While at work today and jamming out to Taylor Swift’s new album 1989 (a review is coming!), it came to my attention that Marvel Studios would be doing a press conference today to announce upcoming projects that the studio has in store. To which I said, “Okay, they’re probably going to confirm Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor. Strange, and announce the title of Captain America 3 (2016). Maybe tease the audience with some footage of Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and open the floor for a Q&A. Yeah, that wasn’t the case today. Instead, much like DC Comics and Warner Bros did two weeks ago, Marvel unveiled their entire Phase 3 project following this summer’s Avengers sequel and Ant-Man (2015); and boy, did Christmas come early or what. Below is a full list of the films and their release dates slated for Phase 3:
Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok – July 28, 2017
Black Panther – November 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War Part I – May 4, 2018
Captain Marvel – July 6, 2018
Inhumans – November 2, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War Part II – May 3, 2019
Now just like I did with my thoughts on Warner Bros’ plans, I will now do the same thing for Marvel. SPOILER ALERT: I like this plan better.
My take on Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Just about every fan of Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been waiting for this. They have been planting the seeds since Phase 1 and it is finally coming. Civil War is a very renowned arc in the comics when Iron Man spear heads a superhuman registration act while Captain America says that heroes should not need to register for the government. One huge factor that goes into Civil War is secret identities; but in this universe, secret identities are all but out the door, so I’m curious what they will do to fill that void. Regardless, for a non-Avengers movie, the scope of this will be grand and I won’t spoil how the story ends; but I will say it’s a doozy. There is also word speculating that Black Panther will make an appearance in this film, which makes sense since he is involved in Civil War.
On Doctor Strange (2016)
Benedict Cumberbatch is all but signed on for this film, so I don’t wanna jinx it and say it’s a definite. HOWEVER, if it were to be fact, then it would be an excellent choice. Cumberbatch has been praised for his work in the BBC series, Sherlock (2010-) and even made a great villain in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness (2013). While I would have preferred Joaquin Phoenix, who was in talks for the lead, I am more than content with someone like Cumberbatch. It comes to no surprise that Doctor Strange is coming to the silver screen, what with the impending collision of the characters working on Earth and those in the far reaches of the cosmos. Strange could be that link to the two worlds with his knowledge of spells and magic.
On Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
It comes to no surprise whatsoever that a sequel to the biggest movie of the summer is on the way. Chris Pratt and the rest of the star-studded cast made a huge impact on not only the MCU, but in the sci-fi genre as a whole. I cannot wait to see where they take these characters in the sequel. No doubt they will explore Peter Quill AKA Starlord’s roots with his father, and perhaps we will see Drax have his reunion with Thanos, the biggest bad of the MCU who has literally only been in about five minutes worth of footage the past six years.
On Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Without giving too much away, Ragnarok is a cyborg clone of Thor that Tony Stark and Hank Pym (Ant-Man) create to replace a missing/presumed dead Thor during Civil War. We’ve been hearing how much Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to alter and changeup the MCU, so perhaps with the third solo Thor installment consisting of a cyborg version of the titular character, this is the change MCU is referring to. OR, this could be based off the real Norse mythology of Ragnarok, which consists of a series of battles that result in the end of days for Asgard and sees the major players on that world submerged under water. I’m leaning more towards the latter on this one since I’m not entirely sure what Thor’s role will be in Civil War, let alone if he goes missing or not at the end of Age of Ultron. It would be interesting to see the Marvel kill off Thor and not have him in Avengers: Infinity War. Or perhaps he dies and Stark creates the cyborg to battle Thanos, and now we get both stories! Who knows?
On Black Panther (2017)
Along with the announcement of a Black Panther film, we were also treated today with the news that Chadwick Boseman will be playing the titular hero. If you don’t know who he is, he played Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013) and I thought he was Chiwetel Ejiofor until about 3:00 today. Boseman is a good pick for the role seeing as he is a young, up and coming actor who has had his breakout role in 42, and Marvel is known for taking actors and pushing them even higher in the stratosphere. Black Panther will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and Boseman has signed a five-film deal that will take him through Phase 3, so be prepared to see this man more than once before the climactic Infinity War. Again, not to give too much away about the character, but one fact about him is that the material Captain America’s shield is made of – Vibranium – comes from Wakanda, the country Black Panther is king of. Also with Boseman taking up the part, that means there’s still a chance for Idris Elba to play Green Lantern in 2020!
I’ll do Avengers: Infinity War Part I & II (2018/2019) together at the end.
On Captain Marvel (2018)
It comes to no surprise that upon the announcement that Warner Bros will be bringing a female hero to the silver screen, that Marvel would follow suit with Captain Marvel. The character, Carole Danvers, was originally named Ms. Marvel; but come 2012 she took on the name Captain Marvel. I’m very pleased to see Marvel branching out and making films based on characters that not too many people outside of avid comic readers are familiar with. She plays a part in the battle with Thanos; but what confuses me is why her film is in between Part I and II of Infinity War. Maybe she won’t be in the first part? Perhaps she will be then we’ll go back and have an origin prequel? Or we’ll have an origin and then she’ll come into play for the second part. Who knows. Regardless, Captain Marvel is a really cool character with earthbound origins, having worked for the CIA and NASA, and then getting involved with interstellar nonsense including a run-in with the Kree empire (That’s where Ronan the Accuser, villain of Guardians of the Galaxy, is from).
On Inhumans (2018)
Expect this to be a lot like Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a group of unlikely heroes that come together to fight evil. In fact, this script has been in development for about as long as Guardians. The script was also written in the same manner. The way Guardians was written was a draft went out to director James Gunn and then he added his quirks in it and whatnot; but the original beats and story structure stayed the same. Between these guys, the Guardians, and the Avengers themselves, Marvel is no doubt planning one hell of a battle in Infinity War.
On Avengers: Infinity War Part I (2018) & II (2019)
This. Is what we have all been waiting for. Whether you are a fan of the movies, the comics, or both. Everything that Marvel has been working on, since Nick Fury told Tony Stark in 2008 that he’s become part of a bigger universe, has led to this. We were teased with Thanos at the end of The Avengers (2012) and we were even graced with a cameo by the big bad in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). We thought at first he’d be the villain of the second Avengers film; that is until it was announced that Ultron would be that movie’s antagonist (Which is also fine, Ultron is dope). The patience we have had to see Thanos in action is about to finally pay off. Thanos has been on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones, and when these stones come together they form the Infinity Gauntlet. No one has ever been able to grasp a single stone on their own due to its powers, and in Guardians, Peter Quill could barely hold it without the help of the other guardians (And even then, the only reason he could handle it is because his father wasn’t human). So imagine what one man who can handle all six of these things can do! Marvel has gone on record saying that Infinity War will be the culmination of everything the MCU has been building towards, and I hope they end the MCU right there and then. No Phase 4, no reboots, nothing. It would be a bitter sweet, but so perfect to end on this note. I’m not surprised that they are splitting this story into two movies. It’s a lot of ground to cover, having read The Infinity Gauntlet.
My prediction is the reason Marvel is making Captain America 3 based off Civil War (A story that could also have two movies) is to show that arguing with one another over petty differences and conflicting ideologies is irrelevant when in the grand scheme of things, something dark and sinister is coming and the Avengers need to band together to not only save Earth, but the entire universe (Like Game of Thrones (2011-) and the impending doom of the White Walkers). I think Avengers: Age of Ultron will see the team start to split, leading into Captain America: Civil War, which will leave the Avengers all but disbanded. Then Thanos will come to town and force the team to fight together for one final epic battle that will be complete, utter, HAVOC. Regardless of how it turns out, I really do have faith in the people over at Marvel Studios, as opposed to those over at Warner Bros. I will end with a quote from a fellow commenter on Reddit, who simply stated today, “I swear to god if I die before seeing all of this I’ll be so pissed.”
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