You hear that? That's the sound of a million geeks crying out. But whether it's a cry of happiness, anger or confusion depends on the geek, and that geek's specific feelings towards Marvel comic books and Joss Whedon. Word has come down that Whedon, the creator of Dollhouse and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will direct the Avengers movie, and while many are intrigued at the possibilities, there are some who just don't see the logic. (To be fair, Whedon's an experienced Marvel Comics writer and also wrote and very nearly directed a Wonder Woman movie, so this isn't the craziest idea we've ever heard.) As for us, we're mainly wondering about which members of his talented acting stable may make appearances in the film. Although half the movie is already cast (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc.), there are plenty of other classic Avengers and Avenger villains that could be used to round out the story. Here are the past Whedon stars that we'd cast:
In the world of international espionage, love can get you killed. A boyfriend or girlfriend may be nice to come home to at the end of an assignment, but if your enemies get ahold of them, you need to be able to cut your losses and forget about them, or your life -- and more importantly, your mission -- will be forfeit. Which is why it's a good idea for spies to only date spies; they know what they're in for, and they don't get taken hostage easily. In Killers, Ashton Kutcher's spy character teams up with his clueless civilian wife (Katherine Heigl) when he's targeted by assassins, and while we're not sure giving her a gun was the best idea, it made us think about some of the best and worst spy couples in film history.
From the perspective of someone who works in an industry where most of the professionals couldn't tell you where their next job is coming from, most people in Hollywood are probably sitting around the dinner table tonight discussing how Robert Downey Jr. is like, totally set for life. The Iron Man actor has signed on to play Tony Stark in three more films. With Iron Man being, well, let's face it, the second-biggest movie of the summer, Marvel Studios nevertheless has about five hundred and seventy eight million ($!) reasons to get him back for a sequel. And while reports aren't out yet as to just how much of that juicy box-office gross they used to lure RDJ back, they got him, and not just for one sequel, but two. Oh, and also what could technically be called a spinoff.
Out on the trail to promote the 22nd James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig revealed that Marvel Studios had approached him to play Thor, according to IESB. Craig said he passed on the chance to play the comic book version of the Norse god of thunder, because "it would have been too much of a power trip," what with the mystical hand tools and flowing blond locks. Really? That's it? Too much power for one guy to handle? Somehow, I doubt it. I think there's more to it than that, after reading Craig's recent revelation in The Guardian that his scantily clad ocean scene in Casino Royale came about entirely by accident. I think the whole experience has put the actor off skimpy spandex shorts.
For a man who is notoriously the biggest part whore in all of Hollywood, it seems that Samuel L. Jackson may in fact not be playing a role that came his way. It's being reported that Jackson won't be returning as Nick Fury, Director of SHIELD, for any upcoming Marvel Comics movies. The actor, who had a small but no less cool cameo as Fury in an after-credit scene of this spring's smash Iron Man told the Los Angeles Times that he won't be appearing again as Nick Fury in any future Marvel Studios features. According to the actor, negotiations for his return broke down because "there seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world." Psst, Sam. It's not just the Marvel Comics world, buddy. You may want to put down that Snakes on a Plane II script and pick up a newspaper.
After Marvel announced they would be doing a Captain America movie, a lot of casting rumors started to get bandied about, and Marvel themselves reportedly said that they wouldn't mind seeing Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio in the role. While those two certainly fit Cap's blonde, blue-eyed pedigree (and have the acting chops that make fanboys happy), a new rumor has just shot out of the mill that combines acting chops with a lesser-known take on Cap to form an explosive piece of news that everyone will soon be talking about. The role of Captain America, Sentinel of Liberty, was supposedly offered to Will Smith.
When you think of the upcoming Thor movie from Marvel, the first director that comes to mind is probably not someone best known for his Shakespeare adaptations, right? But that's exactly who might end up with the job, since Kenneth Branagh is in talks to direct the movie. Not that Shakespeare can't be a big-old action film (after all, Branagh's own Henry V was plenty action-packed and bloody) and big-old action films can't be Shakespearean. But it's not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of part of the Avengers, of which Iron Man is a part. And Iron Man is awesome and everything, but definitely not Shakespearean. He's too futuristic, and he's a superhero in a suit and all of that. Not exactly Shakespeare's specialty.
So has everyone recovered from Captain America getting cut from The Incredible Hulk? Well, there's some good news, unless you hate Leonardo DiCaprio. Apparently, Marvel wants Leo to play the title character in the upcoming Cap movie. At least, that's what the in-the-know Latinos at Latino Review are saying, and they seem to get the inside scoop on everything. I started to throw up in my mouth a little bit when I heard the news, but then I took another look at Leo. He's not boyish anymore, but he still looks wholesome, even optimistic most of the time. He might actually make a great Captain America. The only problem? He'll never do it.