Disney and Marvel held a dedicated Marvel Studios press event in Los Angeles today, where they revealed their full plans for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies scheduled through 2019! Formerly, the movies’ identities were unknown, with Marvel simply making their placeholder dates public. Now however, Marvel Studios boss, Kevin Feige has outlined the plans for Marvel’s big screen heroes, going forward.
This appears to be a response to the recent highly-publicized reveal of Warner Bros. and DC’s competing DC Cinematic Universe movie slate through 2020 at a Time Warner investor meeting. It also goes along with Iron Man star, Robert Downey Jr.’s recent claim that Marvel is revealing their movie plans sooner rather than later.
Regardless, just like with DC, we’ve got the rundown on Marvel’s finalized movie template through Phase Three, which include some expected sequels, some cool new franchises, and a handful of release date shuffles. So what’s ahead for the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the big screen?
First, after Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man release next year, a third Captain America movie will be kicking off the Summer season of 2016, on May 6th of that year, though previously, it didn’t have a title. Now, Marvel has confirmed that the official title of the third Captain America movie is Captain America: Civil War!
As rumour suggested, Robert Downey Jr. will also be starring in the movie as Iron Man, alongside Chris Evans returning as Captain America, and it will depict a Superhuman Registration Act splitting the Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes against one another. Feige was quick to stress however that the movie will differ in some significant ways from the comic book arc of the same name from the early 2000’s, especially since superheroes’ secret identities aren’t as crucial in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Joe and Anthony Russo will direct Captain America: Civil War.
Captain America: Civil War also had another rumour confirmed in relation to it, in that it would introduce Black Panther, leader of the fictional African nation, Wakanda, a master martial artist, gymnast and runner that boasts a vibranium-powered costume. Not only that, but Black Panther has already been cast, with the wise and capable T’Challa being portrayed by Chadwick Boseman, star of Get on Up and 42!
Naturally, Black Panther is also getting a solo movie that will spin off from the events of Captain America: Civil War, with Black Panther being revealed as the mystery movie holding the November 3rd, 2017 date. No other details were given about the movie, beyond Boseman portraying the title character. Feige also urges fans to re-watch the recently-released Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer, which apparently has an Easter Egg teasing the events of Black Panther. If you’re curious, the Easter Egg seems to be the erratic flash of Andy Serkis, who is believed to be portraying a crucial enemy of Black Panther, Ulysses Klaw. Klaw has the ability to manipulate sound, and is both a dangerous fighter and expert physicist. Feige wouldn’t confirm those claims yet however.
Before that however, we finally got confirmation that Doctor Strange, starring Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, will be released on November 4th, 2016, being delayed slightly from its originally planned date of July 8th, 2016. Feige revealed that the movie will explain the science behind alternate dimensions and sorcery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, using quantum mechanics and string theory, among many other abstract sciences. Curiously though, Feige didn’t speak about Benedict Cumberbatch apparently being selected to play the title role after Deadline broke the news yesterday, suggesting that Cumberbatch’s contract is still being worked out. Scott Derrickson (Sinister) will direct.
With that said, the movie’s delay does seem to line up with Cumberbatch’s casting. It would allow him to complete his duties for the upcoming fourth season of Sherlock, also planned for 2016, and then fully commit himself to Doctor Strange with minimal hassle. It would seem then that negotiations are likely going well, and Cumberbatch should sign the dotted line soon.
Even if we’ll have to wait a bit longer for Doctor Strange, one of the highly anticipated 2017 Marvel Studios releases is being moved upward to compensate! Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will now open earlier, on May 5th, 2017! This shift is likely due to the overwhelmingly positive reception that the original movie ended up getting in theatres this year, with Guardians of the Galaxy now being cemented as one of Marvel Studios’ top movie brands. James Gunn will both write and direct the sequel, as with the original.
This means that Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has swapped places with the originally planned May 5th, 2017 release, the newly-announced Thor: Ragnarok! The third Thor movie is now set to open in Guardians of the Galaxy 2’s former July 28th, 2017 date. Feige has also stressed that Thor: Ragnarok is a, “Key” movie for the Phase Three Marvel Studios movies, and that its events will kick off immediately after the events of next year’s crossover sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Chris Hemsworth is confirmed to return as Thor, and Tom Hiddleston will also return as Loki, though no other details were given.
In 2018, Marvel Studios will finally be releasing their first female-led superhero movie, with Captain Marvel being revealed as the movie holding the July 6th, 2018 date! Apparently, Captain Marvel has been in development since Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange were on the drawing board, with Feige claiming that the studio wanted to be sure of how to handle the character. The Captain Marvel incarnation will be former Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, with Feige stating that it was initially challenging to find the perfect story to base around the combination of her earthbound adventures and cosmic powers. Captain Marvel has not yet been cast, and no other details were given about the movie.
The second new Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise debuting in 2018 is Inhumans, another movie frequently pegged by rumour, which is holding the November 2nd, 2018 date! The Inhumans are a group of sub-humans who have existed for over 7,000 years, and were experimented upon by the Kree (the race of aliens you’ll no doubt remember from Guardians of the Galaxy), which is how they gain their unnatural abilities. Predictably, the roster of the movie wasn’t revealed, and no cast or crew have been set. Feige did reveal however that Marvel strongly believes that The Inhumans can be a strong franchise by themselves, stating that they have dozens of powers and an amazing social structure. The movie was also very carefully chosen as the 20th Marvel Studios movie, for that reason.
This just leaves the identity of the already-confirmed third Avengers movie, which has been revealed as Avengers: Infinity War! As the title suggests, the movie will involve the Marvel heroes finally battling against Thanos, the extremely powerful cosmic villain teased in both The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, who will wield the Infinity Gauntlet, complete with the combined power of the Infinity Gems! Better still is that the movie will actually be split into two parts, similar to DC’s competing crossover movie, Justice League! Avengers: Infinity War – Part I is the May 4th, 2018 movie that replaced Sony’s now-uncertain The Amazing Spider-Man 4, with Avengers: Infinity War – Part II revealed as the mystery movie in the May 3rd, 2019 date. No other details on which heroes may be involved, or any cast and crew, were revealed for the two-part movie, though it’s probably safe to assume that Josh Brolin is a lock to continue portraying Thanos.
This unfortunately means that a few movies ultimately didn’t end up being part of the Phase Three roster, though Feige answered a few questions about them during the press event as well. In response to questions about a Black Widow solo movie, Feige claimed that it hasn’t happened yet because the character has worked so well as a supporting player to the Avengers personalities. The same is true of The Hulk still not having a new solo movie on the docket yet. Feige was a bit more forthcoming about a new Hulk solo movie though, saying, “We’ll see”, suggesting that one may still materialize at some point.
Feige also addressed rumours that Sony is trying to strike a deal with Marvel that would see Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, and the extended Amazing Spider-Man movie universe that Sony is currently developing, linked with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, saying rather vaguely that it’s either, “Not true at all”, or something that’s, “Not ready to be announced yet.”… So, make of that what you will, but it doesn’t look like that notion is in active development.
Lastly, Feige also brought up the long-stalled Runaways movie that Marvel Studios announced several years ago, claiming that he loves the script, but the movie just doesn’t have a place yet. Nonetheless, Runaways still frequently comes up in both movie and TV discussions for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, apparently.
Sadly, there were also no reveals as to when we can expect the Netflix series, Daredevil to release next year, nor its follow-up Netflix shows, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones or Luke Cage, and nor the crossover show between said four Netflix shows, The Defenders.
So, to sum up, here’s the outline of Marvel’s upcoming movie slate for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it stands:
– Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 1st, 2015)
– Ant-Man (July 17th, 2015)
– Captain America: Civil War (May 6th, 2016)
– Doctor Strange (November 4th, 2016)
– Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5th, 2017)
– Thor: Ragnarok (July 28th, 2017)
– Black Panther (November 3rd, 2017)
– Avengers: Infinity War – Part I (May 4th, 2018)
– Captain Marvel (July 6th, 2018)
– Inhumans (November 2nd, 2018)
– Avengers: Infinity War – Part II (May 3rd, 2019)
To whet your appetite even further, Marvel Studios has also released the following official logos for each newly-announced and upcoming movie:
Official concept art for Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther costume has also been revealed:
What do you think of Marvel’s finalized movie slate for Phase Three? Are you excited? Ambivalent? Disappointed? Are you anticipating this slate of movies more or less than DC’s competing movie slate through 2020? As usual, your comments are welcome below.
Eggplante will continue to bring you all news and updates on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and its various projects.