Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has its fans and non-fans. Some people love the interconnectedness of the show with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as there have been milestone episodes that coincided with the big MCU films. Other fans grow weary of the Inhumans storyline as we are a ways away from an Inhumans movie. One thing we can all agree on, this season’s introduction of Ghost Rider has been fantastic. Instead of giving us old school Johnny Blaze, we have the latest iteration of the iconic character, Roberto “Robbie” Reyes. The show has managed to do his character justice (as opposed to the two other films made for Johnny Blaze starring Nicolas Cage). Since he’s so prominent on the show, fans have wondered if we would possibly see him in either his own movie or TV show. Well, it looks like we might have an answer.
The spirit of vengeance is headed to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season and now we’ve got a look at him in all his fiery glory. For those wondering, that is Gabriel Luna as Robbie Reyes, the latest version of Ghost Rider that travels in a supped up 1969 Dodge Charger instead of a motorcycle. Don’t worry though, the flames, chains and vengeance are all there and Ghost Rider is set to bring havoc to those deserving getting their just due. (more…)
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting ready for its fourth season this month. With the new season premiere, we are slowly moving away from the world of Inhumans, to the world of the mystical. As the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Dr. Strange is already going towards the world of magic. And as stated during the Thor movies, the world of magic is just science that cannot yet be explained and very much a part of the MCU. This season, we will be going into the world of magic and mysticism with the introduction of Ghost Rider.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has had its highs and lows. Highs being Clark Gregg‘s Agent Coulson who’s never not charming and witty, the turning of Grant Ward from hero to double agent bad-guy, and that one incredible fight scene where Daisy kicked some HYDRA butt. The lows? Well, the show being itself. While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gotten away from self-contained episodes (villain of the week-type stuff) its still a typical procedural ABC show. It has its charm and heart, but it has failed to live up to the promise and opportunity to explore Marvel’s universe outside The Avengers; there’s no getting around the fact that you’re watching a ABC product versus a Marvel product. So are they about to shake that up? (more…)
The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus is no stranger to Marvel Comics roles, he’s voiced the Punisher in an animated movie (Iron Man: Rise of Technovore), and he blew up real good as the turncoat Scud in Blade II. He’s got his own motorcycle riding show about to premiere on AMC, Ride With Norman Reedus and when asked recently if he would be game to take on another Marvel role if Marvel came a knocking, Reedus said he was ready to ride. (more…)
The Marvel Comic Universe features a plethora of characters – some that would translate well off the colored pages and onto a movie or TV screen, and some that wouldn’t. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently plugging away at full steam, and after a rocky start with the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s TV offerings seem to be hitting their stride as well. Of course, both the film and television productions are all part of the larger MCU, which begs the simple-sounding yet very-convoluted questions: what characters will be added, and how? (more…)
My first though upon hearing about this story was, “somebody’s really fighting for the rights of Ghost Rider?” But I digress.
In nerd-related courtroom news this week, federal appellant court Judge Danny Chin overturned a 2011 ruling that stated Marvel Comics owns the rights to the Ghost Rider character, and not original Ghost Rider author Gary Friedrich. Friedrich brought the appeal and after reviewing the case Judge Chin determined that the original contract Friedrich signed was “ambiguous on its face,” and needed further investigation before a final ruling.
Basically, what needs further investigation was whether or not the language in the contract, which was signed in 1978, covered the creation of Ghost Rider in 1972 as Marvel believes. Chin said that what had to be determined was “whether [the contract] covered a work published six years earlier” and “whether it conveys renewal rights.”
Friedrich had argued that the rights to the character reverted back to him in 2001 and brought suit against Marvel in 2007, coincidentally, the same year that the first Ghost Rider movie starring Nicolas Cage was released in theaters. When the case was ruled on in 2011 though, the judge at the time held up Marvel’s argument that Friedrich’s creation of Ghost Rider was covered in the ’78 “work-for-agreement” the writer signed, and thus he was not entitled to any of that sweet Hollywood back-end on Ghost Rider or its eventual sequel Spirits of Vengeance.
Joking aside though, this is an issue affecting many creators, up to and including Jack Kirby. Kirby’s estate has long fought for partial rights and/or royalties to certain characters he helped co-create for Marvel. So this case, which is now going back down the legal chain for a new trial, might have some pretty implications that go beyond Ghost Rider.
A long time ago, when Marvel was struggling to survive, let along make superhero movies, they sold the rights to numerous characters to various studios looking to cash in. Jump forward a decade or so and suddenly Marvel Studios is making some pretty successful movies, but those heroes rights that had been sold, remained out of reach, even for a cameo.
Studios often cranked out movies just to retain the rights, just look at Sony and the recent Amazing Spider-man reboot. You know that Marvel would have loved to put a Spider-Man cameo in the Avengers, fans would have loved it too.
Recently, many of the rights for those Marvel heroes have lapsed and returned to Marvel Studios, like the Punisher and Daredevil. Now, according to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, two more names can now be added to the list of returned rights.
Ghost Rider & Blade
Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Feige, Here’s what he had to say about the returning hero rights:
Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore – and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well-received.
Although Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance grossed $132 million, it was panned by many fans and reviewers and wasn’t a strong return on the film’s investment. Don’t get excited about the rights return yet though, just because these character rights are back, Disney’s not just gonna crank out new movies.
They all have potential, but we’re not going to say ‘We got it back – make it.’
Who knows though, maybe we could see some Midnight Sons on the big screen. The return also opens the door for cameos. No one is sure what Disney will do with the more adult, violent characters like Ghost Rider, the Punisher, or Blade. Many are betting that Disney won’t make movies with “R” ratings.
There’s a market for these films though, and Disney won’t let valuable properties lay around gathering dust and doing nothing. Sooner or later those characters will be used, even if it’s just to resell the rights to another studio willing to make movies with those characters.
A Marvel movie must be coming out soon* because Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is talking a lot about the studio and its various projects.
*Obviously, I know that Iron Man 3 comes out tomorrow. In fact I believe we’ve already posted our review.
So what else is new? Well, Feige talked to Entertainment Weekly about casting next summer’s major Marvel opus, Guardians of the Galaxy. The film stars Chris Pratt as the Guardians’ human leader Star Lord, but what made the Parks & Rec star the winning choice for such a key role? “He’s a hilariously frumpy, doofy guy in Parks and Rec, and he’s an incredibly kickass ripped guy in Zero Dark Thirty and that’s pretty awesome,” says Feige. “He’s going to need that in Guardians. That’s a big range right there.”
And finding that range was no easy task, adds Feige. “We did a lot of auditions, a lot of screen tests, just as we did for Thor, just as we did for Cap. [Pratt] was hilarious, he was moving, he was … you bought him in the early versions of the outfit.”
Also not easy, or at least not as easy as it seems, is having chemistry with your co-stars, and that was one of selling points in Guardians‘ next bit of casting when Marvel hired former-WWE champion Dave Bautista to play Drax the Destroyer. “One of the reasons Bautista got the part was because his banter, and ad libs, and screen tests with Pratt were awesome,” says Feige.
In closing, before moving on to other movie news, here’s a new piece of Guardians concept art for you:
In Ant Man news – you heard me – Feige talked about the project’s perpetual state of development hell/suspended animation saying that it was originally intended to be the studio’s follow-up to Iron Man, but now with an expected release date sometime after The Avengers 2, the script will now have to by updated to reflect the expanded state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Frankly, now we have to re-write it to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed,” Feige explains. “We’ve talked about various names [to play the lead] over the past eight years but as you can imagine they keep changing as time goes by. But towards the end of this year, we’ll buckle down and start casting and start refining the script, which is great and which is very Edgar [Wright]. He has done a great job being incredibly true to the comics but is putting his own spin on it, so we’ll be drawing on multiple mythologies for this one.”
Meanwhile, the movie rights for a number of other Marvel characters such as Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade and, of course, Daredevil, have reverted back to Marvel recently, but Feige says don’t expect new Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade and Daredevil films right away.
“Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore – and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well received,” he says. “They all have potential, but we’re not going to say, ‘We got it back – make it!'”
Finally, in a recent interview with /Film and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, Feige talked about the nature of trying to keep the details of his projects secret in the era of internet journalism. Here’s the exchange with /Film’s Peter Sciretta:
Peter Sciretta: You’re a very internet-savvy guy and it seems like you’re reading everything… There’s a lot of sites up there reporting leaks or rumors or sometimes even misinformation. I wanted to get your thoughts on “How does Marvel deal with this” in an age when sharing information on the internet is becoming unstoppable.
Kevin Feige: What are you talking about? Latino Review?
Nobody specifically. Really just interested in how Marvel Studios is evolving to handle the internet as a whole…
How would you “punish” them if you were us?
Its an interesting question. I think the only thing you could probably do is exclude them — don’t give them access. Don’t invite them to set visits, to junkets. But I don’t know, info is always going to get out there and someones always going to be posting it.
Here’s what I will say, since X-men one frankly, where a photo was stolen off a wardrobe thing and it was the very first look of Hugh Jackman in costume as him under flourescents… it looked awful. (Laughs) It was just like “Oh, this is the world we are living in. This is the reality.” So we’ve always just accepted it. Spy pictures will leak and we used to try to run ahead and put out a cool picture first. Now if we have a cool picture we will put it out, but if we don’t, that’s okay.
Misinformation… You know, it gets a little annoying when somebody is like “This is what’s happening! This is what Kevin Feige is doing!” It’s annoying when they are right and it’s equally annoying when they are wrong, because everybody passes it. “Planet Hulk is the next thing” and everybody talks about it and you’re just like “Okay, but you’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting it.”
Shane Black: (smirking) It’s like Iron Man flying off to see The Guardians at the end of this one…
You read that everywhere.
Kevin Feige: Exactly, but then again, nobody knew about Redford until we announced it. Nobody knew about what you know now having seen Iron Man 3, so as long as there are secrets that big that are still being kept, I know it’s nobody in the inner circle. Does that make sense?
Thanks to Comic Book Movie, Comic Book Movie and /Film
Surprising News: Sam Raimi has no interest in directing a follow-up to his recent megahit, Oz: The Great And Powerful.
Might Be Surprising If Anyone Cared News: Nicolas Cage has stated he will not be playing the title role in a third installment of one of Marvel’s relatively rare cinematic missteps: The Ghost Rider franchise.
Let’s start by talking about a movie people would actually SEE: Disney is apparently already moving forward with an Oz sequel, which shocks no one, but Raimi had this to say in a recent interview with Bleeding Cool:
I haven’t planned on directing the sequel. I did leave some loose ends for another director if they want to make the picture. I tried to make it a complete ending, so that the audience would be fulfilled, but I also let Evenora and Theodora get away. I was attracted to this story but I don’t think the second one would have the thing I would need to get me interested.
Raimi’s never had a problem with sequels in the past (or with inexplicably changing his mind), so perhaps there’s still a glimmer of hope for a second Raimi-helmed Oz.
Not so much for a third Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider, however…and I’m trying my best to give a crap–but I don’t seem to have one to spare.
For what it’s worth, here’s what Cage told Collider when the subject was broached:
It’s possible, but it won’t be with me. I’ve said what I have to say. I don’t want to say never… anything’s possible. But I doubt, highly, that I would be in a third installment of that.
Apparently Cage was, I quote, “very pumped” about the idea just last year (The fact that /Film couldn’t even be bothered to give this news it’s own article shows you how “pumped” everyone else was). If he’s lost interest/come to his senses, then the chances of a GR3 that isn’t direct-to-DVD seem rather scant. No huge loss, to be honest.