TIME movies

This New Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Gives a Glimpse of New Superhero

Watch to the end to get a peek at Vision

We’re under two months away from the Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s May 1 premiere, and Marvel has a load of new material in its latest trailer.

In the promo released today, fans get their first peek at new superhero Vision, who appears at the very end of the trailer. The superhero will be played by Paul Bettany, who also voices Tony Stark’s electronic servant Jarvis in the Iron Man films.

And while we all knew Ultron wanted to destroy all of mankind, we now know that his plan is to “tear them apart, from the inside.” It looks like Ultron just might succeed. Okay, maybe not succeed, but at one point the Hulk and Iron Man will try to rip each other to shreds.

But it’s not all bitter blood within the Avengers clan: Black Widow and Bruce Banner get pretty cozy in one shot.

TIME movies

There Are So Many Reasons Why Donald Glover Should Be the Next Spider-Man

Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino at he 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Lester Cohen—WireImage Could this be the face of the next Peter Parker?

The dream has lived only as a hashtag for long enough

On Monday night, Marvel announced that it would bring “the amazing world of Spider-Man” into its Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The particulars of the deal between Marvel and Sony Pictures — which owns the rights to Spider-Man — are a little complicated, but the upshot is this: Spider-Man will be an Avenger while also continuing to appear in standalone films. Also of note: Andrew Garfield is not expected to reprise the role.

The deal makes sense for all sorts of reasons, most notably because it returns a huge, blockbuster character to Marvel, and also because it will provide a jolt of life to a character that has grown stale over the last few years. It’s hard to blame Garfield for the stagnancy of the franchise, but he and the writers of the last two Spider-Man films struggled to differentiate the Spidey of the reboot from Tobey Maguire’s wildly successful version from the early 2000s. It’s an issue Sony and the producers might have avoided had they thought a little more outside the box when casting their new lead prior to 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Now, Marvel and Sony have a chance to avoid making that same mistake twice. All they have to do is make the decision that Sony should have made the first time around.

In some ways, Donald Glover is almost too obvious a choice to play Peter Parker. Glover’s public persona of the sorta-nerdy-sorta-shy-often-misunderstood-and-under-appreciated-but-totally-brilliant guy is just about as Parker-esque as it gets in the acting world. It probably helps that Glover isn’t really an actor per se, but an artist, in the most 21st-century sense of the word — someone whose goal is to make cool, thoughtful art, regardless of the medium. It could be acting, it could be rapping, it could be writing, it could be graphic design; sometimes it’s a combination of all those things. Glover has never aspired to be just one thing — he wants to be as many things as he can be.

That’s a quintessentially millennial impulse. Members of this generation aren’t picking one profession and staying there for life, or specializing in one subject. And in different ways than their predecessors, millennials are addressing social issues: bullying, racism, sexism, homophobia and a host of others. The world doesn’t need another white male superhero to send the message that nothing has changed; Sony tried that once and wasn’t rewarded for it. The world has changed — is changing — and our superheroes should change with it.

The #DonaldForSpiderman movement took off after Glover — in a long-since deleted tweet — suggested he’d like the opportunity to audition for the role in Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot. At the time, Glover was wrapping up his first season as Troy Barnes on NBC’s Community. Though the Community gig was his first major acting role, Glover’s notoriety far outpaced his mainstream resume. The now-31-year-old Georgia native was big on the Internet, just as being big on the Internet started becoming an actual thing. His Derrick Comedy sketch group had released a handful of shorts, along with the feature length Mystery Team in 2009. Glover also had a burgeoning rap career under the pseudonym Childish Gambino, with a pair of mixtapes to his name. Pair all that together with his Writers Guild awards for 30 Rock (he was hired straight out of NYU), and it was obvious that Glover was headed for bigger and better things, sooner rather than later.

Still, Glover probably would have been the first to admit that he wasn’t the safest bet for a multi-billion dollar franchise at that point of his career. What he understood less were the objections to his candidacy because of his race:

The objections were ridiculous then, but they’d seem even more out of place now. The new Captain America is black; the new Thor is a woman. Even though neither of those changes have crossed over to the big screen yet, the changes in the comics mean it’s all but inevitable that there will be corresponding ones in the MCU somewhere down the road. The world is ready for a black Spider-Man on the big screen.

The bigger question might be whether Glover is still willing to take on the role. He’s now a Grammy-nominated rapper with a few more seasons of Community under his belt (he left the show in early 2014), as well as various film credits. Last December, FX ordered a pilot for Glover’s Atlanta-based comedy series that he’ll star in, write and executive produce. If he wasn’t established enough before, he’s certainly much closer now — and debuting in a Marvel film would give audiences a chance to familiarize themselves with their new Peter Parker a bit before he stars in a standalone Spider-Man film in 2017. Plus, in the standup clip above, he says frankly, “Who doesn’t want to be Spider-Man? That would be cool.”

On the other hand, Glover has demonstrated an aversion to being tied down throughout his career. He left his writing gig at 30 Rock before the end of the show’s run to star in Community. Then, he left Community before the end of its run, primarily to focus more on his rap career. He also dropped off the radar for nearly a year back in 2012, deleted his popular blog and Twitter account (now somewhat resurrected) and has dramatically scaled back his once-prominent social media presence. He’s an entertainer with a lot of interests beyond acting, and becoming Spider-Man would require that those other interests take a backseat.

It’s a stretch to say that the power of Glover’s undeniable Internet popularity gives him the responsibility to pursue the Spider-Man role, but Marvel and Sony — not to mention audiences — would be lucky to have him. At this point, the “Donald for Spider-Man” campaign might be more necessary to convince Childish Gambino himself rather than producers. Fans would be lucky to have it prove more successful than the last one.

Read next: This 1 Chart Shows Why Sony Spun a Spider-Man Deal

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TIME movies

Everything You Need to Know About Marvel and Sony Teaming Up For Yet Another Spider-Man Movie

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Columbia Pictures Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Unraveling the spider's tangled web

Spider-Man is returning to his Marvel home.

Sony has long owned the rights to the superhero, but will finally share him with Marvel Studios, first for a yet-to-be-announced crossover film with other Marvel characters and then for his own solo outing. Movie analysts have long speculated that Sony would turn to Marvel (and its parent company Disney) for help with the character whose films have been flailing as of late — at least compared to the mega-empire that is the Marvel Avengers’ franchise. But how Spider-Man returned to Marvel, and who benefits from this partnership, is a complicated web. Let’s try to untangle it:

Sony buys the rights to Spider-Man

Back in 1985, before superhero films had blockbuster appeal (just try to imagine it!), Marvel put the feature film rights to Spider-Man up for sale. There weren’t many takers, but eventually the comics company struck a deal with Cannon Films, which proceeded to go bankrupt. After years of litigation, Marvel finally reclaimed the rights to Spider-Man in 1999, at which point they sold them to Sony Pictures for a reported $7 million.

This wasn’t the only hero Marvel sold off. The struggling comic book company sold the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises to Fox and the rights to Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk and Captain America to various other studios. It wasn’t until Disney bought Marvel in 2009 that they began the arduous process of buying the characters back, beginning with Iron Man, Thor and Captain America from Paramount Pictures in 2013. (Universal returned to film rights for the Hulk in 2003, but it still owns the distribution rights, which is why Marvel has yet to make a solo Hulk film. Both the Edward Norton and Eric Bana pictures were Universal creations.)

Why did Disney go to the trouble? Because Sony released its first Spider-Man film in 2002 and raked in $821 million. That movie changed everything.

The first Spider-Man movie kicks off a golden age of comic book films

If you’ve experienced comic book movie fatigue in the past decade, you can blame Spider-Man. Before Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man built his robot prototype in a cave and before Christian Bale’s Batman fell down that well, Tobey McGuire’s Spider-Man swung into theaters and ensnared audiences’ hearts in his web. Those three original Spider-Man films (from 2002-2007) launched a new kind of superhero movie that leaned heavily on CGI technology for mass appeal, but also had an emotional core.

It was that depth, tempered by with a sense of light humor, that brought audiences back to find out how Peter Parker and Mary Jane fared, or whether Peter honored his dying uncle’s words. The first Iron Man film, released just one year after the Spider-Man franchise wrapped, began to refine the formula.

Sony’s Spider-Man flounders

After Iron Man proved a hit ($585 million), Marvel quickly began to dominate the comic book universe, outshining the Sony Spider-Man films, the Warner Bros./DC Comics Batman and Superman films and Fox’s X-Men films.

In 2012, Sony rebooted the Spider-Man franchise as The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone; the movie was well-received by fans. But last summer, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 grossed less than the first and was handily beaten by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — one of Marvel’s lesser known and more offbeat franchises.

MORE: A Comic Book Dummy’s Guide to the Marvel Universe Plan

This was bad news for Sony, which has little blockbuster firepower lined up for the next several years, aside from the Spider-Man and James Bond franchises. (Prospects are so dismal they’re reportedly considering mashing up Men in Black and 21 Jump Street.)

Spider-Man needed saving, and Marvel Studio Head Kevin Feige, who has produced 10 blockbusters in a row, looked like the people to do it. But why would Marvel want the rights to Spider-Man back?

What Marvel gains: The Civil War plot

First, Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes in the world. This will be his sixth movie in 15 years, and yet people are still excited to see him. Merchandising alone will be massive. And as Feige told Wired in 2012, “Clearly we would prefer everything be at home, so to speak.”

But more important, Spider-Man can now become a member of the Avengers. Comic book readers will have missed the wise-cracking Spidey in previous Avengers films. But his absence would have been most jarring in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Spider-Man plays an integral role in the Civil War plot line in the comic books, and though Sony and Marvel have yet to say in which film “the new Spider-Man” will make his debut, the 2016 Captain America movie would make a lot of sense.

It’s a relief to comic book fans that the studios came to this decision. After all, Marvel isn’t above playing dirty: The comic book arm of the company is canceling the Fantastic Four comic book series next June, two months before Fox’s film reboot of the franchise with Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan.

Bad news for Andrew Garfield and Carol Danvers

Even though fans are rejoicing, the announcement is bad news for some. The language of “new Spider-Man” announcement suggests that Andrew Garfield will be recast. And to make room for the new Spider-Man movie on July 28, 2017, Marvel has to reshuffle its calendar. Thor: Ragnarok will be delayed until November 2017, Black Panther delayed until July 2018, Captain Marvel until November 2018 and Inhumans until July 2019.

Fans have long been lobbying for a female superhero film and were overjoyed to hear that Captain Marvel would hit the big screen in the summer of 2017. (A Warner Bros. Wonder Woman movie and a film about a female character from the Spider-Man universe from Sony are also scheduled for that summer.) Now Carol Davners has been pushed until fall 2018, delaying her debut until after the two other ladies.

Read Next: Meet Captain Marvel: Fighter Pilot, Feminist and Marvel’s Big Gamble

TIME Media

This 1 Chart Shows Why Sony Spun a Spider-Man Deal

Spider-Man
Columbia Pictures Spider-Man

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, now a part, of the Marvel plan

Spider-Man is slinging into the Marvel movie universe, Sony and Marvel announced late Monday night.

That’s a big deal: Spidey is one of Marvel’s most iconic superheroes, but the film rights over the webslinger wound up in Sony’s hands in 1999 after years of protracted legal battles. That meant Marvel couldn’t include Spider-Man in its grand plan to bring its cadre of superheroes into the same cinematic universe, an effort that began with 2008’s Iron Man and will continue in this year’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While exact details remain slim, the new deal should mean that Marvel fans will get to see Spider-Man fighting baddies right alongside Captain America and Thor, just like in the comics. Marvel and Sony will co-produce upcoming individual Spider-Man films, but Sony will maintain ultimate creative rights over them.

Rumors that Sony and the Disney-owned Marvel were working on a deal like this have floated around the Internet before, only to be squashed like The Hulk smashing tanks. What changed?

First, Marvel’s upcoming films are said to be based heavily on Civil War, a comic book crossover series that heavily featured Spider-Man. Doing Civil War in theaters without Spidey would have required some pretty heavy rewriting.

But the ball here was very much in Sony’s court, not Marvel’s. And looking at the performance of Sony’s recent Spider-Man films, it’s easy to see why it was willing to make a deal:

Sony’s Spider-Man films started off as commercial blockbusters, but they’ve each been pulling in less cash at the box office ever since 2002’s Spider-Man. The series’ most recent film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was particularly lackluster, making a bit over $202 million and getting generally poor reviews. Meanwhile, Marvel’s The Avengers, its first film to really include the whole swath of its superhero spread, made upwards of $623 million. Sony, then, is clearly hoping that by including Spidey in Marvel’s next big Avengers-style crossover event after Ultron, it’ll boost ticket sales for the Spider-Man follow-ups, too.

The only question now is: Who will be our third Spider-Man?

TIME movies

Marvel Studios Will Produce the Next Spider-Man Movie

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Ben Stansall—AFP/Getty Images A costume worn by U.S. actor Tobey Maguire in the 2002 movie Spider-Man is displayed at the "Hollywood Costume" exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Oct. 17, 2012

Spidey returns to his spiritual home

Marvel Studios has struck a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment that will allow it to incorporate Spider-Man into films from the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the popular character will continue to appear in movies produced by Sony.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Spider-Man will likely first appear in the Marvel-produced Captain America: Civil War. The superhero then returns to Sony for the next installment in its $4 billion franchise, due out in 2017.

The Hollywood Reporter also says that actor Andrew Garfield is not expected to reprise the character he played in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel. This means that audiences can expect to see their third Spider-Man actor since the Sony franchise kicked off in 2002. But the Sony-Marvel deal also means that moviegoers can savor the tantalizing possibility that other Marvel characters — which include Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk — will be able to pollinate future films.

Spider-Man was a Marvel Comics creation, but the company licensed the character to Sony Pictures’ subsidiary Columbia in 1999.

TIME Retail

Lego Has Unveiled a New Avengers Play Set and It Costs More Than an Xbox One

The set comes with a whopping 2,996 pieces

Lego has announced that at next month’s Toy Fair in New York City it will debut a new play set based on The Avengers movie that will retail at $349.99 — that’s $1 more than Microsoft’s Xbox One console.

The 2-ft.-long S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, seen in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier movies, comes with a whopping 2,996 pieces and includes two runways, three Quinjets (Avengers-style aircraft), several other jets, ground vehicles and 12 microfigures of The Avengers characters, Variety reports.

But it seems people are willing to shell out for the heavy price tag; Lego’s Death Star set from Star Wars is going for $400 and is currently sold out on the company’s website.

[Variety]

TIME Television

Agent Carter Creator on the Pressures of Creating Marvel’s First Female Project

HAYLEY ATWELL
Bob D'Amico—ABC Hayley Atwell stars as Agent Peggy Carter in Agent Carter

In the new ABC show, Peggy Carter battles bad guys and sexism in the 1940s

In the Marvel universe Peggy Carter, known as Captain America’s love interest and founder of S.H.I.E.L.D., is a pioneer. The creators of Agent Carter, the eight-episode series premiering on ABC Tuesday night, hope Peggy will be a different type of trailblazer.

Agent Carter is the first of Marvel Studios’ properties to feature woman as its hero. Though Marvel has announced two upcoming female-centric projects—Netflix’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones, which airs later this year, and a Captain Marvel film for 2017—Agent Carter will be a litmus test as to whether Avengers fans will tune in to see a female superhero in primetime. And as if that weren’t enough pressure, creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas (Law & Order: SVU, Reaper and Resurrection) were also tasked with making a compelling 1940s period thriller — for television.

“We’re trying to please many people,” Butters tells TIME. “But first we wanted to make a show that we would want to watch ourselves.”

Agent Carter begins shortly after the film Captain America: The First Avenger ends. Cap is presumed dead, the Nazi initiative HYRDRA has (allegedly) been defeated and Peggy Carter (British actress Hayley Atwell reprises her role from the Captain America films) has returned to her desk job at top secret government agency SSR. There, Carter has to deal with institutionalized sexism from men who treat her as a glorified secretary.

“She is undervalued coming off the war,” says Butters. “We looked back at the female code breakers that were used at Bletchley Park who were given these positions that were considered ‘men’s work’ during the war, and then when the war was over, they were asked to go home.” Both Carter and her roommate struggle with how to direct their exceptional talents when they’re expected to simply marry and have children.

Butters and Fazekus signed on to do a Marvel show for ABC before they even knew Peggy Carter would be the central character. They were thrilled to find out they were helming the first female-driven Marvel project, but knew they had to be careful in how they handled the period’s sexism. “As much as it’s all very time-appropriate, it would kind of grate on you if every week you saw these men not realizing Peggy’s potential. You definitely see her prove herself to these people and see her relationship with each and every man change and grow in different ways.”

Stuck as a pencil pusher, Carter jumps at the chance to help exonerate her former colleague Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) when he winds up on SSR’s most-wanted list after his dangerous weapons technology surfaces on the black market. Carter becomes a double-agent working with Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy).

Carter quickly learns to use the sexism she faces as just another tool in her arsenal. “Her superpower is that people underestimate her, and she uses that to her advantage,” says Butters. “People think it doesn’t matter what you say in front of her because she’s just a girl, and as much as that may rankle her, she uses it to come out on top.”

Butters and Fazekus drew from a wide range of inspirations, including the Indiana Jones movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, which, like the first Captain America film, featured scientific-minded Nazis. Bloggers are also comparing the show’s concept to J.J. Abrams’ Alias in that they both center on female double agents. “J.J. Abrams did a wonderful job creating a smart female character who could kick butt in Alias, and I absolutely used that as a touchstone,” Butters says. “Where we differ is that Agent Carter isn’t as formulaic. You don’t see her in a different wig every week.”

Whether this plot will appeal to Marvel diehard fans has yet to be seen. “The first female-driven project for Marvel is a period piece, and some Marvel fans might assume that’s not something they’d be interested in. But we were very careful with our dialogue to not make it too period and not make it too modern,” she says. “You can watch the show not having seen any of the Captain America movies and still enjoy the character. That being said, if you are someone who watches everything Marvel, like I do, there are things we’ve laid out in these episodes that play out in the larger Marvel Universe, and you’ll be able to make those connections.”

 

TIME Television

Review: Agent Carter Delivers a Super Heroine

Kelsey McNeal/ABC Atwell as Peggy Carter in Agent Carter.

Unlike ABC's last Marvel spinoff, this show knows what it is from the beginning, and that's a good start.

The first mission of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD was to figure out why, exactly, the agents of SHIELD had their own show. By its second season, it’s made progress in that investigation, but it was rough going. The problem wasn’t that the series lacked superheroes; it was that it lacked apparent purpose. It assumed we’d love the brand, and in time we’d learn to love the characters and the story, once it figured them out.

Marvel’s Agent Carter (ABC, Tuesdays) has things in common with its big sib (the movie antecedents, that clunky “Marvel’s“), but it has an advantage off the bat. It has a protagonist–Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) of the Captain America films–with voice, personality, conflicts and a mission. And it turns out that, not an invulnerable shield, is all you need to make a fun hour of TV.

You don’t need to have seen the movies to follow Agent Carter; a businesslike trailer at the beginning of the pilot takes care of that. But to debrief you: after her comrade/lover the Cap’n crashed into the Arctic in The First Avenger, the British agent finds herself in reduced circumstances. It’s 1946, WWII is over and–like women in offices and factories across the U.S.–she finds herself demoted in favor of returning GIs, pushing papers for condescending male agents at the Strategic Scientific Reserve. But she ends up back in the field, surreptitiously, after old colleague munitions maker Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) finds his deadliest weapons turning up in the hands of bad guys.

That’s it. No grand mythology. No tie-ins to a movie release. Just one mission that will drive the show’s eight-episode season–and one focal character, whom Atwell brings electrically alive. Like a ’40s movie idol, Atwell’s Carter is more woman than girl, in her bearing, history and confidence. She’s as convincing wielding a crisp insult as an improvised blade, conveying the control and deftness Carter requires to run a covert operation under the patronizing gaze of her inferior superiors in the SSR boys’ club. (The second episode makes a wry comment on how women like Carter were written out of war history, as she listens to a “Captain America Adventure Hour” radio serial that recasts her as a Betty-Boop-voiced nurse: “You lousy Krauts are in big trouble once Captain America gets here!”)

The single story arc gives the first two episodes time to focus on character, and it helps that Carter has character conflicts to invest in–not just workplace sexism, but dealing with her personal loss and finding a postwar sense of purpose. (And the show’s superhero-less world requires no suspension of disbelief, since the Captain is on ice for the decades until the present-day of The Winter Soldier.)

Agent Carter‘s writing early on isn’t at the level of the best Marvel films, or even The CW’s new The Flash–too many cartoon-bubble lines like, “It’s technology that could give the A-bomb a run for its money!” But Atwell and the producers (including Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters of the late, clever Reaper) have made something entertaining and engaging enough that you don’t miss the superpowers and spandex. Their Agent Carter doesn’t need to be super to be a heroine.

TIME movies

The New Ant-Man Teaser Is Fittingly Ant-Sized

You'll have to squint to see it

Fans looking forward to a sneak peek at Paul Rudd’s turn as Marvel superhero Ant-Man will have to break out their magnifying glasses: The new teaser for the film is scaled for insects.

Fear not, ye of human-sized eyeballs: the full-sized trailer will be released Jan. 6. In the meantime, as Derek Zoolander would say, the teaser has to be at least… three times bigger than this!

Ant-Man hits theaters July 17.

TIME movies

Vin Diesel Suggests He May Have New Marvel Role

The Cinema Society With Men's Fitness And FIJI Water Host A Special Screening Of Marvel's "Guardians Of The Galaxy" - Arrivals
Getty Images

Actor Vin Diesel posted a Facebook photo Sunday of himself standing in front of the words: “Are you inhuman?”

The cast of a film based on the Marvel comic Inhumans, scheduled to come out Nov. 2018, has not yet been revealed, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Diesel has already voiced a human-tree character in Marvel’s, Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014.

This is the second time Diesel has hinted at a role in the same Marvel project. In August, he posted a photo to Facebook with the text: “I get the strange feeling that Marvel thinks I’m Inhuman… Haha.”

[THR]

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