Weekly Round Up: Captain Marvel, Chloe Zhao, Red Sonja

Chloe Zhao

Right, first up, sorry, but there’s a lot of Marvel news this week and not an awful lot else that I think people will be all that interested in beyond the fact that Cary Fukunaga, director of HBO’s incredibly successful and popular first season of True Detective, has signed on to helm the upcoming Bond 25 after Danny Boyle left, meaning Bond 25 will be the first time an American takes the reigns on the iconic British super spy. We’ll see what happens, but I consider this good news.

A friend of mine said they didn’t think an America could do Bond justice, but both Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson are America, and as the producers they likely have the most creative input for the franchise, so… who knows.

Anyway, we’ve got a buttload of Marvel stuff to get through. So, hold your breath, and here we go; This week saw the trailer for Captain Marvel drop (and twitter handled it in suitably ridiculous fashion by turning the moment Brie Larson punches an elderly woman on a bus into a meme) and the initial response has been widely positive.

Of course, it’s hard to know anything from a trailer alone, but we’ve already started seeing the usual speculation and breakdowns of the video, so, if you were so inclined, there’s plenty of stuff out there for you to find to scratch that Marvel itch.

Some people got very angry over the fact that Brie Larson didn’t appear to smile in the trailer, suggest that she needs to “smile more”, to which I say, “hey, you people who think that. You’re idiots. A trailer isn’t a whole movie, it’s the most dramatic parts of a film cut together in a cool way to make you want to go and see it, and when you’re dealing with a big franchise that often includes world ending scenarios like deadly alien invasions, chances are the more dramatic moments aren’t likely going to feature Brie Larson sat down having a laugh with her mates, are they?”

But, let’s be honest, logic doesn’t play much part in this, does it. It’s sexism. Yeah. Yeah it is. Sexist idiots who think women look prettier when they smile and that that is something they need to do. The world gets worse by the second these days, don’t it?

Meanwhile, staying with Marvel, we’ve had some more interesting developments on their other properties. Firstly, there’s the news that the summer-long search for a director to helm Marvel’s upcoming The Eternals project has finally come to a close.

The studio has hired indie director Chloe Zhao to helm the project. Zhao is best known for her 2017 drama Western The Rider, which starred Brady Jandreau and was met with a warm critical reception upon its small release.

For those of you who don’t know, The Eternals is a Marvel comics property that focuses on a fiction race of humans described as an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth. The characters were created by comic book artist Jack Kirby, and they first appeared in issue number one of The Eternals, in 1979.

Which, to me, and I’m not a comic book fan nor would I pretend to know what I’m talking about (he said in his weekly news round-up bulletin on a national film blog), sounds an awful lot like The Inhumans. But if you know the behind the scenes stuff about Marvel TV and all that, well… let’s just say it’s kind of amusing that The Eternals is moving forward now. If you don’t know why, I strongly suggest you go look it up.

Zhao’s adaptation is reportedly set to focus heavily on the romantic aspect between two of leads, Ikaris and Sersi. Zhao’s involvement shows that Marvel is sticking to its tested formula of hiring young indie directors for their projects, and Zhao follows in the footsteps of both Taika Waititi, who directed 2017’s Thor: Ragnorak, and the directors of the upcoming Captain Marvel, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck.

In other Marvel news, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed this week that, in the wake of Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s film and television wings, Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige will be overseeing all future adaptations of the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Deadpool.

When speaking with the Hollywood reporter Iger said; “It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn’t be two Marvels”.

So, does this mean that the X-Men will be joining the MCU after all? Well, speculation has already been running rampant, but sure, why not? Quite how it all fits in is anyone’s guess, I mean, to me it seems a little weird that they would suddenly have mutants in this universe and yet never have mentioned it before, and that is the entire premise of the X-Men, so it is a little hard to ignore but… well, we are talking about a universe that includes wizards and aliens, so…

One thing we can be sure about though is that Bryan Singer is unlikely to be returning to the franchise, which… y’know, good, because he’s a creep. Unfortunately, he’s working on a Red Sonja remake, which is a really stupid idea for reasons I don’t even want to go into now.

But that’s it for this week. Hopefully we’ll be able to cover more next week, but Marvel being the behemoth they are… eventually it was bound to happen.

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Alex Secker is a writer/director/editor. His debut feature film, the micro-budget thriller Follow the Crows, won Best Independent Film at the Global Film Festival Awards, while his stage-play, The Door, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival.


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