This week was the unveiling of the Captain America: Civil War set visit pieces and interviews, so we got a bunch of semi-new information from the horses’ mouths. The structure of the set visit embargoes were based off the respective “Teams” in this Civil War.
Team Captain America started off the rollout because the scene that everyone was on set for was the German Airport battle, specifically Team Captain America running towards Team Iron Man (the shot in the trailer). Paul Rudd was off doing green screen work to become Giant Man in the scene and apparently Tony Stark and company are defending a Quinjet from Team Cap. The Iron Man side wasn’t shot in view of any of the reporters, so that was left for Day Two of the set visit rollout.
Team Cap got six new individual character posters, momentarily baiting Spider-Man fans into thinking we’d finally get to see the character when the Team Iron Man character posters were released. BUT - that didn’t happen. We got five character posters and the push of Team Iron Man day was more about introducing Black Panther and Chadwick Boseman to the team/ensemble.
That was the press push for set visits, but this is all very structured and our sources say it’s building to something. The message of the first blast of set visit info was that this movie is squarely a concluding chapter to the Captain America trilogy, despite the large number of other heroes that will appear in the movie. It’s about Steve and Bucky at it’s core. The second day’s messaging was that The Black Panther is going to be awesome and his role in the team-up is unique because he’s an outside force.
What we’re missing is a third piece of messaging that is being called the “payoff” trailer internally. We’ve been told it it...heavily...features...Spider-Man.
That’s what all this noise is about:
Y’all ready to see Spider-Man tomorrow?
This all hit at a pretty critical time for Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice press coverage, pushing that out of the way for a few days. Daredevil Season 2 is going to hit the week before, providing an R-rated alternative to BvS’s PG-13 theatrical cut. Marvel could rule the news cycle with Spidey’s debut and keep it around by slowly rolling out the associated product (which HAS to exist, right? They’re not going to let Spider-Man be left out of Civil War merch.).
Anyway - it’s been awhile since we’d heard anything regarding Spider-Man from any of our sources, which is testament to how well Sony and Marvel Studios are handling the rollout. If we’re not hearing a lot about Spider-Man, that must mean the circle of people who are working on his on-screen performance must be really small. It also suggests all the merchandising is being developed on a different timetable than the rest. As soon as Spider-Man marketing gets sent out as part of Civil War strategy, his look would leak (like the Doctor Strange art shown at New York Toy Fair this year).
There’s more Spider-Man news, amazingly (pun intended).
A 19-year old woman who I am completely unfamiliar with named Zendaya has been cast in Sony’s shared solo Spider-Man movie. The original report has her playing a character named “Michelle,” which immediately called Michelle Gonzales to mind for me, as my last name is Gonzales and I remember the character as having a really annoying storyline. The Michelle Gonzales of the comics has a cop brother and is Peter Parker’s roommate for awhile. Those are both more adult situations than we’re expecting from the solo Spider-Man movie. Then again, she could be playing a re-invented Liz Allen or, my favorite crazy theory, Michelle Ayala, an on-screen White Tiger.
Variety muddied the waters a bit in their report, saying the “character is neither Parker’s love interest nor a lead role. She will, however, play a bigger part in future installments.” Which to my crazy fan mind just lends more to the White Tiger theory.
Also in Spider-Land, Deadpool crossed something like $300 million domestic box office, which got Sony thinking they could maybe get into this R-rated superhero game somehow. In a move that was somehow both surprising and utterly predictable at the same time, Sony put the Venom spin-off movie back into development.
Avi Arad and Matt Tolomach are producing, and this is something both of those guys have been working on for years. Maybe a decade at this point. Certainly Venom was a big piece of building the Amazing Spider-Man universe around Amazing Spider-Man 2, had that movie launched Amazing Spider-Man 3, The Sinister Six and Venom like Sony hoped. The difference this time around is Venom is being re-worked to be a character that doesn’t include Spider-Man, his father property, which is getting tangled up in another interconnected movie universe right now.
Marvel Studios and Disney don’t seem to have an interest in any Marvel R-rated movies under their banner, so Sony taking their Venom rights and developing it into a non-universe movie is actually smart. I think we’ll call it “Deadpooling.”
In order to properly Deadpool the Venom franchise, though, it is going to have to be true to the character and deliver something fans want to see. That might seem hard without Spider-Man, but it’s actually pretty easy (as long as you can square your design not having a big white spider on it). When the Venom character works best, it’s the story of a monstrous alien co-inhabiting a headspace with a flawed person. Venom is an anti-hero, but the Symbiote itself can be used as a force for good if the person wearing it can control him/herself. Also, thanks to the 90s, Venom comes with a bunch of Symbiote side characters that aren’t Spider-Man. Like, odds are really good Carnage is in this movie...because why wouldn’t you?
Finally, a bit of Netflix to head out on - I can corroborate that Iron Fist shows up at the end of the Luke Cage Netflix series. That’s been floating around out there, along with news that Shang-Chi is going to be in the Iron Fist series. I haven’t heard that second rumor from anyone other than The Hashtag Show, but I have heard from enough people that I believe it to be true that we know about Finn Jones now because he’s already completed his work on Luke Cage and eventually someone would leak it.
The Shang-Chi rumor is interesting. The other side of the rumor is Bleeding Cool, who straight up says it’s untrue.
Shang-Chi is cool, but you know what’s cooler?