Bleats

Star Wars Shouldn’t Bother Coming To Disney+ Without Donald Glover

Everything you've heard about him is true.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is rumoured to be getting the sequel which it was obviously angling for in the form of a series on Disney+, and let’s make one thing clear: no Donald Glover, no interest.

And look, Solo was… fine. It was fine.

Can’t Daenerys fix this with a dragon or something?

It had some good bits, it answered a bunch of questions literally no-one ever had (surnames can just be surnames, you know) and it wouldn’t have been such a “flop” had it not had to be effectively made twice after original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were sacked a ways into production and replaced by Ron Howard.

And all the performances were OK, including Woody Harrelson playing Standard Woody Harrelson Character #398 and Alden Ehrenreich as An Impersonation Of Harrison Ford.

Oh, and Joonas Suotamo, who was genuinely amazing as Chewbacca doing more than Chewie’s been allowed to do since The Empire Strikes Back.

But the one outstanding performance was Donald Glover playing Young Lando Calrissian as a pansexual amoral gambler, smuggler and card cheat who may or may not have been banging his droid. Mind you, since said droid was Phoebe Waller-Bridges, completely fair.

So any rumoured Solo Disney+ series has a bunch of problems in following the film, like that most of the interesting characters are dead and the others have left Han and Chewie. Also, we now have Darth Maul in the mix for some stupid reason except Han can’t interact too much with him and still plausibly think the Force is a myth when talking to Luke.

(And if anyone from Disney is reading this and wants a spec script about Han meeting Jabba the Hutt and getting into a heist-gone-wrong situation with Boba Fett, Greedo, Bossk, and Dengar that gives all sorts of kick-arse motivation for their respective appearances in the original trilogy, then give me a call.)

So something interesting has to happen, and that something is clearly Lando.

Of course, the film ended with Han winning the Millennium Falcon off Lando after screwing up his cheating trickery presumably to dovetail into that meeting on Cloud City in ESB. Also, who could afford Donald Glover these days – even Star Wars?

But in any case, if it’s a Land-no, then abandon the whole thing.

And Disney, if you want to replace it with a series involving Zuckuss and 4-LOM as a mismatched pair of bounty hunters bumbling from one zany adventure to the next, again: call me. I think “What the Zuck?” has amazing potential, frankly.

The Rumoured Big Bads For MCU's Next Phase Will Have Marvel Fans Frothing

It's a (literally) big one.

Now that we’ve lost Thanos, the unifying villain of the approximately 900 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe the question has been “who will take his place?” And two big bads have been mooted that will have fans going “wait, so that would mean…”

Um, except not this guy.

Of course, these are rumours – indeed, they’re flights of comic-book fancy – which could be entirely invented. But they do have the ring of plausibility to them, given the benched sections of the Avengers – adieu Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and (probably) Hulk – and the characters made available by Disney’s acquisition of the Fox stable and all the characters Marvel sold to them.

So to manage expectations, there’s been an assumption that the focus in Phase Five on some of the more recent mutant-related characters was a sign that a full X-men integration was a ways off.

But that leaves the other marquee name of the Fox-owned characters: the Fantastic Four, the cursed First Family of marvel who have yet to be successfully rendered on the screen in anything remotely satisfactory: so much so that all the Johnnys Storm – Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan – had to reinvent themselves to get into the MCU as Captain America and Kilmonger, respectively

Demonstrably false.

Why is this relevant? Because the two rumoured big bads of the next Marvel phase are Galactucus and Doctor Doom: two of the Marvelverse’s most enduring and beloved villains, and both of whom started life as antagonists for the Fantastic Four.

Doom was in all of the Fantastic Four films, while the G-banger was where the planned third Fantastic Four film would have gone had the world not gone “yeah, nah” to The Rise Of The Silver Surfer back in 2005 prior to the (ahem) doomed reboot.

Now, again, this is just a Reddit rumour right now but admit it: it all sounds like it fits around everything else we know about Phase Five, right? And hey, some of Marvel’s best big bads is just what the franchise needs.

Why Are Marvel The Only Studio To Remember That Superheroes Are Meant To Be Fun?

it's not that hard to make the fun thing fun, surely?

Superhero films are now the biggest things in the world with Avengers: Endgame now the biggest earning film in history and the massive and consistent hits of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

However, this is a very new development and also almost exclusively MCU-related. While Disney/Marvel have enjoyed box office blockbusters on the regular other studios like Fox, Universal and Warners (who own the DC Comics franchise) have been rather more hit and miss.

If superheroes were as popular as the Marvel box office would suggest, then how would something like Dark Phoenix – a film based on some of Marvel’s most popular characters, the freakin’ X-Men – land with such a thud?

Why did Captain America: Civil War get plaudits in 2016 when Batman vs Superman was getting nothing but complaints and mean-spirited Martha memes?

OUR MUMMIES HAVE THE SAME NAME NOW WE’RE FRIENDS

Here’s my guess: because Marvel are the only studio who keep remembering that superhero movies are meant to be fun.

Think about it: the non-Marvel hits in recent times have been the films which were just goddamn fun. Wonder Woman. Aquaman. The Amazing Spider-Man. Deadpool. Even Suicide Squad, some of the time. Films that weren’t afraid to go “well, this is a hoot!”

My theory is that it’s all because of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The first two Christopher Nolan Batman films were gritty and dark, putting objectively silly characters in the real world and somehow making it work artistically, critically and commercially.

Batman, Scarecrow, Joker, Ra’s al Ghul and Two-Face were impressively rendered as being plausibly real figures in a recognisable modern setting, and then everyone went “oh, that’s what we need to do, then.”

And it’s still possible to do gritty and make it work – Logan was a great way to round Wolverine’s very hit-and-miss cinematic arc – but too many times it leans into an exhausting slog, as with Man Of Steel or Dark Phoenix – or, god forbid, any of the Fantastic Four attempts. Or worse yet, Green Lantern.

Jesus.

And let’s honest, Joker seems like a dour couple of hours in the cinema.

So hey, studios: I know you have plans and licenses and so on, but would it kill you to make your films starring costumed magic-people doing s’plosions be a bit more… well, fun?

That said, Shazam! did kinda underperform, so maybe we’re already over fun. Guess we’ll find out.

Pop-up Channel

Follow Us