Phase One began with Iron Man and went through to the first Avengers. Phase Two With Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Phase Two ends (actually it ends with Ant-Man, but I'm splitting hairs).
So what do we have in store next?
Marvel Answered that on Tuesday with its announcement of its Phase Three slate: 9 movies in 5 years.
I don't think that it's a coincidence that this happens so soon after DC announced it's ambitious movie slate. Marvel does have the advantage as already being a marketable cinematic brand. DC is still finding its audience.
But here is the breakdown (text via aintitcool.com):
· 5/6/16 – CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
· 11/4/16 – DOCTOR STRANGE
· 5/5/17 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (previously dated 7/28/17)
· 7/28/17 – THOR: RAGNAROK
· 11/3/17 – BLACK PANTHER
· 5/4/18 – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART I
· 7/6/18 – CAPTAIN MARVEL
· 11/2/18 – INHUMANS
· 5/3/19 – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART II
-We've known about the Captain America: Civil War movie for a little while now, but this makes it official. Still not a fan of the idea, but we'll see how it plays out.
-There has been a lot of buzz over Doctor Strange the last few days. A few weeks ago rumors were spreading that Ewan McGregor was zeroing in on the role. Now its reported that fan favorite Benedict Cumberbatch is the frontrunner. I think either would be good, but Cumberbatch would be (pardon the pun) stranger.
-Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was originally slated for the end of summer, but since it was the highest grossing movie this year so far, they made it their May tentpole.
-I dig the idea of the 3rd Thor being a Ragnorak story. "Ragnarok" for those unfamiliar, is the Norse myth about the end of the world. This has the potential to be epic and tragic..
-Marvel has been getting a lot of flack for not including more movies about women and minorities. At least this has been the focus of the stories regarding Black Panther and Captain Marvel. I personally don't care as long as they are good stories. And you have some very new insights into the Marvel universe. I find Black Panther particularly interesting because he is a hero who is also a king.
-I'm not crazy about an Inhumans movie. These characters never really connected with me in the comics and I am surprised that Marvel is pushing them, although I heard it was their answer to the problem of no mutants in the their movies. But I was surprised at how good Guardians of the Galaxy was, so who knows?
-Like Justice League, Mockingjay, Breaking Dawn, and Deathly Hallows, Avengers: Infinity War is being broken up into 2 parts. After seeing the box office returns the above movies (though still waiting on Justice League), I can't blame them. And it if it leads to more epic stories, all the better.
-What about after Phase Three? With the introduction of the infinity stones, anything is possible, even a reboot. But by 2019 Robert Downey Jr. will be 54. The other main actors will age. What will happen to our beloved Phase One actors? I know that it is not uncommon to recast characters, even in the current Marvel Universe (I'm looking at you, Hulk). But I would hate the idea of saying goodbye to these founding fathers of Marvel Movies.