Yesterday’s announcements were BIG! Marvel have unveiled their movie plans running up to 2019. Here’s a summary – and my thoughts!
A Shift to the Cosmic
The success of Guardians of the Galaxy has definitely had an impact on the Marvel cinematic slate. The Thor series is cosmic fantasy, of course; Guardians 2 was inevitable. James Gunn has already briefed that it’ll delve into Star-Lord’s ancestry…
But Avengers 3 – which, as rumoured, is split into two parts – is indeed the Infinity War. And inbetween parts 1 and 2 we see Captain Marvel and The Inhumans.
I’m wondering if Marvel are planning to use television series – akin to the forthcoming Netflix Defenders runs – to keep their universe grounded, leaving the big screen for the epics. If so, we may see Marvel Studios expand dramatically.
Some huge trilogies
Thor 3 has been entitled Ragnarok. It’s hard to think of a title more likely to be epic! And, what’s more, Captain America 3: Civil War clearly harks back to the massive Marvel event. I’m seriously intrigued to see how this works; we know it’ll introduce the Black Panther, we know Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark is a big feature, but we still haven’t had any rumours confirmed as to Marvel and Sony striking a deal over use of Spider-Man (making it seem pretty unlikely that any deal will be in time for Civil War). It all builds up to a film that could be very different to the event, not least because it’s kicking off in a film centred around Steve Rogers – hardly the vague attempt at ‘balance’ Marvel attempted during their comic book event.
Still, given Captain America 3: Civil War is early in Phase 3, I expect it to have a big impact on the rest of the run.
Notice, incidentally, that there’s no Iron Man 4. RDJ is reportedly pushing for one, but this will be the longest period without an Iron Man film since Marvel Studios formed. In all honesty, it looks as though Marvel are sticking to trilogies as a maximum; it’ll be interesting to see if, post-2019, that pattern continues (particularly with the Avengers franchise).
Doctor Strange has been an open secret for a long time, and Benedict Cumberbatch is reportedly in talks for the role. This film will involve other realms and realities, and sounds like another Marvel attempt to do something very, very different. It could well be the highlight of Phase Three if the gamble works out.
The 2018 epic
Little commented on is the fact that Infinity War is split in two parts – and that there are other movies inbetween. Think about it: Marvel movies to date have all fit into the same chronology, with our being confident that, for example, Iron Man 3 is after The Avengers. By splitting a movie in two like this, Marvel are implying that the first part comes to a dramatic head that sets the status quo for the ‘inbetweeners’, Captain Marvel and The Inhumans. It all makes me very curious indeed.
The Inhumans are coming!
Rumours have flown around for a long time that an Inhumans movie was inevitable. The current arcs in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had left many fans thinking they were imminent; and yet, actually, they’re slated for 2018. If the Inhumans are indeed cropping up in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as early as this year, then that’s a very ‘slow-burn’ approach. It makes me think Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may yet have some curveballs to throw.
What is attracting a lot of comment, though, is the fact that Marvel Studios are running their first movies headed by somebody other than a white male. Black Panther (to be played by Chadwick Boseman) and Captain Marvel are seen as ground-breaking (which, frankly, I find a little sad in itself). As a massive fan of Carol Danvers, I’m more than a little excited to see her hitting the big screen, though! No doubt a thousand and one fan-casts are about to be made…
Surprisingly, there’s no Black Widow film on the horizon, although Scarlett Johansson’s character is confirmed to appear in multiple movies.