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Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!

By: Adam Basciano

The first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ended with “The Avengers.” Phase 2 is starting exactly like Phase 1 did, with an Iron -Man film.  “Iron – Man 3” is being directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). The film is being described as a “technological crisis thriller, set in the world of international war, arms & terror.”  The film is said to be based off of “Iron – Man: Extremis”, which was written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Adi Granov.  This is perfectly fine by me, as it was the first Iron – Man comic book story I read. In terms of the film universe this story works perfectly because it is more personal and will bring Tony Stark back to the roots of the first film.  In my opinion, this is necessary as the second film got bogged down by Avengers references.  In addition to the returning cast, the film also stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Rebecca Hall.  Pearce will play the main villain Aldrich Killian, while Hall will play Maya Hansen, an old flame of Tony Stark’s.  Both featured in the “Extremis” story.  Meanwhile, Kingsley will play the long teased villain, The Mandarin.  Recent set photos have revealed the appearance of the Iron – Patriot armor to be worn by James Rhodes a.k.a War Machine.  Also, the terrorist organization A.I.M. will have a part to play in the film.  “Iron-Man 3” is set for a May 3, 2013 release.

That film will be followed by a sequel to Thor.  Much like his armored avenger ally, the God of Thunder will be in the hands of a new director. Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) will assume directorial duties.  I think this is a fantastic choice.  Going from something like “Game of Thrones” won’t be much of a stretch and having seen that show, Taylor will have no problem building on the epic and grandiose scope set up in the first film.  While most of the cast is set to return, Josh Dallas will not be back as Fandral because of scheduling conflicts with his T.V. series “Once Upon a Time.” Sources indicate that the studio will likely turn to Zachary Levi (Chuck) to fill the role.  Regarding the villains, in addition to Loki, rumors are running rampant that The Enchantress will join the fray.  “The Enchantress is the name of two fictional characters in the Marvel Comics Universe. The first of which is a powerful sorceress named Amora and is one of the most notable antagonists of Thor. The second is the young Sylvie Lushton, who was given great mystic powers by Loki when he created her as a tool for chaos. She models herself after the real and first enchantress, Amora.” “Thor 2” is set for a November 8, 2013 release.

Not much is known at this point regarding Captain America 2. One thing is for sure, the directorial musical chairs continues at Marvel.  Captain America’s next adventure will be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo.  They are executive producers of the comedy “Community.” They also directed “You, Me and Dupree.”  Their work in mostly comedic fare doesn’t scream Captain America, but I won’t be too quick to judge.  Some of the most unorthodox choices have led to comic book movie brilliance in recent years. Whatever shape the story takes, I hope that they continue on that “man out of time” theme that was touched upon in “The Avengers.”

Other projects rumored to be on the horizon in coming years are adaptations of Ant – Man and Black Panther, although no definitive announcements have been made on those fronts by the studio.  Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have plenty to look forward to in the immediate future and beyond.

(Sources: Various)

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