The first film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for 2019 is arriving in March, and it will serve as a new franchise storyline prequel tying into the ongoing arc that will culminate in “Avengers: Endgame” just the month after. This is “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a human air force pilot who receives alien super-powers and becomes a cosmic champion bearing the name of the comic-book label.
While in the adaptation of the character into the MCU makes her the first character to be styled as “Captain Marvel,” in the original Marvel Comics the name becomes a legacy title, with multiple characters having assumed it since the original – a male alien – appeared in Marvel Comics on 1967. In anticipation for the release of “Captain Marvel” on the MCU, we’ll list the various Captains that have appeared in the main Marvel comic-book timeline:
Mar-Vell (1967) – an actual militia captain of the extraterrestrial Kree Empire, he original went to Earth on a mission to assess its space programs and determine if they would threaten Kree galactic interests; his disillusionment with his superiors cause him to defect and become protector of Earth; notable for his storyline ending in 1980 when the character died of cancer; he knew Carol Danvers from his Earthling cover identity; despite studio secrecy, fans theorize that Jude Law’s character in the movie his Mar-Vell
Monica Rambeau (1982) – a New Orleans police officer (harbor patrol) that gained powers from exposure to an extra-dimensional weapon’s energy discharge; she is actually the first female Captain Marvel in the comics and was also a member/leader of the Avengers
Genis-Vell (1993) – a clone son of Mar-Vell engineered through gene material of him and his lover Elysius; like his father he died, but was later resurrected and then “killed” again
Phylla-Vell (2004) – willed into existence by one instance of Genis-Vell altering the main Marvel universe; presented as Genis’ “sister” created in the same manner as him; as the fourth Captain Marvel (and the second female, comics-wise) she was a member of the comic-book Guardians of the Galaxy and was later killed by Thanos
Khn’nr (2007) – actually an infiltration agent of the Skrull Empire, locked into the appearance and (imitation) powers of Mar-Vell; he explains himself as having come to be through hi-jinks in the spacetime continuum from when the original Mar-Vell was alive; later embraced his implanted memories as the real ones and fought against his fellow Skrulls during the Secret Invasion, and was killed
Noh-Varr (2000) – a Kree space sailor from an alternate dimension that was stranded in the main Marvel universe; alternately ally then enemy of Earth, he is inspired by a dying Khn’nr to become its protector and assume the Captain Marvel identity
Carol Danvers (1968) – a human and US Air Force officer first introduced as the security chief of a classified missile base; she becomes Mar-Vell’s major Earth ally and accidentally gets her genetic structure melded with his in the explosion of an alien “psyche-magnetron” device; with her super-powers she becomes the first Ms. Marvel, carrying that identity for most of her career until deciding to style herself as Captain Marvel in a 2012 Marvel Comics storyline
When Disney’s 2013 animated film “Frozen” became an avalanche of an international blockbuster and fountain of memes, talk immediately turned to making a sequel for it; and not just any home-video follow-up like of old but a true theatrical-release continuation. True, there have been two shorts during the interim, but fans are really looking forward to “Frozen 2” which Disney pegged for 2019.
After a disappointingly hilarious “teaser” after the end credits of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” last year, “Frozen” followers can finally bask in the glory of the first official preview for the second film, released Wednesday, February 13.
In just about a minute and a half, the “Frozen II” sticker may have just cured some fans who may still have franchise fatigue from the original film and its subsequent shorts, plus intrigued bandwagon detractors by its more action-packed sequences and foreboding visuals. Let’s list the trailer’s important scene points and talk about them.
Elsa’s new getup – from the prim and restrained royal gown to her ice dress with thigh-high slit, Elsa in “Frozen” evolved from a paranoid fidgety lady to a sassy woman reveling in freedom; her reconciliation with her sister Anna aside, Elsa maintained her snowflake-pattern dress fashion with only minimum seasonal modifications; for the sequel the Queen of Arendelle finally goes significantly different with what appears to be an ice pantsuit with leggings, for greater mobility
Elsa’s sea run training – the escape across from the coronation was one of the many stunning visual sequences from the first film, done by a scared witless Elsa across a relatively calm fjord; having already worked past her issues Elsa looks more confident in testing the potential of her ice powers further by trying to navigate a stormy sea; but why her intense physical exercise?
The strange ice diamonds – as Anna is witness, Arendelle palace seems to have been suddenly surrounded by numerous snowflake-like diamonds; perhaps they have something to do with her sister; but where did they come from?
Kristoff’s reindeer army – yes, Kristoff is never too far from his trusty reindeer mount Sven; but now it seems they have to answer a situation that needs lots of hoofed reinforcements; what do you think?
Anna’s “Cliffhanger” act – famously remembered for initially failing at rock climbing in “Frozen,” Anna certain seems to match Elsa for picking up some action girl physical skills; is there a motivation for their peak form?
The unquenchable fire – there has never been a physical flame that Elsa’s ice cannot quench, until now; and if she can’t put out these strangely-colored fires, Olaf might pay the price
The girl and the figure – we see a new brown-haired girl walking along an autumnal forest until she’s startled by a figure bursting through the leaves, as if yanked up; could the first one be the “girlfriend” desired by LGBT Elsa-fans for their queen?
Where are they going? – Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven seem to be taking leave of Arendelle in order to go into a new land that is in autumn; what could be waiting for them ahead?
The ambush – great danger instincts, reflexes and swordplay on Anna’s part; but who or what was that which tried to ambush their adventuring party at the end of the teaser?
We are well aware of the recent shifts in the general media landscape where TV series connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are concerned. Where once there was a thriving multi-show MCU presence on Netflix, only two of them remain while everything else has been canceled.
Under the polite excuses one can only surmise that the streaming giant wants no part in indirectly promoting new MCU series that will launch with Disney’s own exclusive streaming platform this year or next. But if observers are concerned that Disney will be hoarding all TV productions of its Marvel subsidiary then they can rest assured with this development.
Polygon reports that there’s a new media partnership that Marvel Television has inked with over-the-top media streaming company Hulu. This will lead to the production of four new series featuring more Marvel characters from its massive library.
Granted, the fact that these shows are going to potentially be on a media platform that Disney has a stake in (and one that might grow once the acquisition of Fox and its own Hulu share is completed) is a different fish compared to the Netflix situation. But still, it does point out that Disney will not be a proprietary media hog with their incoming Disney+ streaming service.
Here we have a list of the four planned Marvel series planned for Hulu. There is no word yet if they will also be set in the MCU as the Netflix series were. Let’s see:
Howard the Duck – one of Marvel’s more off-the-wall creations; Disney almost got into a rights dispute over it against Marvel, now moot with the latter joining the former; Kevin Smith and Dave Willis (“Aqua Teen Hunger Force”) will write and executively produce
MODOK – a series with a villain protagonist, a baddie that normally tangled with tech-themed Marvel heroes in comics; recognizable as a giant head with a tiny vestigial body, supported by a bio-tech flying platform; show-runners will be Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum (“American Dad”)
Hit-Monkey – a supporting character for X-Men supporting character Deadpool, he is an intelligent Japanese snow monkey that learned ninja skills from an assassin; his TV story will also be handled by another tandem, Will Speck (“Blades of Glory”) and Josh Gordon
Tigra and Dazzler – with Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja as show-runners, this show brings together two females superheroes, one from the Avengers camp and the other from the X-Men; Tigra (Greer Nelson) is a magically-enhanced superhuman famous for being a sexy tiger-woman in a bikini, with fur, tail and claws, plus cat-like strength and reflexes; Dazzler (Allison Blaire) is a pop star and mutant that can convert sound waves around her into solid light with various special effects
The presence of X-Men related characters in the titles seems to indicate that the Disney-Fox deal, which will regain the film/TV use of X-Men characters, seems all but done now. No release date was given as to when the shows will appear on Hulu. For now, the ball’s in the Disney+ Marvel shows as well as the MCU in general.
Towards the end of January, Disney and Square-Enix finally released a game that has kept fans waiting for a decade and a half: “Kingdom Hearts III”. So long had been the gap between this and “Kingdom Hearts II” (despite the latter getting remixed several times until 2014) that some gamers who got this last month actually mourned online the fans who passed away before its time.
And indeed, what transpired in this epic action RPG title was something of a grand enough conclusion to the saga that began with the first installment from 2002, even if it left room for continuing the story even afterwards.
“Kingdom Hearts III” sees the final struggle between the righteous wielders of the Keyblades against the sinister Organization XIII and its leader Master Xehanort (voiced by Rutger Hauer following the death of Leonard Nimoy), over who shall control the power of the titular Kingdom Hearts.
Over the preceding games, a number of characters possessing Keyblades stood out to confront the plans of Xehanort and Organization XIII to prevent Kingdom Hearts from falling into Darkness in “Kingdom Hearts III.” They are:
Sora – franchise main hero since the first game, his quest becomes the driving narrative of the “Kingdom Hearts” series
Riku – franchise secondary hero; antagonist during much of the first game and supporting character for most of the rest; his nature would prove the interdependence of Light and Darkness on one another; he was the original wielder of the Kingdom Key Keyblade until his emerging darkness made it seek Sora instead
Kairi – franchise main heroine since the first game; a damsel in distress for most of the games she appears in, until receiving a Keyblade from Riku due to having “inherited” worthiness to wield from Aqua
King Mickey Mouse – King of Disney Castle; originally fighting as a Keyblade Master to eliminate Darkness and preserve Light, he learned from Riku that neither cannot exist without the other and thus decides to fight for their balance
Terra – Keyblade Master and former apprentice to Eraqus; became host to his mentor’s heart and was also briefly possessed by Xehanort; Riku passed on the ability to wield Keyblades to Riku before the events of the first game
Aqua – Keyblade Master and former apprentice to Eraqus
Ventus – Keyblade apprentice under both Eraqus and Xehanort prior to the latter’s evil turn; left comatose after his darkness was separated from him to create Vanitas
Roxas – the Nobody of Sora that came to be when Sora opened his heart with a Keyblade to free Kairi’s heart; having come from a Keyblade wielder, he retains the same ability; originally part of Organization XIII, he became fed up with the constant manipulation and reunited himself with Sora, only to gain his own complete being via the Organization’s Replica ability
Xion – the 14th member of Organization XIII and a Replica of Roxas; this enabled her to wield Keyblades as well; her close bonds with Roxas and Axel eventually proves her salvation
Axel/Lea – a member of Organization XIII and their designated hit-man; became close with Roxas and Xion, eventually becoming a whole being and gaining the ability to wield Keyblades himself
“Kingdom Hearts III” is available on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
The release of a major blockbuster movie based on a “child-friendly” property like superheroes is bound to come with some tie-in merchandise. And if it’s from a powerhouse studio like Marvel Studios (under Disney), then you can expect many toy brands partnered up to bring quite the variety of products.
For instance, Captain Marvel which premieres March next year has just been announced to be having tie-ins coming out from Diamond Select Toys, the toy-making sister company of Diamond Comics Distributors. Thus far they have two products announced, but they sound quite impressive. Let’s put them in a nice list.
Marvel Movie Minimates: Captain Marvel Box – 2-inch DST “minimate” minifigures with articulated and exchangeable body parts; SRP $24.99 due to release in spring 2019
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
Kree Soldier Att-Lass
Kree Sniper Minn-Erva
Skrull Agent Nuro
Marvel Select: Captain Marvel (Starforce Uniform) Action Figure – 7-inch fully articulated (16 points) action figure of Captain Marvel in her Kree Starforce uniform; facial likeness of Captain Marvel film lead actress Bree Larson; SRP $24.99 due to release in summer 2019
Captain Marvel arrives in cinemas just over a month before the premiere of Avengers: Endgame, late April 2019.
Certain Starbucks locations often have on offer a variety of “You Are Here” souvenir mugs for tourist customers, the better to commemorate having a Starbucks coffee when travelling. As Starbucks also has branches in Disney theme parks, it’s only natural that they have “You Are Here” mugs to sell there.
But! Now Disney fans who can’t make a trip to any park soon (and have a serving of Starbucks while they’re at it) can now order a Starbucks Disney mug online, at shopDisney no less. They now carry mugs for all Starbucks locations on both Disneyland and Disney World. Here’s what they have in store:
Disney California Adventure
Walt Disney World
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
In addition to the actual drinking mugs, shopDisney also has Starbucks “You Are Here” mug ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree. And while smaller, they can still be used for drinking if you want to. All the above have ornament variants except for Magic Kingdom. The mugs cost $16.99 on shopDisney while the ornaments are $12.99, so visit their website for details and online purchases.
It goes without saying that the films which comprise the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) from Marvel Studios are nigh-guaranteed magnets for the movie-watching crowds. It’s gotten to the point that the very trailers for MCU films also draw plenty of viewers, to the point that they are among the most-watched videos on video-sharing site YouTube.
With the recent release of the trailer for next year’s Avengers: Endgame, the closing chapter of Phase 4 and the first ten years of the MCU, here now are the Top 5 most-watched trailers of the MCU franchise on YouTube:
Avengers: Infinity War trailer 1 (November 29, 2017) – 216+ million views, also all-time most-viewed trailer
Avengers: Infinity War trailer 2 (March 16, 2018) – 90+ million views, ninth overall most-viewed
Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser (October 22, 2014) – 86+ million views, 14th place overall on YouTube
Avengers: Endgame (December 7, 2018) – 72.1 million views as of Monday, the new all-time most-viewed trailer within a 24-hour period (289 million cumulative views); will soon surpass the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice SDCC trailer which is the 20th place all-time with 72.8 million.
The fourth Avengers movie for the MCU will premiere with an “ultimate game-changing showdown” on April 26, 2019 and “will end with a bombastic bang”.
It won’t be coming out until next year, but already Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel, starring Bree Larson, is already racking up some awards. News has it that last Sunday, December 16 it received some accolades from the California on Location Awards (COLA), which honors film professionals and public employees that help movie crews shoot and do production in the state.
So it’s not an award for the actors or anyone on the main production credits, but Captain Marvel, during its location shooting in California, saw, the area get a boost of 11.7% in on-location feature film production at the start of 2018, a double-digit increase not seen since late 2015. Captain Marvel was shot in Los Angeles, Oxnard and Fresno.
Here are the COLAs won by the MCU’s Captain Marvel:
Location Manager of the Year (Studio Feature Film) – Ilt Jones
Location Team of the Year (Studio Feature Film) – Captain Marvel location team (10 members)
Teamsters Local 399 Assistant Location Manager of the Year (Studio Feature Film) – Lee David Lee
Captain Marvel is the 21st feature installment of the successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will arrive in theaters on March 2019.
After percolating for several years following the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, a major live-action Star Wars TV series has been announced this year to arrive with the upcoming launch of the Disney+ streaming service. Entitled The Mandalorian, the show would take place between the Original and Sequel Star Wars trilogies, it would follow a lone gunfighter from the mercenary planet from which Boba Fett is reputed to hail from.
With Jon Favreau as creator along with a list of notable directors from film and TV being in charge of episodes, Star Wars: The Mandalorian is to be headlined by Pedro Pascal of Game of Thrones fame accompanied by Gina Carano. More names have been added to the cast since. Here is an updated list:
Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones)
Gina Carano (Angdel Dust from Deadpool)
Nick Nolte (Lt. Col. Tall from The Thin Red Line)
Giancarlo Esposito (voice of Akela in 2016’s The Jungle Book)
Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed from Rocky films)
Werner Herzog (filmmaker-actor)
Omid Abtahi (Homes from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2)
Emily Swallow (Amara/The Darkness from Supernatural)
Aside from this series about The Mandalorian, another Star Wars show for Disney+ still being conceptualized involves the other adventures of Rebel Alliance spymaster Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
When Disney began pulling out its content on the online streaming giant Netflix, followed by the eventual announcement of their own digital streaming platform Disney+, it seemed to signal to everyone that the entertainment juggernaut will in future offer streaming of their movies and shows only within its own backyard.
But this latest development seems to debunk that theory. Disney has apparently stuck a new deal with a streaming service based outside the US. This is Stan, one of Australia’s homegrown streaming platforms, and the first to have an original program to score a nomination at the Logies (Aussie Emmys).
This partnership will see Stan carry an astonishing number of films and TV series from Walt Disney and its various subsidiaries. Here’s the full list:
Toy Story trilogy
The Lion King
Cars (1 and 2)
Monsters (Inc. and University)
Big Hero 6
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
The Little Mermaid
A Wrinkle in Time
Iron Man trilogy
Captain America (First Avenger and Winter Soldier)
Avengers films (up to Infinity War)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Sofia the First
The Lion Guard
Tangled: The Series
Star Wars Rebels
All these Disney goodies should already be available on Stan throughout Australia by December 14. So no, the House of Mouse isn’t hogging all its media for streaming yet.