Marvel Studios showed off footage this week from the upcoming Black Panther film, as well as concept art for Ant-Man and The Wasp. Both films have 2018 releases.
Marvel Studios Opens Its Doors
On Monday, Marvel invited film journalists to its Burbank offices. The resulting visit offered a rare behind-the-scenes peek at the box office juggernaut’s upcoming projects. Nobody knows for sure why they offered such an intimate look at their 2018 slate. However, Marvel’s marketing strategy changes from year to year. Sometimes they have a presence at Comic-Con, other years they opt to hold their own events at Disney’s El Capitan theater. No matter the reason for the visit, those present reported back some great appetizers to stir the hype machine for next year.
Black Panther Unleashed
First off, the industry insiders received a look at some dailies from Black Panther. The film finished principal photography this week, so the footage was rough. But even without visual effects or color correction, the footage showed a sweeping scope for T’Challa’s first solo outing. Below Aaron Couch’s description of the footage for Heat Street:
There were gorgeous costumes, and journalists were treated to footage of a coronation scene for T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who appears bare-chested and holding ceremonial weapons to take on the monarch role left empty following his father’s death in Captain America: Civil War.
In another scene, Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) stealthily takes down a group of gun-toting bad guys, and in a third, Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) rolls into a casino with quite the entourage and has a rather funny exchange with Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman), who asks if the villain is releasing a mixtape (that’s the only explanation for his big entourage). Soon all hell breaks loose as T’Challa must take on the bad guys.
Yes, please. Ryan Coogler is one of Hollywood’s foremost talents, so this description is not a surprise. Coogler’s flair for visual storytelling sounds like it’s on full display in Black Panther. Also, Coogler’s films are unapologetically about blackness. And it’s good to see Marvel allowing him to maintain that component of his storytelling. For what it’s worth, Black Panther is my most anticipated Marvel movie ever. So I am chomping at the bit to see this thing.
Ant-Man Blows Up
After the Black Panther dailies, the journalists crowded into an office for a discussion with Ant-Man and The Wasp director Peyton Reed and concept artist Andy Park. The film is in early pre-production, so no footage was on hand. However, Couch’s description of the concept art shows Reed doubling down on Giant Man and expanding The Wasp’s role in the film:
The art adorning the wall showed more of Paul Rudd’s hero character taking on the Giant Man role he debuted in Captain America: Civil War. Beyond that, there were images of him using everyday objects made giant (such as a human-sized Ant-Man holding an oversized plastic soda bottle to spray bad guys with.) Another image showed an adorable giant dog with a car full of people in its jaws, while there were also looks at new suits for Ant-Man (Rudd) and Wasp (Evangeline Lilly).
Marvel seems to be expanding Ant-Man into a family comedy. And, honestly, that’s kind of great. For the most part, their films are fairly unobjectionable for the 10 and up crowd. But, they have never gone for a down the line family film outside of Big Hero 6. If the studio wants to expand their scope beyond Phase 3, they must explore all the genres they can. After all, slow motion space jokes will only take them so far.
So, as the Marvel train rounds the corner and includes more genres and heroes than before, what are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!