Even though Black Panther: Wakanda Forever continues to reign as the biggest movie on the planet, the fierce glare of scrutiny the Marvel Cinematic Universe constantly finds itself under is always looking forward. For James Gunn, though, it’s not something he’ll need to concern himself with come May 2023.
Still, the filmmaker has grown tired of the tribalism that defines comic book fandom, which might be one of the reasons why the franchise’s best-kept secret is happy to retain some degree of anonymity. Elsewhere, Ryan Coogler admits everything about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was a risk, while Thunderbolts is threatening to de-power an near-omnipotent favorite, something that already isn’t sitting well with fans.
The MCU’s secret weapon is more than happy to stay in the shadows
Everyone knows who Kevin Feige is, which is par for the course when you’re the architect of the biggest and most popular property of the modern era, but the MCU wouldn’t have been able to achieve its monumental success were it not for the impeccable casting that’s seen all of the heaviest hitters embed their roles to perfection, which is where Sarah Finn comes in.
As the casting director behind every single one of the sprawling saga’s major hires, she’s been one of the most important cogs in the machine since the very beginning, even if you never hear her name being shouted from the rooftops. As it turns out, that’s exactly the way she likes it, even if her fingerprints are all over everything and everyone from Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man to Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel.
Thunderbolts fans bracing for a severely de-powered villain
All we know about Thunderbolts so far is the identity of its director, writer, the roster of the titular team, and release date, which is admittedly quite a lot. What we don’t know is who the villain of the piece is going to be, but a rumor spreading across the internet already has fans a little concerned.
Hyperion is the latest name to be making the rounds, and given that an official description from Marvel explains that all versions are imbued with “superhuman strength, stamina, speed, durability, and flight”, nobody’s really buying that dad bod super soldier Red Guardian or skilled assassin Taskmaster has what it takes to bring him down, unless of course he ends up being severely nerfed.
James Gunn resigns himself to the eternal struggle of tribalism
As the writer and director of the MCU’s The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Vol. 3, James Gunn has a lot on his plate these days given that he’s juggling his Marvel commitments with the not-insignificant task of being co-CEO of DC Studios, and the brains behind the company’s next decade of film and television output.
Some corners of the online sphere simply can’t comprehend the notion of someone with one foot in both camps failing to settle on favorite, but the Twitter-happy Gunn has been more than happy to fire back and explain how and why he remains equally committed to the Hollywood rivals. At least until next May, when the Guardians and Gunn ride off into the sunset.
Ryan Coogler knows he took a risk with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Recasting iconic figures is no easy task, but it’s tragic that Ryan Coogler’s hand was forced when Chadwick Boseman’s passing led to a complete overhaul of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. In spite of the backlash being pointed in her direction for various reasons, Letitia Wright did a great job in the lead and new incumbent of the titular mantle, but the filmmaker knows he took a huge risk.
Pivoting a blockbuster superhero sequel into a mother/daughter story powered by grief and tragedy is weighty stuff for an all-ages adventure sold on the back of costumed crimefighters, and while reviews haven’t been quite as strong the second time out, the Wakanda Forever team pulled off an unenviable task as best they could.
The revolving door of Marvel madness continues unabated on a daily basis, so make sure to check back tomorrow for our latest roundup of all things MCU.