Dr. Strange movie coming after The Avengers

Mystic Update: Outspoken Doctor Strange fan Neil Gaiman (Beowulf) says he would love to write the movie.

Kevin Feige, president of production for Marvel Studios, has expressed his enthusiasm at the thought of a Dr. Strange movie.

“Very much so,” Feige said. “I’d say in the next year, year and a half, as we start putting together our film slate for 2012 and 2013, I would not be shocked if we saw Dr. Strange on those lists. I love the idea of tapping into the magical realm of the Marvel Universe, which is fairly significant and hasn’t yet seen life on screen.

I’ll admit to not knowing that much about the character, but Doctor Strange is the “Sorcerer Supreme” in the Marvel Universe and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, who also co-created Spider-Man. Head over to his Wikipedia page to know more.

There has actually been a live-action adaptation of the comic book before, which was a TV-movie for CBS back in 1978 (trailer here) and was apparently relatively well received. Other than that the character has appeared on screen in a number of Marvel animated series and had his own straight-to-DVD animated film in 2007 (trailer here).

The mega-successes of Iron Man and The Dark Knight this year are a sure sign that comic book movies still attract moviegoers, and one can only appreciate the way Marvel is taking more control over its properties and making them share a same continuity, as they should. That being said, how do you feel about a Dr. Strange flick? Vote and tell me in the comments.

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Nick Fury’s role expanded in Iron Man 2

Popular actor Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace) has recently stated that, as expected, his Nick Fury role that was no more than a cameo in this summer’s early hit Iron Man, and which almost nobody saw because it was after the credits, will be much larger in the sequel, which is expected to hit screens in May 2010. According to Jackson, this comes straight from director Jon Favreau’s mouth, and really it’s to be expected since Iron Man 2 will be the last present-day-set Marvel film leading into The Avengers as The First Avenger: Captain America will be set during World War 2 and Thor, well, is about a god in Asgard. In related Thor news, Daniel Craig (the current James Bond actor) has recently turned down the chance to play the lead.

Thor finally gets a director, maybe

After director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) bailed out to helm Kick-Ass and D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) threw his name in the mix, another filmmaker is now attached to Marvel Studios’ forthcoming adaptation of the comic book Thor, one that is the most unusual and the most interesting.

Indeed it’s none other than Northern Irish actor/director Kenneth Branagh (Much Ado About Nothing), who is probably being sought for his strong affinity with shakespearean themes, which are apparently prominent in the comic. If this pans out, I’m convinced Branagh could churn out an amazing film.

Thor will be firmly set in the same continuity as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and other forthcoming Marvel films, and like those movies will lead into the planned 2011 The Avengers movie. Thor will be released in 2010. The screenplay was written by Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend).

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Edward Norton has no idea about Hulk’s future

Edward Norton (The Incredible Hulk) claims he doesn’t know whether Marvel want him back for a sequel and/or the planned 2011 The Avengers movie.

The minds of Marvel are sometimes opaque. I won’t say [they’re] obtuse, but I don’t have any idea what they want to do. They’ve got this notion of collecting the Marvel characters. Who knows where they’ll go?

Don’t worry Ed, I’m sure Marvel will be in contact soon enough.

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Eva Longoria for Wasp?

Overrated beauty Eva Longoria (ABC’s Desperate Housewives) has recently visited Marvel Studios’ offices, leaving with a bunch of comic books and a business card, and apparently many believe she’s in talks to play Wasp/Janet Van Dyne in the forthcoming Avengers movie planned for 2011 and set up by various other comic book films such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.

Wasp is one of the first Avengers and a character I’ve surprisingly absolutely never heard of before. According to Wikipedia, Wasp’s abilities include size manipulation, flight, bio-electric energy blasts and telepathic insect control… Eva Longoria is certainly sexy enough (at least with makeup on) but what do you think? Are you looking forward to Eva floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee?

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Fun Stuff: Which Marvel hero are you?

Ever wondered which Marvel hero you were most like? Well, now’s your lucky day thanks to this great quiz from Liquid Generation. With 26 possible outcomes, you’ll be able to find out whether you’re more of a wisecracking Spider-Man or a badass Wolverine. All I can say is, where’s the DC version?

Personally, my result is Hulk, which is surprisingly fitting…in other words, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. What Marvel character did you turn out to be?

More Fun Stuff

Thor gets a director?

Well, not exactly yet, but new hotshot director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia) is in talks with Marvel Studios to helm the forthcoming 2010 Norse God movie.

There’s a fear I have about Thor and depending on what Thor story you want to tell, whether you want to bring Thor into the modern world or if you want to go back to Asgard and get the history of what’s happening between him and his brother and dad. That’s one I’ve always been interested in and it also would be, it would be a monumental task so, I could definitely see myself getting myself into that… I have had some talks with Marvel about it but I have not seen a screenplay. It could be something that I am interested in.

Thor has to be one of the forefront Marvel characters I’m least familiar with, but I’m of course excited at the prospect of the film and Caruso could be an interesting choice. Caruso’s next thriller Eagle Eye debuts late September in America and Australia.

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Movie Of The Day: The Punisher (2004)

Blade, released in 1998, was the precursor of a movement X-Men confirmed in 2000: movies based on comic books are the next big thing. Sure, comic book movies have been continuously made for a long time, but never in such numbers and on such a high profile. The publishing company Marvel Comics can largely be credited for this, as while they’d been pretty careless with selling their movie rights in the past, they started to take more control in the mid-nineties, resulting in the first few films to come out of the trend, including the two previously mentioned. It’s been non-stop since then, with 2008 seeing at least seven films based on comic books released in the world. The Punisher is also based on a Marvel property, which had previously been brought to the screen in a fun 1989 B-movie starring Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier).

Frank Castle is an FBI agent undercover on an arms deal in Tampa, Florida. The deal is busted, and an unexpected participant is killed in the process: one of local mobster Howard Saint’s sons. Stricken by grief, Saint sends his men to kill Castle and his whole family in Puerto Rico, where they are having a reunion. Castle miraculously survives the massacre, if barely, and is nursed back to health by some witch doctor dude. Driven by rage, Frank Castle returns to Tampa, seeking to punish Howard Saint and his organization for the harm they have caused. He is now the Punisher.

The Punisher was the directing debut for action screenwriter extraordinaire Jonathan Hensleigh (Next), who co-wrote the flick with Michael France (Fantastic Four). It stars Thomas Jane (The Mist), John Travolta (Hairspray), Rebecca Romijn (the X-Men films), Ben Foster (30 Days Of Night), Roy Scheider (Jaws 1 & 2) in a small role, wrestler Kevin Nash (Dead Or Alive) and country singer Mark Collie (Fire Down Below) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

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