In Marvel Comics, Tony Stark aka Iron Man can be considered one of the “pillar” characters tying together the various superhero stories (and later their separate comic book titles) into one shared universe. After all, he was the first leader of the comic-book Avengers team, before Captain America was found.
He’s much the same deal with the MCU, despite Cap being part of the movie-verse Avengers from the start. Let’s trace the way Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) interacted with the larger MCU outside his three Iron Man movies, whether as supporting characters or extra cameos (even commercial appearances).
The Incredible Hulk (2008) – post-credits cameo talking to Gen. Ross about recruiting for a team
Marvel One-Shots: “The Consultant” (2011) – taking place between the events of Iron Man 2 (2010) and The Incredible Hulk; cameo as archived footage from the latter film’s post-credits, expanding on the event
Avengers (2012) – was there at the gathering of heroes for SHIELD’s Avengers Initiative, naturally
Captain America: Civil War (2016) – supported the Sokovia Accords (superhero registration) against Cap; recruited Peter Parker/Spider-Man to his side and feels guilty about the “child soldier” implications
Iron Man Experience (2017) – attraction at Tomorrowland in Hong Kong Disneyland
Spider-Man: Homecoming “NBA Finals commercial” (2017) – cross-promoting both the film and the 2017 NBA Finals; really funny gag pulled by Tony on Peter during his “Finals Party” that he didn’t attend himself
Spider-Man: Homecoming(2017) – the main movie event itself, with Stark trying his darndest to be a mentor figure to Peter so as not to let him make the same mistakes as Tony
If you want to include references, Stark was mentioned by name (or noted on) in Thor (2011), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Ant-Man (2015) and Thor: Ragnarok (2017), as well as the Spider-Man: Homecoming cross-promotion with Audi; he’s everywhere.
Between April and May is the great milestone for Marvel Studios, the in-house filmmaking arm of Marvel Entertainment which conceived the mammoth Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man hit cinemas on May 2, 2008 following an earlier Sydney premiere on April 14. Fast-forward to 2018, and the MCU, one decade old.
Now, they’ve already made some videos to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the MCU, but thus far it’s been about the studio that makes the films and its stars. This time around, a new special video from Marvel Entertainment flips the perspective around, celebrating the MCU’s greatest strength: the fandom.
The one-minute video features scenes from across the 18 installments of the MCU thus far then shifts to scenes of fan crowds at theater showings, cons (SDCC Hall H!), autograph signings, you name it. The sheer enthusiasm and fanaticism of Marvel followers at these events is evident and simply overwhelming.
Meanwhile, various actors and actresses who have starred in the MCU films, led by Robert “Tony Stark/Iron man” Downey Jr. himself, step up to the mike to thank the fans that have flocked to their films and event appearances, making the franchise the successful juggernaut that it has grown into.
All this leads into the reminder that the latest chapter of the MCU, Avengers: Infinity War, is due out two weeks from now on April 27. Note that it’s been hyped as an ending for the storyline of the franchise as laid in three “phases”, so it’s definitely a must-watch.
The official Disney fan club, D23, has only gotten bigger and more diverse ever since the company acquired some major franchises like Marvel and Star Wars. Nowhere perhaps is the prominence of these two brands shown better than in the fan club’s official quarterly magazine, Disney twenty-three; specifically its covers.
For the summer 2018 issue of Disney twenty-three, the House of Mouse is going to court collectors by publishing no less than five variant covers for the mag. One of the featured images is from the third film in the MCU to come out this year: Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Their particular variant cover is sure to be a treat for MCU fans, especially those who loved the first Ant-Man movie from 2015 starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, who in the sequel will become the Wasp. Disney twenty-three’s Ant-Man variant cover has a high-quality image of their new costumes.
That last point can be quite important, considering one of the quibbles for Ant-Man and the Wasp is the perceived drabness of Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp costume, seen only in production photos and the first trailer. As the cover reveals, it’s actually a lot more colorful and tricked out in detailing.
Film director Peyton Reed is keen on having this movie establish Lilly’s character of Hope Van Dyne as a true superhero in becoming the Wasp, and an equal to Rudd’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man character. “Her power set is fantastic,” he notes. “She and Scott both shrink, but there the flying, and the fighting style of The Wasp is different from Ant-Man’s.”
Ant-Man and the Wasp will arrive in cinemas on July 6, about two months following the premiere of the just as anticipated Marvel ensemble blockbuster – and climactic installment – Avengers: Infinity War, which will be released in turn on April 27.
When major Hollywood blockbuster films are released internationally, they might eventually receive dubs in the local languages where they premiere. Disney-Marvel Studios’ MCU movies are no exception, like the first Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. Marvel released a quirky short video demonstrating the many languages it was translated into.
The subject of the video is the translation of the only “words” that can be vocalized by the tree-like alien Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel. There are 15 languages that “I am Groot”, and by extension the Guardians film, was translated to in the vid. Let’s start listing them down:
There are still two movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe set to premiere before the year 2018 is out, but already there’s quite the attention being directed to the first installment of the franchise for next year. That is, of course, Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson, coming early in 2019.
And even better, Marvel Entertainment just announced this week that filming, that is principal photography, for Captain Marvel has finally begun. Said press release comes with the first official blurb of the MCU movie’s plot.
In the 1990s, Air Force pilot Carol Danvers (Larson) is accidentally imbued with super powers, making her into Earth’s greatest defender, which finds itself caught in the middle of a war between two alien races.
Captain Marvel has already generated a lot of hype from longtime MCU fans due to it featuring the return of Samuel L. Jackson as his character Nick Fury, last seen back in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But a new development of the production would have it that another familiar face of Phase-1 MCU will also be coming back after five seasons of television. Yes, Clark Gregg is also returning to reprise his role as SHIELD agent Phil Coulson, at last.
As for the star, Brie Larson, she’s already begun immersing herself with her character of Carol Danvers and her military surroundings. Marvel Entertainment also posted a photo of her doing that, on the cockpit of a fighter jet in Nellis AFB, Nevada, with Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander.
Production has begun on Marvel Studios' @CaptainMarvel…@BrieLarson receives instructions from Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt, 57th Wing Commander, on a recent visit to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada to research her character. pic.twitter.com/auLGXviDQE
Captain Marvel will be the penultimate film of the MCU’s Phase-3, which will end later in 2019 with the still-untitled Avengers 4 movie. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has intimated that this will serve as a soft reset of the whole franchise, with the longtime MCU cast retiring their roles.
Ever since “The Iron Man Experience” opened up in Disneyland Hong Kong last year, it was only a matter of time when Disney would start putting in more attractions and rides themed after characters from its superhero subsidiary Marvel in its various theme parks. That time, apparently, has finally come.
A major announcement has gone out courtesy of Marvel Entertainment and Disney Parks and Resorts, revealing that they are planning on creating an entirely new themed land populated by Marvel attractions, rides, characters and merchandise – specifically as they are currently depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films by Marvel Studios.
These expansion lands are being developed by Disney Parks in partnership with Marvel Entertainment, building up on the positive response to “The Iron man Experience” and “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT”. Based on the locations of these active Marvel attractions, the Marvel Lands will go up in the following:
Disneyland Resort – Disney California Adventure
Hong Kong Disneyland
For those who are wondering, there will be no Marvel Land expansions in Walt Disney World or Tokyo Disney Resort, due to a contract between Disney and Universal Pictures, another company with licensed Marvel-themed attractions, not to build close to one another to avoid competition. Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and Japan have their own Marvel attractions and rides (and not necessarily following the MCU aesthetic either).
We will not be seeing these Marvel Lands come to fruition until maybe around the year 2020, but you can look at this list to have an idea of what specific Marvel attractions are already being planned.
Here’s a list of all rides and attractions themed after Marvel across all Disney theme parks all over the world.
Iron Man Experience (since 2017) = Tomorrowland of Hong Kong Disneyland, first ever Marvel-themed attraction in a Disney theme park
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (since 2017) = Disney California Adventure in Disneyland Resort, first Marvel-themed attraction in a US-based Disney theme park; formerly The Twilight Zone “Tower of Terror”
Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster (TBA) = EPCOT in Walt Disney World
Ant-Man ride (2019) = Hong Kong Disneyland
Marvel’s Avengers ride (2023) = Hong Kong Disneyland
So, Black Panther is showing in cinemas (and making a killing at the box office). While it continues its theatrical run, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are already looking at the near future, namely the month of May. That’s when the next “chapter”, Avengers: Infinity War, makes its premiere.
But before we get there, Marvel Studios has time to promote and hype interest in the third Avengers film of the MCU. The very first trailer of Infinity War came out at the end of November last year, illustrating the approaching threat to MCU Earth in the form of Thanos.
A follow-up recut of the original trailer aired during Super Bowl LII followed by a special feature shown on the Disney Channel back in February 16 The next trailer for Avengers: Infinity War is set to be shown next week on the Tuesday (February 27) airing of Good Morning America.
The scheduled first showing of the new trailer on ABC’s morning show coincides with the appearance of three of Infinity War’s massive superhero cast. Sebastian Stan, who portrayed Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Paul Bettany/Vision from Age of Ultron, and Karen Gillan as Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy are expected guests.
It wouldn’t be the first time Marvel Studios gave Good Morning America the first showing of an MCU film’s trailer. Last year they aired one for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which was premiering on May 2017. It’s hoped that this new Avengers trailer will finally feature new footage.
Infinity War, the second MCU movie for 2018, is setting a record for the biggest cast of characters in any MCU installment to date. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige however promises equal plot relevance for everybody regardless of screen-time, which would be remarkable if true. The film premieres May 4.
While Marvel is busy dominating the blockbuster movie industry with its MCU film series from Marvel Studios, it hasn’t neglected the small screen either. From intense live-action series for grown-ups to animated cartoons for the kiddies, Marvel Television and Animation have plenty of bases covered, and are developing more shows.
Now, Marvel Animation is busy with the production of an animated film in the new Marvel Rising label, entitled Secret Warriors. But they’re already collaborating on a new series with veteran actor Laurence Fishburne and his Cinema Gypsy Production. The Marvel Comics characters being considered are both old and new.
The currently-running regular comic-book title Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur has been one of the best-sellers in Marvel nowadays. This is the team-up of a classic creation, Jack Kirby’s intelligent red T-Rex Devil Dinosaur (1978) and the super-smart Inhuman Lunella Lafayette aka Moon Girl (2016). Now they’re getting a show.
Marvel made the announcement recently on their official website. The statement also ties the decision to develop this new animated cartoon with the push being generated by the MCU film Black Panther for smart female characters like T’Challa’s sister Shuri.
“If this past weekend’s release of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther has taught us anything, it’s that brilliant young girls run the world,” went Marvel’s announcement. “Lunella Lafayette, it’s time for you to take center stage!”
Once the Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur series is green-lighted, it would be distributed by Disney Channels Worldwide. But there’s no final word yet on whether it will air on Disney XD (like most Marvel animations), Channel, or Junior. In addition, Fishburne would likely be bringing creative talent into this production from his ABC series black-ish and its spinoff grown-ish. That’s all the info for now, but Disney Movies List will be watching for more.
With just how big in the box office Marvel Studios’ Black Panther has been getting on its opening weekend alone (plus first-week openings where it has premiered worldwide), it was only a matter of time before Marvel’s parent company Disney decided to start capitalizing on the superhero character’s rising star.
The best way to start in that vein was to have T’Challa, Black Panther and King of Wakanda, to start appearing with his fellow Marvel Comics characters (in their MCU iterations) at Disney California Adventure, part of Anaheim’s Disneyland Resorts. Disney announced Monday that he’s ready to meet and greet.
For a limited time only, guests at DCA might be able to catch a glimpse of the Black Panther on his daily visits to the Hollywood Backlot theme area, where other Marvel characters and one dedicated attraction are located. T’Challa will be escorted at all times by his all-female bodyguard.
At certain times of the day, Black Panther and his Dora Milaje will arrive at Disney California’s Hollywood Backlot in an Avengers jeep, whereupon he and his royal guard will give guests the courtesy of having their pictures taken. Do try to be respectful to the King and his minders.
DCA is thus far, the only theme park in Disneyland Resorts and Disney World where one can meet and greet some MCU heroes, or take the first stateside Marvel-themed ride in Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! The only other Marvel attraction is the Iron Man Experience in Hong Kong Disneyland.
With its opening weekend extended to three days due to Presidents Day, the latest MCU movie starring Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther has already reached upwards of $201 million. A four-day projection would have the movie possibly hitting $235M, to become the third-largest four-day opening of all time.