Yesterday, pulled a very different and DC/Warner like move in which the entire upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe through 2019. I contemplated rushing into a post, but honestly I needed to let it fester a bit so I could collect my thoughts. As a whole, I absolutely loved the announcement and all the possibilities that are now opening up. The Marvel Universe is about to get a lot more diverse.
Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was all about introducing new heroes. Heck, the beginning of the Marvel cinematic Universe didn’t even properly exist. It all started that with just trying to get Iron Man to be a success. Phase 1 was slow and introductory. We had Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Avengers. All those movies combined together and set the footwork of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Phase 2 of the MCU mainly reaffirmed the current line up that we saw in Phase 1, with slight expansions. Rather than having to set up the characters and their crew and what they stand for, we got to see the world that thee heroes inhabit rattle. Everything that we saw was meant to change the paradigm which Phase 1 established for us, while also introducing new characters. Phase 2 has included Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant Man. Each film wove together with hints and stronger connections to the universe as a whole.
The next entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, immediately following Avengers: Age of Ultron. The movie has gone through a number of twists and turns in it’s time of development and pre-production. Now everything is settled and we will soon see Scott Lang change his size on the big screen. It looks like it will bring the element of a comedy heist, which is again a very different type of movie. MCU Phase 2 has been particularly good at eliciting a different genre of movie in each film. While most of us thought that Ant Man was going to be the first film in Phase 3, it turns out that Ant Man will actually be the final film in Phase 2. Ultimately, it will be serving as the exclamation point to the phase. That said, it leaves one to question the actual impact that Ant Man will have in the universe.
Phase 3 from the set of announcements and the little that we already know about these movies, the MCU isn’t just shifting, but the entire MCU suffering from it’s own growing pains in the roughest way. There are a new slew of characters that are being introduced in Phase 3. With all new characters and what seem to be very firm endings to a number of characters that previously anchored the MCU. Those changes will majorly effect the MCU through Phase 3 and then in the future with Phase 4.
Most interesting is the structure of Phase 3. Captain America: Civil War will kick things off with a massive storyline. A story line that will divide the characters we know and the characters we are yet to know. However, it will inevitably be the initial crack further dividing the universe and it’s heroes as more Infinity Stones are collected. All of this will lead to the Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 & 2. It is a great structure of the MCU as new characters are being brought in and the overall story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands. I have to hand it to Kevin Feige for being the mastermind that is thinking about the whole big picture while trying to make the individual stakes satisfactory. It’s a tough job and I, for one, appreciate all the effort that has been put into making this Marvel Cinematic Universe so cohesive.
Captain America: Civil War May 6th, 2016
I spoke about Civil War a couple weeks ago when the news first broke that they would be tackling the storyline. I voiced my skepticism while many voiced their excitement, while others yet voiced their disdain due to their dislike of the story. Now, I want to make it clear, I loved the Civil War story line. There were so many intricacies and lingering effects that I thought, and still believe it would be best handled once there are a bit more characters revealed and in the form of a mini series. That wasn’t going to happen and, I now have no illusion that it ever will. That said, I’m still interested in what they may do with this story. Some people are frustrated at the idea that since there are no secret identities in the MCU this storyline is almost a moot point. However, secret identities was merely a side effect of the heart of the story which can still be done. At the heart of the story is the idea that because heroes have been causing so much damage in our cities, leaving civilians in harms way and left to clean up the danger, the government wishes to register Superheroes. The Superhero Registration Act is what divides our heroes. All heroes and people with powers are to sign up and work for the government. On Captain America’s side are those who wish to retain their rights and not be forced to work for the government. Then there is Iron Man who is going to be for heroes signing up, likely working off his own guilt from Ultron and wanting people to be accountable. And to spice things up further, it’s been confirmed that T’Challa (aka Black Panther played by Chadwick Boseman) will also have a role between the two forces. Have I mentioned this is an interesting way to start Phase 3 and divide former alliances.
Doctor Strange November 4th, 2016
We already knew Scott Derickson was attached to direct. However, for a long time we had no idea who would be portraying Stephen Strange on the big screen. Sure, nothing has been officially confirmed, but Benedict Cumberbatch will likely land the part as he is in final negotiations. Doctor Strange opens a very different door into the Marvel Universe. Until now, everything we saw had a very solid explanation, many of which were based in science fiction. Even everything cosmic about Asgard and it’s inhabitants felt ethereal, but also had a sense of science fiction to. The movies went as far to say that what we from Earth may see as magic was really just science we didn’t understand. Doctor Strange may eliminate that sentiment as he brings magic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There is also an interesting new dynamic that he brings to the Cinematic Universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 May 5th, 2017
Marvel made it clear that they had a lot of faith in Guardians of the Galaxy. They knew it was their biggest risk, but they took it anyway. Honestly, it’s worked out very well for them as Guardians of the Galaxy is the largest domestic release of 2014 ($328M) and 3rd largest internationally ($752M) (and honestly it’s only 5 million away from being number 2). Guardians was a massive hit and generally well loved. The movie did brilliantly and it makes sense that they would come back for more. Especially since Guardians has easy connections to Thanos and the upcoming Infinity War movies. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will likely see the crew dropped into an even worse situation than before. We will likely also see the results of this film trickle into Thor: Ragnarok as space and the cosmos go together nicely.
Thor: Ragnarok July 28th, 2017
The title of this film took me back and made me shed a tear. Sure, Thor is not the most loved franchise in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s most often cast to the side, but it has never been outright bad. Maybe I am just so enthralled by Asgard that I’ve connected to the place and the title Ragnarok scares me. In case you don’t know Ragnarok is almost like another word for apocalypse. It is the end of the world with many of the major heroes and figures in Norse mythology die. Dead as doornails, dead. The Marvel comics have had their own versions of Ragnarok in the past and guess what, many people died there too. With A blatant title like Ragnarok for the third Thor movie it screams bad news for those involved. When you line up the deaths in the traditional Norse mythology with the MCU characters we’ve been introduced to, you are looking at the deaths of Thor, Odin, Loki, and Heimdall.
Black Panther November 3, 2017
Marvel also took the jump and will have a black character head their own movie. I don’t think they could have chosen anyone better as T’Challa is a fascinating character in his own right. T’Challa is King of Wakanda. There are far fewer ways to assert a black character as important than letting the first one getting a solo film being a king. T’Challa’s politics will undoubtedly play a role in his story. He will also be introduced a few films earlier in Captain America: Civil War. How exactly T’Challa will play into Phase 3 on a grander scale as he doesn’t have much connection to other heroes or the cosmos is unclear, but I’m sure as always there is a very definite plan. Even if Black Panther is a bit less connected to the chaos, I won’t mind as his character will give us a very different movie than we’ve seen in the MCU and that is always a necessary requirement if these films are to retain their popularity.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 May 4th, 2018
The Infinity War is clearly going to be a large part of Phase 3. A large enough part that it will need two movies to navigate through the intricacies of the plot. It will inevitably include the Infinity Stones which we have been seeing since Phase 1. I don’t have much to say other than I’m excited about what this can potentially become. We’ll have a new, or at least partially new team leading as the Avengers. We’ll also see a threat that affects the entire universe.
Captain Marvel July 6th, 2018
Marvel has finally jumped in and gone for the female led superhero film. And boy is she a great superhero. Carol Danvers is an interesting character that seems to scream that she is going to do things her way and no one is going to get in the way to stop her. She’s a strong female character and it’ll be nice to see her take center stage. Sure, it was long rumored that she would be the first Marvel female to get her own film, but it’s a good thing to see if finally happen. Considering her ties to Kree, it wouldn’t be surprising if that is center stage to how she is drawn in to the entire conflict and everything going on since the events of Avengers: Infinity War Part 1.
The Inhumans November 2nd, 2018
Everyone out there clamoring for an Inhumans movie can finally calm themselves. However, the Inhumans movie would not be happening if Guardians of the Galaxy had not been such a success. Because one risk paid off, they are now able to take yet another risk. Inhumans as a movie has a lot of potential and it’s inclusion between Part 1 and 2 of the Infinity War movies makes perfect sense. It also makes sense after the Captain Marvel movie. The Inhumans stands to be an interesting endeavor with the lead character forced to communicate telepathically because his voice is a weapon. There are already rumors that Vin Diesel may play Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans, but it is still too early to know. I for one can not wait to see the hair effects on Medusa.
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 May 3rd, 2019
I don’t have anything other to say other than I hope the end of this movie is epic and sound as we will get ready to movie into Phase 4.
What of the phase 3 movies are you most excited for?