MARVEL MINUTES #1: Sam Jackson's Contract, Box Office Numbers, Xavier's Bald, And More!

So welcome to Marvel Minutes an offshoot of Marvel Madness. This will serve as another dose of Marvel news that would level the playing field, as it would've been an overwhelming situation if every bit of news was in one thing! Anyway introductions aside for the first edition we're talking Sam Jackson's contract, Box Office numbers for AoU, Xavier's bald for Apocalypse, and much much more!

Collider reporter Christina Radish recently spoke with Jackson in anticipation of his upcoming film Big Game, and during the course of their conversation the actor spoke enthusiastically about his tenure at Marvel:

“It’s an amazing amount of fun. I finally met [comics writer] Mark [Millar], last year, when I was doing Kingsman, ‘cause he was on set one day, and I finally got a chance to thank him for making Nick Fury black and changing the whole dynamic. It’s really great to be the connective tissue between so many different characters in so many different films, that brings those guys together. But I’m not in Captain America 3. I can’t figure that out, but I’m not. I guess I’m still out there, trying to figure out what happened to S.H.I.E.L.D. and who these other people are.

But it’s an amazing honor to be that guy, to be Nick Fury, to be in that particular world, and to be a character that people believe. It’s great. I’m as grateful for being in that, as I was being in Star Wars with George [Lucas] and to play a character that people remember, like Mace Windu. It’s all great. It’s hard not to be a part of something that you know, if people study film for the next 200 years, they’ll be talking about Star Wars and The Avengers series, and all that stuff.”

Jackson’s absence from the bursting-at-the-seams Captain America: Civil War cast is indeed odd, but it’s likely Marvel is saving him for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War saga. When asked how many films he has left on his contract, the actor said he thinks he has two remaining on his nine-picture deal, but he doesn’t plan on leaving the MCU:

“Of course [I’m interested in returning]! I’m looking for a contract extension right now, yeah. I’m looking to re-up.”

So if Marvel wants to keep Nick Fury around (and of course they do), Jackson is game to keep playing the character for as long as they’ll have him. As contracts for the other actors begin to expire and Marvel introduces a slew of new heroes, Doctor Strange & Captain Marvel, Nick Fury will no doubt be the glue that ties this entire Marvel Cinematic Universe together over the different phases.

London-based Territory Studio "created more than 200 screens and 80 minutes of unique animations" for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron.

A large portion of their work went into the advanced computer interfaces Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) interacted with in the film to create Ultron and Vision and to communicate with Jarvis.

Territory created new visual identities and UI for the technology seen in Avengers Tower, including Stark lab and Banner’s research lab, the Quinjet aircraft and newly introduced characters the evil Baron Von Strucker and his Fortress stronghold, and Dr Cho, whose advanced medical lab supports the Avengers in the story.

Check it out in the video below.

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron UI Reel from Territory on Vimeo.

Sebastian Stan, who plays The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just posted a picture of his new bearded mug. Along with the photo, Stan posted the hashtags #civilwar and #pickyourside.

#marvel #civilwar #pickyourside
A photo posted by @imsebastianstan on

We know what you're thinking—“But Winter Soldier never had a beard in the comics!” Yeah, well Joker never had a tattoo on his forehead in the comics, and look what happened there. It will be interesting to see how the beard may factor into the story. Now that Bucky has his marbles back, it’s possible that he’s been trying to go incognito. Either way, that beard is bound to feel unpleasant in Atlanta, Georgia, where Civil War is currently filming.

There's no stopping Avengers: Age Of Ultron. As audiences continue to flock in droves to the Marvel sequel, the latest box office report claims the movie has now passed $900M internationally - making it only the 5th title to do so after Avatar, Titanic, Furious 7, and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2.

The Joss Whedon directed blockbuster is still playing in 91 territories, and though it still has a ways to go to catch the $1,518.6B accumulated by the first Avengers, it currently has a mighty worldwide gross of $1,327B.

After the debacle that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, most fans never truly expected to see an R-rated Deadpool film come to life on the big screen. One man who never seemed to give up was star Ryan Reynolds, who shocked the world with that hilarious April Fools reveal last month. Since then, we've had plenty of goodies from the set of the movie - including some great shots of the Merc-With-A-Mouth in action in that iconic red-and-black suit.

That time appears to have come to an end now, with Reynolds announcing the end of principal photography on his Twitter account just moments ago. Never one to go out quietly, it seems he's left the folks in Vancouver one last parting gift:

Thankfully, we won't have very long to wait until the actual movie is released on February 12, 2016.

After making small appearences in previous X-films X2, The Last Stand and Days of Future Past, the character of Piotr Rasputin, aka Colossus, is stepping up to a bigger role in next year’s Deadpool. The announcement that Daniel Cudmore would not reprise his role came as a surprise to some, and since then we’ve heard very little in the way of official casting. Once Upon A Time and Seventh Son actor Andre Tricoteux was spotted in a grey motion capture suit (seen above) on the set of the Tim Miller-helmed movie, though it was never confirmed that it was Colossus he was portraying. However, Gina Carano (who plays Angel Dust in the film) has revealed that Tricoteux is indeed playing the fan-favourite mutie. The 6' 10" actor is very obviously providing the base for motion capture, but whether or not he will voice the character too remains to be seen. Deadpool opens on February 12th, 2016.

The following behind the scenes image from the set of X-Men: Apocalypse doesn't reveal much about the plot, but it does offer up an idea about which characters will be sharing a scene with the movie's titular villain! The question of course, is who is on what side? After all, there's a very good chance that at least some of these mutants might end up deciding to fight alongside Apocalypse.

A photo posted by Bryan Singer (@bryanjaysinger) on

While promoting the release of her latest movie Barely Lethal, over on Spinoff Online (via X-Men Films), Game Of Thrones star Sophie Turner briefly touched on playing 'Jean Grey' in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse. Set to step into a role inhabited by Famke Janssen for almost fifteen years, Turner expressed her sheer ecstasy at giving her own take on such a recognizable figure:

"Feasting my eyes upon that script was insane! I just think the fact that it’s such an iconic character and so well loved in the comics and stuff that it’s very exciting to be able to take it on. Famke Janssen’s portrayed Jean so well, so beautifully, and it’s nice to kind of – although I’m “young her,” it’s nice to have my own take on it as well and interpret this character, this action superhero the way that I kind of want to. Oh, my God. It’s so exciting!"

She also claimed she had been preparing for the role by watching "every X-Men movie that’s ever been released", as well as checking out the "TV X-Men stuff" too.

Continuing our coverage of X-Men: Apocalypse haircuts, Olivia Munn has posted a photo of herself with a hood over her head.

We pretty much know what she’s hiding. The film’s hair designer, Felix Lariviere, has already confirmed that Munn’s character, Psylocke, will have purple hair in Apocalypse. This photo suggest that the dye job has already taken place, and Munn is just trying to avoid spoiling the official big reveal.

All hooded up, tryna keep secrets 
A photo posted by Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) on
New photos have revealed James McAvoy’s bald head for X-Men: Apocalypse.

McAvoy’s young Charles Xavier has kept his long hair throughout X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, despite Hank McCoy assuring him that Cerebro would work better on a shaved head. Following Charles’ character arc in Days of Future Past, where he finally accepts and grows into his role as Professor X, his new look will likely serve as an outward sign of his newfound maturity.

James "meat shield" McAvoy was held hostage at last night's performance of The Generation of Z: Apocalypse, going on to...
Posted by The Generation of Z on Thursday, May 21, 2015

David Ayer's Suicide Squad may be stealing all of the headlines as far as leaked set photos go, but it's worth remembering that filming for Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse is well underway in Montréal too. Hollywood PQ managed to snap a few photos of James McAvoy rocking the bald look as the newly-shaved 'Charles Xavier'. He was also joined on set by Nicholas Hoult, who plays 'Hank McCoy'.

Perhaps more exciting was an image posted earlier today by actor Ben Hardy on his official Twitter feed. The BTS pic showed Hardy (who will portray a young 'Angel' in the film), training in mid-air with stuntman Shane M. Habberstad. You can check it out below:

The official Fantastic Four Twitter account has released a new still from the Josh Trank directed reboot, giving us another look at Kate Mara as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, and Miles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic as they attempt to "push the limits of discovery" together. Also get a good look at the team on the latest cover of Total Film Magazine as the iconic foursome stand tall and are clearly ready for action.

FANTASTIC FOUR, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

Fantastic Four stars Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as The Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan as The Human Torch, Jamie Bell as The Thing, and Toby Kebbell as Victor Domashev/Doctor Doom. Directed by Josh Trank and written by Simon Kinberg, Fantastic Four is set to be released on August 7th, 2015!

Reprising her role from X-Men: First Class, Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) is set to return as Moira MacTaggert in X-Men: Apocalypse. When we last saw her, her memory had been wiped by Charles Xavier in order to protect his school, and she was nowhere to be seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past as a result. In the video below, the actress talks about how the '80s era setting will impact Moira's appearance, and goes so far as to say that Professor X is going to end up looking "like he’s in Spandau Ballet."

As Marvel continues to beef up their cinematic universe with the likes of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and the future Infinity War films, a large amount of attention has also been turned to the TV side of the company.

Heroic Hollywood reports is saying that Marvel has several concepts in development as upcoming TV series, including Cloak & Dagger, Ms. Marvel, and a Hulk prequel.

Hulk is a character Marvel had already attempted to bring back to TV since Disney bought them, with Guillermo Del Toro working on a potential series that never came to be. If a new Hulk show is in the works, it remains to be seen how much of Del Toro's concepts remain. Meanwhile, recent rumors indicated a Ms. Marvel ABC miniseries may currently be in the hands of 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley, who is known to have a mystery Marvel project in the works for the network. Cloak & Dagger was previously in development as a TV show for ABC Family, shortly after the Marvel/Disney deal occurred.

Netflix will also continue to be a big focus for the studio, and Marvel plans to release several original programs starring a host of characters outside of those seen in the films. Daredevil was the first, and A.K.A. Jessica Jones is coming up next. Heroic Hollywood claims that Marvel has toyed with the idea of introducing Punisher, Blade and Ghost Rider -- all characters the company slowly regained the movie and TV rights to but maybe too “one-note” and violent for Marvel’s tastes -- into the MCU via their Netflix series.

The final pipe dream Heroic Hollywood are mentioning is a limited Netflix movie or mini-series that would feature characters like Hawkeye or Black Widow. This could feature both TV and movie characters, effectively serving as a bridge between two worlds. Because so many planets would need to align, this is also very unlikely.

In a recent interview with the Hero Complex Magazine for the LA Times, Josh Trank revealed that he "knew it was going to get ugly" when the decision was made to make some major changes to the source material for his upcoming reboot of the Fantastic Four. However, it sounds like the Chronicle director actually sympathises with fans! "I get it. I have a lot of friends who are older than me who are comic fans and it's really hard for them to be on board with a change like that. 'Fantastic Four' has been theirs for longer than I've been alive. It hasn't been mine." That's a valid point, but it's not really just older fans who aren't happy with the changes being made! Regardless, Trank hopes that they will at least approach the movie with an open mind this August. "It only speaks to the greatness of any story that has been told for decades or centuries that people still want to tell that story. But you can’t just keep telling it the same way over and over again. And I think it only helps the world to be more honest with young kids, to show them the world that they go walk outside and see." To be fair, it's easy to see where Trank is coming from.

That's what Trank had to say about changing The Human Torch's race, but producer and writer Simon Kinberg also weighed in on some of the controversy surrounding their casting choices, specifically Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing. "The change of Jamie as Ben being a smaller guy instead of a bigger guy, for example, was for a purpose. It's more dramatic when that character becomes a huge rock creature – that's a bigger transformation. The notion of a working-class tough guy who's been pushed around by his bigger brothers his whole life seemed like a more interesting character than the guy who started as a football player and just ended up being 4 inches taller." Finally, Trank acknowledged that he's been "turned into a punching bag" by the internet, but is open to hearing from fans. "I want to hear opinions – it’s good to know what people are questioning. I think maybe there’s a part of me that needs adversity from the rest of the world in order to feel motivated to want to prove people wrong. I need people to be like, 'What is this weirdo doing?'"

Ant-Man will be in theaters July 17, 2015; Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016; Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017; Spider-Man reboot – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Black Panther - July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 - May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019.

So there you go, that finishes the first edition of Marvel Minutes! Click here for more Marvel stuff this week!


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