The entertainment behemoth, now owned by Disney, has realized that its superhero movie leads don’t always have to be played by generic, well-muscled white men who are indistinguishable from one another. (Seriously, who played Thor again? Was it that dude with the thick neck or that guy with the square jaw?) This week, Marvel announced plans to release a film centered on its Black Panther character in 2017, to be played by Chadwick Boseman. Its first female-led blockbuster, Captain Marvel, will come out the following year. There’s been some hesitation in Hollywood about casting women as superhero leads ever since Catwoman, starring Halle Berry, bombed in theatres 10 years ago. But with Captain Marvel, along with Warner’s recently announced Wonder Woman reboot, it seems that attitude has finally changed. Marvel announced a slew of other forthcoming titles this week too, including a sequel to the immensely popular summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy. Instead of ending this write-up with a joke, as per usual, here is the actual premise behind yet another recently announced Marvel title called Ant-Man: the gripping tale of a man who can reduce himself to the size of an ant, achieve superhuman strength, and use a special helmet to control and communicate with insects. No joke.
Against the grain
The biggest producer of breakfast cereal in North America, and the creator of Rice Krispies, Froot Loops, and Frosted Flakes, saw sales in its “morning foods” group decline by nearly 5% in the U.S. in the last quarter. The way Americans eat breakfast is changing. They’re consuming less cereal, partly out of health concerns, but also because they have less time to sit down in the mornings and eat a bowl of sugar-coated carbohydrates with a spoon, the most inefficient of utensils. More portable items, such as Greek yogurt, are gaining traction. (Sales are up 40% in the past four years, whereas cereal sales are down by as much as 3%.) Breakfast sandwiches from fast-food outlets are more popular too, since it’s possible to scarf them down in the car on the way to work. If that trend continues, it’s not inconceivable that time-starved Americans could resort to strapping breakfast feedbags to their faces like horses in order to maximize productivity. (Free idea, Kellogg: Pop-Tart feedbag mulch.) The company’s current solution is to cut back on production for some items and hire more salespeople to improve in-store displays for its cereals—presumably so Americans will have a harder time ignoring the desperate cries of Snap, Crackle, and Pop on the way to get some Chobani.