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maryann johanson | watching movies at home

Marvel Comics superheroes are popping up all over!

Have you heard? Marvel is dropping its comics characters all over the place… well, into other Marvel comics movies, at least. Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man — his movie is out in May — makes an appearance in this summer’s Incredible Hulk (in which Edward Norton plays the green beast). And Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury will have a cameo in Iron Man. It’s all going to lead to an Avengers movie eventually, it seems.

The company is, it appears, building a sense of a cohesive world of in which superheroes are not only real but don’t go it alone. Which makes sense. If you had superpowers, you’d hang out with other people with superpowers, right? But the real surprise — and I have this from several of my highly placed sources at the Hollywood studios and agencies — is that furious behind-the-scenes negotiations and payments of piles of large unmarked bills have resulted in a level of crosspromotions the industry has never seen before.

I’m delighted to reveal that this is just some of what we’re going to see at the movies this spring, summer, and fall:
• Nightcrawler will briefly pop into and out of the action of the teleport-action movie Jumper.

• The Other Other Boleyn Girl? Storm.

• All the unfunny spoof caped crusaders of Superhero Movie will get their asses kicked by The Punisher.

• The lovelorn hero of Forgetting Sarah Marshall will find new love with nerd queen Kitty Pride.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo with the help of Spider-Man.

Speed Racer vs. Ghost Rider!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian features a nasty sea monster in Doctor Octopus.

Sex and the City: The Movie has a brand-new Mr. Big: The Thing!

• Would you believe that the secret agents of Get Smart will be battling Doctor Victor Von Doom?

• The cute little robot Wall-E has a new pal who simply won’t leave his side: Magneto.

• Who would win in a bar fight: Hellboy or The Hulk? We’ll find out in HBII.

• One of the possible fathers in Mamma Mia!? J. Jonah Jameson.

• In the as-yet-unnamed X-Files sequel, Mulder and Scully race against time to prevent Planet Earth from being destroyed by Galactus.

• The tween phenom hits the big screen when High School Musical 3 puts on a show starring Captain America.

• In Quantum of Solace, James Bond faces a villain of feminine proportions: Black Widow.

• The students at Hogwarts get another new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Professor Charles Xavier (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince).

And, through the miracle of CGI, when PBS airs the 1995 miniseries Pride and Prejudice next month, Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy will be digitally replaced by Wolverine.

It’s gonna be a good year at the movies.

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