TIME Books

Marvel Reveals Identity of Female Thor

The cover of Thor #8
Marvel Comics The cover of Thor #8

Not who you think. Unless it's exactly who you think

While Marvel Studios’ Avengers have been tearing up the big screen, Marvel Comics’ Avengers have been getting a facelift. That’s especially true of Thor, the Asgardian God of Thunder—who became a Goddess of Thunder late last year in a rebooted Thor #1. To be clear, Thor was replaced by a woman, and the first seven issues of the new series kept that woman’s actual identity a mystery.

But on Wednesday, Marvel will reveal the new Thor’s secret identity in Thor #8. And thanks to the New York Times, we already know what that secret identity is. SPOILER ALERT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THAT IDENTITY!

It turns out that the new Thor is a longtime Thor supporting character: Jane Foster, who originally appeared way back in 1962, as the nurse sidekick/love interest to Dr. Donald Blake, originally Thor’s alter ego. The character has appeared sporadically since the ’70s. At some point in the comics continuity, she became a doctor. She achieved more prominence in the Thor films, where Natalie Portman incarnated Jane as the thunder god’s astrophysicist love interest.

More recently, Jane reappeared in Thor, diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatments. It will be interesting to see what role her health plays in her superhero-ing. Thor writer Jason Aaron tells the Times, “The very act of picking up this hammer, of becoming Thor, is killing her,” which sounds vaguely Spawn-like. (Remember Spawn? Is that a thing people still talk about?)

Fingers crossed, this means Natalie Portman dons a blonde wig and a horned mask-helmet in Thor: Ragnarok.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME movies

Marvel CEO Says in Leaked Email That Female Superhero Movies Have Been a ‘Disaster’

Marvel/Disney Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

The leaked email comes in the wake of accusations of sexism against Marvel

A new exchange dug out of the trove of leaked Sony emails suggests that Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter questioned the profitability of a female-led superhero film just months before the company announced the upcoming Captain Marvel movie.

As Disney and Marvel have faced increasing criticism for their failure to highlight female heroes in previous movies, Indiewire found a message from Perlmutter to Sony executive Michael Lynton listing female superhero films that have failed. The context of the summer 2014 email is unclear: Perlmutter could be enumerating the films as proof that female superhero movies bomb at the box office, or he may be optimistically hoping to break the pattern. (Marvel declined to comment.)

Read the email below:

Michael,

As we discussed on the phone, below are just a few examples. There are more.

Thanks,

Ike

1. Electra (Marvel) – Very bad idea and the end result was very, very bad. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=elektra.htm

2. Catwoman (WB/DC) – Catwoman was one of the most important female character within the Batmanfranchise. This film was a disaster. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=catwoman.htm

3. Supergirl – (DC) Supergirl was one of the most important female super hero in Superman franchise. This Movie came out in 1984 and did $14 million total domestic with opening weekend of $5.5 million. Again, another disaster.

Best,
Ike

MORE: Marvel President Tries to Explain Lack of Female Superhero Movies

Despite Perlmutter’s apparently negative view of previous female-led superhero movies, Marvel scheduled its first such film, Captain Marvel, for 2018. Sony also announced last year that they were planning to create a movie based on a woman character from the Spider-Man universe (though they have yet to say which character).

Yet this revelation comes in the wake of several accusations of sexism against Marvel. Fans expressed disappointment with the decision to exclude Wasp, a female founding member of the Avengers, from both the Avengers films and the upcoming Ant-Man movie. Criticism reached a fever pitch two weeks ago when Avengers: Age of Ultron actors Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner joked during a press junket that the character Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson in the films) was a “slut” and a “whore.” Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live spoofed the Marvel scandal with a trailer for a rom-com version of Black Widow that contained the slogan “Chill. Marvel gets women.”

Assuming the worst, fans are already criticizing the Perlmutter email on social media, aptly pointing out that plenty of male superhero movies that have tanked as well (see: Green Lantern, Green Hornet, Daredevil). The email is particularly alienating to the comic world’s female fan base, which has expanded dramatically since the films Perlmutter lists premiered. About half of Comic Con attendees are now women, and more than 40% of the audience for Guardians of the Galaxy—Marvel’s biggest hit last year—was female.

Read Next: Watch Scarlett Johansson Satirize Marvel’s Lack of Female Superheroes

TIME movies

This Map Shows How All the Future Marvel Movies Are Connected

A guide to the 19 Marvel movies and TV shows coming out in the next four years

Whether you love or hate Avengers: Age of Ultron, there are plenty more Marvel superheroes to come. Disney and Marvel are releasing 19 movies and TV shows between now and 2019, and they are all interconnected. All these titles are building up to Avengers: Infinity Wars, Parts I and II, out in 2018 and 2019. These films will focus on the villain Thanos, who will try to gather six powerful gems called Infinity Stones to create an Infinity Gauntlet with the power to destroy the universe.

The Avengers (and probably some other heroes, like Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange) will have to stop him. See how the heroes and villains connect to one another, and plan out your viewing schedule with TIME’s guide.

 

Marvel

Read next: Watch Scarlett Johansson Satirize Marvel’s Lack of Female Superheroes

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TIME movies

An Animated Spider-Man Movie Will Hit Screens in 2018

Cover of magazine Strange september 1972 with Spider Man
Apic—Getty Images Cover of magazine Strange, September 1972, with Spider-Man

It's back to Spidey's graphic roots

Fans of the original Spider-Man cartoon and graphics can rejoice — an animated feature film will hit the screens in 2018, Sony said Thursday.

The $4 billion Spider-Man franchise has spawned a devoted following, and the movie will bring the web slinger back to the animation landscape, Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman announced at CinemaCon.

Director duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who together helmed The Lego Movie and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, will write and produce the fully animated film.

Live-action film production will meanwhile continue from Marvel and Sony, including a reboot film slated for July 28, 2017, and a Spider-Man appearance in Captain America: Civil War in May 2016.

But to see the animated version, loyal fans of the crime-fighting superhero need to wait until July 20, 2018.

TIME movies

The New Spider-Man Will Be a Teenage Peter Parker, Again

MCDAMSP EC081
Columbia Pictures Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Miles Morales rumors are not true, according to Marvel hed Kevin Feige

Is this headline beginning to sound repetitive? The new iteration of Spider-Man, who will appear in the Captain America: Civil War movie before getting his own feature film, will continue to be a high school-aged Peter Parker. This is bad news for fans who were hoping to escape watching the same teenage origin story of Parker yet again.

After the latest Amazing Spider-Man movie delivered a comparatively underwhelming box office, Sony teamed up with Marvel Studios to reboot Spider-Man for the third time since 2002. Some fans speculated—dare we say, hoped—that the two studios might change things up by subbing out Peter Parker for Miles Morales, a character who has worn Spidey’s mask in the comic books but not yet on the big screen. Miles Morales is also the first black Spider-Man and would have added some welcome diversity to the Avengers team. (Fans nominated Donald Glover for the part.)

But alas Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says they’re sticking with good 0l’ boring Peter Parker.

“In terms of the age of an actor we’ll eventually to cast, I don’t know,” he told Screen Crush. “In terms of the age of what we believe Peter Parker is, I’d say 15-16 is right.” Feige did not address whether Andrew Garfield would continue to play Spidey, but it’s unlikely, since Marvel will want audiences to forget the last two sub-par films. Plus, Garfield is pushing the limits of “high schooler” even by Hollywood standards at 31.

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

This risk-averse move is likely to elicit a groan from the Marvel fan base. Twice audiences have watched a radioactive spider bite Peter. Twice they have rooted for Peter to win the affections of a high school crush. Twice they’ve watched poor Uncle Ben die. There are only so many times even the most die-hard fans can suffer through the same origin story.

But Marvel studios has made some savvy moves lately, announcing their first feature films headlined by a female superhero, Captain Marvel, and a black superhero, Black Panther. Perhaps Marvel can heed Uncle Ben’s advice—”With great power comes great responsibility”—and think outside the box for the next Peter Parker, too.

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

TIME movies

Watch the New Trailer for Marvel’s Ant-Man

The film hits theaters in July

Marvel has released a new trailer for this summer’s Ant-Man, the story of con man Scott Lang who uses a suit that makes him super strong and small, like an ant.

The trailer teases an action-packed blockbuster—with a good dose of humor added to the mix.

Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and Michael Douglas as the scientist Hank Pym. The movie hits theaters July 17.

TIME Television

Meet Your New Favorite Superhero in the Marvel’s Daredevil Trailer

The show comes to Netflix April 10

Fresh off the release of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Netflix is promoting its next big original series, Marvel’s Daredevil, with a full trailer. The 13-episode show tells the story of Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox), a blind New York lawyer with super senses, who spends his days fighting crime on the books and his nights using his forces to stop criminals in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.

The Marvel deal will lead to three more original Netflix series (A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage) that will then culminate in a combined series with all four plot lines (The Defenders). Marvel’s Daredevil starts streaming April 10.

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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