This summer, Marvel Studios is taking its biggest gamble yet with Guardians of the Galaxy, but with that space-set adventure getting stellar advance buzz, there’s no reason for the studio to suspect that it will be anything less than a colossal success. Next year is looking even more promising for Marvel, given that it’s releasing Avengers: Age of Ultron, sure to be a box office monster, and Ant-Man, which is finally taking permanent form with Peyton Reed at the helm. Then, in 2016, Marvel is pitting Captain America 3 against Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (for now), and also releasing an unknown film which we suspect is the Scott Derrickson-directed Doctor Strange.
Today, the studio took another giant leap forward by dating a total of five films through 2019. The new dates are:
July 28th, 2017
November 3rd, 2017
July 6th, 2018
November 2nd, 2018
May 3rd, 2019
Those unknown movies are in addition to the already-announced:
Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1st, 2015
Ant-Man – July 17th, 2015
Captain America 3 – May 6th, 2016
Untitled – July 8th, 2016 (likely Doctor Strange)
Untitled – May 5th, 2017
Yep, you didn’t read that incorrectly. According to the studio’s new plan, 2017 will see the arrival of a record three Marvel blockbusters. Are they pushing it? Probably, but when everything the studio puts out does gangbusters at the box office and with critics, can you blame them for wanting to plant more flags?
Another big question raised by the new dates is the matter of Avengers 3. It was long assumed that Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which kicks off with Ant-Man next year) would conclude with Avengers 3 in 2018, but both previous Avengers installments have come in the month of May. However, there’s no film currently set for May 2018. That makes me think that Phase Three may be longer than the previous phases of the MCU, and that Avengers 3 is the 2019 movie.
Given the amount of sequels and character introductions that need to be done in Phase Three, perhaps it makes sense to wait a little bit on Avengers 3. Guardians of the Galaxy is expanding the MCU by taking audiences to the far reaches of space this summer, and Doctor Strange will introduce a supernatural element to the franchise as well. Surely Marvel wants to toy with both of those areas in the rest of the Phase Three films.
Now, the question is, what films are on the way in Phase Three? I’d expect a Thor sequel, a Guardians sequel, a Hulk movie, Iron Man 4 and maybe even the long-awaited Black Panther. Inhumans and Runaways also don’t seem out of the realm of possibility, though part of me would prefer a Black Widow spinoff.
What do you want to see from Marvel in Phase Three? Sound off below!