This is how you fire back in a big way. After Warner Bros. floored everybody last week by announcing an impressive run of films featuring their stable of DC Comics superheroes, it was up to Marvel to retaliate in kind. And boy, did they ever. Today they held a special press event that was expected to have at least one major announcement, and instead it had about a dozen. Let’s just jump right in because this is going to take awhile.
One major complaint has been that Warner Bros. beat Marvel to the punch on female and minority-led solo projects, but that’s no longer an issue as they’ve announced both a Captain Marvel film and one for Black Panther. Captain Marvel, which will indeed be the Carol Danvers version as previously rumored, will open July 6th 2018. Black Panther, who apparently will play a major role in the future, will be played by 42 and Get On Up star, Chadwick Boseman, as many had speculated months back. It’s a great pick as Boseman is young, a rising star, athletic, and has the charisma to play the King of Wakanda. That film arrives on November 3rd 2017. Marvel also confirmed Inhumans, which centers on the Royal Family of moon-dwelling aliens led by Black Bolt, for November 2nd 2017. Doctor Strange, which many had thought would arrive in July 2016, will instead appear in theaters on November 4th 2016, with Scott Derrickson directing and presumably Benedict Cumberbatch, although Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige neglected to confirm that yet.
So let’s talk about sequels because there are plenty. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been shuffled to May 5th 2017, with James Gunn and the original cast all to return. The third Thor film is titled Thor: Ragnarok, hitting theaters on July 28th 2017. So what’s a Ragnarok? Well, two different versions of Ragnarok exist. One version is a clone of Thor, designed by Tony Stark, that goes crazy during the Civil War event. The other is the apocalyptic “end of days” for the entire Norse line of heroes, and with Chris Hemsworth’s contract expiring soon this could mean Thor’s end is approaching. The same goes for Captain America 3, which is now titled Captain America: Civil War, and maintains its May 6th 2016 date. The Civil War storyline, which pits heroes vs. heroes, begins the path to Cap’s eventual death. Does that mean it will happen on screen? Is the torch about to be passed to the Winter Soldier or possible Falcon? Only time will tell.
And the big one that confirms previous reports of the third Avengers film being split into two, Marvel announced the two part Avengers: Infinity War, with the first chapter on May 4th 2018 and the next May 3rd 2019. Without going too deep into specifics, it’s basically a gigantic war that involves basically the entire Marvel Universe, the villain Thanos, and the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet. The pieces of the Gauntlet have played a key role in nearly every Marvel film, and this would be the culmination of all of those storylines. It would also be an easy way to incorporate the Guardians of the Galaxy, and possibly bring in other spacebound heroes like Adam Warlock and Nova.
Phew! That’s a lot to take in. Best to just sit back and mull all of this over for now, because I suspect Marvel is done with any major news for a very long time.