Marvel Phase 3: Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Inhumans And Infinity War Movies Confirmed
Finally. At a special live event at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California, on Tuesday, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige outlined plans for the third phase of the studio's output, with dates confirmed for a Black Panther movie in 2017, starring Chadwick Boseman; Captain Marvel and Inhumans movies in 2018, and a two-part Avengers: Infinity War movie spanning 2018 and 2019.
The studio also confirmed and shuffled some of its other releases, slotting Doctor Strange, the unnamed Guardians of the Galaxy sequel, and the third Thor movie -- now titled Thor: Ragnarok -- into its calendar; and it unveiled the title for the third Captain America movie; Civil War.
If this is all a bit much to take in, go get a cup of tea and come back in a minute.
Here's what the Marvel release calendar now looks like. (You can be sure that we'll update our infographic with all the new dates and titles as soon as we can.)
May 6 2016: Captain America: Civil War
November 4 2016: Doctor Strange
May 5 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
July 28 2017: Thor: Ragnarok
Nov 3 2017: Black Panther
May 4 2018: Avengers: Infinity War Part I
July 6 2018: Captain Marvel
Nov 2 2018: Inhumans
May 3 2019: Avengers: Infinity War Part II
The biggest news here is obviously the announcement of the Black Panther and Captain Marvel solo movies. Marvel Studios will now beat Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to the screen with its first non-white lead in a superhero movie, with Black Panther arriving ahead of 2018's Aquaman, with Jason Momoa, and 2020's Cyborg, with Ray Fisher.
Warner Bros. still has bragging rights when it comes to female lead heroes, however, as the original superheroine Wonder Woman's solo film debuts a year ahead of Captain Marvel, though Sony's untitled 'Female Lead Spider-Man Spin-Off' (as we've come to affectionately know it) may yet pip them both. As a side note, Marvel's Captain Marvel will hit theaters a full year before Warner Bros.' Shazam, featuring DC's erstwhile Captain Marvel.
Actor Chadwick Boseman, who will play T'Challa, the Black Panther, was in attendance at the event, along with Iron Man and Captain America actors Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, who will go head-to-head in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, doubtlessly inspired by the 2007 Marvel Comics story by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. That event seems to be consigned to a single movie,
and we're willing to bet it will have nothing to do with superhuman registration -- an idea that doesn't work in the movie universe. (Mind you, it didn't work in the comics either.)
UPDATE: Looks like we were wrong, per Feige's interview with /Film:
I don’t want to give too much away, but needless to say, the generalities of the act are the same. Something happens, perhaps it’s cumulative for things that have happened though all of the movies leading up to this point. It has made the governments of the world say “we need to have some oversight of these guys. They need to report to somebody. So it becomes more… it falls under that umbrella, rather than “you have to take off your mask.” It’s not about the secret identity thing, as much as it is about, overall, who reports to who, and who can agree to oversight committee. Because as of now, in Avengers 2, there is no more security council, there is no SHIELD, obviously. Stark is paying for it, Captain America is running it, and things occur that will make governments begin to question.
One hopes that the Civil War won't entirely sideline the search for Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, who remained at large at the end of the most recent Captain America film.
Far bigger than the Civil War is the Infinity War, spanning two Avengers movies in 2018 and 2019, and presumably bringing to a head the Infinity Stone storyline that has been seeded across multiple Marvel movies, with Thanos as the big villain behind it all. One wouldn't be shocked to see the Guardians of the Galaxy characters drawn into the fray.
The biggest mystery of the movies announced is Inhumans, set for 2018. Long touted as a possible Marvel Studios substitute for the mutant franchises held over at Fox, Inhumans is a fairly broad concept that could spotlight any number of characters -- and could potentially offer another leading role for a female or non-white lead. Feige noted that the Inhumans offers Marvel "a series of franchises unto themselves", which would seem to be overstating the potential appeal of the Inhumans, but we've learned never to underestimate Kevin Feige.
There was no news on who will play Captain Marvel, but the studio confirmed that Carol Danvers will be the captain, and she will have the title of captain, not "Ms.", which is important to consolidating the Captain Marvel identity for that character. Also noticeably absent from the event was a casting announcement for Doctor Strange, which suggests that either Benedict Cumberbatch hasn't closed a deal, or this week's Cumberbatch news was a mass delusion.
Doctor Strange's November release date marks a change from Marvel's previously announced plan to release a movie in July 2016, suggesting that the studio thinks it needs more time to make the movie. This leaves 2016 without a summer Marvel Studios movie. Stay strong, chums.
This astonishing raft of announcements leaves no room in the next four years for sequels to Ant-Man or Doctor Strange, and a solo Black Widow movie is still frustratingly absent from the schedule. But hey, there's always Phase Four for all that.
When are you announcing Phase Four, Marvel?
Other logos and images from today's event: