Marvel has confirmed a series of new films – including Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Captain Marvel – taking its production schedule up to 2019.
Following speedily on the back of the early release of the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, nine new productions were announced at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
Among them were the expected release dates of Captain America 3, subtitled Civil War; an earlier than expected, and as yet untitled, Guardians of the Galaxy follow-up; the apocalyptic sounding Thor: Ragnorak; and the news that Thanos will finally tackle the Avengers over two films in 2018 and 2019.
While some surprises were revealed – including the fact that Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man will come to blows with the Cap in Captain America: Civil War – the most intriguing news came from the new heroes set to appear in the Marvel Universe.
The full list of release dates is:
Doctor Strange Nov 4 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 May 5 2017
Thor: Ragnorak July 28 2017
Black Panther Nov 3 2017
Avengers: Infinity War part 1 May 4 2018
Captain Marvel Jul 6 2018
Inhumans Nov 2 2018
Avengers: Infinity War part 2 May 3 2019
These are the films to make up Phase 3 of Marvel productions, with next year’s Ant-Man (released July 17 2015) marking the finale of Phase 2. As you can see, audiences can get ready for the launch of a whole new bunch of caped heroes, beginning with Doctor Strange.
With a name like Steven Strange, its no wonder that Marvel’s sorcerer supreme – formerly a surgeon who loses the use of his hands in a car accident – would be destined for a more unique set of powers than throwing a hammer or hulking out. After visiting a healer called the Ancient One in the Himalayas, Strange learns the secrets of magic and becomes the MU’s most mystic member.
At the time of writing, there has been no confirmation of who will be playing Doctor Strange, however Benedict Cumberbatch seems odds-on favourite.
Also announced is the solo film outing of fan-favourite Black Panther, who will be played by Chadwick Boseman, seen most recently as James Brown in biopic Get On Up. Before this is released in November 2017, the Wakandan royal will appear in Captain America: Civil War, with Boseman appearing on stage alongside Downey Jr. and Chris Evans at the announcement event in Hollywood.
Marvel are also planning the franchise’s first female-led feature, which instead of focusing on Black Widow – which many expected – will introduce Captain Marvel. While this name has been associated with multiple individuals, Feige confirmed that it will be Carol Danvers, the air force officer granted powers while on a mission in space, who will appear in theatres on July 6 2018.
Finally, while the unveiling of The Avengers: Infinity War (parts 1 & 2) is perhaps the biggest of them all – which will see the Avengers and most likely a number of other heroes unite against Thanos – the announcement of an Inhumans film could be the most intriguing. Centred around a race of superbeings with a separate society of its own, the film could prove to be Marvel’s biggest gamble. Of course, the same was said of Guardians of the Galaxy, which proved to be a big summer hit, so maybe continuing to move into outer space could be the future of Marvel’s films.
These latest announcements were revealed just a few weeks after Warner Bros. announced ten upcoming films based on characters from DC comics, including Aquaman, Cyborg, Wonder Women, the Flash and the Suicide Squad.