Hero Express – ‘The Avengers’ Banners, ‘Man of Steel 2’. and ‘TDKR’ Wraps?

Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat.

This is the Hero Express for November 22nd, 2011:

New Avengers Character Banners – (Yahoo / Moviefone)

The start of the promotional campaign for The Avengers has begun with a set of character banners that gives us a look at the main characters of the movie. We’ve certainly seen a good deal of these characters in all the set photo’s and the trailer that was recently released, but these posters are still pretty cool.

Alan Silvestri Will Score The Avengers(SuperHeroHype)

Having previously scored Captain America: The First Avenger, Silvestri returns to the MCU to handle potentially the biggest Marvel movie EVER. No pressure.

“I think to have been a part of the Marvel process is very helpful,” says Silvestri. “To see how material evolves [and] how the film evolves gives the sense of how Marvel treats their characters, cares for them, and a bit of what that Marvel post-production process feels like.”

The key challenge for Silvestri this time around is to move from one big screen hero to a whole team, representing the entire cast musically.

“This is actually a very unique experience [for me],” he continues. “I’ve worked on films where there have been a number of stars and certainly worked on films where there have been characters of equal weight in terms of their level of importance and profile in the film, but this one is somewhat extreme in that regard because each of these characters has their own world and it’s a very different situation… It’s very challenging to look for a way to give everyone the weight and consideration they need, but at the same time the film is really about the coming together of these characters, which implies that there is this entity called the Avengers which really has to be representative of all of them together.”

Joss Whedon Discusses His Avengers – (CinemaBlend)

Directing large casts and dealing with comic book characters is nothing new to Joss Whedon, and he discusses some details about the main characters in The Avengers.

For Avengers, Whedon and Downey worked together to find the right balance of where and who Stark’s character should be after the previous two films. “He didn’t want to be the tortured lonely man, which I totally get,” said Whedon. “And it was easy to make him as delightful and gregarious as he can be and still go, well, there is a piece missing and it’s the piece that makes him an Avenger.”

Whedon said that Captain America, traditionally considered a hard character to “crack,” was one of his favorites — precisely because he’s such a straightforward character. As Whedon explained:

I am the guy who loves Cyclops on the ‘X-Men’, because he is square. [Captain America] is a little square, and he is aware that he is a little square, and he is aware that the world is a beat ahead of him, or in his case, 70 beats. I think that’s very disarming and very charming. I relate to that guy. I also don’t know who the popular singers are right now, so he is actually really easy for me to write.

In spite of Whedon’s love of writing Captain America as a bit of a square, there were times where actor Chris Evans asked him to tone it down just a little bit. Whedon explained that Evans is “very aware of [Captain America’s] dignity, but at the same time understood why I wanted to find the humor in somebody who was so out of touch.”

Perhaps the character with the most convoluted recent history is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. Unlike Downey, Evans, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor, he had the challenge of stepping into the role for the first time, despite the character having been played twice in recent years in two unrelated reboots (first by Eric Bana, then by Edward Norton). Rather than referring to the recent films as their “official” version, Whedon and Ruffalo cast their eyes further back for their Hulk touchstone. “Both of us agreed upfront that the template for who we wanted this guy to be in his life was Bill Bixby, the TV [show character] who was busy helping other people,” said Whedon. “That was more interesting to us than the Banner in the first two movies who was always fixated on curing himself.”

Yea, We’ve seen character development in the 6 movies that have preceded Avengers, so I don’t really need Whedon to handle all of that, but I’m still excited.

Why Kenneth Branagh Left Thor 2 – (Splashpage)

I think most fans of Thor were a little upset when we found out Branagh was not going to be directing the sequel. He brought a lot of great elements to one of the hardest Marvel movies and it worked. If Thor hadn’t worked, I don’t think the MCU would have had a chance. So why did Branagh leave?

“[It was] simply timing,” he said. “I loved doing the movie, I’d love to do another movie for Marvel, and it was just timing. The requirement for me was just to get back in the saddle so swiftly that it wasn’t really feasible, but it was a decision [Marvel] understood.”

Being as classy as ever, Branagh went on to praise Patty Jenkins, who will replace him as director, saying: “I, along with a lot of other people, are very excited about the appointment of Patty Jenkins. I think that’s a great choice to direct the movie.”

“I know that Kevin Feige and all the people I worked very closely with, who were absolutely parts of the creation of that movie, are keen to produce a great second picture,” he said. “So it was the right decision for me and for them and I am really looking forward to see how the second one develops.”

Watchmen Scribe Discusses His Black Widow Script – (Splashpage)

David Hayter had penned a Black Widow movie before she was even a gleam in Jon Favreau‘s eye. But like a lot of potentially great movies it was never made, and Hayter explains why:

“Unfortunately, as I was coming up on the final draft, a number of female vigilante movies came out,” he said in an interview posted at Blastr. “We had ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Kill Bill,’ which were the ones that worked, but then we had ‘BloodRayne’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ and ‘Aeon Flux.'”

Hollywood felt that there were too many similar movies coming out to want to back the project, according to Hayter, who was understandably upset after all of his hard work and dedication.

“I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful,” he said. “I had not only invested a lot of time in that movie, but I had also named my daughter . . . Natasha.”

Hayter told a few details about his script, which would apparently take place in post-Soviet Russia and involve nukes and sanitariums.

Adi Granov Discusses His Marvel Movies – (BadTaste)

This is a cool interview with Adi Granov, a great artist who was instrumental in concept designs for the Iron Man movies. Here he discusses some other work he’s done for Marvel. At the link, the interview is in Spanish, but if you keep scrolling they posted the English version beneath.

There is a Mark everyone is waiting to see on the big screen, the Hulkbuster. It’s a fan favourite armour…

I know. I see things this way. In the first movie we had the Iron Monger, the idea for him came from the Hulkbuster. 
I did a cover with the Hulkbuster in it. Jon Favreau liked that design and asked me to draw something similar to it for the Iron Monger. So technically the Iron Monger is the Hulkbuster, and that I think is why for a while we won’t see it in a movie. It would only be yet another Iron Man big type of armour.

The geeky community of BadTaste.it didn’t fail to notice the brief cameo of Fing Fang Foom in the Iron Man 2 movie. Considering that it’s your artwork, can you tell us something more about this character and it’s relationship with the Iron Man Franchise?

I mean, Fing Fang Foom is an old Iron Man villain. The director of the movie Jon Favreau and I were doing a comic book together and the villain in that was Fing Fang Foom. And I did the design for Fing Fang Foom. So Jon Asked me to do the design so he could put that in a poster in the movie.
That was the only reason. It was all like some sort of inside… not Joke, but just a thing he did because we where working with it in the comic…

And maybe so you could use the design in a new movie?

I don’t know (laughs) I think Fing Fang Foom is a bit… it’s a character that works in comics, but I don’t think that the mainstream audience that sees movies would understand… they would probably think it is ridiculous.

Ok let’s talk about SPOILERS. I know you can’t say very much about it, but you also know that in the very nexy hours we will see some minutes of the Avengers movie. Can you tell us something about it? Something new?

The problem is that I don’t know what has been shown yet, and I don’t know what marvel already told…

Perfect, we will exploit this weakness

[laughs] Probably not. I just don’t know what… how much… like… for example I did a painting for the avenger movie where you see the Avenger for the first time united as a group, and I meet a friend a couple of weeks ago who had that as a desktop and I was completely surprised, asking him where that came from, because I didn’t know Marvel had released it and I looked up on the Internet and weeks before that they showed some kind of trailer that had the painting in it and I didn’t even think there would be a painting in it. Someone took a screenshot of it and suddenly this painting was everywhere.
 That’s the kind of stuff. I can’t keep track of all the informations that…

But you really can’t. You have to think that now everyone has a cellphone and a camera in it, so the message boards are flooded with behind the scenes images. It’s out of control… so we can already see Capitan America and Thor that fight with some guys in mocap suit. Are they the Skrulls?

[laughs a lot] Well well… I really know what the villains are, but I’m not gonna confirm or say here!

Not a lot of new information, but the interview is a good look at some of the other steps it takes to bring these characters to the big screen.

AKA Jessica Jones Takes Place In The MCU – (Splashpage)

Melissa Rosenberg, who wrote the Twilight movies, speaks on where AKA Jessica Jones fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and some of the characters she wants to use.

“I wrote it kind of off season so it fell in between seasons,” she explained to HitFix. “So, we are waiting to see what happens for the upcoming season now and our hope is that it will come to life at that time. It fell between the cracks of the seasons and, hopefully, this will be the one.”

Would “Jessica Jones” take place in the larger Marvel Universe we’ve seen in recent film adaptations? Rosenberg said that it would, but that doesn’t mean she can use any character she feels like.

“It’s very tricky navigation there,” she admitted. “You can’t mention one guy because Fox has the rights to that guy and Universal has the rights to the other one. There are a lot of boundaries on who you can and can’t use.”

“I had Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and Carol Danvers [for the pilot script],” she went on. “Basically, I wanted those three guys — then I would have a series. Everyone else we can be digging into lesser known characters or taking known characters and renaming them.”

James McAvoy Discusses X-Men: First Class Sequel – (GeekTyrant)

While a sequel is still up in the air at this point, McAvoy talks about what he thinks his character, Professor X, should deal with in X-Men: Second Class. I really hope they don’t call it that, and instantly regret writing it.

“[Xavier] can’t just become the guy that we saw in the first three movies,” says McAvoy. “He just had two major things happen to him. He’s lost his best friend, essentially, and he’s just been paralyzed from the waist down. Which is just a huge, huge blow to his considerable ego. So he’s got to deal with that… You’ve got to deal with that, I don’t care if he’s a superhero and has brain powers or not, he’s just had a huge part of his physical life taken away from him, by someone he cares about more than anyone else. So he’s got to deal with that.”

I would absolutely be interested in a First Class sequel, hoping of course it keeps the creativity from the first one, doesn’t go mutant crazy like X-Men: The Last Stand, and Michael Fassbender returns as Magneto.

Fassbender Also Wants More Professor X – (Splashpage)

He spoke out on his thoughts for the sequel, and they mirror McAvoy’s. It seems this is turning more into X-Men: Origins – Professor Xavier then a sequel to First Class. I’m oddly fine with that.

When asked about whether he saw Magneto, nee Erik Lehnsherr, as a true bad guy after the first one’s finale, he said he wasn’t so sure. “I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I think he’s all right, isn’t he?” he said. “Human beings having been doing some bad sh– to him.”

Fassbender has talked about his enthusiasm for a sequel before, but spoke mostly in generalities about what could be next for the mutants. What Fassbender wants to see most has to do with his co-star, James McAvoy‘s character, Charles Xavier.

“I’m very interested to see where we pick up with Charles Xavier, to be honest. In the film we just did, ‘First Class,’ we got to see how Magneto becomes Magneto, how he leaves Erik behind and takes on the persona of Magneto,” Fassbender said. “We’ve yet to see how Charles develops into Professor X. I think that’s going to be interesting to take a look at.”

When MTV News spoke with Fassbender before, the actor mentioned that he and McAvoy had formulated some of their own ideas for a sequel. During the most recent interview, he still expressed interest in getting some of those thoughts in front of the camera.

“I bumped into James literally just before I came over to the States to do all this press, and we’re both pretty keen to sit down with [the director] Matthew [Vaughn],” he said. “Hopefully Matthew’s going to be interested in doing the next one, if that’s the case, and really getting in there at the ground level with the writer and get some of our ideas in there.”

The Dark Knight Rises Wraps Production? – (Splashpage)

According to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it’s a ‘picture wrap’ on The Dark Knight Rises. Whether that means the whole production has finished or his role has remains to be seen, but he goes on to talk a little about the cast’s feeling about the final chapter of the trilogy.

“Everyone (on set) is really excited about what we’re making ‘cause everyone knows we’re making something good,” he said. “We’re not just doing it for a paycheck, we’re not just punching the clock, everyone really cares about the movie, and that always makes it way more fun to do.”

Cavill Compares His Man of Steel to DC’s New 52 – (Splashpage)

I think we all saw some similarities between DC’s New 52 Superman and the upcoming Man of Steel‘s Superman, but Henry Cavill tells us about it anyway.

“There are a lot of people who have dedicated their life to loving this character,” he said. “Their opinion does matter… I’ve done my research on the source material. I have my opinions on the various bits and bobs, but sometimes there will be a little gem out there about one of the books, and I’ll say to myself, ‘Yeah. That’s a good point.'”

“When [‘The New 52’] came out, everyone went, ‘Arrhhh! Everything’s changed,'” he said. “It’s part of the evolution of the character. There is a modernization to it, and certainly our style is making him easier to associate with because it’s pretty tough to associate with an invulnerable alien.”

No… it isn’t. But obviously DC and Warner Bros are going to relate the movie Supes with the brand new DC Superman, that’s just great marketing.

Amy Adams’ Lois Lane is a ‘Clean Slate’ – (Splashpage)

There’s been a lot of debate regarding the casting of Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and it certainly isn’t a name a lot of people were throwing around for Lois before she was cast. She talks a little about her approach to the character with one of the richest and long standing histories of any female character.

When asked if she were influenced by previous Lois Lanes or if she were treating this as a clean slate, Adams replied, “Yeah, I treat it like a clean slate. I mean, I come from theater where people play the same role over and over again. And so I’ve always approached acting that way.”

“But I have a lot of reverence and respect for the people who’ve come before me,” she went on. “I mean, there’s a long history, you know, of television and film performances of Lois Lane. I definitely have a lot of respect for them and take what I can from them.”

Man of Steel 2 Already looking For Writers – (Splashpage)

Generally, if a sequel script is commissioned before the original hits theaters, this is a good sign. Not always, but sometimes. So does that bode well for Man of Steel?

According to a rumor originally appearing on the awesomely named ThinkMcFlyThink, the latest film to get the early sequel script order is none other than Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, “Man of Steel.”

The report claims that Warner Bros. already has a shortlist of potential scribes for the sequel with “Harry Potter” writer Steve Kloves at the very top.

The two other writers mentioned in the rumor are Travis Beacham of “Clash of the Titans” and the upcoming Guillermo del Toro film “Pacific Rim” and the legendary Lawrence Kasdan, the man behind “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Splashpage goes a little further and weighs out some pros and cons of the rumored writers here. I think it’s a little early for a sequel to be talked about, but it might mean that things look so good that someone’s interested. Keep in mind, Green Lantern received a sequel script as well.

And that’s it for this edition of the Hero Express. It was more Hero than Express, but we’ll have another one for you later in the week, so keep us your one-stop shop for all your nerdy news!

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