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James Spader, Scarlett Johansson, Sharon Carter, Malekith, and a Big Hinted SHIELD Cameo; Let’s Talk Marvel

With Thor coming out, SHIELD being out, and various other folks talking to reporters, there’s been a lot of Marvel in the news lately.

Let’s talk about all that Marvel news.

Starting with Thor: The Dark World. When asked if his character Malekith would be dirty dealing with Loki, Christopher Eccleston said the following (I’ll put it under a spoiler tag for the averse):

I’ve got to tell you, there really isn’t that big a connection actually, when it finally plays out. A movie comes along with a baddie, and then [for the sequel] you add another baddie to that mix. But in terms of Malekith and his maneuvering, there’s not a huge amount of screen time with those two guys together. There’s an implied connection – which Loki plays with – but it’s not hugely developed strand in the film.

And now, the two lady leads of Captain America: The Winter Soldier have their own things to say. Emily VanCamp says, to Fandango, that she loved reading up on her character, Sharon Carter: “One of the most interesting things was actually learning about it, to really start to understand just how grand this universe is. Researching my character, I started to get interested in a lot of other things that I was reading. It was just a really fun process.” When asked about Carter’s relationship with Steve Rogers, she said there is chemistry there, but “I guess you’ll see what kind when you see it.”

Scarlett Johansson also let Refinery 29 know some details of the Captain/Widow relationship in CA:TWS

It’s been two years since [the characters] appeared, and now both are agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting in the streets. We are not superheroes flying side by side. They help each other because we are fighting in a similar way. It’s a working relationship…

By a series of unfortunate encounters, they will be in a situation in which their friendship becomes more intimate. They share many similarities because they live on the defensive without relying on anyone. Also, the two have been working for the government throughout their professional careers. With their friendship they begin to question what they want and what is their true identity.

It’s interesting that Johansson says that the characters grow closer after “unfortunate” encounters, and that she continues to categorize them as friends after saying that they grow more intimate. That sounds to me like a colleagues in the spy game who shade closer to genuine friends over time, and Johansson is smart enough to articulate that. The actress also says a mouthful about women in superhero film:

I love [the role of Black Widow]. I think it is a sensational character. It is a professional, highly skilled, dangerous, mysterious superhero. I love playing it. I think that it is rare to find a woman sexy and intelligent on the big screen, able to fight anyone (including men) and overcome them physically and emotionally, and my character does it.

The majority of the superhero movies have not been very good. They were simply not made well. They were [about] spinning through the air and putting your hands on your hips. With the Black Widow we do something more, although of course the physicality and her image is important. To me, this character has given me a great opportunity. Joss has jumped the fence with Avengers to celebrate a female character that is not a simple ornament inside the group. He’s not interested in just selling her physical attractiveness.”

Speaking of The Avengers, James Spader has entered the realm of being asked about his role in superhero movies in every interview, and I hope he’s enjoying it. Seems like it.

Just this weekend I went in for them to take very extensive photographs, head scans, body scans, and all kinds of things in preparation for figuring out how the hell I’m gonna fit in this Ultron character! …

I think it’ll be a lot of fun and it’s incredibly nostalgic for me. When I was a kid my best friend had trunks of comics and I didn’t have any so I used to love going for sleepovers at his house. Also I have three sons and two of them have a great interest in comics so they’re excited I’m playing the role.

And finally. Marvel is giving out copious warnings to everybody to stick around for the preview clips at the end of this episode’s for a big guest star, and left this image as a hint to who it is:


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  • Anonymous

    The secret guest star is David Hasselhoff!

  • Anonymous

    I’m interested in seeing the first trailer for Winter Soldier. Scarjo and all the other actors keep saying it’s “grounded in reality” and from the set picks it looks like it’s light on costumes, so I’m wondering if there’s going to be a visual difference from the other Marvel movies.

    I get the sense that they’re trying to break out of the sci-fi/superhero ghetto with this one.

  • TKS

    what do you mean by “sci-fi/superheo ghetto?”

  • Anonymous

    Oh, it’s a term used to describe how critics (and especially award shows) tend to snub or thumb their noses at works with heavy sci-fi or genre elements, regardless of quality. I’m remembering how almost all of the positive reviews for The Dark Knight made sure to include some variation of “And don’t worry, adults! It’s NOT some silly superhero movie! It’s an epic crime drama that just happens to star a guy in a cape!”, as if superhero movies are inherently bad or juvenile.

    So I was just saying listening to the stuff the actors keep saying and even the stuff from people like Ed Brubaker, it sounds like Marvel is invested in getting people to take Winter Soldier “seriously”.

  • totz the plaid

    I laughed aloud at that final line of the article, which is something I rarely do when I’m alone as I am now. I love it!

  • Ali Miller

    IMO, Marvel has already broken the “superhero film” mold by approaching each individual hero movie as part of a different genre. Thor is a fantasy movie. Iron Man is a rock-n-roll action flick. The first Captain America was a period piece, and the second will be a spy film. Guardians of the Galaxy is a space opera. So on and so forth. A lot of thought is actually put into the context and space in which each character lives, instead of trying to shoehorn each one into the same formula.

  • Anonymous

    If there is a superhero ghetto, I don’t think Marvel has any real aspirations to break out of it. They’ve made it pretty obvious that their goal is to make entertainment, rather than DC’s goal of making increasingly boring and pretentious awards-bait. I’m sure that they will change their approach to WINTER SOLDIER in the same way they changed their approach to IRON MAN 3 and THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Rather than stagnate, they innovate. No one wants to see three of the same movie, and having brought Captain America from the bright, nostalgic, camp of the past they now desire to recontextualize the character to be more relevant to a modern sensibility. I think this is the right approach, and I look forward to it.

    I’m sure that Marvel Studio’s cares less what critics think and more about what movie-goers will pay to see. It’s an approach that has thus far not failed them. Sure an award would be nice, but having the top grossing film of all time is a far bigger feather in the cap in terms of recognition.

  • Anonymous

    Scarlett Johasson talks really articulately and passionately about her role in every interview I’ve read. Someone get her a stand-alone movie STAT! She’s great, and Black Widow has some awesome backstory to mine (RED ROOM!). I also wouldn’t mind seeing Iron Maiden or Snapdragon as villains in a movie…and the possibility of a Soviet Super Soldier’s cameo is positively DIZZYING. If I’m going to dream, I may as well dream big!

  • LifeLessons

    So does Black Widow.

  • Carmen Sandiego


  • Michael Singer

    Avengers was THE quintessential superhero movie, and the critics loved it.

  • Michael Singer

    Yelena Belova, enough said.