The road to the future Avengers movie is looking a lot clearer now.

I wanted to wait until I had some more concrete information to share before posting here again, but after thinking it through, I realize that it may just be time for a summation of the various odds and ends that i have come across regarding the future Avengers movie from Marvel Studios.

This past Summer, the big news seemed to be just the fact that a number of Marvel movies were going to be green-lighted for production over the next few years, and that they would all be financed in-house by Marvel Entertainment. That Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, Ant Man, and ultimately even the Avengers were all going to be going into production at some point down the road. What is of particular interest to me is that Marvel has been able to keep control of all of these projects by keeping them all in house; They haven't let go of any creative control or of having the say of release dates. this allows them to roll out the films in the most logical order.

This leads to my reason for this post: we now seem to be at a time when Marvel is ready and willing to make some firm announcements on the various projects it has already announced.

Marvel has confirmed the release date for Iron Man 2 as 7th May 2010 and confirmed that Jon Favreau will be back at the helm as the film's director. There has been a change of script writers however: Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby are out and Justin Theroux is in as screenwriter for the sequel.

Another change that came rather suddenly, was the announcement that Terrence Howard was out and that Don Cheadle was in for the role of Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes, Tony stark's right hand man. Apparently this came as something of a surprise to Howard, too, who claimed to have no real prior indication that he would not be along for the sequel. I like cheadle as an actor, but I just regret the lack of continuity that this casting change will bring about.

Robert Downey Jr. has signed on for two future sequels in the Iron Man franchise, and Iron Man 2 is confirmed, but it has not been made completely clear whether the other sequel will in fact be an Iron Man movie or instead his participation in the future Avengers movie.

Next in chronological order would be the Marvel Thor movie, with an announced release date of 16th July 2010. Recent reports suggest that the British Actor/Director Kenneth Branagh is in negotiations with Marvel to direct the Norse God's adaption to the big screen. At this point, the only thing I think is a safe prediction is that the movie will have ahammer in it, and that Thor's arch nemesis, Loki will likely make an appearance.

Reports would have the next Marvel project after Thor being the planned Ant Man movie, scheduled for release sometime in 2010, but with no firm date yet set there is not much to say about this smaller project (ouch) except that Edgar wright is set to direct and that Joe Cornish is presently working on the screenplay.

The next couple of movies confirmed by Marvel are a year further down the road, with both The First Avenger: Captain America (6th May), and The Avengers (15th July) being scheduled for a 2011 release. Just a few days ago we were told that the director for the Captain America movie had been chosen - after some speculation that it would be Nick Cassavetes, it turns out that the director's job will go to Joe Johnston. As for the screenplay, it is reported that Ostby and Fergus - who are no longer associated with Iron Man 2, remember - are in talks to write the screenplay for this one instead. In fact, they have heavily hinted that Marvel gave them almost carte blanche to go and choose whichever project they wanted as their next Marvel project. It will be interesting to see if they follow up the super soldier references from this past Summer's Incredible Hulk movie.

Obviously the title First Avenger is intended to imply that the Captain America movie will be leading into the upcoming Avengers movie. As for the actual Avengersmovie itself, we don't really know a whole lot. we don't even know if Eva Longoria has really been cast as the Wasp in it as some reports suggest (as well as some pictures of her walking around carrying some Avengers comic books) or if she is going to play that character in the Ant Man movie instead.

I think it is pretty impressive just how pumped some comic fans are for the future Marvel Avengers movie: even though there is obviously no official Avengers movie trailer yet and there obviously won't be even a teaser trailer for quite some time, I have already seen on the web a fan made trailer using clips from various movies starring actors who have played Marvel characters in the recent past (even Tobey Maguirre was included). Pretty resourceful.

I guess this means that we have plenty of time to start debating just who we think should be on the movie Avengers roster, eh?

And to think that I haven't even got around to mentioning the rumoured Doctor Strange movie that is possibly in the works. Oh well, there will be planty of time for that later...

AVENGERS MOVIE: Avengers Assembling?

A State of the Marvel Comics Movie Projects Union.

So where are we at with regards to the development of any upcoming Avengers movie based on the Marvel comics? Well this is mostly speculation on my part (hey isn't that what blogs are for? lol) but it looks like things are progressing nicely.

So far, we have had the mucho-successful Marvel Entertainment Iron Man movie, starring Robert Downey Jr and lots of expensive CGI released on the Summer movie-going audiences, replete with a brief cameo appearance by the head of SHIELD himself, Samuel Jackson -er, sorry - Nick Fury, who makes an equally brief reference to an 'Avengers Initiative' (actually based more on Marvel's Ultimates comic series, set in the Marvel Ultimate universe).

Coming up, we have the soon to be released Incredible Hulk movie, starring Ed Norton, Wiliam Hurt and Liv Tyler which will make reference to a special human enhancement serum that is akin to the 'super soldier serum' of Captain America lore. In fact, the latest info was that there would be quite a bit of a tie in to the Super Soldier Program during the Hulk movie including scenes of how much it affects human abilities. Don't forget, that there is also the earlier leaked cameo by Downey Jr in the Hulk movie with him reprising his Tony Stark role from only a month before.

Hmmm, sounds interesting...

Speaking of Captain America, we should not forget that a Captain America movie is supposed to be in production in 2009.

As well there is the talk that a Thor movie is also in the works not too far in the future.

To be honest, I look at all of this and cannot help but think to myself that the future looks really bright for Marvel Entertainment's movie division, and that it might have been a stroke of genius to make the move to financing their own projects and hiring the studios to make them to order, because it has really given Marvel the freedom/ability to lay out a framework that could see some very entertaining and successful movies produced that should ultimately lead to one heck of a kick ass Avengers movie at the end of it all.

( and it should make for some really neat o T-shirts and action figures, too! )

AVENGERS MOVIE: Iron Man Movie director Favreau wants to be the man behind the Avengers movie, too.

Once is not enough for Iron Man movie director

Iron Man movie director, Jon Favreau let it be known recently that he would love to have the opportunity to direct the future avengers movie. MTV.com had the details from Favreau himself:

“Avengers Assemble!” Marvel’s mightiest team join forces to fight foes no single superhero can withstand. But if Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Ant-Man thought Count Nefaria or the Krees were formidable – wait’ll they get a load of the Countless Nerds and the Geeks, who will dissect every announcement and decision from the film like it was the word of God. Bring ‘em on, says “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau, who, not only thinks that “The Avengers” is “a great idea,” but even told MTV News that he might like to direct it.

The idea that there is a new Avengers movie planned for some time in the near future is certainly an intriguing idea. The suggestion from some quarters that any Avengers movie would preferably include the actors already associated with already established movie properties as of that time (such as Robert dwoney Jr. reprising the role of Iron Man, for example) is really intriguing - if not wishful thinking.

Of course this project is way off in the distance, so it will be some time yet before we are all dissecting the latest avengers movie trailer, checking out any Avengers movie poster, or drooling over any Avengers movie action figures or any other related Avengers movie merchandise.

For now, you can click here to read the rest of the MTV.com article.

'Avengers Assemble!' ( we might be in a movie one day ... )

The Avengers movie is a project that Marvel Entertainment has planned to develop and release after the completion of the upcoming Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America movies over the next couple of years. It will be a while yet before we get to enjoy any avengers movie trailers or get to look at any avengers movie posters or avengers movie action figures, but until then we can enjoy the Marvel promotional machine in action as it begins to promote all of the aforementioned movie projects it has coming down the pipe...

It should make for an interesting ride...