Marvel Studios launched “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe today at a special event at the El Capitan theater in Los Angeles. Even guest appearances by Avengers architect Joss Whedon, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans could not overshadow the excitement generated by the unveiling of new movies and new heroes.
The first announcement was something already leaked so badly it was hardly a surprise: Captain America 3 will be subtitled “Civil War” and will pit Cap against Iron Man in a war of personal freedom against the needs of the security state. Still, having this confirmed filled the gathered fans and press with glee. we will run down the announcements now, and have some more detailed explanation and analysis in the next few days.
Next, Marvel announced the release date of Doctor Strange, November 4, 2016, and confirmed Scott Derrickson will direct. Notably not confirmed was that Benedict Cumberbatch will play the good doctor, as was reported by Deadline yesterday and widely disseminated across the Internet. So that may not be as “confirmed” as Deadline would have us believe.
The sequel to the surprise hit Guardians of the Galaxy was moved up to May 5, 2017. So we will get our next Rocket and Groot fix earlier than anticipated.
The next major movie announcement is the third Thor movie: Thor: Ragnarok, debuting July 28, 2017. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is the giant battle among the gods that signals the end of the world. Who starts that war? Loki, of course. The movie may have little to do with the original mythology, but the title does imply that the stakes will be enormous for Thor’s third outing.
Now we start getting to the new stuff, the stuff the Internet had not already leaked and analyzed. First up, Black Panther is getting his own movie on November 3, 2017. The Black Panther was the first mainstream black superhero. The king and protector of an African nation, he is also a longtime member of the Avengers and will almost certainly make at least a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron. This will be the first person of color to get their own solo superhero movie at Marvel. Chadwick Boseman will play the hero and Marvel also announced he will be a member of Captain America: Civil War, a film that is slowly turning into Avengers 2.5.
Plus they unveiled this cool concept art.
And following the announcement of Marvel’s first solo black superhero film comes the announcement of a Captain Marvel solo film releasing on July 6, 2018. Based on Kelly Sue DeConnick’s reboot of the classic hero Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel will be the first female solo film for Marvel Studios, beating the anticipated Black Widow movie to the punch. No word on how Captain Marvel will be introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I am betting the character first pops up in Avenger 3.
Another long rumored movie was also announced. Inhumans was officially given a release date of November 2, 2018. Largely seen as a way for Marvel to deal with the fact that 20th Century Fox currently owns the rights to the X-Men and all related mutants in the Marvel universe, the Inhumans are a more obscure comic about a super-powered offshoot of humanity created by aliens who tinkered with our genetic code. It’s a pretty obscure title, but I think Guardians of the Galaxy proved that Marvel can make any book work if they chose the right writer and director.
Finally, Marvel announced Avengers: Infinity War, the third Avengers movie, will be broken into two parts and released in May 2018 and May 2019. This will feature the Avengers fighting an all-out war against the most dangerous foe in the galaxy: Thanos, the Mad Titan, played by Josh Brolin. Moviegoers got a brief glimpse of Thanos in the post-credits scene at the end of the original Avengers movie, and a slightly better look at him as the power behind Ronan and Nebula in this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but this will be the first time he has come into direct conflict with the heroes of the Marvel Universe and the battle promises to be epic.
The title suggests that Thanos will have acquired the gems needed to power the Infinity Gauntlet, a weapon of immense power that gives its wielder control over space and time itself. The films will also likely unite the casts of the Guardians of the Galaxy with the Avengers for a single superhero spectacle — years in the making — and the likes of which the world has never seen.
So what do you guys think about Marvel’s upcoming slate of films? Would you change anything? Any heroes they missed?