|THE REAL REASONJAMES CAMERONTHE REALAVATAR 2AVATAR|
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is by one of the most successful movie franchises in history, though it does have its detractors, with some finding the movies the make up the series a little too similar to each other. Well, things could have been vastly different, as once upon a time, critically acclaimed auteur Quentin Tarantino had toyed with bringing Marvel superhero Luke Cage to the big screen himself.'There was a time before all this Marvel shit was coming out. It was after Reservoir Dogs, it was before Pulp Fiction, and I had thought about doing Luke Cage. Growing up I was a big comic book collector, and my two favorite [comic books] were Luke Cage: Hero for Hire, later Luke Cage: Power Man, and Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu. I also liked Werewolf by Night, that was a great one, and Tomb of Dracula was great, but my absolute hero was Luke Cage.'
Admittedly Tarantino's near-enticement to the comic book genre came very early in his career, just after making his seminal crime movie Reservoir Dogs, in fact. Tarantino stressed that he was the only white guy he know who read and collected Luke Cage comics over all the other superhero choices. The director did make sure to note that his Luke Cage adaptation would not have replaced Pulp Fiction as his second movie, rather the comic book caper would have been his third project instead of Jackie Brown. Ultimately, what stopped Quentin Tarantino from bringing the hero for hire to life was a struggle with casting.'What actually dissuaded me from doing it... was my comic geek friends talked me out of it. Because I had an idea that Larry Fishburne would've been the perfect guy to play Luke Cage. And I'm talking King of New York era Larry Fishburne. 'My name is Jimmy Jump.' ... But All my friends were like, 'No, no, listen, it's got to be Wesley Snipes.' And I go, 'Look, I like Wesley Snipes, but Larry Fishburne is practically Marlon Brando. I think Fish is the man.' And they're like, 'Yeah, but he'd have to get in shape in a big way. Snipes is that way already!' And I go, 'Fuck that! That's not that important! Fuck you, you ruined the whole damn thing!''
So, we can blame Tarantino's opinionated friends for depriving us all of a Tarantino directed Luke Cage movie lead by Laurence Fishburne. Thanks a lot, guys. Of course, Wesley Snipes went on to find success in the comic book world playing the MArvel vampire-hunter Blade in all three Blade movies. As for Luke Cage, he was eventually played by actor Mike Colter in the 2 well-received Netflix seasons.
Tarantino was also asked about Martin Scorsese's recent comments regarding comic book movies, in which the Goodfellas director likened Marvel's output to being more like theme park rides than legitimate cinema.'Generationally does anyone think he is going to be a big fan of Captain Marvel or Doctor Strange and Ant-Man vs. the Wasp? You could've guessed THAT would've been his reaction.'
It is interesting to wonder...
James Cameron‘s Avatar sequels have been a long time coming. Since the original science-fiction epic hit theaters in 2009 and went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time, expectations were high for a follow-up — should Cameron follow it up. But the years passed, and the planet of Pandora and its inhabitants slowly faded from public consciousness, despite Cameron constantly talking about how Avatar 2 was in the works.
Then, in 2017, the ball seemed to finally get rolling — cast members were returning, technology was evolving, production was beginning. Cameron would be shooting not one, but four sequels, back-to-back. But now, after that long, hard road to production, the Avatar sequels have encountered a fearsome obstacle in the coronavirus pandemic, which has fast been shutting down major Hollywood productions.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Cameron’s Avatar sequels have halted production in New Zealand due to the country’s attempts to stop the spread of the virus.
Producer Jon Landau confirmed to the New Zealand Herald that shooting has been delayed for a block of filming that was set to take place in Wellington’s Stone Street Studios in April. But the Wellington-based Weta Digital will continue to work on visual effects for the films, which are reportedly budgeted at $1 billion all-together.
“We’ve delayed it. We had plans to come down Friday night with a group of people and start back up and we made the decision to hold off and continue working here [Los Angeles], and come down there a little bit later than we’d planned,” Landau told the Herald. “We’re in the midst of a global crisis and this is not about the film industry. I think everybody needs to do now whatever we can do, as we say here, to flatten the [coronavirus] curve.”
As of now, it’s uncertain when production in New Zealand can resume, but Landau is re-assessing the production schedule “everyday, because that’s how quickly things change.” The producer added it was now the production’s priority to get “as many minutes” of VFX work to Weta Digital to complete. It’s possible, with the release for Avatar 2 so imminent, that the first sequel could at least make its scheduled release date, should VFX continue working.
The sequels to 2009’s Avatar have long been delayed, whether due to cast availability or due to the lack of suitable technology for the extensive underwater sequences Cameron had planned. But shooting had been well underway since production began in 2017, with work due to be completed by the end of 2020. Avatar 2 has a release date of December 27, 2021, with the three sequels to follow in December 2023, December 2025, and December 2027.
Last year, Avengers: Endgame managed to do the seemingly impossible by breaking Avatar's record, becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time at the box office. The question now becomes, can James Cameron's long-awaited Avatar 2 bring the record back to Pandora? The jury is still out on that one, but one of the movie's stars, Stephen Lang, seems to think so.
Stephen Lang appeared in James Cameron's 2009 sci-fi blockbuster as Colonel Quaritch. While many questions remain, Lang will be returning, despite his character seemingly meeting his demise. During a recent interview, the actor was discussing the upcoming sequel, which has been in the works for years now. At one point, he was specifically asked whether or not he thinks Avatar 2 can overtake Avengers: Endgame at the box office. Lang had a simple three-word answer to that.'I expect so.'
2009 was a wildly different time for the movie business. Released in December, Avatar earned $77 million on its opening box office weekend. Yet, it just kept bringing in the money week after week with very little drop-off, all the way through summer 2010. That, coupled with unprecedented success overseas, led to the movie earning $2.79 billion at the global box office. The record stood for nearly a decade, as many other franchise flicks such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens came along and couldn't touch that figure. When The Force Awkens, arguably the most anticipated movie of the decade, topped out at just over $2 billion, it seemed like James Cameron's record might be safe forever.
Then Avengers: Endgame happened. Last year's Marvel epic served as the culmination of more than a decade of interconnected cinematic storytelling. It was an unprecedented global pop culture moment, that benefited greatly from that all-timer of a cliffhanger in Infinity War, which also grossed over $2 billion. After months in theaters and an impressive global run, director Joe and Anthony Russo's MCU entry grossed $2.8 billion. That put it, by a nose as far as these things are concerned above Avatar.
Sequels, quite often, can gross more than their predecessors. By that logic, Avatar 2 stands a chance to taking the record. However, it's been more than a decade and it's much more difficult for a movie to have the legs that the original had. The sequel, which will be released by Disney on December 17, 2021, stands to be a big hit. But a hit that brings in nearly $3 billion? That's a tall order. And there are so many unknown factors at play. Will people still care by the time the sequel arrives? Will it be received well by critics?
The more likely scenario here is that an eventual Avatar re-release, to hype up Avatar 2, will bring in enough money to see it once again claim the top spot at the box office. With that, Avengers: Endgame's record could be relatively short-lived. Either way, Disney stands to make a ton of money, as three further Avatar sequels are planned with release...
Disney+ has introduced the classic X-Men cartoon series avatars. The iconic TV series came out in the early 1990s and is what a lot of fans still think of when they think of the comic book characters. The series can be seen on the streaming service, but these new avatars have some believing that a new animated series could be on the way. While that has not been officially confirmed, we do know that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige will be bringing the characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point.
X-Men characters Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Professor X, and Magneto can all be chosen as an avatar on Disney+. They all look like they did in the original animated series with a modern update, though Storm has a mohawk and Gambit does not have a cowl. Other than that, these are a nice addition to the avatars that Disney already had in place, which includes their original characters, Pixar characters, Star Wars, and more.
With the sudden addition of the classic X-Men characters, many fans are wondering why Disney+ chose to do it now. While it might not really mean much in terms of the future, it could prove that a lot of people are streaming the 90s series on the platform. While many were excited about what the Disney/Fox deal would do for the MCU and the big screen side of things, others were happy at the chance to see the original cartoon series again. The new avatars are not in the Marvel section of Disney+. Instead, they're in their own X-Men category.
Marvel fans have been waiting a long time to see the Fox properties all under the same MCU umbrella. Now that it's a reality, it's really only a matter of time before the X-Men and others end up being incorporated on the big screen. However, people are going to have to wait a decent amount of time before the characters get their MCU makeover. The MCU's Phase 4 will start when Black Widow is released, which should be at some point this year. The movie was originally supposed to hit theaters on May 1st, but has since been delayed indefinitely.
Disney+ and other streaming services are seeing an uptick in viewership due to everybody staying indoors. With the addition of the X-Men avatars, maybe Disney will introduce the Fox movies to the North American service. That would also be a pretty big deal for fans who have been waiting for that since November 2019 when the streaming platform launched. Regardless, Marvel fans can head over to their Disney+ profiles and give them an animated Marvel makeover right now. If you need to sign up, go visit the official Disney+ app site to sign up and enjoy a 7-day free trial to get a feel for things.
MARVEL X-MEN PROFILE AVATARS AVAILABLE NOW ON DISNEY+ pic.twitter.com/FEe5RwzTNg— Jᴇᴀɴ ɢʀᴇʏ Fᴀɴᴘᴀɢᴇ @JeanGreyFanPage April 1, 2020