UPDATE! Check out the First Teaser Trailer for Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny!
For my money, Empire Magazine has always been the premiere movie periodical. So I’ve been happy to see Empire transition gracefully into the digital age. They still manage to consistently get exclusive coverage of the most highly anticipated films. In their latest issue, Empire has the first details and images of 2023’s Indiana Jones 5!
In these exclusive images from Empire, we get our best look yet at the final adventure of Dr. Henry Jones Jr., the greatest action hero in cinema history.
I’m a MASSIVE Indiana Jones fan. The series is a big reason I fell in love with movies in the first place. I’ve probably seen Temple of Doom hundreds of times. Though heavily criticized upon it’s release, I’ve always enjoyed Indiana Jones The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull as a flawed, but solid entry in The Indiana Jones Saga. However, I still always wanted just one more film. Indy deserves a final kick ass movie, to send the series off with a bang. And it looks like that’s exactly what we’re going to get from the filmmakers of Indiana Jones 5, making it one of my most anticipated movies of 2023.
Notably, this will be the first Indiana Jones movie not directed by Steven Spielberg. Director James Mangold will be helming the as-yet-untitled Indiana Jones 5, with Spielberg staying on as producer. Mangold was the filmmaker behind 2017’s Logan, so he certainly knows a thing or two about sending an aging movie icon off for one last ride. Mangold was a genius pick for this project. I can’t think of a director better suited to take on Indiana Jones 5.
Even with the film months away from release, some of the more cynical audience members have regarded the very idea of an Indiana Jones 5, as pushing the franchise beyond it’s expiration date. Especially considering the negative reception the last installment received from a significant portion of the fan base. The common refrain from certain movie fans online about Indiana Jones 5, have all been some variation of: “An elderly Ford, still running around with his fedora and whip?” and “Isn’t he a little too old for this shit?” or “C’mon, how believable is it for an 80 year old man to make another, very physical, action movie epic like this?”. Well, as the great Tyrion Lannister once said “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”. A sentiment that, director James Mangold, has certainly taken to heart. Lesser filmmakers may have tried to coast by, just cracking a few jokes old man jokes and hope the audience is willing to suspend their disbelief, Instead, when he was brought on board, Mangold decided to take these criticisms head on and make them the thematic heart of the film. A story about a lifelong adventurer coming to the end of his epic adventures. Mangold felt very strongly that Indiana Jones needed a movie to close out the franchise, to give it an ending. Mangold took what other saw as weaknesses and made them into strengths that are the thematic pillars of this movie. The director saw Harrison Ford and his character’s age, as an opportunity to give Indiana Jones a Grand Finale!
It’s also been revealed that the upcoming movie opens with a massive flashback, action sequence, bringing us back to the era of Raiders of The Lost Ark. This sequence will feature the most cutting edge version of the de-aging technology we’ve increasingly seen on the big screen over the last several years, allowing Ford to play Indy in both time periods. However, the flashback opening with a younger Indy isn’t just for fun, the sequence taking place in 1944 connects directly to the film’s main story, taking place in 1969. Very little is known about the film’s plot, other than it involves the NASA Apollo Missions and Indy once again dealing with his most despised adversaries, Nazis. However, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the movie will involve a lot of glob trotting, adventuring to exotic locations, and the search for some sort of legendary, archaeological artifact. Possibly even supernatural in nature.
Indiana Jones 5 opens in theaters June 30, 2023
Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!
The annual D23 Expo was held over the weekend. With major presentations from Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm showcasing high profile projects coming down the pipeline over the next few years. Many fans speculated big reveals for upcoming projects like FantasticFour or X-Men, like finally revealing the cast for FF or ANY information about Mutants in The MCU and when we can expect the first X-Men related project from Marvel Studios. While major X-Men and Fantastic Four revelations would have certainly been cool, this year‘s Expo did manage to deliver some solid material to get excited about. So sit back and relax because, as usual, World’s Best Media’s here to give you the highlights.
Out of all the footage of upcoming projects that Marvel released to the public, this trailer got me most exciting. I love Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, so I’m very excited to see a MCU project where he takes center stage. It’s Nick Fury’s very own Miniseries. We see Don Cheadle return as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, Colbie Smulders as Maria Hill, and a bunch of other new characters. It looks like a really intense, paranoid thriller and it’s definitely one of my most anticipated projects for 2023. Another interesting tidbit, was the reveal that Secret Invasion leads right into Rhodey’s miniseries ArmorWars, which begins filming soon. So it’ll be really cool to see what the MCU looks like softer Secret Invasion and how that affects Armor Wars.
Werewolf by Night
Marvel’s first Halloween Special, Werewolf By Night, based on the horror comic of the same name is coming to Disney+ this October. It actually look genuinely scary and a little gooey at time, which I love. Anyone else spot Man-Thing in this trailer? That’s a hell a deep cut, but an exciting one!
Honestly, I have little to no interest in this series. While I thought the character of Maya Lopez/Echo worked fine in Hawkeye, I certainly didn’t think there was anything about the character special or memorable enough to warrant her own Disney+ series . So I was a little surprised that Marvel still intended to move forward with this project. The only aspects of Echo, that make me want to tune in, are Vincent D’Onofrio reprising his role as Wilson Fisk in the series and the heavily rumored, but unconfirmed appearance of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Plus, I like the idea of the show focusing on Native American culture in The MCU. It’s something we haven’t seen in The MCU yet.
Disney’s official synopsis “The origin story of Echo revisits Maya Lopez, whose ruthless behavior in New York City catches up with her in her hometown. She must face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward.”
The audience was shown some footage from the upcoming series, which hasn’t made its way on line yet. However, those in attendance to see the footage I have reported a few interesting little moments included in the brief sneak peek shown at D 23. With one shot in particular Pekin street from the comics. Last time we saw Wilson Fisk in Maya Lopez together was in the Hawkeye Season (Series?) Finale, where Maya seemingly shot her former mentor, when it was revealed that The Kingpin had been responsible for the death of Maya’s father. A similar confrontation plays out in the comic books, with the injuries Fisk sustained from Maya’s attempted murder leaving him blind. It looks as if Echo will adapt this part of Wilson Fisk’s story. According to people who saw the footage, the show even goes out of its way to directly replicate this memorable image from comics.
The line up for Marvel’s upcoming Thunderbolts movie was revealed, as you can see below…
LUCASFILM (Star Wars & Indiana Jones)
The Mandalorian (Season 3)
Tales of The Jedi
Besides The Mandalorian Season 3, this is the upcoming Star Wars project I’m most excited for. I love the idea of a Star Wars animated anthology like this. Especially featuring, stories before The Phantom Menace, like Count Dooku before he went to The Dark Side, along with his young padawan Qui Gon-Jin. Even Yaddle makes an appearance. I’m really psyched for this one!
Indiana Jones 5
It’s great to see the famously grumpy and curmudgeonly Harrison Ford show some emotion and excitement. I think this bodes well for those of us hoping for a kick ass Indiana Jones 5! Plus, they have the perfect director to tell an excellent story about an aging iconic hero with James Mangold, whose last film was Logan. This guy knows how to make an action movie about an older hero who’s past his prime and still tell a thrilling, exciting, action-packed, adventure story.
Also, you gotta love the reunion of Indy and Short Round. As great as it would be for Short Round to make an appearance in Indy 5, Ke Huy Quan (whose enjoying a well deserved career renaissance) has joined the cast of Loki for Season 2, which is awesome, and attended the expo to promote the show with his cast mates. But he still had the time to snap this amazing reunion picture with his former costar from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.
Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!
Disney recently celebrated it’s first Disney+ Day. This was a chance for the streaming service to show its existing and potential new subscribers, the best currently available content on the platform. Perhaps importantly, this was an opportunity to showcase the thrilling new projects expected to debut over the next year. Unsurprisingly, a particular emphasis was put upon their plans for The Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars. Including first looks at the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, new MCU shows like Moon Knight and She-Hulk, as well as some cool surprises, like the revival of the beloved 90’s show, X-Men: The Animated Series. Below we have some teasers, behind the scenes video, concept art, and more, to help you get the lowdown on the most interesting stuff coming to streaming service over the next year. A huge amount of material was released and revealed during Disney+ Day, so I decided to pick a few of my favorites and give you everything you need to know about these new shows/projects. Take a look, enjoy…
The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 4 Continues…
When Moon Knight was first announced, I remember it was described by one of the producers, as “Indiana Jones meets Batman“. Well, that is one hell of a high bar to set, but from what I know about the character, I think I know what he was getting at. “Indiana Jones meets Batman“ is an appropriate way to describe the tone of some Moon Knight stories. Moon Knight is the story of Marc Spector, a mercenary and adventurer who becomes a brutal vigilante as the avatar of the Egyptian moon god, Khonshu. His adventures often involve various ancient and mystical forces. The Marvel presentation for Disney+ Day presentation only gave us the briefest of glimpses at how Moon Knight is being approached by Marvel’s show-runners. Its not a full trailer, but the video is long enough to be get some sense of where they’re going with the show and this fascinating character.
Moon Knight is a new globetrotting action-adventure series featuring a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. The multiple identities who live inside him find themselves thrust into a deadly war of the gods against the backdrop of modern and ancient Egypt. Moon Knight is directed by Mohamed Diab and is coming to Disney+ in 2022.
Speaking of ancient, mystical forces Ethan Hawke is playing the shows antagonist, which is extremely exciting. Hawke is still in the middle of filming Moon Knight, so during a recent interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he still looked like his mysterious character from Moon Knight. Myers, who’s a big lover, supporter, and advocate of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, casually mentioned that Ethan Hawke was sporting “a real David Koresh vibe.” David Koresh was the cult leader at the center of the infamous Waco siege in 1993. Hawke was astonished and shocked because, as he told Myers, he did, actually, base his character on Koresh. Hawke went on to say, with great admiration for Myer’s correct guess, “I guess it’s working. You’re good, Seth. Or maybe I’m not out of character yet…I will say that he is the source of great character inspiration.”. Many have speculated that Hawke is playing Dracula in the series, which would be fucking awesome.
She-Hulk, a new comedy series coming to Disney+, stars Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, a lawyer who specializes in superhuman-oriented legal cases. She-Hulk will welcome a host of Marvel characters to the series, including the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo, and the Abomination, played by Tim Roth. The series is directed by Kat Coiro and Anu Valia; Jessica Gao is head writer.
One of the things I was most curious about with this series, was how they would handle the look of the character. She-Hulk isn’t an inhumanly large powerhouse like her cousin Bruce Banner, but she’s not exactly a petite young woman either. She’s usually portrayed as being almost like an Amazon. Slightly larger and more muscular than a normal human. Even though she inherited her cousin‘s green skin with her transformation, what she lacks in raw physical power like the classic Hulk, she makes up for by having complete control over her mental faculties at all times. Meaning there is no split between Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk. We don’t see a lot of Jennifer Walters in her She-Hulk form, but I thought what little we saw looked great. Tatiana Maslany is a spectacular actress whose going to absolutely crush it in the role. Plus, it’ll be cool to have another Hulk running around The MCU, and any opportunity for an appearance of Prof. Hulk is a win! Check out the quick teaser here:
Marvel Animation Drops A Bomb!
X-Men: The Animated Series ‘97
Now this was a pleasant surprise! With the exception of Batman: The Animated Series, there is no superhero animated show of that era, more beloved, than X-Men: The Animated Series. The show’s ability to tackle mature content, not typically seen in “children’s programming“ at the time, as well as the extremely faithful adaptations of classic X-Men stories, made the show a hit, fan favorite.
Courtesy of Marvel.com, the producers of the new series have said that it will have the “DNA of the original show,” and follow a roster of X-Men similar to the original 90’s series. A major “impactful event” will be the jumping of point for this new series, setting the story in motion, and acting as a call to action for the X-Men. Many of the series original cast members will be returning for the new series, including Cal Dodd (Logan/Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm), Chris Potter (Gambit), Catherine Disher (Jean Grey/Phoenix), Adrian Hough (Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler), and Christopher Britton (Nathaniel Essex/Mr. Sinister). Unfortunately, some members of the voice cast have since passed a way. It also seems as if the show intends to grow along with it’s original audience, at least to some degree. Most diehard fans of the series are adults now and it sounds like this new iteration is evolving along with it audience. According to the show’s producers at Marvel; “As an animated show, the original X-Men was the forerunner to some amazing action series. Everyone that is making X-Men ’97, top-down, is a fan. On this project, instinctually, we knew exactly what this is. To bring this series forward and pick up that baton, and not just keep running at the same pace, but to really elevate. That’s the responsibility.”Unfortunately we have quite a wait until the show premieres in 2023. Despite the wait, I am really interested and intrigued by this new project.
Star Wars (Or Lack Thereof …
“The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith’ where Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, turned evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.”
After huge presentations from both Marvel and Pixar, many found it extremely odd that this teaser trailer for Obi-Wan was literally the only new Star Wars project showcased or discussed for this event. Nothing was announced about The Book of Boba Fett, or The Mandalorian Season 3. Let’s hope there aren’t any behind the scenes problems at Lucasfilm. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before we start to hear gossip one way or another.
Anyway, people has been clamoring for on Obi-Wan Kenobi film for years. Despite the reputation of the prequel‘s, they’ve aged surprisingly well. An entire generation grew up with the prequel trilogy as “their Star Wars”. With Ewan McGregor being particularly beloved in his portrayal of the Jedi Master also known as Ben Kenobi. With the Obi-Wan Kenobi series debuting in 2022, I would argue that a mini series on Disney+ is a much better option as a fan, than one movie. Considering how fantastic the Star Wars shows on Disney+ have been, I think we can expect to get what is a miniseries that’s essentially an 8 to 10 episode Obi-Wan Kenobi movie. One of the most exciting piece of information confirmed during this presentation is the return of Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker. I love the idea of another confrontation between Vader and his old master, taking place sometime between their duel in Revenge of The Sith and when they meet again in A New Hope.
It’s sort of tracks that there would’ve been another confrontation or fight between the two of them, before their final reckoning in A New Hope. Because, when you think about it, Vader is pretty calm when he runs into Obi-Wan on The Death Star in Episode IV. I would think that if someone cut off my arms and legs, left me to burn alive, forcing me to live in agony inside a cybernetic suit that keeps me from dying, I’d be fucking PIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISED! It will be interesting to see if and how they rehash the past upon their meeting. Will Vader blame Obi-Wan for Padme’? Will Ashoka be discussed? As much as I love the idea of Hayden Christiansen returning to play Anakin Skywalker again, I wonder exactly how they’re going to use him. For example, when he becomes Vader in Revenge of the Sith, that’s Hayden Christiansen in the Vader costume, but it’s still James Earl Jones‘s voice. I would think if they’re going to go to the trouble of using Hayden Christiansen, they would want the audiences to at least see him. I think flashbacks are probably very likely, we may even see some thing like his helmet get partially damaged, just enough damage to keep him going, but also just enough to see Hayden Christensen’s face inside. Allowing him to show us his portrayal of Anakin whose utterly and completely given himself to The Dark Side. I’ve always wondered what it would’ve looked like if Anakin wasn’t mutilated in his fight on Mustafar. Even if Anakin didn’t necessarily beat mObi-Wan in the fight, what would’ve happened if he had gotten away more or less in one piece? Without his horrific injuries, the robotic suit, and a near constant state of agony, what would Anakin have become? Based on his track record and what we know about The Force. Anakin most likely would’ve killed The Emperor after a relatively short amounts time and seized control of The Empire himself. I can say with confidence that he probably would’ve ended up as the most powerful and horrifically dangerous threat, the galaxy had seen in thousands of years.
The show boasts and impressive cast of new and returning characters like Luke’s aunt and uncle, Owen and Beru Lars. You can take a look at the full cast below.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is by far one of my most anticipated projects of 2022!
As of Disney+ Day, Disney upgraded multiple MCU films to IMAX level quality. You’ll notice a bit of a crisper, cleaner, more realistic look. All of the upgraded titles are listed below:
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Captain America: Civil War
Avengers: Infinity War
Ant-Man and The Wasp
Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!
This was a busy week, so I was late to post a webpage for the latest episode of The World’s Best Podcast, even though the episode came out earlier this week. I think it worked out well, because the delay meant that way I get to show you guys some cool content related to my review of The Invisible Man and promote my guest appearance on Tim Cuff and Ryan McDonald’s podcast, Cuff’s Basement! Going on that podcast was a lot of fun and you can read all about it below my invisible man review content.
Anyway, on this episode of “The World’s Best Podcast”, I review the excellent new thriller THE INVISIBLE MAN! Full Spoilers! Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23699306 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…
During this weeks episode, I talk about how The Invisible Man is among the roster of Universal’s Classic Movie Monsters.
Icons such as, Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, and more. These films are largely the reason vampires, werewolves, and various forms of the undead appear so frequently in our popular culture. There have been literally thousands of TV shows and movies featuring vampires and werewolves (sometimes even both). However, in other cultures around the world vampires and werewolves are far less prevalent in popular culture and take a backseat to other supernatural creatures.
During my review of The Invisible Man, I brought up several scenes I love from other movies starring classic universal monsters. Like this fantastic scene from 1999’s The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weiss:
I also mentioned the iconic werewolf transformation scene in the film, An American Werewolf In London. As well as the much less iconic, but still interesting transformation scene from Benicio Del Toro‘s remake of The Wolfman. You can watch both clips below:
Here’s a side-by-side comparison between The Invisible Man of 1933 and the new 2020 version (without giving too much away about what makes this new incarnation of The Invisible Man so cool…)
Well, that’s it for my review and coverage of The Invisible Man, but we’re not quite done yet today… Now, let’s switch gears here a little bit! It’s two podcasts for the price of one!
As some of my listeners may know, Ryan McDonald who is a frequent co-host on the The World’s Best Podcast and Tim Cuff who was my original co-host on the show, have their own fun and unique podcast called Cuff’s Basement. It’s hilarious, it’s weird, and it’s a blast to listen to. I recently had the chance to make an guest appearance on Cuff’s Basement, on an episode of the show where Ryan, Tim, and I each picked our 3 Favorite Comic Book Superhero Movies of all time. Of course, being the comic book movie super fans that we are, this ended up being a three-part episode. You can listen to the first 2 installments of our 3-Part episode right now, through the link to the Cuff’s Basement iTunes feed, which I’ve posted below. While you’re there don’t forget to hit subscribe, so you can listen to Part-3 of our Best Superhero Movies podcast as soon as it’s posted! I had a lot of fun recording this with the guys and I hope you all enjoy listening. Don’t miss it!
Thanks for reading and listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
On this episode of “The World’s Podcast”, In honor of “Logan” being nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, my co-host Ryan and I discuss the mega-popular X-Men superhero film franchise. From the first X-Men film to what the future holds, this episode is more of Marvel’s Merry Mutants than you could ask for! (Dammit, we forgot to talk about Deadpool!). Listen here or subscribe on iTunes ;
This week on “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”, we present Part Two of our monumental episode looking back at the Best and Worst, Films , TV shows, Comics, and more of 2017! In Part One we mostly talked about the best and worst TV shows we’d seen over the past year (with a little bit of talk about movies). In Part Two, we shift focus to our favorite and our most disappointing movies of 2017. Plus, towards the end of the episode I cover some of the big comic book news of the year and list a few of my favorite graphic novels! So, definitely check it out. It’s a great episode. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:
So this is it! We made it through 2017! Building World’s Best Media, writing articles and reviews, and recording podcasts have all been an absolute blast for myself and the incredibly talented people who contribute to World’s Best Media. We couldn’t have done any of it with the support of our listeners and readers. So thank you very much, it means the world to us.
Now with this being the end of the year and all, Tim and I decided it would be a good time to do a look back at the best and worst of 2017. We cover everything from the best and the worst movies, comics, TV shows, books, and more. It’s a 2-Part Episode and Part-One mostly focuses on TV. Or should I say content? A large portion of the shows we discuss in this episode come from streaming services. How we watch television has already drastically changed from 10 or even 5 years ago. With big companies like Disney and Warner Bros. starting their own streaming services in 2018 and 2019, things are going to change even more. It’ll be interesting to see where things go…
Also expect a Review of the Netflix show, Mindhunters, later this week. And of course keep an eye out for part two of this episode.
Anyway, THANK YOU! Have a safe and Happy New Year and check out part one the episode below or subscribe on iTunes:
For the past few weeks rumors have bounced around Hollywood that Disney was in serious talks to buy the film and television divisions of 20th Century Fox. Now, it seems that after weeks of negotiation, this deal will become a reality.
If you’re sharp and pay attention to this kind of thing (and World’s Best Media) you may have already put 2 and 2 together and realized why I might be pretty happy about this news. After all Disney owns Marvel Studios which gives us the Marvel Cinematic Universe and from the beginning, the MCU didn’t have access to key Marvel characters like the X-MEN, Fantastic Four, and until recently, Spider-Man. The film rights to X-Men and FF are held by 20th Century Fox. On paper this would mean everyone is coming home to Marvel. However, I’m not as enthusiastic about this deal as you may think…
After the utter shit show that was Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony who still owns the film rights to Spider-Man, made the very smart move of making their current deal with Marvel Studios, Which means that Marvel Studios has our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swinging around with The Avengers (at least for a few more films, but something tells me that will be extended) as well as creative control of the Spider-Man movies they’re making.
Now, if Sony had handled Spider-Man pretty poorly before their Marvel Studios deal, then Fox has handled the Fantastic Four like a deliberate train wreck. Fantastic Four and it’s sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer aren’t going to be on anyone’s list of the all time great superhero films. But last years attempted reboot, FF, made those films look like The Dark Knight. For studio’s to retain the rights to these characters they need to keep making movies within a certain period of time before the rights revert back to Marvel. I don’t think anyone thought Fox was going to throw away hundreds of millions of dollars on another sad attempt to develop a film from a property that they clearly don’t understand. My point is that eventually, something similar to the Spider-Man deal would have been worked out with Marvel, if not the rights reverting back to Marvel Studios outright.
(My God, seriously, these movies are SO, SOOOOO bad. Just… What the fuck?!)
When Bryan Singer was making the the 1st X-men film, it was clear FOX that didn’t understand what they had. The movie had a a pretty small budget compared to the Superhero juggernauts we see today. So (even though it was released in July, the heart of tent pole, summer block busters) they didn’t have much faith in the movie. Ryan McDonald (World’s Best Media contributor) once said to me that the first X-MEN film is a science fiction movie and not really a superhero film. I always thought that was a great observation and if you rewatch X-MEN as a sci-fi movie, it works a little better than superhero film. X2 on the other hand felt much more like a superhero film, as well as feeling much more like the X-MEN Comics.
The first X-Men film doesn’t get nearly enough credit for creating the Golden Age of comic book movies that exists today. As the superhero movie making process began to drastically change after X-MEN was released in 2000, The X-MEN films have always been there chugging along. In the 17 years since X-MEN was released there have been 10 X-MEN movies counting Deadpool. This is a series that has had major highs and lows. But lately something really great has been happening to the X-MEN franchise, which brings to my main point: I don’t want the X-MEN part of The MCU (for a couple of reasons).
First, in a time when every damn studio is looking to emulate Marvel’s golden model of a “shared universe”, The X-MEN movies have been doing the “shared universe”-thing without even trying. Anyone who reads comics knows that The X-MEN have so many decades of characters, storylines, spin-offs, crossovers, and events that they’re a universe unto themselves in Marvel Comics. My point is that though they are very much Marvel characters, there’s so damn much going on in the comics to cherry pick from for the movies, The X-MEN films don’t need the MCU to be successful. The X-MEN are a never ending stream of characters and stories. Think about everything that’s happened in The X-MEN film franchise and imagine if that was part of the MCU. It would be a goddamn mess.The X-MEN mythology is too big and unwieldy to dump into the MCU. It would just be too much. Yes, it would be cool to see Wolverine and Beast, two classic Avengers members, on the team. And yeah, sure it’d be cool to have the Avengers face off against Magneto and a cool version of The Brotherhood. In the end, it wouldn’t be worth it though. Even in the comics, The X-MEN are kind of off in their own little corner right now.
(Look at all this! It’s madness!!!)
Second, Fox is doing so many interesting things with The X-MEN in film and TV it would be a shame to stifle and censor the creativity that we’ve seen in the franchise lately. Legion on FX was on of the years best shows and one if the most wildly unique comic book adaptations that I’ve ever seen. Logan could be nominated for or even win an Academy Award with incredible performances from Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart (Seriously, it would be a crime if Hugh Jackman doesn’t get awards attention for this unforgettable movie). Then of course we have Deadpool which would NEVER, EVER, EVER be made if it was in the MCU at the time. Legion, Logan, and Deadpool are some of the best superhero stories ever made. Fox is taking bold risks with their X-MEN properties. With projects like the upcoming New Mutants movie being a straight up horror film with X-Men characters in it, it seem like this studio is willing to do the type of out of the box super hero stories that will keep comic book adaptations alive. Comic Books aren’t a genre, they’re a storytelling medium and the projects I listed above are proof of that. Hell, Logan might as well be a straight up western.
I will admit that the silver lining for me is that Marvel Studios will have access to the Fantastic Four which I desperately want to be part of The MCU. Seeing Tony Stark and Reed Richards, two of the comic book world’s biggest pieces of shit, finally on screen together recklessly causing more problems than they solve would be a delight. Of course, seeing The Avengers fight Doctor Dom would be fucking amazing. But The X-Men and The MCU don’t need each other right now. Maybe someday, but not now.
I will say that I think it’s a good thing that Marvel never had access to their A-list characters like the X-Men and Spider-Man when they first started the MCU. Instead they had to use lesser-known characters like Captain America and Iron Man, which forced them to be more creative and pull more deeply from the rich roster of characters that Marvel has. Which would’ve meant we’d most likely never have gotten something like the wonderful Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen.
Obviously this is out of my hands, I don’t know if they’re going to somehow make an attempt to put the existing X-Men universe into the MCU or if they’re going to treat the X-Men as brand new characters that we’ve never seen before in this universe. I think if they do decide to make the X-Men part of the MCU, the smartest way to go would be to recast and go in a complete different direction than what’s been done before. It’s going to happen anyway one way or another. At the end of the day I’ll be happy if they finally get fucking Doctor Doom right at the very least.
Over the last 17 years, we’ve had 6 main team X-Men movies, and 3 Wolverine stand-alone films. Among the 9 films, I think there are 4 great, 3 pretty good (I’m apparently in the minority when it comes to people who enjoyed Apocalypse), and 2 crappy movies. We’ve had 2 Magnetos, 2 Professor Xs, 2 Mystiques, but only one Wolverine.
Other than his brief childhood James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine is virtually ageless or at the very least he ages slower than the average person. So unlike the other X-Men characters, recasting him cannot rely on age shifts in order to adjust the actors. Hugh Jackman however, is about 18 years older than he was when he started playing the character, and while he has aged well, he is not ageless, and as you probably know Logan from earlier this year, was his final performance as the character. I don’t think however that it’s the last we will see of the character, so I want to talk about what I think Fox needs to do with Wolverine.
First, I think there is a chance that if Fox were able to partner up with Marvel, that Hugh Jackman would return for the role. He has been a vocal proponent of the two universes colliding. We’ve seen it with Spider-Man and Hulk, and so it’s not completely out of the question, but X-Men seems to be too financially viable to make Fox that desperate, so I don’t think this will happen, unless Marvel makes some offer that makes Fantastic Four (also a Fox property at the moment) a better financial option. So, I don’t think this is going to happen, but that doesn’t mean that imagining Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine fighting Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk doesn’t give me one hell of a nerdgasm.
Alright so the ultimate fantasy aside, here’s what I want to see that I think is realistic. As of right now, we have two X-Men films (not including Deadpool) coming out in 2018. None of which appear to include Wolverine. I’m glad about this, because it will give us some idea to what level these films can perform without Hugh Jackman—sure he only had glorified cameos in First Class and Apocalypse, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t people going hoping for him. I also think that a couple of X-Men movies without Wolverine gives us a bit of a pallet cleanser. These are X-Men films, but to a considerable extent 4 of the 6 main team films were Wolverine (feat. The X-Men) films. Let’s delve into the team more, hopefully some different characters are going to be X-plored, like Scott Summers who has been second fiddle in the movies despite apparently being a very large aspect of the comics. The same goes with Jean Grey’s Phoenix, (the next film being titled Dark Phoenix) who has also been given a weak portrayal compared to the comics.
Throughout out the next couple of X-Men movies (including New Mutants if it’s going to remain in the current continuity), I want to see them start up the hype for Wolverine, the way they have for other characters in the past. References to him in reports, and Easter Eggs (I’m not even sure they need to have the next actor cast yet). After a couple of films, do another Apocalypse style cameo. Where we see an actor in that animalistic berserker mode, without actually showing his face, but start to show how he’s different than Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (again it doesn’t even have to be the actor who will ultimately play the new Wolverine).
Eventually, after Easter Eggs, and cameos, make him a side character. Perhaps it’s a main team story, with Wolverine passing through on the adventure (which from what I remember of the comic and the cartoon is fairly consistent for the character). He’s kind of a transient character, so maybe he happens to come to Professor X for help. He meets Jean, and the rest of the team, but doesn’t immediately jump back into team mode.
This process, allows Fox to slowly change the character, which is the nice part of replacing a member of a team franchise. The character is iconic, and arguably linked to Hugh Jackman as much as any other franchise character (maybe RDJ as Tony Stark is as closely tied) even more-so than characters like James Bond who at one point was definitely Sean Connery. The benefit here, is that unlike Bond, Wolverine doesn’t have to immediately jump to the next actor, who inevitably cannot live up. If Fox is smart they’ll take their time getting Wolverine back in the mix, and by that time, we’ll be so excited for it, that perhaps we won’t notice it’s not Hugh Jackman.
That’s what I want to see!