Everything we know about the remaining films in phase three of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe
Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set during a time of disunity amongst superheroes alongside conflicting public perception due to the aftermath of The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. With the impending threat of Thanos on his mission to collect the Infinity Stones and gain ultimate control over the universe, we see the heroes divided in the first installment of this phase, Captain America: Civil War. Fans are left to wonder how, or even if, our beloved heroes will rise and reconvene to save another day.
Here’s what’s to come in Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and everything we know about the films so far (contains casting and plot spoilers and rumors).
Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
Enter Stephen Strange, a brilliant yet arrogant surgeon whose life takes an extraordinary turn when a accident permanently damages his gifted hands. In a desperate search for a cure, Strange searches the world over and gets a new lease on life when he’s taken in by a sorcerer, known as The Ancient One, and trained in the art of magic to defend the world against evil.
Directed by Scott Derrickson, Doctor Stephen Strange will be portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in what’s expected to be Marvel studio’s most sci-fi and mind-bending film to date. Tilda Swinton has been cast as The Ancient one, with Mads Mikkelson, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams supporting.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017
The saga continues with this band of misfits as they embark on an adventure to uncover the true parentage of Peter Quill.
Precious little else is known about the second installment at this time. With James Gunn returning as director, the main cast are all expected to reprise their roles. New additions to the cast include Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Nathan Fillion as Wonder Man, and Kurt Russell as Star-Lord’s father.
Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017
After years of negotiating with Sony for the rights to use Spider-man in the MCU, a deal was finally reached that debuted the beloved character in Captain America: Civil War. The inclusion was well received by fans, many of which feel that Tom Holland’s portrayal of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man is the best on screen to date. It was announced shortly after the film’s release that the web-slinger would star in his very first solo film for the MCU, aptly titled Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The plot is unknown at this time, but the film is to be directed by jon Watts. Tom Holland will reprise his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, with Marissa Tomei returning as Aunt May, and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in what is assumed will be a mentor type role.
Thor: Ragnarok – November, 3 2017
With the exclusion of key members Thor and Hulk from Captain America: Civil War, fans were left wondering what the heroes have been up to. While little is known about the third installment of the franchise at this time, many assume that Thor’s vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron offers hints of what’s to come, and expect things on an apocalyptic scale. Give the film’s title, this seems a reasonable assumption.
Taika Waititi will direct, with Chris Hemsworth returning as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Idris Elba as Heimdall, and Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk. New additions include Cate Blanchett as Hela, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, and Karl Urban as Skurge.
Black Panther – February 16, 2018
Introduced in Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther quickly became a favorite among fans, and his solo debut is easily one of the most anticipated for this phase. Delving into the mysterious world of Africa’s Wakanda the newly helmed King T’Challa must learn to defend his nation from internal and external threats.
The film is being directed by Ryan Coogler, with Chadwick Boseman is returning as T’Challa/Black Panther. Michael B. Jordan is confirmed, though what role he will play is unknown at this time. Lupita Nyong’o is rumored but unconfirmed thus far. Also rumored are Andy Serkis, who would be reprising his Avengers: Age of Ultron role as Ulysses Klaue/Klaw, and Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, who we saw previously in Captain America: Civil War. Many fans are holding out hope that Sebastian Stan will appear as Bucky Barnes, and given the content of the mid-credits scene from Captain America: Civil War, this seems entirely plausible.
The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018
It’s all been leading up to this, and the third installment of The Avengers is so massive that it’s to be split into two parts, with the working title of Infinity War. After being teased throughout several of the Marvel films in Phase Two, we will finally see Thanos collecting the mysterious Infinity Stones in an attempt to construct the Infinity Gauntlet, which many fans anticipate being the final title for the first part. The Infinity Gauntlet would give Thanos godlike powers, and it will be up to The Avengers to stop him. However, with the heroes divided, it remains to be seen who will reunite and how.
Joe and Anthony Russo are confirmed to be directing both parts. Cast members confirmed so far are Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.
Rumored and likely, but unconfirmed, are Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/The Falcon, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp, Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-man, Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, Paul Bettany as Vision, Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.
Other possibilities are Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, as both actors retain contracts with Marvel that have yet to be fulfilled.
Ant-Man and The Wasp – July 6, 2018
Though nothing of the plot has been confirmed, this film will be a direct follow up to Ant-Man, and it is rumored to also be including flashbacks of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne.
Peyton Reed returns as director to the sequel, with Paul Rudd returning as Scott Lang/Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van dyne/The Wasp, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and Michael Pena as Luis.
Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019
While little is known about the plot, it is certain that this will be an origin story for Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel. It has, however, been confirmed by Marvel executives that we will not see this character appear before her solo film. As this film falls between The Avengers: Infinity Wars Parts 1 and 2, it seems a fair assumption that Captain Marvel will have an impact on the second installment. And given that her powers are cosmic in nature, it seems likely that her character could play an important role in defeating Thanos.
No plot, director, or cast are confirmed at this time, though actress Brie Larson is heavily rumored to be playing Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel.
The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019
The second installment of The Avengers: Infinity War and the final film slated for Phase Three should see a culmination of all of the previous films come together in an epic event that will leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever changed. With moments of finality that will complete the saga made up of the first three phases, and new beginnings leading into Phase Four. It’s uncertain how these films will leave The Avengers changed, but in all likelihood there will be casualties and other circumstances that will inevitably bring some major changes to the lineup of heroes. It’s possible that new introductions, such as Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel could be included in a new version of The Avengers going into Phase Four.
MCU: Phase Four
Very little has been revealed about Phase Four of the MCU at this time, however the studio have announced three dates without titles attached to them. The dates given are May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020, and November 6, 2020 with numerous possibilities as to what these projects could be.
Several likely titles include Guardians of The Galaxy 3, Spider-Man sequel, Hulk solo film, Doctor Strange 2, Black Widow Solo film, and Black Panther 2. It also seems certain that we’ll be getting Inhumans in this phase, since it was recently pushed back from the current one to make room for Ant-Man and The Wasp and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Hopefully we’ll be getting entirely new and exciting introductions to the MCU in this phase as well! What characters would you like to see Marvel bring to the big screen?
Image credits: Marvel