This isn’t going to be a ‘News’ announcement because you guys have heard by now that last week Marvel announced new release dates through May 2019. Now, I’ve waited until Comic-Con was over to see how many were announced and the grand total was zero! So it seems safe to do a speculation post on what I think will be released on these dates and why. Keep in mind, if you’re reading this, say, a week from now, then I’ve probably already been proven wrong. It’s like a March Madness bracket, I’ll say the first date is such movie then next week that will be proven wrong and it’s all undone. My point is that these are just my thoughts and my speculation, I’m not expecting to get any of these dates right, so just sit back and enjoy with me!
First, a recap on the movies we already know and when they’re confirmed for.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is due out on May 1st, 2015.
Ant-Man is due out on July 17th, 2015.
Captain America 3 is due out May 6th, 2016.
Now there are eight (8) release dates through May of 2019 and I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not May 2019 will be Avengers 3 or not… For the sake of this article I’m going to put Avengers 3 at the end, but I do think having it earlier is also a safe guess.
But let’s start from the top. The first of the new release dates is an Untitled property on July 8th, 2016. I think that this is the long-awaited and heavily rumored Doctor Strange movie. Marvel is so passionate about this project, not to mention they already have a director and writer attached. At the time of this article being written, Joaquin Phoenix is the most heavily rumored suspect to play the title character, but we’ve also heard names such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and others. With Phoenix so deep into negotiations and the team already so hard at work, it would make sense for Marvel to release this project the earliest chance they get.
Next on May 5th, I’m fairly confident will be Thor 3. Kevin Feige has said that he’s very passionate about keeping the ‘new property, sequel, new property, sequel’ process as close as he can. Thor has always been kinda a B-team hero for me, I like seeing him in the Avengers but I wasn’t blown away by the Thor movie and I didn’t even feel like I needed to see the sequel. I don’t know that I’d see Thor 3, but I recognize there needs to be closure on Thor and the land of Asgard.
It was announced at Comic-Con this past weekend that Guardians would have a sequel and that’s what we all expected. Higher-ups at Marvel had said in the past (and I’m paraphrasing), “this is going to be a one-off property, not a franchise.” There’s no way that was true. It actually said at the end of the credits ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Will Return’! With all the hype and big name actors on the project, they’re looking for any stars possible to make Avengers 3 even more epic. This does kind of mess-up my point on the new property, sequel plan, but I think we’re back on track after this… (UPDATE: this release date has since been confirmed for Guardians 2 since the time of writing.)
After this we have the next date of the same year on November 3rd, 2017. I’m fairly confident this will be the Black Panther movie we’ve been hearing whispers of on and off for the past few years. Stan Lee wants it to be made, and I think incorporating more ethnically diverse heroes into the universe would be a smart choice, especially when you look at the recent gender and race changes to heroes. Black Panther would be a great way to show this and create an interesting new property.
The next release date is May 4th, 2018 and this is the date I had originally thought The Avengers 3 would be released on. However, I then found out Marvel scheduled this property AFTER all these other release dates, when Amazing Spider-Man 4 moved/was cancelled. Since Marvel always has a plan for these Avengers movies, I am going to say that this is NOT Avengers 3, but it is pretty interchangeable with the final date. So what do I think will take its place? Iron Man 4 without a doubt. Again, this date and May 3rd, 2019 are interchangeable, but either way we’re getting an Iron Man 4. It’s everyone’s favorite franchise from Marvel, not to mention Iron Man 3 made over a BILLION dollars worldwide. Robert Downey Jr. said at Comic-Con he would be on board when the offer is made, so it’s just announcement time now… I was thinking it would make more sense for this to be one of the starting factors on Phase 4, but I suppose it would also be fitting for it to be one of the final properties in Phase 3… But very interchangeable with the last date.
Speaking of interchangeable, I have two possible candidates for the July 6th, 2018 spot. I am very confident that Marvel is going to do at least one female-centric movie in Phase 3, and I think that the middle of summer is the perfect time to do it. I’m fairly convinced that this will be a character we know, and the most obvious choice would be Black Widow. I would love to see Scarlett Johansson in her own Black Widow movie, but on the off-chance that she isn’t, I have an alternate possibility… There have been rumors near and far about Ms. Marvel eventually showing up in the Marvel Universe, and here are my thoughts on that concept. I am convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that there will be some surprise character showing up at the end of Avengers 2 for the final fight, or in an after-the-credits scene, and Ms. Marvel would be perfect for that role. She could also have a small role in Captain America 3, so we continue to see her character in the universe. (And if it isn’t her at the end, then Wasp, but at that point, ugh…) Anyway, I’m pretty sure that this spot will be taken by either a Black Widow movie or a Ms. Marvel movie.
And rounding out the speculation, I have strong reasons to believe that November 2nd, 2018 will be an Inhumans movie. I’ll admit going in, I don’t know too much about the Inhumans but I do know that they are a heavily rumored Marvel property and could bring in more of the horror element to the genre blending Phase 3 has already been establishing. Setting these villains/anti-heroes of sorts up right before The Avengers 3 would also be a great choice, because its darker tone and villain forefront would either match or blow away Sinister Six.
And then we arrive at the final scheduled release date: May 3rd, 2019. As you know by now, this is what I’m predicting to be The Avengers 3. Marvel is waiting a while longer for this Avengers movie, but having more than double Phase 2’s number of properties will allow the villain(s) in Avengers 3 to become more widely known in the universe, and we’ll have more of the picture painted in the post-credits. Also, it gives Marvel a TON of heroes for the movie. (Potentially: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, Loki, Falcon, Buckey Barnes, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Phil Coulson and the Agents of Shield, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, Daredevil and the Defenders from the Netflix series, the Inhumans maybe and Nick Fury all taking on Thanos.) Pretty awesome right!?!?
Again these were just my speculations, I guarantee I flubbed in more than a few places. Also, honorable mentions to a Hulk movie, Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch movie and a Defenders movie. They’re all great ideas, but I just think the ones I listed before are better strategic choices for Marvel. The Hulk one I could be especially wrong about though…
Regardless, what are your thoughts on these release dates? I know they’re verging on two weeks old at this point, but speculate in the comments down below! And as always, thanks for reading guys.
(I’m going to see Guardians 2 today, and the post-credits scene will probably destroy this whole article…)