It’s about time somebody made a comic book movie! Just kidding–comic book movies have gone from nerd-niche to the only surefire why to get people to leave their houses. The tipping point was when Marvel completed the first Phase of its Cinematic Universe with The Avengers in 2012, bringing together characters carefully set up in standalone films for one superheroic supergroup. While Marvel has gotten busy with Phase 2, culminating in the huge success of Guardians Of The Galaxy, rival DC Comics has been working on some world-building of its own–the company recently announced a packed slate of features that runs through 2020. Not one to be outdone, Marvel took comic book fans by surprise today with the sudden announcement of its entire Phase 3.
After a week or so of interesting Marvel news–like the Avengers-lite teaming of Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America for a third Captain movie, and the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch for Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange–it was a lot of info to accept in one lightning bolt of an announcement. Although not much directorial news was made clear, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige gave up the goods on which films we can expect, displaying their logos at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood. The big news is that the third Avengers movie will be broken up into two pieces, rolled out one year apart.
Here’s what else we now know:
• Captain America 3: Civil War on May 6th, 2016 (title on screen was a prank)
• Doctor Strange on November 4th, 2016
• Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5th, 2017
• Thor 3: Ragnarok on July 28th, 2017
• Black Panther on November 3rd, 2017 (starring Chadwick Boseman)
• Captain Marvel on July 6th, 2018
• Inhumans on November 2nd, 2018
• Avengers: Infinity War Part One in May 2018
• Avengers: Infinity War Part Two in May 2019
Please temper your excitement by remembering each of these represents the budgets of 1,000 Wes Anderson or Nicole Holofcener films.