Marvel Studios is running full steam ahead with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, planning 5 movies over the next 2 years featuring some already established characters as well as some new properties. We will be seeing Thor: The Dark World on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014, and The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015. Phase Three will launch with Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015.
Marvel has recently announced 3 more release dates for undisclosed movies, which we can assume all fit into Marvel’s Phase Three. These dates are May 6th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017. The third date released is July 8th, 2016, keeping in line with Marvel Studios goal for two movies a year for the REST OF OUR LIVES. Not that anyone is complaining.
So what could these release dates be for? We know that Doctor Strange will be a part of Phase Three along with Ant-Man, so it is safe to assume that Doc Strange will take up one of the 2016 dates. Following along with this logic, it makes sense that one or both of the other dates could be reserved for more sequels of the already established characters, like Thor/Captain America 3 or The Avengers 3, which would fit more than likely be arriving in 2017.
But that just isn’t as exciting as seeing even more characters receiving their own movies. Obviously the established franchises will go the trilogy route, as Iron Man did, but the really cool part of Marvel’s various phases has been the new properties that they are taking risks on. Nobody expected Guardians of the Galaxy to get the big screen treatment, but with recent casting news and plot rumors it is fast becoming one of the most anticipated films of the MCU.
So let’s step outside of the box a little bit and take a guess at what some of these mystery movies could be if they aren’t sequels. Starting with:
We already know that the Nova Corps will play a role in the GotG film, as Glenn Close has been cast as a high ranking member of the Corps. John C. Reilly will be playing a character known as Rhomann Dey, who is responsible for selecting the first human Nova in the comics, but his role hasn’t been officially defined as of yet. Either way, we know that the Nova Corps is a part of the MCU, and it stands to reason that we will see either Richard Rider (hopefully) or Sam Alexander headline their own movie in one of Marvel’s upcoming Phases.
There has been a long standing rumor that T’Challa AKA the Black Panther will be appearing in the MCU. This rumor gained a little weight when we heard that The Avengers 2 was rumored to be looking into African-like locations to film parts of the sequel. Whether that means T’Challa might make an appearance in the film or not, most fans are pretty damn ready to see the king of Wakanda make his appearance. Whether that’s as a member of the Avengers or headlining his own solo movie remains to be seen, but the time is definitely right for it.
One of the main things missing from the MCU right now is female superheroes, which is something that should be rectified as soon as humanly possible. Scar-Jo’s role as the Black Widow and the involvement of the Scarlet Witch in The Avengers 2 are great steps in bringing some girl power into the MCU, but what we really want to see is one of the powerhouses of the Marvel U. getting her own film. That powerhouse is of course Carol Danvers AKA Ms. Marvel AKA Captain Marvel. While her involvement in the MCU unfortunately hinges on some other key story elements like the alien race known as the Kree and Captain Mar-Vell, who are responsible for her powers, with Ronan the Accuser (of the Kree) rumored as a villain in GotG its not unheard of that we might see more of the various storylines that involve the Kree. All that buildup only adds to the potential greatness that Carol Danvers could bring to a solo film, especially given the right casting.
The rights for ol’ Hornhead recently reverted back to Marvel Studios, so the expectation os of course that we will see another take on the character in the MCU. While there aren’t many plans right now that point to Daredevil showing up anytime soon, it makes sense that Marvel would put something together in the coming years to give Matt Murdock the film he deserves. With Marvel taking a look at some out of the box characters with Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, there’s a ton of room for Daredevil to make his place in the MCU. Ghost Rider, Punisher, and Blade have all also recently reverted back to Marvel, so any one is possible, though Daredevil is most likely to carry a franchise on his own.
Why not? Sure, we may have already see a few Hulk movies that were less than successful, but his role in The Avengers was a perfect treatment that deserves to be explored further. A solo movie with Mark Ruffalo would have some really great stories in recent years to draw from, and its not like Bruce Banner is the only Hulk in the Marvel Universe. With a huge selection of Hulks to chose from and a franchise of possibilities to build from those characters, bringing more solo Hulk action into the MCU is probably a good idea.
Another long standing rumor, The Runaways have been on Marvel’s radar since before The Avengers and the MCU had changed the way we look at superhero movies. The Runaways offered a unique look at a team of teenage heroes who had to deal with the sins of their parents, who were an evil group of villains known as the Pride. Plans for the project ultimately fell through as the MCU began to develop, but there is no reason to think that it was abandoned altogether.
Or the mystery movies will all be sequels, and none of these properties are in the running for Marvel Studios. We will definitely hear more in San Diego this year at Comic-Con International, where Marvel is sure to have a huge presence and will continue to blow the minds of their fans as they announce the rest of Marvel’s Phase Three.