Let the guessing game begin: Disney has planted the flag on release dates for five untitled Marvel movies staring with July 27, 2017 and running through May 3, 2019.
Let’s start the predictions, shall we?
For starters I sincerely doubt this is a complete list of release dates for the near future, only the initial batch, so I’m upping the roster to seven.
- Thor 3 is being written right now. Chris Hemsworth suggests an Armageddon storyline, which makes sense. If Asgard is heavily damaged but endures, Thor, as the new king, will dedicate himself to rebuilding his homeland. If Asgard is outright destroyed, Thor’s a prince without a kingdom (just like Loki), leaving him to bum around Earth with Jane and pop up in other Marvel movies, something he can’t really do now. Either way, no Thor 4.
- Assuming CA3 ends with Steve dying (or just retiring? maybe? hopefully?) I expect the start of a new trilogy with Bucky as the new Captain America. Sorry Sam, I know you’re the new Cap in the comics but Sebastian Stan’s the one with a 9-picture deal.
- Assuming the announcement wasn’t just made as CA2 promotion—and I’m still not convinced it wasn’t—Black Widow finally gets her long-overdue movie. This gives Hawkeye more to do, too, since he’s not getting his own film.
- A Black Panther origin story that draws him into The Avengers.
- A Loki standalone film, since Marvel’s Kevin Feige has already expressed that they’re open to it if Loki keeps drawing a big audience. And he will. Maybe a wacky space-jumping adventure with a GotG tie-in?
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2, because director James Gunn is already telling the cast to "be patient" about various plot choices. Subtle, bro.
- There was a three-year gap between The Avengers and AOU, so that leaves Avengers 3 in 2018.
But Marvel’s roster is so huge at this point that The Avengers is no longer a suitable catch-all. Either some big names are going to die or retire (Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man, I’d guess) or I expect Marvel is soon going to announce a splinter team series a la New Avengers or, better yet, new team totally unique to the MCU. And everything will be Marvel movies, forever and always, amen.
I’ve been a dedicated Project Runway fan since the very first episode aired on December 1st, 2004. Despite the loss of its initial magic I still sit through garbage season after garbage season, terrible spin-off after terrible spin-off (Project Accessory, anyone?). In fact, out of either misplaced loyalty or sheer stubbornness I’ve watched most seasons multiple times. Even season six, which taped in LA, allowed Lindsay Lohan to give fashion advice, and featured fifteen designers who were little more than living speed bumps Irina Shabayeva had to step over to claim her inevitable win. Even season nine, which featured challenges blatantly rigged to keep Anya from going home so that she could win despite never sewing a single garment on the show that had sleeves (and yes, that includes her finale collection). Even the latest season, twelve, so uneventful in every way that I can’t remember a single one of its designers’ names. So yeah: Project Runway is the bad habit I can’t break.
Thus when the official 10-year anniversary book, Project Runway: The Show That Changed Fashion, briefly dropped to $3.50 on Amazon a few weeks ago I couldn’t help but grab a copy in hopes of learning some new details about the show, especially its genesis. I was expecting to receive a cheap magazine-like thing but in fact it’s a huge, heavy, high-quality book that documents each of the first ten seasons and the first All Stars via scores of photos and over 100 interviews with designers, judges, producers and other major players from the series. I can confidently state that more effort was put into the production of this book than into the last three seasons of the show combined.
As an officially-licensed product it’s unsurprising but still disappointing that the book’s tone is incessantly glowing and, much like the show itself since its move to Lifetime, feels very contrived. Aside from references to the emotional and physical strain of filming, there’s no criticism from anyone about Project Runway as a show or an experience, even when good opportunities seem to arise for it. When asked about his life post-Runway, for instance, Jay McCarroll fails to mention—or was edited after doing so—that he didn’t take the $100,000 prize because of the many strings attached to it, clauses so bad they were changed in subsequent seasons’ designer contracts. Also notably absent from the book is any quote whatsoever from Irina, whose extremely blunt commentary I would have loved to read.
Despite all this there are still some great bits to discover about the show, some of which seem to have slipped through the book’s careful-edited façade. Below are some of my favorites, in order of appearance.
- Because she wasn’t given a stylist Heidi had to wear her own clothes during season one, which is why she gave the show’s first challenge wearing jeans and a KISS t-shirt.
- Several designers over the years, most notably season one’s Vanessa Riley, have criticized the show for forcing the designers to sew their own designs. Producer Desiree Gruber admits the show originally intended to give each designer a seamstress but scrapped this plan when they learned it would cost $30,000 per week, per designer.
- Daniel Vosovic won a season two challenge to design a dress for Iman but was never given the dress back after the show. This lead to a long, nightmarish fallout where, as a broke design school graduate, he had to buy supplies to remake the dress with his own money, based on measurements he took on the fly, using a sewing machine borrowed from a friend. It required four fittings and missed the original deadline, but Iman did wear the final product.
- Miranda Kerr was one of the models for Daniel Vosovic’s finale collection before she shot to fame.
- Hedda Lettuce on the look Suede made her during season five’s drag queen challenge: “I fucking hated the costume. It was like the worst piece of shit I ever saw in my life. What drag queen doesn’t have sleeves?… Suede broke down backstage I heard. Even Tim Gunn, who likes everybody, didn’t like me. The funny thing was that later they would mention me as an adjective for a difficult client…. I loved it.”
- Althea Harper on Irina Shabayeva: “I actually think she came off softer on TV. What happened that season was tenfold…. One of her models actually quit because Irina was so rude. The model’s agency called and complained.”
- Season eight’s Michael Costello admits that some designers had the benefit of hearing Heidi’s thoughts on their work before the runway judging. Heidi saw the models while getting her own hair and makeup done and sometimes shared her opinions, which the models then relayed to their designers. He cites at least one challenge where he knew ahead of time that Heidi liked his outfit, which made him less anxious before the runway.
- When the season eight designers were paired up to sew each other’s garments during one challenge, Costello says Mondo Guerra was so upset to be paired with him that “we actually stopped production for about three minutes because he had a fit.”
- Season nine’s Becky Ross on Joshua McKinley: “I don’t know if we’ll ever be friends but I wish him the best… therapist.”
- All Stars producer Meryl Poster reveals Vera Wang was originally intended to be the mentor and Joanna Coles was going to be a judge, but the deal with Wang fell through, Coles was made mentor, and Georgina Chapman was brought in as the replacement judge. She also says that Angela Lindvall was hired to host just days before filming began.
- Joanna Coles was so busy while taping All Stars that sometimes she didn’t see the runway show and entered the workroom for the next challenge not knowing who had been sent home. She only discerned it by seeing which designer was no longer at their station, which she says was upsetting.
(Photo credit: Blogging Project Runway)