During today’s special event at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, Marvel Studios revealed the films that will make up Phase 3 of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Marvel released so much news on Tuesday that it’s actually difficult to know where to begin. Should we begin with Avengers 3 being officially announced as 2 parts, or the fact that there will be a sort of recreation of the popular Civil War storyline from the comics, or maybe the announcement of the new sequels or perhaps the entirely new films?
Let’s start simply with the complete list of films as announced today:
- 5/1/15 : AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
- 7/17/15 : ANT-MAN
- 5/6/16 : CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
- 11/4/16 : DOCTOR STRANGE
- 5/5/17 : GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (previously dated 7/28/17)
- 7/28/17 : THOR: RAGNAROK
- 11/3/17 : BLACK PANTHER
- 5/4/18 : AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART I
- 7/6/18 : CAPTAIN MARVEL
- 11/2/18 : INHUMANS
- 5/3/19 : AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART II
With all of those film details released, there’s a great deal to go over, so we’ll begin with a couple of the new films. First, Marvel announced Dr. Strange. Dr. Stephen Strange is an amazing surgeon, but is more than a bit arrogant, and because of an accident, he loses the use of his hands. This film will be the first turn into the supernatural for Marvel, and has a very unique style of art, so it will be interesting to see how this one will play on the big screen.
Marvel movies are certainly getting more diverse with their first black and female superheroes in the lead role of Black Panther and Captain Marvel respectively. Chadwick Boseman will star as Black Panther while Marvel has not yet announced the lead for Captain Marvel, a female hero named Carol Danvers. The Inhumans, introduced in comics in 1965, will be Marvel’s 20th film when released. There are lots, and lots, and lots (dozens really) of heroes in the Inhumans who are a basically royal family of super beings that are ruled by their King, Black Bolt.
Coming earlier than all of the new films will be the next two Marvel films to be released to the big screen, Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, and Ant-Man on July 17, 2015. Nothing more probably needs to be said about Avengers: Age of Ultron (teaser trailer below), and we’re certainly looking forward to seeing Paul Rudd in Ant-Man. However, while glancing at the films, Captain America 3 appears to be the most interesting. Captain America and Iron Man find themselves in a bit of a battle as they are on different sides of the Superhero Registration Act which requires all heroes to publicly identify themselves. In the comics, this was a very dark storyline with the heroes each leading their own factions in a deadly battle over civil rights and privacy. Obviously, Marvel doesn’t have the licensing rights for Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men who all played huge roles in the story arc, so the Civil War in the MCU will be different from the comic version it’s based on. This sounds like it will definitely set the stage for many films afterward as the earlier Captain America films have done.
Along with all of the aforementioned announcements, fans of a few existing Marvel franchises will certainly be happy. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will return on May 5, 2017, which moves it up slightly from the previously announced July date. Chris Hemsworth will return as Thor, as will Tom Hiddleston as Loki in their third installment which will be called Thor: Ragnarok. No director has been set at this time.
Marvel’s announcement was huge, and it will definitely keep fans happy for years to come, with 3 films in each of 2017 and 2018. However, there were a few things that were NOT announced such as standalone films for Hulk, Black Widow or Hawkeye. Tony Stark will be seen in several of these films, but while Iron Man 4 has been rumored as being in the works in the future, at least at this time, it’s not happening. There have also been rumors of Spider-Man making some type of appearance, but nothing on that front. They didn’t officially announce Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role for the film Dr. Strange, but it only seems like it will be a matter of time before they do.