With most of the attention focused on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Marvel has been able to release some information about their films and television shows without much fanfare. That said, some important developments have occurred over the past couple days that are worthy of looking into.
First, The Wrap is reporting that Marvel is looking to officially cast Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt’s) father in “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”, and they may have found their man in Kurt Russell. While the two sides have not officially met, insiders apparently think that Russell is director/writer James Gunn’s top choice to play the character. While none of the parties chose to comment, this seems like it would be an excellent way to include Russell in the MCU. A lot of the roles that Russell played in the 1980s and 90s were similar to the ones that Pratt is being courted for now. He was definitely one of the better comedic talents in action films (“Big Trouble in Little China”), and handled science fiction well (“The Thing”). He’s also had a great career revival with both “Furious 7” and “The Hateful Eight” releasing in 2015. Russell seems like a perfect fit for the emerging franchise and could be a great addition to the MCU as either an antagonist or supporting character.
Next, the team working on “Doctor Strange” is hard at work. In the last few days, the team has begun to release set photos from the stages built for the film.
So far, a lot of fans have been drawn instantly to the seal on the door. It is a rather important image in Doctor Strange lore, as it closely resembles the seal/window at Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. The Sanctum Sanctorum is Doctor Strange’s residence and contains many important mythical artifacts. Located in Greenwich Village in New York City, it was built on top of a site where pagan rituals took place, making it a very interesting location. It’s ties to the occult made it the perfect location for Doctor Strange to call headquarters, and is actually much larger inside than one would guess outside. Basically, its similar to a tent from the Wizarding World.
Also releasing this week was some pretty amazing concept art for the film. It is very cool and mystical looking, which is really all we can ask for at this stage. The Doctor Strange in the image doesn’t necessarily look like its tailored for Benedict Cumberbatch, but that probably wasn’t in consideration for the concept art stage. It’ll be interesting to see if we get the giant cape that that is so iconic for the character. His is quite a bit larger than Vision’s or Thor’s, so it could be scaled down a little bit to make sense in the film.
Also coming out of the updates was word that screenwriter C. Robert Cargill has been working on the film’s script. Cargill is best known for teaming up with director Scott Derrickson on the film “Sinister.” Other than that franchise, Doctor Strange is his only other writing credit for feature length work. That can be a little concerning, but work has also been done on the script from other scribes including Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly (“Sahara” & 2011’s “Conan the Barbarian”), as well as Jon Spaihts (“Promethus”). The team seems to have some strong horror, action, and science fiction chops, which would all be huge in bringing the very, well, strange character to life.
Also breaking was news about the Netflix series “Iron Fist.” Marvel’s done exceptionally well with their first two series from Netflix, and Iron Fist is the lone character from the proposed “Defenders” series who has yet to make an appearance. According to “That Hashtag Show” Marvel has officially begun its casting for the show. They say that the two characters they are currently casting are Dylan Kendall and Harry Marshall. Those two names feel like they are likely false names in order to maintain some secrecy while the casting process goes on. The Hashtag Show also reports that the Dylan Kendall role, likely Danny Rand aka Iron Fist. It is also curious that no ethnicity was given to the character, opening up the possibility that an individual of Asian descent. That would be an easy way to quickly diversify up the Netflix MCU, and considering that they’ve already changed ethnicity on Elektra, this seems like a likely step.
Speaking of characters that have been changed, it’s also reported that Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) will also be making an appearance as a regular on the show. While there seems to be some mixed feelings on her portrayal of the character on “Jessica Jones,” there is little doubt she’s a solid addition to the series. She may just be the first of several characters (we’re looking at you Rosario Dawson) to make an appearance on the show.
Finally, they reveal that shooting could begin as early as the Spring, putting a release date likely in the realm of November or December. In fact, “Jessica Jones” was filmed between February and August, and then was released in November. It seems like this timeline could be the same for “Iron Fist” and it would also put the show’s release date within a few weeks of the scheduled date for “Doctor Strange” on November 4th, 2016. That would also put the “Defenders” team up in time for a 2017 or 2018 release.
This could mean that we see the Netflix MCU team-up prior to the Infinity War films. It’ll be interesting to see if any second seasons can be made for heroes besides Daredevil prior to teaming up.
Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” is set to release on November 4th, 2016. It is directed by Scott Derrickson and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.
Marvel’s “Iron Fist” has begun casting. It is looking to film in the Spring and Fall of 2016, with a release date shortly after.