Nick Fury

Spider-Man: Far From Home Review

We swing back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to close out Phase 4 with our review of Spider-Man: Far From Home including plot, characters, Endgame implications, and what this movie means for the future of Peter Parker. Then, of course, talk the latest in entertainment news including Warner Bros. streaming service, Netflix’s Dark Crystal series, the new Mulan trailer, and more!

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Hosts: Rae Stewart | Derreck Mayer | Ryan Couture

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Spider-Man: Far From Home Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home Speculation

It wasn’t that long ago this network was pelvis deep in Avengers: Endgame content. The anticipation for that film, the theories, the speculation; we thrived on it. Now that Endgame has come and gone, we are looking toward the future. Marvel’s future, to be exact.

Spider-Man: Homecoming wasn’t groundbreaking or particularly world-building for the MCU. It did its job of solidifying a world with Peter Parker and the Avengers. That’s all it needed to do. Spider-Man: Far From Home, however, is a bit bigger. Since it is the first release after the infinitely larger Avengers: Endgame, fans are expecting to see aftermath and the pathway to what’s next.

As of the time of me writing this, we’ve seen two trailers from Spider-Man: Far From Home, revealing just when the movie takes place and what the world is currently like. Here’s what we at the HPN are speculating for the final film of MCU Phase 3.

8. Tony Stark is an AI Program

Yes, Tony Stark the character is dead. Yes, Robert Downey, Jr. has said that he will not appear in any more films as Iron Man. Frankly, I’m not putting a lot of stock into this one. Since RDJ has been the very glue keeping the MCU together over the last decade, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to have him come back in a JARVIS/FRIDAY kind of way. Paul Bettany, who voiced JARVIS before taking on the role of Vision, was quoted saying “I would show up, record some dialogue for a few hours, and they’d hand me a bag of money.” While I personally don’t believe his bag of money claim, I do absolutely believe that voice over work is a lot less time consuming, and should Robert Downey, Jr. ever want to return to the role, a new AI program is the best way to do this. It doesn’t require a lot of time from the actor, it fits well with the character’s canon they’ve already set up, and it has comic book precedence.

What I Don’t Want to See

From the trailers, we can tell that Peter is still grieving the loss of his mentor, and that story development absolutely needs to be there. Inserting a Tony Stark AI at the beginning of the film would cheapen not only Peter’s mourning, but just how impactful Tony’s death was in the first place. This development would be best saved for a post-credits scene or a different film entirely.

7. The Sinister Six…

Or something like it. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, we were introduced to multiple villains from the classic Spider-Man rogue gallery. While Vulture was in the forefront, fans also were able to spot Phineas Mason (the Tinkerer), Herman Schultz (the Shocker), Aaron Davis (the Prowler) and Mac Gargan (the Scorpion). By the end of the film, every single one of them is still alive! Now, according to IMDbSpider-Man: Far From Home, will also potentially set up multiple villains, including the advertised Mysterio. If you scroll down the cast list, Numan Acar is set to play a character just named Dimitri right now. This could easily be a ruse, or it could be comic book character Dmitri Smerdyakov, better known as the Chameleon. That leaves us with 7 Spider-Man villains between 2 movies and the foundation for a potential Sinister Six.

Why it May Not Happen

The current deal with Sony Pictures only allowed use of the Spider-Man character for 5 films. If you count it up, Spider-Man: Far From Home is number 5 (Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame being the other four films). I have zero doubt that a new deal will be made soon enough, but with the financial success of Sony’s Venom last October and Tom Hardy set to return in the sequel, Sony is going to want to keep a hold of some of these characters for themselves. That could be why we’re seeing only their non-villainous personas, and why the two films have avoided higher profile Spider-Man villains like Green Goblin and Rhino.

6. A Whole New World

Speculation as to what Quentin Beck/Mysterio’s world actually looks like/consists of has been rampant among the internet. The introduction of a multiverse does mean that the MCU can have a canonical excuse to retcon any character deaths (looking at you, Black Widow and Vision), introduce characters from the previously owned by 20th Century Fox collection (looking at you X-Men and Fantastic Four), or merge the Sony and the MCU versions of Spider-Man.

What it Means

Truthfully, it’s probably all 3 of those things…eventually. Spider-Man: Far From Home is still going to be a self-contained story, with absolutely no mention of the Fox characters or currently deceased characters in the MCU. If Quentin Beck’s world is going to be explored at all, it is more likely that his world contains the Tom Hardy iteration of Venom than anything else. That way, they’d only be alluding/introducing ONE new character from a different world rather than many. But don’t expect them to drop the whole multiverse thing any time soon. That will affect the MCU all throughout Phase 4 and any new sagas that lie ahead.

5. There are Two Quentin Becks

I’m not gonna lie to you all; this is pure fan service. And why do you suppose they would do this? Well, it’s because Jake Gyllenhaal is just so likable. And he truly is! We all want Mysterio to be the good character they’re showing us in the trailer, including the die hard comics fans that are so used to Mysterio being a dick. Two of them would work with the story too, though! Quentin Beck’s appearance on our world does mean that there could already be a Quentin Beck walking around. We could see a bad version of Mysterio get his ass kicked by a good one!

What could go wrong

I mean, honestly; a lot. This is such wishful thinking from fans that it could easily go horribly wrong. Yes, keeping Jake Gyllenhaal as part of the MCU family for more and more movies could be amazing. He’s a great actor and the character is unique enough to become, at the very least, a new Loki-like addition. However, this could also be a cheesy, unoriginal take on the character that it results in botching the whole multiverse set up.

4. The Elementals are More Baddies

Well, duh. But what I really mean is they are specific Spider-Man villains already established in comic book canon. The easiest to spot is the earthy one, who is CONVENIENTLY MADE OF SAND. Sound like anyone you already know? It could be Sandman, of course! And the giant lava being oozing all over London? Why that could easily be Molten Man (yep, he’s a real thing). Lastly, there’s the watery giant, which could be Hydro-Man! Is it true? Are we finally gonna get a Spider-Man movie with a dozen villains?

Is that what you want?

Of course there’s a chance. There’s always a chance. And the writers at Marvel could have all looked at each other at 3 am on Tuesday after a 20 hour work day and said, “BALLS TO THE MFING WALL.” If this is true, then it would be one of the few times I’ve ever seen a movie go full video game, resembling more of a disaster film than a superhero one. Honestly, though, I think it may all be part of Mysterio’s schtick. He could be causing all these malcontent elementals to appear. So far they are faceless and nameless beings that we only really see Mysterio face, which sets up my head canon that MYSTERIO IS A DICK.

3. More Spider Characters are Coming

This would be one way to get me to sign on to MCU Spider-Man for decades. Seeing Jessica Drew or Cindy Moon, Gwen Stacy or Miles Morales swinging on the big screen would light me up for days. I always found those characters more interesting than Peter himself. But I digress. Not only does opening the multiverse give us this option, but there’s no reason why characters like Cindy Moon and Jessica Drew don’t already exist on this Earth, in this world. Most of the other characters already in the MCU have side characters that have similar power sets or friends that join them in their adventures. Very rarely is an MCU solo film really solo.

Why we can’t have this yet

If you’ve noticed, the MCU has introduced quite a few popular Spider-Man characters, but have only used their normal names as opposed to their hero monikers. This has a lot to do with their deal with Sony. With the success of Venom and Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, it’s likely that Sony has got some big plans for Spider characters, even dropping the idea of a female-centric animated film in the works. Depending on how the new deal with Sony is negotiated, it’s possible that more Spider characters won’t be swinging any time soon, but be on the look out for those normie names!

2. More Avengers!

As the MCU story lines progress, there’s less and less of IN UNIVERSE reasons to explain why more heroes don’t just show up. Surely with an Infinity Stone and some world shattering destruction in Thor: The Dark World, someone was available to help? No? Well shucks. We all know the real reason: it’s all about contracts. There are some stars, like Samuel L. Jackson, that commit to 9 pictures, but he does say that includes cameos too. Others, like Chris Evans, was signed on for 6 originally, extended to 7, but popped up for those cameos and didn’t count it against Marvel.

But wait! There’s more

This one might actually work. The newer additions to the Avengers roster have all been contracted for A LOT more films, counting those cameos here and there. Sure, Fury and Maria Hill have explained why they don’t get Captain Marvel or Thor for the Elemental attacks in Europe, there’s still a TON more heroes to choose from that are alive and well and actually on Earth. Expect to see small scenes with other Avengers in most of the solo films going forward. Think Doctor Strange in Thor: Ragnarok

1. Spider-Man is the new Iron Man!!!!!

What a weird speculation. I bet, in a way, he is. He has been, at most times, Marvel’s most popular character around the world. From a merchandising and marketing perspective, I’m sure he’ll sell way more toys and clothes, especially with Peter being a younger man. But to claim that it’s Spider-Man of all characters to step up and be the world’s Tony Stark, is putting a lot of fictional weight on a character’s shoulders. The Peter Parker we know isn’t ready to be a leader of the Avengers. And while he’s an intelligent person, Peter has never compared to Tony’s brains.

Spider-Man isn’t the new anyone

Spider-Man is his own character and has his own role to play already. He already serves his own purpose in the Avengers. Honestly, if they didn’t think he was useful, they wouldn’t have relied on him numerous times already. One of the best things the MCU has done is create the pseudo-father/son relationship between Tony and Peter. It’s seriously heartwarming. At this time, his character should be allowed to grieve and figure out who HE is going to be as a hero instead of filling someone else’s shoes. Spider-Man will always be an incredible asset to the team and now is his time to prove that to himself.

Alright, those are our speculations for Spider-Man: Far From Home plus some. What do you think? Do you agree with our Spidey-speculations, do you have some of your own? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

Join me, Rae, each week on the Screen Heroes podcast where we’ll be reviewing Spider-Man: Far From Home once it hits theaters in July.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Speculation

Captain Marvel Review

We travel back to 1995 to review the 21st Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain Marvel! We talk about our new hero, Carol Danvers, the plot of the film, special effects like the de-aging technology, and more! Plus, we talk news like the first full Aladdin trailer with more blue Will Smith, the Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer, and more ShazamGate!

Don’t forget ShazamGate with a brand new shirt design available right now on our TeePublic store. Get you Screen Heroes swag!

What did you think of Captain Marvel? Do you think Will Smith’s Genie looked better the second time around? Are you hyped for Shazam? We want to know! Comment below or hit us up @ScreenHeroesPod on Twitter!

Go to right now to subscribe to us on iTunes and drop us a review. If you do, we’ll be sure to give you a shout-out in a future episode!

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Screen Heroes Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Rae Stewart
Derreck Mayer
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

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Captain Marvel Review

The Gauntlet 03: Iron Man 2

Screen Heroes and the entire network are proud to announce a new weekly segment: THE GAUNTLET! Join Jeremy from Redshirts & Runabouts and Saturday Morning Tooncast and Rae from Costume Couture and Screen Heroes on their epic rewatch of the MCU films starting with Iron Man. That’s right, every week, we’re talking about one of the many stops on the road to Thanos and Avengers: Infinity War and this week, we bring you Iron Man 2!

We’ve brought Barry back for the Iron Man 2 episode! There have been some large changes to the MCU, even on its third film. Listen in to our discussion of casting changes and the role Marvel Studios had in the making.

If you already subscribe to Screen Heroes, then you’ll get these bonus episodes every Sunday! Not subscribe? Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Blog Talk Radio, Spreaker, Google Play, or just drop in our RSS feed. All the links are below!

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The Grid Ranks: Marvel Cinematic Universe

We at The Grid have ranked the Marvel Cinematic movies from favorite to least favorite.  There were arguments, folks. Hair pulling, fisticuffs, the works. We may not be friends anymore.

Nah, just kidding.  It was a fairly easy consensus for all of us. Disclaimer: None of the MCU movies have been bad. It’s not like we’re talking Daredevil here (the Ben Affleck film, not the new Netflix series, of course).  All of them were impressive feats of cinema and will most likely continue that into Phase 3!


Now! On with the list!

Iron_Man_2_Poster11. Iron Man 2 – If any other movie had been its predecessor, this film would be much higher on the list, because, like we said before, it wasn’t bad.  The few missteps taken were just enough, though, for us to lose our hype from Iron Man.  We all just wanted it too much for it to be amazing and when it didn’t live up to Tony Stark’s first outing, we were all just a little disappointed.  The film scores points for being a prologue to Avengers and introducing us to Black Widow.

Overall ranking: one Ex Wife missile


10. Incredible Hulk – This movie just was not handled well. The great ideas behind it seemed to get masked by the overall theme of sadness.  We all know the Hulk is a pretty sad guy, butMV5BMTUyNzk3MjA1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE1Njg2MQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_ he’s also a brilliant scientist with a sense of humor who’s actually pretty easy to love…wait, that’s Banner. The Hulk is about the smashing! The balance between Banner and the Hulk was so off and poor Edward Norton just didn’t have it in him to be as interesting as his counterpart.  It was a very smart move to not have another origins film.  Even though everyone can agree the Ang Lee film never did any justice to the Hulk, redoing the origins of a character we already know is questioning the fan’s love and knowledge.

Overall ranking: two Hulks hulking out on the hulking streets


MV5BMjIzMzAzMjQyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM2NjcyOQ@@._V1._SY317_9. Iron Man 3 – It was the ending to this film that places it so low on the list.  We had been promised Mandarin.  We had been promised Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin.  Tell me there is better casting for that role (at least that particular interpretation)?  There really isn’t. But to pull the worst bait and switch in comic cinema to date made every single movie-goer say “WTF” out loud. This act was so egregious that the only thing that saved this from being last on the list was the All Hail the King one shot available on the Captain America: The Winter Soldier home release.  That made us all feel so much better inside. It made the bad things go away.

Overall ranking: take three shots of Extremis and call me in the morning

MV5BMTQyNzAwOTUxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTE0OTc5OQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_8. Thor: The Dark World – Let’s get one thing straight: it’s the title of this film that is the worst part about it.  You could have named this anything else and it would have worked out much better. Seriously. Thor and Loki’s Excellent AdventureStraight Outta Asgard. Weekend at Malekith’s. All of those are better options.  They also managed to make Jane Foster annoying, which is really bothersome considering how much they improved the character with the first film.  The film also cut out a major missing plot point, which was the true motive behind Malekith’s actions. A director’s cut of the Dark World would most likely bump this up a few notches. Thank goodness we got to see much needed depth to Thor and Loki’s characters, major damage to a city that is not New York, and deserved respect for the great side characters of Asgard.

Overall ranking: four lightning strikes to Malekith

MV5BMTYzOTc2NzU3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjY3MDE3NQ@@._V1_SX214_AL_7. Captain America: The First Avenger – This movie may have lacked the depth of Iron Man and the glory of Thor, but it made up for it by grasping the true nature of what a hero is.  Evans’s first go as Captain America continued Marvel’s trend of perfectly casting their characters. He also managed to uphold everything that makes Captain America interesting and special.  But the best reason to watch this film was unarguably Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull.  His interpretation of the character was everything it needed to be: imposing, misguided, and terrifying.  It’s the reason why his death is debated constantly among fans.  We’re all overtly hoping he returns again despite every shred of evidence he will not.

Overall ranking: five shields to the Red Skull’s red skull

MV5BMTYxMjA5NDMzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTk2Mjk3NA@@._V1_SX214_AL_6. Thor – Asgard was beautiful.  The costumes were beautiful.  The effects were beautiful. Chris Hemsworth was beautiful.  Okay, maybe not everyone is on board with that last bit, but everything else is true.  This addition to the MCU brought us the first look into a world away from Earth, something that resonated throughout the MCU since.  Director Kenneth Branagh took his Shakespearean background and elegant wit and baked it into a two hour long spectacle that was incredible to behold.  It also introduced us to a man who has become the pride and joy of the MCU: Tom Hiddleston.  His work as Loki has really been impressive. Not only has he gathered a fan base all on his own, but he has managed to take that popularity and force himself into other movies in the overall universe.  No other villain has done that!

Overall ranking: six more shirtless scenes, thank you!

MV5BMTU4MDU3NDQ5Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTU5MDUxNTE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_5. Avengers: Age of Ultron – The newest MCU addition lands right above the halfway point in our list.  While many critics (most notably fan critics) take issue with the film, we don’t.  For many reasons, the film achieved its purpose of being bigger, better, grander and it did all of that with the odds stacked against it. Since then the movie and director Joss Whedon have taken multiple beatings for complaint this and complaint that, which to us seem unnecessary.  The Avengers faced challenges previously unknown to them and came out with more respect for each other and the world around them.  While rumors of a three hour long director’s cut swirl, we were happy with what we got and what this film did to set up films to come.

Overall ranking: seven Ultrons on a floating city

Ironmanposter4.  Iron Man –  While it is often lauded as the best Marvel film to date, Iron Man remains special because of its individuality.  Never before had we seen such perfect casting.  Never before had we seen such a well-thought out superhero movie.  This movie proved to more than just the fans that comic book films could be taken as seriously as its sci-fi, drama, and action peers.  This was the film that got the rest of the world watching superheroes.  The credit for this film goes to everyone involved, but none more so that Robert Downey, Jr. Every minute that man was on screen, he loved it.  And we all could tell.  It makes the movie that much more enjoyable when an actor is just as big of a fan as the collective audience is.  Not to mention this is the film that brought us Agent Coulson, which could have been enough.

Overall ranking: eight arc reactors built in a cave

MV5BMzA2NDkwODAwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODk5MTgzMTE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_3.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier – There’s not really anything negative one can say about this film.  This movie made Captain America more than the boy scout.  It made him a bona fide superhero.  Of course, he was heroic before, but this film made his character stand above the others.  Watching Cap in his predecessor films was pleasing, but this one made him seem as if he legitimately can go toe-to-toe with Thor and Iron Man, something which neither The First Avenger or Avengers had done before.  He was and always will be the fearless leader (it’s why everyone follows him so quickly, why we put our trust in him), but this film raised the bar for the Marvel movies to come.  We now hold Captain America to a higher standard than he has been before and Marvel plots must match that standard too.

Overall ranking: nine Hydra agents exposed

MV5BMTAwMjU5OTgxNjZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDUxNDYxODEx._V1_SX214_AL_2. Guardians of the Galaxy – The movie that was considered by so many to be Marvel’s first guaranteed flop came out of the gates kicking ass and destroyed box office numbers (it’s apparently a Chris Pratt thing).  This epic ensemble took the overall ridiculous premise and ran with it, never looking back.  From the beginning, viewers are strapped in and ready to adventure into the unknown with five of Marvel’s oddest characters to date. (Yes, we read comics. Yes, we know there’s weirder. Yes, we know the difference between weird and dumb.)  Then without any warning, Sean Gunn brings us an emotional overload that no one was expecting.  Who knew we’d ever get so attached to a tree?  We’ve all got high hopes for that sequel!

Overall ranking: ten Groot hugs

That means that the number one spot goes to…

MV5BMTk2NTI1MTU4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODg0OTY0Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_1. Avengers – That’s right. It totally had to be and you know it.  This film was every nerd’s dream come true.  This film was the culmination of our hopes and dreams (as far as movie magic goes; let’s not get ridiculous here).  We got captivating characters who had come together in a logical, respectful, and interesting story.  We got cheeky comic moments and nudges to fans of every hero of every medium.  Joss Whedon, along with every actor, producer, and extra, poured his soul into making this film the glorious spectacle it needed to be, and we can’t thank him enough.  It’s because of this movie that a Phase 2 was possible and why we’re going to finally see DC films create a universe of their own.  This movie made it possible for ensemble action films to exist without lengthy exposition or dull segues.

Overall ranking: eleven more Avengers films!

Did we hit the nail on the head? Did we have things out of order? Tell us how you’d rank the Marvel films!

The Grid Ranks: Marvel Cinematic Universe