Marvel’s Phase 3 Is Revealed

The news is in, at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Marvel announced what the next films up until 2019 will be in their Cinematic Universe. Be warned Marvel fans, you will be excited.

So we already know that the avengers sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, will sign off Marvel’s phase 2 in 2015, and Ant-Man will kick-off phase 3, also in 2015. Just like Iron man had his own third film, so will Captain America and Thor in 2016 and 2017. With the Captain America sequel being called ‘Civil War’ is it possible that we may be seeing one of the greatest comic book story lines of all time brought to the screen, let’s hope so.

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James Gunn is once again going to bring the Guardians of the Galaxy to the screen in a 2017 sequel, whereas James Gunn’s GOTG took the Marvel Universe into space themes, 2016’s Doctor Strange film will take it into the magic and parallel universe side of things.

As the list continues, we are finally going to see an African-American crusader have their own solo film with Black Panther in 2017, and we will also get a female avenger in her own solo film; Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel. The third avengers film will be the all out brawl between our heroes and the almighty Thanos, it will be split into two films and the second will finish off phase 3. We will also get another super group as well in the Inhumans film, with all these heroes together it is looking to be an action-packed next five years.

The full film list is as follows:

Captain America 3: Civil WarMay 2016

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Doctor Strange November 2016

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Guardians of the Galaxy May 2017

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Thor: RagnarokJuly 2017

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Black PantherNovember 2017

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Captain MarvelJuly 2018

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Inhumans November 2018

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The Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2May 2018 and May 2019

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

The much-anticipated trailer for the second Avengers film – Age of Ultron – has officially been released, after it was leaked one week shy of its intended date. However instead of complaining about the trailer being leaked, Marvel did the adult thing and released their own Official HD version…and blamed the leak on villainous world organisation HYDRA.

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Fans of the Marvel franchise probably know by now that the main antagonist for the film is the artificially intelligent android Ultron, but it is only in this trailer that we really see how terrifying the character is. Along with the soothing-yet-merciless iconic voice of James Spader, fans worldwide will now know that Age of Ultron is going to be a step up from the previous film. Avengers Assemble saw the villain Loki drawn into war mostly by bitterness, but he was a character that had the chance to change his actions along the way. Ultron on the other hand has one goal: world domination, and nothing less.

With Marvel releasing Ant-Man next year it appears that Hank Pym will not be Ultron’s creator as he was in the comics, but rather Tony Stark instead. It is hard to take much from this short teaser trailer, as it seems to mainly introduce the villain and his helpers; Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. What we do know is that the Avengers – being Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye – are all back to save the world from any possible threat.

However a lot has changed since the first film; most of the characters have evolved through their other films, such as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, and S.H.I.E.L.D has also been disbanded, as we saw in The Winter Soldier. Director Joss Whedon has said that it is going to be a lot like the The Godfather Part 2, in that a lot has happened since the previous film and throughout Age of Ultron we will find out what that is.

By the end of the trailer we are greeted to a fully functional Ultron who is explaining through a quote from the Pinnochio song ‘I’ve Got No Strings’ that he is not bound by anything and is free to do as he wishes.

We should all be very afraid.

Benedict Cumberbatch to play Doctor Strange

So Marvel are finally in end talks as to who is going to play the amazing sorcerer supreme: Doctor Steven Strange. It is going to be none other than charming, British, velvity-toned Benedict Cumberbatch. Many of you may remember him from his previous role as the villainous Khan in 2013s Star Trek: Into Darkness or in his modern day Sherlock Holmes portrayal in BBC’s Sherlock.

Now that Marvel have introduced their main characters for the Avengers team, and have also given most of them a second and third film to develop their personalities, they can begin to bring forward the lesser known individuals who also fought along side these caped-crusaders in the original comics. Arguably, some of the best avengers are still yet to be introduced, one of which is Doctor Strange, who is a skilled neurosurgeon and practising magician, and has saved the world on more than one occasion.

At the moment the Doctor Strange film is looking at a 2016 release date. Marvel are also getting ready to unveil more of their best avengers: Ant-Man in 2015 and the animal like Black Panther from Wakanda. The Black Panther film however is still quite far off, with its release possibly being in 2017, along with Black Widow’s solo film which could be in the same year.

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Channing Tatum To Star As Gambit

As I said in my previous post it seems to be every other day that some new information about a Marvel film comes out, and the X-Men franchise is definitely one that is high on the radar at the moment. Especially with the new X-Men: Days of Future Past being released and the announcement of the already named sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse.

But the most recent piece of ramblings about the world’s most famous mutant force comes in the shape of another new character being introduced, one that is well known throughout the comic books, but rather unknown in the films; Gambit (A.K.A Remy LeBeau). There will be a lot of film fans unfamiliar with the brown jacket wearing X-Man – who can change energy into pink kinetic energy that he usually uses through playing cards – except for his cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, however he is a vital part to the X-Men universe.

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This is great news for fans out there, finally they might get to see a worthy take on Gambit in X-Men: Apocalypse, and then possibly in a spin-off film. Unfortunately the choice for who is going to portray the vigilante has caused quite a stir with fan-boys, it is going to be none other than the usually-cast-in-romantic-films hunk Channing Tatum. Now don’t get me wrong I do love a bit of the Tatum, but as Gambit…I’m not so sure. Although he is shown to be rather buff in the comics, the character still has a slim build, which female fans of Tatum will know he does not.

However saying that, he could tone it down before filming due to the film being set for a 2016 release, and Tatum does have the same country background that Gambit has, so maybe you comic book fans shouldn’t be pulling your hair out just yet.

Marvel Movie News

With Marvel’s Phase 2 now in full swing, with Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier already out and Guardians of the Galaxy’s release date fast approaching, it is becoming the norm for a piece of news about the upcoming films to be released weekly. But that side of Marvel is not what this article is about, no there are two pieces of rather exciting news concerning the two Marvel franchises owned by 20th Century Fox and Sony.

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The first being the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. Due to the first two attempts at taking the adventures of Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, The Thing and Human Torch to the screen failed to dazzle film and comic book audiences alike; even Captain America on fire couldn’t save it. 20th Century Fox have now decided to give it another go, here’s hoping that they do it justice this time; as the Fantastic Four are one of the most famous superhero teams in the Marvel universe and really deserve a great franchise. Josh Trank (Chronicle) is helming the new adaptation, and the film stars a much younger cast than its predecessor, with Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Kate Mara (Invisible Woman), Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch) and Jamie Bell (The Thing).

Doctor Doom will once again be the main villain for the 2015 film, however it has recently been released that Tim Blake Nelson (whose last Marvel film role was as Samuel Sterns/The Leader in The Incredible Hulk) has signed on to the film, and will be portraying Harvey Elder. A scientist who is shunned by civilisation and eventually becomes the Moleman, who rules over an underground species called ‘Moloids’. Although Nelson will feature in this film, his character is more likely going to be a set up for the next Fantastic Four movie, set for a 2017 release.

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The other half of the big news comes from Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man. If like me you sat through to the end of the credits at the cinema when watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and all you got was a little clip from the new X-Men: Days of Future Past film; you might have felt slightly disappointed. Well it actually turns out that if you have the smart phone app ‘Shazam’, then you can Shazam the end credits song – ‘It’s On Again’ by Alicia Keys – and you will be shown various different images that tease at the line-up for the upcoming Drew Goddard directed ‘Sinister Six’ film.

The pictures, from SuperHeroHype, are shown below:

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From the images it appears that the villains who will be assembling in their own film will be: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Rhino, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. Personally I can’t wait to see how the back story of Kraven will be shown on-screen, and what a new-age version of Mysterio will look like.

Big things are coming.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The witty web-slinging masked vigilante returns in a sequel that will have fan-boys trembling with excitement.

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Life hasn’t exactly been easy for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield); first his parents are murdered (which is delved into much more), and then his uncle Ben is gunned down in the street by a criminal. Thankfully though he has the amazing abilities of a spider that help him to get through the day as he saves civilians in New York City. Although things appear to be looking up for the wall-crawler, Peter is still trying to deal with the death of Captain Stacy (his girlfriend’s father), and the promise that he made him in the first film. But pondering over the question of whether he should cut all ties to Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is not the only thing on Spidey’s mind, as a whole host of super-villains are emerging into his world. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) – a nobody who just wants people to notice him – is turned into Electro; an unstable monster that can control electricity and has found a new hatred for Spider-Man. Figuring out his love life and fighting crime might only be part of the threats that Peter is going to face, as his old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) comes into the picture, and is on a mission to prove that his father’s last words about him being a failure were wrong.

Although I was weary going into a new Spider-Man franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, it is definitely clear with the sequel that director Marc Webb is the man for the job. He has cranked everything up a notch from the first film, and not even things that needed to be done, but make the film so much better because they have been. As well as the picture quality, the effects and visuals are just on another level from the previous Spider-Man films; they make the entire movie seem more realistic and it pulls you into the film a lot further.

Along with this, the film improves on Spidey’s costume a little bit further, by adding the classic wide eye pieces to his mask, rather than the thin ones which have been used in every film to date. There was just something about this film that gripped you from start to finish, and made the almost 3 hour running time fly by. From the scenes that depict Peter’s everyday life, to the incredible action sequences, it all slotted together so well and will have you thinking ‘this is a great super-hero movie’.

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Of course with the new editions to the villain side of things – which includes Paul Giamatti as Rhino – there has to be the actors to play them, and the portrayals were dead on. Jamie Foxx’s depiction of the pissed-off-at-society Electro really makes you feel the rage, hatred and electricity that is flowing through his veins. The character of Electro has been re-imagined for the film; instead of a high school student who parades around in his green and yellow spandex when turned into a villain, he is now a grown man who works for Oscorp and his persona as Electro is now a blue-glowing horror that will have your nerves going wild. As both the shy Max Dillon and the enraged Electro he pulls off a stunning performance. This time round the character of Harry Osborn is given to us by the talented young Dane DeHaan, an actor who has been rising on the Hollywood radar ever since his breakthrough role in 2012’s Chronicle. His talents continue to shine as he plays the distraught son who needs to make his father (Chris Cooper) eat his final words and find a cure for a hereditary disease which they suffer from. Unfortunately in doing so he becomes the Green Goblin, once again a very scary one I might add. DeHaan’s role as both Harry and the Goblin are memorable, especially the latter, that chilling evil face will stick in your mind for weeks after viewing the film.

For all of you comic book fans out there, you will have noticed many little Easter eggs throughout the film. But for those of you unfamiliar with the Marvel universe, here are a few things you might have missed. First of all it seems quite possible that, in my opinion, one of the greatest team-ups may actually happen. I’m referring to Spider-Man and Black Cat, as we’re introduced to the character of Felicia Hardy (Felictiy Jones) in the form of Harry Osborn’s assistant. However that is not the only future characters we may have been introduced to. Max Dillon’s boss – Alistair Smythe – (B. J. Novak), if the writers decide to go down this route, is the son of Spencer Smythe, who is the inventor of the Spider-Slayers which are out to catch Spider Man. Probably the biggest hint at what is to come next though is the shady character seen in the end credits scene of the first film, and throughout a lot of this one. He is thought to be The Gentleman, a villain who assembles the super-villain team The Sinister Six; and as we have already heard that this is a route that the films will be going down, it is quite likely that he is him. Plus the fact that we see Doctor Octopus’ arms and Vulture’s wings at Oscorp, and part of the film being set in the Ravencroft institute where many of the villains may already be, is making this theory a reality.

Where Sam Raimi failed in adding too many villains to the story line (Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman), in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man Marc Webb has succeeded and made it work so well.

The future for the Spider-Man franchise is looking bright.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The first avenger returns in his second solo film; which sees the red, white and blue covered crusader take on much more than the Nazi Regime.

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Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has never really had a moment to think after he was unfrozen and then straight away thrust into battling for the fate of the Earth in The Avengers. So now Captain America is trying to adjust to the lifestyle of 21st century society. Once again working for Nick Fury and Alexander Pierce (portrayed by the talented Robert Redford),and teaming up with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson); the pair continue to complete missions for S.H.I.E.L.D in the hope that they can bring freedom to the planet. However, now that S.H.I.E.L.D have the technology to determine crime before it happens, Captain America begins to question the very organisation he works for. His trust in his superiors are the least of his problems though, as an undercover plan emerges that is much greater than anything he could have imagined. On top of that the introduction of a super-human assassin known only as The Winter Soldier, proves to be quite the competition for ‘Cap’; and makes his task of completing his mission even tougher.

What has been continuously noticeable about Marvel heroes who receive their own film, is that in their first movie their story will be introduced to the audience. But in their second outing the viewers get to see a more in-depth look at the characters themselves. As with Thor’s second film ‘Thor: The Dark World’, where we got a better picture of his history and actually how close he was to his brother Loki. In the Captain’s sequel the audience once again receives this treatment in the form of an old friend from his past making a return; without giving too much away this revival forces a few tear-jerking moments.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is on a completely different level than any other Marvel film that has come before it, simply because it has a much more mature and grown-up underlining plot behind it. By adding a villainous character such as The Winter Soldier – a killer who has helped shape all chaos of the past century – it makes the film touch on terrorist themes; hence making it more realistic and close to home. Unlike in previous films such as Captain America (2011) with the magic of the Tesseract, Avengers Assemble (2012) with the alien Chitauri army and Thor (2011) which basically had an all round space theme, this movie is made more realistic by using everyday threats that we face in the real world. Sure the technology is a little far-fetched at times, but it is much more real-life than what we have seen in previous Marvel films; and that is what makes it stand out from the rest.

As the phases of the Avengers films carry on, we are, with every film, introduced to more and more of the caped crusaders; and this film gave us one of my favourites, ‘Falcon’ (Anthony Mackie). It is great that the directors – Anthony and Joe Russo – decided to include Falcon (also known as Sam Wilson) into this instalment as him and the Captain constantly team up in the comic books. One of the great aspects of these new Marvel films is how the writers are adapting the heroes for a more up-to-date audience; and Falcon is an example of that. Instead of him wearing his classic brown-winged spandex and him having telepathic bird powers, he has been toned down to having robotic metal wings which attach like a jet-pack, that he used when he was fighting in Iraq. In the next pictures of the phases we can hope to see – apart from Ant-Man who is getting his own film – Black Panther (the African-fighting vigilante), Doctor Strange (the Earth’s most powerful sorcerer) and The Vision (an android who is created by the robotic menace Ultron.

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Other than the introduced characters and gripping storyline, what makes this one stand out as well, is that the effects and picture quality are just amazing. All Marvel films have had an incredible picture to accompany a great plot – apart from maybe The Incredible Hulk – however The Russo Brothers explained that they wanted to use more practical effects, rather than just load the whole film up with masses of CGI; and it is obvious when watching what an improvement it makes.

As with the conclusion of Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, it is hard to assume where Marvel are going to go next with future Avengers themed films, after viewing this ninth installment to the franchise. As something occurs in the movie that drastically alters what Avengers: Age of Ultron will contain. But the stories have been in good hands so far, and with Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige once again helming the Avengers director and producer chairs, it will surely play out well.

All in all Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a definite step forward in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; with its mature themes and practical effects. Let’s just hope that they continue on this path, and carry on bringing films to the screen that are enjoyed by both comic book fanatics and film lovers alike.

New Avengers Added To Age Of Ultron

At the moment every bit of new information about Avengers: Age of Ultron gets me more excited, and lets me know that the day when I can actually view the film is getting ever closer. Recently the new bits of information are of more avengers being added to the film.

The first new characters – which were actually announced a few weeks ago – are the super-fast Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his sister, the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) who uses hexes to cause explosions, create force fields, burn objects, deflect magic attacks and stop the momentum of bullets or missiles. The Scarlet Witch is a vital part in the story, as she is one of the only Avengers who has a chance against the robotic Ultron. The pair are the children of the master of magnetism, Magneto; and are therefore also being featured in this years X-Men: Days of Future Past film, but with different actors playing them.

quickSome of the best news about the 2015 Avengers sequel to come out recently is also another character being added to the line-up. The Vision (being played by Paul Bettany) is finally going to be seen on the screen; he definitely deserves it as The Vision is one of the most famous Avengers. In the comic books, after Hank Pym (Ant-Man) creates Ultron and he turns against him, Ultron then creates an android with the power to fire beams of radiation and infrared and posses’ the power of flight and super-human strength; called The Vision. However he betrays Ultron and joins The Avengers. Whether this is what Joss Whedon is planning, we don’t know yet; especially with the story line of Ultron’s creation being changed. As most fans will know, the actor playing The Vision is also the voice of Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S artificial intelligence system, so that may factor into the story line.

vision2The anticipation for Avengers: Age of Ultron has grown even more.

X-Men: Apocalypse News

As we are just on the brink of getting our mitts on the new X-Men film in 2014 – X-Men: Days of Future Past, it is hard to see how our hopes could possibly be risen any more. Well the most recent news from the X-Men world is that in 2016 we are going to get one of the most powerful villains in all of the Marvel universe…’Apocalypse’.

250px-En_Sabah_Nur_(Earth-616)_0005It seems as if after The Avengers franchise introduced us to ‘Thanos’, who is going to be their villain in the third Avengers film. Then 20th Century Fox want to use their own ultimate super villain story line. As Thanos was taken, the next best choices would be ‘Galactus’ and Apocalypse, but because the latter is one of the most powerful beings in all the universe he seems like the appropriate choice.

To make things even better, the person attached to directing the eighth instalment to the X-Men franchise is none other than Bryan Singer himself, the man behind X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003) and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. Now although it maybe a bit too early to give speculations on how good X-Men: Apocalypse will be, I think it is fairly safe to say that with it in Singer’s hands it will be quite an amazing super hero flick.

For those of you not familiar with the grey-skinned villain known as Apocalypse, let’s just say he’s the alpha of the super villains. His original name was ‘En Sabah Nur’, and he was born in Egypt during the times of the Pharaohs. Often thought of as the first ever mutant, he discovered alien technology which he used to his advantage to rule over many civilisations throughout history. Believing in the idea of survival of the fittest, he has slaughtered and defeated many foes throughout his years. What really gives Apocalypse his terrifying reputation are his numerous powers which have led him to defeat the X-Men (amongst other super teams) on various occasions.

These include being able to project and absorb energy, being telekinetic and telepathic, being technopathic – which means he can directly interface with technology and he can change his own molecular structure. Which means he can make himself as flexible, strong and tall as he wants, along with being able to transform his limbs into whatever he likes, such as weapons. He can also regenerate, can adapt to make himself immune to any climate or disease and can give himself any superhuman powers. On top of all that he is also immortal and a scientific genius in areas like physics, biology, engineering and genetics. So yes, he is kind of a big deal in the Marvel universe. How the X-Men can possibly hope to defeat him is beyond me, but I can’t wait to see how they try.

There is a bit of news on what is in the future for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, although Jackman’s contract with Fox runs out after X-Men: Days of Future Past he has said that he is eager to make another wolverine film with James Mangold – the director of The Wolverine (2013). However he says only if it is an amazing film which is worth releasing, as he wants to give the fans everything they want.

So the future of the X-Men is looking pretty busy.

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Thor: The Dark World

The god of thunder is back in a sequel that presents even more challenges which he must face in order to save his lovely Jane Foster and planet earth.

thor the dark world posterThor: The Dark World – the most recent film in Marvel’s ‘phase 2’ – gives us everything which we loved about the first film and adds more to it. The great thing about all these Marvel sequels being released – Iron Man 2/3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier – is that, whereas the first film introduced the audience to the characters and their story, the sequels allow us to understand them more and realise what it is that they are actually fighting for.

The all-star cast is back, plus a few new faces, to play out a story much darker – hence the name – than the first film. Years ago ‘Bor’, the father of ‘Odin’ (Anthony Hopkins), fought to bring peace to the nine realms and apprehend a powerful stone called the ‘Aether’ from Malkieth – leader of the dark elves. He succeeded and hid the stone in the darkest of places where no being could find it. Unfortunately ‘Jane Foster’ stumbles upon a doorway which transports her to the location of the Aether and the power ends up connected to her body. Thor appears in his beautiful flash of colourful light to take Jane back to Asgard and attempt to help her, however things are not that simple. Especially now that the Aether has awoken Malkieth from his slumber to once again reap havoc on the nine realms. Thor must once again disobey his father in order to do what he feels is right, and team up with someone who he never thought he would team up with again…Loki. We get unbelievable effects, incredible fight and sorrowful scenes, diverse characters and inside jokes relating to Marvel’s previous ‘phase 1’. What more could you ask for?

Chris Hemsworth once again dons the cape as he stars for the third time as the Mjolnir-carrying god. He once more takes us on a journey with his velty-toned-booming voice, golden locks and muscles to match the Hulk’s. In the previous Marvel films where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been the villain (Thor/Avengers Assemble) the hatred between the two brothers has grown and grown, but as they team up in this film it is obvious that the love is still there. We really get to feel the emotions of Loki in this one, as an event happens which pulls at even his heart-strings.

What I found great about this sequel was that it let us see much more of the Asgardian characters rather than just the ones on earth. One of which is Heindall, played by Idris Elba, although we did get to see him partially guarding the realm doorway in ‘Thor’, this time we see what he is truly capable of. Long story short, he’s a real bad-ass.

We definitely did witness more screen time for the lesser-heroes of the film: Sif (Jamie Alexander), Fandral (Zachery Levi), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano). But two of the roles which make this film great are that of the antagonists Malkieth and Algrim, played by Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. They do great at catching that villainous ‘I’m going to destroy the universe’ look, although a lot of that could be down to make-up, nevertheless their talents can not be overlooked. Eccleston has played many villains before (28 Days Later/Shallow Grave/G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra) so this was no problem for him.

Marvel’s ‘phase 2’ is really motoring on now, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy due in 2014. They are gearing up for a huge Avengers sequel (Avengers: Age of Ultron) in 2015, and if Thor: The Dark World is anything to go by then we have some extraordinary films in store for us.

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Just a little heads up to all you fans out there, we all know how Marvel love to stick a nice little post-credits scene at the end of every film as a taster for the next film in the franchise. I recently heard a rumour that because audiences have realised this Marvel have moved the scene up to literally at the end of the film. This is not true, there is a scene right at the end of the movie which hints at the plot for the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but there is also one right at the end of the credits. So sit back and wait for your end of credits taster.