Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Before I begin, let me first say to read through the entire blog, because there’s a hilarious/sad ending that’s totally worth it.
Okay, fine. If you don’t want to read all of this, skip to the end.

The Incredible Hulk

Some of you may be wondering, with all my Iron Man and Speed Racer hype, why I haven’t mentioned the upcoming Hulk movie (opening this Friday, June 13). Mostly, it was because of a bunch of nonsense when they were editing the film that made it seem like Marvel Studios and actor Edward Norton were really at odds over how to cut the film. Throw in that some of the early teasers and trailers made it look average and Iron Man trailers looking awesome, and I sorta just said, “Meh,” to the movie overall.

I’m still on the fence about the whole thing, but fanboy reactions to early screenings seem positive, so it may be okay afterall. Also, since more and more clips started creeping out onto the internet, it’s looked better. I doubt it will have the same success as Iron Man, but from what I’ve read, it seems as though Marvel Studios is doing what fanboys like me have been waiting for – creating a coherent Marvel Universe on screen.

See, the interesting thing about comic book universes in print is the ability for characters to show up across titles. Spider-Man can show up in a Hulk book, Captain America in an Iron Man title, and so and so forth. Previously, because of the way movie studios acquired rights to characters, this crossover was impossible. But because Marvel decided to form their own studio, they can play around with their entire stable of characters within any movie they make. Really makes it easy to do fun things like put Captain America’s shield in the background of this scene in Iron Man (if you can’t see it, it’s in the background under the right arm):

Beyond the quick nod to Cap in Iron Man is, of course, the well-publicized scene at the end of the Iron Man credits, which expands the movie universe a million-fold:

Sooooo… back to my point. The interesting news about The Incredible Hulk movie is that it contains a couple of nods to the coherent Marvel Universe, notably (and confirmed), a scene in which Robert Downey, Jr.(as his Iron Man character Tony Stark) shows up to speak with William Hurt’s character. Beyond that, there is supposedly reference to the “super soldier” serum which created Captain America and ~possibly~ a scence with Cap himself (as director Louis Leterrier let slip… a lot). See this article.

We’ll take a wait-and-see approach after the weekend reviews for The Incredible Hulk. I’ll say I’m not that crazy about Ed Norton in the movie (though I really like Ed Norton), but it seems much more fun than Ang Lee’s original Hulk movie. In the meantime, here’s the latest and coolest Hulk trailer, with the Robert Downey, Jr. scene:

Iron Man 2

While we’re on the subject of the Marvel Universe, there are reports on and that director Jon Favreau and Marvel are having issues reaching a contract for Favreau to helm the Iron Man sequel. The short story is that Favreau took a (relatively) small up-front fee to do Iron Man, with the idea that he would get a substantial back-end cut from the sequel. Marvel Studios head David Maisel apparently feels that Favreau is asking for too much and feels that Iron Man 2 will be a hit regardless of who helms the film.

Marvel is attempting to fast-track the movie and get it into production starting in March 2009, with a target release of April 2010. It’s never a good idea to fast-track anything like this, especially considering no script has been written, the principal cast isn’t signed to contracts (I don’t believe), and obviously, the director’s chair is empty. The whole purpose of the creation of Marvel Studios was so Marvel could retain quality-control over their characters (while make a ton of money for themselves, of course).

To blow off Favreau, who along with Robert Downey, Jr. (a Favreau recommendation) was the reason Iron Man worked so well, is asinine. The movie was validation of the idea behind Marvel Studios – a quality depiction of a Marvel character that leapt from the printed page to the celluloid screen. The movie that was produced could only have been done by Favreau, because he’s a fanboy who worked tirelessly to create a film that fanboys AND the general public would love. Now they want to go and throw it all out the window. Idiots. Favreau’s supposedly not asking for that much, certainly not what Bryan Singer got to helm the (relatively) ridiculous Superman Returns.

Here’s hoping Marvel Studios comes to their senses. For Favreau’s side of things, check his MySpace page.

Street Fighter

I’ve mentioned the new film that’s being made with Smallville’s Kristen Kruek in the lead as Chun Li. What’s been made official is that the two “main” characters of the Street Fighter videogame franchise, Ryu and Ken, will NOT be a part of the film. WTF? You sell this game with those two front and center and can’t fit them into this movie? Are you kidding?

I guess the title Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li wasn’t enough of a giveaway for me about the direction they were taking this movie. Still, if you’re trying to hit the fanboys with this movie (and really, who else are you targeting?), you don’t leave out the two most recognizable characters from the franchise.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li also stars Neil McDonough, Chris Klein, Michael Clarke Duncan, Moon Bloodgood, Taboo (of the Black Eyed Peas), and Hong Kong cinema star Pei Pei Cheng (Jade Fox from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). It's due out in 2009. Keep up with the production at the official movie blog.

The Big Finish

Okay, I told you it would be worth waiting for… It’s a lot crazy and a lot sad at the same time. Set to the sound effects of the Street Fighter video game:

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