Marvel has finally revealed its plans for Phase 3 that will start soon after Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out followed by Ant Man that will end Phase 2 and Phase 3 will start in 2016. Before I move on here is the Phase 3 line up:
May 6, 2016 – Captain America: Serpent Society… SCRATCH THAT! It will be titled Captain America: Civil War
November 4, 2016 – Doctor Strange
May 5, 2017 – Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (has been moved up from its previous July release date)
July 28, 2017 – Thor Ragnarok
November 3, 2017 – Black Panther
May 4, 2018 – Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
July 6, 2018 – Captain Marvel
November 2, 2018 – Inhumans
May 3, 2019 – Avengers: Infinity War Part 2
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.
Captain America: Civil War May 6th, 2016: With Captain America 3: Civil War it seems that maybe Age of Ultron will not end on a high note. For those who do not know the comics, Civil War is a story line that pits comic book heroes against each other after a bill to be passed by the government for heroes to give up their identities to the public. Iron Man, Tony Stark, is for this while Captain America, Steve Rogers, is against. It also is the beginning of the end for Rogers because shortly after Civil War, Fallen Son takes place with Rogers being killed. I believe Part 2 of the Infinity Wars will be the repercussions of Rogers death in Part 1. I can definitely believe Bucky or Falcon will be taking the mantle of Captain America.
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