Welcome to Breaking Geek, a new weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!
Deadpool 2 Chooses A Dangerous Release Date
This week, Fox shuffled the release dates of Deadpool 2, New Mutants, and Gambit. Deadpool 2 was moved up from June 1 to May 18, placing it two weeks after Avengers: Infinity War and one week before Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Fox is getting a little too ambitious with Deadpool 2’s release date, as landing between Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story is dangerous ground. As Han Solo himself would said, “Don’t get cocky, kid!”
The first Deadpool was huge, and the R-rating gives the sequel certain appeal that Avengers and Solo won’t have, but does 20th Century Fox really expect the audiences interested in these three blockbusters to be much different? Normally a movie aimed at a different audience would be launched against two Disney heavy-weights as a form of counter-programming. Even if Solo is the lowest grossing of all the Disney Star Wars films, it would still kill Deadpool 2‘s second-weekend gross. Not everyone makes it to the movies three times in one month, so if general audiences have to choose just one or two of these titles, which ones do you think most people would pick?
Deadpool 2 will be fine, you say. People will want to see it regardless! I don’t doubt that, but looking at this new release date from the perspective of someone who works in the movie theater industry, the outlook is a bit more grim. Even if Deadpool 2 has the appeal to overcome Solo, my 16-screen mulitplex will surely be getting five prints of Solo, coming after five prints of Infinity War, literally pushing Deadpool 2 into smaller auditoriums and cutting screen count one weekend into release. We have four large theaters and surely Avengers will be left in at least one when Solo comes out, leaving the troubling scheduling question of how big an auditorium can we even fit Deadpool 2 into? Less seats mean less profit, so even if Deadpool 2 is a runaway hit, it may still feel the squeeze at your multiplex.
Gambit Loses Yet Another Director… Cancel It!
Speaking of the Gambit film, after losing director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, A Cure for Wellness), the film has finally seemingly gone through the hands of more writers and directors than even the most plagued DC project.
With the Disney deal likely taking effect in 2019, I wish 20th Century Fox would cancel solo-projects like this one, as these characters will be better served and handled in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as proven by Marvel’s handling of Spider-Man compared to Sony’s. Why establish these characters with new actors when the MCU is right around the corner to swallow them up? Unless Marvel combines the X-Men Universe and MCU through alternative universes colliding and becoming one, á la Secret Wars 2 in the comics — which would be a huge mess — the only thing a Gambit movie would do at this point is delay that character’s appearance in the MCU.
I’m not saying 20th Century Fox should stop making X-Men films until the deal with Disney passes government approval, but they should think of ways to wrap up their universe, while keeping Deadpool and X-Force in their own little world within the X-Men universe, making it easier to slip Deadpool, Cable, & friends into the MCU (if that is even the planned move). New Mutants should also be given the chance as a trilogy as planned, should the first film meet critical and financial success. But, aside from those projects, all I think we need is a film like X-Men: Dark Phoenix to wrap up the current era in the X-Men films before they join Disney with hopefully new actors in all the roles.
Deadpool Director Working On Solo Kitty Pryde Movie
In addition to Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, New Mutants, and Gambit (not even counting X-Force yet, but that is totally a thing), it was revealed that Deadpool director Tim Miller is returning to the X-Men universe, currently hard at work developing a solo Kitty Pryde film, with the expectation to direct the film as well.
As I said, this may not be the best time for solo movies, though, on the other hand, it may take the MCU a while to get to solo stories such as Kitty Pryde. You know Marvel Studios will want to cover the hits first, including Fantastic Four, a traditional X-Men film, and solo films for characters like Wolverine, becoming priorities over the likes of Gambit and Kitty Pryde.
Besides, who is picking these characters for solo movies? I’ll admit, I’m not as familiar with X-Men as other Marvel comics, but are Gambit and Kitty Pryde really such fan favorites as to carry their own solo film? I know we’ve already seen the big guns plenty, all played by multiple actors (except for Wolverine), but surely there are more beloved X-Men than Kitty Pryde?
Maybe you can share the appeal of the character and defend her solo movie in the comments below? That could be helpful in me understanding the move, because at the moment it looks like Fox is pulling a Sony and throwing any character at the wall that has even remote name recognition.
And speaking of Sony…
That First Photo From Venom… Lame!
This week we also got a look at the first official image from Sony’s Venom film, and it was a complete letdown.
Did I expect them to reveal Venom in his full glory in the first picture? No, especially after Spider-Man 3 saved a full look at Venom until the very last trailers. All of us are hungry to see what a new, R-rated version of Venom’s new design looks like, regardless of whether or not we think the film is a mistake (which it is, unless you include Spider-Man in the origin). He’s one of the most badass characters in the comics, and though I liked his look more than his portrayal in Spider-Man 3, I think they can do a lot better this time around and I look forward to the reveal! Venom has been drawn in so many unique ways by so many great artists, so his look could be a bit unexpected as there are many avenues to take.
Instead, we got a picture of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. An image that could have come straight out of any film where Hardy actually looks like himself, from Inception to even the awful This Means War. I guess this image was what I was expecting, but why even bother? That’s not a tease! We know what Tom Hardy looks like and his choice of clothes is not worth obsessing over. I wanted to see him at least partially covered in the symbiote.
Is A Black Widow Film Finally Happening? For Rseal?
Here, finally, is an excellent piece of Marvel news. Though not announced by Marvel Studios or Kevin Feige, Variety reports that Marvel Studios is finally pushing forward with a Black Widow standalone film, hiring Jac Schaeffer to write the script.
With the only two confirmed MCU titles after Avengers 4 being Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it will be interesting to see how a Black Widow film fits into the MCU in a post Infinity War world, if this project officially moves forward at all. Will it be a prequel finally revealing what happened in Budapest? (“You and I remember Budapest very differently.”) Will it be a sequel, meaning Natasha survives both Avengers films?
Either way, it is all very exciting, and I would love to see Black Widow film done as a more conventional spy thriller as opposed to a ’70s conspiracy thriller like Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And, hey, if it is set before The Avengers and Iron Man 2, like Captain Marvel, we can get even more younger Nick Fury!
Then you could make the prequel-in-spirit to Black Widow, a Nick Fury movie set in the ‘70s or ‘80s featuring Brad Pitt as Alexander Pierce and… I don’t really know who could play a young Samuel L. Jackson. Any ideas? Anyway, Kevin Feige, that’s my Marvel movie pitch, but a Black Widow movie should certainly be put before a Nick Fury movie.
Teen Titans Go! To The Movies Trailer Is Hit And Mostly Miss
Finally, let’s briefly touch on a bit of DC news. This week saw the launch of the trailer for Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, a continuation of the Teen Titans Go! TV series.
While I hated the fart joke that takes up a majority of the trailer, the reference to Wonder Woman‘s success was cute, and I loved the “Aquaman getting a movie” joke, though I am afraid it will be lost on general audiences. After all, there is no Aquaman trailer, so only true geeks, like those who read this site, even know the film is coming. The general audience seeing Peter Rabbit this weekend — the main film on which the trailer is attached — won’t get the Aquaman joke, and instead will think, “Aquaman had a movie?” So, fun for fanboys, but lost on general audiences is my fear.
Of course, their intended audience will go for the fart joke, and maybe DC fans like me can be convinced to see the film based on the fact that even the scene with the “farting” supervillain has a ton of Easter Eggs hidden in the surrounding city. For the time being, it doesn’t look like it could be for me, but only future trailers will tell for sure.
Now, I want to hear from YOU! Agree with my opinions? Think I’m wrong about everything? Let me know! Let’s get some fun discussions and arguments going in the comment section below.