Comic-Con may be over, but that hasn't stopped Marvel Studios from rolling out a host of equally tantalising announcements regarding the future of their long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe film and TV franchise. Enter our latest compilation, which - if we're doing our jobs right - should make the various news tidbits that much more accessible to consume.
Read on, then, for a condensed - yet no less productive - guide to what's new in the worlds of the Avengers, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and beyond...
FIRST ANT-MAN PRODUCTION IMAGE & FULL CAST-LIST REVEALED
Marvel Studios have this week unveiled the first on-set image (above) of Paul Rudd in their upcoming superhero film Ant-Man. The opening chapter of the Phase Three will have the unenviable challenge of launching just two months after Avengers: Age of Ultron and introducing Scott Lang (played by Rudd) into the series' already-crowded narrative continuity, but we'd wager that our first glimpse at Lang isn't so much intended to dispel our reservations as to hint at the substantially darker tone of the piece (which will now be directed by Peyton Reed). Well, message received and understood!
Moving on, the studio issued a press release on Monday to announce the actors who'll comprise the central ensemble of the long-awaited flick, and whilst the shocks are few, there are one or two names which readers mightn't have initially expected to appear. Regardless, here's the cast-list in full: Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Ant-Man), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), Evangeline Lily (Hope Van Dyne), Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, Michael Pena, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Gregg Turkington, T.I. and John Slattery (who took on the role of Tony Stark's father Howard in Iron Man 2, indicating that the character will return here as a means by which Marvel can strengthen the interconnectivity of its ever-expanding universe).
Ant-Man will crawl into US cinemas nationwide on July 17th, 2015 (its UK release date, meanwhile, has yet to be confirmed, but stay tuned to On-Screen, as we're sure to learn more in the coming months).
MORE AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. SEASON TWO RECURRING CAST MEMBERS ANNOUNCED
ABC have this week revealed further cast members set to feature in a recurring capacity in the second season of their up-and-coming TV detective drama Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The new run, which will première in the States next month, is set to depict the ongoing exploits of Director Phil Coulson as he strives to resurrect S.H.I.E.L.D. after Hydra's takeover of the organization in March's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and was recently confirmed to feature beloved comic-book constructs such as Mockingbird and foes of the Secret Warriors (a rag-tag team not unlike Coulson's which was originally led by Nick Fury).
NYPD Blue fans will doubtless be enthralled to hear that Henry Simmons will join Agents' ranks as an accomplished mechanic named Alphonso Mackenzie in Season Two, but foremost amongst the recent casting announcements were the press releases which confirmed that Kyle MacLachlan (How I Met Your Mother) and Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) will portray Skye's (still to be named) father and Barbara Morse (aka Mockingbird, a B-list Avenger and regular agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) respectively in Season Two. Most fans - us included - were already hugely excited to see what was next for Agents after Season One's sublime climactic episode, "Beginning of the End", aired in May, so in truth, the near-constant flurry of casting and character reveals which have landed on our doorstep in the midst of the show's hiatus is both unexpected and incredibly welcome. Let's just hope that the new series itself lives up to the now-colossal hype...
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return with its action-packed second season on ABC this September 23rd, with the run's UK broadcast currently scheduled to follow suit on Channel 4 this Autumn.