Robert Downey Jr. In Talks To Return As Tony Stark For THE AVENGERS 2 + 3; IRON MAN 4 Not Being Discussed

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You can check out details on Marvel’s problems with renegotiating with The Avengers 2 cast in the post below, but here, we have a little more insight into the studio’s attempt to get Robert Downey Jr. to return as Iron Man. The actor is in talks to reprise the role of Tony Stark in two sequels to The Avengers (the first of which has a May 1st, 2015 release date, while the third movie won’t arrive until 2017/2018). However, despite Iron Man 3‘s huge success in the past couple weeks, a fourth film starring the Armored Avenger hasn’t been apart of the discussions. Additionally, it’s uncertain if Downey is up for a fourth Iron Man installment. “It would be a definite negative for that particular franchise. He is Tony Stark. The other individual franchises — Thor, Captain America, Hulk — etc., don’t have near the level of box-office potential that Iron Man does,” says analyst Doug Creutz. “The other way to look at it is that Iron Man would probably look more like those other franchises in terms of box-office performance without Downey.” However, with Iron Man proving to be such a popular character, Marvel might continue with as many films featuring the character as possible – with or without Downey. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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THE AVENGER Cast Assembles Against Marvel In Demand Of More Money For The Sequel

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Robert Downey Jr. was paid a hearty $70-80M for his role as Iron Man in Marvel’s The Avengers, but the rest of the ensemble’s cast were paid far less. In response to this, and with a sequel well into development, many of the film’s cast members are demanding a higher pay for 2015’s The Avengers 2. Deadline has an incredibly in-depth story on the issue, but long story short: “Marvel and therefore owner Disney are going to run into big trouble on that sequel because the upfront pay, backend compensation, break-even points and box office bonuses aren’t pinned down yet for several big stars and castmates.” The cast of The Avengers other than Downey are demanding at least $5M upfront for the sequel, and they’re rallying behind Tony Stark. Additionally, Marvel had trouble getting Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans to commit to returning for Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (” hear Hemsworth especially wasn’t anxious to go back into that arduous diet and training regimen and subsist primarily on egg whites for Thor: Dark World which hits theaters November 8th. … After hard-fought bargaining, Chris Evans for Captain America 2 and Chris Hemsworth for Thor 2 wound up with deals still weighted on the back end but at least with attainable break-even numbers and small upfront guarantees and box office bonuses.”) Much more can be found at Deadline.   

Which DC Comics Icon Will Be Referenced In MAN OF STEEL? Find Out Here

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A few weeks ago, it was confirmed that Man Of Steel will indeed include references to other DC Comics characters, and if it’s as big of a hit as we’re anticipating, the Zack Snyder-directed reboot will kick off a DC Cinematic Universe. Which exact characters being referenced is unknown (though much speculation has pointed to Wonder Woman), but a new report suggests that a certain character will be the subject of at least two easter eggs in the film, despite having a movie released not too long ago. Obligatory spoiler warning for those who don’t want to know; in that case, stop reading right now. 

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We previously saw the LexCorp building in the third Man Of Steel trailer, but it turns out that the Lex Luthor-fronted business will not be the only big one that will be referenced. That’s right, Gotham City’s Wayne Enterprises – owned by Bruce Wayne, the secret identity of Batman – will get a reference. Not only that, but a direct reference to the Caped Crusader himself will be made. However, this will definitely NOT be the same Batman that we saw in The Dark Knight Trilogy (where he was portrayed brilliantly by Christian Bale), but will be a new cinematic take on the character which will be used in the proposed DC Cinematic Universe. Hopefully, we can expect to see more DC Universe references when Man Of Steel opens June 14th. [Comic Book Therapy]

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Silver Samurai Featured In New Character Poster For THE WOLVERINE + New Promo Banner For MAN OF STEEL

With Iron Man 3 in theaters now, we have new promo pieces for the next two big superhero movies. Director James Mangold has tweeted a new character poster for his Japanese noir The Wolverine, which sees Hugh Jackman return as one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters to date. This poster, in the style of the first teaser one-sheet released last year, depicts the villainous Silver Samurai (played by Will Yun Lee). And thanks to the official Facebook page for Man Of Steel, we have a majestic new promo banner featuring Henry Cavill’s Superman. Check out both images below and stay tuned for more. Man Of Steel opens June 14th, while The Wolverine arrives July 26th.

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Weekly Casting News Round-Up: TRANSFORMERS 4, INTERSTELLAR, CINDERELLA, HERCULES

In this week’s casting news round-up: The next Transformers movie has a (human) villain, Christopher Nolan’s next adds two very impressive cast members, Disney has found its new Cinderella, and Brett Ratner’s Hercules has a female lead.

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*With filming set to begin in July, casting is continuing for Transformers 4. Kelsey Grammar, who’s best known to mainstream audiences as Beast in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, has been cast as the lead human villain in the Michael Bay-directed fourquel. He will play Harold Attinger, described as “a counter intelligence guy.” Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz and Stanley Tucci also star in Transformers 4, which hits theaters June 27th, 2014. [Deadline]

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*This week also saw new additions to Paramount’s co-production with Warner Bros., Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film Interstellar. Jessica Chastain, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for Zero Dark Thirty, is in talks for the third lead role in the movie (the other two are filled by Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway). In far less surprising news, it was also reported that Michael Caine will join Interstellar, marking his sixth film with Nolan (the two previously collaborated on The PrestigeInception and The Dark Knight Trilogy). As expected, any details on their roles are under wraps. With filming expected to begin later this year, Interstellar is set to hit theaters November 7th, 2014. [Deadline]

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*Disney announced this week that, after a long search, Downton Abbey‘s Lily James has landed the title role in  the upcoming live action adaptation of Cinderella, which will be helmed by Thor director Lily James. Cate Blanchett is on board as the wicked stepmother. Emma Watson was initially in talks for the role, with a slew of other young actresses (such as The Host‘s Saoirse Ronan) in contention. Filming may begin this fall. [Walt Disney Pictures]

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*Finally, we have another addition to the cast of Brett Ratner’s graphic novel adaptation Hercules, which sees Dwayne Johnson taking on the role of the iconic mythological character. Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Chernobyl Diaries) has been cast as the lead female character in the film, playing a warrior who fights alongside Hercules. Ian McShane and Joseph Fiennes also star in the movie, which will begin filming next month. Hercules is set to hit theaters July 25th, 2014. [Variety]

New Theatrical Poster And TV Spot For MAN OF STEEL Unveiled

Even with all of today’s Marvel news, we have a couple of tidbits for DC’s next film, Man Of Steel. The final theatrical poster for the Zack Snyder-directed film went online today, and it sees Henry Cavill’s Superman flying above the city of Metropolis. We also have a brand new TV spot which features some fantastic snippets of new footage.  Stay tuned for more news as we have it. Man Of Steel is set to hit theaters June 14th. [Yahoo! Movies]

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Highlights From EW’s Marvel Coverage: Phase Two Concept Art, ANT-MAN Update, & Ghost Rider Film Rights Revert To Disney/Marvel

With Iron Man 3 covering this week’s Entertainment Weekly, the magazine features a massive preview for Marvel Studios’ Phase Two and beyond. We have a new still from Thor: The Dark World, concept art for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy, an update on Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man film, confirmation of two new characters in Joss Whedon’s script for The Avengers 2, and Ghost Rider has officially reverted back to Marvel from Sony Pictures. Check out highlights of EW’s coverage below.

*Sources confirm to Entertainment Weekly that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the children of X-Men‘s Magneto, are in Joss Whedon’s script for The Avengers 2. However, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige refuses to confirm or deny this, but he teases shifts in the main roster and confirms that the six original members from the first film  – Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye – will all be featured. All of the Avengers from the first film will be back and they will be the core team, but what’s fun is that the roster shifts. It was always the intention to have a story line that brought in, obviously, new bad guys and potentially new heroes. I’m not confirming nor denying [Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver], but the draft could change six months from now. If we’re going to add new characters, there’s going to be a major part of the movie.”

*Feige also talks about the cast for Guardians Of The Galaxy and confirms Zoe Saldana’s role as Gamora, stating that he thinks that “audiences will respond to an alien Zoë Saldaña – because they did respond to that one time before [with Avatar].” He also had this to say about casting Chris Pratt in the lead role of Peter Quill/Star-Lord. He’s a hilariously frumpy, doofy guy in Parks and Rec, and he’s an incredibly kickass ripped guy in Zero Dark Thirty and that’s pretty awesome. He’s going to need that in Guardians. That’s a big range right there. We did a lot of auditions, a lot of screen tests, just as we did for Thor, just as we did for Cap. [Pratt] was hilarious, he was moving, he was … you bought him in the early versions of the outfit.” Finally, Feige comments on casting Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer. “One of the reasons Bautista got the part was because his banter, and ad libs, and screen tests with Pratt were awesome.” 

*Feige then offers an update on the long in-development Ant-Man film, saying that casting will begin at the end of the year once the script is rewritten. “Frankly, now we have to re-write it to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed. … But towards the end of this year, we’ll buckle down and start casting and start refining the script, which is great and which is very Edgar. He has done a great job being incredibly true to the comics but is putting his own spin on it, so we’ll be drawing on multiple mythologies for this one.” 

*Perhaps this news could be most exciting of all: The film rights for Ghost Rider have officially gone back to Marvel. After two mediocre films starring Nicolas Cage, the Spirit of Vengeance is now free to be used in the MCU. However, Feige doesn’t sound like he’s in a hurry to see recently reverted characters again anytime soon. “Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore — and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well received. They all have potential, but we’re not going to say, ‘We got it back — make it!'”

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Thor: The Dark World – In Theaters November 8th, 2013

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier – In Theaters April 4th, 2014

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Guardians Of The Galaxy – In Theaters August 1st, 2014