Having seemingly been quiet at this year’s Comic-Con Marvel last night revealed a massive announcement of their upcoming roster of films that span all the way until 2019. Much of this is in no small part due to Warner. Bros and DC making strides into the superhero market with their planned Justice League movie teaming the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern et al. So below is a brief breakdown of what we can expect from the Marvel universe over the next five years.
Next year we already knew we’d be getting both Avengers: Age Of Ultron as well as Ant-Man which seems like it will end Marvel’s Phase Two which means that starting in 2016 we can expect to see the beginnings of Phase Three.
Captain America: Civil War
This is considered something of a mother-load in the Marvel-verse and the film is certainly a tantalising prospect. The source comics of Civil War sees a superhero registration act, which means all heroes must reveal their true identities, pull the Avengers apart. In particular Captain America aka Steve Rogers, who feels superheroes should be allowed to remain anonymous, and Tony Stark aka Iron Man who has always been upfront that he is Iron Man. What this essentially means is that for the first time in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) we’ll see two Avengers not just duke it out but actually be enemies. Long story short, Robert Downey Jr. is the antagonist (note; not villain) of Captain America 3. Anthony and Joe Russo, who delivered the excellent Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will direct Civil War.
While the rumours continue to rumble that Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast as Doctor Strange Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige made it clear that if anything was official he would have announced it last night. What we do know about Doctor Strange is he will be given his first cinematic outing on 4th November 2016 and will be directed by Scott Derrickson the man behind Sinister and Deliver Us From Evil. That should give you a vague idea of the kind of dark tone Marvel are potentially aiming for on this one. Doctor Strange aka Doctor Stephen Strange is a former neurosurgeon who becomes The Sorcerer Supreme, a protector of Earth from all manner of magical and mythical creatures. He was briefly name checked in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and in his comic book history has of course been a member of The Avengers begging the question could we see a new line-up of Avengers for Marvel’s Phase Three? Keep your eyes peeled to see if Mr. Cumberbatch is confirmed for the role anytime soon.
Guardians Of The Galaxy 2
To date Guardians of The Galaxy was Marvel’s biggest cinematic gamble but a current global box office haul of $752 million shows just how much this team of space rabbles paid off. Of course this film was green-lit almost before the first film was released due to the great response to the original’s trailers. It’s fair to assume all the original Guardians will return and we know that writer-director James Gunn will also be back in the space-saddle. Other than that though little else is know especially whether or not we’ll see more Guardians joining the team.
The third film in the Thor franchise will, we presume although it was not announced, see the return of Chris Hemsworth as the god of thunder. But little else is really known about this venture. In the comics Ragnarok is a cyborg clone of Thor created by Tony Stark during the Civil War storyline after the real Thor is missing, presumed dead. He takes the name Ragnarok but could it imply the demise of Thor himself? Marvel have repeatedly implied that, like their comics, they’re not afraid to kill off their characters. Of course also like their comics they’re more than happy to bring them back from the dead. No director has been announced but it could be fun to see Chris Hemsworth playing both Thor and Ragnarok or could it be there’s a role in there for another Hemsworth brother to take over the mantle from Chris?
The first ever print black superhero, who debuted in comics back in 1966, will get his big screen debut in 2017. This one had been heavily rumoured for a while but the news that Chadwick Boseman, the man about to go stellar thanks to his turn as James Brown in Get On Up, will be playing him makes this now concrete. No director as yet seems to be attached but Marvel have implied they’d like a black director for this property. Black Panther is the chief of the Panther Tribe of the fictional country of Wakanda who, as the chief, is allowed to eat a special herb that grants him all manner of keen senses and powers, oh, he also has a mythical connection to a panther god which is handy. It’s been heavily suggested that Black Panther will appear in costume in Avengers: Age Of Ultron but it’s likely to be in a post-credits sting.
Captain Marvel (Main Picture)
People have been demanding a Black Widow movie because we want a female led superhero film. Black Widow will have to wait but the good news is Captain Marvel will be a lady. The comic character has gone through many guises of both genders but this incarnation will be based on the latest Captain Marvel comic character Carol Danvers who was previously knowns as Ms. Marvel. Little else is known about this title but there will no doubt be a slew of casting rumours as to who can play Captain Marvel with Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff already being made a bookie’s favourite. Although for our money Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike would make a great Captain Marvel.
As if the Avengers and the Guardians of The Galaxy wasn’t enough superhero team action to handle it seems Marvel are again dipping into one of their lesser known titles for a film adaptation. We won’t get to see this one until November 2018 and as such there’s no cast or crew to speak of yet. What we do know about The Inhumans are made up a group of alien humanoids, often focussing on the Inhuman Royal Family, who first appeared in The Fantastic Four. Expect a darker in tone Guardians Of The Galaxy with plenty of familial in-fighting and bickering.
Avengers: Infinity War
It’s all been leading to this in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ve seen glimpses of him and full on dodgy CGI shots of him but in Infinity War we’ll finally get to see the Avengers face-off against the mighty Thanos. So with such a big story arc going on here Marvel have decided to split it into TWO movies. Hell, it worked for Harry Potty, Twilight and The Hunger Games so why not Avengers as well? It’s not clear if Josh Brolin will reprise his role of Thanos nor if Avengers director Joss Whedon will return for a third and fourth film but what you can expect is Marvel’s biggest and most epic movie or far. We’ve seen many of Thanos’ infinity gauntlet stones littered throughout the films so far and this will bring them, and all the heroes, together for one mighty battle. Of course this being the end of Phase Three there is a strong possibility that it will see a clearing of many of the current Avengers roster. So don’t be too surprised to see the likes of Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr making their final bow for Marvel in these two films.
So there you have it, a HUGE roster of Marvel films to sink out teeth into. But where’s Hulk? It seems Marvel is still unwilling to commit to a stand-alone Hulk movie. Pity.
The big question is this, has the superhero genre now reached saturation point? Has it gone too far? Is it simply like a factory churning out too many products and can Marvel possibly hope to maintain the quality of films they’ve achieved up to this point? Let us know your thoughts through the usual social media channels or if you have one and are happy to upset Marvel a Bat-Signal.