Taika Waititi wants Tessa Thompson to explore queer Valkyrie in new Thor movie

Taika Waititi hopes Tessa Thompson will get to explore the queer side of her character Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder.The Jojo Rabbit director initially shot a scene showing Valkyrie as bisexual for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, but it was cut from the fi…

Taika Waititi hopes Tessa Thompson will get to explore the queer side of her character Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The Jojo Rabbit director initially shot a scene showing Valkyrie as bisexual for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, but it was cut from the final edit. However, the Westworld actress later revealed her character was part of the LGBTQ community at a Comic-Con fan event last year.

Speaking to Variety, Taika shared that he would love Tessa to get a queer storyline in the upcoming film, but the decision is ultimately down to Marvel Studios and Disney bosses.

“The IP (intellectual property) is not mine,” he said of whether the character would be explicitly bisexual. “But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable – whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go – then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”

Thompson told Variety last year that she plays Valkyrie as bisexual but that side of her hasn’t been explored because romance isn’t “at the forefront” of the superhero films.

“In the canon, yeah, she is bisexual. You see her with both women and men, so that was my intention in playing her,” she said, adding that Marvel will be including more overtly LGBTQ characters in “the next phase”.

As for the rest of the movie, which will feature Natalie Portman’s Dr. Jane Foster taking on the mantle of her old love interest, Thor, Taika said fans can expect the unexpected.

“At Marvel, we always change everything,” he explained. “I could say one thing right now, and in two years, it will be the complete opposite – or that thing won’t exist. We continue writing even in post-production.”

Thor: Love and Thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth and rumoured franchise newcomer Christian Bale, debuts in November, 2021.

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Captain Marvel sequel officially in the works

The sequel to Captain Marvel is officially in development at Marvel Studios.Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson played Carol Danvers in last year’s comic book movie, which followed the story of a military pilot who becomes the extraterrestrial warrior. C…

The sequel to Captain Marvel is officially in development at Marvel Studios.

Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson played Carol Danvers in last year’s comic book movie, which followed the story of a military pilot who becomes the extraterrestrial warrior.

Captain Marvel, which also starred Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Ben Mendelsohn and Djimon Hounsou, raked in more than $1 billion (£761 million) at the worldwide box office, and its huge success has now spawned a sequel.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel executives have tapped Megan McDonnell to write the script and she is in final negotiations to seal her deal.

The action will reportedly shift from the 1990s to the present day and Marvel bosses are eyeing a 2022 release date.

McDonnell is also part of the writing team for the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, which was recently bumped up from a 2021 release date and will now be on the streaming service later this year.

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck co-directed Captain Marvel and it has been reported that they won’t return for the follow-up. They wrote the original script with Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Nicole Perlman, and Meg LeFauve.

Larson, who last appeared as Captain Marvel in the huge ensemble blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, has yet to comment on the news.

Back in December, she played down rumours of a sequel and told Variety that she was just looking forward to time off from the extensive press tours surrounding the Marvel movies.

“I don’t really know what job I’m going to do next, which is very exciting,” she said. “I don’t even know what my life’s gonna be!”

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Christian Bale in talks to join Thor: Love and Thunder – report

Christian Bale is reportedly in negotiations to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder.The Oscar-winning actor is in talks with Marvel bosses to play an as-yet-unknown character in the fourth instalment of the superhero franchise, which sees Chris Hemsworth …

Christian Bale is reportedly in negotiations to appear in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The Oscar-winning actor is in talks with Marvel bosses to play an as-yet-unknown character in the fourth instalment of the superhero franchise, which sees Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the titular Norse god, according to editors at Collider.

Taika Waititi is also returning to direct the sequel, after his huge success with Thor: Ragnarok back in 2017. Production is set to start later this summer.

Should the deal go ahead, Thor: Love and Thunder will be Bale’s first comic book movie since his final turn as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises in 2012.

Since the news broke, Marvel fans have speculated on social media that the 45-year-old could be playing Beta Ray Bill, who first appeared in Marvel comics as Thor’s adversary in 1983, and shares similar strength to the superhero.

Meanwhile, Thor comics writer Jason Aaron suggested that Bale should portray Dario Agger, the vicious chief executive of the Roxxon Corporation.

“You know who’s got my vote. ‘Who Is Christian Bale Playing in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER?'” he wrote on Twitter, alongside an illustration of the character.

Marvel representatives have not yet to commented on the report.

Tessa Thompson will also be reprising her Thor: Ragnarok role as Valkyrie in Love and Thunder, while Natalie Portman will return to the franchise as Dr. Jane Foster and take on the mantle of The Mighty Thor in the fourth instalment.

Thor: Love and Thunder is set for release in November 2021.

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Todd Phillips: ‘I understand Martin Scorsese’s comic book movie criticism’

Todd Phillips understands Martin Scorsese’s disparaging comments about comic book blockbusters.Last month, The Irishman director was criticised for describing Marvel and DC Comics’ big-screen superhero movies as “not cinema” and likening them to theme …

Todd Phillips understands Martin Scorsese’s disparaging comments about comic book blockbusters.

Last month, The Irishman director was criticised for describing Marvel and DC Comics’ big-screen superhero movies as “not cinema” and likening them to theme parks.

Marvel stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and Karen Gillan defended the genre in light of the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s comments, but Joker director Phillips has now said that he believes Scorsese was making a fair point.

“Marty got a lot of heat for that (what he said), but I understand it fully. We were struggling to get Joker made, which sounds funny because it exists in the superhero world, but it’s really not one of those movies,” he commented during The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable chat with Scorsese, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Fernando Meirelles, and Lulu Wang.

“We spent a year at Warner Bros., and I saw emails back and forth, literally, where they said, ‘Does he realise we sell Joker pyjamas at Target?’ I go, ‘Didn’t movies come first and pyjamas come second? Are the pyjamas dictating the movies?’

“Theme park rides. Pyjamas. Slurpee cups. Whatever it is that you are selling off the back of movies, you can’t make your decisions based on that.”

Elsewhere in the discussion, the Taxi Driver filmmaker insisted he had no problem with the movies and was simply comparing them to the scale of a theme park.

“People go to the movie. Enjoy it. That sort of thing. It’s not bad,” Scorsese stated. “We used to love to go to amusement parks. But now in an amusement park, you have the film.”

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Kumail Nanjiani stuns fans with ripped physique

Kumail Nanjiani has wowed fans by showing off his physical transformation for his role in Marvel movie The Eternals. The Silicon Valley actor and stand-up comedian was revealed to be playing Kingo, a cosmic-powered being and legendary swordsman, in th…

Kumail Nanjiani has wowed fans by showing off his physical transformation for his role in Marvel movie The Eternals.

The Silicon Valley actor and stand-up comedian was revealed to be playing Kingo, a cosmic-powered being and legendary swordsman, in the Marvel movie earlier this year, and he has been training heavily to prepare for filming.

On Monday evening, the 41-year-old showed off the result of his hard work, posting a shirtless picture on Instagram to flaunt his new ripped abs and bulging biceps.

“I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are,” he wrote in the caption. “I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time.”

He went on to thank trainer Grant Roberts for making him “understand true physical pain for months and months”, the fitness team on location, the chefs at Matthews Street Catering for making him healthy meals, and his wife Emily V. Gordon for “putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year”.

Kumail’s picture subsequently went viral on social media and received many celebrity comments. Dwayne Johnson praised his transformation by writing, “Extremely hard work. Dense muscle is hard to achieve. Looking great my brother!!” with fist bump and flexing muscle emojis, while fellow former wrestler Dave Bautista wrote, “Holy good god! I’d say mission accomplished. Way to get after it brother!”

Brittany Snow added, “Holy. S**t,” Jason Biggs commented, “Holy balls,” and Chelsea Handler stated, “This is ridiculous.”

The Eternals, which also stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Richard Madden, is slated to hit cinemas in November 2020.

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Scarlett Johansson blindsided by Black Widow trailer release

Scarlett Johansson had no idea Marvel executives were going to release the trailer for her Black Widow movie this week.The actress, who starred as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the Avengers films and now fronts her own standalone movie, was left blin…

Scarlett Johansson had no idea Marvel executives were going to release the trailer for her Black Widow movie this week.

The actress, who starred as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the Avengers films and now fronts her own standalone movie, was left blindsided when studio bosses dropped the first trailer on Monday without telling her first, and she only found out from Captain America star Chris Evans.

“Nobody told me it was coming out,” Scarlett said during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Thursday night. “I actually woke up and I got a text from Chris Evans and he was like, ‘The trailer looks great.’ I don’t know what he was doing up at 5am, that’s a whole other story, but I was as excited as everybody else. I had no idea it was coming out. They didn’t tell me, they keep everything from me.”

Scarlett also confirmed that the Black Widow movie will be set between 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

And while fans have been desperate for a standalone film about the mysterious character, the screen star insisted the timing wasn’t right for the project until recently.

“A lot of people told me the film should have happened before and they’re wondering if it’s too late for this movie now, but I could not have told this movie 10 years ago,” the 35-year-old said. “My journey with Natasha has informed this film… It has a complexity to it that’s just delicious. Not to say that it wouldn’t have been entertaining 10 years ago, but we get to do stuff now that’s just good… It’s a homecoming.”

Black Widow, also featuring David Harbour, Florence Pugh, and Rachel Weisz, is slated to hit U.S. cinemas on 1 May 2020.

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Mark Ruffalo confirms meeting with Kevin Feige over possible Hulk movies

Mark Ruffalo has confirmed he is meeting with Marvel boss Kevin Feige over the possibility of creating a Hulk spin-off movie.The three-time Oscar nominee has played scientist Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego since the 2012 superhero blockbuster…

Mark Ruffalo has confirmed he is meeting with Marvel boss Kevin Feige over the possibility of creating a Hulk spin-off movie.

The three-time Oscar nominee has played scientist Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego since the 2012 superhero blockbuster, The Avengers.

Despite starring in all four of the blockbuster movies alongside a stellar cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, and a comedic appearance in Thor: Ragnarok with Chris Hemsworth, the Hulk has yet to get his own standalone movie with Ruffalo as leading man.

However, the 52-year-old has teased an upcoming meeting with the Marvel Studios boss to discuss the future of the beloved green hero.

“Kevin Feige just asked me last week if I had any more ideas or stories for the Hulk. And I said, ‘Yeah, I think there’s still some stories to tell,'” he said during a recent panel at Tokyo Comic-Con.

“And (Feige) said, ‘Well why don’t you come in and tell me about them and we’ll see if we can find a place for you in the Marvel universe?’ Hulk vs. Wolverine. I’d like to see that,” Ruffalo added, to wild applause from the audience.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Feige hinted at the introduction of the Fantastic Four and Professor Xavier’s mutants, the X-Men, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Fans have since speculated that a younger actor could be brought in to replace Hugh Jackman, who retired from playing Wolverine following 2017’s Logan, after 17 years of playing the metal-clawed superhero.

The last standalone Hulk film was Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk back in 2008, which starred Edward Norton as Dr. Bruce Banner, alongside Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt.

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Chadwick Boseman: ‘I’ve noticed change in Hollywood since Black Panther’

Chadwick Boseman has noticed a change in Hollywood since the release of Black Panther in early 2018.The actor starred in the title role in the Marvel superhero movie – an instant classic that broke box office records and cultural ground thanks to its d…

Chadwick Boseman has noticed a change in Hollywood since the release of Black Panther in early 2018.

The actor starred in the title role in the Marvel superhero movie – an instant classic that broke box office records and cultural ground thanks to its diverse cast and storyline.

As for the lasting effect of the film on the movie industry, Chadwick told Britain’s Esquire magazine that he has seen a shift in the business.

“I’ve noticed change. I’ve seen a willingness of production companies and studios to castings in a way that they wouldn’t normally do,” he said. “You can’t make certain statements about a black lead, or a black cast, or having a certain number of people of colour – it’s not just black actors – anymore. In fact, it’s been proven that audiences want to see difference. They want to see variety and a world that reflects them whether it be race, gender, or sexuality. They want to see those things, so I think people are looking for opportunities in storytelling now.”

While the release of Black Panther has also positively affected the “business of distribution”, Chadwick noted that there’s still a long way to go.

“At the same time, I can’t say that everything has changed,” the 41-year-old continued. “The business is finding itself, and finding its value, so it’s still in the balance. I’ll also say that I’m in a unique position where I get to see the front and back of those things. There are a lot of people that haven’t broken through yet, and who are still trying to find their way and trying to get through certain prejudices. I have to acknowledge that, but they have more opportunities to do it.”

Now, film bosses are busy working on a sequel to the film, but there’s little Chadwick can reveal about the hotly anticipated Black Panther 2.

“The only thing I can say is that, for people who are hungry, the food is being prepared. I’m sorry I can’t say more!” he grinned.

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Marvel boss Kevin Feige: ‘Martin Scorsese criticism won’t alter way we make movies’

Marvel boss Kevin Feige has insisted Martin Scorsese’s criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) won’t affect the studio’s output.The Irishman director sparked a huge backlash from Marvel fans and stars such as Robert Downey, Jr. and Mark Ruffal…

Marvel boss Kevin Feige has insisted Martin Scorsese’s criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) won’t affect the studio’s output.

The Irishman director sparked a huge backlash from Marvel fans and stars such as Robert Downey, Jr. and Mark Ruffalo when he called the movies “not cinema” in a recent interview with Britain’s Empire magazine.

Scorsese addressed the controversy in an essay for The New York Times last week, claiming he did not want to attack the artistry of those involved but emphasised that such blockbusters are not to his taste.

Marvel Studios president Feige opened up about the controversy in an interview on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast on Sunday and insisted the veteran filmmaker is “entitled to his opinion” but described his remarks as “unfortunate”.

“I think it’s unfortunate. I think myself and everyone who works on these movies loves cinema, loves movies, loves going to the movies, loves to watch a communal experience in a movie theatre full of people,” he said. “Everybody has a different definition of cinema. Everybody has a different definition of art. Everybody has a different definition of risk. Some people don’t think it’s cinema. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Everyone is entitled to repeat that opinion. Everyone is entitled to write op-eds about that opinion… I look forward to what will happen next. But in the meantime, we’re going to keep making movies.”

Addressing Scorsese’s comment that “nothing is at risk” in Marvel films, Feige noted that the studio killed off half their cast in Avengers: Infinity War – although they were largely brought back in the follow-up, Endgame.

He also stated that The Eternals, the upcoming movie starring Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, was a big risk.

“It is a very big movie. It is a very expensive movie… That’s a risk if I’ve ever heard one,” the producer commented.

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Martin Scorsese defends criticism of Marvel movies

Martin Scorsese has elaborated on his criticism of the Marvel movies in an opinion piece for The New York Times.The Irishman director, 76, sparked a huge backlash by calling the movies “not cinema” in an interview with Britain’s Empire magazine.Scorses…

Martin Scorsese has elaborated on his criticism of the Marvel movies in an opinion piece for The New York Times.

The Irishman director, 76, sparked a huge backlash by calling the movies “not cinema” in an interview with Britain’s Empire magazine.

Scorsese addressed the controversy in an article published in The New York Times on Monday, claiming he did not want to attack the artistry of those involved, but stating that they are not to his taste and are crowding other types of films out of cinemas.

“Many franchise films are made by people of considerable talent and artistry,” the movie legend wrote in his op-ed. “You can see it on the screen. The fact that the films themselves don’t interest me is a matter of personal taste and temperament.

“I know that if I were younger, if I’d come of age at a later time, I might have been excited by these pictures and maybe even wanted to make one myself. But I grew up when I did and I developed a sense of movies – of what they were and what they could be – that was as far from the Marvel universe as we on Earth are from Alpha Centauri.”

The director went on to describe his love of Alfred Hitchcock’s films and compared their spectacular set-pieces to current comic book blockbusters.

However, he also stated that modern blockbuster franchises are “market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption” – unlike those of auteur directors like Spike Lee, Kathryn Bigelow, or Paul Thomas Anderson.

Defending his decision to criticise Marvel, the famed director explained that even iconic auteurs like himself were struggling to get their films into cinemas – as he’d had to turn to Netflix to make his new gangster epic The Irishman.

“We have a theatrical window, which is great,” he complains. “Would I like the picture to play on more big screens for longer periods of time? Of course I would. But no matter whom you make your movie with, the fact is that the screens in most multiplexes are crowded with franchise pictures.”

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