroic from the inherently chaotic and destructive nature of the Hulk. Much like the nuclear bomb was conceived as a way to quickly end conflicts and indirectly save as many lives as it destroyed if not more, SHIELD might look upon the Hulk as a super-powered localized tactical weapon, which could lead to friction between Nick Fury and Bruce should Mr. Jackson’s character view the not-so-jolly green giant as an expendable asset rather than a valuable individual.
After Iron Man 2, Chris Hemsworth (Kirk’s dad from last year’s Star Trek relaunch (which kicked ass and I don’t care who says otherwise, it was a lot of fun and felt adventurous and new instead of a tired retread in my opinion, so there)) will star as the Viking god of thunder in May of 2011. Kenneth Branagh, aka “The Shakespeare Guy” is directing, and I think he’s really going to convey the bombast and slightly hammy charm of Asgard as well as helping Thor project a bit of humanity. With Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård and Colm Feore involved, I suspect there’s going to be plenty of powerhouse scenes to be had. What’s going to be interesting to me, beyond the ties to the other films leading to the Avengers, is the character of Loki, played by relative newcomer Tom Hiddleston. Will he be a cool, calculating chessmaster using the passions and aims of the Asgardians to his own ends, or will he be a charismatic mischief-maker channeling John DeLancie’s character of Q? We’ll have to wait a year to find out.
Also, Natalie Portman’s going to be in it, so yeah, I’ll be there.
The full title of this entry is actually The First Avenger: Captain America and is said to be an origin story of the patriotic everyman dressed in blue and carrying a shield. Chris Evans is taking the lead in this Joe Johnston entry. I like Evans – his Human Torch made me smile more often than not, and I thought he did a more than passable job in Push. I think he’s the right choice for Steve Rogers, a guy who really wants to make a difference in the war-torn world of the 1940s but isn’t quite up to the task until he’s given the Super-Soldier serum. And Joe Johnston also feels right for the project. He directed The Rocketeer and Hidalgo, and seems more than capable of capturing a pulpy sense of adventure while giving the audience heroes that feel three-dimensional and are worth caring about. I’ve high hopes for this one.
In other Cap news, Hugo Weaving is rumored to be the Red Skull. I’ll just leave it at that, with a big smile on my face.
Iron Man 2 will see the introduction of War Machine (I love Don Cheadle) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson as a red-head in a black bodysuit = WANT), both of whom have been Avengers at one point or another. Black Widow has had an on-again off-again thing with both Tony Stark and Clint Barton at one time or another. Clint Barton, by the way, is the Avenger known as Hawkeye, one of the more underrated members of the team in my opinion. Sure, he can be a bit arrogant from time to time, but no more or less so than Tony, and he believes in both heroism in general and the rightness of the Avengers in particular. Beyond that, no major hints have been dropped and Marvel is being very careful about guarding what’s to come, thus building up fanboy anticipation, to say nothing of wild mass guessing.
Regardless, it’s hard to believe that Iron Man 2 is only 2 weeks away. Seriously, I have no reason to believe that it won’t do anything less than kicking plenty, and I mean plenty of ass.