A decade of preparation is coming together at Marvel. Kevin Feige, the #2 executive behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, conceived the idea of expanding Marvel via an investment in The Avengers, dolling out individual films that would be interconnected, and, in return, build a tremendous financial enterprise. A decade after Robert Downey, Jr. first played Tony Stark in Iron Man, we’ll see it all come together in the first part of Avengers: Infinity War in summer 2018.
This will wind up the third act (Phase 3) of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with possibly one more Avengers film inserted in 2019) and its anyone’s guess what will come next. Here is the rollout schedule:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, May 5, 2017.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming, July 7, 2017.
- Thor: Ragnarok, Nov. 3, 2017.
- Black Panther, Feb. 16, 2018.
- Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1, May 4, 2018.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp, July 6, 2018.
- Captain Marvel, March 8, 2019.
- Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2, May 3, 2019.
Of all these films, Captain Marvel seems the most likely to be the first spark that prepares fans for a Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4. Unlike Phases 1 through 3, it’s the first film that takes a step outside the classic comic books, featuring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a version of the character created in the pages of Marvel Comics as recently as 2012. It seems an obvious step to reboot the universe at this point with other, modern versions of the comic book superheroes.
This weekend Marvel released a first look at the commencement of production on Avengers: Infinity War. The key person surprisingly not in the opening images is Chris Evans’ Captain America. No doubt fans want to see scenes of Evans and Starlord actor Chris Pratt going head to head. And the roster of actors in the film will be unprecedented as superhero movies go. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is expected to appear, among many others, hinted at in Avengers: Civil War, which excluded Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. Check out this first look from Avengers: Infinity War:
Whatever the future holds for Phase 4, it seems like the next eight movies will wind-up one of the best ideas in the history of movie franchises, as Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe forges ahead.