CS got a sneak peek inside Marvel Studios and a tease of whatâs to come
âSERPENT SOCIETY?â reads a note scribbled rather conspicuously across a whiteboard atÂ Marvel Studiosâ usually top secret offices. âASAP!â
Thatâs MarvelÂ having a bit of fun withÂ a small group of journalists who were invited to take an inside look at what goes into building their rapidly-expanding cinematic universe. A Captain America: The Serpent Society movie wasÂ teasedÂ nearly three years agoÂ when it appeared on the Marvel Studios calendar during a âPhase Threeâ presentation. It was quickly revealed, however, thatÂ the title was just a placeholderÂ so that the announcement of Captain America: Civil War could close things out with a bang. While weâre probably still not going to see Chris Evans facing off against snake-themed supervillains anytime soon, Marvel Studios did show off some tantalizing glimpses at upcoming films like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel!
Housed in the Frank G. WellsÂ building on the Walt DisneyÂ StudiosÂ lotÂ in Burbank, California, the Marvel Studios offices are filled with props and costumes fromÂ every film in the MCU. An Iron ManÂ armor display at the entrance mimics Tony Starkâs lab, while movie art wraps entire walls with different designs celebrating every inch ofÂ the big screenÂ MCU. A massive comic book library is available on the premises. While Marvel Studios productions take place all over the world, itâs here that each one begins.
Led by Marvel producerÂ Jonathan Schwartz, the Marvel Studios tour began in a room where, on couches surrounding a large table (upon which currently sits a life size model of Baby Groot), ideas are bandied about for anything that mightÂ be cool to see realized on the big screen. Downstairs, a screening roomÂ is used to receive each productionâs dailies while also serving the double purpose of helping Marvel Studios scout for talent. Louis DâEsposito told the groupÂ that both Cop Car and Boy were screened by he and other Marvel Studios heads prior to hiring Jon Watts and Taika Waititi for Spider-Man and Thor, respectively.
Next yearâs Black Panther was teased with concept art, dailies and a sizzle reel wherein Marvel Studios PresidentÂ Kevin FeigeÂ promises that TâChalla is going to be a major player in the MCU moving forward. Instantly striking about the Black Panther footage is the filmâs use of color. It appears to offer a palette that will rival Guardians of the Galaxy. An extremely technologically advanced nation, WakandaÂ is depicted asÂ a sort of African Tomorrowland. Among the costumes showcased in the footage were bright red outfits for the Dora Milaje (TâChallaâs team of deadly, female bodyguards) and a bright purple robe for Forest Whitakerâs Zuri.
Chadwick Bosemanâs title hero is getting a new costume for the February 16, 2018 release. Concept artist Ryan MeinerdingÂ explained to the Marvel Studios tour that director Ryan Coogler wanted a slimmer look than the version seen in last yearâs Captain America: Civil War. Although it was glimpsed in the sizzle reel, the costume did not make an appearance in the Black Panther dailies. Those instead focused on a ceremony swearing TâChalla in as King. Boats are seen heading to the coronation at Warrior Falls with Lupita Nyongâoâs Nakia being aboard one vessel said to belong to a border tribe. Another shot involved her taking down a group of men armed with rifles.
âThe Prince will now have the strength of the Black Panther,â says Zuri during TâChallaâs coronation.
Other Black Panther footage included an elaborate car crash and a scene in a casino with both Andy Serkisâ Klaw and Martin FreemanâsÂ Everett K. Ross.
âYouâve got quite the entourage,â sneers Ross when Klaw (now with a false hand replacing the one he lost in Age of Ultron) enters withÂ group of thugs. âHave you got a mix tape coming out?â
âYes!â says Klaw, excited and wholly unaware that Ross is being sarcastic. âIâll send you the link!â
âOne of the great things about it for me is that we can sit around during script phase and even before script phase and go, âLetâs do this!â or âI have a great idea for a gag!â Reed explained. âWeâd sit around and talk about it or Iâd do a really crude sketchÂ of an idea.â
Among theÂ Ant-Man and the Wasp images on display was a new Ant-Man/Giant-Man suit.
âThereâs a lot of shrinking and growing and it really is the arc of how Ant-Man and Wasp come together as a team,â Reed continued. ââŚWe know that Pym Technologies was destroyed in the first movie. Where is he now? Whatâs he doing?â
While Reed stressed that none of the art is necessarily representative of anything in the final film, one of the pieces showed off a new lab and others an action figure-scale car chase with one of the cars bearing a âPYM 1â license plate.Â Another image showed one of those same cars caught in the mouth of a proportionately-gigantic dog.
âThe suits are basically delivery systems for the shrinking and growing technology,â Reed teased. âWhat if it could be a vehicle or something like that? âŚOne of the things about our movie thatâs different and that I love is that all the Ant-Man, Giant Man and Wasp technology is all a product of the Hank Pym character. It has to have a different look than the stuff that Stark designs and that the other characters design.â
Both the Janet Van Dyne Wasp suit and a new Hope Van Dyne Wasp suit were also depicted. The latter (which Reed calls âWasp 2.0â) appears to be inspired by the comicsâ black and gold look. While he didnât go into specifics, Reed also teased a very different hairstyle for star Evangeline Lily.
âWeâve already done our initial costume fitting with Evangeline and it looks so awesome!â said Reed.
Production is about to begin on the film, but work is already well underway behind the scenes.
âIt really does feel like the first âAnt-Manâ was an R&D situation where you learn as much what not to do as what to do,â said Reed of bringing the size-shifting heroes to life. âSo we are going to have a lot more strange visual stuff going on in this movieâŚ We did a location scout to a secret, undisclosed location that bore a similarity to something weâre doing in the movie.â
Alongside the Ant-Man and the Wasp concept art was work that Andy Park did for Captain Marvel. The costume is an almost perfect match for the current comic book design with slightly more metallic colors and some additional jumpsuit texturing. Although it was hinted by Reed that a director may have already been found, Park made clear that the art on display wasÂ not necessarily final and that the actual Captain Marvel costume has not yet been constructed. Star Brie Larson has seen the concept art that features her face, however, and sheâs a fan.
âNot only have we sent it to her,â Park laughed, âThereâs video of her seeing it, which you guys will probably not see anytime soon. But she was super psyched.â
The tour was then greeted by Marvel Studios EP Victoria Alonso and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi for a look behind the scenes of the November 4 release. Waititi revealed that Korg and Miek, two of the characters from the comicsâ âPlanet Hulkâ storyline, will appear.
Audiences saw a Korg-like creature at the beginning of Thor: The Dark World and Waititi suggestedÂ that Korg himself is of a related species.
âHe is one of the few characters to befriend Thor on the planet,â he explained. âHe helps him out and sort of explains how things go and becomes an ally to Thor. Heâs eight feet tall and made of rocksâŚ Being made of rocks, we could have gotten someone like the Rock to play him. But thereâs not enough chicken and salmon in Australia to sustain both him and Chris [Hemsworth].â
Thatâs why Korg is beingÂ played (via performance capture) by Waititi himself. Miek, who does not talk, is not played by an actor but is, instead, depicted as a larva-like creature who competes in gladiatorial duels on the planet Sakaar with the aide of cybernetic legs and arms. The duels are orchestrated, Waititi said, by Jeff Goldblumâs Grandmaster in what may or may not be referred to onscreen as a âContest of Champions.â Apparently, versions with and without the reference to the 1982 inter-company crossover were filmed and Waititi hasnât decided yet whether it will make the final cut.
Some work-in-progress footage of the scene where Thor meets Korg was shown with Waititi affecting a nasally, laid back New Zealand accent.
âI tried to start a revolution, but didnât print enough pamphlets,â Korg sighs about how he wound up getting thrown into the ring. He tells Thor that he only really does the warm-up matches, while Thor discovers thatÂ the room heâs trapped in is functioning as an infinite circle. When he tries to exit in one direction, he arrives from the other.
âItâs a circle,â says Korg. âA freaky circle.â
The Marvel Studios slate will next seeÂ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Â arrive on May 5.Â On July 7, Tom Hollandâs webcrawler returns inÂ Spider-Man: Homecoming. Then, Marvel Studiosâ 2017 closes out with November 3rdâs Thor: Ragnarok.Â In 2018,Â Black PantherÂ hits first onÂ February 16 followed by Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018. Between Infinity War and its follow-up, fans get Ant-Man and the WaspÂ onÂ July 6, 2018 and Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, onÂ March 8, 2019. Then Marvel Phase 3 will conclude with the untitled Infinity War follow-up onÂ May 3, 2019.
As always, check back for updates on all Marvel Studios projects as they become available and let us know in the comments below which films youâre looking forward to the most!
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