The Avengers Initiative – Phase Two
With the Avengers now doing the rounds across the world and about to be released in the United States. It’s time to have a look at what’s coming next. The post credits scene already hints at a Avengers sequel and who the main villain will be. Instead however, its worth noting that there are other individual films coming up. Iron Man 3 begins production soon, The Incredible Hulk 2, Thor 2 and Captain America 2 all following not long after.
With Iron Man 3, that fickle chaotic creature of the internet rumour mill is currently stating that film is going to be based upon the Extremis storyline. Robert Downey Jr. will be back as Tony Stark/Iron Man as well as Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle returning as Pepper Pots and James Rhodes respectively. Its not clear if Jon Faverau will be back as Happy Hogan since he will not be directing the third film and those duties have fallen to the writer of Lethal Weapons 1 & 2 Shane Park. Guy Pearce has also signed on to play Aldrich Killan along with Ben Kingsley playing the currently un-named villain of the movie (again rumour mill is speculating that he will be playing the Mandarin). Although Scarlett Johannsson will not be returning as the Black Widow.
In the case of The Incredible Hulk 2, Thor 2 and Captain America 2, even less information is known. Although it is certain that both Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans will be returning for each other’s films. Whatever else is merely open to speculation. However, since this is Phase 2 of the Avenger Initiative. What I would like to see is more adaptation of events from the comic books.
With The Incredible Hulk 2, they could possibly introduce the Red Hulk. Since General Thunderbolt Ross is now on the outs with both SHIELD and the US Military it would be incredibly easy to assume that he is not appreciating the new hero status shown by the Hulk in the Avengers film. This breeds jealousy and the desire for payback. Ross signs up for some gamma plan and ends up as the Red Hulk, similar to the comic book. although i am well aware that the Leader is hinted at during the first film. It is also possible that the sequel could feature Doc Samson and the Hulkbusters.
Thor 2 has Chris Hemsworth returning as the Norse God of Thunder along with Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Jaimie Alexander all returning. The first films director Kenneth Brannagh will not be returning and the sequel will be directed by Alan Taylor. Regarding the films storyline. Not much is known, since Tom Hiddleston is returning it would be safe to assume that Loki will be featuring. However another foe they could consider introducing is the Enchantress.
Which brings us to Captain America 2. It has the most potential since one of the obvious adaptations they could follow is the Winter Soldier storyline. Since Bucky was last seen disappearing after falling off a train. It is very possible that he survived just as his comic book counterpart did and end up becoming a russian assassin. Also they could bring back Hayley Atwell as a blonde and as Peggy Carter’s great-grand daughter Sharon Carter. They could however also go the safe route in bringing back the Red Skull since his disappearance at the end of the first film had tones of Asgardian technology.
Now the speculation. With Scarlett Johannsen opting out of Iron Man 3. I would really like to see Marvel start expanding upon the established core movies and adding a Black Widow spin off movie, possibly with Jeremy Renner being added as Hawkeye. The reasons for Scarlett Johannssen deciding not to return are unknown at the moment as is her intention for returning to the character. My only hope is that she has decided to stay out of IM3 for the reason of her own possible movie.
Once again, as with all of the 5 films that led into the Avengers. It is very likely that all these films will begin leading into the Avengers sequel. With the amount of money that the film is generating just from its overseas sales alone. It would take a massive fool to say no to a Avengers sequel.
Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 are scheduled for a 2013 release date and Captain America 2 is set for a 2014 release date.