Marvel's big game-plan for the next couple of years got rolling on Friday, with the debut (to somewhat mixed reaction) of the first trailer for "Thor." It was the first real salvo in a marketing campaign that's set to last for the next eighteen months, with Thor hitting theaters next May, "Captain America: The First Avenger" in July, and team-up movie "The Avengers" following in May 2012. It's a plan of almost unprecedented scope and ambition, not to mention risk, and Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, marked the occasion by taking part in a webchat over at Hero Complex not long after the trailer went online.
As these things tend to be, it was a fairly wide-ranging discussion, which Cinema Blend has filtered through to find the choicest quotes. Perhaps the biggest news can be filed under rumor control, as Feige put paid to some reports that have cropped up over the last year. Firstly, CHUD had reported earlier in the year that another Marvel team, The Invaders, would crop up in "Captain America." The team, an international group of heroes including the likes of Union Jack, Spitfire, Silver Scorpion and the Sub-Mariner, was said to be an attempt to give the patriotic hero more worldwide appeal.
Feige though, says that The Invaders won't appear in the film. However it is a little curious, as CHUD had actually gotten their info from both Feige and director Joe Johnston themselves, the latter telling the site that "They'll be in the entire second half." Furthermore, undervalued British actor JJ Feild ("Telstar," "Centurion") is listed on call sheets as playing Falsworth in the film -- Montgomery Falsworth being the real name of Invaders member Union Jack -- although, again, it's entirely possible that this is an Easter egg for fans. We can't say that we'll miss them too much, as the film would have risked "Wolverine" style hero over-saturation with their presence, but it seems like some major script changes were made in the run up to the film's shoot kicking off last July.
Feige also said that reports that started with Latino Review in the summer, of the studio planning to introduce smaller characters with short films playing before the features, Pixar-style, were incorrect, although he does call it a good idea. The biggest non-denial news, although it's been assumed for a while, is confirmation of what Edgar Wright's been up to since finishing Scott Pilgrim -- working on another draft of "Ant-Man." Interestingly, though, Feige doesn't mention that, or "Runaways," which was originally set to shoot early next year, when he talks about the company's post-"Avengers" plans, instead referring to Dr. Strange, Black Panther and Luke Cage. Other revelations include:
- Donald Blake, the human alter-ego of "Thor" in comics continuity, will be referred to in Kenneth Branagh's film, although it sounds like it'll be an Easter egg for fans rather than anything else.
- A "Captain America" trailer is currently being cut, and will debut in "the new year." We reckon a debut timed with the January release of "The Green Hornet" is likely.
- "A very talented writer" is currently working on a script for kung-fu hero "Iron Fist" -- presumably Feige means "xXx" writer Rich Wilkes, who was announced back in August, although that would seem to stretch the definition of 'talented.'
- Samuel L. Jackson won't appear in the World War Two sections of "Captain America"
- Joss Whedon was picked for "The Avengers" because "He doesn't lose sight of the characters no matter how big and crazy the spectacle gets."
Check the whole thing out over at Hero Complex. "Thor" hits theaters on May 6th, 2011, with "Captain America' following on July 22nd, and "The Avengers" on May 4th 2012.