“Iron Man 3” was number-one at the box office after the weekend results were all totaled. According to boxofficemojo.com it took in an estimated $175.3 million dollars. This ranks it the second all-time highest grossing movie opening behind last year’s “The Avengers”, which took in $207.4 million. The movie is also doing well overseas, and is on its way to earning well over $1 billion worldwide.
“Iron Man 2” grossed $128.1 million dollars when it was released. The reaction in this case is the direct opposite of what generally happens, as nearly all sequels decline from their predecessor — but not so much for comic book adaptations. In this case, some audiences viewed ‘Iron Man 3’ as a follow-up to ‘The Avengers’, as well as a sequel to ‘Iron Man 2’. As no other major releases occurred this past weekend, it made for a great blockbuster opening. Prior to the success of the ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Avengers’ franchises were the successes of the “Spider Man” and “Batman” movies. Now that Disney has bought Marvel Comics and the “Star Wars” brands, movies adapted from comic books and the brain child of George Lucas will only continue to be produced.
Already set for release are “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” As Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man is the cornerstone of the Marvel Comic movie releases presently, entries that don’t feature him make gross less than the ‘Iron Man’ releases. The “Iron Man” franchise would definitely not be as popular if it wasn’t for Downey’s presence. His journey as an actor has been phenomenal amidst challenges, and he’s now taking on the role of Producer, for his next film “The Judge.” Set for release next year, Robert stars opposite another named Robert — last name Duvall, in a story about a successful lawyer that returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral. Once there, he discovers that his estranged father — the town’s judge — is suspected of murder according to imdb.com. “The Avengers 2”, is now only “rumored” to star Downey and all the other cast members of the first installment, simply because they have not begun shooting yet, but all are expected back — it’s set for release in 2015.
New comic book movies that have been announced to go into production include: “Deadpool”; “Doctor Strange”; “Nick Fury”; and “The Hands of Shang-Chi.” Stan Lee is on board as Executive Producer (EP) for all four projects. We first saw the character “Deadpool” featured in one of the “X-Men” installments portrayed by actor Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds later took on the role of “Green Lantern” in a lack luster feature of the DC Comic book hero. ‘Doctor Strange’ is the story of a maimed surgeon that finds a new life when a wizard trains him to become the new Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. Ang Lee is also an EP on Marvel’s “The Hands of Shang-Chi.” Lee was at the helm for the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” that featured some incredible martial arts segments; he also directed the first ‘Hulk’ movie (it stunk). Samuel L. Jackson has appeared several times now as “Sgt. Nick Fury.” One of the head men of S.H.I.E.L.D., the government organization that organized ‘The Avengers’, the new series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will air on ABC this fall. S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. “Ant-Man” is another Marvel adaptation in the preliminary stages. The story of Biochemist Dr. Hank Pym who uses his latest discovery — a group of subatomic particles — to create a size-altering formula, his first self-test goes awry. As a result, he develops an instrument that helps him communicate with and control insects. Directed by Edgar Wright of “Shaun of the Dead and “Hot Fuzz” fame, it’s scheduled for release in 2015.
Additional Marvel Comic book heroes that are being rumored to be brought to the big screen are “Luke Cage” and the “Black Panther.” “Black Panther” is the alter-ego of T’Challa, prince of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. A superhero with enhanced strength and agility, who uses his intellect, mysticism, and a variety of technological weapons developed from his country’s primary resource – the metal alloy known as “vibranium” – to fight evil. Said to be like an African version of Batman, the character debuted in 1966 as the first mainstream black superhero, and has been a member of The Avengers since 1968. Marvel movie fans have wanted Black Panther to come to light, as it’s something that Marvel and a few studios have considered for years. Wesley Snipes was once attached to a Black Panther film through Columbia Pictures during the 90s. Snipes starred as the Marvel comic book character “Blade” in three installments. “Luke Cage” was once said to star Tyrese Gibson and be directed by John Singleton at one point. The comic book adaptation was to focus on a former gang member that was framed for a crime. While in prison, he volunteers for a medical experiment that goes awry, giving him super strength and bulletproof skin. The man then becomes Luke Cage, escapes from prison and uses his powers as a hero for hire. There’s been no word on production for this flick for quite some time, last said to be in re-writes.
Lastly, the film rights for “Daredevil” are back in the hands of Marvel again according to MTV’s “Splash Page” about a week ago. President Kevin Feige confirmed it after months of fans assuming that was the case. The rights were said to have reverted back to Marvel after Fox failed to get a reboot of the superhero up and running before the expiration date. Fox did review several ideas, but nothing transpired.
The first “Daredevil” starred Ben Affleck and his now wife, Jennifer Garner as the then, soon to be “Elektra,” in her own one-off movie. The “Daredevil” character debuted in 1964. Movies comic book fans are looking forward to this summer are the highly anticipated “Wolverine” and the “Man of Steel.” Christopher Nolan, who directed and co-wrote the latest “Batman” franchise with David S. Goyer — who wrote the ‘Blade’ trilogy — also developed the story with Goyer for the “Man of Steel.” “Man of Steel” stars Henry Cavill as “Superman” and Laurence Fishburne as “Perry White.”
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