Your Friendly Neighborhood Movie Blog
Just like the past few years, Marvel Studios is shaping up to be the talk of the town at San Diego Comic Con 2014 next weekend. With their next major release Avengers: Age of Ultron hitting theaters next May, the cast is expected to appear in Hall H, as well fingers being crossed for some sort of debut teaser trailer.
Age of Ultron wraps up Marvel’s “Phase Two” set of movies (Phase One concluding with The Avengers), but what’s to come next? We already know that “Phase Three” will kick off just a couple of months after the Avengers sequel drops with Ant-Man in July. It has also been confirmed that Captain America 3 will release on May 6th, 2016, with another movie set for July 8th, 2016 (we’re assuming this will be Doctor Strange). May 5th, 2017 has also been claimed by the studio; and while we don’t know which movie might fill that slot, it has been speculated that Thor 3 will be the answer.
Now, Marvel themselves have announced that the studio has five additional films scheduled to be released through May of 2019, in addition to the previously-announced dates. However, no sign of what these dates could end up being (yet):
While we can’t tell you just what they are yet, you can look forward to new films hitting theaters July 28 and November 3, 2017; July 6 and November 2, 2018; and May 3, 2019.
What does this mean for Phase Three? Well for one, it just got a whole lot bigger. I would have to expect the inevitable Avengers 3 to see the final date of May 3rd, 2019, with a mix of new and veteran characters having stories told along the way. It was previously speculated that Avengers 3 may appear in 2018, though seeing as Marvel feels comfortable so far with their Avengers epics debuting in May- and with 2018 only having July and November release dates- we might see a four year gap in between the two team-ups.
Personally, this scheduling brings forward a lot of opportunities for Marvel Studios, especially more time to introduce more characters, as well as getting the time to continue the stories of characters like Thor, Cap or Iron Man. If I had to make a guess, this is what I’d say Phase Three could end up looking like:
July 17th, 2015 – Ant-Man
May 6th, 2016 – Captain America 3
July 8th, 2016 – Doctor Strange
May 5th, 2017 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2
July 28th, 2017 – Black Panther
November 3rd, 2017 – Thor 3
July 6th, 2018 – Iron Man 4
November 2nd, 2018 – The Inhumans
May 3rd, 2019 – Avengers 3
It’s pretty obvious that Marvel would take advantage of these newly announced dates to introduce a handful of new characters (Black Panther, Inhumans or Doctor Strange) while not completely forgetting about their money-making veteran heroes. Instead of Thor 3 being a Summer 2017 hit, it could be used in November 2017, since last year’s Thor: The Dark World performed exceptionally in the same month.
It was also recently revealed that the end credits of Guardians of the Galaxy (which hits theaters in a couple weeks) clearly states that the “Guardians of the Galaxy will return” which proves the team has a lot more stories to be told beyond their debut outing. Although Robert Downey Jr. only has two more movies left on his contract (we’d assume Age of Ultron and Avengers 3) there’s also a possibility he renegotiates his contract again to make way for another Iron Man solo flick on the 4th of July weekend of 2018 to hit home at the box office.
It seems that Black Panther is a heavily sought-after character when it comes to the MCU. People (including myself) have been begging for the African prince and his homeland of Wakanda to appear on the big screen for years now, and it finally seems like a perfect time to introduce him into this massive world. My most obscure guess for the list of dates has to be Inhumans, which I’m not even so sure of guessing for, but feel like it could be a good opportunity to act as a lead-in into Avengers 3, which will most likely tell the story of Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Gauntlet.
While we don’t know a whole lot about Marvel’s exact plans just yet, expect to hear at least half of these untitled releases announced at San Diego Comic Con next weekend. What do you think could or should be released as a part of Marvel’s Phase 3? Which characters do you hope will be introduced?
Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters August 1st, Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st 2015, Ant-Man on July 17th, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6th, 2016, and Doctor Strange on July 8th, 2016.
– Josh Sazin, 7/19/14