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

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

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

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]

TIME

Jon Hamm Says He Is Happy He Never Played a Superhero

USA - "The 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards" In New York
Jon Hamm attends "The 24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards" at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on Dec. 1, 2014. LAN/Corbis

The "Mad Men" actor says the deals involved with superhero films are "draconian"

Jon Hamm has taken on some fascinating roles in the past but in a new interview with the Radio Times the Mad Men actor revealed there’s one role he’s glad he’s never said yes to: the superhero.

Hamm noted he’s “been in contention for quite a few of those” superhero starring roles, but maintained he made the “right decision” in turning them down. He went on to say:

“The deals that they make you do are so draconian. And, of course, you are signed on for not only the movie that you are signed on for… but at least two more that you haven’t read and you have no idea what they are going to be and all the crossover ones you are going to have to do. For me to sign on now to do a superhero movie would mean I would be working until I am fifty as that particular superhero. It’s a lot of work at one thing which is not necessarily the reason I got into the business which is to do many things. If you want to spend all day pressing the same key that… seems an odd choice.”

Yet Hamm also acknowledges the downside of opting out of the superhero genre, especially as Hollywood gears up for an onslaught of Marvel films. “[If] you don’t wear a cape and tights for a living, you literally have a hard time making an impression,” he said. “Ask anyone under the age of twenty if they have heard of me and they will go ‘no, that guy looks like my dad.’”

Not that Hamm should be beating himself up. Fans of all ages are getting excited for his appearance in the British dystopia Black Mirror: White Christmas special, which will air in the U.K. on Tuesday.

[Radio Times]

TIME movies

Al Pacino Says He’s Discussed Guardians of the Galaxy with Marvel

Al Pacino at Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7, 2014.
Al Pacino at Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7, 2014. Aaron Harris—WireImage/Getty Images

The Oscar-winning actor suggested Marvel had a role for him

Al Pacino has confirmed that he’s met with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.

The 74-year-old Oscar-winning actor was a guest on the Happy Sad Confused podcast on Monday where he teased a possible role in an upcoming film from the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers studio.

“I’ve met with the Marvel guy,” said Pacino, referring to the studio’s president Feige. “It’s a marvel how things happen.” He continued,“I would imagine that either there’s something he feels is right for me —” before he was interrupted by a ringing phone. He then joked that the call was from the studio telling him to quit talking.

He said that he watched Guardians of the Galaxy with his children. “It was just inventive, funny, strong, the production of it, the ingenuity of it,” he said. “Why wouldn’t I like a movie like that, appreciate a movie like that? I’m not necessarily going to be in it, but there’s value to it.”

Though Pacino didn’t reveal further details about the meeting, Marvel certainly has a lot of upcoming projects in need of casting. The studio has a total of nine new comic book movies in the works, with releases scheduled as far in the future as October, 2019.

[Happy Sad Confused]

TIME movies

Benedict Cumberbatch Confirmed to Play Doctor Strange

Marvel/Disney

Ending months of speculation, the British actor sets the stage for Marvel's "Phase 3"

Marvel confirmed Thursday that Benedict Cumberbatch will star as Doctor Strange in the superhero movie of the same title.

Cumberbatch, the British star of TV’s Sherlock and the new movie The Imitation Game, was long-rumored to be in line for the part: a former surgeon entrusted with the power to protect Earth from mystical and extraplanetary forces. It’s an apt choice, and not just because of the actor’s distinctive look; as early box-office returns for The Imitation Game have borne out, Cumberbatch’s fan base is unusually ardent.

The announcement about the film, which will release on Nov. 4, 2016, puts an end to months of speculation on who would play the character and sets in motion the foundation for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Actors ranging from Johnny Depp to, most recently, Joaquin Phoenix have previously been tied to the role of Doctor Strange before Cumberbatch, with rampant online speculation that the character will eventually be groomed to replace Iron Man as the core of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Doctor Strange is part of a group of Marvel films known as Phase 3, which include the likes of Captain America: Civil War and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and will take place after the events of the second Avengers movie.

It will be a sharp step away from the plausible pseudo-science, first broached by Iron Man, that dominates the Marvel movies and will introduce the more strange and fantastical elements of the Marvel Universe.

TIME Culture

Marvel Is Actually Going to Publish That Sexist Spider-Woman Cover

Spider-Woman #1 Variant Cover by Milo Manara Marvel Comics

But don't worry: The words 'Spider-Woman' are covering her butt, so it's fine, right?

Remember that ludicrously objectified version of the Spider-Woman No. 1 cover from August—the one that made Spider-Woman’s bottom look like an apple? The alternate cover that drew fan outrage is now getting published on Thursday with one major tweak: The words “Spider-Woman” will now cover the offending derriere.

It’s unclear what Marvel hoped to accomplish by the strategic positioning of the title: Perhaps it thought nobody would notice.

Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios have made headlines this year for embracing their female heroes: In July, Marvel Comics revealed that a woman would be taking up the hammer of Thor, and earlier this month the studio announced a Captain Marvel movie slated for 2017, the first female-centric film from the studio. Even the announcement of the Spider-Woman cover at San Diego Comic Con was enthusiastically received by female fans of the comic who were excited that a female character in the Spider-Man universe was getting a big PR bump.

That’s why female fans are particularly disappointed in the company for overly-sexualizing what they hoped would be an empowering female character on the cover. Even worse, artist Milo Manara seems to have based the cover on an erotic image he had drawn earlier in his career of a nude woman lying bottom-up in front of a gang of men. The woman-focused entertainment site, The Mary Sue, even mocked the image with several memes.

Here’s the original image:

Spider-Woman #1 Variant Cover by Milo Manara Marvel Comics
TIME movies

Marvel Probes Google Over The Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer Leak

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

A federal judge granted a subpoena request for information on the user suspected of uploading the trailer

A federal judge has granted Disney-owned Marvel Studios its subpoena request to dig into how The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer leaked onto the internet two weeks ago.

Marvel’s Nov. 5 subpoena asks Google for “all identifying information for the user ‘John Gazelle,'” who Marvel claims uploaded the file onto Google Drive, according to court documents obtained by Deadline. The subpoena asks Google for the following information: “when the account or profile of ‘John Gazelle’ was established, billing or administrative records that establish the name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), email address(es), IP address(es) used by such user, account number(s).”

The subpoena requests that Google produce the information by Nov. 18.

Marvel dropped a teaser trailer for the film on Oct. 22, shortly after its premature leak online. The trailer has garnered over 56 million views on YouTube.

[Deadline]

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