As the Eastern seaboard of the United States sat in anticipation of what many deemed "Snowmageddon 2015", another segment of the population anxiously awaited the release of the first trailer from the already much-maligned Fantastic Four project from Fox which is slated to star Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Michael B. Jordan. The new film looked packed with the prerequisite of special effects that we have all come to expect from big budget adaptations of comic book characters. Initially, I wasn’t for the idea of Johnny Storm being Black, but now that I’ve seen the vision actualized in the trailer it’s seems much more plausible than it once did. Heck, we're still excited over Chadwick Boseman being named as the Black Panther. Any other love for the brothers and sisters is pretty much collateral at this point. But we'll take it.
Yet that’s not even the most scintillating platter on the upcoming menu of would-be blockbuster offerings. We’ve also got the Avengers: Age of Ultron dropping in May and Ant-Man starring Paul Rudd slated to drop on July 17; that’s only two films. but the totally smooth thing about the entire scenario is that comic book fans won’t even have to wait for their fix of video programming adapted from Marvel Comics.
Netflix has announced its Daredevil (Charlie Cox) series is slated to be released on April 10, with A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and The Defenders following in relatively rapid succession. By now most of our readership is likely already aware that the Netflix series, the Marvel films that feature the Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. all are based in the same cinematic universe. As we learned last summer with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you can do all sorts of neat little crossover stunts when all of your properties are connected. That cool factor is continuing this year Agent Carter, starring Hayley Atwell.
At times it feels as if fans of the films and the television series were born at the perfect time to enjoy both of them simultaneously. Too bad the Fantastic Four isn’t among the properties that we can enjoy in this fashion as that particular property is owned by Fox and not Marvel Studios/Disney.
We would be remiss if we allowed you all to believe that this article would be dominated by news from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While DC Comics’ television presence has been ongoing for nearly a decade, films based upon their comic book properties have been limited to Superman and Batman movies for decades. However, DC Comics based movies will be all the rage in 2016 as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will drop in March 2016 and Suicide Squad, starring Jared Leto, Will Smith as Dead Shot and Viola Davis as the powerful Amanda Waller (rumor) slated to drop in August of the same year.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is being vetted for a leading role in the Benedict Cumberbatch starrer Dr. Strange. Though nothing is etched in stone, speculation abounds that Ejiofor might play Baron Mordo, a former sorcerer’s apprentice who feels his legacy was usurped by Dr. Strange, or Brother Voodoo. However, an even greater villainous fiend for Ejiofor to bring to life would be the villain Dormammu.
In other comic book movie casting news, FOX is also working on revamping its X-Men film franchise and might eventually bring it to television as well. That’s right, director Bryan Singer recently announced that actress Alexandria Shipp, who starred as pop star Aaliyah, will star as Storm in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse film alongside Tye Sheridan (Cyclops) and Sophie Turner (Jean Grey). Though we were holding out hope that maybe a dark skinned sister like Lupita Nyongo or Emeyatzi Corinadli might get some love, we’re not mad at young Ms. Shipp being selected not one bit.
When we add all of these ebony-hued faces together it becomes pretty easy to see that brothers and sisters are more than ready to work it out in these upcoming big screen comic book adaptations. It's also more apparent than ever that comic book adaptations are getting bigger and blacker by the minute.