Kevin Feige confirms Ant-Man and another famous Marvel superhero will be new arrivals in Marvel's Phase Three. Cobie Smulders might bring Agent Maria Hill to S.H.I.E.L.D. after all.
Spoilers from here on out!
Top image from The Avengers.
Now that J.J. Abrams is officially, completely confirmed as the director for the new Star Wars movie, what does the man himself have to say about it? Here's an unabridged transcript of every last thing the as always loquacious Abrams had to say when first asked about it this past weekend:
"It really is an incredible thing. It's wildly surreal. It's obviously way too early to talk specifics. But I'm excited to actually start it."
Scintillating, scintillating stuff. Actually, here's an equally terse but somewhat more forthcoming quote, at least by Abrams's standards:
"I can just say what I want to do: I want to do the fans proud. I want to make sure the story is something that touches people. And we're just getting started. I'm very excited."
Given Abrams's legendary penchant for secrecy, it kinda figures that he would take the only two things we previously knew for sure about Episode VII — that it's being written by Little Miss Sunshine's Michael Arndt and that it's coming out in 2015 — and threw one of them into doubt. Specifically — and this is the part where Michael Arndt gets to breathe easy — Abrams reportedly isn't 100% committed to the 2015 release date, and he might end up pushing it back like he did the release dates for both previous Star Trek movies. [The Hollywood Reporter]
In case you were wondering what J.J. Abrams is going to do with those Star Wars movies he was making before he got the actual Star Wars gig, it's now been confirmed that he will at least produce the third Star Trek movie. It's still at least conceivable — though, let's be honest, probably pretty damn unlikely, given how big an undertaking Episode VII is likely to be — that he could end up directing it as well. [Hero Complex]
How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders confirms she will be in the Captain America sequel as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, but says she doesn't know much more beyond that:
"I don't know the exact [filming] dates. I know it's some time in March or June. I've seen parts of [the script], but yeah I don't know much. This is Marvel! They don't let you know anything. It's very watermarked scripts, heavily watermarked. Yeah, they don't let you know like the day of, but they are very secretive and I think they are still figuring stuff out."
Marvel Studios wrapped up Phase One of its cinematic universe with the release of The Avengers, with everything between Iron Man 3 this May and The Avengers 2 in May 2015 comprising Phase Two. As for Phase Three, that kicks off in November 2015 with the long-awaited release of Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright's Ant-Man, as Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige explains:
"'Ant-Man' is definitely part of Phase Three. Like 'Iron Man 3,' it's certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it's also through the lens of Edgar Wright - which is the only reason we're making the movie. I've known Edgar since our first lunch together at Comic-Con in 2004. He asked me what Marvel was doing with 'Ant-Man' - we weren't even a studio then; what a difference eight years makes! It's very much an 'Ant-Man' origin movie from the perspective of Edgar Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish. It will of course be firmly planted in the MCU, but a different corner than we've seen before."
Although Ant-Man is the only film officially confirmed for Phase Three, Kevin Feige does confirm another superhero who will make his cinematic debut a few years from now:
"Beyond that… Ant-Man is the only one officially announced, but you probably don't have to look too far to guess at the next list of characters we're toying with and beginning to develop. Doctor Strange, which I've been talking about for years, is definitely one of them. He's a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he's totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. He's totally different from anything we've done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited."
Here's the latest promo image, featuring star Vin Diesel and returning cast member Karl Urban, better known as Star Trek's rebooted Dr. McCoy. [Shock Till You Drop]
Here are some character posters of stars James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, and Rachel Weisz. [First Showing]
Producer Fredrik Malmberg says there are no plans to half-ass Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to the role of an aged Conan the Barbarian:
"As you know right now, we're concentrating on the story and the script, and then we'll go out and find the right director who has the same passion as the rest of us in the group. And you always have to let the creative side and let the director put his stamp and mark on it so you never know what's going to happen with the production design. I mean, we're trying to get the TOP production people involved. We're talking all the time about who we'd see doing the production, and our dream would be to have the WETA Workshop guys, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit guys. They are huge Conan fans and they would be great to be involved on the creative side."
Turning to Schwarzenegger himself, he says his 65 years shouldn't be too much of an issue at all:
"Well, age doesn't mean anything to me, because I work out every day. I work out twice a day, as a matter of fact. At night I work out with weights, and in the morning I do cardiovascular training. So for me, to get on the set and to swing the sword around again and to ride the horses and all those things doesn't mean anything [does not scare me], because I feel like I did thirty years ago. So as long as I stay in shape, that's the key thing, and to keep your body young. Even though you do feel the pain when you wipe out and when you do your fight scenes and you get more sore and the body doesn't come back as quickly and all this . . . but just grind through it, you know? That's what it's all about!"
Cobie Smulders confirms that she is in fact in talks to appear in some capacity on ABC's upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. series alongside The Avengers costar Clark Gregg:
"The commitments to [How I Met Your Mother] don't affect it. And I can't really say but there are definite talks about it."
Since How I Met Your Mother is all but confirmed to last one more season — in other words, overlapping with S.H.I.E.L.D. for one year — any involvement Smulders could have in the first season would strictly be on a guest star basis, although I suppose her role could expand in subsequent seasons. [I Am Rogue]
The title of episode fifteen has reportedly been changed from "Turndown Service" to "Booked Solid." [SpoilerTV]
Here are a few promo photos of Smallville's Cassidy Freeman, who plays a character called, yes, Jack opposite Lost alum Jorge Garcia's Giant. [TV Line]
Here's a short description for episode thirteen, "The Face Off":
Nick and Renard finally go head-to-head in light of Nick's discovery, while Juliette and Renard's magnetic attraction reaches dangerous new heights.
Episode thirteen is called "Everybody Hates Hitler", and it reportedly features a character named Commander Echkart played by Bernhard Forcher. [SpoilerTV]
Here's Slade Wilson actor Manu Bennett, who compares and contrasts this role with his work as Crixus on Spartacus:
"There's a very different style to Arrow than what there was to Spartacus. I had a discussion with the writer, Andrew Kreisberg about what they wanted and they didn't want Crixus, that's for sure. They wanted something original for the show and Arrow is reality-based, it's here in the now. It's very fast moving action, it's a whole new [fighting] technique that I'm learning with them. There's some similarities [between Crixus and Wilson] in that I come onto the show against another strong character."
In case you were wondering when the Huntress would make her big return, you might want to take a gander at episode seventeen, seeing as how it's reportedly titled "The Huntress Returns." [SpoilerTV]
Here's a preview and a sneak peek for this Thursday's episode, "A View to a Kill." [BuddyTV]
Here's a trailer for the upcoming fifth series.
Here are some promo photos for next week's episode, "The Teens They Are A Changin." [SpoilerTV]
Here's a sneak peek clip and an introduction from executive producer Brian Peterson for this week's episode, "On Thin Ice."
Here are some promo photos for the following week's episode, "Cold Turkey." [KSiteTV]
And here are some for the episode after that, "Trust No One." [KSiteTV]
Sendhil Ramamurthy, who is yet to even make his debut as the justice-minded, Beast-seeking Assistant District Attorney Gabe Lowen, has reportedly been promoted to a series regular. [TV Equals]
Additional reporting by Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders.