With “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” grossing more than $2.5 billion at the box office worldwide, it’s a great time to be associated with the Marvel Studios Inc. unit of the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS). “The Avengers 2” will be the studio’s big summer film in 2015, but Joss Whedon, its director, has already started to whet fans’ appetites for the sequel.
Marvel Studios is currently in its Phase 2 of films. After the release of “Iron Man 3” and “Thor: The Dark World” in 2013, Marvel will release “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” in 2014, all leading up to “The Avengers 2” in 2015. Marvel is planning to produce a cohesive universe within the films and has Whedon, who directed “The Avengers,” as a supervisor on each Marvel project.
On the television side, ABC just picked up “Agents of SHIELD”: The pilot will be directed by Whedon, and the man behind the various Marvel projects recently discussed speculations surrounding Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch with IGN.com. Whedon confirmed Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be in “The Avengers 2” -- and chances are they will not be helping the assembled superhero team defeat Thanos.
Whedon said: “They’re interesting to me because they sort of represent the part of the world that wouldn’t necessarily agree with The Avengers. So they’re not there to make things easier. I’m not putting any characters in the movie that will make things easier.”
Going by Whedon’s comments, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be adversaries to Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Thor and even Iron Man. While contract disputes between Marvel and certain stars, most notably Robert Downey Jr., have grabbed headlines, Whedon indicated he believes Iron Man will return in “The Avengers 2.” When questioned about the end of “Iron Man 3,” Whedon emphatically said, “Yes,” to an Iron Man return, despite Tony Stark’s claims to have changed.
SlashFilm was also able to round up several rumors surrounding “The Avengers.” Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner in the first film, may be recast for “The Avengers 2.” SlashFilm noted that other heroes from the “The Avengers,” except for Renner, have been confirmed, including Scarlett Johansson, who also is returning as Black Widow in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
Another interesting rumor is the possibility of Black Panther being recruited by the superhero team, citing an announcement made by Anant Singh, the chairman of Cape Town Film Studios. Bleeding Cool reported Singh said Marvel had been in touch about shooting on location in South Africa, which is prominently featured in the stories of the Black Panther.