MarvelBlog News for October 24th, 2022
Indiana Jones has joined the MCU…kind of! And we have a strong idea about how well Black Panther Wakanda Forever will open…mostly! I’ll fill in some but not all the blanks in MarvelBlog News!
Harrison Ford Ain’t Done Yet
One of the ironclad laws of Hollywood centers on recasting. Whenever studios choose a new actor to play a role, they go younger and cheaper.
After all, if the studio were willing to pay more, they’d bring back the person who had already established themselves in the role, right?
Instead, we wind up with something called Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher rather than Tom Cruise.
Similarly, Alec Baldwin was like four Jack Ryans ago…and one of the replacements was also a bargain-basement Captain Kirk!
That’s how the system has worked for a century. And somebody needs to tell Marvel.
I say this because Harrison Ford is joining the MCU…which isn’t even the strange part.
Ford will portray General Thaddeus E. Ross, aka Thunderbolt Ross, the father of Betsy Ross and the bane of The Hulk’s existence.
The actor replaces the late William Hurt, who first played Thunderbolt in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Hurt later returned in four other MCU titles, most notably Captain America: Civil War. The character was responsible for Steve Rogers becoming a criminal.
That’s the kind of adversarial relationship that Thunderbolt has had with The Avengers throughout the MCU’s history.
What to Expect from Ford
In the comics, the character has also turned into Red Hulk, which may be important if/when we get a World War Hulk movie. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Harrison Ford was born in 1932, hilariously making him two years older than Sam Elliott, the first actor to play Ross in a Hulk movie, the 2003 Ang Lee one.
Still, Ford developed strong connections with Disney while filming Indiana Jones 5. He’d mentioned that his time in that role had ended.
However, Ford enjoyed his last shoot enough to sign up for two more Disney films. He’ll reportedly appear in Captain America: New World Order and Thunderbolts.
Since Ford is 80, I doubt he will perform any action sequences in these films. In fact, I’m sure he won’t because he said as much at the 2022 D23 Expo.
Since the actor has finished that part of his career, I presume he’ll show up and be antagonistic to all your MCU favorites.
Conversely, he’ll like the various Thunderbolts who have attacked the Avengers over the years.
At some point, I fully expect Ross to turn into Red Hulk, at which point MCU may recast the role. Ford expects to film all his scenes by the end of 2023.
So, this news extends his film career by an extra year while setting him up for one final prolonged victory lap as a Hollywood legend in 2023/2024.
That’s when Indiana Jones 5, Captain America 4, and Thunderbolts should arrive.
In short, Han Solo isn’t done yet despite what happened in that one Star Wars movie!
Wakanda Forever Tracking Huge-Ish
As I’ve mentioned here, movie box office tracking is only slightly more accurate as a predictive measure than reading animal entrails.
So, the result is the same whether you’re a data firm pretending to know all or a fortuneteller on the grift for fools with money. You’re just acting like you know.
I say all this as a precursor to the fact that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is reportedly tracking for a $175+ million opening.
The plus part is important here because it could feasibly be, you know, $75 million more. Nobody really knows, which is the point.
Tracking has experienced a brutal 2022, most recently swearing that Black Adam would earn $75+ million. In that instance, the plus should have been a minus (or two).
Still, the unmistakable trend in recent box office shows a downward spiral. Most films have disappointed, while the ones that haven’t like Smile are genre titles.
So, Marvel is likely stressing a bit over the Black Panther sequel. As a reminder, the original opened to $202 million.
A follow-up to a project that successful should open higher, but this isn’t just any film.
More on Black Panther
The lack of the first film’s lead and the already legendary behind-the-scenes turmoil have introduced a chaos factor here.
We’ll learn more about Wakanda Forever soon. The social media embargo ends on Wednesday after the Hollywood premiere.
Oddly, the critical embargo lasts through November 8th, which isn’t the best sign. Theoretically, Disney wouldn’t block reviews if the film were a grand slam.
Social media posts are likely to be glowing, as that was even true of Black Adam.
Studios pick and choose who gets the first look at a film. These folks don’t get invited back if they say nasty things.
So, I’m not quite sure what to expect here. On the plus side, Disney did secure a French theatrical release for Black Panther 2.
That’s technically a violation of longstanding French laws regarding exclusive theatrical windows. So, exhibitors folded and met Disney’s demands.
Also, Rihanna has reportedly performed new music for Black Panther 2. That’s a clever way to keep the film in the spotlight for a while.
Let’s quickly run through several other stories. Katherine Hahn suggests that filming for Agatha: Coven of Chaos starts soon:
I asked Kathryn Hahn about “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” on the red carpet at @chifilmfest. She confirmed filming starts soon.
“We’re in the middle of getting the coven ready and it’s gonna be very delicious … We start shooting in about a month.” #AgathaCovenOfChaos #marvel pic.twitter.com/ft7eXgxw57
— Brooke Geiger McDonald (@BrookeGMcDonald) October 19, 2022
Deadline reports that the story may feature a fascinating co-star. How would you feel about Sacha Baron-Cohen as Mephisto?
After all the nonsense rumors with WandaVision, I won’t believe it until I see him onscreen saying, “Hi, I’m Mephisto.” Even then, I’ll still have my doubts.
Speaking of rumors and the devil, the hot new name is Tom Ellis. The star of Lucifer is reportedly in the running for Reed Richards in Fantastic Four.
Meanwhile, Kylo Ren himself, Adam Driver, is apparently in the running as well. However, some folks believe he’s up for Doctor Doom instead.
Wouldn’t that be typecasting, though? Either way, please watch Logan Lucky. Driver is sublime in that film.
In other Marvel news, Jonathan Majors says he got jacked by adding 10 pounds of muscle to play Warrior Kang.
Meanwhile, Loki season 2 has finished filming, which means we’ll watch the TVA gang again soon! I wonder which variants we’ll get this time.
Along those lines, Oscar Isaac is talking about Moon Knight season two, which technically isn’t confirmed yet, but we all know it’s happening.
Finally, there’s this:
JUST THE HULK, DAREDEVIL AND THE ABOMINATION AND HULKKING PLAYING PING PONG. YOU'RE WELCOME! Man I had fun on this set. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/89nGXemRXP
— Jameela Jamil ❤️ she/her ❤️ (@jameelajamil) October 14, 2022
And that’s it for this edition of MarvelBlog News everyone, have a wonderful week!