Fresh off the enormous box office success of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, Marvel is preparing to launch Phase Two of its Cinematic Universe this spring with the release of Iron Man 3, but it seems the studio is already looking beyond this next round of movies. Speaking to MTV, Marvel’s President of Production Kevin Feige has revealed that Phase Three will get underway in 2015 with the previously announced Ant-Man from British filmmaker Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End), while the Sorcerer Supreme will also make his MCU debut as the long-rumoured Doctor Strange movie finally becomes a reality.
“Ant-Man is definitely part of Phase Three,” said Feige. “Like Iron Man 3, it’s certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it’s also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the only reason we’re making the movie. I’ve known Edgar since our first lunch together at Comic-Con in 2004. He asked me what Marvel was doing with Ant-Man — we weren’t even a studio then; what a difference eight years makes! It’s very much an Ant-Man origin movie from the perspective of Edgar Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish [Attack the Block, The Adventures of Tintin]. It will of course be firmly planted in the MCU, but a different corner than we’ve seen before.”
“So much of the stories we’re telling [right now] is about the core Avengers characters we’ve now met, and they’ll be evolving in big, surprising ways, in Cap’s next movie and Thor’s next movie and of course in Iron Man 3, as we get them all into the next Avengers film,” he continued. “Beyond that… Ant-Man is the only one officially announced, but you probably don’t have to look too far to guess at the next list of characters we’re toying with and beginning to develop. Doctor Strange, which I’ve been talking about for years, is definitely one of them. He’s a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he’s totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s totally different from anything we’ve done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited.”
So, looking at Marvel’s upcoming slate, we’re getting Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World this year, followed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 and The Avengers 2 in 2015. That same year Phase Three will get underway with Ant-Man, with Doctor Strange presumably following in 2016 (at least according to the IMDb). It makes sense that Marvel will continue with its two films a year policy, so assuming The Avengers 3 arrives in 2018, that means we can probably expect another three or four movies as part of Phase Three.
If I had to guess, I’d go with Iron Man 4 and / or Thor 3, plus Black Panther and Daredevil. Of course, there’s always the possibility of Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy or The Incredible Hulk sequels, not to mention the likes of Heroes for Hire, Runaways, Blade and The Punisher…