Fans of Marvel’s TV universe should rejoice as both Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been renewed for another season.
Paramount Pictures has just released the first trailer for Jason Reitman’s new film, Labor Day. Based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, the film follows a depressed mother Adele (Kate Winslett) and her teenage son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) who are forced to take in an escaped prisoner played by Josh Brolin. As the Labor Day weekend goes on their relationship begins to change drastically. Joining them is a solid supporting cast in Clark Gregg (Marvel’s Agents of Shield), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman, Juno), and Tobey Maguire (Spiderman). The film is being given a limited release on Christmas day, presumably to boost Oscar potential (Plausible, as Winslett and Brolin both give stellar performances) and availability will expand later in January.
I actually got a chance to catch the film at the Chicago International Film Festival and for the most part I really liked it. If you’re a fan of Jason Reitman’s previous works, (Excluding perhaps the polarizing Young Adult), you should find this among his best. This first trailer does a good job of conveying the mood the picture’s going for, while giving away very little of the plot:
I feel the theatrical trailer gives away too much of the story, and since it’s all about the character’s relationships and the events that unfold, I’d suggest skipping it.
And finally, in case you can’t get enough of Labor Day, here’s a clip from the film that was released a couple of weeks ago:
At the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, there was a debate as to what would be the most anticipated panel. A lot of people said Game of Thrones, the Marvel panel or the Catching Fire panels would be the most sought after panels. However, judging from the fanbase in Ballroom 20, on Friday at 1:45pm, you would think that the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel was going to be the best one out there. The question was whether we were going to get an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot. We heard that word clips and small snipets were going to be used but executive producer Jeph Loeb made tons of fans happy by announcing we were getting a pilot. Now they had our attention. Does it satisfy Joss Whedon fans? Of course. Will it appeal to a consistent mainstream audience? Well, we’ll answer that question later. I will say that the pilot was an absolute Whedon-fest of family, snappy dialogue and quick pacing that made the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot all the more enjoyable despite the limitations of being on the small screen.
I’m going to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible but obviously I have to explain what’s going on. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot picks up after the Battle of New York, and the repercussions of that (much like Iron Man 3). It’s a brave new world out there, and we are introduced to Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) as he James Bond’s his way through stealing, sneaking, beating and all that fun espionage stuff. The opening sequence was fast, funny and strikingly violent, revealing Ward to be the muscle and badass, loner character we all need to create future conflict. I love Whedon’s direction in this sequence because it reminded me of the opening to Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. Whedon knows how to direct action and keep bits of humor throughout and create depth and get more out of the character on the pages.
We soon get our introduction to a new unit in S.H.I.E.L.D. with Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders, returning for a possible recurring then permanent gig after HIMYM ends) putting together a team to help investigate and assess the phenomenons in the world today. From this point, we finally get to see all the hype that #CoulsonLives has been building up to as Clark Gregg makes his triumphant return to the Marvel Universe. He’s eager and ready to go and we get a tiny resolution as to why he’s still up and kicking. Of course, we get a Firefly cameo from Shepard (Ron Glass) that will get the fanboys and fangirls squealing, explaining that there’s more to the #CoulsonLives scenario that everyone realizes.
The first mission introduces us to a bunch of characters that work extremely well together as they hunt down a super-powered hooded ‘hero’ (J. August Richards) that just jumped on the radar. A hacker named Skye (Chloe Bennet) has been tracking him and Coulson sees an opportunity with her to help each other out. Other people on the team include scientists Fitz and Simmons (Iain de Caesstecker and Elizabeth Henstridge, respectively) and stoic ‘pilot’ Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen). All these characters has mysteries and enigmas the series will explore but putting them all together, they have great chemistry and play off each other well.
Bennet has a fangirl type of curiosity and charisma she brings to the table and almost acts as the audience as she delves further into this world of espionage. Dalton and Ming-Na play the badass well with Dalton getting into a great sequence with Skye in an interrogation room. The “twins”, Fitz and Simmons, could be my new favorite duo as they finish each others sentences and work so well with each other, I would watch a pilot of them alone as they navigate and conquer their niche of science in this world. Of course, Clark Gregg is the biggest draw as he serves as a direct connection to the cinematic universe. He obviously plays Coulson brilliantly as the hilariously dry leader of this team. They also don’t try to make him the centerpiece, just as the glue to this ensemble that he ties together effortlessly.
The action in the pilot is quick and well shot by Whedon, who clearly still carries a deft eye for television. However, the production works effectively with a TV budget and creates a great spy and superhero world to explore in the future. The dialogue and story carries a lot of heart and humor that Whedon typifies in his work and carries the major theme of family, which is familiar ground. Although sustainability will remain the big question, because for all the Marvel references, whether we see heroes or major players in the MCU, it depends on the TV audience. These heroes will have to establish themselves quickly as people the audience will dedicate one day a week to watch.
Overall, I loved the pilot. The pacing was great. The action was crisp and believable. The production was terrific. The cast works brilliantly together. Whether that’s a testament to Joss Whedon directing or the writing remains to be seen but when you watch the pilot, you feel the same magic you got from watching Buffy and Firefly and other brilliant shows. This one is definitely one to watch and on September 24th, 2013, you can enjoy it as much as the rest of Ballroom 20.
That’s all the world needs to get excited for the newly announced ABC show, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It’s packed quite a bit of action in just a few short seconds.
Exploding buildings? Check.
Right hook to jaw? Check.
Beautiful women in what looks to be some type of interrogation situation? Check.
Crystal vase to face? Check.
Agent Coulson? Check, check, check.
As a fan of social media, I get a little giddy when I see companies/networks/shows embrace things like a well-crafted hashtag. No vagueness or abbreviation that no one really gets, rather ABC went straight to the point with #CoulsonLives. That could easily be seen as a trending topic and likely will be, perhaps even tomorrow night when ABC will show a longer preview of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tonight during Once Upon a Time‘s season finale.
As promised, the full trailer aired Sunday night during Once Upon a Time and it offers a much better look at the upcoming series. More specifically, it looks like we might know who J. August Richards is playing.
Dost my eye deceive me? Or could that be Richards as Luke Cage? Sure does seem like it is. Of course there was plenty of other eye candy there what with even more explosions, and fighting, and action in general. Then there’s Lola. Oh Lola, what a beauty. However, I’d be lying if this Air Force brat’s heart didn’t skip a beat when that beautiful plane rolled out of the hangar.
That right there is something to write sonnets about. Just beautiful.
Anyway, enough of my prattling on about an iron bird, enjoy the trailer and tell us what you thought of it in the comments below!
ABC is set to announce their fall schedule on May 14th so we figured it was about time to round up all the news we could find on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and put it in one handy dandy place.
First, let’s look at confirmed cast members. Of course we all know about Carl Gregg and his Agent Coulson returning from the dead (or was he ever dead?) but there have been quite a few other cast members added, not the least of which is Angel alum and most recently, Arrow assassin, J. August Richards. It hasn’t yet been announced who Richards will play, but I think we can all agree, it doesn’t really matter because he is that good. Maybe it’ll just be the return of Charles Gunn…
In addition to the three cast members we’ve already discussed here, those being Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, and Elizabeth Henstridge, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also includes Chloe Bennett from Nashville and Brett Dalton. Bennett is Skye and Dalton is the up and coming Agent Grant.
While it is nice to hear about these new characters and who will be playing them, we all are asking the same thing… what about Nick Fury and Maria Hill? Well as for Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson was asked about it during an interview with MTV and here’s what he had to say.
So Nick Fury as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s version of Charlie? I could live with that. Of course it would be even better if Jackson were to make cameos occasionally, but that might be asking a bit much. As for Maria Hill? Well Joss Whendon told TV Line that we shouldn’t “expect” her because obviously Smulders has a busy schedule with not only How I Met Your Mother, but also various other projects, but that she could make an appearance. In my dream world, Smulders would wrap up HIMYM and immediately take off her Robin Sparkles costume and put on her S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform. Throw in a stop at SNL (how has this not happened yet?) and, well that would just be great.
Of course everyone is looking for more news and insight to the show and who better to go to than Agent Coulson himself, Clark Gregg. Screenrant caught up with Gregg at the Tribeca Film Festival.
It’s always nice to see when an actor has such a fondness for the character they play and Gregg certainly does for Coulson.
So that gets us all caught up and ready for the upfront next Tuesday where it’s pretty much a sure thing that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be announced. Could ABC finally making a run at beating CBS? They certainly have that potential so we’ll have to wait and see.
What we’ll also have to wait and see? If Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man makes an appearance on the small screen. When asked by EW about it he said, “You know what? There’s no telling. I am open to everything.” which doesn’t mean no. That’s pretty much all fans need to get their hopes up so here’s to Iron Man on S.H.I.E.L.D.!