Though Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe just began this past summer with Iron Man 3, the busy guys over at Marvel are already planning out Phase Three, and who can blame them? The series has been both a critical success and a box-office juggernaut; it currently stands as the third highest-grossing franchise of all time, behind only Harry Potter and James Bond.
Marvel head Kevin Feige recently took some time out of his packed schedule to tease what we can expect in Phase Three, though he previously told Collider not to expect announcements on some of the phase’s films until next year, even though the studio has reportedly started planning through 2021.
“Next spring is when we really sit down and start to decide what we announce for 2016 and 2017,” Feige explained. “There are three or four slots. We’ve got six or seven things going. We’ve got to choose which four will go. It’s a Battle Royale!”
The yet-to-be-determined films have been locked in for May 6, 2016, July 8, 2016, and May 5, 2017.
Feige previously announced that Phase Three will then launch with Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man on November 6th, 2015, but no other properties have been officially announced as of yet.
However, we have a lot of clues about which superheroes could fill the slots in Phase Three. Feige previously told MTV News that Doctor Strange will lead a film:
Doctor Strange, which I’ve been talking about for years, is definitely one of them. He’s a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he’s totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s totally different from anything we’ve done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited.
Of Mark Ruffalo’s fan-favorite Bruce Banner/Hulk, Feige said, “I think we have something special with our Mark Ruffalo Banner, and we’d love to see where we could take his stories,” hinting that, after his “significant role” in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the character might headline his own film.
Hawkeye, who didn’t get much of an introduction in The Avengers, might also get some more attention, either just in Avengers: Age of Ultron or also in a stand-alone. “Joss has a great storyline in mind for him that shows a deeper side and further fleshes out our favourite archer,” Feige said.
Unfortunately, Namor the Sub-Mariner won’t be so lucky. “That’s at Universal,” he said.
The line-up for Marvel’s future films currently includes:
Thor: The Dark World – November 8th, 2013
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 4th, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1st, 2014
Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 4th, 2015
Ant-Man – November 6, 2015
What properties would you like to see fill the Marvel 2016 and 2017 slots? If we assume that the aforementioned Doctor Strange is one of them, then my personal preference would be to fill the other two slots with a Black Panther film starring the terrific Morris Chestnut and a movie centered around Luke Cage, a hero with near-impervious skin and superhuman strength. Of course, the slots could end up being Thor 3 and Captain America 3, but we can dream.
Let us know what your picks are in the comments section.