Full Marvel Movie Release Calendar
In light of recent revelations about Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America 3, we figure out Marvel's cinematic future.
It's recently been proposed that Kevin Feige has Marvel movies planned as far in advance as 2028. While this sounds ambitious, it isn't exactly surprising.
We know that some films (Captain America 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor 3, Avengers 3) are absolutely going to happen. Kevin Feige continues to make noise that a female-fronted Marvel film is something they're looking to do (which leads us to two likely candidates, one being Black Widow), Black Panther's name has been mentioned, and Mark Ruffalo keeps talking about another solo outing for the Hulk that's in discussion.
Since the most densely packed area of the schedule comes between May 2017 and July 2018 (which will see FIVE Marvel films released), and with the July 6th, 2018 date the most prime piece of real estate on Marvel's schedule during that period, I've assumed that's the stretch that will lead directly into Avengers 3.
So, let's start with what we know. After Guardians of the Galaxy, we're going to see the longest Marvel movie drought that we've seen in some time, but it's also the last time we're going to have to wait about eight months between them. In other words, Marvel might just be getting warmed up. So, here's what's coming, and then we'll get into the likely candidates for the new batch.
May 1st, 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron
If you haven't seen the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron by now, we just have to assume you've been asleep for a few days. Watch it here. This movie is going to set the tone for everything that comes after.
July 17th, 2015: Ant-Man
The embattled Ant-Man has recently picked up a new director and a host of new screenwriters. Marvel would lose serious face if they had to bump this from its current July release date.
May 6th, 2016: Captain America 3
Robert Downey Jr. is joining up with Captain America 3 in order to bring the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the brink of Civil War. Joe and Anthony Russo are back as directors, with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely writing. We took a closer look at the impact Captain America 3's Civil War will have on the Marvel Cinematic Universe right here.
Now we can get into the more speculative bits about the calendar...
July 8th, 2016
Most Likely Candidate: Doctor Strange
Considering that it's the only new Marvel Phase Three project that already has a writer (Prometheus' John Spaihts) and director (Scott Derrickson), it seems a fairly safe bet that this one will be Doctor Strange. Now if they can only figure out who will star in this one...
May 5th, 2017
Most Likely Candidate: Thor 3
I'm just going to operate under the assumption that this stretch of the next four films will be the build-up to an incredibly ambitious Avengers 3 in 2018.
Now, were I a betting man (note to everyone, I'm a terrible gambler, if you see me at a card table, you will take all my money) I'd say that Marvel will open strong that summer with a proven franchise. Thor 3 seems a likely candidate if only because it has a cast in place (audiences want more Tom Hiddleston) and a proven track record at the May box office.
July 28th, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Announced at San Diego Comic-Con, we know that James Gunn will be back to write and direct the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy. That's that, then...
November 3rd, 2017
Possible Candidates: Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Nova
Welcome to the completely unsupported speculation portion of this article.
Marvel have made noises about wanting to get a female-fronted superhero movie out to the public (and really, it's about time). They've already got a bankable star in Scarlett Johansson and Black Widow will have appeared in supporting roles in five Marvel movies (assuming she's in Captain America 3) by the time 2017 rolls around. A Black Widow movie that brings Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson along for the ride while introducing more characters from the fringes of the Marvel Universe could be good fun, and given the fractured state that Captain America 3 is probably going to leave the Marvel Universe, they may need to introduce as many new heroes as possible in order to set up a new team of Avengers. We may not see a solo Widow movie until after Avengers 3, if that.
That leads us back to the persistent Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel rumors, the possibility of a Nova film in the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy, or the Black Panther movie.
There is persistent buzz that Avengers: Age of Ultron is going to introduce Carol Danvers (in an exceedingly brief appearance), a character who will become the cosmically powered Captain Marvel. Her origin story would make a fine superhero film, and Captain Marvel has the kinds of power levels necessary to take on a threat like Thanos in a future Avengers movie. If you're going to make the leap with a female-fronted superhero film, a character with a power set more impressive than Wonder Woman might just be the one to do it with.
May 4th, 2018
Possible Candidates: Black Panther, ???
Marvel's Black Panther is long overdue for the big screen treatment, and Marvel Comics have been quietly positioning him as someone who deserves to fight cosmic level threats over in the pages of New Avengers (a team that also includes Doctor Strange). This is a movie that really has to get made, for any number of reasons. But with Avengers 3 likely going to need to introduce a new team of heroes, they made need to go global, and Wakanda (and its output of vibranium) would be essential for a fight against another cosmic menace, right?
Marvel have been teasing us that Thanos is coming in a big way to their cinematic universe since the end of Avengers in 2012. We know that Thanos (who will be played by Josh Brolin) is a presence in Guardians of the Galaxy, but he isn't the main villain. He's too big and important a villain to introduce properly and then dismiss in one film, and we'll probably see him again in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Marvel recently published Thanos Rising, a detailed, standalone Thanos origin story from the team of Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi. Could Marvel possibly make a solo movie about their most important villain as the final leg of their run to his headlining role in an Avengers movie? Josh Brolin seems to have some space on his schedule...
July 6th, 2018
Most Likely Candidate: Avengers 3
As the most prime spot on the summer release date of 2018, and with three movies ahead of it we're just going to put this down as Avengers 3. The thing is, what once seemed like a sure thing for an Infinity Gauntlet inspired story, now seems less likely with the revelations that Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America 3 are going to fracture these franchises a little bit. This could turn into a New Avengers movie in a hurry.
Beyond Avengers 3, it's almost pointless to consider what the November 2018 and May 2019 films could possibly be. Avengers 3 will wrap up Marvel Phase Three, and that first movie following in November will have to kick off Phase Four in some kind of suitable fashion. We've known since 2012 that the endgame for Marvel's current plans involved a throwdown with Thanos, but that doesn't have to be Avengers 3 anymore. Phase Four will likely start off with something quieter (by Marvel standards) or offbeat on November 2nd, 2018, while May 3rd, 2019 would have to be another known quantity, like an Iron Man 4 (increasingly unlikely) or Captain America 4 (only slightly less unlikely).
We expect more will be revealed soon. In all likelihood, Thor 3 and Doctor Strange will be the next films to have their release dates locked up, and then we'll see what other new characters are getting