What’s Next for Marvel Studios?


In the wake of the tenth canon film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let’s just take a step back, take stock of what we’ve seen so far, and look forward at what we can expect from the company in the coming years. I’ve also updated my post The Marvel Cinematic Universe Chronological Timeline, to match what we now know. This doesn’t (yet) include anything about season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Agent Carter 8-episode miniseries, or the 4 shows Netflix is preparing (as we know too little about their current chronological placement in the universe).

Upcoming Films:
Let’s start out with what movies we can expect in the coming years. We know Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out May 1, 2015, ending Phase 2. As Phase 3 of the MCU begins, Ant-Man will kick it off on July 30, 2015, Captain America 3 is to be released on May 6, 2016. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will commence on July 28, 2017. It’s also believed that Doctor Strange will air on July 8, 2016 although I’ve yet to find where this was officially confirmed. That still leaves 6 untitled films that Marvel has set their eyes on.

It doesn’t make any sense that Marvel didn’t release the information at San Diego Comic Con for these other films, unless they were planning to and chose not to. You see, a few weeks before SDCC, a blogger claimed he knew the DC comic book movie lineup and their respective dates, and posted them online. Shortly after, Marvel revealed 5 previously un-specified dates, and another on the eve of Comic Con. Since DC didn’t confirm any of their movie slate, my guess is Marvel no longer felt pressured to lay out all their cards just yet. I’m going to guess they had a backup presentation planned just in case they no longer needed to divulge information.

Thor 3 is confirmed to be in production according to actor Chris Hemsworth, however no date has been officially announced. Much has been spoken of about a possible Ms. Marvel (or Captain Marvel) character film, which will most likely be our first female-led solo film produced by the studio. According to a spoilery rumor she may have a cameo in [redacted]. And rumors about a Black Panther film have been buzzing forever now. As far as the other films, we’ll probably see a hulk team up film (I’m still banking on him teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy), another Iron Man film, possibly a solo Black Widow movie, and yes, Avengers 3. As far as a female lead superhero movie goes, Kevin Feige has stated:

I very much believe that it’s unfair to say, “People don’t want to see movies with female heroes,” then list five movies that were not very good — therefore, people didn’t go to the movies because they weren’t good movies, versus [because] they were female leads. And they don’t mention “Hunger Games,” “Frozen,” “Divergent.” You can go back to “Kill Bill” or “Aliens.” These are all female-led movies. It can certainly be done. I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have — which is a very, very good thing and we don’t take for granted, but is a challenging thing. You may notice from those release dates, we have three for 2017. And that’s because just the timing worked on what was sort of gearing up. But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one? I don’t know. Those are the kinds of chess matches we’re playing right now.

This brings out an interesting point. If you take a look, starting in 2017 we’ll be getting at least 3 Marvel Studio movies a year, and Feige has previously stated that may change to four due to the many successful franchises that must be balanced.

What can we expect from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (besides my unfounded hopes for a Hulk teamup)? Well, they’ll most certainly stumble upon a quest to find Peter Quill’s father while attempting to take down Thanos. On their way they’ll probably come into access with another Infinity Stone. If their current grudge against Thanos is anything to go by, I’m sure down the line, when Thanos eventually heads to earth in Avengers 3, this’ll prompt the Guardians to follow him there.

Infinity Stones:
And what about those darn Infinity Stones that were mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, we’ve seen a few already. According to the film, there are 6 Infinity Stones (or gems as they’re referred to in the comics), each wielding a different immeasurable force of energy and power. Those 6 stones represent Space, Power, Reality, Mind, Time, and Soul. The Tesseract, introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger and subsequently used in The Avengers, is one of these stones, most likely the stone designed for Space. It is currently being held on Asgard. The Aether, or the second stone, was introduced in Thor: The Dark World. It is most likely used to bend Reality, and is currently in the possession of The Collector. In Guardians of the Galaxy we’re introduced to the third stone, which is nicknamed The Orb due to its spherical container, and James Gunn has revealed it is the Power Stone, via Twitter.

We’ll no doubt be seeing more of these stones in future films, most likely Guardians 2, Doctor Strange, or Thor 3. I expect we may have already seen a fourth, but that it hasn’t been explicitly revealed as an Infinity Stone. On Loki’s Scepter (‘The Glowstick of Destiny’ according to Tony Stark) is a special orb like stone, and hey – it can control the mind of whomever it touches.

What does this all mean? Well, way back in Thor we got a glimpse at what will be known as the Infinity Gauntlet, which when combined with the six stones, basically makes the wearer an unbeatable foe. What is most certainly going to happen is that Thanos will try to collect all 6 Stones, and use the gauntlet against our Avenger friends. I’m expecting him to realize the last stone is on earth during Avengers 3 (ahem, Loki’s Scepter) and that by the third act he’ll have all the pieces lined up and it’ll be the craziest fight scene with just about everyone: Avengers, Guardians, the Defenders (from the Netflix series) etc. Maybe even Coulson’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. team after the show is cancelled (but I’m hoping it has a long lifespan yet).

What do you think? Anything you hope to see from the companies future on the big screen? Small screen? Are my predictions, thoughts, realistic?

16 thoughts on “What’s Next for Marvel Studios?

  1. My personal wish for a Hulk movie would be one that introduces the She Hulk. Think about it.
    1: If it’s equally about both Hulks, it would be the perfect way to test the possibility for more female characters while still playing it relatively safe.
    2: The contrast between Bruce and Jennifer’s personalities and their attitudes toward their hulk halves could make for some great character drama. Have Bruce try to cure her even though she loves being a hulk.
    3: A climax where two hulks must team up against a very powerful enemy – how epic would that be?

    I’d almost think that Iron Man or Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (if they introduce her first) would make a better team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy than the Hulk would, but I’d still watch a Guardians/Hulk crossover.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really looking forward to Black Panther. I’m expecting an Inhumans movie along the way at some point as well. It’ll be interesting to see where the Avengers films go after 3, since presumably by then they will be in a position to rotate the members of the team. I want a Beta Ray Bill cameo too! I was disappointed he didn’t show up in Guardians of the Galaxy.


  3. Marvel is in a superb position because they can trickle different movie ideas down via netflix or network television if the concept doesn’t ovulate as a film. As long as they keep the strong Stan Lee spirit going- overarching continuity, close plot lines, cross references- they can survive some inevitable miscues and flops in the overall flow.

    Notice how the bad karma around eg Iron Man 3 has evaporated? That’s because like Silver Age Marvel- when the comics had real continuity, you just move on and look at something else, content that in fact it’s all one enormously long saga.

    I would almost suspect they’ve read the “Fantastic Four is the Great American Novel” for inspiration, or the couple of semi-scholarly books that have made similar statements: that until it was ruined in 1968 and died a lingering death in 1974 Marvel was one single text. Likewise the cinematic universe (+netflix +TV etc.) is also one single unfolding text.

    Sadly, the physical comicbooks are the losers in all this, sidelined completely and probably permanently.

    Liked by 1 person

      • “significantly better” in terms of the claimed peaks, but the overall trend hasn’t changed. I think the zaksite summary is correct, circa 2015 the decline will be confirmed as irreversible, circa 2025 the paradigm shift will be complete.

        People contemporary to the events still spoke of the roman empire as a going concern in the 500s AD but it was gone. Likewise opera enjoys some “good years” now and then but it is never again going to be the dominant pop culture it once was.

        Fortunately in the case of “Marvel” and “DC” even though the comics have turned into brand farms the torch has been passed to related media.


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