BOSTON: Marvel Studios Releases New Details on "Ultimate Avengers: The Movie"

Fri, September 30th, 2005 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Matt Murphy, Guest Contributor

(L - R) Craig Kyle and Greg Johnson at Wizard World Boston
In a question and answer panel hosted by Mike Cotton at Wizard World Boston, screenwriter Greg Johnson (X-Men: Evolution) and VP of Marvel Studios' Animation Development Craig Kyle (X-23) released further details about "Ultimate Avengers: The Movie."

This is the first of four direct to DVD animated features Marvel Productions will be producing over the next year and a half. Following the release of "Ultimate Avengers: The Movie" in February, its direct sequel, "Ultimate Avengers: The Movie 2" is tentatively slated for October. The next movie, and Iron Man origin piece, is scheduled to come out four or five months after "Ultimate Avengers 2," with a Dr. Strange title four to five months after that.

When asked about the content of the film, Kyle said that its "…largely the 'Ultimates' story, and it's obviously been adapted for turning a comic book into film, so not everything [made] it into the final story.

"There are certain characters that weren't included, but the bulk of them were." Kyle added.

"As much as it's about the ensemble, it really is Captain America's story," added Johnson.

The characters featured on the DVD will be Wasp, Giant Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Nick Fury, Thor, Iron Man and Black Widow. Hawkeye, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will not be in the first movie, but will most likely be in the sequel.

"Hawkeye isn't in the first movie," stated Kyle, "and the reason was only we're not going to put him in and not use him or just have him walk through a scene as a waste of an important character… If we're going to bring him in, he's going to make a difference-- he's going to matter."

The panel also showed Korean production house Dong Wu Studios' test animation, which got them the job of animating "Ultimate Avengers." A teaser trailer for the animated feature will be included on the upcoming DVD release of the live-action "Fantastic 4" movie followed.

Some key points from the Q&A:

  • There will be bonus features on the DVD, and they are currently in production.

  • A price point has not currently been set.

  • A cast list for "Ultimate Avengers" will be made public sometime next month.

  • A different animation studio will be used for each film. "[Each movie] will have its own look, its own story type and its own universe," said Kyle.

  • Frank Paur ("Spawn" animated series, "Batman: the Animated Series") will be producing the Iron Man and Dr. Strange movies.

  • When asked about the graphic content of the movie, Kyle said that it is not meant for Saturday morning television, but added it is not excessively violent or suggestive. "It's more than just the fact that we can ignore some… standards that dictate the things you cannot do on television," Kyle continued, "…But it was more of a freedom than 'hey, let's swear because we can' or 'let's show some risqu shots of Black Widow because we can.'

    "And we did."

  • Tony Stark's alcoholism will not be featured in the Iron Man DVD.

  • When asked about the Dr. Strange DVD, Kyle said they looked "very closely" at J. Michael Straczynski's "Marvel Knights Strange" and "all of the old stuff as well."

  • The animated features will not deter Marvel from making live-action theatrical releases later down the line.

  • One fan asked, "Did you try to get Samuel L. Jackson to voice Nick Fury?"

    "No," Kyle replied, "The honest answer is in voice over, you have great, great actors. And we didn't want to take away from who the characters are. We want it to sound like 'that's a great voice for Nick, that sounds like Nick Fury should sound,' not 'I couldn't forget Sam Jackson's performance as Nick Fury.'"

  • When asked about the next round of projects, Kyle said that many Marvel properties are being considered. Hulk and Fantastic Four were mentioned.

  • Character crossovers could potentially be down the line if there is enough demand.

For more on "Ultimate Avengers: The Movie," check out our report from Wizard World Chicago.

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