It’s Marvel Christmas in October! Usually we’re annoyed when people get into the holiday spirit before Halloween, but in this case we’re willing to forgive Marvel. Most because of the bounty of presents they’ve given us: Last week, they release the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, and today, well, SO. MUCH. MORE.
Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige unveiled the studio’s entire Phase 3 slate Tuesday during an event at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Following next year’s Age of Ultron (May 1, 2015), we will see:
July 17, 2015: Ant-Man
May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War
Nov. 4, 2016: Doctor Strange
May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
July 28, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok
Nov. 3, 2017: Black Panther
May 4, 2018: Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1
July 6, 2018: Captain Marvel
Nov. 2, 2018: Inhumans
May 3, 2019: Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2
If you’re more of a visual learner, we made this for you. Every Marvel Phase 3 film from Avengers to Avengers. You’re going to scroll for a while, because there are a lot of films.
That’s a lot to process. So we’re breaking it down. This is part geek deep dive, part wish list, and all awesome. Behold, nine reasons you should be very, very excited about Marvel right now.
1. The First Black Superhero! Feige confirmed Marvel is indeed making a Black Panther movie — as has long been speculated — and that the part has already been cast: 42 star Chadwick Boseman will play the king of the fictional African country of Wakanda.
And we’ll meet him sooner rather than later, because Black Panther will play “a big part” in Captain America 3. For those keeping score, Marvel will be first to release a P.O.C.-led movie, with D.C.’s Cyborg (starring Ray Fisher) arriving three years later, in 2020. Marvel may actually have two P.O.C. superheroes by then, depending on when Luke Cage arrives on Netflix.
2. The First Female Superhero! Oh, the diversity of it all (finally)! Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch are already on the roster, but this will be the first time a female superhero — Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel — leads her own movie in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Warner Bros. and D.C. has the jump start on this one though: A solo Wonder Woman movie, starring Gal Gadot, will come out a year earlier in 2017.
3. Thor 3 Will Be the New Cap 2! Captain America: The Winter Soldier is arguably the best movie in the entire franchise (except that there is no argument, it is the best). Thor: Ragnarok may follow suit. The previous two Thor films are arguably the duds of the MCU (except there is no argument, they are) but Feige says Ragnarok “will reshape the Marvel Universe in the same ways Winter Soldier did.”
And just like that, we’re excited for another installment of Thor!
4. Civil War! Civil War! Civil War! After The Winter Soldier, we assumed Captain America 3 would focus on Buckey again. And that may have been the case when Feige announced the threequel would be subtitled Serpent Society. Until he “changed his mind” later in the panel and announced the real title: Captain America: Civil War. For the uninitiated, Civil War was a comic book run that found heroes fighting each other. Forget the super villains, this time it’s going to be Captain America vs. Iron Man.
“This is heartbreaking to me. I can’t believe something would come between us,” Chris Evans joked when joined Feige on stage. “Yeah well, you know. Get used to it. Sometimes you’ve just gotta pick a side,” Robert Downey Jr. quipped. And if we had to wager a guess, we’d say the fight is going to be over Black Panter (see: no. 1).
5. Doctor Strange Is About to Make Things, Well, Strange! The psychedelic trip of a tale follows a doctor-turned-supreme sorcerer. Sooooo, it’s safe to say things are going to get weird. Feige says the movie will “open up a whole new corner of the Cinematic Universe.”
And while it has been rumored (again) that Benedict Cumberbatch will star as Stephen Strange, Feige told reporters, “If it were confirmed, we would have introduced him today.” Ugh, just confirm somebody already! We’re dying over here!
6. The Inhumans Are Coming! Ditto everything we said about Doctor Strange. But if we learned anything from Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s that not only can we handle the weird, we LOVE the weird. We suspect Inhumans will be in that same Guardians vein, but more badass.
For those unfamiliar with the Inhumans, they are a group of genetically advanced humans (the result of alien experimentation) and include heroes with names like Black Bolt, Triton, Medusa, and Gorgon. Just expect lots of coolness. Their powers include your garden-variety flight and super strength, as well as destructive hypersonic voices, fireballs, and mind control.
7. Twice as Many Avengers! After Age of Ultron, there won’t be just one more Avengers team-up, but two, released a year apart in 2018 and 2019. And while we usually roll our eyes at the now-commonplace splitting of final franchise films, we’re OK with it here. Because there is going to be SO MUCH happening in The Infinity Wars - Part 1 and Part 2 that we’re actually surprised they could fit it into only two movies.
Oh, and there are going to be a billion superheroes in it too.
8. Superhero Crossover Cameos! Some fans may be disappointed that Planet Hulk — or any solo Hulk film — didn’t make the slate. Same goes for solo Hawkeye and Black Widow movies. But Feige did note that Mark Ruffalo, specifically, will appear in all of the Avengers films...and maybe more?!
“Who will be in what movie is a spoiler,” he played coy. “Due to what will happen to them in the earlier movies.” Here’s our cameo wish list: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch pop up again in Civil War, Mockingbird (played by Adrianne Palicki on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) makes her MCU debut in Captain Marvel, and — without getting into spoilers — the Hulk in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
Could the Internet even handle the Hulk and Groot in the same movie?!
9. What’s Going to Come Next? Only Kevin Feige knows. But if the Phase 3 slate proved anything, it’s that anything is possible in the Marvel world. And from the looks of it, things are only getting better.
If only Marvel could finally reclaim Spider-Man from Sony, as has been the subject of endless rumors and fan boy dreams. Feige says it’s not happening. At least not yet. “Anything that wasn’t specifically revealed today is either not true at all or still rumor,” he said. WELL MAKE IT TRUE. Pretty please.
And make sure to check out what RDJ and pals told ET during Comic-Con: