Fans of science fiction, fantasy, and comic book action have never had more films and movies to choose from. Thanks to the domination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Disney+ streaming network, nearly every creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are living today — in live-action.
Marvel is such a dominant force in popular culture that a third-rate hero from the comic books (Iron Man) is now the most popular character in the billion-dollar franchise. As one comic book fan noted, the Black Sabbath song “Iron Man” was more popular than Tony Stark ever was before the 2008 film.
Not to be left out, and to a much lesser degree, are the DC heroes. Superman, Batman, and Shazam have not done as well at the box office. However, Warner Brothers continue churning out new titles. Just for 2022, fans got “The Batman” and will soon see “DC League of Super-Pets,” “Black Adam,” and “Aquaman 2.”
Wonder Woman is another blue-chip character from DC. According to writer Drishti Mathur, fans will soon get a third film. Director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot are said to be working on a new story. That series of films was especially important for fans of “Star Trek,” as Chris Pine co-starred with Gadot in the Wonder Woman movies and would be expected to return.
Chris Pine in ‘Wonder Woman’
Pine famously starred in the three Kelvin Trek films and was scheduled to do a fourth when negotiations stalled in 2018. According to Screen Rant, that was because Pine wanted to make “Marvel Money” from Paramount for starring as Captain James T. Kirk. Pine has backed off that stance in recent months, saying that he loves “Star Trek.”
“I love the messaging of it,” Pine told Deadline. “I love the character. I love my friends with whom I get to play. It’s a great gig. I mean, it’s a gig I’ve had, working and not working, for 15-plus years.”
“It cemented the career that I have now,” Pine said. “I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s given me so much. I think there are plenty of stories to tell in it. You know, I think ‘Star Trek’ for me, it’s an interesting one.”
As Pine credits Trek for “cementing his career” as an A-List Hollywood star, another starship captain is reaching those same heights. Anson Mount, who plays Captain Pike on “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” is also becoming A-List leading man material.
In fact, rather than DC or Marvel luring Mount away as they did with Pine, Mount starred in a Marvel series, “The Inhumans,” which aired on ABC in 2017. For the show, Mount played the character Black Bolt, who was the leader of the mysterious super-team.
Mount returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the recent film “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Mount again portrayed Black Bolt and expressed his happiness on Twitter that he was invited back by MCU boss Kevin Feige.
Thanks, Marvel, from Anson
“Finally able to discuss this [without] providing too many spoilers,” Mount said in his Tweet. “Getting the call from Kevin Feige was one of the most unexpected of my life. It was an honor and joy to finally work with Sam Raime, who reached out to engage me on how best to do this. Beyond grateful for the experience.”
This is not Mount’s only superhero role. DC fans know that Mount gave voice to the Dark Knight in the animated movie “Injustice.”
Mount told Comics Beat that he was comfortable playing Batman, as he’d “seen all the movies. I’ve read some of the comic books. I grew up watching Adam West. I had a pretty good handle on canon.”
Anson as Batman
Mount also stars in a new film about the CIA’s experiments with mind control in the 1960s and ’70s called “MK Ultra.” He’s also known to millions as the star of the western series “Hell on Wheels.”
All of this success is making some Trek fans a little nervous. Even though during the show’s introduction, Mount (as Captain Pike) says that the Enterprise is on a “five-year mission,” some think that the show could go on for ten seasons.
Anson as Black Bolt
As Trek fan Tami Matthews says in her Tweet, “Marvel can’t have you. You are Star Trek / Paramount’s now, and we’d like you to stay here! Strange New Worlds is amazing. Thank you!”
Since “Star Trek: Discovery” was renewed for a fifth season, Paramount would likely want “Strange New Worlds” to last at least that long as well. Paramount has already confirmed that the show will come back for a second season — and that James T. Kirk will be on the show (played by Paul Welsey — not William Shatner).
Trek fans who love Mount as Pike should hold out hope that the actor will stick with “Strange New Worlds” until the show’s conclusion. This might be easier for Mount since everyone knows the character’s fate. He will be horribly scarred in a rescue operation and will live out his days on Talos IV.