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Groot Vin Diesel

by Brett White

It looks like those talks Vin Diesel had with Marvel are about to pay off. Deadline has reported that the "Fast and Furious" actor is in talks to voice Groot in "Guardians of the Galaxy," possibly nixing all hope that the actor would play Vision in "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

The news broke on Diesel's Facebook page, which has actually been a constant source of information regarding the actor's Marvel talks. A picture of Groot appeared as the actor's cover page before being taken down. Could it be that the actor put it up, assuming that the big reveal would happen this past weekend during Marvel's presentation at the Disney D23 Expo in Anaheim, California? Well, that announcement wasn't made, and the picture is now gone.

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by Brett White

It's taken a while, but it looks like Marvel properties are finally starting to integrate in with Disney's, as was revealed today at the company's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. This integration will first manifest itself as Disney revamps its cruise line, wherein a new interactive experience—Avengers Academy—will now play a prominent role in the endeavor.

The Avengers Academy area will be modeled after the interior of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier seen in "Marvel's the Avengers, complete with the sleek styling and logo'd out tables seen in the film. There, kids will get to "train" to be the next generation of heroes, and get to see and/or use props like Iron Man's armor, Thor's hammer, and Captain America's shield. There are more details, including a look at the Academy itself, in this quick video.

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Thunderbolts

by Brett White

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn made an offhand remark about maybe-sorta-kinda being interested in doing a "Thunderbolts" movie after he finishes he first foray into the Marvel Universe. There has been no announcement. There has been no commitment. No "T-bolts" film is in development. But if you think that's going to stop us from doing a casting call for one of the greatest, weirdest teams to ever assemble in Marvel Comics, then think again! If there are just two things we love here at MTV Splash Page, it's Casting Calls and Casting Calls.

Our cast selection comes from the more recent Jeff Parker run on "Thunderbolts," which saw the Avenger Luke Cage being put in charge of a more rowdy group of Thunderbolts, not all of whom were down with rehabilitating. The run was marked by Parker's excellent sense of humor and artists Declan Shalvey and Kev Walker's excellent artwork and character designs. This run, moreso than any other distinct T-Bolts era, seems to match Gunn's style—if the film ever goes past the wishful thinking stage.

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by Brett White

If you've seen any of the trailers for "Kick-Ass 2," then odds are you've spotted Mother Russia. I mean, it is hard to miss a 6'6" bodybuilder in a bright red bikini. The character, played by Russian bodybuilder Olga Kurkulina, is at the center of the latest two videos released as part of "Kick-Ass 2's" insane media blitz leading up to the film's August 16th release.

First up is a featurette, which has director Jeff Wadlow and creator Mark Millar discussing the work that went into bringing the powerhouse character to life on the big screen, followed up by comments from Kurkulina's cast-mates Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Clark Duke. They all have super nice things to say about her... but then again, would you want to say anything mean about her?

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Thunderbolts

by Brett White

Yesterday, "Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn revealed via his Formspring page that there are three other comic book properties he'd be interested in getting his hands on: "We3," "Hit-Monkey," and "Thunderbolts." While this talk was in no way an announcement or even an indicator of what's to come, I can't even begin to explain how awesome it would be to see a James Gunn adaptation of "Thunderbolts."

"Thunderbolts" began way back in 1997, the brainchild of writer Kurt Busiek and artist Mark Bagley. While they were initially marketed and presented as a new superhero team, the first issue's big twist ending revealed that they were actually the Masters of Evil in disguise! The series, which has been around in one incarnation or another ever since, has become the home for Marvel's many underused—and underappreciated—villains and minor characters as they either try to become superheroes... or are forced to become superheroes.

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Big Hero 6

by Brett White

The crew over at Super Hero Hype has posted an early report from Disney's D23 expo focusing on the company's first animated Marvel movie—"Big Hero 6." The film will be at least loosely based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, which focuses on Japan's most prominent superhero team.

The site has pictures from the show floor, where the animated feature film has its own booth, complete with large cutouts of the six titular heroes as well as a postcard from the adventure's fictional city, San Fransokyo. Rumblings about the film have been heard since last year, and the project was confirmed back in May with November 7th, 2014 as the targeted release date.

You can check out a few of the pictures from D23 after the jump.

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Mandarin

by Brett White

If you saw "Iron Man 3" in the theater, and you probably did judging by the film's $407.6M domestic haul, then you know that Ben Kingsley's portrayal of the malicious Mandarin nearly stole the whole film—in addition to causing a bit of controversy.

Whatever your feelings on the Marvel movie Mandarin, you have to agree that Hot Toys has done it again with this new figure. The incredibly lifelike 1/6th scale figure features one of Hot Toys' most elaborate costuming jobs to date, with all of the villain's many accouterments represented with stunning accuracy. Heck, the dude's even got removable sunglasses. That's pretty rad.

Check out even more pics of the Mandarin after the jump, and be sure to check out more shots over at Hot Toys' Facebook page.

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Age of Ultron

by Brett White

A movie or television adaptation has long been a surefire way to drive up prices and interest in comic book back issues. A "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie gets announced and suddenly no one can find "Marvel Super-Heroes" #18—simply because that's where the original team made their debut!

Even celebrities aren't immune to this movie-based buying. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the guy rumored to be Joss Whedon's top choice for Quicksilver in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," revealed to MTV News that he now owns a key Quicksilver comic, simply because of his rumored involvement!

With that in mind, here are five comics that you should keep an eye out for as the next batch of comic book movies near release!

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arrow

by Brett White

"Arrow" had a lot of tricks up its sleeve in its first season. Grounded setting? Believable take on Oliver Queen? A well-paced dual narrative? An explosive season finale? Thanks to all of those things, "Arrow" became one of the biggest breakout hits on network television in recent memory.

Now "Arrow's" coming back for seconds, and they're bringing a lot of friends from the DC Universe with them. The Flash is set to appear, as is Black Canary, and China White will make a return appearance as well. "Arrow's" world is expanding, there will be double the big bads, and there's also that super team that keeps getting hinted at.

Today, producer Marc Guggenheim revealed via Twitter yet another DCU reference lined up for season 2. Check it out after the jump.

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by Brett White

Jamie Foxx has been hyping up his "Amazing Spider-Man 2" co-star Dane DeHaan for a while now, urging everybody to "watch out" for him. Now the actor dubbed "dope" by Mr. Foxx—which means a lot coming from the Duke of Dope himself—has spoken to Comic Book Resource's Todd Gilchrist about taking on the role of Harry Osborn in the Spidey sequel.

The actor, who broke out thanks to 2012's found footage super film "Chronicle," spoke about taking on a character with a rich history both onscreen—where he was played for three films by James Franco—and in the comics.

"I think what this version of Spider-Man does is it takes the Spider-Man characters and puts them in modern culture," said DeHaan. "So I started to look at Harry as, how does a person like this exist in modern day culture—and to me, he's a trust fund baby. He grew up in New York City and he uses his wealth to hide his problems, like he almost uses his wealth to buy happiness. And I think there's a big hipster trust-fund baby culture that kind of fits right into that world. So that was kind of my way in, or start in that world."

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