Marvel superhero movies coming your way: casting and image update

Two Thursdays ago, I posted up a loooong blog post on the various Marvel superhero films coming to cinemas in the next three or so years. Well, since then there have been a number of developments and announcements with regard to these movies.

Probably the most exciting revelation of the last fortnight was the online debut of concept art depicting Chris Hemsworth as Scandinavian god-superhero Thor, and Chris Evans as Captain America. These pics are the real deal, folks, and appeared first at Collider and Ain't It Cool News, respectively.

Fan reception of these images has apparently been mixed, but frankly I love the look in both cases - subdued and more "realistic" in comparison to the original comic costumes, without completely losing the flavour of the source material. The concept artists (and presumably costume designers) have found that perfect balance between credibility and fantasy as far as I'm concerned.

For the record, Thor releases on 6 May next year and Captain America: The First Avenger just a few months later, on 22 July 2010. Both heroes (and the actors playing them) will then both appear in The Avengers, releasing on 4 May 2012.

Speaking of The Avengers, it's looking more and more likely that, as rumoured for months now, The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner WILL be playing master archer Hawkeye (AKA Clint Barton), a criminal turned good guy who joins the all-star superhero squad that is The Avengers. Although there has yet to be any official announcement from Marvel, or one of the reputable film trade publications (e.g. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety), numerous websites are running the story which, for the record, originated here.

Finally, while there is still much rumour mongering about which young male actor will play high school Spider-Man in the July 2012 Spidey reboot, casting is moving ahead for the next film based on the wildly popular X-Men comics, X-Men: First Class. Now initially I thought this movie - to be directed by Kick-Ass, Stardust and Layer Cake's Matthew Vaughn - would be based on the limited comic series, which dealt with the first mutant teens enlisted in Charles Xavier's School for the Gifted, namely Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Jean Grey. However, the more I read about the X-Men: First Class movie, the more it looks like the film will predominantly focus on the souring friendship of Charles and Eric "Magneto" Lensherr, the 2 great, but very different, leaders of Marvel's mutant community.

Now I had theorised that since X-Men 1 and 2 director Bryan Singer is producing X-Men: First Class, there was a good chance Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen would be back as Professor X and Magneto, even if some anti-ageing make-up and special effects were required. It turns out that I was wrong. By the looks of things, all the X-Men characters who appear in the new film will be played by different actors. The first casting announcement, for example, is that Wanted, Atonement and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe's James McAvoy (my first choice for The Hobbit's Bilbo Baggins) will be playing the young Charles. That's a decision I can definitely get behind - even if it will no doubt be a bit of shock to see the talented McAvoy as a chrome done.

Last minute post edit: Now it looks like Inglourious Basterds, Jonah Hex and 300's wide grinning Michael Fassbender is a frontrunner for the role of Magneto in X-Men: First Class. Alternatively he could be playing a as-yet-unnamed villain in the new Spider-Man film. Personally, my vote is for the former. Fassbender oozes charisma and has an electric screen presence - both of which make him an ideal, enigmatic Magneto.


Dante said…
Thor looks really lame...

There I said it.
Pfangirl said…
Dante, don't be a mythology hater. The film could be awesomely epic!
Dante said…
I actually dig the Norse mythology and thor is one of my more favourite avengers. He just looks lame in real life. But yeah, maybe he will look kiff on screen.
Cleric said…
I can't see how any of the mentioned actors will be able to fill the shoes of the actors we got to know as the characters they play in the previous X-Men movies.

This is going to be too much to swallow, and even if they pull it off somehow... will we then have to accept them as the successors to the old actors for the movies that will follow after X-Men: First Class? Hell no! No one can replace Hugh Jackman as Wolverine for future movies. Impossible! They better not even try!
Pfangirl said…
Cleric, I'm 99% sure Wolverine won't make an appearance in First Class so you don't have to worry.

I'm actually looking forward to new interpretations of the characters, but only because First Class will focus on them when they're much younger. I think this time difference will create some "space," allowing the new interpretations to stand more comfortably alongside the defining performances of Stewart, McKellan etc.
Cleric said…
I'm not saying Wolverine will be in First Class, I'm saying that if they are going to start using these new actors for the same characters in X-Men movies after First Class, I hope they don't find someone else to play Wolverine as I can't picture anyone else to be Wolverine, other than Hugh Jackman.

The "space" was filled with Origins, but sure, it was only focused on Wolverine and a few others... But it will still be weird seeing the characters as these young new actors... I'm just not a fan of replacing actors.

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