Can I get some points for double-entendre?
With the release of "Iron Man," (the first film solely financed by Marvel) having grossed over $100 million in the first weekend, the question comes: what's next? It seems that Marvel is planning on tying all of their movies together, with the coupe de grace being an "Avengers" movie. With this summer's "Iron Man" containing Nick Fury (agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and "Hulk" containing a scene with Tony Stark, Marvel is weaving their characters/franchises much like the comic books.
So what else should we be expecting? Here's the rundown of what's on Marvel's plate. Please acknowledge beforehand that no release date is final, and that not all of the productions may follow through:
•- Punisher: War Zone. Ray Stevenson is the titular hero going up against Jigsaw (Dominic West). Directed by Lexi Alexander ("Hooligans"). Release date is December 5, 2008.
•- X-Men Origins: Magneto. Self-explanatory. Directed by David S. Goyer ("The Invisible," "Blade Trinity"). Set for release in 2009.
•- Spider-Man 4. No details. Set for release in 2009.
•- Silver Surfer. Directed by Alex Proyas ("The Crow," "Dark City"). Set for release in 2009.
•- X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Directed by Gavin Hood ("Rendition," "Tsotsi"). Hugh Jackman is helping to produce. Characters to include: Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), Sabretooth (Live Schreiber), Beak (Dominic Monaghan), and Gambit (Taylor Kitsch). Release date is May 1, 2009.
•- Luke Cage. Tyrese Gibson in the title role. Directed by John Singleton ("Four Brothers," "2 Fast 2 Furious"). Set for release in 2009.
•- Nick Fury. Samuel L. Jackson will play the titular character, which incidentally became based on him. Set for release in 2010.
•- Iron Man 2. Downey said he would be back and Paltrow has signed on for 2 sequels. Aside from that, I pretty much expect just about everyone to return. No official word on what it's about, but the release date is set for April 30, 2010.
•- Thor. Based on the Norse god. It's being directed by Matthew Vaughn ("Stardust," "Layer Cake"). Release date is June 4, 2010.
•- Captain America. Although dead in the comics, Nick Cassavetes ("The Notebook," "Alpha Dog") is bringing him to life to exact some American justice. Set to be released on May 6, 2011.
•- The Avengers. Nick Fury, Ant-Man, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man... will they all appear? Scheduled for release sometime in July 2011.
•- Ant-Man. Dr. Hank Pym is a scientist who develops an instrument that can communicate and control insects. Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz") is set to direct. No given release date.
•- Iron Fist. Ray Parks is the Martial Arts superhero. Directed by Steve Carr ("Next Friday," "Daddy Day Care"). No release date given.
•- The Hands of Shang-Chi. A young Kung-Fu master finds out that his dad is World Enemy #1. Directed by Woo-Ping Yuen.
What do you think? Which ones will you go see? Comment back!
Don't forget to check out "Hulk" in theatres on June 13, 2008!