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Thread: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  1. #1
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    Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Ming-Na To Star In Joss Whedon’s ABC Pilot ‘Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.’
    By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Wednesday October 24, 2012 @ 2:53pm
    Nellie Andreeva

    EXCLUSIVE: Joss Whedon has recruited ER alumna Ming-Na Wen for one of the leads in his ABC drama pilot Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., which he is co-writing and directing. The project, from Marvel TV and ABC TV Studios, is based on a peacekeeping group found in both the comic book and feature film universes, including the blockbuster 2012 movie The Avengers. Ming-Na will play Agent Melinda May. Soulful and slightly damaged by her combat experiences, Melinda is an ace pilot, a weapons expert and a soldier who can — and has — gone beyond the call of duty. The character was originally listed on the pilot’s casting breakdown as Agent Althea Rice, aka The Cavalry. Ming-Na is the second actor cast in S.H.I.E.L.D., joining Clark Gregg, who is reprising his Iron Man, Thor and Avengers role as Agent Phil Coulson.

    Whedon is co-writing the pilot script with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. The three executive produce with Jeffrey Bell and Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb. Ming-Na, who is reverting to her full name, Ming-Na Wen, comes to S.H.I.E.L.D. with solid sci-fi credentials after recent stints on Syfy’s Eureka and Stargate Universe. She is repped by Innovative Artists, KLWGN and Jackoway Tyerman.
    From Mulan to Marvel...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  2. #2
    Greetings,

    Ming Na Wen is a great actress. I do not know if her abilities were deliberately ignored or marginalized. All I know is that she deserved/deserves better opportunities to apply her wonderful craft.

    mickey

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    Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Marvel's Agents of SHIELD First Promo (HD)

    That's Ming-Na Wen throwing that huge right as Melinda May.
    Gene Ching
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    I believe the hooded hero is Luke Cage - Power Man. If so... i sure hope we get the Immortal Iron Fist!

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    Iron Man 2 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Romanove's [No_Know's Say] Thighkido

    Saw part of Iron Man 2. A female S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the hallway taking-out adversaries as she was; I'm just here to mention the term that got refined after the first thought that came to mind...Thaikido(Thighkido).

    No_Know
    Last edited by No_Know; 07-08-2013 at 10:08 PM. Reason: that or which not sure--that. 1st thought to 1st thought that
    There are four lights...¼ impulse...all donations can be sent at PayPal.com to qumpreyndweth@juno.com; vurecords.com

  6. #6
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    In the wake of SDCC2013

    'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' gets Comic-Con world premiere
    4:31 PM, Jul 20, 2013


    Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' brings the world of superheros to ABC this fall. Expect to hear much more about it at this year's San Diego Comic-Con. (Photo: Bob D'Amico, ABC)

    SAN DIEGO -- ABC took the wraps off Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Friday, giving the new drama its first public screening at Comic-Con. It premieres Sept. 24.

    What the pilot showed was a team of highly skilled but not superpowered agents under the suddenly alive and kicking Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who died in The Avengers movie.

    The episode explained the revival of the character, who appeared to have a grand time getting around, whether by team plane or his vintage, souped-up Corvette, Lola.

    One surprise was the appearance of How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders as Agent Hill, a character she played in The Avengers.

    The pilot screening hadn't been announced, but many expected it. The audience, stoked to see the first episode, responded enthusiastically, with many rising to their feet to applaud as it ended.

    Avengers director Joss Whedon is an executive producer of the series, which started shooting last week. He co-wrote and directed the pilot and the episode reflected his style, down to its humorous touches.

    "I have that feeling that I have not had for a long time where I have assembled this extraordinary ensemble of ridiculously talented and soon-to-be-very-full-of-themselves people," Whedon said after the screening. "The endless possibilities that we have between them, among them, in their pasts, in their futures ... the things we've taken from the Marvel universe, that we're bringing to the Marvel universe, this is a show that has so much history and so much to make. I guess I'm a little excited."

    The series, which started shooting this week, follows a team of skilled agents who investigate strange occurrences across the globe for S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics division).

    Agents include combat and espionage pro Grant Ward (Brett Dalton); pilot and martial artist Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen); engineer Leo Fitz (Iainc); and biochemist Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Skye (Chloe Bennet), a computer hacker who comes to Coulson's attention during the pilot, eventually joins the team.

    Although the agents don't have super powers, they run into people with them, as is the case in the pilot.

    Whedon said other Marvel characters may pop up in the series. "We may see some people and we may see some new people from the Marvel universe that are not yet cinematic. The most important thing to me is we get to see these people who are here every week," he said, referring to the series cast.

    Gregg appeared to get emotional when talking about amazing recovery of Coulson, a familiar character in Marvel films.

    "I can't believe this is happening to me," he said, before thanking the fans for his revival. After Coulson's death in the film, "I was really pleased and proud at the run the guy had, and then ... geeks around the world were just not going to hear that, see. And all over the web was #CoulsonLives.' And that just means everything to me."

    Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
    "pilot and martial artist Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen)"
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    More Ming-Na

    Just for you, mickey.

    September 24, 2013, 6:52 PM
    Ming-Na Wen Spills The Secrets of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
    By Jeff Yang


    ABC
    Ming-Na Wen

    Actress Ming-Na Wen loves being in the spies and superhero action drama “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” But she’s also dreaming of “Star Wars.”

    There are two things you have to know about “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Joss Whedon’s latest addition to the Marvel multimedia universe. The first is that it’s a breathless, buoyant hour-long chunk of pure, uncut Wheeedooooonnnn! — shouted as if on a mountaintop, accent on the “whee!” If you’re looking for smarter-than-it-needs-to-be dialogue, unexpected pivots and gotchas and characters that feel real even when drawn in the pencil-sketch of a television pilot, you’ve come to the right place. (That would be tonight at 8 p.m., on ABC.)

    The second is that in “Agents,” Whedon has assembled the most interesting cast that he’s had to work with since the glory days of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — sorry, “Firefly” fans and “Dollhouse” fan — centered around Clark Gregg as special agent Phil Coulson, whom you may remember dying in rather spectacular fashion in “The Avengers.” As might be expected, rumors of his death were, er, greatly exaggerated, and, in fact, deliberately designed to enable Coulson to recruit and lead a team capable of tackling the law enforcement challenges of a human world suddenly chockablock with superhumans. (It’s never deliberately explained why pitting superhumans against superhumans isn’t enough — although it’s safe to assume that the human Powers That Be just want to avoid putting all of their eggs into one masked-and-caped basket.)

    You’ve probably already seen the hilarious trailer snippet where Coulson steps out of the shadows and welcomes his shocked first recruit, surly wetworks specialist Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), to “Level 7” security clearance — the gigaclassified tier necessary to know about Coulson’s continued existence — and then sheepishly explains his portentous entrance from the dark as being due to a broken light bulb. Coulson is the superspy as everyman, or more accurately, as everyfan — short, balding, all-knowing but intimately aware of his limitations, prone to geeking out over heroes and gadgets alike.

    Whedon knows his base: Coulson is designed to give all of us who look more like Rowan Atkinson than Daniel Craig with a protagonist with whom we can instantly identify. Heck, so are the rest of his crew, which in addition to Ward includes ultracute pair-bonded Brits Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), who hold down the team’s science-y bits — and, as we’re given to assume by the pilot episode’s end, uni-named rogue hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).

    But it’s the still-enigmatic fifth member of Coulson’s team who may bring the most nerd-cred to the table. That’s Melinda May — the black-clad reluctant warrior played by Wen.

    Some movie lovers may remember Wen from her breakthrough as June in the film adaptation of Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club.” Others may recall that she was the voice behind Disney’s take on the classic Chinese legend “Mulan,” or seen her on television in roles ranging from “The Single Guy” to “E.R.” But in parallel with what she jokingly refers to as her “serious actor” work, Wen has accumulated an astonishingly awesome geek resume: Long before her arrival in the Marvel Universe, she starred in the 1998-99 TV adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s “Spawn”; she voiced the lead role of Dr. Aki Ross in the 2001 CGI-animated movie based on the epic adventure videogame series “Final Fantasy”; she voiced Detective Ellen Yin in a season of the animated TV series “The Batman”; and, of course, from 2009 to 2011, she played Camile Wray on “SGU Stargate Universe,” the final installment in the long-running “Stargate” franchise. (And let’s not forget that she also portrayed everyone’s favorite high-kicking dumpling-head, Chun Li, in the first live-action adaptation of the videogame “Street Fighter.” Spinning bird kick!)

    “My ultimate dream is to be in a ‘Star Wars’ film,” she laughs. “If the right people at Disney are reading this, now that the series is moving along, I’m happy to just be an extra! Really! Just so I can check that off my bucket list.”

    It’s an amazing run, though one that took her a while to embrace. “When I first started out, I was trying so hard to not be in that realm,” she says. “It was against all of my instincts — I grew up as a total geek girl, I was the president of my high school’s sci-fi club — but I kept on telling myself, if you want to get respect, you have to be a serious actor.”

    But times have changed. More and more genre works have earned critical acclaim, not to mention ratings and box office. And she has two kids of her own, 13-year-old Michaela and seven-year-old Cooper Dominic. Existing in the same universe as Iron Man and Captain America generates all the respect she needs, thank you very much. “My kids were in the audience at Comic-Con experience, and it was their first time watching the pilot, with all the madness of our incredible fans screaming, cheering and laughing,” she says. “Let’s just say it’s pretty awesome to be the Cool Mom! I’m waiting for their friends to ask me to show up to their birthday parties in costume.

    Despite Wen’s long list of comic-book credits, getting cast as Melinda May was something of a surprise. “You get to a certain age, you’re going out for roles and oh look, you’re competing with Sigourney Weaver,” she says. “Well, that’s not going to work! But after my agent decided to change career paths, I got a new set of agents, and they said, ‘You know what, you still look pretty good. We’re going to try sending you out for a different set of roles.’”

    That’s an understatement, to say the least. Wen doesn’t just look “pretty good”: When you see her in “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” you’ll swear her mutant ability is eternal youth.

    “Well, there’s this special Chinese tea — you mean you don’t drink it?” she laughs. “Seriously though, it’s hard work. I tell people this and they don’t believe me, but I really do not like working out. I’m not the kind of person who likes to get up early and put in an hour jogging or whatever. But I’m motivated by fear. I say to myself, ‘You’re wearing a leather catsuit. Do you want to look bad, or badass?’ So it’s martial arts training, pilates, and every five minutes, if no one’s looking, I’m doing lunges and squats.”

    The work paid off. The role of Melinda May was originally written as “Althea Rice,” a non-Asian character. “But once I got the part, one of the exec producers — I’m assuming it was Maurissa — pointed out that it was a problem to have an Asian named ‘Agent Rice.’ Might get a little backlash, you think? So they actually changed her name for me.” (Maurissa, of course, is Thai American Maurissa Tanchaeron, frequent collaborator with Whedon and cowriter of the pilot along with her husband, Whedon’s brother Jed.)

    What they didn’t change was the character’s identity. May is a “damaged soldier” who, due to some as-yet-unrevealed trauma, had relegated herself to desk duty until Coulson convinces her to return to the field, promising that all she has to do is “drive the bus” — that is to say, fly the massive stealth jet that’s used to bring the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to crisis points around the globe.

    “Naturally, she doesn’t just drive the bus,” says Wen. The character’s nickname, “The Cavalry,” refers to her incredible combat skills — she’s described as being the only S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with more black belts than Natasha Romanoff, that is to say, the Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson in “Iron Man 2” and “The Avengers”). Wen puts those skills on display in the pilot in one remarkably efficient ass-kicking sequence — taking a burly security guard down with a few lightning-swift kicks and punches. (“The guy playing the cop made me look good,” says Wen. “I mean, it convinced by seven-year-old, and he’s a tough critic.”)

    As to May’s backstory, Wen doesn’t know everything, and what she knows, she won’t tell. “It’s a secret!” she says — something that requires Level 8 clearance, I guess. “All I’ll say is that over the course of the series, you will see the pieces of her emerging. Her storyline will unfold very slowly, because they’re set on maintaining that mystery, that intensity about her. But it’s been a lot of fun. She’s one of my most favorite chars I’ve ever had to play.”

    Until then, she says, enjoy the ride. “We’re working on our seventh episode now, and every time I pick up a new script, I can’t put it down,” she says. “NO WAY! This is going to happen? That person shows up? It’s such a good read.”

    And an even better watch. In the classic Marvel Comics tradition, it even manages to address some real social issues with a candor you won’t see anywhere else on primetime. So buckle up, fans: This helicarrier is going places.
    Anyone watching this yet?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  8. #8
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    This show is horrible. Horrible.
    He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher. -- Walt Whitman

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    As a mod, I don't have to explain myself to you.

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    that's just dancin...

    Ming-Na Wen of 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' on Ballroom Dancing, Issuing Martial Arts Challenges
    By Robert Chan
    21 hours ago
    Yahoo TV

    Ming-Na Wen and Clark Gregg in 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spent all of last season setting up its characters; now, it's letting them cut loose. In pursuit of information about the mysterious (alien? Kree?) drawings that are consuming Director Coulson (Clark Gregg), he and Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) get to infiltrate a fancy party in some very uncharacteristic attire. Plus, there's dancing.

    From the moment Wen opens her mouth, you realize that she's the exact opposite of her onscreen persona, bubbly and constantly laughing. They're so different, the show's producers have coined the phrase "Less Ming, more May." Yahoo TV spoke with Wen about what we get to see from May this week (Episode 4: "Face My Enemy"), what she would like to see from May in the future, and what she's got over all those wushu martial artists.

    We usually only get to see May kick ass, but it looks like we get to see another side of her this episode.
    Well, when I first read the script, I was so excited to have an opportunity to expand her abilities. And then I got really, really nervous because it's like, "Oh well, May might be able to do it, but can Ming do it?" So it was a very challenging episode.

    Is ballroom dancing something you knew how to do, or did you have to learn it on set?
    I've been trained to do ballet and modern dance and jazz, but I've never done ballroom dancing. It is definitely a very sexy and yet unique talent. Because you have to be able to really jell with your partner; the posture and everything is very specific and clean. Clark and I worked many, many hours with truly wonderful ballroom-dancing choreographers to make us look good.

    How hard was that compared to everything else you've had to learn for the show?
    Well, I feel very confident now after having done a year and a half of fight scenes. I found this to be extremely challenging because I had to do it in a very, very subtle silver dress. It's a little different. But I love having the opportunity to put a little more eye makeup on. And she actually gets to smile a lot more.

    There's quite a lot of surprises for the fans, and I think they've been asking for it — for May to have certain things happen. We have this wonderful fanbase called Team Philinda and they're just dying to ship the two of us, me and — May and Coulson. Not me and Clark! Oops! [Laughs.] So I think this episode offers that up to them a little bit.

    [Related: Ditching Red for Black: Check Out the New 'Marvel's Daredevil' Costume]

    What other sides would you like to see from May now that you're getting more opportunities to explore?
    Maybe some emotional scenes. She keeps so much bottled up — eventually it has to explode. I'm looking forward to that day. Maybe she never does — maybe she's that much in control. I'm certainly not. I'm so opposite from her. I cry at everything! I get this constant note from my producers: Less Ming, more May. Because any chance I get, I try to sneak a little bit more emotion in her and they always catch it, they always catch it! I get so bummed! [Laughs.]

    Was there anything else you wanted to tell us about this one?
    This next episode, "Face My Enemy" — it was so much fun for me to shoot because there were a lot of scenes that showcased May. And my scenes with Clark — with Coulson — I just love their dynamic together. There's an incredible chemistry that has developed. It's really always so much fun to work with Clark.

    I'm looking forward to hearing what fans think. Without giving anything away, it was a really fun show for me to do, and I'm very excited about it. She really kicks ass! She really does in this one!

    So she eventually gets to take off the heels and go at it?
    Yeah! How did you know? It's really hard to fight in heels. To have to run in the middle of the night, on set, outside — it's just so crazy to learn to do! Any wushu training wouldn't prepare a martial artist to do half the stuff I do in heels. So I think I might have one up on those martial artists. [Laughs.] Those are challenging words!

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
    There's some links and photos but they are embedded in such a way that I'd have to slog through the source code to dig them out and I'm too busy catching up to do that today...
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    Our latest ezine offering

    From Chun-Li to Mulan to Agent May. Read Interview with Ming-Na Wen of Marvel's AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. by david j. moore
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Chloe Bennet


    RISING STAR
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/agents-...nese-last-name
    TV’s only Asian-American superhero opens up about the need for representation onscreen—and why her band of SHIELD agents totally belong in Marvel’s movies.
    MELISSA LEON
    04.05.16 1:34 AM ET

    Four years ago, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD star Chloe Bennet was known professionally as Chloe Wang, aspiring actress and teenage dabbler in Shanghai pop stardom. In the states, however, Hollywood casting agents were less than welcoming.
    At least until she changed her last name.

    “Oh, the first audition I went on after I changed my name, I got booked,” Bennet tells The Daily Beast, in an interview timed to Marvel’s Women of Power month. “So that’s a pretty clear little snippet of how Hollywood works.”
    That audition was for the role of Hailey, an office assistant on ABC’s Nashville. That same year, Bennet was cast as the lead in Marvel’s first cinematic universe TV show, the Joss Whedon-created SHIELD. Over three seasons, Skye, a headstrong young “hacktivist” who gets recruited by SHIELD and eventually discovers her real identity, the half-Inhuman Daisy Johnson (aka Quake), has evolved into what is still a rarity on TV: a superhero who happens to be both female and Asian-American.

    “I wish people talked about that more,” Bennet says. “I don't know if it’s good or bad, but when Supergirl came out, people were like, ‘This is the only superhero on TV that’s a female!’ And I was like, ‘Hold on! I’m pretty sure Daisy’s been here.’ And I also happen to be half-Chinese and I’m so proud of that.”

    “I want to be clear because some of my Asian-American fans seem to think I did that [changed last names] because I didn’t want to known as Chinese, but it’s so the opposite,” she adds. “I just wanted to be known as me and let my personality define who I was, rather than my ethnicity.”

    Bennet—who is loud and funny and blunt in conversation—then launches into her SHIELD audition story, told with a mixture of endearing self-loathing and pride.



    “When we were down to seven girls [up for the role of Skye], it was this completely diverse group of girls I was up against. And it was really about who was right for the part,” she says. “We were testing and we came out of the room and I was up next and Joss Whedon was there and said, ‘Hi.’ I got kind of nervous and looked at him. He just looked really tired. And I was like, ‘You look like ****’—this right before I went in for my last audition.
    “He started laughing and was like, ‘Well, I am tired,’” she says, groaning at the memory. “And I was like, ‘I mean, you look tired in a good way, like you’re really busy! And accomplished!’ It was so Skye Season 1 that I think he was like, ‘Yup, that’s her.’”
    Because of Marvel’s “cinematic universe” design, SHIELD takes place during the events of the comic book movie franchise’s big-screen exploits—meaning that whatever havoc the Avengers wreak in their city-smashing adventures has real-world consequences for the show’s on-the-ground SHIELD agents.



    When Captain America: The Winter Soldier revealed that the evil Nazi organization HYDRA had been embedded within SHIELD since shortly after World War II, the show, whose entire first season built up to the events of Winter Soldier, took that and ran with it, spinning out two seasons of intrigue.
    But while Marvel’s movies often affect the show, SHIELD’s narrative rarely bears weight on the big-budget blockbusters—even when the stories it’s telling should. In the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, for example, Marvel’s superheroes choose whether to submit to official government oversight, a measure (called the Sokovia Accords, the onscreen version of the comic books’ Superhero Registration Act) pushed on them by a United Nations panel.
    Incorporating SHIELD’s ongoing Inhumans storyline would actually raise the stakes of the movie: The presence of hundreds if not thousands of undiscovered Inhumans (people with the ability to develop superpowers) would give governments extra incentive to push the Sokovia Accords on all superhumans. Recent interviews with Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo, however, indicate the directing duo are entirely unconcerned with what’s going on in the world of SHIELD.



    “I think we’re all on the same page besides them,” Bennet says, sighing at the missed opportunity. “But they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do, and I’m really happy with our little show. We’ve been dealing with the topic of Civil War for a while now—at least, Daisy has. She’s a SHIELD agent but also a human and she’s completely torn.”
    If Bennet had her way, of course, Civil War would bring certain SHIELD-specific changes to the Marvel universe: “I would like us to be put in the movie,” she laughs. “That would make sense. I would like the Avengers to find out that Agent Coulson’s still alive. And Daisy’s incredibly powerful. I think you’ll see toward the end of the season her strength as a character and a leader, and her power as a superhero really expands—I’m just saying, the Avengers could use our help, if they just asked.”
    Marvel’s TV universe, in the meantime, continues to expand, with street-level heroes like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist getting their own Netflix shows. With the latter series’s casting announcement—revealing that Game of Thrones actor Finn Jones will be taking on the role of Danny Rand—a familiar refrain decrying the MCU’s lack of diversity reverberated across the Internet again.
    When asked if she was among the thousands calling for the traditionally white Danny Rand—a kung fu master—to be played by an Asian actor, Bennet answers without missing a beat.



    “One hundred percent. I actually saw that [casting] news and I can’t lie, I was a little [disappointed],” she says, before breaking into laughter again. “I love Marvel, but…”
    “I know they want to stay true to their characters but, you know, every female character in Marvel comics also has, like, triple-Z-sized boobs,” she reasons. “So if they cast actors based on the way characters look on the page, I don’t think even Scarlett Johansson—well, maybe Scarlett Johansson—would be in the movies.”
    As for Marvel’s ever-expanding movie arm—which will feature its first character of color in a stand-alone film in 2018’s Black Panther—Bennet maintains there’s room for improvement there as well.
    “I think they could do better,” she says. “You know, there are a lot of white guys named Chris. But I think they will, because it’s important. It’s the right thing to do. Marvel’s a smart company and I think they will represent their fans from around the world. They can take note from the way we’re going on the show, ’cause we’re doing a pretty good job.”
    In terms of gender dynamics, Bennet points out that “90 percent of the rescuing” done in SHIELD is by female characters and “90 percent” of the stunts are performed by women actors as well, including herself. Still, she’s anxiously awaiting her character Daisy’s introduction as a playable character in the Marvel mobile game Contest of Champions in the fall, for the sake of watching Quake in action minus the actual stunt work.
    “I’m so stoked. My brother is so jealous,” she laughs. “I’m really excited to get to do all these stunts without actually getting hurt. I’m currently covered in bruises.”
    Bruises never stopped a badass lady from rescuing those in need, of course. “[Our characters] don’t need any rescuing from men,” Bennet says. “We can handle ourselves very well, thank you.”
    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. & whitewashing
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  12. #12
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    DECEMBER 10, 2019 4:00PM PT
    Marvel to Shutter Television Division
    By JOE OTTERSON
    TV Reporter
    @https://twitter.com/joeotterson

    Marvel’s television division is officially winding down.

    Variety has learned that Marvel Television will no longer be developing any new series beyond the shows that are currently in production. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, Marvel will eliminate a number of positions in the near future as a result of the cessation of development at the division. Karim Zreik, senior vice president of current programming and production and members of his team will now join the Marvel Studios group. Zreik will lead the current projects in production. Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb will remain with the division during the transition.

    The move to close up shop on Marvel Television was not altogether unexpected, as Variety reported in September that there was a growing perception in the industry that Loeb’s division was on its way out given that Marvel movies boss Kevin Feige was set to produce a number of big budget live-action shows for Disney Plus featuring character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Feige had been promoted to chief creative officer of Marvel and has taken over the Disney-owned company’s storytelling across mediums, including publishing, film, TV, and animation. It was widely believed at that time that Loeb would exit the company within the next few months.

    The only Marvel Television live-action show currently in the works is “Helstrom” at Hulu. Hulu had previously ordered a live-action “Ghost Rider” series starring Gabriel Luna as well, but that project was scrapped in September.

    Marvel also has four animated shows at Hulu: “Howard the Duck,” “Hit Monkey,” “Tigra & Dazzler,” and “M.O.D.O.K.” All four shows are expected to debut separately before crossing over with “The Offenders” event series. However, news broke last week that the showrunner and writing staff of “Tigra & Dazzler” had departed the show over creative differences. The search for a new showrunner is ongoing.

    Fellow Marvel-Hulu series “The Runaways” will end with its upcoming third season, while “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” will end after seven seasons on ABC this spring. All of Marvel Television’s other live-action shows have been canceled in the past year.

    Feige’s division — part of the Walt Disney Studios feature-film operation — is currently working on shows centered on characters like Hawkeye, Falcon and Winter Soldier, as well as Loki, and Vision and Scarlet Witch, with shows based on She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight also in the works.

    According to sources, multiple Marvel Television and Home & Family Entertainment executives at the vice president level and above outside of Zreik’s team will be replaced as a result of the move. In addition, sources say that Brian Crosby, creative director of Marvel Themed Entertainment, will no longer be working on Marvel projects as part of the Disney parks division, though he will remain with the company.

    Also exiting the company is family entertainment chief Cort Lane. A Marvel veteran in charge of television animation, Lane has deep relationships with counterparts in Disney’s corporate-franchises, parks and consumer-products arms, as well as with licensees such as Hasbro and Lego. He is believed to be staying on through January as part of the transition, as Marvel gears up for its first major TV entry in the preschool space, “Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends.”
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  13. #13
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    New Star Wars film?

    New 'Star Wars' Movie in the Works With 'Sleight' Filmmaker (Exclusive)
    FEBRUARY 21, 2020 2:40PM by Borys Kit


    Inset: J.D. Dillard | Lucasfilm/Photofest; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

    Director J.D. Dillard and 'Luke Cage' writer Matt Owens have been tapped to develop a project, but it is unclear whether it is a theatrical or Disney+ release.
    As Lucasfilm maps out the next phase of Star Wars movies, executives are grappling with this question as development moves ahead: Which characters and stories justify theatrical releases and which should arrive exclusively on the streaming platform Disney+?

    The Hollywood Reporter learned Friday that a new Star Wars project is in the works: J.D. Dillard, best known for writing and directing the sci-fi thriller Sleight, and Matt Owens, a writer on the Marvel shows Luke Cage and Agents of SHIELD, have been tapped to develop it. But insiders say it is undecided whether the project will be for the big screen or for Disney's highly prioritized streaming platform.

    Plot, character and setting details are unknown and are being kept in the murky underworld of Exegol. It also is unclear whether Dillard would direct, should the project move forward. The Dillard project is understood to be unrelated to a Star Wars film pitch by Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and potential work from Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

    Disney and Lucasfilm appear to be shifting gears on the franchise to help boost Disney+, with Disney chairman Bob Iger saying earlier this month that Star Wars’ foreseeable future was in television, with theatrical movies going on a hiatus. The next theatrical film remains on the release calendar for Dec. 16, 2022, with other entries planned in December 2024 and December 2026.

    While Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has grossed $1.07 billion globally since its December launch and will likely end its run as the sixth-highest-grossing film worldwide of 2019, the trend line for Star Wars films at the box office has declined during the Disney era since 2015's Force Awakens' $2.07 billion haul. The 2018 spinoff film Solo, in particular, grossed $392.9 million and led Iger to concede last September in a New York Times profile that "we might've put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast."

    Meanwhile, since its Nov. 12 launch, The Mandalorian, the series created by Jon Favreau, has been credited with helping to drive Disney+ to 28.6 million subscribers. (A second season of The Mandalorian is set to arrive in October.) On a Feb. 4 call with investors, Iger described the show as "a bona fide hit and a cultural phenomenon" and said the studio has "a few Star Wars series in varying stages of production and development."

    Iger added that "the priority for Star Wars in the short term is going to be, I'll call it television for Disney+, and then we will have more to say about development of theatrical soon after that."

    Disney+ Star Wars spinoffs are now being targeted even as several other shows are in the works, including one centering on Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan Kenobi and another on Rogue One character Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna). And, on Friday, the first episode of the seventh season of the revived animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars landed on the streaming platform.

    Owens is currently co-writing One Piece, an ambitious live-action adaptation of the manga, for Netflix. He is repped by CAA and Circle of Confusion.

    Dillard made waves with 2016's Sleight, a genre thriller that was well-received when it debuted at Sundance and subsequently picked up by Focus. His last movie was Sweetheart, a horror thriller that starred Kiersey Clemons, and he recently helmed an episode of Utopia, the Gillian Flynn-created series set up at Amazon. Dillard already has some Star Wars experience, as he worked in a production capacity on 2015's The Force Awakens and played a stormtrooper in Rise of Skywalker. Dillard is repped by CAA, Circle of Confusion and law firm Ginsburg Daniels.



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