Marvel had a special press event while I was on hiatus. Let’s take a look the films they HOLY SHIT THEY ANNOUNCED ALL OF THE MOVIES??
Here is how Phase Three of Marvel’s grand cinematic experiment now stands:
* 17 July 2015 — Ant-Man
* 6 May 2016 — Captain America: Civil War
* 4 November 2016 — Doctor Strange
* 5 May 2017 — Guardians of the Galaxy 2
* 28 July 2017 — Thor: Ragnarok
* 3 November 2017 — Black Panther
* 4 May 2018 — Avengers: Infinity War – Part I
* 6 July 2018 — Captain Marvel
* 2 November 2018 — Inhumans
* 3 May 2019 — Avengers: Infinity War – Part II
Let me just re-iterate: holy shit this is amazing.
Ant-Man we already know about so let’s just leave it be for the moment.
What we know so far: Robert Downey Jr. has signed a deal adding a film to his Marvel contract. What everyone had assumed would be Iron Man 4 has turned out to be Captain America: Civil War. In the comics the civil war is a heroes against heroes event. After a superhero battle gone wrong that results int he death of 600 people (including 60 kids at a school) the government passes the Superhero Registration Act which requires superheroes register with the government, reveal their secret identities, and accept government oversight.
Tony Stark leads the pro-registration side while Captain America leads the anti-registration side. Cap thinks that giving up secret identities is a violation of civil rights but also that superheroes need to exist as a third-party to keep the powers that be in check.
Now, secret identities don’t exist in the cinematic universe but it’s easy to see Stark, who as of the upcoming _Age of Ultron_ is financing the Avengers and kick starts the program that eventually becomes Ultron, starting to think that they might need some oversight and Cap, who just upended S.H.I.E.L.D. because it was corrupt, thinking they need to keep the powers that be in check. So that’s pretty much how that’s gonna go down I think.
No word on Bucky and Falcon and Black Widow, but rest assured they’ll be around. Also cool: Chadwick Boseman will make his début as T’Challa/Black Panther. If I had to guess it would be that he’ll be around to give Cap a new shield as it’s made clear in the Age of Ultron trailer that his existing one is broken at some point during that film, and T’Challa’s home nation of Wakanda is the only place you can get the material the shield is made of, Vibranium.
We all knew this was coming because Scott Derrickson has been confirmed to direct it for some time. Now we have an official release date but technically no leading man yet (though Deadline seems to think it’ll be Benedict Cumberbatch).
Doctor Strange is a weird but incredibly important character in the Marvel universe, as the Sorcerer Supreme he’s the mystical guardian of earth. He can project himself onto other planes of existence and wield magic and all kinds of other fun stuff. He’s also an important player in the Infinity War storyline which will be the basis of Avengers 3 and 4.
(source: [Marvel](http://marvel.com/news/movies/23542/marvels_doctor_strange_conjures_up_a_november_2016_release_date), [Deadline](http://deadline.com/2014/10/benedict-cumberbatch-doctor-strange-movie-cast-862815/))
Guardians of the Galaxy is the biggest film of this year so far (and the third highest grossing in the Marvel franchise so far) so it wasn’t a surprise when a sequel was announced. What is a surprise is that they’ve moved the date up to 5th May!
James Gunn has said there’s a lot he wants to do with the team, including expand on the Nova Corps and introduce Richard Rider (a human member of the Nova Corps).
There’s not much else known about this but suffice to say I’m pretty excited to see more of what James Gunn has to offer.
Thor’s third outing is titled Ragnarok. Ragnarok is the end of the world. So here’s where I see this going. Thor is a protector of Earth but Asgard is a cosmic realm (and the cosmic side of things is where the Guardians do their work).
Civil War, the seeds of which will be set in _Avengers: Age of Ultron_, is going to be another big shakeup of the earthbound heroes, I think that Ragnarok will be a shakeup of the cosmic ones. No idea how they’ll tie it together, or if Earth will be involved, but something is coming to destroy the nine realms and you know there is going to be some fallout from that.
Marvel president Kevin Feige says that Ragnarok will pick up Thor’s story after Age of Ultron and “will impact everything that comes after” so pay attention when this one comes out.
I totally thought that this would just be called “Panther” but that’s a very DC thing to do. Marvel embraces their comic bookiness where DC doesn’t.
Chadwick Boseman has been cast and he’s a charismatic up and comer and he should be great in the role. Black Panther is an important avenger too, being both a tactical leader and financial backer and advisor and supplier of technology at various points. Plus, you know, diversity is good and let’s face it: phase one and two? Not that diverse.
Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, is another of the more important characters on the Avengers roster. She’s basically super-woman, and her power is derived from the Kree, the same race of which Ronan the Accuser from Guardians was a member, which will tie the earthbound and cosmic sides of things together nicely.
Not much else is known and there’s no casting yet, but let’s just throw in my vote for Emily Blunt right now.
Inhumans? This is an interesting one. They could be a universe unto themselves (like the mutants are over at Fox) as they have all kinds of different powers and all kinds of characters. More importantly it kind of feels like we’re heading toward seeing Inhumans on _Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D._ this year. If that’s the case then this movie might tie in with the TV series in a bigger way. I’m all for that, too.
And last but not least, _Infitiy War – Part 2_. This will be the one where everyone shows up. Cap and the other avengers in hiding, Iron Man and the pro-registration heroes, all the new people, and the guardians, and hopefully it’s just a 2 hour fight with Thanos.
That’s just speculation on my part but it makes sense if you think about it. Regardless of what happens it’s suddenly become a very exciting time to be a life long Marvel comics nerd as it’s become clear that Marvel is the brand, not Captain America, not Iron Man, not Thor, _Marvel_. You probably can watch these movies out of order or even skip some but the level of inter-connectivity is going through the roof here. Between these, the network TV shows and the Netflix shows (and whatever else they have planned) it looks like you’ll have something Marvel to look at on just about any screen you want to look at until 2019.
I know I’m a bit of a fanboy but I’m ok with that idea.