For those of you who have been living under a Hulk-sized rock, Marvel announced their Phase 3 film plans in Los Angeles’ El Capitan Theatre on Tuesday. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige unveiled an impressive lineup of nine movies set to be released until 2019. If you were expecting a repeat of similar movies from Phase 2, then you’re in for a number of exciting surprises, true believer!
The Phase 3 films currently include Captain America: Civil War (2016), Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Black Panther (2017), Avengers: Infinity War-Part 1 (2018), Captain Marvel (2018), Inhumans (2018) and Avengers: Infinity War Part-2 (2019).
It’s reasonable to guess that Marvel’s recent reveals are in response to DC/Warner Bros. own superhero film announcements. With DC receiving praises for their Wonder Woman and Cyborg announcements, Marvel may have had to play their hand early in response to the steadily growing criticism they’ve received for not having a film led by female superhero or person of color. In any case, it’s nice to see that Captain Marvel and Black Panther are finally getting their own movies.
Although no one has yet been cast as Captain Marvel, the film itself has been rumored for quite some time. The character has endured a ridiculously complicated history, but Carol Danvers has enjoyed immense popularity among die hard Avenges fans. It will be great to see a female hero led superhero film, and it will be the first since the critical and commercial flop, Elektra (2005).
Like Captain Marvel, Black Panther has supposedly been in development for a while. With Chadwick Boseman’s casting as the hero, fans of the T’Challa can rest easy knowing the King of Wakanda’s first solo film adventure is coming very soon. Although, people will get to know Black Panther a little earlier in Captain America: Civil War, where the Wakandian will supposedly fight alongside either Captain America or Iron Man.
Speaking of wars, the announcement of Captain America: Civil War has certainly drummed up excitement since it was officially announced. Said to be loosely based off of Mark Millar’s 2006 storyline, Captain America: Civil War will pit Captain America and Iron Man against one another. There fight will be a battle of opposing ideologies, with the fate of the superhero community hanging in the balance. For those unfamiliar with the plot, Civil War deals with the Super Human Registration Act, and the federal government mandating that all superheroes reveal their secret identities and register with the government. Effectively making heroes soldiers for the government, Iron Man is in support of the law, while Captain America is opposed to it, believing that it violates civil liberties.
I’ve made my feelings quite clear regarding Millar’s original comic event. However, Marvel Studios has shown that they never really tell strict adaptions of their most popular storylines. If they can introduce the Superhuman Registration Act in an organic way, then I’ll be less concerned about the plot of the film. The large cast is another problem however. As great as it will be to see Iron Man and Cap leading opposing sides, there could be an issue of fighting for screen time. Downey tended to have the most screen time over his fellow heroes in Avengers. Let’s just hope they don’t turn Captain America 3 into Iron Man 4.
Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, two films that everyone knew were in active development, were also announced . While Doctor Strange has struggled to get off the ground, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 seems to be moving ahead with no foreseeable problems. I’m hopeful that whatever problems currently plaguing Doctor Strange are cured. With so many casting rumors about the Sorcerer Supreme online, it’s generating more than a little worry among fans that Marvel is rushing to get the production going as fast as possible. With Ewan McGregor and Benedict Cumberbatch the most recent actors to be rumored for the part, Dr. Strange is looking to be Marvel’s most difficult character to cast. Hopefully, this is resolved relatively quickly.
Thor: Ragnarok, the third film in the Thor series, generated some substantial excitement when it was first announced. For anyone not familiar with Ragnarok, it’s basically the end of all things Thor. It’s the complete annihilation of Thor, Odin, Asgard and as much as it pains me to say it, Loki. After Thor: The Dark World, many Marvel fans were left feeling cold about the God of Thunder’s solo adventures. Suffering from a weak villain and an overabundance of humor, the film is hardly highly regarded like Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Guardians of the Galaxy. Thor: Ragnarok will be Marvel’s chance to redeem the stumble they with The Dark World. If you’re not excited enough for Thor: Ragnarok already, it’s said to be the film to set-up the Infinity War Saga in 2018 and 2019. I have to admit, as disappointed as I was in Thor: The Dark World, I’m really interested in Ragnarok. Plus, if I get to see Tom Hiddleston’s Loki again, I’ll be there during the first midnight screening.
Probably the most unusual announcement was Inhumans. Based off of the comic of the same name, the Inhumans are a race of hyper-advanced humans who were initially experimented on by the Kree Empire. Eventually becoming a powerful race in their own right, the Inhumans had an advanced civilization established even during the Stone Age. Thousands of years later, the Inhumans are led by their king, Black Bolt, and the rest of his Royal family, which includes Medusa, Gorgon, Maximus the Mad, Crystal, Triton and their pet, Lockjaw. Inhumans is certainly out there as a concept, but the same was said about Guardians of the Galaxy, and we all know how amazing that film turned out to be.
The biggest bombshell of the movie announcements was easily Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 & 2. Though named the Infinity War, it’s fairly reasonable to guess that these two Avengers movies will adapt the beloved Infinity Gauntlet storyline, which has every Marvel character alive coming together to stop Thanos in his bid to control the entire universe with the Infinity Stones/Gems. It’s going to be Marvel’s biggest films yet, and like the comic, it will most likely attempt to bring together every major hero they put on screen since 2008’s Iron Man. Personally, that’s when I start to grow a little concerned. I am in no way trying to cover up my excitement for Avengers: Infinity War, but I am questioning the monumental moves Marvel is going to try to make to bring this two-part saga together. Bringing together most, if not all of Marvel’s cinematic characters into these two films is going to be one hell of undertaking. More importantly, would having so many characters help the film?
As many comic fans know, more characters competing for screen time in a film doesn’t always equal quality. Just look at this year’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the number of characters they tried to cram into that sequel. Sure, Sony isn’t Marvel Studios, but it’s a problem that can befall any film wanting to include as many characters as they possibly can. Seeing the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel and many of Marvel’s other characters all on screen together would be really cool, but there’s a huge risk that the films could lose their narrative structure in the process of doing so. Typically, less always seems to equal more in regards to the amount of characters in superhero movies.
What do you think reader? Impressed by Marvel’s slate of films? Any feelings of apprehension? Any films you wished were announced? Let us know in the comments below!