Joe Russo: ‘Removing Spider-Man from Marvel Cinematic Universe is a tragic mistake’

Director Joe Russo believes Sony executives have made a “tragic mistake” in pulling Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In August, it was revealed that bosses at Sony Pictures and Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, couldn…

Director Joe Russo believes Sony executives have made a “tragic mistake” in pulling Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

In August, it was revealed that bosses at Sony Pictures and Disney, the parent company of Marvel Studios, couldn’t agree on new co-financing and profit-sharing terms, so the deal they made in 2015 to share the film rights to Spider-Man was off. This meant that the web-slinging superhero, played by Tom Holland, would no longer be a part of the MCU.

Yet, during an interview with the Toronto Sun, Russo, who directed Holland as Spider-Man in three MCU films with his brother Anthony, said Sony leaders were making a mistake if they thought they could replicate the genius of Marvel boss Kevin Feige.

“It was a tenuous, fraught union throughout the whole process,” he said. “But, I will say, stepping back and trying to be objective as possible, that I think it’s a tragic mistake on Sony’s part to think that they can replicate Kevin’s penchant for telling incredible stories and the amazing success he has had over the years. I think it’s a big mistake.”

The Russo brothers directed Holland’s first appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and Anthony admitted they weren’t surprised that the deal fell apart.

“It was so difficult to get him into Civil War. It was an extremely long and hard process,” the filmmaker added. “But we were driven to help make it happen. But Kevin Feige pulled it off, somehow. Disney and all the good people at Sony found a way to make it work and it lasted a few films. We had a wonderful experience with that, and I think audiences really appreciated that marriage. But we know how hard that marriage was to make in the first place, so the fact that the marriage fell apart isn’t really that surprising to me and Joe.”

Holland has assured fans that he will still be playing the superhero in Sony’s movies.

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Idris Elba keen to reprise Thor role

Idris Elba is keen to return to the Thor franchise as Heimdall – despite the fact his character died in Avengers: Infinity War. The 46-year-old played Heimdall, the all-seeing and all-knowing gatekeeper of the rainbow Bifrost bridge and Thor’s good fr…

Idris Elba is keen to return to the Thor franchise as Heimdall – despite the fact his character died in Avengers: Infinity War.

 The 46-year-old played Heimdall, the all-seeing and all-knowing gatekeeper of the rainbow Bifrost bridge and Thor’s good friend, from the first Thor movie in 2011 until he was killed at the hands of Thanos in the 2018 film.  

 However, during an interview with ABC Radio on Tuesday, the star explained that he’s hopeful the Marvel Comics character could be brought back to life.  

 When asked if he’d return to the franchise, he insisted: “Of course! … Listen, Heimdall is essentially part of the god family. So, you know, he essentially could be alive. I’m just saying! I’m just putting it out there. The Heimdall character goes way back into, you know, the Thor mythology. And I’m sure there will be an interesting way to bring that alive. Of course, I would. Yes.”  

 A return for a deceased Thor franchise character wouldn’t be unusual, as Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, who was also killed off in the same movie, is set to come back in a new series for Disney’s streaming service Disney+, which is expected to drop in 2021. The show is rumoured to have elements of time travel, which could provide an opening for Elba’s return.  

 There are also two feature films in which Heimdall could potentially appear – the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder and possibly even Guardians of the Galaxy 3.  

 Elba is currently promoting Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and will next be seen onscreen as Macavity in the live-action adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical Cats later this year. 

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Tom Holland wants Spider-Man to team up with Doctor Strange

Tom Holland wants Spider-Man to team up with Doctor Strange on a spin-off Avengers movie.The 23-year-old first appeared as the superhero in Captain America: Civil War, before starring as Peter Parker in the 2017 movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Tom worke…

Tom Holland wants Spider-Man to team up with Doctor Strange on a spin-off Avengers movie.

The 23-year-old first appeared as the superhero in Captain America: Civil War, before starring as Peter Parker in the 2017 movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Tom worked with Doctor Strange’s Benedict Cumberbatch on Avengers: Infinity War, as the pair’s characters partnered up with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, led by Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, to battle Thanos on the fictional planet Titan.

They were briefly reunited in Avengers: Endgame, and the British actor is determined to bring Spider-Man and Doctor Strange together for a standalone film.

“I’m really wanting to do a team-up with Doctor Strange, because we’re both New Yorkers and I just really like the idea of a science guy being teamed up with a guy who does magic, because it totally contradicts everything he knows,” he told CinemaBlend. “And I like the idea that there is real science that Peter Parker talks about, and then there’s Doctor Strange gibberish, where he’s like, ‘The time rift and the thing and the thing.’ So it’s kind of fun.”

Tom’s next venture as the web-slinging superhero is in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Homecoming, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, and Samuel L. Jackson.

It seems that Marvel boss Kevin Feige is also onboard with a possible Spider-Man/Doctor Strange movie, as last year he noted that Benedict and Tom really enjoyed working together.

The duo can next be seen onscreen in the Thomas Edison historical drama, The Current War.

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James McAvoy confirms X-Men: Dark Phoenix ending was entirely reshot

James McAvoy has confirmed the ending of X-Men: Dark Phoenix was reshot due to “parallels” with another superhero film.The Scottish actor reprises his role as Charles Xavier / Professor X in the latest instalment of the Marvel Comics franchise, with th…

James McAvoy has confirmed the ending of X-Men: Dark Phoenix was reshot due to “parallels” with another superhero film.

The Scottish actor reprises his role as Charles Xavier / Professor X in the latest instalment of the Marvel Comics franchise, with the new movie focusing on how Jean Grey, as played by Sophie Turner, loses control of her telepathic and telekinetic powers and becomes the Phoenix.

However, McAvoy has now shared in an interview with Yahoo Movies UK that the third act of the feature was totally re-written as it bore a resemblance to another movie in production at the time.

“The end (of Dark Phoenix) changed a hell of a lot. The finale had to change. For the better. There was a lot of overlap and parallels with another superhero movie that came out… a while ago. And we had no idea that we were,” he stated, while his co-star Michael Fassbender, who plays Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto, interjected: “They had spies on set and (they) basically stole our ideas. Infiltrated.”

“We were basically trawling through the source material, it seems,” McAvoy added.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix began filming in June 2017, though director Simon Kinberg spent over a year in the post-production phase, with studio executives forced to delay the film’s release twice.

While McAvoy refused to comment on which other film he was referring to, there have been numerous Marvel and DC superhero movies made within the same period, including Thor: Ragnarok, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Infinity War, Aquaman and Avengers: Endgame.

Elsewhere, Turner spoke about the changes to the ending of the flick, and added: “I think it’s so much better for the reshoots. It was just one of those things… you watched the first two acts and the third act just didn’t feel cohesive. We went back and we redid all of the third act pretty much and it was such a good decision. I mean, the third act is the best part of the movie, for me.”

X-Men: Dark Phoenix, also featuring Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult, hits cinemas from 5 June.

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Avengers: Endgame races past $400 million at the U.S. box office

Avengers: Endgame has shattered another U.S. box office record, becoming the first movie to flash past $400 million (£307 million) in just five days. The Marvel blockbuster recorded the third best Monday take ever – behind Black Panther and Star Wars…

Avengers: Endgame has shattered another U.S. box office record, becoming the first movie to flash past $400 million (£307 million) in just five days.

The Marvel blockbuster recorded the third best Monday take ever – behind Black Panther and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – and, added to it’s massive opening weekend haul, that was enough to take it past the $400 million mark.

The new Avengers film managed the feat three days quicker than the previous record holder, The Force Awakens.

The star-studded film, which wraps up Marvel’s Avengers series, is now on course to score the best Tuesday at the American box office, with estimates suggesting it will pick up a further $37.3 million (£28.6 million) – $14 million (£10.8 million) more than the previous record holder, Avengers: Infinity War.

And experts predict the blockbuster will shatter second weekend records from Friday to Sunday (03-05May19) with a further $180 million (£138 million). That will be $30 million (£23 million) more than The Force Awakens, which had the added bonus of being a Christmas holiday release.

Endgame has already smashed records at box offices around the world thanks to its spectacular $1.2 billion opening weekend haul. It brought in over $350 million (£268 million) in North America alone after breaking preview records on Thursday night (25Apr19), and it is now on track to become the biggest film of all time, set to beat out Avatar and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The film crushed the U.S. box office record set by its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, which opened with $250 million (£192 million) domestically last year (18) and almost doubled The Fate of the Furious’ overseas opening weekend record of $443 million (£340 million), with a staggering $859 million (£659 million) haul, including a $330 million (£253 million) opening weekend in China.

The blockbuster also shattered opening day records in America, adding almost $30 million (£23 million) to Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ $129 million (£99 million) first Friday record.

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Brie Larson’s stylist came up with ‘infinity stone’ rings idea for Avengers: Endgame premiere

Brie Larson stole the Avengers: Endgame red carpet on Monday night with a set of bespoke “infinity stone” rings, based on the film’s namesake weapon, an idea her stylist Samantha McMillen thought up.In last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, the infinity g…

Brie Larson stole the Avengers: Endgame red carpet on Monday night with a set of bespoke “infinity stone” rings, based on the film’s namesake weapon, an idea her stylist Samantha McMillen thought up.

In last year’s Avengers: Infinity War, the infinity gauntlet was used by supervillain Thanos to wipe out half of the universe’s population.

The weapon contains six stones – which are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple – and the Captain Marvel actress, who also stars in the latest instalment of the series, took to the red carpet for the film’s Los Angeles premiere wearing an array of suitably-themed jewellery.

Donning a slinky, silk lavender custom Celine gown, the 29-year-old wore five custom-made rings based on the stones, as well as a gold cuff bracelet featuring the sixth jewel.

Following the event, Brie shared a number of posts on her Instagram Stories from jewellery designer Irene Neuwirth, who detailed how the collaboration came into fruition.

“So.… (Brie’s stylist) called me when I was in Africa and had a great idea!! What if I designed rings and a bracelet inspired by Thanos and the infinity stones,” she recalled.

The designer went on to share snaps ranging from initial sketches to prototypes and behind the scenes pictures from fittings, and enthused over the end result: “It’s so great when it all works out!!!”

Samantha also uploaded a close up image of Brie rocking the jewels on her own Instagram account, writing: “This one’s for you @ireneneuwirth #brielarson #avengersendgame #captainmarvel #thanos #infinitystones.”

It’s been a busy start to the week for Brie, who also stunned at the Time 100 Gala at New York’s Lincoln Center on Tuesday, where she looked radiant in a green strapless gown by Prada that featured a full skirt and pockets.

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Scarlett Johansson: ‘Avengers fans will see Black Widow’s emotional side’

Scarlett Johansson is looking forward to fans getting to see a more emotional side to her Black Widow character in Avengers: Endgame.The 34-year-old actress first appeared as Russian secret agent Natasha Romanoff in 2010’s Iron Man 2, whose time as B…

Scarlett Johansson is looking forward to fans getting to see a more emotional side to her Black Widow character in Avengers: Endgame.

The 34-year-old actress first appeared as Russian secret agent Natasha Romanoff in 2010’s Iron Man 2, whose time as Black Widow with the Avengers superhero team toughened her outlook on life.

However, she says the events of the preceding film Avengers: Infinity War, when half of all living things, including many of her friends and fellow heroes, were wiped out by the villainous Thanos’ all-powerful ‘snap’ may lead to us seeing more of the Black Widow’s softer side.

“I think the character is really vulnerable and is pretty raw and emotionally available, more than I thought she’d be, but I think that’s what happens post-snap,” she tells HeyUGuys.com. “You’re just pretty messed up. She’s letting herself feel all that stuff and it’s cool to be able to do that.

Although sworn to secrecy before the movie debuts on Thursday (25Apr19), she hinted that how the remaining characters, who include Robert Downey, Jr’s Iron Man, and Chris Evans’ Captain America, deal with the loss caused by the snap will be a big theme.

“I hope that the audience is able to have a cathartic experience through the characters’ experience,” she explains. “Because it was pretty messed up. That was bad.”

A solo Black Widow movie is also reportedly in the works, although Scarlett says she knows “very little” about the project.

However, she did add: “There’s plenty to mine from this character because she’s a very interesting character, with a very interesting story and point of view.”

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Chris Hemsworth happy to continue playing Thor after Avengers: Endgame

Chris Hemsworth would be “more than happy” to continue playing superhero Thor if the character survives Avengers: Endgame. The current phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) phase concludes with Endgame, which is thought to be the final film for a n…

Chris Hemsworth would be “more than happy” to continue playing superhero Thor if the character survives Avengers: Endgame.

The current phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) phase concludes with Endgame, which is thought to be the final film for a number of original Avengers such as Chris, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo.

The cast is yet to see the film and have no idea how it ends, but Australian actor Chris would be happy to keep playing the God of Thunder if the character makes it out of Endgame alive.

“This is Marvel’s phase three wrapping up, a culmination of all this journey, whether or not they go off and then shoot other things or do prequels or sequels and whatever they can do,” he says in a clip from The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday (09Apr19). “I mean Loki, my brother, has come back nine times, and every time he dies he just keeps reappearing, so who knows what’s in store for anyone? Me personally, it’s the best fun I’ve ever had, and I’d be happy to do more if they wanted me. More than happy.”

When Ellen states that he must have some idea of the ending because he shot the scenes, Chris reasons that it got quite confusing filming Endgame at the same time as 2018’s Infinity War.

“I have a rough idea of what happens,” he explains. “We shot Infinity War and this over eight months, back and forth (between) both films, overlapping, and in the end, it was like (confused face) and it was being written while we were shooting and the other one was being edited and so on.”

The cast and crew have been unable to really talk about the film during the press tour out of fear of spoilers. On Sunday, Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the franchise, was left red-faced when she thought she’d revealed a plot point at the Los Angeles press conference, where she appeared to reveal she would face her father Thanos, the main villain.

“I don’t know if she will. Maybe she won’t. I just got really nervous I gave something away, so I’m going to stop,” she quickly added.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige also revealed to IGN that the company has a five-year plan but will not be announcing any more projects until after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home in July.

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Winston Duke: ‘Avengers: Endgame is going to be crazy’

Winston Duke has teased that the final instalment in Marvel’s Avengers franchise will be “bigger than Infinity War”.According to the Black Panther star, bosses at Marvel Studios have covered new ground with Avengers: Endgame which he insists is going t…

Winston Duke has teased that the final instalment in Marvel’s Avengers franchise will be “bigger than Infinity War”.

According to the Black Panther star, bosses at Marvel Studios have covered new ground with Avengers: Endgame which he insists is going to wow fans and will easily top Avengers: Infinity War.

The 32-year-old actor spoke to Entertainment Tonight at the 50th NAACP Awards on Friday (29Mar19), before celebrating Black Panther’s eight awards on the night.

“Honestly, what I can tell you is that it’s bigger than Infinity War … It’s going to be a lot of fun, going to be crazy, and they have a way of still topping themselves when you feel like they might have jumped the shark,” gushed Winston. “They still have a way of making it new.”

The Us star, who won a legion of fans for his portrayal of Wakandan warrior M’Baku, shared that he was also stunned by the superhero deaths in Infinity War, including his former adversary Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).

In Endgame, which premieres 26 April, the remaining superheroes band together to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin), while also trying to find a way to bring their friends back from the dead.

“I went through the same thing, too,” he revealed. “I just went back to the comic books, because I didn’t know anyone was going to die. They shot things separate. Even some of the people who died didn’t know they were going to die.”

Winston’s comments come after the directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, revealed that the film’s runtime will be 182 minutes, making it 22 minutes longer Infinity War.

“We’re very rigorous about storytelling points, and we spend months in the edit room twisting and turning the narrative a bunch of different ways until we think we’ve unlocked the best one,” Joe Russo explained to Box Office Pro. “We’re vigilant about using test audiences to tell us whether we’re on the right track or we’re making bad decisions.

“With Endgame, it had one of the most incredible audience responses in Marvel history. Irrespective of the length, it’s been consistently embraced by the test audiences.”

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Idris Elba calls for end to knife crime with statement T-shirt

Idris Elba has stepped out in a statement T-shirt to send an impassioned message to young people to help put an end to knife crime.The Avengers: Infinity War star wore the garment when he attended the National Film Awards in London on Wednesday (27Mar1…

Idris Elba has stepped out in a statement T-shirt to send an impassioned message to young people to help put an end to knife crime.

The Avengers: Infinity War star wore the garment when he attended the National Film Awards in London on Wednesday (27Mar19).

The T-shirt was all black and had the slogan “Don’t Stab Your Future” emblazoned in a white, jagged font across the front. He completed the look with a navy overcoat, grey tapered trousers, and black sneakers.

Idris’ plea came following the news that knife crime levels in the U.K. have reached a new high, with more than 285 fatal stabbings in the past year, the most since records began in 1946.

The Luther actor, who was honoured with the Best Director prize for his work on crime drama Yardie at the ceremony, called the knife crime epidemic “worse than any war.”

“The more people who raise the alarm, the more awareness there is,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Hopefully (young people will) begin to understand what might happen to them. Apart from dying, it just destroys their lives, and their families’ lives.”

The 46-year-old also called for celebrities to use their platforms to promote a positive change, and insisted that people “aren’t making enough noise” about the problem.

“There are a lot of celebrities who have amazing platforms – say something,” the star encouraged.

Idris had previously spoken out about knife crime earlier this month, when he posted a video on his Instagram page condemning the offence.

“If you’ve got a knife, or you know someone that’s got a knife, tell them to stab themselves right now,” he wrote in the caption. “Because you’re just going to stab your future if you go and stab someone else.”

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