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On first watch, this latest clip from Drew Pearce‘s Marvel One Shot: All Hail The King, is just a funny gimmick. It shows how Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) is completely adored in prison. But the real stuff is all in the details. First of all, this is Seagate Prison, which is the prison in which Luke Cage is confined, and from which he eventually breaks out. Second of all, another prisoner has a mysterious tattoo that ties into another Iron Man storyline. Does this one minute clip of the short, which will be out in its entirety next Tuesday on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray, set up something huge? Check it out below. Read More »

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Want to see a trailer for a documentary about Marvel? Does Anthony Mackie want to be in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Has the official list of Phase 3 films been released? What happens when Stan Lee visits the Marvel offices? Where can you read official tidbits and character info on Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Did Drew Pearce explain the link between Iron Man 3 and All Hail the King? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

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This first clip for the next Marvel one-shot, All Hail the King, positions the tone of the short as a midpoint between the comedic underpinnings of Iron Man 3 and the political thriller aspirations of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (Makes sense, as Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce wrote and directed the short.)

In this footage a writer, played by Scoot McNairy, gives us an overview of the situation that is about to transpire: he’s interviewing the Mandarin from prison, and trying to make some sense out of who the man is. The title card and general feel have the characteristics of a late ’60s to mid ’70s thriller, but there’s that wink of comedy underneath.

It’s a great clip; see more below. Read More »

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Love him or hate him, Ben Kingsley‘s Mandarin was certainly one of the most surprising villains we’ve had in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Now, the latest Marvel One-Shot, “All Hail the King,” revisits the character to find out exactly what happened to him after the events of Iron Man 3.

Iron Man 3 scribe Drew Pearce wrote and directed the new film, which features the return of Kingsley along with new characters played by Scoot McNairy (Argo) and Crystal the monkey (of Hangover fame). The first images and details have just been revealed, and you can dig in after the jump. Be warned that major spoilers for Iron Man 3 follow.

Read More »

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What did Bryan Cranston have to say about those Batman vs. Superman rumors? Which superhero does Tom Hiddleston think Loki needs to confront in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Want to see the best look yet at Malekith the Accursed from Thor: The Dark World? When might we see the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Tom Cruise Mission Impossible

Briefly: We don’t know what Mission: Impossible 5 will be about, but we know who will write: Drew Pearce, who scripted Iron Man 3 with director Shane Black, has been hired to write the film. Tom Cruise returns to star, and the sequel will reportedly shoot in the fall of this year, after Cruise finishes The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Will Pearce again work with a director who is also known as a screenwriter? Christopher McQuarrie, who directed Cruise in Jack Reacher, has been linked to the film. And while he hasn’t signed on, THR reports that he is “in discussions” to direct M:I 5, even as he has already been set to direct a remake of Ice Station Zebra.

Pearce also did some work on the Pacific Rim script, and is writing another film that he’ll direct as well; details on that are thin right now.

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Iron Man 3 is a bundle of contradictions. It is light and genuinely funny, yet a vein of deep cynicism acts as the movie’s spine. At times it is gleefully silly, but it indulges ideas that are merely goofy. It wants to reconcile real-world violence into larger-than-life escapism. Yet the contradictions don’t quite break the movie. Director/writer Shane Black and co-screenwriter Drew Pearce understand the mode in which they have to work, and manage to make both impulses live side by side.

Those contradictions give Iron Man 3 a weird sense of pace, and a personality that isn’t quite like any other superhero movie. This isn’t the gleeful candy-colored romp of The Avengers, and I sympathize with any audience thrown by the film’s shuffling rhythm. Shane Black writes and directs movies that walk a fine line between idiosyncratic and mainstream, and many of the director’s impulses (winking narration, in-jokes, the subversion of cliches) are on display here.

Black and Pearce struggle at times to keep all their ideas in the frame, but that struggle alone makes Iron Man 3 interesting to watch. The film’s giddy highs are quite wonderful, and its personal quirks are testament to the power Marvel Studios has accumulated. The film plays loose with characters and ideas from the comics, but in doing so presents a story that is more unique than we have any right to expect from a threequel. In fact, crossover between real and heightened worlds has defined Marvel Comics since day one, and Iron Man 3 may be more true to Marvel’s spirit than any other film.

(Note: Iron Man 3 features a couple big plot elements that shouldn’t be spoiled, and so the following review avoids discussing those elements. I’m not going to say this is 100% spoiler-free, but I’ve avoided the big points. ) Read More »

Why ‘Iron Man 3′ is a Christmas Movie

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Going into the junket for Iron Man 3, one of the things I wanted to talk to writer/director Shane Black about is the film’s Christmas setting. Many of the films Black has been involved with have been set during Christmas: Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Someone beat me to the punch at the press conference, and as it turns out, setting the movie during Christmas wasn’t even Black’s idea.

Read More »

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