MarvelBlog News for April 5, 2021
In this week’s update, an aging Gladiator joins the MCU, the newest Captain America takes a beating, and Rey finally addresses those rumors.
Who Is Joining the MCU?
Whenever we think Marvel movies, the first name that pops in our head is Russell Crowe, right?
I mean, he’s in immaculate physical condition, and…yeah, I can’t keep this up.
The plus-sized thespian, better known for his drinking and rocking, has decided to give this acting thing another shot.
Crowe, the Academy Award-winning actor, developed a reputation for drunken bar fights and seducing married women.
However, he’s a three-time Oscar nominee with a trophy under his belt. Marvel has proven time and time again that trophies matter.
So, Thor: Love & Thunder has added Crowe to the cast, perhaps as a matter of convenience.
The production is currently filming in Australia, where the New Zealand native has lived for most of his adult life.
Given the pandemic, casting a local makes life easier for the producers.
Who Will Crowe Portray?
Of course, Crowe’s role may be a glorified cameo anyway. We won’t know until the film debuts, and Marvel isn’t talking.
In fact, the studio had meant to keep Crowe’s appearance in the film a secret.
Conversely, Crowe thought it’d be great to take lots of photos with the cast, many of which have popped up on social media.
With the secret out, Marvel went ahead and confirmed to Deadline that the star of Gladiator appears in the Thor sequel.
As usual, Marvel wouldn’t provide additional details. We already know that Matt Damon will reprise his role as an actor who plays Thor in stage plays.
This description may very well define Crowe’s contribution to Love & Thunder as well. We won’t know until May of 2022.
Still, Crowe absolutely qualifies as one of the most recognizable actors in the world, recent stinkers like Unhinged and The Mummy notwithstanding.
Marvel had previously committed to providing Christian Bale with a significant role in the next phase of the MCU.
I cannot rule out the possibility that Crowe will do the same.
Who Is Spider-Woman?
One of the most nuanced conversations among Marvel fans right now involves a Brian Bendis creation.
Okay, creation is a bit of an exaggeration. A character named Jessica Drew debuted in Marvel Comics in 1977.
Drew starred as Spider-Woman in a 50-comic series that sold virtually no copies, which has led to hilarious scarcity issues today.
If you own a Spider-Woman issue from the 1970s, you’re about to have some eBay money to spend.
You see, when Bendis was rebuilding the Avengers as a comic book force, he brought back the character he’d loved as a kid, Jessica Drew.
Spider-Woman became one of the most popular Avengers, and fans have clamored for her arrival in the MCU.
Alas, there’s one small problem. As a Spider character, her film rights technically belong to Sony, not Disney.
In other words, Sony would be in charge of developing a Spider-Woman movie.
Now, Kevin Feige maintains control of all Marvel characters, at least to an extent.
Sony wouldn’t do anything to upset him, as that would be like strangling the golden goose.
Conversely, Sony likely wouldn’t allow Jessica Drew to star in a standalone Disney movie.
I say likely because anything’s possible in the MCU today. Only a fool would eliminate the possibility entirely.
Instead, what’s likely to happen is something akin to Spider-Man. The MCU would use the Spider-Woman character in its films.
Then, Sony could create standalone Spider-Woman movies once Marvel turns her into an established character.
Why should anyone care? Well, Bendis loves her, and Feige loves her. Even though Bendis now works for DC Comics, his storytelling still matters.
As such, the arrival of Jessica Drew in the MCU will be a huge deal.
What’s the Jessica Drew Rumor?
At this point, the debut of Spider-Woman seems like a when rather than an if proposition.
The character will require at least something of a deft touch to integrate. In the comics, she’s caused criticism over her skintight outfit and special powers.
Like Poison Ivy in Batman comics, Drew releases a pheromone that causes men to obey her bidding.
To Bendis’s credit, he leveraged this premise into some hilarious jokes.
My favorite was the one where Luke Cage felt compelled to remind everyone in the room that he’s still in love with Jessica Jones.
However, this kind of character invokes arguments about the Male Gaze and matters of consent.
So, to avoid such unpleasant conversations, Marvel would need two things from a Spider-Woman movie.
The first is a respectful script that honors the character’s history while acknowledging the awkwardness.
The second is an actress so delightful that people would forget about any potential outrage.
Rumors suggest that Marvel has an actress in mind, and it’s Rey from Star Wars.
Yes, if Marvel gets its wish, Daisy Ridley will join the MCU. Well, that’s what some people are suggesting, but it’s somewhat misleading.
Ridley recently performed an interview where someone asked her if she was interested.
Having just finished watching WandaVision, the actress indicated she’d listen to anything involving the MCU.
In the process, she has since joked that she accidentally turned herself into the leading candidate for the role.
So, the situation mirrors John Krasinski’s campaign to become Mr. Fantastic. Ridley is almost unintentionally trying to will something into existence.
Still, Daisy Ridley as Spider-Woman seems like perfect casting…
By now, you’ve likely watched The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s third episode. At this point, you absolutely despise John Walker, don’t you?
That dude’s everything that Steve Rogers wasn’t. Well, that’s the perception online.
The internet absolutely despises the guy, which is the whole point. Walker accepts the Shield that Sam Wilson didn’t feel qualified to use.
What type of soldier possesses the ego to take up Captain America’s Shield? He’s got to be a jerk, right?
Actor Wyatt Russell, who plays Walker on the show, recently sat down for an interview. During the conversation, he revealed that he didn’t want the part.
Now that he’s playing Walker onscreen, he feels bemused by the passion his character is evoking in others. “They just hate him!”
Marvel masterfully plays up the fact that the “aww shucks,” baby-kissing hero of yesteryear is now precisely the kind of character that modern audiences despise.
There isn’t much else going on in Marvel this week, at least not anything spoiler-free.
The most important casting news of the week other than Crowe comes from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Rising actor Dallas Liu, most recently seen in Pen15, will appear in the movie. As with Crowe, Liu’s role remains unrevealed.
The actor recently co-starred with Stella Hudgens, Vanessa’s younger sister, in a Snapchat show called Players.
Since Shang-Chi finished filming already and comes out on September 3rd, Marvel must have decided that Liu’s role matters enough that he should be confirmed.
You may begin speculating on which member of Agents of Atlas or the Young Avengers Liu will play.
Of course, the more tantalizing proposition is that he’s Amadeus Cho. If you see pictures of Liu’s character with a wolf pup, he’s about to be a star.
Feature Image Rights: Disney/Marvel