Super Hero Squad Rumorbuster

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Captain American is such a winner!

Everyone knows by now how I love data morphs and mutates like a virus on the Internet. I just read an interesting teaser at Digg for "Iron Man 2, 3 and 4" and the "may have Captain American and Hulk" comment. Now, I know we have our own typos here (and will continue to do so until we can afford a copy editor to take a pass at our posts), so no ill will about the good Captain's name, but I do have a pet peeve for the link-aggregator-post-that-has-something-rather-sensationalistic-as-a-title-but-is-actually-wishful-thinking-based-on-misinterpretation-of-something-else.

See, on Digg, where 500+ people have already "dugg" it (meaning they like it, they enjoy it, they support it, or maybe they just wanted to bookmark it for later and don't know how to use standard bookmarking) it's passed off as a possibility that Cap and Hulk will show up in these movies.

The article that is being "dugg" doesn't actually suggest that headline. Instead, that article says "Favreau does intend to include background links to the likes of Hulk and Captain America in the sequel, but finds Thor a little difficult to do so" and that this information came out during an interview with "Jon Favreau sitting down with a major contingent of online press".

And then at the end it points to the transcript of said interview with a "major contingent" (which was apparently just Hype! the way I read the transcript's intro.) The intro itself translates the interview as saying:

Marvel's current plans to set its upcoming slate of films – including Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers – in the same shared universe as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk is a tricky but still inviting prospect for Favreau, who plans to utilize his improvisational background to find clever ways to integrate certain elements of the other films into the sequels, enhancing and not disrupting his own storytelling needs. He thinks Cap and Hulk fit fairly easily into Iron Man's world, while Thor is more of a challenge.

And of course, the actual interview itself features Favreau just talking about how cool it is to throw in Nick Fury or Captain America's shield, the continuity problems inherent in these things (since Iron Man is looking to start a team at the end of Hulk, the story probably doesn't take place the day after Nick Fury approaches him at the end of Iron Man), and giving a ridiculously flippant dismissal of Marvel Comics continuity. When discussing the issue of timing between Hulk and Iron Man (and sequels) he wonderfully says:

That's clearly not the day after "Iron Man" ended. Where does it fit in the time continuum? I don't want to just ignore it or do what the comic books have done. I guess you could do what Marvel has said: "It's an alternate universe." They've gotten away with that one for a couple of decades, but how do you make all that work within that world?

Which is just sort of insulting to Marvel. Let's be honest, the "alternate universe" is not Marvel's answer for continuity problems... they've long since mentioned their sliding time-line principle to explain aging issues and pride at never having had to "fix" their continuity a-la Crisis. If someone nit-picks how Captain America couldn't have had a beer with the Juggernaut on the same night Ben Reilly and Jubilee were locked in deadly battle with the Checkermaster, Marvel doesn't "alternate universe" it away. They give a no-prize, or they say say it's not a big deal (and these things usually aren't that big a deal) and everyone moves on, or maybe a later writer will come in and fix things. Sorry, that's just a personal nitpick, that this guy lauded by some comic fans as so "respectful to the material" thinks Marvel has just spent "decades" dismissing every uncomfortable plot point as "alternate universe." If Marvel HAD been throwing plot points out as alternate dimension, many fans would probably be a lot happier.

Back to the interview though... Favreau doesn't suggest appearances by Captain America or Hulk in any of the Iron Man sequels. He says that these callbacks and nudge-nudge-wink-wink references are fun, they're a way to prove themselves to the fans, and that he sees problems in incorporating some of the superheroism of Avengers mythology (which Favreau says isn't tech but rather "dealing with inter-dimensional portals and all the sh*t that makes you jump the shark if you don't handle it right").

He goes on to talk about the difficulty of these convergent elements by saying:

Then "Hulk" went a little the same way. It's still kind of tech-based. You get to Cap and you say, "Okay, he was frozen in that thing –" and it's like, "Okay, I could maybe buy that, with the super-soldier thing." Then you get into Thor and it's like, "Okay, well now..." and so how do you make that all feel like it's in the same world as our movie is? That's going to be the challenge moving forward.

So long story short, we start with an interview where Iron Man's director says mixing these elements are difficult. The same article summarizes the interview as Favreau planning on using improvisation to "integrate certain elements of the other films into the sequels". And when this article is re-summarized by Dark Horizon it becomes an intention "to include background links to the likes of Hulk and Captain America in the sequel, but finds Thor a little difficult to do so." And by the time it gets to Digg, it becomes "Captain America and Hulk in Iron Man 2, 3 and 4?"

Now, does that mean Captain America and Hulk won't appear? No. It just means that there's nothing suggesting they will. A director saying that the shared universe is fun and challenging at the same time, and that some aspects work together better than others, is not the same as (or anywhere close to) suggesting character appearances or whatever else.

Ah telephone game... how we love you. Now everyone reading this post... quick... go out and post that Tigra and the other-dimensional Cat People are going to be in Iron Man 2. Post that everywhere... tell everyone! Oh, and say that a Hawkeye movie is in development too! What else... oh... and that the Doctor Strange movie is retroactively being including into Marvel's movieverse so Peter Hooten is going to reprise his role for the Captain America movie. I can't wait to see what these rumors turn into.

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