The minute "The Avengers" ended, all I could say was "MORE!" Actually, that's not true – first I asked my friends if they wanted a shawarma, then I shouted "MORE!" (This, by the way, is how you end up paying for two shawarmas when you only wanted one.)
A few days after "Avengers'" massive opening weekend came the "no duh" announcement that a sequel is in the works. What you don't know is that Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, and Mick E. Mowse, head of Walt Disney, actually plan to consult with me, Chief Executive of Filmed Entertainment at Planet Fanboy LLC, on their upcoming slate.
I'm totally just chilling by the phone until that happens.
Here's what's definite: "Iron Man 3" starts shooting in mere days, "Thor 2" is ready for an August start, and "Captain America 2" (or "Captain America 2: The Second Avenger" if they want to stay consistent) is lookin' like this winter to make its April 4, 2014 release date. Everything else, other than a definite "Avengers 2" at some point, is speculation.
So here's what I'd do:
As a comic book fan, I like continuity. "Avengers" came after five preceding films, so I'd like "Avengers 2" to be sixth in the cycle again. Any other pattern will give me the out-of-sequence twitch you so often see in comics shops when the numbering is off on the New Releases wall. In fact, let's label these like true dweebs.
Marvel Movie Vol 2, Issue #1 – 'Iron Man 3'
"Iron Man 2"'s big problem, other than lumbering under the weight of its own lust for improv, is that it's actually too much of a "connective" film. The best thing for "Iron Man 3" would be for it to be something of a self-contained thing. Luckily, director Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. have a terrific rapport (see "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" at once) and the dude knows how to craft a fun action scenario. I'd love to see Tony Stark (and Pepper Potts) take out a really sharp villain (he hasn't really had one) and Ben Kingsley may just be the man for the job. (Rumors that "Iron Man 3" will be partially based on Warren Ellis' "Extremis" arc all point this actually being the case.)
"Iron Man" was good enough to bring non-comics people into this world, I think this one can do the same for the next crowd.
Marvel Movie Vol 2, Issue #2 – 'Thor 2'
Watching "Avengers" again made me realize how much I enjoyed "Thor." How Chris Hemsworth manages to be so heroic and so goofy at the same time is beyond me. (I'm sure the abs don't hurt.)
Alan Taylor of "Game of Thrones" is directing the new one, so we know it won't lack for badassery. I'm excited to see Jane Foster again, but definitely want the action to get back to Asgard. Word is that Loki will be in it but he won't be the main villain. All I know is that at the END of "Thor 2" is where Thanos should come back and get his mitts on the Infinity Gauntlet. It's up there on Asgard, we all saw it, and "Thor 2" should be the (rainbow) bridge to what is going to happen in "Avengers 2."
Marvel Movie Vol 2, Issue #3 – 'Captain America 2'
Bucky didn't die. No freaking way. Hydra did something with his DNA when they were poking him and he got frozen too (hey, did you see how much ice was there?) and now he's coming back... as Winter Soldier.
Either he's a fully-fledged bad guy or S.H.E.I.L.D.'s dirty secret, but no matter what Cap is gonna' have his heart broken again when he's got to take his best buddy out.
I'd also really like to see what happened to Peggy Carter – and hopefully this isn't some superhero magic. Let's cast an actual Nonagenarian and have Steve Rogers go to visit her. "Captain America: The First Avenger" is actually good enough to be a "real movie," so to speak, with genuine emotion, not just fanboy passion. I'd like to see this continue.
The post-credits stinger should be of Red Skull. He's alive and ready to cause mayhem.
Marvel Movie Vol 2, Issue #4 – 'Black Widow and Hawkeye'
There've been no rumors about this movie, and that, I feel, is a crime. Scarlett Johansson stole each of her scenes – be it her interrogation of Loki or zipping up to a zooming Chitauri space sled. (And let's not forget how she takes out the Russian mob tied to a chair.)
Hawkeye should definitely be her second banana, but since Hollywood is still convinced that a woman can't open an action picture we'll let him have billing on the title. It should be a straight-up espionage flick and the big bad guy should be Red Skull. Not for any canonical reasons, but just because Hugo Weaving kicks ass.
Marvel Movie Vol 2, Issue #5 – 'Doctor Strange'
Doctor Strange is my favorite Marvel character yet to get the film treatment. (For now, we'll allow that "Daredevil" is, technically, a real movie.) I love the guy not just for his Far East, far-out, psychedelic mumbo-jumbo, but because for years I used to live just blocks from the Sanctum Sanctorum.
First move, cast Timothy Olyphant as the brooding surgeon/Sorcerer Supreme. Put in the next great martial arts star as manservant Wong and (this is my favorite part) use this slightly fringe movie to pour in all the whacko Marvel characters that'll never be in another movie. Here's where we'll see Night Nurse.
The adventures should take us, at least for a moment, to Asgard. Remember, the Eye of Agamotto was seen right along side the Infinity Gauntlet. The end of this picture should lead us straight into Thanos and "Avengers 2."
Marvel Movie Vol 2, Issue #6 – 'Avengers 2'
My vision makes no mention of Edgar Wright's long-discussed "Ant-Man." I don't really think his style fits. See, the Marvel Movies (with the possible exception of "Captain America: The First Avenger") work so well together because they don't really have an auteur's stamp. Edgar Wright, for better or worse, is too specific a filmmaker to fit in with a larger vision.
It would be cool, though, if Ant-Man and the Wasp, two of the original Avengers, did pop up as fresh blood in "Avengers 2." We'll need some comedy with Agent Coulson gone and, assuming all the wife-beating stuff is left out, this could be the source.
Either way, Thanos should take a second stab at Earth this time – looking to impress Death by making a bigger mess than he did the first time. The Avengers will assemble (and this time they'll say it, dammit!) and it'll be the greatest movie in the history of time and space.
So whaddya think? Are you ready to buy six pairs of tickets right now? Or is my roadmap teh lamezores? Lemme know in the comments below.
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