§ Early Hulk reviews are sneaking out, including this one by Glenn Greenberg at The Vault of Buncheness:
Now THIS is more like it! Let me say right up front: THE INCREDIBLE HULK is good! Much like STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN was to STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, THE INCREDIBLE HULK is a vast improvement over its predecessor. It gets right what the previous one got wrong. It has its head and its heart in the right place. Most of all, it feels like a Hulk movie should. Now, I’m not saying that THE INCREDIBLE HULK is as great as STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, but it’s a giant step in the right direction. THIS is the movie we should have gotten five years ago.
We saw The Incredible Hulk the other day as well, and didn’t like it as much as Greenberg, but have little doubt that it will make some bucks and open strong.
§ Meanwhile, IRON MAN was a certifiable smash hit in every way for the fledgling Marvel Studios, and a sequel is already being teased with a Robert Downey Jr/Tony Stark cameo in The Incredible Hulk and an announced 2010 release date. However, one person is being left out of the party: director Jon Favreau, who wrote this over on his MySpace page:
“It’s been five weeks since the one and only phone call my reps have gotten from Marvel. I know their hands are full with the Hulk and I’m sure they will get into it shortly, as they tell me they intend to … I am concerned, however, about the announced release date of April 2010. Neither Robert nor I were consulted about this and we are both concerned about how realistic the date is in light of the fact that we have no script, story or even writers hired yet. This genre of movie is best when it is done thoughtfully and with plenty of preparation. It might be better to follow the BB/DK, X/X2 three year release pattern than to scramble for a date. It is difficult because there are no Marvel 09 releases and they need product, but I also think we owe it to the fans to have a great version of IM2 and, at this point, we would have less time to make it than the first one.
That sounds dire enough with a mental picture of Favreau waiting anxiously by the phone enough to cause some sympathy. However, IESB.net reports that it’s a bit worse than that:
Marvel hasn’t even signed Favreau for a sequel. It seems that Favreau signed on for only one movie, and after IRON MAN’s blockbuster status, his price has gone up a bit. According to IESB, Marvel has its own ideas:
So according to our source at Marvel, Jon was expecting a moderate bump in his fee for the sequel but apparently Marvel has other plans.
Our source continues that Maisel believes Iron Man 2 will be a success regardless of Favreau’s involvement and feels the studio does not need to pay Jon a higher fee for his services.
This is the most disappointing news that I have heard coming out of Hollywood in years, is Marvel out of their Vulcan mind?
Hm, no way to know how much truth there is to this, but if it is true, it’s a little sad. Marvel’s superhero films have (with a few exceptions, like the FF films, Daredevil and Elektra) been a lot better than they had to be. IRON MAN was a very fun enjoyable movie, and it would be nice to see a sequel just as good. These aren’t nickels and dimes we’re dealing with, but hopefully even Marvels shareholders would agree that a good movie is a better investment than a mediocre one in the long run.