With phase II of Marvel’s cinematic story officially over, fans are practically chomping at the bait – positively ravenous for more superhero vitamin goodies. Given the genuine lacklustre efforts and general disappointment of phase II’s closing offering, it seems like a perfectly good time to sink our teeth into the heady anticipation of the next phase in comic book movie splendour.
Phase III kicks off in May 2016 with an almost guaranteed blockbuster that is based on, arguably, one of the greatest cross overs in comic book history, Captain America: Civil War.
Captain America: Civil War
The Civil War plot will be tied into the fallout that ensues from the aftermath of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and sees Captain America touring with a new set of Avengers – as seen in the closing scenes of Ultron.
According to the official press release, following the aftermath of a particularly tempestuous mission on their tour, an enormous amount of negative press and anger towards the Avengers – and superheroes overall, combined with increasing political pressure, forces the concept of a Superhero Registration Act to come into fruition. This causes a shift in alliances and in-fighting amongst superheroes – as well as a new conflict developing between both of America’s leading superheroes, Captain America and Iron Man.
A whole new host of Marvel superheroes are suspected to make an appearance, so it may be worth pencilling May 2016 into your diaries in advance.
Following the excitement of Civil War, audiences will be forced to wait until Winter 2016 to be introduced to an entirely new Marvel superhero and standalone movie/origin story. Introducing, Doctor Strange; a brilliant, yet arrogant and infinitely clever neurosurgeon played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
If you aren’t already familiar with this guy, the good doctor’s life and career are deemed over when he is in a terrible car accident, permanently damaging the tools of his trade – his hands. In an attempt to cure his affliction, he embarks on a world-wide search, eventually running into a sorcerer, who trains him in the art of magic.
Given Benedict Cumberbatch’s penchant for nailing almost every character he is required to play, the excitement levels for this movie should already be piquing – however, given the slightly new direction of Doctor Strange that introduces magic to the Marvel cinematic universe, we’ll have to see how the movie will fare next year.
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While it is rather depressing that there will only be two Marvel Studios cinematic productions to look forward to in 2016, the line-up that 2017 has to offer will potentially have us wishing our year away – although, we do always have DC Extended Universe offering up some delights to keep us entertained, of course.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
May 2017 – almost one year on from the inception of Phase III – sees the valiant and highly anticipated return of our favourite band of merry misfits, Peter Quill and the crew in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. The first movie was, arguably, the greatest thing to ever come out of Marvel studios, and solidified Chris Pratt’s Star Lord as a brilliant heroic and comedic actor on the big screen, as well as the small.
Vin Diesel’s Groot entered our hearts and ruined our lives with his three world vocabulary and wonderfully sweet wooden hearts, and of course – who doesn’t want a foul mouthed, violent racoon to be their best friend for life?
However, the hilariously enigmatic and sensational casting pales somewhat, in comparison to my genuine excitement for the brand new Awesome Mix Volume Two! Given the superiority of the first Guardian of the Galaxy movie’s soundtrack over – well – let’s say most movies prior to it, it’s genuinely quite agonising having to wait until 2017 to see if Hooked on a Feeling can actually be topped – here’s to hoping!
Changing pace somewhat, with a film that genuinely couldn’t get my engine going, even if it had a naked Chris Pratt attached to it: July 2017 brings about yet another Spider-Man, offering an untitled production, featuring a third inception of Spider-Man. As you may have heard, Marvel and Sony ended their feud, which paves way for Peter Parker to make his way into a debut cameo in Civil War, but he will also be making another appearance in a brand new (I use the term lightly) Spider-Man movie too.
EDIT: Admittedly, given the snippet we’ve seen of him in Civil War trailers, he certainly looks better than I thought he would – and while I think it’s great Spider-Man will be interacting with The Avengers and other key Marvel characters, I still feel a little indifferent/on the fence about this one.
Marvel’s final offering of 2017 sees my favourite Avenger back on the silver screen, after what feels like forever in terms of down time. Thor: Ragnarok hits cinemas in November 2017, and according to those in the new, the plot of Ragnarok sees the Norse apocalypse looming, putting Asgard in danger, leading to the return of Thor – and Loki! – to save their kingdom from doom.
There is also a rumour that Valkyrie will be making her debut in the Marvel cinematic universe too, which is exciting. Her first appearance was, actually, in an all-female Avengers comic, and she has recently been featured in a newer comic called Fearless Defenders – which boosts the excitement levels slightly, I’d say. Plus, it may allow for Marvel to release a standalone female superhero film – and maybe put those ‘UGH, a female Thor? RUINED’ rumours to be too, hmm?
2018 rolls in and offers audiences a brand new standalone superhero, first glimpsed in Marvel’s Civil War. Played by Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther will join Doctor Strange and Spider-Man as the newest members of the Marvel cinematic universe – aren’t we being spoiled?
I’m excited for Black Panther, especially given the fact that Boseman will be the first main protagonist in a standalone movie, and representing comic book history too, seen as Black Panther was the first superhero of colour to appear in a Marvel comic.
Being the royal descendant of a warrior race, Black Panther is basically a strategic master; a skilled tactician and an all-round super exciting character to add to the mix. If I were Marvel Studios, I’d have skipped Spider-Man and gone straight for this…
The Avengers: Infinity Wars
Eventually, in what feels like forever, we see the return of our beloved avengers back on the big screen in 2018, with the first instalment of The Infinity Wars – a movie so big, it needs to be split into two! – hitting the big screen.
The Marvel cinematic universe, thus far, has been timidly encouraging audiences to consider a final battle and face off with Thanos – further suggesting a crossover with Guardians of the Galaxy – but with the movie being so far away, there’s not much else to go on other than speculation.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
The future is seemingly not entirely different to the present; 2015 may have seen the brand new Ant Man welcomed into the Marvel cinematic fray, but it seems like 2018 will be offering a repeat performance with Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Edit: My feelings on Ant-Man have since changed somewhat, read my thoughts here!
Luckily, the first movie of 2019 sees Marvel Studio’s first female standalone comic book movie – huzzah! I mean, granted, this inception is as a result of the brew-ha-ha when audiences initially cried out for better female leads in comic book adaptations – and by better, I obviously mean… at least one… following how forlorn we all were following Joss Whedon’s bastardisation of Black Widow in Age of Ultron.
But still, Captain Marvel is still an exciting character to add to the Marvel cinematic universe, particularly given her importance as far as the comic book canon goes. Better yet, Rhonda Rousey is heavily tipped to play Marvel’s leading lady, so I guess audiences hopes are quite high that it will be a winner – and so long as Joss Whedon is kept well clear of character development, we can be sure she’ll kick ass.
Avengers: Infinity Wars part II
The second instalment of the Infinity Wars will hit theatres in 2019, following on from, what I can only assume, the success of the first effort. There’s still very little to know about this, as far as Marvel’s cinematic universe is concerned, but given that it follows the introduction of Captain Marvel, that she will be appearing in Infinity Wars part II.
Hotly following the heels of the incredibly successful Avengers, Marvel will be introducing audiences to a new band of merry superheroes, in the shape of the Inhumans.
I’d say this is an incredibly wise decision from Marvel studios, given that audiences will be feeling relatively rejected following the conclusion of the Avengers series, plus the conept of Inhumans also ties in brilliantly with the previous four yeas work Marvel has put in regarding the Kree, given that each member of the Inhumans are a race borne of perpetual genetic testing the Kree were working on during the Kree-Skrull war; they’re incredibly advanced and proffer an X-Men sense of nostalgia – which makes me feel pretty excited. Overall, Inhamans is a widely interesting movie concept, so I guess now all we need to hope for is an amazing cast?
So, that’s the next few years of our movie plans mapped out… Who’s bringing the popcorn?
All images were found via Google Images, unless featuring The Geek, Simple. logo, and all credit goes to original posters.