Market Report – January 2016

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by Chrys, CMRO User



Welcome to the first official edition of Market Report, in which I comment the direct market data for comics released the month before. I’m going to start with some introductory notes:

– The rankings and percentages discussed here refer only to the direct market. That means they’re not about sales to the reader, but about orders made by retailers to the distributor, Diamond. They reflect what comic shops think will sell plus what their customers have pre-ordered. (Retailers also over-order to get some deals, like buying an X amount of comic Y in order to be eligible to get variant Z.)
– The numbers discussed here aren’t actual figures, but estimates made by Comichron based on Diamond’s chart. We don’t have actual numbers for sales or orders – this is all we have.
– Direct market isn’t the only channel affecting a title’s commercial health. There are also the digital market, the foreign markets, trades etc.

Now, I still find it interesting to analyze these numbers, especially comparatively, but please bear these caveats in mind and remember the numbers of orders are the shakiest part of the data. One more thing: this is focused on Marvel comics since it’s what I know best and follow more closely. Okay, let’s take a look at January 2016.

 

Top Comics

1 Walking Dead 150 $2.99 Image 156,166
2 Secret Wars 9 $4.99 Marvel 149,028
3 Spider-Man Deadpool 1 $3.99 Marvel 133,813
4 Star Wars 14 $3.99 Marvel 118,471
5 Star Wars 15 $3.99 Marvel 107,858
6 Old Man Logan 1 $4.99 Marvel 104,362
7 Obi-Wan and Anakin 1 $3.99 Marvel 102,861
8 Batman 48 $3.99 DC 100,962
9 Darth Vader 15 $3.99 Marvel 98,405
10 Uncanny X-Men 1 $3.99 Marvel 93,252

January was another massive win for Marvel: they doubled DC’s market share in both dollars and units, 44% and 48% against DC’s 22% and 24%, respectively. On top of that, they dominated the charts: 22 issues in the Top 25, with DC only grabbing 2 spots and Image, 1. There are 35 Marvel issues in the Top 50 – the remaining are 11 DC, 3 Image, and 1 Boom.

Image grabbed the top spot, though, with The Walking Dead #150 getting an appropriate 150k orders. DC got the 8th spot with Batman and nearly 101k. Marvel got the remaining 8 spots like this: 4 Star Wars issues, 3 debuts, and the last issue of Secret Wars. Secret Wars #9 grabbed #2 with an amazing 149k, cementing their position as one of the most successful event books from Marvel. It was a strong Top Ten, with all books over 90k and 8 over 100k.

Debuts

Marvel’s biggest debut in January was Spider-Man/Deadpool, #3 with nearly 134k, which is no surprise given they’re huge sellers on their own and popular as a pair. Old Man Logan debuted with 104k (#6), which is a 15k increase over Wolverine’s last volume debut in February 2014. Uncanny X-Men debuted at #10 with 93k, down 84k from the last volume in February 2013 – but with a very different cast, premise and circumstances, it still seems a good debut. Issue 2 sold 70k.

Outside the Top Ten, we have:

A-Force at #12 with 65k: down almost 49k from the Battleworld mini last May;
Rocket Raccoon and Groot at #15 with 59k;
Silver Surfer at #17 with 57k: down 7k from the last volume debut in March 2014;
Captain Marvel at #22 with nearly 53k: up 8k from last debut also in March 2014;
Agents of Shield at #50 with 35k: this is the only really shaky debut in January: it’s also down 59k from the previous Shield book’s debut numbers, in Dec 2014.

Marvel Spotlights

Most books haven’t stabilized yet. Mighty Thor #3 got a healthy #13 spot with a near 10k drop. Deadpool and ANAD Avengers both double-shipped with steady numbers: issues 5 and 6 of Deadpool around 59k, and issues 3 and 4 of Avengers around 57k.

More surprising is how well Doctor Strange is doing so far: issue #4 got #23 in the chart and 52k. That’s looking really great for a character that hasn’t had a book in forever – and that’s awesome news, because it’s a great book. One of my favorites in this new batch.

Three other solos doing relatively well at spots #27-9: All-New Wolverine #4 with a mere 1k drop to 49.9k, Invincible Iron Man #5 with an 8k drop to 49k, and Spider-Gwen #4 with a 6k drop to 48.6k.

All-New X-Men #3 grabbed the 25th spot with 50k and Extraordinary X-Men #5-6 got spots #31-2 with 47k. Meanwhile, Daredevil #3 was 36th with 45.8k.

Warning Lights

Now let’s move to the more worrisome titles. Totally Awesome Hulk #2 was 40th with 39.4k. No Hulk has sold well in quite a while, but a 35k drop to below 40k in the second issue might be a nosedive sign.

New Avengers isn’t falling fast anymore, but #5 is already selling in the low 30s. On one side, it’s a low-tier cast, but on the other, it’s an Avengers book, so sales expectations are complicated here. Also complicated is the situation of Captain America: Sam Wilson – #5 sold only 29k, but had a mere 400 copies drop from the previous issue, which might be a sign of stabilization.

Last month I said: “To my infinite amusement, Guardians of Infinity was the big launch with 121k. There’s no way this book won’t drop like a stone.” And will you look at that, #2 had a 94k plunge to 27k sales and a 73rd spot. I love being right.

Here are some more candidates to keep diving: All-New Inhumans #3 got 25k with an 8k drop, Scarlet Witch #2 got 25k with a 32k drop, and Star-Lord #3 got 22k with a 3k drop. Quill is not happening, Marvel.

Relegation Zone

These are the books selling less than 20k and potentially in danger of being cancelled. Last month Marvel only had one book here – now it’s 10. The new books are marked with an asterisk. All of these sold less than a collection of reprinted Deadpool stories. Pretty much none of these are surprising.

*115. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4: 19,923 (5k drop)
*118. Illuminati #3: 19,025 (4k drop)
*120. Angela Queen of Hel #4: 18,917 (2k drop)
*121. Drax #3: 18,837 (4k drop)
*125. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3: 18,424 (3k drop)
*128. Weirdworld #2: 17,759 (12k drop)

*131. Black Knight #3: 17,118 (almost 5k drop) – This is the first (and, so far, only) cancelled title post-Secret Wars. It ends on issue 5 already. No idea why Marvel thought there could be a market for it – pretty much all its hooks are covered by other books that aren’t selling well either.
*139. Hercules #3: 16,310 (4k drop) – Now this is criminal. This is such a great book!

Under 15k, selling less than My Little Pony:

154. Howling Commandos of Shield #4: 14,091 (down almost 4k)
*166. Starbrand and Nightmask #2: 11,677 (16k drop)

And on its second issue, Starbrand and Nightmask is already the lowest seller. From the announcement, this has been a puzzling choice. It’s hard to imagine what the editors thought when they greenlit this title, as the duo seemed to have very little appeal even at the height of their involvement in Hickman’s Avengers. Starring a book many months later, coupling nondescript newcomers with what seemed a cosmic fish-out-of-water kids in college premise? Extremely hard sell among so many shiny new titles.

Cancellation Watch

This is where I talk about DC comics not many people are buying, to people who mostly read Marvel. Last month I said things looked really bad and more cancellations had to be coming. Turns out they aren’t coming, because they’re going to have something called Rebirth – most likely a line-wide relaunch/shake-up.

The Watch went down to 13 issues from 18 in December, but that’s mostly because several low sellers ended that month. In fact, only one title saved itself: Sinestro, with a 3k increase. We have 1 newcomer and 1 returning title, both marked with an asterisk.

119. Cyborg #7: 18,975 (1k increase)
123. Martian Manhunter #8: 18,655 (2.6k increase)
127. Constantine The Hellblazer #8: 17,853 (down 700. Crazy for such a good title)
*144. Black Canary #7: 15,758 (almost 6k drop, debuting in the Watch with a plunge)
146. Gotham Academy #14: 15,023 (down 7k from an event issue. Down only 800 from #13)

151. Catwoman #48: 14,408 (down 600)
157. Secret Six #10: 13,888 (down 700)
158. Justice League 3001 #8: 13,283 (down almost 700)
*165. We Are Robin #8: 12,086 (returning to the Watch after a higher than usual event issue with stronger titles: down 16k, and a 7k drop from the last regular issue, #6)
168. Doctor Fate #8: 11,109 (down 800)
174. Midnighter #8: 10,408 (down 800 – I want to believe this won’t be cancelled, but one look at this and it just doesn’t seem possible…)

183. Omega Men #8: 8,864 (down nearly 400 – the critical darling managed to avoid the Spot of Shame for one more month. Cancelled, 4 issues to go.)
195. Telos #4: 7,735 (a 1.8k drop – mini, 2 issues to go.)

 

And this is it for January. If you have something to say or ask, click the Join the Conversation button and shoot.

 

Comic-Con Preview: Lucifer

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

There is a lot of potential drama in the idea of Lucifer’s reaction to his role in Christian mythos, what he thinks about what he’s done and what it is he actually wants (within the bounds of proscribed actions). Milton knew it way back when; Neil Gaiman did too when he took the notion to post-modern levels wondering whether the devil might not even want the role he had been given and would one day grow tired of it.  It was the later idea that prompted Mike Carey’s examination of the character adrift in the City of Angels, trying to find a reason to exist after shrugging off the reason that was created for him.

It’s an interesting if ethereal basis for a complex character study and one that would seem to be right at home in today’s so-called golden age of television where long form character work less tied down by classic notions of good guys/bad guys is becoming the norm.  On basic/premium cable at any rate.

On network television where the requirements for status quo plot arrangements, identifiable good guys and bad guys, clear moral victories and frequently lock-step procedural elements are part and parcel of the deal (at least if maintaining viewers is any sort of goal), it’s much more difficult fit.  And by difficult I mean so ill-conceived its difficult to believe a pilot was actually made much less a series was green lit from it.

The network television version (set to debut as a mid-season series in 2016 on the CW) takes the notion of Lucifer (Miranda’s Tom Ellis) quitting his job to open a bar and decides that’s a bit too quiet and unmotivated for a modern audience and so introduces the completely logical decision to give the Devil a hobby … fighting crime.  And as ridiculous as that sentence is to write, it’s even worse to observe.

A lot of it stem’s from Lucifer’s egregious misconception and mis-casting. Attempting to ease the transition of the Devil into the role of the good guy, the series re-imagines him as less the Prince of Darkness and more an immortal jerk who brings people’s innermost desires to the surface where they have great difficulty not acting on them – often to his amusement but usually to little other effect (as Lucifer ruining people’s lives for fun would make it much more difficult for him to play the hero). It removes the character’s innate sinisterness, but it also removes his gravitas as well, leaving him with only one emotional outlet for the entire pilot: smug dickishness.

Or that could just be the only way Ellis (best none prior for a few seasons of a sitcom on the BBC) can deliver his lines.  While he does delivers his frequent witticisms well (Lucifer not only has to carry off the crime fighting, he’s also the comic relief) and genuinely relishes introducing himself as Lucifer Morningstar as well as bluntly and truthfully explaining what and how he is doing what he is doing whenever asked under the (correct) assumption that no one will either believe him or be able to stop him, Ellis will never make anyone believe he is an immortal angel who spent eons coming up with new, original ways to torture people.  It’s either not in his skill set or not being asked of him or (more likely) both.

That alone should be enough to sink any show but Lucifer is filled with a stack of additional elements that feel like a creator groping for ways to define his characters (or because they sounded good during a pitch) and failing miserably. While investigating the shooting death of a singer who he once did a favor for, Lucifer soon finds himself working with an impossibly young detective (Lauren German) who in a former life was a teenage actress most well known for a teenage sex comedy in which she walked around naked (though at least it addresses the series’ female lead being many times more attractive than others in her field).  She also happens to be immune to Lucifer’s charms, particularly his method of compelling people to speak their desires, revealing in him the deep-seated psychological issues which caused him to leave Hell in the first place and for which he decides to start seeing a shrink.  It’s as if the series’ ambitions amounted to little more than being a dark version of Castle, just without any wit, charm or intelligence.

Lucifer’s failure on almost every level is largely a repeat of the same issues which doomed the last attempt to translate a classic Vertigo series to television, last years ill-fated Constantine.  Both took morally ambiguous characters who bathed in worlds of grey and tried to squeeze them into a milieu which is only comfortable with good guys who wear white hats and bad guys who wear black.  It’s an ill-fit on almost every level and it shows.

But at least there’s Preacher to look forward to.

Spider-Man Casting Announcement Coming?

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

According to Birth.Movies.Death (formerly Badass Digest) Marvel Studios has narrowed its once large list of potential teenage Spider-Men to just two – THE IMPOSSIBLE’s Tom Holland and THE GOLDEN COMPASS’ Charlie Rowe – indicating that the studio is both very close to make a final decision and that former frontrunner Asa Buttefrield (of HUGO and ENDER’S GAME fame) seems to no longer be in the running. This despite recent reports that Butterfield was in final negotiations to star in 2017’s untitled Spider-Man requel (a cross between a reboot and a sequel which Marvel has already handled once before with 2008’s INCREDIBLE HULK which picked up the several elements of the planned sequel to the Ang Lee/Eric Bana film but never mentioned the previous version).

The constantly moving target highlights both the interest in what the Marvel version of the character will be (still the most-well known individual brand name in Marvel’s arsenal as highlighted by the studios desire to make some sort of deal with Sony to get their hands back on the character) and the need to make a decision quickly. While there are a number of films on Marvel’s schedule which are due to go before the lens soon – DOCTOR STRANGE is due to start shooting as soon as CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR wraps, with GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY likely to start shooting before STRANGE is even finished and THOR: RAGNAROK soon afterwards – the number of them which can support a promised Spider-Man cameo is small.

This has naturally led many to assume that the character will pop up somewhere in the sequel due to appear next May.  But with CIVIL WAR nearing the halfway point of principal photography there is little time left for the character to make any sort of major impact on the film unless a decision is made soon.

A lack of a decision doesn’t mean Spider-Man can’t appear in the film – a stunt-man could perform the character with dialogue dubbed later, or a separate short cameo could be filmed later as with Jeremy Renner’s insertion into THOR. But those choices don’t suggest the size supporting role the character is expected to hold in the story.

Time will tell.

Ejiofor Joins DOCTOR STRANGE

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

With lensing on Marvel’s next major effort, DOCTOR STRANGE, expected to start in the late summer/early fall – basically the second CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR wraps – major cast announcements are coming fast and heavy on the film. And while I had always pegged him as the best possible choice for Black Panther, Deadline is reporting today that 12 YEARS A SLAVE actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is in final negotiations to play Baron Mordo opposite Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange in the film.

Though Marvel has made no comment Deadline says it is nearly a done deal. The report also indicates that the Scott Derrickson helmed film will be taking some liberties with classic Strange mythology. Just as the Ancient One will now be played by Tilda Swinton rather than an aged Chinese man, Ejiofor’s Mordo will not be the straight up antagonist he has been in classic Doctor Strange tradition but will rather be a combination of multiple characters with a slightly different background while the primary villain is still likely to be Dormammu. The report suggests a character somewhat like Mickey Rourke’s Anton Vanko from IRON MAN 2 who was an amalgamation of the original Crimson Dynamo and Whiplash.

It may be that the series is setting up Mordo to eventually become the primary antagonist after initially presenting him as an ally or at least neutral party. In comic’s continuity Mordo, who first appeared alongside Strange as his original nemesis in Strange Tales #110. He was quickly cast aside in favor of Dormammu, becoming something of a servant to the greater villain, but it may be that Marvel is taking a reverse approach in the film series. It was revealed in Strange’s origin in Strange Tales #115 that he and Mordo had been pupils of the Ancient One together and while in the original story he is antagonistic to Strange from the get-go and quickly turned to evil, later versions of shown the two working together as students for some time before his betrayal when it became clear that Strange would be picked to become the next Sorcerer Supreme. Marvel’s known for playing a long game in its film choices, time will tell.

Which is all well and good, but what we really want to know is when is Marvel going to let George R. R. Martin write the DOCTOR STRANGE comic he’s always wanted to do?

Punisher coming to Netflix

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

No he’s not getting his own Netflix series, at least not yet, but Marvel revealed today that they were going to try – yet again – to make a live action Frank Castle work when they add him to the line-up of DAREDEVIL season 2, expected at some point in 2016.

While two big screen iterations of the character have been tried during the current comics film craze – 2004’s THE PUNISHER starring Thomas Jane and 2009’s PUNISHER: WAR ZONE starring Ray Stevenson – neither was particularly successful and Marvel honcho Kevin Feige has spoken often about his desire to try and do the character right since getting the film rights back from Lionsgate. With the current Marvel film schedule filled to bursting there seemed little room for the character in a starring role on the big screen, so he has been sent to Marvel television where he will fill out the roster for DAREDEVIL’s increasingly full second season which is rumored to include the introductions of Elektra and Bullseye as as well.

The popular character is also the most likely to cross out of television and into other films as well – particularly a future Spider-Man film – as well as being a strong contender for a Netflix series of his own. Previous Punisher actor Jane has mentioned often his desire at another bite at the Frank Castle apple, including appearing in a fan-filim as the character produced by Avi Shankar, as has FURY ROAD star Tom Hardy.

But instead former WALKING DEAD actor Jon Bernthal will be taking the character on according to the announcement, tweeting his excitement shortly after the announcement.

After starring in the first two seasons of WALKING DEAD Bernthal has had a healthy career as a character actor, co-starring in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and last year’s FURY, and will be seen soon in ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL. For many months he was strongly connected to the upcoming SUICIDE SQUAD film, helmed by his FURY director David Ayer, but ultimately passed on it.

DAREDEVIL, season 2, starring Charlie Cox is set for release in the first half of 2016.

AGENT CARTER gets larger season order, looks forward to future (death of character)

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

Coming hot off the heels of a successful mini-season and appearing in every Marvel film coming out in 2015 (which makes her one of the most re-appearing characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe pantheon) Haley Atwell has been one of the busiest actors in the MCU and that doesn’t look to end any time soon.

While speaking at Comicpalooza in Houston over the weekend Atwell gave some insight into what is being planned in the recently greenlit AGENT CARTER season 2 which will include not just a new location but more episodes as well, with Marvel and ABC Studios planning to produce 10 episodes for this year’s mini-season, presumably to once again air in-between the Fall and Spring seasons of AGENTS OF SHIELD.
The new series will take up roughly a year after the end of the previous but will see Atwell’s Carter transplanted from New York to Los Angeles in what she called a glamorous, dark world.

“What was very exciting is, in a second season she’s grieved over Steve and she’s now about to embark on a new adventure in her life. So she’s in a much better place, so in terms of where she is it’s going to be a lot lighter for her, there’s going to be more humor to her and more warmth. She’s not struggling so much with her identity,” Atwell told the Houston crowd.

While Atwell’s current plate seems full, recent news out of the Atlanta set of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR suggests it will be her last not in period. Over the past several weeks several of the cast members were seen in black suits attending funeral service at a local cemetery. According to photos taken by extras working the location the scene is the funeral for Atwell’s Carter (who was quite aged and living in a retirement community during her appearance in CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER).

Batmobile shows up on SUICIDE SQUAD set; ARROW crew talks Harley Quinn

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

It has been much rumored that, similar to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, DC would use a recurring character in many of its early DC Cinematic Universe films in order to tie the early films together similar to the work Marvel did with its Phase I films. Many had theorized that character would be Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, but with multiple reports it seems instead Ben Affleck’s Batman will be filling that role, or potentially sharing it with Eisenberg.

Ever since it was revealed that the Joker would indeed be a major part of the SUICIDE SQUAD film (along with the first live action portrayal of major Joker/Batman supporting character Harley Quinn) it had been noted that it would be the first time Joker had appeared in a film sans Batman and whether that would in fact be true.

It appears that it’s not true after all as location filming in Toronto last week and early this week showcased Jared Leto’s first action sequence/appearance as the character, focusing on an extended car chase with the character (driving a purple Lamborghini) hunting down a motorcycle riding Harley Quinn played by Margot Robbie. When filming on the sequence picked up this week it was joined by the new version of the Batmobile (which will first appear in next March’s BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE) following the Joker-mobile down the wet Canadian streets.

The appearance seems to prove recent rumors as well that the robed and hooded figure seen filming with the crew some weeks ago was in fact Ben Affleck (or at least a stuntman in the Batman outfit).

Meanwhile ARROW’s Willa Holland revealed over the weekend some more of the differences between Marvel and DC, primarily in how their TV and studio groups work together. While Disney has worked hard to make its live action television and film productions some form of homogeneous whole the DC productions have been primarily on their own – creating among other things the current Flash disparity with two different actors portraying the character on film and television.

It is an issue that Warner Bros. seems intent on not repeating with non-major characters being removed from television hands if they are going to play a part in the movies. At least that is the word from ARROW’s Willa Holland who revealed this weekend that the show originally had major plans for the Harley Quinn on their series (the character was teased during an early Suicide Squad episode in the second season) but those plans were scotched by the studio after the announcement of the big screen SUICIDE SQUAD cast where Quinn will be the female lead.

“We had big plans for Harley, but, I guess something came down from DC execs that told us to shut it down . . . we’ll never see it. We would love to do Harley in ‘Arrow’ but it will never happen,” Holland told Flickering Myth.
Sometime later, ARROW’s version of Deadshot was also written out, presumably so as not to sow confusion with the character portrayed by Will Smith in the feature film.

If true it also suggests major recurring Flash Rogues like Captain Cold are likely not in the running for appearing in that characters feature film, but with much in development anything is possible.

ANT-MAN crew talk differences from Wright version; Douglas in Costume?

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

With roughly seven weeks to go until the final Marvel Phase II film – the long gestating ANT-MAN – finally sees the light of day the Marvel PR machine has spread into high gear, not just through a marked increase in television advertising but also through both frontline examinations like this month’s cover story in EMPIRE magazine but also with the early release of retailer and merchandising information.

According to the EMPIRE story, the biggest difference between the proposed Wright version (which had been in the works since 2006 and postponed several times over the years) and what will appear on screen is more character drama and less jokes.

“I think the most defining difference between the two scripts was that Edgar’s didn’t take itself as seriously. It was fun and silly and brilliant irreverent – a romp from beginning to end, in classic English fashion. Whereas where we’ve gotten to is so much more American. There’s tons of levity, but just as much emotion,” Evangeline Lily, who plays Hope Van Dyne, said in the article.

“Marvel have let me explore the dark side of Hank Pym, this tortured, guilt-ridden guy,” director Peyton Reed added.

The added focus on character drama and conflict seems to have been primarily studio driven and the primary element which ultimately led to Wright – who envisioned a much more light, funny affair – to abandoning the project shortly before filming was due to commence last year. That version of the script (which was ultimately rewritten by ANCHORMAN’s Adam McKay and ANT-MAN star Paul Rudd, who will share writing credit with Wright and Joe Cornish) was called the best script Marvel ever had by AVENGERS director Joss Whedon who apparently went through his own rough spot with the studio during post-production on AGE OF ULTRON which at least partly led to his decision to exit the AVENGERS franchise.

Meanwhile with retailer ads for some of the films various merchandise hitting the airwaves some information about the films plot has begun to come out, primarily through various LEGO and toy adds which show Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym in an Ant-Man costume of his own suggesting it will take both the original and new Ant-Man to stop Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Begins Casting, Looking to Increase Guardians

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

Though Marvel is currently hard at work simultaneously preparing the release of ANT-MAN and filming the launch for Phase III – CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (or as the fans call it, AVENGERS 2.5) – the ambitious nature of its Phase III plan (spanning through 2020) means multiple projects are currently in various states of the pre-production pipeline. One of the mostly hotly anticipated is 2017’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2.

While filming for the hotly anticipated sequel isn’t likely to start for another year or so (CIVIL WAR has to wrap and then the studio, which still only produces one film at a time, must get through production on DOCTOR STRANGE which will likely lens in the late summer/early fall) writer-director James Gunn is hard at work on his plans for the future, telling crowds a Periscope Q and A that he had turned in his first draft of the screenplay and was currently looking to cast a couple of new characters for the film who he expects to remain part of the story through upcoming rewrites.

According to Gunn the script and future sequel will – similar to the AVENGERS – introduce a couple of new members of the team and he wants one of them to be a woman so that Zoe Saldana’s Gamora isn’t holding down the fort all by her lonesome anymore.

Little else is known about plans for the film beyond Gunn’s early statements that it will reveal the truth of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt’s) parentage and will likely center around Thanos’ plans for the Infinity Stones again as the last cosmic Marvel film due for release before 2018’s AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, PT. 1.

Though GUARDIANS 2 is not due until May 2, 2017, theatergoers may not have to wait that long to see the further adventures of Peter Quill. While doing press for the upcoming JURASSIC WORLD, Pratt revealed that he was currently contracted for five films for the MCU (including the original GUARDIANS) with two of them expected to be GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 and 3 as well as appearances in two other MCU films with at least one of them likely be AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

Supergirl Pilot Released to Internet Early

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have not had the best luck when it comes to television pilots. Which is not to say that every pilot they’ve managed has been as bad as the mid-90s JUSTICE LEAGUE leading to a growing batch of never followed up on television failure (though some certainly have) or even gone down in first season flames. In fact DC has had fairly remarkable success on the television front over the last fifteen years, far moreso than Marvel in a mirror image of their film competition.

One thing they’ve not been able to do is keep new series from being leaked to the ravenous fan community ahead of the launch of their initial season. WONDER WOMAN, THE FLASH, AQUAMAN – all pirated and released on the internet well before those series saw the light of day.
Now this Fall’s upcoming SUPERGIRL series can be counted among them as well with reports out that a high definition version of the pilot episode of the series has made its way onto the internet and already been downloaded 192,000 times according to Variety.

Coming so soon after the release of the extended pilot for the series – to high praise from many – some have suggested the leak could be intentional. Similar statements were made last year when THE FLASH pilot was leaked though that turned out to be a case of actual theft.
While previous leaks – notably the WONDER WOMAN pilot – eventually became part of the story of the series demise, the FLASH leak didn’t stop it from becoming the highest rated debut on the CW in five-years.

Time will tell.