MarvelBlog News for January 1st, 2023
Did you hear the one about the island, the Sentry, and the adamantium?
We’ll start the year with some wild rumors in lieu of confirmed updates in the first MarvelBlog News of 2023!
The New World Order Update
No, this isn’t an update about Kevin Nash, although he’d make a good addition to the MCU.
Instead, I’m referencing the upcoming fourth Captain America movie, which has become a hot topic recently.
As principal photography approaches for Captain America: New World Order, story leaks have become prevalent.
In fact, I’ve seen so many of them that they’re functioning as a DDOS attack. Determining what’s accurate isn’t easy at the moment.
However, we can draw a few conclusions from the various reports, even the ones that conflict.
For starters, Marvel wouldn’t have signed Harrison Ford to play a cameo. It’s the Robert Redford scenario from Captain America: The Winter Soldier all over again.
The expectation is that Ford will portray the primary antagonist in New World Order, a concept befitting the character of Thunderbolt Ross.
As a reminder, the late William Hurt had previously played Ross. Meanwhile, we’re all waiting for the day when the character transitions into Red Hulk.
So, we have plenty of pieces on the board here. One of them is the character of Betty Ross, the occasional love interest of Bruce Banner/The Hulk.
Ross happens to be the daughter of Thunderbolt Ross. As such, some folks believe that actress Jennifer Connelly is returning to the MCU.
Connelly is hot right now thanks to her performance in Top Gun: Maverick, currently the biggest movie of 2022.
She’s also an Academy Award winner, and the idea of pairing her with Harrison Ford as a father/daughter must be tantalizing to everyone involved.
Notably, Liv Tyler could also return as Betty Ross, as both have played the role.
Remarkably, that’s not the most fascinating rumor at the moment, though. Instead, it involves Ford’s appearance in another film.
The Thunderbolts Update
Apparently, we’ll discover an MCU tie-in between Captain America 4 and the upcoming Thunderbolts movie.
Specifically, Ross and his team discover a treasure trove of Adamantium on a secret island.
That concept likely sounds familiar to everyone who has watched Black Panther: Wakanda Forever already.
In that film, we learned that Atlantis Talokan possesses an underwater stash of Vibranium.
Folks, rare metals are apparently the Infinity Stones of the 2020s.
Anyway, the brief release window between New World Order and Thunderbolts apparently joins them at the hip.
We’ll get Captain America 4 on May 3rd, 2024, followed by Thunderbolts on July 26th, 2024.
For this reason, we can expect a crossover story of sorts. The events of New World Order will impact Thunderbolts, and several characters will appear in both.
Presumably, Ross is one of them. He’ll demonstrate himself a threat in the first film and then tie together the Adamantium storyline in Thunderbolts.
That’s not all, either. Apparently, The Sentry (!) appears in one or both films.
You may recall this character from the early 2000s. He’s basically the Marvel version of Superman, which means that he’s wildly overpowered.
Since Marvel characters are all damaged, the Sentry is also nuts. He has an alter ego, the Void, which is like the evil, ultra-destructive version of him.
In video game terms, the Void is Nega-Sentry or Dark Samus. Some rumors suggest that the Sentry starts as one of the Thunderbolts.
Later, he may or may not turn into the Void, which would strike fear in the hearts of even the Thunderbolts.
Also, while I’m merely speculating here, that seems like a solid reason for the MCU to need the Red Hulk to arrive as a counter.
Don’t be surprised if Ross gets de-aged in the process, leaving Marvel with a graceful way to use Ford for a couple of movies before letting him go.
The Guardians Update
How strong is the interest in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? We have some analytics to support the perception that it’s strong.
According to The Wrap and my old friend, Scott Mendelson, the latest Guardians story racked up 182 million views in 24 hours.
I should note that Mendelson’s argument here centers on the unexpected demand for the next Transformers movie, which outdid Guardians and even Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Still, that’s one of the strongest 24-hour performances on record. Interest is somehow higher than anticipated due to director James Gunn’s recent promotion.
The creator of the Guardians franchise is now in charge of all DC Comics films, a daunting task and an oddity for someone closely affiliated with the MCU.
Gunn has recently gotten himself into trouble by being too available on social media. He’s also demonstrated a pension for the glib.
For this reason, some of his comments have gotten taken out of context.
One such statement strongly hinted that some Guardians will die in the next movie.
A reader commented that we’d see the characters again in the MCU. Gunn quipped, “Not all of them.”
We’ll miss you, Drax the Destroyer! Yes, everyone’s guessing that’s whom Gunn references since actor Dave Bautista has indicated he’s done after this film.
We’re still tracking this one, but Ben Affleck could be coming to the MCU soon.
Several different sites have reported that Marvel has offered Affleck the role of Dario Agger. Nothing is confirmed yet. So, we’re in wait-and-see mode here.
The other story this week involves a Hugh Jackman interview. In it, the once and future Wolverine comments on whether his return is a one-off.
Jackman actually hedges his bets this time, indicating that he views all movie roles as one-time things that may or may not merit follow-ups.
He’s learned the old Sean Connery “never say never again” thing about claiming he’s done with the role of Wolverine.
Speaking of which, Jackman adds that he plays Wolverine as if he actively despises Deadpool and wants to avoid the character whenever possible.
I love the thought of the director’s notes on this. “Hugh, can you act even angrier at Ryan Reynolds?” “No problem!”