MarvelBlog News for January 24th, 2022
An actor in an upcoming Marvel release has died after a tragic accident.
We’ll discuss this heartbreaking subject in MarvelBlog News.
Who Is Gaspard Ulliel?
Actress Audrey Tautou was at the height of her global celebrity after her star turn in Amelie.
The French woman could have chosen any project she desired in the early 2000s. However, she decided to reunite with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet for another film.
This title, A Very Long Engagement, co-starred a rising 20-year-old named Gaspard Ulliel.
At the time, the model had just completed a three-film trifecta of the excellent Brotherhood of the Wolf, Summer Things, and Strayed.
The first of those releases gained international acclaim for its action scenes and dark story. At the same time, the latter two each earned Ulliel French acting award nominations.
A Very Long Engagement performed admirably well, but it was no Amelie. Unfortunately, this turn of events kept Ulliel’s star from rising in Hollywood.
So, the actor followed Tautou’s lead and worked on an American project. He played the younger Hannibal Lecter in 2007’s Hannibal Rising.
This casting coup could have turned him into one of the most famous actors in the world. But, alas, that film performed on a par with A Very Long Engagement.
Like Tautou, Ulliel returned to France. That’s where he would primarily work for the next 15 years.
Gaspard Ulliel, the French actor who played young Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising and Anton Mogart (aka Midnight Man) in the upcoming Moon Knight series, died following a skiing accident. He was 37. https://t.co/zHvhWnrQf7 pic.twitter.com/4QM1gLnonj
— IGN (@IGN) January 19, 2022
In 2014, Ulliel won the prestigious Lumières Award as France’s Best Actor for his portrayal of Yves Saint Laurent.
The irony wasn’t lost on the actor, who played one fashion designer while being the face of another, Coco Chanel.
Two years later, Ulliel won an even more high profile award, the César Award for Best Actor for his work in It’s Only the End of the World.
Here are two commercials you’ve almost assuredly watched that star the actor:
Actor Gaspard Ulliel Dead
Ulliel is undeniably more famous in Europe than in the United States.
However, the actor has hovered on the outskirts of Hollywood celebrities for nearly 20 years.
Most recently, Marvel came calling. The studio wanted to load Moon Knight with an international cast full of gorgeous, talented people.
Since Ulliel checks both those boxes, Marvel cast him as Anton Mogart. In the comics, this character is known as the Midnight Man.
This art thief waits until the clock strikes midnight before he strikes. It’s an intoxicating premise that had given me high hopes for the character’s Moon Knight presence.
In fact, I fully expected a male model version of Catwoman to win raves from MCU fans and possibly gain a standalone series.
We just watched that happen with Echo in Hawkeye, and Ulliel’s international stature would justify the decision.
Sadly, those dreams will never come to life.
Ulliel celebrated the end of principal photography for Moon Knight by taking a break from the industry.
During an ill-fated ski trip this past week, Ulliel suffered a freak accident at the La Rosière resort in Savoie, France.
While skiing, he arrived at a cross-section between two slopes. The actor slammed into another skier and immediately collapsed unconscious.
In a tragic twist of fate, the head trauma from this collision ultimately killed Ulliel. Somehow, the other skier suffered no injury of note.
Ulliel was only 37 years old, but he had lived in France’s public spotlight for more than half his life. The country mourns the loss of one of its favorite children.
About Moon Knight…
As for Marvel, this part feels trivial to discuss, but the studio does face an uncomfortable issue in promoting Moon Knight now.
This past Monday, the first trailer debuted, along with the confirmation of last week’s story. The release date is, in fact, March 30th.
More than 23 million people watched Monday Night Football’s Wild Card playoff game, providing Marvel with a rare opportunity to promote the series.
Moon Knight gained a glowing reception from would-be watchers, many of whom couldn’t help but notice the eerie similarities to Batman.
Based on the social media signals, Marvel has every reason to believe that Moon Knight will do exceptionally well, capitalizing on the momentum of Hawkeye.
I haven’t discussed Nielsen ratings for the holiday title. Hawkeye recently finished its six-episode run with 938 million minutes tracked.
The Avenger’s series finished tied for second for the week with Emily in Paris. Also, the 938 minutes signals one of Disney’s best streaming performances.
Ergo, Moon Knight will possess plenty of momentum when it debuts.
Marvel still faces the challenge of how to proceed with marketing the show after Ulliel’s death, though. Hopefully, Marvel will err on the side of caution and be tasteful.
Speaking of Nielsen streaming ratings, something hilarious occurred lower on the charts.
Three years ago, Netflix canceled Daredevil as its relationship with Marvel disintegrated.
Still, Netflix maintains control of the streaming rights for Daredevil, Punisher, and the various Defenders.
Well, Daredevil just charted on Nielsen’s Original chart, the one for series that debuted on streaming services first.
Marvel fans binged 195 million minutes’ worth of the 39 episodes available on Netflix from December 20th through December 26th.
Many of you are knowingly nodding your heads and smiling at this information.
As much as I want to explain why this happened, you’ll either have to google it or figure it out later after you’ve watched…something Marvel-related.
In other exciting news, Secret Invasion has nearly completed principal photography.
Disney+ is building to this in a manner similar to the aforementioned Defenders on Netflix. Let’s hope Secret Invasion proves more satisfying, though.
On the Sony side of Marvel movies, Spider-Man: No Way Home just did the impossible. It crossed $700 million…during a pandemic.
I’ve previously used the analogy that this is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest while carrying your sherpa on your back.
Spider-Man will finish as the fourth-most successful domestic release ever, which is something I struggle to reconcile.
The second-most successful movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, grossed roughly $225 million during the pandemic.
Spider-Man crushes that title by $475 million…or more than triple. It’s one of the greatest box office achievements ever.