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The Avengers – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

January 19, 2010 1 comment

The Avengers… wasn’t that a downright awful movie with Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman? Well… yes it was. But that’s not what this article is about. This article is about The Avengers aka ‘The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’. That’s right the team of superheroes whose job it is to rid the earth of villain scum – brought to you by none other than Marvel Comics.

So why am I, a humble movie fan, writing about The Avengers? Well I’ll tell you why – because they’re coming to a big screen near you. I’ll let you take a moment to yelp with joy. Moment over. On with the story.

The Avengers, as a comic story, came to life in 1963 in a Marvel Comic aptly titled The Avengers #1. The concept was the brain child of writer-editor Stan Lee and the artist Jack Kirby. The initial idea was that The Avengers would come together to fight foes that no single superhero could withstand, giving them their battle cry ‘Avengers Assemble!’. The team was originally made up of Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk, with Captain America added in issue #4.

Now the comic story is coming to life with a tentative release date set for May 2012 (that’s in the States of course). What makes this film all the more awesome is that the beginnings of The Avengers can be traced all the way back to…Iron Man, released in 2008. At the end Iron Man, Agent Coulson of the Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-Enforcement Division reveals a handy acronym for his department S.H.I.E.L.D. Wait a minute… is that the S.H.I.E.L.D… the department that assembles the avengers. Why yes it is Pinky. To make things more awesome, after the credits of Iron Man we are treated to a scene where Tony Stark meets Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) who is the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. He announces that Stark is not “the only superhero in the world”. Hmmm, the plot thickens (if you didn’t see this interchange click here – apologies for the poor quality).

Also in Iron Man we catch a glimpse of Captain America’s shield on Tony’s work bench. Only the most brilliant amongst us picked that up (including the guy whose blog I read to find out about it). Check out the scene here (again poor quality).

The next twist of events took place in The Incredible Hulk (the good one with Edward Norton, not the average one with Eric Bana). In this film you may have noticed the scene where Tony Stark ‘bumps’ into the general in a pub. “That’s strange” you may have thought. But it’s not strange, it’s awesome. In the interchange Stark mentions that a team is being put together (see the clip here). I wonder what team that might be?

So now things are hotting up. Thor is currently in production, and Captain America’s The First Avenger is planned for release in 2011. No doubt each one will include its own homage to the bigger picture. Which means that by the time 2012 rolls around the stage will be set for something epic.

In the meantime we’ll keep you posted on new developments.

Thor – he hit you with big hammer

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Marvel are busy preparing the next step in their quest for onscreen superhero domination with the production of Thor. The film is currently still in the pre-production phases with filming set to begin in January 2010. The release date is set for 20th May 2011, but that will no doubt change as we get into it.

For those of you you (like me) who don’t know a whole lot of about Thor and his story I’ve included a bit of comic lore:

Thor’s father, Odin, decides that his son needs to be taught a bit of humility and so places him (without any memory of his godly awesomeness) into the body and memories of a partially disabled human medical student – Donald Blake. After becoming a doctor and believing himself to be the young surgeon Blake, he discovers Thor’s disguised hammer and learns to transform himself back into the Thunder God. His abilities include: superhuman strength, speed and durability. His hammer also enables flight, energy absorption and projection, weather manipulation and dimensional transportation.

Sounds like a pretty run of the mill backstory to me. So who’s involved at this point? Well the film is being directed by Kenneth Branagh, a little strange I’ll admit. I’m just hoping that he has the character to put together a kick ass superhero film. Some of the actors who are confirmed at this stage include: Natalie Portman (as Jane Foster, a nurse employed by Blake/Thor), Chris Hemworth (as Thor), Samuel L. Jackson (as Nick Fury), Anthony Hopkins (as Odin),  and a couple of others who I don’t feel like mentioning.

I’ll admit I’m not hugely excited by the prospect of this film. It’s mostly because I’ve never experienced the Thor comics. But then again I had the exact same thoughts about Iron Man before it was released, and that totally rocked. So let’s hope Branagh can manufacture the same kind of magic.