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IT MAY seem like a sure bet – taking a popular comic book with a built-in audience and turning it into a blockbuster movie. But there really is no sure-fire recipe for success when it comes to transforming comic books into films. Just ask DC about Green Lantern.
Marvel Studios, though, seem to have found a magic formula, by not playing it safe but by thinking big. They have planned their films in waves. Instead of focusing on a single film, they’ve developed multiple storylines and now, with Iron Man 3 releasing on DVD, we’re fully into phase two.
They seem to be committed to exploring new ideas and surprising people, and, above all, letting specific writers and directors follow through on their crazy ideas, and not allowing focus groups and bean counters to sway decisions.
Sequels to successful movies tend to play it safe because accountants see dollar signs, but this doesn’t seem to apply to Marvel with Thor: The Dark World (November 8) or Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4 next year) and definitely not with Guardians of the Galaxy (next year on August 1).
Concept art suggests that Guardians of the Galaxy will make heavy use of computer-generated images (created through a mix of motion-capture and rotomation VFX). This time, though, Zoe Saldana of Avatar fame is going to be green-skinned and not blue, courtesy of make-up rather than CGI, since she’s playing Thanos’s estranged daughter, Gamora.
Anyone familiar with these relatively obscure comic books knows the story about the extra-terrestrial superteam isn’t exactly run-of-the-mill stuff – there’s even a talking tree and a rocket launching raccoon in there somewhere...
So phase two takes us off Earth and into the cosmos where anything goes, which already started with The Avengers introducing Thanos as the bad guy. He will put in an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy and be the focus of The Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015).
Speaking of green-skinned creatures, the Hulk may be one of the most recognisable comic book characters, but he has always been rather cursed when bringing him to the big screen.
Mark Ruffalo turned out to be a surprise hit with fans when he introduced the character in Marvel’s The Avengers and it appears that he has bagged himself a six-film contract. Could one of the phase three movies be for him?
Well, if Hank Pym can get his own movie in Ant-Man (to be directed by Edgar Wright), which kicks off phase 3 on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange and Ms Marvel are also supposed to put in an appearance, then anything is possible in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
Tonight and Marvel have a fantastic opportunity for a Marvel superhero fan to win some fantastic prizes.
The lucky readers could win the following: the grand prize winner will win a full 3D home entertainment system and pack worth R17 000, including a 3D Blu-Ray player, surround-sound and a 3D television plus 3D glasses, an Iron Man 2D/3D Blu-Ray disc, The Avengers six-film Blu-Ray box set, plus four other exclusive 3D|Blu-Ray titles.
Four runners-up will each win an |Iron Man 3 2D/3D Blu-Ray disc and The Avengers six-film Blu-Ray box set.
To enter the competition, check the Tonight every day of this week. A Marvel-related story will feature the answer to a simple question.
Today’s question is: Who will play Gamora, daughter to Thanos, in Guardians of the Galaxy?
Save the answer and get the entry details in Friday’s Tonight.