MovieBob - Intermission
MovieBob Predicts the (Near) Future of Movies

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 18 Jul 2014 16:00
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doctor strange comic cover 350

3. BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH WILL PLAY MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE
This is the one I feel the least confident about, for the record -- I'm mostly putting it on here because if it turns out to be correct I'm going to look pretty swag for a couple of minutes there.

But, these are the facts: It is widely assumed that Marvel Studios have already decided on an actor for Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange movie, and that they will announce the casting as part of their big panel on the last day of San Diego Comic-Con 2014. In-demand actor Benedict Cumberbatch is scheduled to attend SDCC, but it's somewhat unclear as to why. Officially, he's there to promote Dreamworks' Penguins of Madagascar, in which he has a voiceover role, but it's hard to believe a busy actor would make the trip just for that. He's not (officially) scheduled to appear at the BBC's Sherlock panel or Warner Bros' The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies presentation as a surprise... except since he's already going to be at the show that doesn't really seem like a surprise worthy of keeping a surprise.

But "Sherlock joins that Marvel Universe?" That's the kind of headline-generating, internet-exploding reveal that SDCC attendees have come to expect from Marvel presentations -- and they're going to need one to help minimize the Ant-Man-sized elephant in the room. Nevermind the fact that Cumberbatch is an actor without a blockbuster franchise to call his own yet, was on Marvel's known "short list" of actors sought for the role (though he's on all those lists, to be fair) and would be pretty damn good casting -- especially since he'd bring with him a sizable substrata of geek-audience (read: female, BBC/Who/etc-adjacent) that Marvel hasn't actively courted yet.

4. EITHER MASTER SPLINTER OR THE SHREDDER WILL BE APRIL O'NEIL'S FATHER IN THE TMNT REBOOT
The TMNT reboot trailers have all included the same bit of dialogue where William Fichtner's evil businessman Eric Sachs (originally thought to be The Shredder but as of the full trailer seemingly a guy working for him) implying to Megan Fox's April O'Neil that he and her (unseen and apparently uncast) father had collaborated on scientific experiments that may have created the Turtles, the Foot Clan or both.

Since nothing is allowed to be a coincidence or even just not connected to a single continuity of cosmic predetermination in genre franchises anymore, the moment I first heard that I figured that odds were pretty good in favor of Master Splinter turning out to be April's (now-mutant) father, but now that the most recent trailer appears to confirm that Sachs is not Shredder himself and that the actual Shredder's face is hidden in shadow (implying that what he looks like should be a surprise of some kind); I'd say it's equally likely that he could be the babydaddy himself.

5-A. MS. MARVEL HAS ALREADY BEEN CAST -- AND THEY'LL CALL HER THAT, NOT "CAPTAIN MARVEL"
Full disclosure: I've seen and heard more than a few iffy to decent sources call the notion that Marvel Studios is already planning a Ms. Marvel movie and has already picked their actress for the part (and sworn her to absolute secrecy). It's the worst-kept secret in Hollywood right now (yes, I hear a lot of names bandied about, no Katie Sackoff doesn't appear to be one of them). But since none of that would fall under a sure thing, this is still just a hunch.

Here's the issue: Marvel/Disney know that they're perceived as having a diversity problem, particularly as The Avengers are concerned. They also know that the preponderance of recent female-led blockbusters (Gravity, Frozen and Maleficent just to name a few) threatens to make the male-heavy superhero genre look a touch behind the times. They know that rival studio Warner Bros. is likely going to make headlines revealing Wonder Woman's movie-look (and maybe footage) at their SDCC presentation, and they'd like to not be caught without an "answer" to that -- in fact, ideally, they'd really to be able to say, even as just a technically, that Carol Danvers "beat" Wonder Woman to the screen.

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