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Ever since Sony announced that Ruben Fleischer would be directing Tom Hardy for the Venom movie, there has been a whirlwind go conflicting statements and information about the Spider-Man spinoffs supposed connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now Kevin Feige has attempted to clear up all of the rumors and reports that have been swirling around in an interview with JoBlo. After former Sony boss and Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Amy Pascal said that Tom Holland could appear as the Wallcrawler in their movies, Keige seemed slightly taken aback.
“Right now, Spidey is in the MCU and it’s just Spidey,” Feige said to JoBlo. “Civil War, Homecoming, we’ve already shot a lot of Tom Holland’s scenes in the upcoming Avengers films, and we’re just starting to solidify our plans for Homecoming 2 — we won’t call it that, whatever it is — which is exciting because it’ll be the first MCU movie after untitled Avengers in 2019. It’ll be the way Civil War informed everything in Homecoming, those movies will launch him off into a very new cinematic universe at that point. Those five movies are [what] we’re focusing on.”
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When Marvel Studios began on its own cinematic universe with Iron Man, fans never imagined how big the franchise would become. The MCU will turn ten next year and push out another slew of blockbusters which make box office bank. Last year, the series celebrated its biggest achievement yet when the MCU welcomed Spider-Man into its fold despite the character’s complicated licensing history. The deal Marvel made with Sony to secure the character was a landmark one, and Kevin Feige has no revealed how he made it all happen.
Recently, The Hollywood Reporter did an in-depth piece which explores how Marvel and Sony came together. The president of Marvel Studios spoke with the site about his bit in the deal, and Feige said he had a rather straightforward pitch for Sony about the partnership.
“It really came down to me telling Amy (Pascal) in her office that I think the best thing for this character is: Sony has the rights, that’s not changing. Have Sony pay for the movie, distribute the movie, market the movie. Just let us make the movie and incorporate him into our universe.”
Obviously, Feige’s plan worked. Sony did move forward with Marvel Studios to lend Spider-Man. The character made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, and Tom Holland brought the web-swinging hero to life. Both critics and fans praised the character’s appearance, and Spider-Man will soon have the chance to further his MCU presence with his…
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With Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures working together for the latest cinematic portrayal of Spider-Man, they made a major change to the character that filmgoers have yet to truly see.
Though Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield portrayed Peter Parker in high school in their respective series, the actors were both older; Garfield was 29 and Maguire was 26 when their first films were released.
But Spider-Man: Homecoming features newcomer Tom Holland in the role, who is still older than a typical high schooler at age 21 (Parker is a sophomore in the new film) but is younger than actors typically portraying the character. That youthful exuberance extends to the character’s presence in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spider-Man interacts with fellow superheroes for the first time in his cinematic career.
That mentality apparently goes beyond the silver screen, as evidenced by Holland’s story about his first embarrassing interaction with Robert Downey Jr., who portrays his onscreen mentor Tony Stark in the new film.
“I got very nervous about meeting Robert Downey Jr. as I have been a fan of his my entire life,” Holland said on the Graham Norton Show.
Don’t think we saw this one coming. Or maybe we should have. Either way, this is a pretty massive development. Amy Pascal, who is heading up the Spider-Man movie projects over at Sony, just dropped a pretty big bombshell on all of us. Even though every prior report indicated that the upcoming Venom solo movie and the in-the-works Silver and Black movie, centering on Silver Sable and Black Cat, will not be at all related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It turns out that isn’t true. Right from the mouth of the one in charge, we now know that Venom and Spider-Man: Homecoming do take place in the same universe. Which means they’re also part of the MCU? Well, not so quick…
Tom Holland Updates recently posted a brief interview clip to their Twitter account featuring Amy Pascal and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. During the interview, Amy Pascal was asked if the Venom movie, as well as the Black Cat and Silver Sable movie, will take place in their own universe or if they will somehow connect to what is currently being done with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Here’s what she had to say about it.
“It will all take place in the world we are now creating for Peter Parker. It’ll be adjunct to it, it may be different locations, but it will all still be in the same world and they will be connected to each other as well.”
When she says “they will be connected to each other as well,” she is referring to the Sony spin-off movies, just to be clear. She isn’t saying that Venom and Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 are going to cross paths. At least not yet. Given her somewhat surprising response to this question, the interviewer asked if we could see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man meeting up with Tom Hardy’s Venom in some sort of crossover situation…
For some, this would seem like a foregone conclusion, especially considering the long road it has taken to get Spider-Man into the MCU. With Marvel Studios essentially now sharing custody of the character with Sony Pictures – who owns the film rights to the web-slinger – some would have expected other characters to follow suit.
So with the possibility of even more connected Marvel films on the horizon, how exactly could that manifest? Will the MCU actually consider Sony’s spinoffs canon? We break down a few possibilities.
There is a chance that Feige’s original comments could remain true, and Sony’s Marvel Universe could be entirely walled off from the MCU.
Marvel Studios has been adding to the MCU for a full decade now, with significant amounts of money and effort going into making it the well-oiled machine fans see today. With at least two feature films planned to be released each year until 2020, Marvel has its movie-making down to a science, plotting out Easter eggs and teases far in advance.
Adding Sony’s films into the fold, and giving them the same narrative weight in the MCU, could only further disrupt what Marvel has planned for the next few years.
That line of thinking is understandable. Hollywood has caught shared universe fever, with everything from Transformers to King Kong and Godzilla getting their own. But even after a misfire like The Mummy, Dark Universe still has serious potential to not only be good, but to be great.
To understand why, first you have to look back to the origins of the universe.
In 1923, with Wallace Worsley’s silent film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the original Universal Monsters universe was born. The film was utterly revolutionary. Reports are that it cost upwards of $1 million, a budget unheard of at the time. That was followed in 1925, by one of the most iconic films of the silent era, The Phantom of the Opera, which featured a shocking reveal of the Phantom’s face — without his mask — an image that instantly became engrained in cinema history. (See below.)
Following the success of The Phantom of the Opera, Universal was off to the races. By the 1930s, Universal was pumping out several of these films a year. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and The Wolf Man were all massive successes. Each of these characters had multiple sequels, spin-off and crossover films. The demand was rampant, and Universal’s vision was seemingly boundless. The cinematic universe thrived for four decades, before finally puttering out and ending in 1960. Universal had a grand vision not seen again until the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Mummy, admittedly, isn’t a great start to the new universe. It came in with a dismal No. 2 showing at the domestic box office behind Wonder Woman,…
Alex Kurtzman knows his way around a franchise. The writer-director-producer had a hand in creating million-dollar tentpoles out of Transformers and Star Trek, in addition to scripting the second installment in The Amazing Spider-Man series. With his latest, a reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, he hopes to not only resurrect the iconic bandaged baddie, but spawn an entire cinematic universe of Universal Monster movies, to be known as the Dark Universe.
“It’s like childbirth,” Kurtzman told ET of the anticipation he feels over fans finally being able to see his take on The Mummy (in theaters now). “The head is crowning, so you’re just waiting for the whole world to see your child. It’s exciting! It’s been a long journey.”
ET: In terms of building this new cinematic universe, which came first: the idea of rebooting The Mummy or this plan to build the Dark Universe?
Alex Kurtzman: The idea to bring The Mummy back. The Dark Universe was an agenda that kind of evolved as the script developed, in looking for ways to tell a new Mummy story while honoring the classic Universal Monsters films. One of the ideas that emerged was this idea that she [Sofia Boutella’s Princess Ahmanet, the titular mummy] exists in a larger continuum of monsters and maybe was one of the earliest ones, but certainly not the last one. Once that began to take shape, we began to think about bringing other monsters into the world and folding them under one umbrella. That’s how Dark Universe came to be.
Why is The Mummy the best choice to launch this universe?
The Mummy is so familiar to people. It has endured for so long, because it asks some really fascinating questions about life after death. And the mythology of The Mummy has always been so interesting. Because it is so familiar to people, we wanted to give them an entry point that was easy, and yet, we wanted to do it in a way that felt fresh and different. That’s why we led with The Mummy.
This is, essentially, a reboot of two movies — the original Boris Karloff The Mummy from 1932 and the Brendan Fraser franchise from the ’90s. What were the things, while watching those films, that you wanted to hold on to?
To me, the defining trait of all monster films is that you are scared of the monster and you sympathize with the monster. I love that about the Universal Monster films. They are, in many ways, a genre unto themselves for that reason. I wanted to honor that. I wanted to find a story for our mummy that was different and interesting and sympathetic and complicated.
The mummy’s power to mesmerize was something that, obviously, originated in the Karloff film, and I loved the idea of applying that to a Tom Cruise movie, because we know that Tom Cruise is always going to save the day. But the minute you have a mummy inside his head controlling him in a way that even he doesn’t understand, everything becomes very unpredictable. I thought that was exciting. And there’s a dagger that features very prominently in the Karloff film that we pay homage to in ours.
Did you ever consider a Brendan Fraser cameo, just as a little Easter egg for the fans?
We wanted to tip our hat to it, and there are two moments that do that in the film [including the Book of Amun-Ra, which Fraser’s character use to defeat Imhotep in 1999’s The Mummy]. We never really talked actively about bringing Brendan Fraser in, because he lived in a very different time period than the modern day and so he would be potentially not even alive. [Laughs] Unless he himself were a monster, it didn’t seem like he would make a whole lot of sense. And if he were a monster, then we would have had a lot of explaining to do about why he was there.
Tom Cruise toplines so many franchises, with Mission: Impossible and the Jack Reacher movies and now Edge of Tomorrow and Top Gun are both getting sequels. When you are setting out to create a new franchise, do you ever worry about casting a guy who already has too many?
Not really, because I think what I love about Tom and the films that he has done is that he has this amazing track record of playing very morally challenged characters in a very likable way. For me, as an audience member, it’s far more satisfying to watch somebody who’s messed up and broken and discovers their better self than it is to watch someone who is perfect. And in order to really do that right, you need a movie star. And very few of them can do it. I’ve been a lifelong fan of his, starting back at Risky Business and Top Gun and Taps. To be able to take that and work with him, for me, was just too exciting to pass up.
I actually started thinking about whether franchise saturation exists because of Dwayne Johnson. Everything he’s in becomes a franchise and now there are rumors he might get a Wolf Man franchise, too.
Who knows! But it’s true. I mean, there are certain actors who bring with them this “I want to see him again in that story” quality. And…
As we’ve recently discovered, a lot of the things that normally would be CG’d in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was done with actual makeup and prosthetics. As Comicbook.com wrote today, “In a broadcast by Adam Kruger of Anchor.fm, we learned that Young Ego was created by 90% makeup work, and only 10% CGI work. That’s a far cry from other flashback moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see: Michael Douglas in Ant-Man; Young Tony Stark in Captain: Civil War) which have clearly used extensive CGI work to achieve their de-aged effect.”
While Kurt Russell’s Ego might have been easy to work with – actor Chris Sullivan’s Taserface clearly was not. The (to put it nicely) hard to look at Taserface was the work of a team of make up artists over a period of hours….
Stan Lee has appeared in nearly every Marvel movie and TV show ever made, and many people assumed these appearances were just a fun and clever way to pay homage to the great comic creator.
But some fans have proposed a different theory since Stan first appeared in the current batch of Marvel movies, theorizing he’s actually “some sort of greater cosmic good” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
had a lot of exciting and clever moments, but there was one in particular that was significantly more enjoyable to longtime Marvel fans than to casual viewers. While Rocket, Yondu and Kraglin were struggling to stay conscious as their ship made 700 jumps, one of the areas of the MCU cosmos they passed by was where Stan Lee in an astronaut’s suit was telling a group of tall, bald humanoids about his exploits on Earth. This moment, and the post-credits scene that came later, confirmed that Lee has been playing the same character in all his MCU cameos, but more importantly, it officially introduced the Watchers, a.k.a. the bald guys, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While their inclusion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was more of a throwaway gag, in the grand scheme of things, bringing in The Watchers could have big implications for the franchise, namely with how tied they are with this universe’s history.
In the Marvel Comics universe, the Watchers are one of the oldest species in the universe, and they have one primary purpose. Can you guess what this is? Yes, as the name clearly states, they’re tasked with observing civilizations across the universe, recording all events with their advanced technology. Millions of years ago, they attempted to help an alien race by bestowing them with advanced knowledge, but that act eventually led to the race’s self-destruction. As a result, the Watchers as a whole declared that they are not allowed to interfere in events on any world. They are literally only allowed watch what happens in their respective sectors. The Watchers are primarily represented in the comics by Uatu, who was assigned to observe Earth and its solar system, but has broken the non-interference policy to help our world’s heroes and citizens.
Although Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 marked the Watchers’ first appearance in the MCU, there’s been a fan theory running for years that Stan Lee was a Watcher given that his character popped up in all of these movies, be it on Earth or an alien planet and looking the same age no matter what the year. While Lee in that astronaut suit clearly doesn’t look anything like a legitimate Watcher, those scenes were a fun nod to what fans had been speculating about, and they also set up that his mysterious character has a relationship with…