Let’s just take a brief poll for a second. Hands up everyone who thought last week’s trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming was far more impressive than expected, especially considering it’ll be the second reboot for the big screen franchise in the last decade? OK, that’s a lot of you. And every one of you is correct. That trailer was pretty sweet. That doesn’t compute at all, but while you’re trying to come to terms with that strange and wonderful fact, please sit down and go through these other highlights of superhero movie news from the last seven days.
SUPER IDEA: Harley Quinn Has a Posse
For those who expected Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn to return in a second Suicide Squad movie… Surprise! Turns out that she’ll show up next in Gotham City Sirens, an all-female supervillain team movie, directed by Squad director David Ayer with a script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who recently worked on the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. The same Hollywood Reporter story that broke that news also revealed that Warner Bros. isn’t just developing this, but also Suicide Squad 2 and a Deadshot spin-off featuring Will Smith’s antihero. For those wondering why, it’s worth noting that Suicide Squad ended up making more money internationally than Deadpool.
Why this is super: Robbie’s Harley was one of the highlights of Squad, and bringing the Sirens property to the big screen means that the likelihood of pairing her with Poison Ivy–her on-again off-again girlfriend in comic book continuity–is high. Is the world ready for queer big screen superheroics? (The answer, we hope, is yes.)
SUPER IDEA: The Batman Movie Taking Its Bat-Time
Remember when we thought that perhaps Batman was going to start shooting this year, earlier than expected? Well… maybe not. “We still have to get a screenplay and get it together,” director/star Ben Affleck said during an appearance as part of the New York Times’ TimesTalks series when asked about progress on the project, which will apparently take Justice League 2?s place on the release schedule. “I’m a real believer in not reverse engineering projects to meet a window or a date, but rather when you get the right story, the right idea, the right thing, then you make the movie. That’s what we’re doing, and I’m hoping to get that done. I’m spending a lot of time working on that, but also working on other stuff.”
Why this is super: Well, firstly, Ben, what the hell with this “other stuff” you’re working on? Don’t you know that there are people out here breathlessly waiting for another Batman movie? But secondly, at least we can now rest assured that the movie isn’t going to be crap because it’s been rushed to hit a deadline. (Cue the “No, this one will find all-new reasons to be crap” jokes.)
SUPER IDEA: Michael Keaton Returning to Superhero Movies
Spider-Man: Homecoming brings Michael Keaton back to the superhero fold as the villainous Vulture. (OK, he’s just called the Vulture, but come on, how great would it be if he was called the Villainous Vulture?) Turns out, he’s been thinking about superhero movies a lot lately. “I have thought about the way things have changed, because I just did Spider-Man, and Marvel? That is one well-oiled machine. It is remarkable how they have got that whole thing covered in a really qualitative way,” Keaton said when asked by Deadline about the differences between the days of the 1989 Batman and today’s crowded superhero landscape. He went on to praise Marvel, which produced Homecoming for Sony, for “just how efficient it is, in the best sense, and how it operates on a practical level. How organized they are about what they make and how conscientious they are about what they have. They’ve got really wonderful actors for one thing, but I guess that has always been the case. Batman always had great actors surrounding that character. We had Pat Hingle and all these terrific actors. They really get that script is important, and they really protect their lore and that culture and they see the enormity of it, on a capitalistic level.”
Why this is super: On the one hand, this means nothing for the audience because even terrible working conditions can produce good movies. But it certainly seems to confirm what fans were hoping: Namely, that Marvel was fully in control of creative decisions on Homecoming, hopefully guaranteeing a certain level of quality on the next Spidey movie.
SUPER IDEA: James Gunn Discovering the Power of Baby Groot
If you thought that Baby Groot was a cynical attempt to generate fan excitement for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 based on the response to the teeny tiny Groot at the end of the first movie, writer/director James Gunn would really like to set the record straight for you. “To be honest, when I was first working on the script for Vol. 2 I was planning on it being years after the first movie and for little Groot to be a grown Groot. But there was something missing,” Gunn wrote on Facebook. “First of all, I thought there was a lot of development the group needed to go through as a group–and it would be a shame for the audience to miss it. And, secondly, for whatever reason, Groot just wasn’t working. It was then I came upon the idea of having Vol. 2 take place very shortly after the first film and for Groot to still be Baby Groot, with quite a lot to learn. Even though I had already long-ago-decided on the other characters involved, this change opened up the whole movie for me and it suddenly all came together. I fell in love with the script for Vol. 2, and I felt like we were creating something very special.” But that doesn’t mean that Baby Groot was definitely a slam-dunk, he explained. “When I approached Marvel Studios with my idea for Vol. 2 I was afraid of the involvement of Ego the Living Planet–a rather, uh, broad character in the 616 universe of Marvel Comics. I was afraid of the inclusion of Mantis and Ayesha, and more prominent roles for Nebula and Yondu. But I was even more afraid of approaching them with the concept that Baby Groot, and not Groot, would be a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Why this is super: Really, is there anyone who’d rather have adult Groot than li’l Groot? Well, aside from the Marvel comics folks, who are stuck with the grown-up variety for now. But that’ll soon change, right?