MarvelBlog News for January 28th, 2024
Is Steven Yeun’s loss Lewis Pullman’s gain?
I’ll explain why the answer is trending toward yes in this week’s MarvelBlog News.
Hugh Jackman II?
I’ve previously discussed the curious career trajectory of Hugh Jackman.
The actor is famously fortunate in that he finished runner-up for the role of a lifetime.
Fox auditioned the then-30-year-old unknown Australian actor for the part of Logan aka Wolverine in X-Men.
The studio liked Jackman for the part, just not as much as the person they picked, Dougray Scott.
Fate intervened when Scott suffered a serious injury while filming the instantly forgotten Mission: Impossible II.
A motorcycle stunt went awry, preventing Scott from meeting the principal photography schedule for X-Men.
So, Fox executives fell back to their second choice, Hugh Jackman, and the rest is box office history.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately in the wake of Stephen Yeun’s decision to exit the Thunderbolts project.
Yeun chose to honor other commitments in the aftermath of the Hollywood strikes of 2023.
As a popular actor, Yeun simply had too much work and too little time. He chose to bail on the most time-consuming project.
That left the producers of Thunderbolts in need of a new The Sentry. They’ve apparently found their actor.
Who is The Sentry?
The new name that Marvel fans need to know is Lewis Pullman, a relatively obscure performer.
Pullman comes from a famous bloodline, as his father is Bill Pullman.
The younger Pullman followed his father’s footsteps in becoming an actor.
Pullman, who turns 31 this week, got his start seven years ago in an obscure film called The Ballad of Lefty Brown.
Since then, the actor has accepted small parts in projects like Bad Times at the El Royale and Top Gun: Maverick.
Then, Pullman earned a co-lead role in a recent Apple TV+ project, and there’s where he elevated his profile.
Perhaps just as importantly, Pullman made the right friend, as the project is Lessons in Chemistry.
The other co-lead – and it’s really her series – is Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson.
You may recall that Larson previously put in a good word for a former director, Destin Daniel Cretton.
Since then, Cretton has directed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and is currently working on Wonder Man.
Larson’s opinions carry plenty of weight around Marvel Studios, as they should.
Obviously, Larson spoke highly of Pullman, who now finds himself in position to become the face of Thunderbolts.
Yes, several antiheroes from previous MCU titles will appear in the project, which is basically one big buddy movie.
However, Pullman will provide the danger as the most powerful being on Earth.
This role could be career-defining for Pullman, but it’s not quite his just yet.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pullman is the top choice and has an offer.
He has yet to accept, but I presume that’s a formality.
Then again, Yeun walked away from the gig, so who knows? Stay tuned!
That Was Fast
Two months ago, when the SAG-AFTRA strike ended, I joked that Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds would sprint to the set.
Apparently, that wasn’t far from the truth. Reynolds just posted and Jackman later confirmed that Deadpool 3 has finished filming.
As a reminder, the movie’s release date is July 26th, 2024. But it’s done now.
Part of the explanation here involves special effects (SFX), as Marvel’s new mandate is to lock films early.
That’s industry jargon indicating that the photography phase has ended.
Marvel and its corporate overlord, Disney, want the projects finished so that the SFX team has ample time to perfect the film.
Deadpool 3 was already halfway finished with its filming before the strikes shut down the project.
So, the SFX teams have had half the year to work on that portion of the project.
Still, the early completion of Deadpool 3 indicates a good sign.
As I’ve mentioned, it’s not a coincidence that Marvel’s best recent project, Loki season two, is the only one that didn’t require reshoots.
When filmmakers know what they want and have a vision, it typically leads to a superior product.
Reynolds has sounded excited since the opening announcement for Deadpool 3, so I’m not really surprised.
Here are the actor’s comments on the completion of principal photography:
“The suit hides blood. Also sweat… But today, with Deadpool wrapping, it’s mostly tears.
“A giant and forever thanks to the cast and crew of our film who battled wind, rain, strikes and @thehughjackman… all under the stalwart leadership of @slevydirect.”
Let’s start with the quick but welcome news that Wilson Bethel of Hart of Dixie will return to Marvel.
The actor previously portrayed Bullseye in season three of Daredevil.
Now that Marvel has reconsidered its previous stance and turned Daredevil: Reborn into a sequel, Bethel gets to come back.
I shared similar news about Karen and Foggy last week. So, this project appears to be trending in the right direction.
Also, in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe news, I haven’t discussed Madame Web much recently.
However, the film comes out on Valentine’s Day and has unexpectedly secured a release in China.
That doesn’t mean as much as it once did, as Chinese filmgoers have soured on Hollywood lately. Still, it’s a win for Sony.
As for the movie, Madame Web has a runtime of just under two hours. And that’s about all we know because Sony is hiding it.
That’s…rarely a good sign. If you had any hopes for the project, you may want to lower them.
In better Sony news, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse earned a prestigious Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.
You may recall that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse previously won this award in 2019.
Across the Spider-Verse is currently neck-and-neck with The Boy and the Heron as the favorite in this year’s race.
So, while Sony may struggle with every other potential Spider-Man spinoff, it keeps scoring huge with Spider-Man himself.
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