Cyclops Storm

by Brett White

With Bryan Singer snatching up actors from his previous tenure as X-director, it seems more reasonable to ask who won't be in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" when it hits theaters in 2014.

With Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore, Anna Paquin and Ellen Page all suiting up one more time, it's worthwhile to take a closer look at the actors Singer has yet to re-enlist. Is there room for them in a movie that's starting to make the sizeable Avengers team seem quaint? Let's find out!

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Ant-Man, Doctor Strange

Marvel Studios has a lot in store for fans with their wave of Phase Two films: "Iron Man 3" and "Thor: The Dark World" in 2013, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" in 2014, and "The Avengers 2" in 2015.

But Joss Whedon's "Avengers" sequel isn't the only Marvel Studios release scheduled for 2015. In November of that same year, the world will finally see Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man," long-rumored but now on the fast-track towards reality as the official start of Phase Three.

"'Ant-Man' is definitely part of Phase Three," Marvel's Kevin Feige told MTV News during our recent interview. "Like 'Iron Man 3,' it's certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it's also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the only reason we're making the movie."

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Avengers

Joss Whedon is hard at work directing "S.H.I.E.L.D." right now, but when he's not on the Helicarrier, he's equally busy toiling away at the script and story of "The Avengers 2."

When MTV News spoke with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about "Iron Man 3" and beyond, he gave us a sense of where things stand with the hotly-awaited "Avengers" sequel.

"It's still early days," he said, "but I told [Whedon] after reading the first sketch outline he delivered — and there's a lot of work still to do, he has to sit down and turn this into a movie — but there are already seven things in there that are worth the price of admission alone."

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" won't be entirely recognizable to "Sin City" readers. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's sequel to their 2005 hit comes packed with brand-new stories set in the noir world of Basin City, including one yarn called "The Long, Bad Night," featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as cocky gambler Johnny.

Why mix in completely original tales with the comic book storylines fans are already familiar with? Rodriguez has a very clear answer, as he explained to MTV News: "The first film was based solely on existing material, and we thought, wouldn't it be fun to go a little bit different with this? Rather than just bring books to life that people are already familiar with and can go out and buy and know what's going to happen, what if we created a couple of new stories from new characters that still intertwine with some of the ones that exist and have an element of surprise for the audience? And for storylines that we really liked, let's pay them off, have them come full circle from the first movie and build a real arc."

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Jon Favreau

It's not a secret that filmmaker Shane Black helped Jon Favreau behind-the-scenes on the first "Iron Man" movie. Now, the roles are reversed: Black is the director of "Iron Man 3," and Favreau is the advisor in the shadows.

But Favreau's participation in Tony Stark's next adventure isn't just behind the camera; to hear Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige tell it, he's very much in front of the camera as Happy Hogan, Stark's bodyguard and old friend — and a very important player in "Iron Man 3."

"This is by far the biggest part that Happy has had in any of the films," Feige told MTV News during our recent chat with the Marvel chief. "He's just great in this."

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Mandarin

The Mandarin is one of Iron Man's most recognizable villains, but the ring-clad terrorist almost sat out of the "Iron Man" film franchise completely. It wasn't until director Shane Black officially boarded the project that the Mandarin got a new lease on life, according to Marvel's Kevin Feige.

"He had a take on the Mandarin that fit with where we wanted to take Tony in this movie," Feige told MTV News. "Shane is as much about tone as he is about any specific dialogue that he writes. He brings such a love of cinema and of this character in particular to the movie that I hope will make it feel fresh all over again."

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Arrow

by Ryan Rigley

Like Gotham City, Starling City has its fair share of deadly secrets. Not to mention a vigilante willing to do whatever it takes to uncover them. With the mid-season finale of "Arrow" ending on a huge cliffhanger, there still remains many unanswered questions that will undoubtedly be addressed in upcoming episodes. Why did Moira salvage the Queen's Gambit? How will Oliver defeat the Dark Archer? Who is Deathstroke? The list goes on.

"My hope is that all of the mysteries will be answered; at least all of the major ones," states "Arrow" writer and producer Marc Guggenheim on the second half of this season, premiering tonight (January 16). "There's certain mysteries that Oliver is holding in himself and then there's other mysteries like, for example, what his mother is up to that Oliver needs to start to unravel."

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Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Years ago, "Lost" and "Oz" actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje declared himself a competitor for the role of T'Challa in an eventual "Black Panther" movie. Since then, Triple A has been a fan-favorite for the part, though his recent casting as Kurse in "Thor: The Dark World" seems to suggest that his shot at "Black Panther" is over.

Then again, Akinnuoye-Agbaje seems very confident that he has a bright future with Marvel still to come. Speaking with MTV News at HBO's Golden Globes party, the one-time Mr. Eko spoke candidly and extensively about his work on the latest "Thor" movie, and his designs on making more Marvel movies.

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Arrow

Starling City's own billionaire playboy turned vigilante, Oliver Queen, is a man of many mysteries. Whether it's sneaking off during family dinners or breaking his ribs in a "motorcycle accident," there's a lot more to Mr. Queen than initially meets the eye. Fans of The CW's "Arrow" will attest to the many hidden intricacies brought to light since the pilot episode premiered last year, but nobody knows the true nature of these secrets quite like Stephen Amell.

At the People's Choice Awards earlier this week, we got a chance to talk Amell about the later half of the first season of "Arrow" (which returns next Wednesday, January 16) and his own personal views on his character, Oliver Queen. Read on for his thoughts on Helena Bartinelli (aka The Huntress), Oliver's wicked mother, and more.

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Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon is two months away from finishing the script for "The Avengers 2," but his most pressing concern at the moment is Marvel and ABC's "S.H.I.E.L.D." TV pilot.

Shooting begins on January 22, based on what Whedon told MTV News at the Critics' Choice Awards. And even if the main characters of "S.H.I.E.L.D." aren't all recognizable names for die-hard Marvel fans, there will still be plenty of "spectacle" and "super powers" to keep you happy.

"You have to bring a bit of spectacle to it; it's got to be bigger than your average cop show," he said. "But at the end of the day, it's about the peripheral people. It's about the people on the edges of the grand adventures."

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Cover Artist

Splash Page welcomes Ed Tadem to our cover artist family (our custom-designed theme up top). Currently working on the forthcoming "Avengers" animated series, Tadem's work can also be seen in the "Jackie Karma" issues of Image's "'76," and in "Pop Gun, Volume 1." Ed Tadem can be found online at EdTadem.com.
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