The future of the Fantastic Four remains mysterious. We know for sure that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is now officially in control of the property, as well as the X-Men, following Disney's $71.3 billion merger with Fox earlier this year. Feige announced a reboot of the franchise during the studio's presentation at San Diego Comic-Con this year, but it's not going to happen for a while. That leaves an interesting, lingering question; what of Noah Hawley's Doctor Doom movie? The simple answer, for the time being, is it's not dead yet.
A little background on this one. Noah Hawley, the creator behind shows like Fargo and Legion, announced two years ago at SDCC that he was penning a Doctor Doom movie for 20th Century Fox, long before the merger took place. Cut to now and Disney is rethinking its strategy with Fox titles moving forward, having recently axed almost all of the studio's production slate that was in the works prior to the merger.
With that in mind, it's a bit surprising to learn that this particular movie isn't yet on the chopping block. Noah Hawley, in a recent interview, was asked about the status of the project and revealed he's done with the script. After taking some time off, he's going to take it upon himself to push Marvel to allow him to make it. Here's what Hawley had to say about it.
"I mean, where it stands is now that the movie is done and Legion is done and I've taken a little time off because someone told me there was this word 'vacation,' which means you don't work, which sounded really interesting to me. But you know, I need to circle back to them and announce that I would love to make it and figure out if that's something that is possible. Whether or not they already have a plan in place for what to do with those characters or whether they're open to my kind of vision for what to do with those characters. But it's sort of on me right now to go push them, which I will do as soon as I come up for air."
There are some interesting layers here to dig into. For one, Dark Phoenix, the final, proper X-Men movie made by Fox, which was released by Disney, tanked in a big, bad way at the box office. The New Mutants, a horror-themed X-Men spin-off, has been sitting on a shelf and Disney seems unsure of what to do with it. Meanwhile, the most recent Fantastic Four movie, released in 2015, tanked critically and commercially. So Disney doesn't have a lot of reason to think anything developed under Fox's watch is a good idea.
That said, Noah Hawley has proven his worth as a creator. Plus, doing a Doctor Doom solo movie could be a unique way to introduce the villain, and possibly the Fantastic Four, into the MCU. It's perhaps going to be a matter of just how convincing Hawley can be if/when he gets to sit down with Kevin Feige. This news comes to us via Deadline.
Warning: Spoilers from the MCU will be found below.
Most of the deaths in Avengers: Infinity War were undone in Avengers: Endgame including the first superhero to return from The Blip, but not Heimdall. The Asgardian, who previously appeared in Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok, was killed by Thanos aboard the Statesman - in his final act before dying, he used the Bifrost Bridge to send the Hulk to Earth before the Mad Titan could finish him, too. Speaking of being finished: after Infinity War came out, Idris Elba, who once called working for Marvel “torture,” confirmed that he was finished playing “my guy.” And yet, in a new interview with ABC Radio, the Hobbs and Shaw star “I’m black Superman” admitted that he would be willing to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Of course,” Elba enthusiastically said about coming back to the MCU. “Listen, Heimdall is essentially part of the god family. So you know, he essentially could be alive. I’m just saying! I’m just putting it out there. The Heimdall character goes way back into, you know, the Thor mythology, And I’m sure there will be an interesting way to bring that alive. Of course I would. Yes.”
There are multiple opportunities for Heimdall’s return — Thor: Love and Thunder it’s probably no coincidence that Elba made these comments after Taika Waititi’s return was announced, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 a.k.a. Asgardians of the Galaxy, Disney+’s Loki show — and Elba makes a good point that if anyone can come back from the dead, it’s someone who’s “part of the god family.” Then again, he’ll be too busy filming Cats 2 and Cats 3 to make room for Marvel. That digital fur technology is time consuming, y’know?
The star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Simu Liu posted a photo wearing an Asgardians of the Galaxy t-shirt and fans are going wild. In the picture, Liu is preparing a meal with the caption "don't sweat the technique," and is strategically turned so the "Asgardians" logo is clearly visible. The title refers to a real comic that debuted in 2018, and after Thor joined the Guardians on the Benatar at the end of Avengers: Endgame, fans have been clinging to the hope of a galaxy quest full of macho competition between Hemsworth and Pratt.
Disney is no stranger to low-key, grassroots marketing. Tom Holland's Spider-Man failure to keep industry and story secrets quickly became a marketing gimmick to release information or create buzz. But the strategically placed t-shirt logo could just as easily be a misdirect, intentional or not.
During a shoot for Avengers: Infinity Wars, Michael Rooker was seen on the set with an Avengers hat on. The stunt was meant to instill doubt in some minds about the rumor that his character died in the newly released Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. On the other hand, this could also just be Liu innocently fanboying over the comic. After Gwyneth Paltrow Iron Man was outed for the third time as having no idea what happens or who the cast is in the Marvel movies she is in, Disney could use a little show of solidarity between its stars and the millions of fans.
Related: Marvel's Shang-Chi Movie Gets Short Term 12 Director
It is, after all, a little early and possibly pointless to release such monumental and precious details for either Shang-Chi or Guardians right now because fans already couldn't be more excited. It was confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con that the Liu-led Shang Chi would introduce the real Mandarin that fans have been waiting for since Shane Black took creative liberties with the character in 2013's Iron Man 3. Shang-Chi and the Legend Of The Ten Rings will star Awkwafina, Simu Liu, and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. Coming from director Destin Daniel Cretton Short Term 12, it's expected to hit theaters in February 2021.
Any chance of following Thor directly after the events of Endgame likely disappeared after the firing of James Gunn allowed the director to jump over to DC. Gunn, currently in production for Suicide Squad was eventually re-hired for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but the release date was pushed back to accommodate.
Instead, we will first see Thor in his fourth solo film from other fan-favorite director Taika Waititi. Thor: Love and Thunder will feature Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, the Ruler of New Asgard, and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, The Mighty Thor. Waititi also confirmed recently that the film will feature even more of himself in the form of the lovable rock-monster Korg. Both Love and Thunder and Shang-Chi will happen before Guardians 3, so there is no telling whether Hemsworth will be around for a possible team-up, nor whether Shang-Chi will make his way into space, but we can always hope. Avengers: Endgame is currently available on 4K/UHD, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital today. The image comes direct from Simu Liu's Twitter.
Don’t sweat the technique pic.twitter.com/QavwgPxayY
One of the biggest announcements made at Marvel’s San Diego Comic-Con panel in July was the casting of Simu Liu in the title role of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” The historic Marvel film will be the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature an Asian superhero in the leading role. Liu is now poised to be a breakout global star after gaining attention on the Canadian sitcom “Kim’s Convenience,” but not everyone is convinced he’s right for the part. The popular YouTube channel Asian Boss posted a video August 8 questioning Liu’s casting based on his physical appearance. The outlet took to the streets to ask Chinese people whether or not Liu was “too ugly” for the role.
In a response to Asian Boss posted on Facebook via HuffPo, Liu shut down the outlet and stood defiant in the face of online criticism. “A lot of teachers thought I'd never amount to anything, a lot of producers, directors, writers and costars have questioned my acting ability, and I've been rejected from countless conservatories, grants, programs, etc,” the actor wrote. “I've been second-guessed at every single possible step of my career. The reason why I'm still standing is because I'm singularly focused, I have the utmost belief in my abilities and I refuse to let the opinions of others define me.”
Liu continued by taking a more optimistic approach to the backlash, writing, “For me, it's never been about trying to shut the voices out – it's a fruitless effort especially if people happen to be making Youtube videos about it. Rather, it's about learning to let the voices exist and be okay with it. I'm still doing my thing, and I'm still over the moon happy I get this amazing opportunity.”
Asian Boss has 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube and over 276 million video views since launching on the platform in October 2013. The outlet bills itself as bringing viewers “the most authentic voices and perspectives on the latest news, social issues, and cultural trends from Asia.”
“I sincerely hope this YouTube channel will attack topics with a bit more journalistic and creative integrity in the future,” Liu said about Asian Boss. “There are a lot of real and valid reasons why audiences find Shang Chi's source material to be controversial and I love the discussion that's taking place. This… not so much.”
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, will open in theaters nationwide February 12, 2021.
SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details of tonight's Legion series finale on FX.
After three mind-bending and time-traveling seasons, Legion came to an end tonight by going full circle, including on the soundtrack with The Who's “Happy Jack.”
A baby, a showdown with the parasitic Farouk Navid Negahban, a new beginning and future X-Men boss Charles Xavier Harry Lloyd empathically telling his powerful telepathic son David Heller/Legion Dan Stevens that he was “trapped in a war you didn't start.” Did Daddy make it all better in the end of the series finale co-directed and co-penned by Hawley? Could anyone make it all better for the perpetual battle zone that was David's psyche?
Well, Legion being Legion, yes and no, as the self-described “twisted rainbow” and exquisitely crafted series co-starring Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza Jermaine Clement, Stephanie Corneliussen and Lauren Tsai made clear tonight in the 27th and final episode. Which, ending where it all started, makes one wonder if there is more to come or another place for the mutant character played by the Downton Abbey alum in the greater Marvel Universe now that FX is owned by Disney?
With his feature directorial debu t Lucy in the Sky starring Stevens and Natalie Portman set for release this fall and the Chris Rock-led fourth season of Fargo about to head into high gear, Hawley chatted with me recently about the satisfaction of Legion's end and whether there would be more. The Before the Fall author also delved into the FX series based on the Coen brothers’ 1996 movie, whether his Doctor Doom flick is a go and the status of the Kurt Vonnegut adaption Cat's Cradle as a limited series for the John Landgraf-run cabler.
DEADLINE: You once said that “endings give stories meaning,” so does this series finale have the meaning you sought?
HAWLEY: I mean I just sort of followed the story where it went is the laziest answer but also, on some level, the truest answer.
I allowed the genre to inspire me with this understanding that once we brought time into the story - which we really did last year - with the sort of future storyline it introduced past, present, and future in a way that became a bit more malleable. Then we introduced the Switch character in Season 3 and this desire to go back for David, which was very primal for him. He always had this feeling that his life had been ruined when he was a baby and that if he's ever going to have another chance he has to solve that original problem. All that just put us in a position where what would happen if he did that and how would he do that and can he do that and not be a villain? Can he redeem himself while doing that?
So, I think I always knew what the three acts of the story were, but the literal idea that the series is a loop came in the writing sort of the last act of this season.
DEADLINE: A last act literally that ends where it all began with The Who's “Happy Jack,” a true loop and a second chance, or is that open-ended?
HAWLEY: It's complete in that it's all starting all over again, so who knows what will happen the second time around. Maybe if you watch it a second time, something completely different will happen. I mean I feel complete with it. I think that I was able to, in an elegant way, tell a very expansive and kind of experimental story that still managed to resolve itself in a human and dramatic way.
DEADLINE: How so?
HAWLEY: So that the ride that you went on isn't the roller coaster where it's just, “I can't believe the characters did that,” it's also, “I can't believe the show just did that.” In the end, it still resolved the way a good drama should resolve, which is in a satisfying, inspiring, cathartic manner.
DEADLINE: Time travel and the resolution, as well as the destruction that it can bring, is nothing new to the Marvel universe, but were you concerned that it slipped too close to the tropes of Avengers: Endgame ?
HAWLEY: To be honest, I didn't see Endgame until after I finished Legion. Then I was like, “Oh, time travel. There you go.”
I will say, by the time I finished watching that movie, I thought they did something different than we did. I think that it's hard on some level to just swing a stick and not hit a show or a movie of the genre that hasn't played with time on some level.
What was most satisfying to me was to do things in our fourth hour this season which Daniel Kwan directed where we introduced the Time Eaters and you're watching the show and suddenly The Shield's Vic Mackey walks in the room. Good cop and bad cop are gone for the day. Your brain breaks a little and asks, “What is happening right now?”
The show was 15 years ago and what's happened is that I wanted you the audience to experience time travel - it's not just the characters within the show. Those kinds of ideas are what really kind of got me out of bed in the morning - to say, “How do we make the audience have a subjective experience that the characters are having?”
DEADLINE: You constantly played with perspective and expectations with the twisted rainbow, but one thing, among many, that struck me in the finale was when Harry Lloyd's Charles Xavier says, “No more travel, no more bloodshed. I've always wanted to be a teacher.” It feels like you guys were reaching right out to the Marvel universe and then just putting your hand on it, like a palm on a cheek. There has been so much speculation through the three seasons of Legion about how that would work. How did that work for you as a creator?
HAWLEY: In thinking about bringing Charles into it and how to use him, obviously there was a lot of conversation about, “Which version is it?” Is it the sort of younger James McAvoy version, or is it the older Patrick Stewart version? It didn't seem consistent with any timeline to have the older version. So, then the question became, “Well, all right, so if he's a young man, then how young is he? And where is he in the large story?” I just thought that the most sort of emotional version was the young father who made mistakes because he didn't know. Then he meets adult David and he goes, “You're a baby,” I thought I would have time to figure all this stuff out. That idea that he had come from the war and that he'd met his wife in a mental institution the same way that his son had met his.
Those echoes were really interesting to me - and the fact that you're dealing with a David and a Charles who are basically the same age and one of them has to become a father in a way that he didn't expect. But the reality is the moment you have that baby, you have to become that father.
do not make the same mistakes twice. #LegionFX pic.twitter.com/QhMLeUN6xE
— Legion @LegionFX August 13, 2019
DEADLINE: As a parent to this show, do you think there could be more Legion ? I remember in February that Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb referred to this iteration as kind of a graphic novel, and now this graphic novel is over, but there could be another graphic novel - do you have more Legion to tell?
HAWLEY: I think I did the sort of difficult egg carry to get the story and these characters through all the challenges that they had. And left them all in a sort of resolved and safe place in a way that feels satisfying to me.
I don't, at this moment, have as much thought in my head about returning to Legion or rebooting it or any of those things. You know, obviously the Marvel universe is huge and expansive, and this character is out there now. You could do a lot worse than to incorporate Dan Stevens into the X-Men, in my opinion. But it's not a conversation I've had. My head is on now in the film and in Fargo.
DEADLINE: That's some headspace I want to get into. But before that, how was that twisting journey that you and Dan took together to you in hindsight now that Legion is over?
HAWLEY: The thing with Dan is he's just such a grounded actor and performer. He's so nuanced that I didn't go out of my way to challenge him with the whimsical nature of the storytelling. He certainly learned to play the banjo and sing “Rainbow Connection,” while also signaling that something terrible is happening. Those kinds of challenges I don't think you would have gotten from any other story.
You know, I think what was very satisfying for him was that even though the show was very playful, his journey was never a joke. He was always in a position where his dramatic motivations were grounded and real and so you could ask him to use his powers, but it was always grounded in a real emotional motivation.
DEADLINE: Now, in other motivation, where are things at with Fargo 4?
HAWLEY: We're in the writing phase, we've basically completed the casting phase, and we'll start shooting in October to premiere in the spring.
DEADLINE: Tight, coming off Legion and with Lucy in the Sky coming out in October...
HAWLEY: laughs We're filming in Chicago and next week I think the production offices open in Chicago, and I decided to go ahead and release a movie right when I'm prepping to direct the first hour of Fargo. So I suppose one could say I like multi-tasking, although I would argue with you.
DEADLINE: I would use the term “daunting” ...
HAWLEY: Yes, but I mean Fargo is such an extraordinary state of mind to tell a story in. That kind of combination of tragedy and comedy makes it really thrilling to go back into that mindset.
DEADLINE: And after Fargo , is Cat's Cradle still next on the dance card?
HAWLEY: It is, yeah. It's sort of on the docket behind Fargo, and I've written the first hour and have a sort of overview sense of the way that it will lay out. It's not at the front of my head right now, but I remain really excited about it and committed to the Vonnegut adventure that I'm going to go on.
DEADLINE: Is this still something you're looking at filming next year, or has that been pushed back?
HAWLEY: Yeah. I think so. I think next year is still the plan.
DEADLINE: Being that we are in front of a Marvel backdrop with Legion , where is the Doctor Doom movie at? You've spoken before about having a script ready but that ownership changes have put maybe a little pin in it for a while. Where does it stand in your perspective now with Disney taking control of the Fox assets formally this past spring?
HAWLEY: I mean, where it stands is now that the movie is done and Legion is done and I've taken a little time off because someone told me there was this word “vacation,” which means you don't work, which sounded really interesting to me. But you know, I need to circle back to them and announce that I would love to make it and figure out if that's something that is possible. Whether or not they already have a plan in place for what to do with those characters or whether they're open to my kind of vision for what to do with those characters. But it's sort of on me right now to go push them, which I will do as soon as I come up for air.
DEADLINE: That's a very unique, to put it politely, notion of a vacation ...
HAWLEY: I have no shortage of challenges, obviously. You know, the Fargo story feels very important to me right now. There's another book that I'm working on that I'm excited about, and I'm trying to figure out what the next film will be. I'm a lucky guy to have that much opportunity presented to me.
Disney+ not only boasts the parent company’s already impressive catalog but new serialized programming from the likes of Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios. The thing is, despite the fact that the Mouse’s highest corporate entity oversees these and many other offshoots, this doesn’t mean that things are going to be uniform. Such is the case for Marvel Studios and Marvel Television, which are two entirely different entities. Kevin Feige manages the former, which constitutes the MCU, while Jeph Loeb runs the latter, which includes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Netflix shows and more.
They aren’t the same thing. So, while Feige and company are spearheading new Disney+ shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and WandaVision, Loeb and his group are doing their own thing. As the Marvel TV head told Deadline in a new interview, however, they will be producing their own content for the new streaming service. “Marvel Television will be doing shows with Disney+, we just haven’t announced what we’re going to do there,” he said. Asked about when those shows would be announced, he added, “When we’re ready.”
If that isn’t confusing enough, though, don’t forget that Marvel TV has many, many other non-Marvel Studios irons in the fire, like Hulu’s Runaways and Freeform’s Cloak & Dagger. There’s also the company’s upcoming slate of live-action and animated shows, which includes the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off Ghostrider and titles based on Howard the Duck, M.O.D.O.K, Hit-Monkey and Tigra and Dazzler. Together, this latter batch will come together to form The Offenders.