Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Marvelous


We're at kind of a lull in genre news, what with the studios holding most of their big guns in reserve for the big San Diego 'con this weekend.  Still, that doesn't mean there aren't a few things to discuss here that went unmentioned previously. 

Last week, following the big Edward Norton-Hulk blowout, came the word (as I suspected) that Marvel was already deep into scouting a replacement.  Nikki Finke at Deadline said that actor Mark Ruffalo was in late stage negotiations, while The Hollywood Reporter concluded that things weren't quite as advanced as all that.  Ruffalo is admittedly an unconventional choice, and nowhere near the perfect physical match for the role that Norton was, but I do think he's a good enough actor to make us forget he's not exactly a one-to-one fit, sort of like Don Cheadle, who in my view exceeded Terence Howard when he stepped in as Jim Rhodes in the Iron Man sequel.  Regardless of which way you flip it, the result was the same: no Hulk to announce as of yet, and the San Diego countdown clock is a-tickin' down.  

Then, on Wednesday, the LA Times broke the story that both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, the comic/movie giant's tentpole pics for next summer, will get conversions to 3D.  The reasoning behind this move isn't too hard to divine, and I'd guess that many folks already saw it coming.  The conventional wisdom seemingly surrounding Iron Man 2 is that money was left on the table by not having it post-converted to take advantage of higher 3D ticket prices.  On an aesthetic level I applauded the decision to stay 2D, but from a financial standpoint I can certainly see where Marvel is coming from now. Clash of the Titans last spring, and The Last Airbender a few weeks ago both underwent 3D post-conversion (as opposed to shooting in 3D a la James Cameron and Avatar), and while neither film won the conversion process many fans, that didn't keep either from doing better than they likely would have without it.

I don't know enough about the creative and technical differences between shooting in 3D vs. post-conversion to make anything close to an informed assessment of what this might mean for both projects, but according to the Times piece, Marvel's Kevin Feige has assured fans that time will be taken to make both Thor (which is already finished with primary lensing) and Captain America (which is still ongoing) compelling experiences.  The advantage for both, with almost a year until their respective releases, is that the effects can be rendered in 3D right from the start, and while I may be entirely wrong, I have to think  it'll be advantageous for Cap director Joe Johnston to know ahead of time that the movie is ending up in 3D -- something that neither Clash nor Airbender had the benefit of while filming.

Anyway, as we await new news on both these projects (and Avengers?) this weekend, you can take a gander up-top at the cool new promo poster Marvel put out for Cap, and jump over here to see the Thor one.   I'm sure there'll be a lot more to discuss come next week.

No comments: