Thursday, 3 April 2014

Marvel Month: Planning Phase 3

With Captain America: The Winter Solider hitting cinemas very soon, Marvel are well into their second 'Phase' of films. All leading up to next year's Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, Phase 2 has seen the studio continue its impressive run of form with box-office smash after box-office smash. 

Age of Ultron is going to be absolutely massive, we know that. It's a dead cert. But what then? What comes after Phase 2?

Well, for all the confirmed (and unconfirmed) news on Marvel's Phase 3 of film, read on...

Ant-Man (in production - July 2015)

Marvel are keen to kick Phase 3 off with a bang only a mere two months after Age of Ultron swings through cinemas; the first film off the starting block in Phase 3 is Ant-Man

Written and directed by the amazing Edgar Wright (Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Ant-Man has been in the pipeline for a long time - Wright was in talks to make the film prior to making Shaun of the Dead in 2004. Let's hope then, that the time taken equals quality and care.

What do we know about Ant-Man then? Well, we know that Paul Rudd (Anchorman, Dinner for Schmucks) is starring as the lead role, Scott Lang. Lang is the alter-ego of Ant-Man, a superhero who can change size via an invented substance and can communicate with ants. 

What else? Well, veteran Michael Douglas (Wall Street, Behind the Candelabra) is also set to appear as Hank Pym, a scientist who makes Ant-Man's transformation possible through his own invention. It is rumoured that the film will show two generations of the superhero, with Pym (Douglas) passing the baton onto Lang (Rudd) early on. 

Patrick Wilson has been confirmed in the cast, but in an undisclosed role. Meanwhile, names such as Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll and Michael Pena have all been linked to the project.

Marvel chief Kevin Feige has dubbed the film 'a heist movie' - what this entails in terms of narrative, is up for speculation. 

Captain America 3 (confirmed - 2016)

Only a few weeks ago, Marvel confirmed that a third instalment of the Captain America series is in pre-production, with a pitched release date as May 6, 2016 (the same day as Batman vs. Superman no less). 

Given that the success of The Winter Solider is all but guaranteed (pre-release reviews have been glowing!), it is no surprise that Marvel are keen to lock in Chris Evans' Star Spangled Man for a third fling of the shield. 

Joe and Anthony Russo will once again direct, with the likelihood of Scarlett Johannsson and Samuel L. Jackson reprising their respective roles a high possibility. They aren't confirmed, but their characters are popular with fans and I can't imagine Marvel wanting to deviate too much from the formula in a film that will most likely bring the Captain America series to a close. 

Thor 3 (confirmed - date TBA)

Anyone who saw Thor: The Dark World was in no doubt that there would be a third film on the way - the conclusion was simply too open-ended and simply screamed "SEQUEL".

The synopsis on IMDB says that Thor 3 is about "Thor confronting the gods to the gods when Asgard is threatened with Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse". Take from that what you will. 

Other than that, little has been said on the topic of Thor 3. No directors are confirmed, with no mention of release date, filming schedule or actors fore-coming. This doesn't mean it won't happen. Marvel aren't stupid, and are going to want to wrap the Thor/Loki storyline up in a satisfying way. I'm kind of clutching at straws right? Yeah, let's move on. 

Black Widow (rumoured)

Let's face it - Black Widow needs her own movie. The poor lass has lent a hand in Iron Man 2, The Avengers and The Winter Soldier, always there yet never stepping into the spotlight for too long. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

It's about time that Marvel thrust ScarJo front and centre for a full-length Black Widow spin-off. Not only would it be their first movie fronted by a female character (let's forget Elektra ever happened), but it'd satisfy fans clamouring for one of the best characters in the series to get her own personal narrative. 

She's already gotten some kick-ass moments in The Avengers and Winter Soldier, so a solo movie isn't too much of gamble. It'd certainly give her character a lot more to do than just swish her hair and look hot. C'mon Marvel, give the girl a chance!

Doctor Strange (rumoured)

A Doctor Strange movie is another Marvel property that has been rumoured to be in production for a while now. 

And yet, nothing has been confirmed. No official confirmation of the movie or cast, director and date. Nothing. Zilch.

This one is most likely going to be kept under wraps for a while - like Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange is a little-known, left-field property and secrecy will shroud the project in mystery, making audiences curious. With the amount of rumour swirling around surrounding this one, I'd be surprised if Doctor Strange wasn't unveiled at Comic-Con this year along with a teaser for Age of Ultron.

The Avengers 3 (rumoured)

Whilst nothing has been confirmed, it's pretty much a dead cert that Phase 3 of the MCU will wrap up with a third outing for Earth's Mightiest Heroes. All the pieces are falling into place for the third entry of the Avengers series to be the biggest film yet - after confirming that the Avengers will be taking on Ultron in their second movie, many fans have speculated that the big bad teased at the end of the first film (Thanos) will come to roost in the third entry. Talk about forward-thinking from Marvel on that one!

But who would star in it? Surely RDJ, Hemsworth and Chris Evans would crop up somewhere? Or would they? At this point, we simply don't know. At some point, Marvel are going to have to start killing off major characters - after all, the Avengers need to avenge something other than a half-dead Agent Coulson. 

What films do you think Marvel will line-up for Phase 3? Black Panther? Iron Man 4? Who is going to be the big bad in Avengers 3? Let me know in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!


  1. Really looking forward to Ant-Man, and I've been curious about Dr. Strange for a while now. If nothing else, I'm pretty confident that the future looks bright for these Marvel flicks delivering. Can't wait to see the new Captain America tomorrow night! :)

    1. Yep, I should be seeing it this Friday also! :D I don't think I'm overly sold on Doctor Strange, but otherwise looks promising! Edgar Wright's Ant-Man looks pretty lush too.



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