Marvel Films Update

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If you were wondering what was up with such Marvel films as Fantastic Four, X3, Ghost Rider, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Deathlok, The Hulk 2 and so on well an update is in as Marvel Enterprises recently released their Q4/2004 financial results and inside the release the numbers are all there for stockholders, but also comes news on the future for the company, which means movie news for us.

Luckily I didn’t have to listen to the entire webcast, which can become quite boring, quite quickly but Marvel Gateway has done a very nice job of pulling all the info and making it quite easy to dig out the dirt so I have recapped the movie bits below, but click here to check out the rest of the report if you are also a comic buff or just a plain old Marvel enthusiast… and who could blame you?

First off for the films this report covers, here is a quick rundown:

  • Fantastic Four
  • X3
  • Ghost Rider
  • Iron Man
  • Luke Cage
  • Deathlok
  • The Hulk 2
  • Spider-Man 3
  • Namor
  • Wolverine

Yeah, all those will most likely be seeing screen time in the next few years, but what exactly was said about them?

Fantastic Four will be hitting theaters on July 8, 2005 and with that comes a pretty big expectation on the film as Peter Cuneo, Vice chairman of the board for Marvel brought up in the webcast the deal recently struck between Marvel and France’s Antefilms, a cutting-edge animation company, which will be working on animated episodes of The Fantastic Four to provide a media bridge between Fantastic Four 1 and Fantastic Four 2.

Avi Arad, head of Marvel Studios, expects Fantastic Four to be promoted on a level of Spider-Man, with all Fox company divisions being part of the marketing. This will include a deal struck with Burger King, the upcoming video game based on the film, the animated show and so one. Also, while mentioning the characters, Arad added that the X-Games will have a special promotion with Johnny Storm.

X-Men 3 is apparently eyeing a Summer 2006 release with Memorial Day as the first choice, but there weren’t any guarantees on that. The good news is, however, that the script is said to be better than the first two, which may be a bit of an exaggeration since Zak Penn was announced only days ago as the new scribe on the project, who knows how far he has already gotten. While a director has not yet been named Arad mentioned that the promotional aspect of the film has started early including the development of the video game.

You have all heard the rumors surrounding a Punisher 2, and it seems that is definitely in the cards thanks to a swell showing on DVD from the first film. Thomas Jane, who stars as the Punisher has definitely had his say about the sequel and Lions Gate is set as the distributor already with a targeted 2006 release date.

Ghost Rider is well underway as it has hit its 3rd week of shooting as the film stars Nicolas Cage, Wes Bentley, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott, Donal Logue and Peter Fonda with Mark Steven Johnson, the Daredevil helmer, directing. The film is expected to be released during the Summer of 2006 and there are plans for a video game as well as a toy line, which was described as very different then one can expect, and is like Evel Knievel meets fantasy.

Iron Man has already named its director in Nick Cassavetes and will be filming over at New Line Cinema with it expected to be the 2006 summer tentpole for the studio. Tom Cruise was reported as interested in the lead role for this film for quite some time, but while doing the rounds during the War of the Worlds production he was quick to squash those rumors as no one has yet to be officially announced for this flick.

Luke Cage also has a director in John Singleton as it is currently in development over at Columbia Pictures, Deathlok is being set up over at Paramount and apparently has a director in Paul McGuigan, who also directed Wicker Park and The Reckoning, both films are expecting a 2006 release

Of course Spider-Man 3 was mentioned as it is already carrying a May 4, 2007 release date but the news was that Arad mentioned that there may be more than just one villain in what is expected to be the final Spidey film. Arad was quoted as saying, “The film will be wider and bigger with the scope of the movie in terms of opportunities in merchandise.”

On the development level three films were mentioned with Namor, The Hulk 2, and Wolverine, which already has attached Simon Kinberg to pen the script. Kinberg was also previously named the scribe of X-Men 3 before Zak Penn recently was labeled as scribe.

Marvel has certainly placed themselves in the limelight as a definite frontrunner and innovator in the comics-to-film industry as Fantastic Four is their 12th movie and shows no signs of slowing.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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