By George Rose
March 27, 2009
Here, in the Uncanny Update, I hope to fill in the fanboys of the world about all the upcoming super-human projects on the release schedule. Since most of them know how to use a computer, or live in front of one, there is an over-saturation of this sort of information on the Internet and media. Knowing a thing or two about comics, movies, and waiting in line overnight for first screening tickets, I hope to consolidate your efforts and give you the quick testosterone boost your looking for before your own super-charged week fighting crime, or corporate culture. Both are pretty scary.
This week we have a mixed bag of goodies, including both comics and novels, some good and some bad. The most entertaing topic is the discrepancy around the Transformers 3 release date. Paramount announced it would be in theaters on July 2011, allowing for the same two year delay between films as the first sequel did. After whining about not having enough time for himself (the rich do need more free time to spend all that money), Michael Bay declared it wouldn't come out until July 2012. These sequels sure seemed poised for success with such poor communication behind the scenes. In what I can only imagine is a ploy to calm down confused and outraged fans, scans from an upcoming coloring book tie-in happened to find their way to the public, and revealed a few of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen plot spoilers. It's a Michael Bay film, so the they're are limited to "this and that blow up in exotic location A and B". He's such a constant disappointment, but like a five-car pile-up on the highway, I just can't stop watching.
Speaking of delays, my beloved Marvel has dropped a few bombs as well. Thor is delayed one year (June 17, 2011), First Avenger: Captain America is delayed two months (July 22, 2011), and The Avengers is delayed ten months (May 4, 2012). Pre-production delays don't always signify poor quality like those created decided during post-production, but I don't think Marvel is showing a lack of faith in their product here. The pieces are being arranged to line up nicely for the release of their Avengers movie, and more importantly, they now have tent-pole projects in all of the next three summers, and with the newly announced Spider-Man 4 release date (May 6, 2011) they are the newly crowned Summer movie-season starter. Last year Iron Man shocked with its impressive debut and the Wolverine movie looks to do the same this May. The first weekend of that month is officially my new Christmas.
Despite the new holiday, Marvel continues their disregard for not only fan anticipation, but actor appreciation. After the offensive first offer of $250,000 sent to Mickey Rourke to play Whiplash in Iron Man 2, he finally signed on for an undisclosed amount, which was reported to be moderately higher. I can't imagine it being worthy of any actor in a sequel to a $300+ grossing film (let alone one just nominated for a Best Actor Oscar), but Marvel clearly isn't laying the groundwork to be well known for their generosity or compensation. How on Earth did Terrence Howard make more money than Robert Downey Jr. for Iron Man? It's no wonder they dropped him from the sequel, but clearly their accountant isn't aware of who the draws here really are, nor do they seem to care. At this point, Marvel has proven itself bigger than the actors they cast, but I don't think snubbing them for their contribution to such a massive success is fair or will come without backlash in the future. Scarlett Johansson, who joined the cast this week to play Black Widow, is also unhappy with her pay and contractual obligations to the many expected sequels and spin-offs. I understand we're in a recession, but she's far too good at her craft to worry about unemployment. Iron Man is just as lucky to have her as she is to have the film. I would watch her act her way out of a paper bag, so while she may not be the reason anyone sees the second Iron Man film, cutting her anything less than 1% of the profit pie feels like robbery.