While the superhero movie industry took a break over the holidays, 2017 has started with everything picking up right where it left off, with Batman rumors, the promise of more Marvel superheroes team-ups, and even Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine maybe not going away after all. Here, for the first time this year, are the highlights of the last week’s superhero movie news.
SUPER IDEA: Ben Affleck Doing Quality Control for Batman
Hey, you know that Batman solo movie that Ben Affleck is directing, that’s reportedly coming out in place of the originally announced Justice League, Part 2 in 2019? Funny story: If this new interview with Affleck is to be believed, it’s nowhere near as ready to shoot as some thought, and there’s the possibility that it might not happen at all. “It’s not a set thing and there’s no script,” he told The Guardian. “If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great, I’m not going to do it.” Dear Warner Bros.: You might want to ensure that your Batman movie is really, really good. Or else check some contracts, just in case.
Why this is super: While the prospect of not having a standalone Batman movie is likely not super to Warners execs or Batfans, there’s something oddly amusing about Affleck hedging his bets about the movie. At least we know he’s on top of quality control.
SUPER IDEA: More Doctor Strange in Thor: Ragnarok
As if the end of Doctor Strange wasn’t enough to suggest that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme might be popping up in Thor: Ragnarok, Disney’s D23 fan club is now placing Doctor Strange right at the center of the movie, writing in a plot synopsis of Ragnarok that the movie “brings together Thor, the Hulk and Doctor Strange to face off against intergalactic baddies both familiar and new.” Will this movie actually be a triple-hero-threat, instead of just the Hulk/Thor team-up most people expected?
Why this is super: If we really are about to get more Strange than expected in Ragnarok, us old-school comic fans are very excited. Having Hulk, Doctor Strange, and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie in the same movie means now this flick only needs the Silver Surfer and the Sub-Mariner to have the original comic book Defenders line up. Whee!
SUPER IDEA: Natalie Portman Becoming Thor
This is an interesting one; in an interview with Deadline, Natalie Portman admitted that she had reconsidered her feelings about superhero movies and big franchises, after seemingly walking away from them. (Her Jane Foster is absent from the third Thor, for example). “It is amazing to get to make movies that become part of so many people’s imaginations because it really is so widespread and now having a little boy too, you really see how much this becomes part of play and imagination and your internal life as a kid. It is really an incredible thing to get to be part of,” she explained. “It is really challenging for me … and I don’t feel like I have gotten it yet.” When asked specifically if she’d be interested in returning to Marvel, she said, “Yeah, well, hopefully one day I figure it out.” Why is this so interesting, you might ask? Well, in the comic books, Jane Foster turns out to be pretty important to the entire mythology of the Thor franchise. In fact, these days, Jane Foster is Thor. Could the opportunity to take on the lead in a superhero movie be what brings Portman back to the Marvel fold?
Why this is super: If Portman could take on the mantle of the new Thor on the big screen, it’d be a big deal–especially considering how long it’s taken the studio to get a female-led movie going. Having a woman step into lead an existing series of movies could be the perfect way around the internal inertia that’s slowed things down so far. (Remember, Captain Marvel still doesn’t have a director…)
SUPER IDEA: Seeing the New Logan Trailer Early (Kind Of)
In case you can’t stop thinking of the next (and reportedly, final) Wolverine movie, Logan, then 20th Century Fox has set up a new site just for you: 1974 Frames of Logan is releasing the final trailer for James Mangold’s movie one frame at a time, in glorious black and white. If you’re wondering why 1,974 frames in particular, it’s very possible that it’s a deliberate shoutout to the year when the character first appeared in comics, back when he was just a one-off threat in The Incredible Hulk. (Early adopters of the site had the chance to receive prints of specific frames, but those are sadly no longer available; sorry, all.)
Why this is super: As far as promo goes, Logan is already the best Wolverine movie to date. Admittedly, it doesn’t have the strongest competition to have to deal with in that regard, but still.
SUPER IDEA: A Wolverine and Deadpool Buddy Movie
Of course, maybe Logan won’t be the final Wolverine movie after all–or, at least, the final movie in which Hugh Jackman plays the character. The actor admitted to Variety that he is, indeed, tempted by the idea of playing Wolverine in a buddy movie with Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. “I’m hesitating … because I could totally see how that’s the perfect fit. But the timing may be wrong,” he said. For his part, Reynolds is entirely onboard… not just with this particular possibility, but with anything Deadpool. “I would love to play Deadpool for as long as they would let me play Deadpool,” he told the trade magazine. “We have outlines and stories for a number of different films.”
Why this is super: On the one hand, Hugh Jackman should just stop already. On the other, the idea of a movie that outright makes fun of Hugh Jackman for not stopping, right to his face? That’s surprisingly tempting.