Bleats

Black Widow Will Finally Pay Off Your Favourite Long-Running Avengers Joke

It's like the Black Widow film was willed into existence purely to service this gag.

Two big questions fans had about the upcoming Black Widow film is where in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline it sits and what story it will tell given that she’s, you know, dead.

These were seemingly answered when eagle-eyed fans snapped a few photos on the set of the film, revealing that it will be set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.

But it seems like Marvel had an extra trick up its sleeve as apparently the film will also dive into Natasha Romanoff’s backstory while also paying off one of the best gags that was introduced in The Avengers: Budapest.

We’re definitely going to remember Budapest very differently after this.

During Marvel’s stacked 2019 Comic-Con panel, the comic book behemoth trotted out the long-awaited first look of the Black Widow film and revealed that at least part of it will indeed take place in Budapest prior to any MCU movie we’ve seen.

While it was short on story, the screened footage is reportedly full of arse-kicking scenes that includes a sizzle reel celebrating the character, Natasha and her “sister” Yelena greeting each other in Budapest with a bout of fisticuffs, and David Harbour as some sort of Russian Captain America.

It all sounds awesome and feels like Marvel is doing its own version of the gritty, Jason Bourne-esque action film. But let’s be honest, the biggest thing anyone is here for is the Budapest stuff. After eight years of pondering over that seemingly throwaway one-line gag, we’re finally getting a much-delayed pay off. Good things come to those who wait I suppose.

What on earth went down in Budapest? WE NEED TO KNOW!

This also throws up a question of whether Hawkeye will appear in the film as a sort of secret character since he and Natasha “remember Budapest very differently” to each other. While he was under house arrest between Civil War and Infinity War, who knows what he was up to prior to the MCU films.

Maybe he was a rival agent? Perhaps they accidentally crossed paths and ended up being BFFs? Or maybe they had a secret European fling before Clint met his lovely wife? It’s all up in the air.

There’s still a bit of a wait before we see anything as Black Widow is penciled in for a May 1, 2020 release, so there’s plenty of time to speculate what exactly went down in Budapest that left such lasting memories for Natasha (and Hawkeye).

Avengers: Endgame Has Finally Beaten Avatar At The Box Office, But The Future Of Film Looks Grim

Wonder what James Cameron has up his sleeve in response to the loss of his crown.

After some doubts over whether Avengers: Endgame could topple Avatar at the box office, it seems like Marvel’s hastily cobbled together Endgame re-release has managed to finally push the film over the finish line.

That’s right, Captain America’s arse has beaten the blue people of Pandora for the crown of highest-grossing film of all time.

According to estimates from Deadline, Endgame has managed to squeak past Avatar‘s tally of $2.789 billion. Where it will end up remains to be seen but the folks at Marvel probably don’t care at this point. They’ve taken down the king of the world and that’s really all that matters.

Sorry, James Cameron.

Endgame‘s achievement is no small feat – Avatar had held the all-time box office champ title for nearly decade – and it gives us an insightful look into where the film industry is going.

And folks, the future doesn’t look too bright.

Of the top 50 highest-grossing films of all time, a whopping 46 are either sequels, adaptations or based on existing properties. The only four “original” films sprinkled across this list are Avatar, Titanic, Zootopia, and the original Lion King. In fact, the top 10 highest-grossing films in 2019 are all remakes, sequels or adaptations of some kind.

There’s a worrying lack of creativity and original stories coming out of thee top end of Hollywood and it doesn’t look like that pattern will change any time soon. With sequels, adaptations, and remakes raking in the big bucks, there’s even less incentive for studios to bankroll big-budget originals like what they used to do decades ago.

Well, it definitely feels like it’s been 84 years.

This doesn’t mean that Hollywood is completely devoid of creativity though as we’ve had some brilliant original films, like Parasite, still making headlines in 2019.

Those moments are getting rarer though as Hollywood’s model of pumping out rehashed material means that more original content is being forced into the independent and streaming scene where there’s considerably less buzz and eyeballs.

Then again, there’s no real business reason for Hollywood to change its current formula. If millions of folks are still keen to watch The Last Of The Fate Of The Furious Episode XII: The Endgame Awakens, why mess with something that’s working?

Maybe Hollywood will become a complete sequel machine and platforms like Netflix will be the go-to places for originals. Or maybe original content will make a comeback at the box office and comic book film adaptations finally stop being cool. Who knows what will happen in the future.

Let’s just see what James Cameron has up his sleeve to topple Endgame after he’s done with his 23 sequels to Avatar.

Avengers: Endgame's Original Story Would've Traumatised And Bored You At The Same Time

You know how things look good on paper but don't work in real life? This is basically that.

Avengers: Endgame is a unique movie in that it had to service the story set up by 20 something preceding films as well as be its own standalone thing. Planning out a film that complex means a lot of things ultimately ended up being cut or changed during the production process.

It’s actually a miracle that Endgame turned out as good as it did because some of the original story ideas screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely had in mind for the film would’ve either traumatised you or bored you to sleep.

One of two possible reactions after reading the original story for Endgame.

During their 2019 Comic-Con panel, Markus and McFeely revealed that there were originally plans to kill off Steve Rogers in grotesque fashion. An earlier draft had 2014-Thanos travelling to the Earth of his timeline and killing all the Avengers because he got bored waiting for Nebula to rejig the time machine.

After wiping them out, Thanos travels forward in time to 2023 and proceeds to drop the severed head of 2014-Captain America at the feet of 2023-Captain America before giving him the taunting clanger, “I killed you again, what are you going to do?”

Frigging hell. That’s chilling stuff.

Unsurprisingly, Markus and McFeely decided to cut the scene because the time travel mechanics need for the scene made everything even more confusing than it already is, it wasn’t really necessary narrative-wise, and Marvel weren’t too keen on traumatising millions of kids with a scene from a snuff film.

On the other end of the spectrum, the writers also had a different storyline cooked up for Thor in Infinity War. Whereas the Steve Rogers arc was nightmare inducing, Thor’s arc was just… boring.

Rather than teaming up with Rocket Raccoon and Groot to go forge Stormbreaker at Nidavellir, Thor got his shiny new axe by fighting a giant Midgard serpent and… oh wait, that was it.

No character revealing moments and no Rocket and Groot, just a big snake battle. The writers said that Thor’s story was “dark for a long time” because they hadn’t “done well enough” with the character until Taika Waititi came along and unrooted everything we previously knew about the Lord God of Thunder.

Dabbling in a bit more Norse mythology would’ve been cool but Markus and McFeely had the right idea in cutting it since the aftermath would’ve likely trickled down to Thor’s arc Endgame and made it less interesting if not downright boring.

Plus it kinda sounds like a big budget version of that weird side plot Thor had in Age of Ultron where he went to a cave for some reason and we all know how pointless that scene was.

It’s like they put the scene in purely as an excuse for Chris Hemsworth to get his kit off.

All in all, the writers had some interesting ideas for where Infinity War and Endgame could’ve went but the final products ultimately turned out just fine as they are.

And besides, shoehorning in Thanos decapitating Cap and showing the head to a different version of Cap would’ve probably would’ve ended up hurting Endgame‘s box office earnings anyway.

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