The Avengers have opened in almost all major markets and has smashed the record for biggest opening weekend in North America (both AP and the LA Times report that the Marvel heroes have taken in $200.3 million at the box office surpassing the former record of $169.2 million set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2). So, what’s next for the superheroes?
As Kevin Feige explains to /Film we’ll see the heroes team up again in about 2 or 3 years but for the time being they’ll get back to their own worlds dealing with their own problems. Feige explains that Marvel’s strategy at this point is to try to replicate the experience comic book readers have with their favourite heroes who come “together for an uber-event” and then return to their respective comics once the event was over.
With that in mind the studio will make, on average, two movies a year.
Iron Man 3 is set to start filming this month in North Carolina before heading to China in late summer. As previously reported Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Ben Kingsley have joined the returning cast for the third installment which is widely believed to be loosely based on the Warren Ellis’ six issue Extremis storyline. For those of you hoping to see Scarlette Johansson as the Black Widow again, however, will have to wait a bit longer as she will not be returning for the third installment. Don’t fret Feige reveals her next appearance has been planned and hints at a possible road to a stand-alone film for the female superspy. Shane Black takes over directing duties from Jon Favreau. The movie is set to be released on May 3, 2013.
Thor 2 will begin filming in London in July with Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor taking over from Kenneth Branagh. Chris Hemsworth tells MTV that he believes Asgard “could really benefit” from the grittier aged feeling Alan brought to the Game of Thrones. Tom Hiddleston has already signed on to reprise his role as Loki in the sequel but according Kevin Feige he will not be the main villain of the movie. The movie will also likely explore the continuing dynamic between Thor and Jane (Nathalie Portman) as well as between Thor and Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and involve realms other than Asgard and Earth. The movie is set to be released on November 15, 2013.
We’ll see the Captain again on April 4, 2014 and that’s as much info as we have on the subject at the moment. Feige says we’ll likely see SHIELD (here’s hoping to see more of Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill) in the sequel since, unlike the other heroes, the Cap’s world is 70 years in the past as are his supporting characters. A director and a story have yet not been confirmed although speculation over who the villain will be is rampant. Filmcritic.com has put together a list of possible contenders to bear the brunt of Cap’s shield. Christopher Markus, co-writer of the first movie, however, wants to see MODOK as the villain in the sequel with Peter Dinklage, of Game of Thrones fame, playing the character.
The Hulk was definitely the breakout star of The Avengers. Fans have had an overwhelmingly positive repsonse to Whedon’s and Ruffalo’s take on the green giant with some of the movie’s funniest scenes, surprisingly, coming from the monster. While this has caused Marvel to reposition the character commercially, looking at ways to promote him as a ‘corporate icon’, fans will be dissapointed to hear that the studio has no current plans to make a standalone movie. Kevin Feige tells Huffington Post that they put “everything they had and everything they were going for into Hulk’s appearance in The Avengers,” so he’s current mindset is “mission accomplished”. However, Paul Glitter, Marvel Entertainment’s President of Consumer Products for North America, tells Forbes that Marvel, “pleasantly surprised” by the response to the Hulk, will spin him off to a TV programme followed by a “big budget franchise movie in 2015”. While there are plans to bring the Hulk back on to TV the standalone movie may be a miscommunication within the studio as Feige has final say and he’s already said what he’s had to on the subject – for the time being.
It should be noted that Mark Ruffalo has signed on to a six picture deal with Marvel Studios and the studio hasn’t presented its slate of movies past 2014’s Captain America 2 so we may just see something develop on this front soon. Stay tuned.
So what happens when we see the Avengers assemble the second time? Well, if you stayed put during the end credits [Spoiler] you would have seen the leader of the Chitauri talking to a mysterious figure who turns and smiles when he says that to face the humans would be “to court death itself”. Clearly a hilarious statement. The figure is Thanos. If you don’t know the character Collider has put together a succint bio on the eternal. While it isn’t gauranteed that Marvel will use Thanos as the main villain for the second installment it should be noted that they did display Thanos’ infinity guantlet at Comic-Con and (according to the images released) it can be found in Odin’s vault in Thor. The same thing happened with the Tesseract which appeared, in one form or another, in Captain America, Thor and Iron Man 2. At the moment Thanos is odds on favourite to be the big badie in The Avengers 2.