WHO’S AFRAID NOW, THANOS? Albee Classic Joins the Marvel Theatrical Universe.
“We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf as the first entry in the Marvel Theatrical Universe,” announced Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, at a press conference today. “If Albee had been born a generation later, he’d be writing for Marvel. George and Martha are the superheroes of the stage — the roles all great actors want to sink their teeth into.”
Along with the IP news, Feige announced a revival of the three-hour, intellectual slug-fest, to kick off the post-COVID hibernation of Broadway. The revival — opening in April as the first post-lockdown production on Broadway — stars Christian Bale, who plans to put on forty pounds of muscle to play the quiet, timid history professor George. “I’ve always seen the character as the alter ego for the hero George really is,” said the British actor, taking on yet another iconic American role.
Bale will match wits with Angeline Jolie as the domineering Martha, George’s wife. Appearing via Zoom, Jolie had just one word to say about her portrayal: “Obliques.” She explained “Martha takes a ton of shots to the gut, emotionally — and in other ways, if Kevin has his way. Her abs are her armor. That’s canon. This is also a cannon,” she said, flexing her jacked arms.
“It’s great to have the freedom and ambition of Marvel behind us,” says Julie Taymor, who helms the show. The live theatrical production will explore 3D at a level unfamiliar to most Marvel fans, particularly with the Act II climactic game of “Get the Guests,” as George and Martha slug it while swinging across the theatre, over the audience’s heads. “The tech has gotten much better since Spider-Man,” said Taymor, ignoring raised hands.
Jon Boyega and Cardi B make Broadway debuts as Nick and Honey, respectively. The titular Woolf — the play’s supervillain — will be a three-story animatronic marionette controlled by as many as two dozen puppeteers, and voiced by Faye Dunaway.
“Marvel is thrilled to take yet another medium under its wing, and into the future,” said Feige. In addition to the production news, Marvel announced details for Woolf-inspired merchandise connected to the production. Tie-ins include a lunchbox with whiskey tumbler; talking George and Martha action figures, pre-loaded with literary quips and emotional scars; and an expanded array of concessions including Cardi B-themed, butter-heavy, Wet Ass Popcorn.
Feige also announced the acquisition of further properties to the MTU: Angels in America: an X-Men Origins story; Raisin in the Sun (part of the Black Panther Saga); and The Crucible. In a separate release, Amblin announced its addition of Oedipus Rex to the Jurassic Park franchise.
“Who says Broadway’s dead,” quipped Feige, subtly snapping his strangely-gloved hand behind his back.