Entries in Marvel (8)


Marvel Moves: "Avengers'" Agent Coulson Back for "S.H.I.E.L.D" Show

The Walt Disney Company/Marvel Comics(NEW YORK) -- Fans of Marvel's The Avengers got some very good news indeed at the comic giant's TV panel at this past weekend's New York Comic Con: Agent Coulson lives!

Specifically, Agent Coulson, the straight-laced agent played by writer-actor Clark Gregg -- who has appeared in all of the films in Marvel's series but appeared to die in Avengers -- will headline ABC's upcoming show about S.H.I.E.L.D., the government law enforcement agency dealing with superheroic events as seen in the movies.

Gregg appeared at the event at which an onscreen eulogy of sorts was played for the character -- which then segued to a video of Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon who said of Gregg, "He's headlining the S.H.I.E.L.D. show and always was."

Marvel also announced it's launching a pair of animated films: Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore and Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes UnitedRise of the Technovore features many of the Avengers cast of characters and is set for a spring DVD/Blu-ray debut.  Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United is slated for an April 23, 2013 release, according to The Comics Alliance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


TV Directors Circling "Captain America 2"; "Black Panther" Coming Soon?

Paramount Pictures/Marvel Entertainment(LOS ANGELES) -- Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, who have directed episodes of the TV series Community and Happy Endings as well as the film You, Me & Dupree, are in talks to helm the Captain America sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Joe Johnston directed the 2011 original, Captain America: The First Avenger.

Speaking of The Avengers, after Cap 2, which hits theaters in the spring of 2014, the next Marvel hero to get the big-screen treatment could be Black Panther, an occasional member of the supergroup.

The well-connected fansite says four anonymous sources confirm the African prince-turned hero, who made his debut in 1966, will be starring in his own movie.  The character, who only coincidentally shares a name with the radical African American group, is credited with being the first black comic superhero.

Marvel hasn't confirmed or denied the Black Panther story, and the website points to a key hint to his existence in Iron Man 2: a map showed the fictional African nation of Wakanda, birthplace of the hero's alter-ego T’Challa.  According to Marvel lore, Wakanda is also the only place where vibranium can be mined: Captain America's impenetrable shield is made from the vibration-proof element.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gay Marvel Superhero Plans to Tie the Knot

Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg News(NEW YORK) -- Marvel Comics made a splash in 1992 when one of its beloved charters declared “I am gay.”

Twenty years later -- in Astonishing X-Men, issue 50 set to hit stores on Wednesday -- Northstar will propose to longtime boyfriend Kyle. The two are set to marry in June.

Marvel and rival DC Entertainment have focused on bringing a more realistic flavor to its characters. DC recently announced that it would relaunch one of its major characters as gay in June. Marvel introduced Miles Morales, the first half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man last year.

Marvel made the announcement Tuesday morning on The View on ABC, but it has been the subject of fan speculation for some time.

Axel Alonso, the editor-in-chief of Marvel Entertainment, said the story line was developed around the time New York state legalized gay marriage in June 2011.

“The Marvel Universe has always reflected the world outside your window, so we strive to make sure our characters, relationships and stories are grounded in reality,” Alonso said.

In the issue, Northstar makes his intentions known to Kyle in New York’s Bryant Park, a very public place for these very private people.

“Well, private enough for a mutant celebrity -- having such a public, life-changing discussion,” said Marjorie Liu, who wrote the issue.

The scene shows Northstar out of costume and down on one knee with a ring in hand discussing some of what they’ve gone through as a superhero couple.

The cover of next month’s Astonishing X-Men issue 51 includes an all-star cast for Northstar’s and Kyle’s ceremony.

“Yes, there will be some fun guests at the wedding, but not everyone will accept the invitation,” Liu said.

“DC and Marvel are recognizing that there is an LGBT audience that has been reading their comics for years,” said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment and media for GLAAD.

DC’s most prominent gay characters include Batwoman, who has her own series; Apollo and Midnighter, who appear in Stormwatch; and Bunker, a member of Teen Titans.

Aside from its being socially relevant -- the addition of gay characters makes good business sense.

Archie Comics introduced a gay character in 2010, which turned out to be a hit for the company. There was even a gay wedding in Riverdale in 2011.

“They are recognizing how the world is evolving,” said Kane.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Avengers' Stars Talk Costumes, Filming in Extreme Heat

Eric McCandless/ABC(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to playing a superhero, the clothes really make the man, and the stars of The Avengers had to wear some of the most elaborate costumes ever made.

“It’s like a Halloween party. It’s really a good time,” said actor Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye.

The Avengers brings together an ensemble cast to play Marvel Comics superheroes who join forces to save the world from total destruction. The team of Avengers includes Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr.; Captain America, played by Chris Evans; Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth; and the Incredible Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo.

The four mighty heroes are recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D., a defense intelligence organization. Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury, the director of the service, and by his side are Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson; Hawkeye, played by Renner; and Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders.

Together, they take on supervillain Loki, Thor’s adoptive brother and archenemy, played by Tom Hiddleston. The Avengers will be in theaters nationwide on May 4.

In an interview with Nightline, the cast, sans Downey Jr., was laughing and joking around with each other, and it was clear they enjoy working together. They talked about putting themselves -- and their costumes -- through the wringer with action-packed stunts in the oppressive heat of the desert in Albuquerque, N.M., where The Avengers was filmed.

“None of [the costumes] were comfortable, especially in the middle of the desert,” Hemsworth told ABC’s Chris Connelly.

Johansson said her Black Widow costume was like a “wetsuit” and the heat became so bad, she hallucinated while filming a fight scene on a makeshift roof.

“It was so hot, I would wring out my socks at the end of the day,” she said.

The demands of her stunts, she said, “shredded” her costumes, which had to be replaced every few days.

“They’re like tires,” she said. “You would just go through sets of them. Every time you get a new costume, you just feel real nice and then three days later, it’s like the discount Widow.”

Hemsworth’s Thor costume included “a little air-conditioning unit” underneath to help him stay cool in the desert sun.

“We all had that option,” Hemsworth said. “It was like this T-shirt you’d wear with like a hose that you’d plug in and there was cool water.”

“There’s a mini bar in there,” Johansson joked.

But Johansson said she thought Hiddleston had the most uncomfortable costume out of the group. In the original Marvel Comics, the character Loki resembles the devil with body armor and massive horns protruding off a head piece. Hiddleston said the whole costume was “30 pounds of leather and metal,” but the horned head piece alone was around 8 pounds.

“On one level, it’s incredible because it does so much of the work for me,” Hiddleston said. “When you’re wearing 30 pounds of leather, then you get very hot, and then all the heat that would normally escape through your head is just kind of encased inside this steel balaclava and your brain slowly turns to scrambled eggs … so it has its challenges.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Captain America' Star Chris Evans Discusses Why He Initially Rejected Role

Paramount Pictures/Marvel Entertainment(LOS ANGELES) -- Captain America: The First Avenger was the number-one movie last weekend, earning over 65 million dollars in its debut. The film stars Chris Evans, who was reluctant to take the title role at first. He rejected the part three times because he was afraid his life would become less private if the movie became a hit. Evans says he was worried that he wouldn't be able to "go to the gym, go to the grocery store, walk down the street without having people kind of recognize me" all the time.

Evans was also wary of committing to the Captain America role for what he says will be 10 years, given all the superhero films Marvel has in the pipeline. He says, "It was kind of just nerve-wracking. It was a giant commitment. Ten years is a long time....Who can really make a decision for the next 10 years of their lives. Anybody? Not really. But I did."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chris Evans Sought Therapy after Taking on 'Captain America'

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Chris Evans didn't jump at the chance to fill the title role in Captain America: The First Avenger, which opens next week.  He initially rejected the chance to play the Marvel superhero, and once he changed his mind, he sought therapy.

According to the New York Times, Evans turned down Marvel multiple times when the studio expressed interest in hiring him as its Captain America, in part because it would require him to star in several of its upcoming superhero films.

He told the newspaper, "The reason I kept saying no is because I was scared.  Maybe this is exactly what I had to do.  Maybe this is exactly what I had to face."

Evans, who previously appeared as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films, said he sought therapy once he agreed to the role because, as he put it, he went into "panic mode."

"The second I agreed to do it, I was like, 'All right, I'll do this, but I've got to start working on my head,'" he said.

The Times reports that Evans received encouragement from two actors who have also played Marvel superheroes: Robert Downey Jr., who's portrayed Iron Man on the big screen, and Chris Hemsworth, who recently played the titular character in Thor.  All three actors will reprise their superhero roles in the upcoming The Avengers movie, scheduled for a May 2012 release.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Patrick Dempsey Hoping for 'Strange' Role

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Patrick Dempsey wants to go from playing a doctor on Grey's Anatomy to playing Marvel hero Doctor Strange. The Los Angeles Times reports Dempsey is pushing hard to play the surgeon-turned-sorcerer, who was brought to life by Marvel's dynamic duo Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in 1963.

Dempsey is hoping a big-screen turn in Transformers: Dark of the Moon will make studio heads see him as a movie hero: "Hopefully, doing something like Transformers is about to show myself in an action situation where I'm not mister-weepy-doctor guy, you know, not McDreamy. You have to change people's view," he told the Times. "I'd love to play Doctor Strange."

There have been several attempts over the years to bring the hero to theaters, and there was even a 1978 TV movie, but now -- with movies starring Marvel heroes Captain America and the rest of the Avengers on the way -- the doctor could finally be in.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Comic Book Legend Stan Lee Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Photo Courtesy - John Shearer/ WireImage/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Stan Lee was treated like a real hero on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday.  The 88-year-old, who created many of Marvel Comics' signature superheroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and The Fantastic Four, received the 2,428th star on the famed sidewalk.

At the ceremony, Lee said he wanted to share the honor with his superhero creations.  He joked, "I hope the X-Men and The Hulk and Spider-Man are appreciative."

Speaking of Spider-Man, Lee is confident that Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark, the Broadway musical based on the web-slinger, will be a success, despite injuries suffered by cast members and other setbacks.  Lee said he's seen a rehearsal and called it "fantastic," and thinks the show will be a "monster hit."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio