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The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Avengers, etc.

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This is similar to the X-Men thread, but it's for The Avengers and all the movies that take place in that specific universe, and casting and production news for announced films.

 

After all the hubbub of Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man, and a bunch of people turning the job down, Marvel settled on Peyton Reed to direct the film.   I'm going against the grain on this one.  I don't think it will ultimately make a big difference.  Ant-Man was never going to the biggest or best movie in the MCU anyway.  I don't think it will flop at all.  It will be following Avengers: The Age of Ultron by just about two months and will get a boost there.  I think it will do fine even if it's unspectacular.

 

Marvel also announced that Scott Derrickson will direct Doctor Strange.  Supposedly both Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch are up for the starring role.  I have my doubts that it will be either one though. 

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I'm really excited to see Josh Brolin play Thanos.

 

And I really want a Ms. Marvel feature.

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Apropos of nothing, I have a theory about the directors they get in for the movies, and why Edgar Wright quit. Yes, there's Joss and Ken Brannagh, but those are more the exceptions to the rule. Alan Taylor, the Russos, etc, they aren't really big name directors. I think the producers want people who are good, but can take orders. "We want things done this way." We want this character to appear." and so on. The movies to date all have a certain feel about them, Wright has a long career and his own ways of doing things. His Ant-Man would probably feel somewhat different.

 

I feel that Star Wars is going the same route, and probably DC will as well.

 

Does this make any sense, or am I just talking out my arse?

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Due to my love for Jeremy Renner, I still feel a certain type of way about how Hawkeye/Clint Barton was treated in The Avengers.

 

Which was IMHO, Whedon's  masturbatory ode to Tony Stark/IM and the

"Jan Brady" of Asgard.  

Edited by MrsRafaelBarba
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Due to my love for Jeremy Renner, I still feel a certain type of way about how Hawkeye/Clint Barton was treated in The Avengers.

 

 

Agreed. The thing that bugs me the most are all the people on the web complaining that Renner's Hawkeye was robotic/wooden or not snarky like the Hawkeye in the comics. Of course he wasn't. He spent 95% of the movie as Loki's puppet. And in the director's commentary Whedon talks about how the decision to do this was sorta last minute and how Renner made the best of it considering that this was not the character he signed on to play.  

 

I'm waiting not so patiently to see what Jeremy can do with an un-whammied Hawkeye in A2. Hopefully his performance in the sequel will give everyone what they were hoping for all along.  

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I know absolutely nothing about the comics, so I can't complain about how Hawkeye was treated in The Avengers, but given the fact that there's obviously a history with him and Black Widow, I'd love to see a movie featuring the two of them. 

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The thing about Ant Man is that as far as I can tell, the only person who was enthused about there being an Ant Man movie might have been Edgar Wright.  He's not a character who's had a sustained solo series.  He's a founding member of the Avengers, as Hank Pym, but I think the movie version would be Scott Lang.  He's just a complete non-entity, a guy who exists but isn't in any way interesting. Even for superheroes with shrinking powers, he comes behind The Wasp and DC's The Atom.

 

If you asked me for Marvel Characters who might merit a movie or TV adaptation, I don't know how many properties I'd name before I got to Ant Man.  It'd probably be down there by Squirrel Girl, the Great Lakes Avengers, and Forbush Man.

 

If Edgar Wright was driving this, I'd have enough faith that it'd at least be an interesting mess at worst.  But without him, what's the point?

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Does this make any sense, or am I just talking out my arse?

 

It does make sense, and I see both sides of that.  I can see directors who have a vision balking at that, but I also understand that  Marvel are building their own universe and want everything to be connected in a certain way.  There's a balancing act there.  In Wright's case,  I am surprised they weren't clear on what he wanted to do  after he had worked on it for so many years. 

Edited by vb68

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I'm waiting not so patiently to see what Jeremy can do with an un-whammied Hawkeye in A2. Hopefully his performance in the sequel will give everyone what they were hoping for all along.  

 

        Renner's brief cameo in Thor, trumps most of his scenes in

        The  Avengers. Though I did like the fight between Pod-Clint

        and Black Widow, then the talk afterwards.

 

 

       Renner has major on screen chemistry with Scar Jo.

       With that said, I'm also hoping for better treatment of

       Hawkeye. Along with character development and his

       backstory.

Edited by MrsRafaelBarba

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I definitely thought that there was room for Hawkeye in Winter Solider, though I guess that would have interrupted all the Widow and Cap bonding.  But  they still could have shown him coordinating some of the fighting with Cap at the end.  I just thought it was weird that he wasn't around at  all. 

Edited by vb68
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I definitely thought that there was room for Hawkeye in Winter Solider, though I guess that would have interrupted all the Widow and Cap bonding.  But  they still could have shown him coordinating some of the fighting with Cap at the end.  I just thought it was weird that he wasn't around at  all. 

 

 

        THIS!

 

        Plus he was the only Avenger not mentioned, as I recall. 

        He gets no respect in the Marvel Cinemaverse.

 

        SMDH....   

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In Wright's case,  I am surprised they weren't clear on what he wanted to do  after he had worked on it for so many years.

I wonder if the producers suddenly decided to impose some tie-in connection at the last minute. Or, "Actually, Doctor Doom is out as the villan. We're now saving him for Captain America 3. Stilt-Man is the new baddie, his sidekick is Taskmaster. Here's the new script." Okay, not Doom and Stilt-Man, but that kind of thing.

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I know absolutely nothing about the comics, so I can't complain about how Hawkeye was treated in The Avengers, but given the fact that there's obviously a history with him and Black Widow, I'd love to see a movie featuring the two of them. 

I would love that as well. I'm dying to know what really happened in Budapest.

 

        Renner's brief cameo in Thor, trumps most of his scenes in

        The  Avengers. Though I did like the fight between Pod-Clint

        and Black Widow, then the talk afterwards.

 

 

       Renner has major on screen chemistry with Scar Jo.

       With that said, I'm also hoping for better treatment of

       Hawkeye. Along with character development and his

       backstory.

So much chemistry! I would love more backstory and the details about how Clint and Natasha met and how he ' made a different call'. I would also like to see something about him maybe feeling guilty about Coulson or missing him or something. I love to read fanfics where Coulson, Hawkeye and the Black Widow are out on pre-Avengers missions together so that's me doing a lot of projecting about a relationship/friendship that was only hinted at in the first Avengers movie and in Thor. 

 

        THIS!

 

        Plus he was the only Avenger not mentioned, as I recall. 

        He gets no respect in the Marvel Cinemaverse.

 

        SMDH....   

I coulda sworn there was a blink and you'd miss it comment in Winter Soldier about him being in Afghanistan while all the shit was going down. One of the SHIELD/Hydra red shirts at The Triskelion says it just as Cap (or maybe is was Falcon) comes through and lays waste to the room. Did I imagine that?  

Edited by wlk68

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I coulda sworn there was a blink and you'd miss it comment in Winter Soldier about him being in Afghanistan while all the shit was going down. One of the SHIELD/Hydra red shirts at The Triskelion says it just as Cap (or maybe is was Falcon) comes through and lays waste to the room. Did I imagine that?

 

 

I only remember that Kevin Feige started answering questions that way when he was asked why Hawkeye wasn't in the movie during his press interviews after Winter Solider came out.  I don't think there was an actual line in the movie.   If there was, I missed it.

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As someone who doesn't really care about Renner, I'm happy for every Marvel movie he fails to appear in. Hawkeye is a great character, and I really haven't seen Renner do him any justice, so far. Even when he wasn't mind-controlled, he just never had any of the charisma I'd expect of Clint Barton. Generally, Marvel have been spot on with their casting decisions, but Renner as Hawkeye sticks out like a sore thumb, for me (he'll surely be joined by Batista's attempt at Drax). Drab line readings during the opening scenes and climax of the movie can't be blamed on the main plot thread. Same goes for his Thor cameo.

 

And honestly, about the only thing that could turn me off a Black Widow movie would be it featuring him heavily. I was so pleased when I read he might not want to play the character again. And then glum when that turned out to be untrue.

 

From what I've seen of Jeremy Renner's career, the only times he shows any life are when he's playing a crazy, unpredictable and dangerous character. He'd make a good Bullseye or Carnage, but I don't think he makes a good hero.

 

Apropos of nothing, I have a theory about the directors they get in for the movies, and why Edgar Wright quit. Yes, there's Joss and Ken Brannagh, but those are more the exceptions to the rule. Alan Taylor, the Russos, etc, they aren't really big name directors. I think the producers want people who are good, but can take orders. "We want things done this way." We want this character to appear." and so on. The movies to date all have a certain feel about them, Wright has a long career and his own ways of doing things. His Ant-Man would probably feel somewhat different.

 

 

I think that's definitely what they've gone for. And I like it. They have Kevin Feige at the top, and then Jon Favreau seems to get a big say, given his record of shaping the first Marvel movies. Then they picked the perfect guy for the 40s nostalgia of Cap, in Joe Johnston, and the ultimate comic book nerd director (who isn't named Kevin Smith) in Joss Whedon. The only sour note for me has been Kenneth Branagh. I guess they wanted him to lend Thor some gravitas and perhaps they originally thought there would be more of the Shakespearean style of dialogue. But Branagh never seemed to get what comic books are about, and the parts of the movie set in Asgard looked like they were made by someone who doesn't really respect the source material. Garish technicolor and plastic armour?

 

But having a central creative direction helps the movies bind together, and feel like they're in the same universe. I think it's why Marvel has been able to create this powerhouse franchise, even without having the rights to some of their own biggest hitters. And these movies have a distinctly different feel to other comic book movies, in my view. It seems like far more care is taken with the source material than there is with the X-Men franchise, for example.

Edited by Danny Franks
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Asgard may have been too garish I like Branagh's depiction of the Frost Giants as guys in makeup instead of CGI and I think he got the character of Thor, Loki and Odin perfectly. 

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I'm really disappointed that there isn't going to be another one-shot on the Winter Solider DVD.  I love those.  And it really worked out well for Agent Carter. 

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I'm actually kind of glad there's no one-shot, as it probably would be about Loki. And honestly, while I like him, I've pretty much had enough of him for a long while. 

 

A one-shot about Sif or the Warriors Three... or how about Sif? That, I would want to watch.

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I'd watch a one-shot about Odin's ravens before Loki. I like Loki just fine and Hiddleston is great but I'm over Loki and his Jotun-pain over not being Thor. None of us are Thor, Loki. We all have to live with it!

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Asgard may have been too garish I like Branagh's depiction of the Frost Giants as guys in makeup instead of CGI and I think he got the character of Thor, Loki and Odin perfectly.

 

IA.  I did love the grittier version of Taylor's Asgard, but Branagh nailed the characterization in the first one.  I would have loved to have seen Branagh's version of the characters in Taylor's world.  

 

Renner has major on screen chemistry with Scar Jo.  With that said, I'm also hoping for better treatment of Hawkeye. Along with character development and his backstory.

 

Same here.  I thought Renner did a great job, considering the limited time he had.  And at least Whedon admitted that Renner got the short end of the stick.  But honestly, someone was bound to with all the characters they had to fit in the story.  I hope they give some of Iron Man's screentime to the other characters in Avengers 2.

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I haven't seen Jeremy Renner in many things (maybe three) but while I loved the Avengers and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (unapologetically), he's never drawn me in as an actor. I was hoping they would recast the role of Hawkeye after Renner made his dissatisfaction known in the media. Guess that didn't work out. To be fair, I've never much liked Hawkeye in the comics either, but at least there he can be fun and energetic. Unless it's the Ultimateverse. Ugh. I also don't see romantic chemistry with Black Widow, but Scarlett Johansson can seemingly squeeze blood from a stone or chemistry from a plank of wood, so their bond is still believable.

 

I also hope that they dole out more of Iron Man's screen time to the other Avengers in the sequel. Watching Iron Man 3 was such a chore that I'm soured on the character and burnt out with RDJ.

 

As for Ant-Man, I'd be ten times more interested in a Janet van Dyne movie.

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I just watched the Avengers on Netflix which I haven't seen since it came out in the theaters and it's going into my movie collection. It's just an all around fun movie and not much nit-picking from me because I'm not a big comic book fan. The first time watching it I was impressed with Mark Ruffalo's version of the Hulk the most. But on the second viewing after getting past Iron Man's flashy and funny role, I could focus on the other characters and really enjoyed the Hawkeye/Black Widow story and loved Captain America.

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I must admit that I thought of myself as an Avengers fan, but have now come to accept that I am really just an Iron Man fan. I completely understand why y'all could be sick of Tony Stark, but I have tried to watch the other characters' solo movies several times and cannot get through any of them. Seriously, none of them, and I've really tried! I try to fight through the boredom, but finally give up or fall asleep. Add RDJ to the mix, however, and then I think all the characters are interesting. I don't know what hold he has over me (I never liked RDJ before Iron Man), but he's got something that works for me.

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I must admit that I thought of myself as an Avengers fan, but have now come to accept that I am really just an Iron Man fan. I completely understand why y'all could be sick of Tony Stark, but I have tried to watch the other characters' solo movies several times and cannot get through any of them. Seriously, none of them, and I've really tried! I try to fight through the boredom, but finally give up or fall asleep. Add RDJ to the mix, however, and then I think all the characters are interesting. I don't know what hold he has over me (I never liked RDJ before Iron Man), but he's got something that works for me.

 

I know I'm not burned out on Iron Man. I think RDJ is great in the role, and injects wonderful energy into all his scenes. His banter is a little one-sided, because the likes of Cap and Thor aren't really quick witted enough to respond, but that just makes it even more fun, for me. And I think, with RDJ onboard, Tony Stark really should be the centre of The Avengers, because he has that room dominating charisma. Both Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth are great in their roles as well, and I've enjoyed their movies, but in that ensemble, I think it's natural to look to Tony, both for the audience and for the other characters.

 

I'd love to see a Black Widow movie, but not with Renner on board. And another Hulk movie could work, with Ruffalo, but there's still some stigma from the first two, and it might be better to just leave it for a while. An Iron Man/Hulk team up movie would be excellent, though.

 

But mainly, I just want to see a lot more of the Winter Soldier. The best 'new' Marvel character of the past twenty years, in my estimation, and he deserves to be given some real attention and a significant role to play in the franchise.

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I can't see myself ever getting tired of RDJ. I think people forget how talented he is due to the Tony Stark persona but he is a damn good actor. I'm all for more Tony Stark but I also can't wait to start seeing him take on other projects as well.

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I think RDJ is great in the role, but Tony Stark as a character has become very blah to me; he's actually my least favorite of the Avengers at this point (blasphemy, I know). Tony's is not a character type I gravitate toward anyway, and while I thought the character had a certain charm in the first Iron Man movie that offset my annoyance, cranking the asshole meter up to 11 in Iron Man 2 really put me off the character.

 

I'd love to see a Black Widow movie, but not with Renner on board.

Co-signed. I don't dislike what I've seen of Renner's Hawkeye to date, but I'm certainly not enamored with him either, and I have the feeling that a solo Natasha movie would be much more interesting, and better for the character, than making her team up with Hawkeye would be. Her history is so rich, and forcing Hawkeye in would really limit what they can do.

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I'd love to see a Black Widow movie, but not with Renner on board. And another Hulk movie could work, with Ruffalo, but there's still some stigma from the first two, and it might be better to just leave it for a while. An Iron Man/Hulk team up movie would be excellent, though.

 

There was a theory on cracked.com about why there won't be a black widow movie. Basically the idea was that after RDJ, Scarlet is the most a list actor in the MCU. They pay RDJ a shitload of money for Iron man movies yet robert downey jr only actually appears on screen for a small portion of the movie  (since iron man is CG). If RDJ had to be in every shot, they would have to pay him way more. But with Black Widow, she doesn't wear a mask or anything so Scarlet Johansson would have to be in close to every shot, and based on her level of celebrity, they couldn't afford to make that movie paying her the kind of salary she would expect.

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I read another theory somewhere. That Marvel are waiting to see how well Lucy does. If it does well, there's an audience for the BW movie. If it flops, then there isn't. Also, she's pregnant. They might be waiting until she's all in the clear before any announcement.

 

I'm going to see Lucy, despite the ten percent of your brain nonsense.

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I think casting is one thing that the MCU has really excelled at so far, so  while I like RDJ and Iron Man, I also like seeing all the different actors and characters interact.  One key scene in The Avengers that I think was so subtle but quite telling and effective was when all of them are finally in New York, it's Iron Man who says, " Call it, Cap."

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Also, she's pregnant. They might be waiting until she's all in the clear before any announcement.

Definitely. At this point, I suspect they'll wait to see how audiences react to the character in Avengers 2. If fan reaction continues to be pretty solidly positive, they may well move forward; if for some reason audiences seem to cool on the character, they may back off.

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There was a theory on cracked.com about why there won't be a black widow movie. Basically the idea was that after RDJ, Scarlet is the most a list actor in the MCU. They pay RDJ a shitload of money for Iron man movies yet robert downey jr only actually appears on screen for a small portion of the movie  (since iron man is CG). If RDJ had to be in every shot, they would have to pay him way more. But with Black Widow, she doesn't wear a mask or anything so Scarlet Johansson would have to be in close to every shot, and based on her level of celebrity, they couldn't afford to make that movie paying her the kind of salary she would expect.

 

If that's their business model, they'd be better off putting money into animated features. I'm not sure about the logic of RDJ being paid less because he's under the Iron Man mask (either physically, or CGI) for a lot of the movie. It's still sold on his back, and he still does all the voice work and, when I think about it, there is a lot of him just on screen by himself, no suit, no co-stars.

 

Personally, I'd be more likely to ascribe to the theory that Marvel don't believe there is a big enough audience for a superhero movie headed by a woman. And, sadly, they do have some evidence in their favour for that. Superheroines don't have a history of selling comic books in large numbers, and the only books that have run for a significant period of time (Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk) have been niche titles, at best. And in Hollywood, I can't think of many action movies that have been headed by women. At least, not ones that have been commercial successes.

 

I know some don't care for her, but I think Scarlett Johansson has been great as Natasha. The deadpan reactions are perfect for her unflappable character, and the dry humour really appeals to me. I've always quite liked Johansson for that dryness. She has great presence, and looks fantastic in the Black Widow outfit. Would I have loved to see what Emily Blunt did with the role? You betcha, but it wasn't to be.

 

I remember talking about this on TWoP, but one of the things I love about the Marvel movies is the fact that they took care to make the women strong and capable, and not just there to be love interests. Natasha, Peggy and Pepper have all been great, and even while they've been secondary to the men, they hold the attention and feel like living, breathing characters. Even Maria Hill, to a lesser extent, and Sif. The one sore point has been Jane Foster, who was underwritten in both movies, and really paled in comparison to Sif, despite the disparity in their screen time. Natalie Portman is good, but the material for Jane hasn't really allowed her to stand out, other than in small moments.

 

Gamora, in Guardians of the Galaxy, should be able to compete with them all in the badass stakes, too. If anyone has read any of the Marvel Cosmic stuff from the last ten years (Conquest, Annihilation, Nova), they'll know how good Gamora can be as a character.

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Well add me to the list of people that are VERY fond of Jeremy Renner and really like him as Hawkeye.   He has a stone-coldness to him but I still find him expressive.    I liked what he did with the character when he was finally released from Loki's hold in Avengers.     And he has/had a really solid but appropriately detached presence in his minor THOR appearance where he liked Thor but wanted Coulson to give him the go ahead to assasinate him if that's where the whole thing was going.    I also really like his vibe with Natasha.    If she were going to get romantic with any character I would rather it be him than any of the other rumors out there.

 

And I think I'm the only fan in existence that has NO use or interest in Sif.   I don't want to see any more of her and I don't mind Jane Foster for what she is.   A scientist that is easily flustered by Thor.    She's a very small fish that mixes with a lot of very BIG fish.

 

I really liked Natasha's character before but after CA:WS I think she is my favorite Marvel Heroine.    That was just such a great turn for the character. Smart, lethal but at the same time very heroic.   Allowing her and pretty much every cover she's ever had, to be exposed to the world in an effort to help stop Hydra.

 

I think the Marvel Movies have done an AMAZING job with the epsionage aspect of the Marvel Universe.    Captain America, Hawkeye (hopefully), Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Nick Fury, Maria Hill are some of the best characters in the franchise.   CA:WS did a great job in turning Hydra into a very real threat seperate from Loki and Chituari.

 

I also really like the friendship between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.   Tony is so Tony and seeing him bounce against Bruce Banner's sense of restraint is always a pleasure.   I like the mix of Tony Stark's World-Wise matched up against Bruce Banner's World-Woundedness.   RDJ and MR do good work.

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And I think I'm the only fan in existence that has NO use or interest in Sif.   I don't want to see any more of her and I don't mind Jane Foster for what she is.   A scientist that is easily flustered by Thor.    She's a very small fish that mixes with a lot of very BIG fish.

 

For the most part, I agree.  I actually like Sif, but the constant Jane hate in favor of Sif has really put a damper on that for me.  I don't think Thor and Sif have any more chemistry than Thor and Jane, because Thor has made it clear that he has no romantic interest in Sif at all.  They're not following the comics right now where Thor and Sif are together.  There haven't been any implications that he sees her as something more, and any scenes of a love triangle in the sequel was ditched for time.  Although I am not complaining about that.  Love triangles are such a tired trope, and I would rather see Jane and Sif on the same side instead of fighting over a guy.

 

I would find it annoying if Thor ends up with Sif, because again, there's been nothing that implies he feels that way for her.  And Thor has been in three films now, and Jane is the only one he's pined for.  

 

I think one reason Jane gets all the hatred is because Natalie Portman was so vocal about not wanting to return to the franchise, and that soured a lot of viewers on the character.  But I like her and Thor together; they're a sweet couple.  I do think that Jane was more impressive in the first film, though.  I can appreciate that in the midst of the craziness, Jane is still a brilliant scientist who was trying to get shit done.  In the sequel, she's completely reliant on Thor and is in damsel-in-distress mode for most of the film.  I would have liked to see her getting acclimated to Asgard, but again, stuff was cut for time.  

 

They could have added on an additional 30 minutes to the sequel and it would have helped immensely.  Give Jane something to do, flesh out Malekith more, etc.  TDW is actually the shortest Marvel film to date, and it shows in the editing and cuts.  Here's hoping for a director's cut.

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If that's their business model, they'd be better off putting money into animated features. I'm not sure about the logic of RDJ being paid less because he's under the Iron Man mask (either physically, or CGI) for a lot of the movie. It's still sold on his back, and he still does all the voice work and, when I think about it, there is a lot of him just on screen by himself, no suit, no co-stars.

 

I don't know I can kind of buy the theory. I mean even just from a scheduling point of view if RDJ had to be available in person for all those scenes that featured iron man (instead of just a CG iron man or a stand-in in the suit) it would probably take him twice as long to get filming done. Which would mean there would be less time where he would be available to take other roles, and I would imagine that he would expect to be compensated even more for the amount of time he would have to spend on the set.

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As far as people noticing a distinct absence of Hawkeye in The Winter Soldier, I agree and definitely wanted to see him there, even if he was just on a com call with Black Widow. Though there was a nod to him, and to the closeness they share. 

 

Did anyone happen to notice Nat's necklace?

 

VZaPsph.jpg                          rVmlJgC.jpg

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For the most part, I agree.  I actually like Sif, but the constant Jane hate in favor of Sif has really put a damper on that for me.  I don't think Thor and Sif have any more chemistry than Thor and Jane, because Thor has made it clear that he has no romantic interest in Sif at all.  They're not following the comics right now where Thor and Sif are together.  There haven't been any implications that he sees her as something more, and any scenes of a love triangle in the sequel was ditched for time.  Although I am not complaining about that.  Love triangles are such a tired trope, and I would rather see Jane and Sif on the same side instead of fighting over a guy.

 

I'm not sure that the comparisons between Sif and Jane really have much to do with them both vying for Thor's heart. Because as you say, the Sif side of it is almost non-existent, other than a couple of lingering glances. It's not a love triangle, and hasn't been written as one. If it wasn't for Sif being Thor's wife in the comic books (and in Norse mythology, for that matter), I doubt anyone other than a few fanfic writers would see her as a rival to Jane.

 

For me, it's entirely about the fact that I think Sif made a bigger, more positive impact with her few scenes than Jane did with all hers. The problem was down to the writing of Jane, which left her feeling muddled and limp, rather than strong, assertive and worthy of being a lead character. It's no surprise to me that Natalie Portman didn't want to return, after the character she had to play in the first movie. The second one was a marginal improvement, but she was still a drip. And I certainly don't hate Natalie Portman, I think she's great. Just not in Thor.

 

As for Renner in The Winter Soldier? Nope. I'm glad he was absent. No room for him, especially when they barely managed to get the second title character into the movie.

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For me, it's entirely about the fact that I think Sif made a bigger, more positive impact with her few scenes than Jane did with all hers. The problem was down to the writing of Jane, which left her feeling muddled and limp, rather than strong, assertive and worthy of being a lead character. It's no surprise to me that Natalie Portman didn't want to return, after the character she had to play in the first movie. The second one was a marginal improvement, but she was still a drip. And I certainly don't hate Natalie Portman, I think she's great. Just not in Thor.

 

For me, it was the opposite.  I liked Sif in the first film, but she didn't outshine Portman to me, and she wasn't supposed to; they're entirely different personalities.  I didn't see Jane as being limp or muddled at all, and she was plenty assertive in her own right.  I thought she hit a great balance between the excitement of meeting an alien vs. the pragmatic scientist she was.  

 

I would have loved to see Jane and Sif actually having a conversation or hanging out without the cloud of the stupid love triangle in the way.  The majority of the complaints I have heard was that Jane was in the way of the more-natural Thor/Sif pairing, since that followed the mythology, and Sif was more popular.  And Branagh confirmed that Sif did have feelings for Thor in the first one, (although it was far too subtle to make any kind of dent) so that only fed into the hype.  I guess what bothers me is that even if Thor and Jane didn't have any chemistry, that doesn't mean Thor and Sif automatically do.

 

Portman didn't have a problem with playing Jane, she was upset because Patty Jenkins was supposed to direct the sequel and pulled out or was fired.  The details aren't 100%, but Portman was pissed.  I'm thinking that the lukewarm reception towards Jane in addition to the switch in directors were why she wanted out.  But it didn't matter, she was contractually bound, and she was pretty vocal about that, too.

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I think Jane as a character has a tough road to hoe, insofar as she's supposed to be the classic, normal girl next door, but that character type--which can be so charming in other settings--doesn't always translate well to "intergalactic battles." For all its other flaws, the second movie improved on this a LOT from the first movie, but the Thor movies clearly still struggle to find a way to really integrate her into Thor's world. Plus I think there's a way in which Jane the character is seen as too perfect--she's super smart, drop-dead gorgeous, but also that nerdy girl who wears oversize flannels, etc. jmo, but I do think that part of the reason reaction has been lukewarm is because some people find her hard to relate to, because she's both too perfect and too normal (and here the brilliant scientist thing doesn't help--she's supposed to be both an Everywoman and like one of the planet's top 10 minds, and the movies have had trouble reconciling that as well).

 

Plus, Sif is the type of character that is pretty much fandom catnip. In Sif v Jane, Jane was never going to win that battle. (Or in Jane v Darcy, come to think of it, because holy crap if there was ever a character that seemed designed for fangirls on tumblr, it's Darcy.)

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I think the Jane thing would have played a bit better if the whole romance was a bit more one way. I mean I can how for her, meeting someone from another universe would completely change almost every aspect of her world (especially with her field of study). And I get how that could translate into her totally falling for him. But I am not sure I can as easily buy Thor falling in love with her.

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I think Jane as a character has a tough road to hoe, insofar as she's supposed to be the classic, normal girl next door, but that character type--which can be so charming in other settings--doesn't always translate well to "intergalactic battles." For all its other flaws, the second movie improved on this a LOT from the first movie, but the Thor movies clearly still struggle to find a way to really integrate her into Thor's world. Plus I think there's a way in which Jane the character is seen as too perfect--she's super smart, drop-dead gorgeous, but also that nerdy girl who wears oversize flannels, etc. jmo, but I do think that part of the reason reaction has been lukewarm is because some people find her hard to relate to, because she's both too perfect and too normal (and here the brilliant scientist thing doesn't help--she's supposed to be both an Everywoman and like one of the planet's top 10 minds, and the movies have had trouble reconciling that as well).

 

Plus, Sif is the type of character that is pretty much fandom catnip. In Sif v Jane, Jane was never going to win that battle. (Or in Jane v Darcy, come to think of it, because holy crap if there was ever a character that seemed designed for fangirls on tumblr, it's Darcy.)

 

Yeah, Darcy is the ultimate fandom chick.

 

I do agree that Jane's appeal had to cover everyone and it wore thin. Natalie Portman has the kind of beauty that does make people turn heads. I mean, wasn't that the whole point of Closer? I feel it would have worked better if she was actually funnier. Then again, it's not like I could relate to Pepper Potts much and don't like Paltrow either. The difference was that RDJ and Goop had more chemistry.

 

I think the Jane thing would have played a bit better if the whole romance was a bit more one way. I mean I can how for her, meeting someone from another universe would completely change almost every aspect of her world (especially with her field of study). And I get how that could translate into her totally falling for him. But I am not sure I can as easily buy Thor falling in love with her.

 

I actually can see why Thor would fall in love with her from the first film. He's never been to Earth as well and he was in a pretty rough place at the time of that movie. She was good to him, and drop dead gorgeous as well. I'm not the biggest Portman fan, but I objectively see that she is very attractive. I think the bigger issue is that the actors didn't have a ton of chemistry together. Not to say they didn't have any, but Helmsworth doe have more chemistry with Hiddleston than he did with Portman.

 

The characters really grew on me though so it would be a bit jarring for Jane to leave the franchise unless they can find a good recasting of Jane.

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I lost all respect for Jane when she slapped Thor, twice. And then Loki. And was screechy at Odin. And was whiny. They really did Jane a disservice in the second movie, which is a shame because I liked it when she was intrigued by the medical equipment. I like her excited about the science, and serving a purpose other than being the damsel in distress or (related) love interest. And the worst thing is that she completely blunts Thor--the humor, the bravery, the charm. It's all gone to service this whiny, juvenile pseudo-scientist. *Sigh* I want to like you Jane, I really do, but even without comparing you the other Cinematic Marvel ladies (Potts, Carter, and Romanov) you are so...shrill. 

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OMG Jane is so BORING! I yawn or get up and go do something else every time she's onscreen. I'm in the camp that Sif is a much better match for Thor, though I don't really 'ship them. Sif shouldn't be just about a guy. Even a god guy. She's a frickin' GODDESS and is perfectly awesome on her own, even though I do think her own yearnings should be addressed. I do love it when her and Thor are battling together. 

 

Darcy? Ugh. I can't get past her being Kat Dennings. I'd like her/relate a lot more if she was played by a different person. But yeah, she's a tumblr alright.

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Then again, it's not like I could relate to Pepper Potts much and don't like Paltrow either. The difference was that RDJ and Goop had more chemistry.

I agree that RDJ and Paltrow have more chemistry--though I think Portman and Hemsworth have quite a bit too--but I also think that Pepper is a very different character from Jane, which affects how people react to her. She also has, generally speaking, been both better written and written as a more proactive character, which helps with audiences. Her character type is really the His Girl Friday model, and she's got the slightly neurotic, slightly nerdy funny thing that Darcy kind of has too; moreover, at least in Iron Man 2 they seemed to be moving her into the kickass, badass cutthroat CEO role. Iron Man 3 damselled her quite a bit, like Thor 2 did with Jane, but crucially, damselling Pepper was what allowed her to defeat whatever the villain's name was, whereas Jane's damselling didn't do the same. Pepper's been shown to know what to do in emergencies, to be proactive (taking Coulson to the lab in Iron Man, going to the computer lab in Iron Man 2), she's clearly a major player in the business world. Essentially, I guess I'm saying that I don't think that Pepper is supposed to be an Everywoman figure, she's supposed to be smart and ubercapable and on a higher level than most people, while Jane clearly is (supposed to be) the Everywoman. And generally speaking, I think that fandom often struggles to connect with an Everyman or Everywoman figure--just look at how Captain America often gets dismissed as "boring."

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just look at how Captain America often gets dismissed as "boring."

I haven't seen the Winter Soldier movie yet, but I didn't find him boring in his first movie and in the Avengers movie. The only sequel I've seen out of the Avengers characters is Iron Man 2 and I thought that was boring.

Edited by AstaCharles

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The Thor films are good, with the first one being the better of the two. Funny that you saw only IM2 and that is the worst of the three, some say the worst in the MCU!

 

At first blush, I thought Steve was lackluster in The Avengers, but subsequent viewings made me a fan. Here's this guy, this engineered male masterpiece who knows exactly what it's like to be on the opposite end of that, who is nevertheless a hero from the get-go, and is informed by all of that for the rest of his life. I loved how in The Avengers he just threw himself into helping Tony on the helicarrier, and his natural proclivity to lead coming to the fore in the battle in New York. Cap is the genuine article. 

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I don't find Captain America boring myself, but I've seen him be pigeonholed into the same "boring straight arrow" category as say Superman or Cyclops from the X-Men. Which can be painful to hear because I generally like all three of them, but as far as non-boring Caps go, outside of the comics perhaps, cinematic Captain America is my favorite depiction of him. I'm still surprised that a character who was conceived of as war propaganda is allowed to have a rather counter-culture and even controversial ideology while still supposedly representing Marvel's America. I think he's the most impressive adaptation into the MCU, and easily my favorite "headliner."

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