Ye Olde Dragon here, with some cinematic news of galactic proportions! Earlier today Marvel Studios held a live event at Disney’s El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles. For the past few days, fans have been speculating ad nausea as to what will be covered/announced. The series ran the gamut from confirmation that Benedict Cumberbatch has indeed been cast as Dr. Strange to Marvel Studios and Sony reaching some sort of agreement that would allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Well, the wait is over.
The presentation began with studio head Kevin Feige reintroducing the teaser trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron that debuted last week. He then went on to thank the audience for making GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY the number one movie of the year, but changed gears by saying that today he wanted to talk about Phase 3.
A graphic came up on the movie screen with the title “Phase 3”, surrounded by release dates of films whose titles were simply branded as to be announced, previously.
First announced, as previously noted (though without a subtitle until now) was CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE SERPENT SOCIETY, released on May 6, 2016.
Next, on the screen appeared director James Gunn to give a brief message in regards to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – the release date will be May 5, 2017, which is moved up from its previously announced release date of July 28, 2017. No other new information was given out today.
So what will take Guardians 2‘s place on the schedule? How does Thor: Ragnarok sound as a replacement on July 28, 2017?
“This is a very important movie for us in Phase 3,” said Feige. “We plan on taking Thor to another level. It picks up where we leave Thor in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and impacts everything that comes after.”
Next up was the first really big news of the day, which nobody had any solid info on, but was on every fans wish list to be included in Phase 3. November 3, 2017 will see the release of BLACK PANTHER.
Not resting on the laurels of that announcement very long, on the screen flashed another graphic – being released on July 6, 2018 will be none other than CAPTAIN MARVEL. When the graphic comes up, Kevin Feige said, “Captain Marvel has gone by many names… This character’s name is Carol Danvers.”
Next on the screen – November 2, 2018…INHUMANS.
“November 3, 2018 will introduce dozens of characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” promised Feige. “We really do believe the Inhumans can be a franchise or a series of franchise unto themselves. They have dozens of powers and an amazing social structure. With our 20th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we wanted to continue to refine what that universe is about.”
Kevin Feige then says, “We’ve always had a plan since Nick Fury broke into Tony Stark’s house and told him he’s part of a bigger universe,” recalled Feige. “‘Avengers: Infinity War Part 1’ is the beginning of the culmination of everything that has come before.”
Following that statement, a montage of all the previous films is shown, capped off by the image of The Infinity Gauntlet and a single graphic…
Then the screen starts showing an exclusive scene from AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, with Cap and Tony talking about the Maximoff kids, and tensions are running high. And then a title card shows up on the screen – May 6, 2016 – Captain America: Civil War (and the crowd loses their minds). Apparently, The Serpent Society was a red herring.
Almost immediately who should walk out onto stage but Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans, causing the crowd to go even more berserk. When you think things couldn’t get any more insane, Feige introduces Chadwick Boseman, who will play The Black Panther!
Feige then tells the audience, “As you can see, we have a hell of a lot of work to do.” He then thanked everyone for coming and proceeded to clear the room for the press only Q&A.
Here are some key points of the Q&A:
During the Q&A, Feige spoke about wanting to have fun with the announcement and how he’d wanted to make it at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, but things hadn’t come together until recently. When asked if the Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies will be their introductions, Feige replied, “We will see Black Panther in Civil War in costume.”
When asked questions about Guardians 2, he answered that we’d have to wait until James Gunn gets back from Tokyo.
According to Feige, there are no plans for either Hulk or Black Widow Solo films, as their roles will be in the Avengers films, though he emphasized that there are plans in which “Natasha plays a key, key role.”
Though a director has yet to be named for Civil War, Feige noted that it is the beginning of Phase 3.
The Serpent Society was definitely a joke, meant simply to misdirect fans.
According to Feige, we may see hints of The Inhumans throughout he MCU films, a LOT sooner than their November, 2018 release.
When asked about how they’ll approach Civil War and how it would be reflective of the comics, Feige replied, “…Events of the whole cinematic universe will make all governments in the world want regulation. Not so much about secret identity, but about who reports to who.” This makes a lot of sense, especially when there are basically no secret identities in the MCU.
Well, there you have it. Warner Bros. may have beaten them to the punch with their announcement of a full slate of superhero movies, but where they merely made a part of the shareholders conference call, Marvel really pulled off an outstanding event for the fans. In any event, superhero fans are certainly going to have a full plate, regardless of the source, over the next five or six years.