Oh boy. Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man, as well as a new director finally announced? Josh Brolin rumored to be Thanos (No 100% confirmation from Marvel has been announced yet. But their lack of disputing these claims, as well as Latino Review leaking this, gives this notion credibility)? Scott Derrickson directing Doctor Strange, as well as Jared Leto rumored to be in the casting run? The media is flaming up with Marvel news. But their stride isn't breaking. Guardians Of The Galaxy is coming to theaters soon, followed by The Avengers: Age of Ultron to finish up Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ant-Man will be helming Phase Three, with Doctor Strange giving support. So one can't help but wonder: What is Marvel planning? Where is all of this leading? What's going to happen in Phase Three?
Like some of my other articles, I want to take this time to open up discussion. I'll leave most of the news announcing to the other amazing contributors on this website. I enjoy it more when the community can be involved in the discussion of their favorite franchise. Rather than specifically talking about potential films being made, let's change the tone of the subject and discuss each of the superheroes (And rumored heroes that may pop up) and what may happen to them.
**Please note that this will be a discussion about the properties of Disney and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Properties such as X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man, owned by Fox and Sony, will not be discussed. Possible spoilers may be in this article**
Tony Stark/Iron Man: The poster child of Disney/Marvel, the superhero responsible for the immense Marvel Cinematic Universe, the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist that kicks butt; Tony Stark, or Iron Man as we all know him, is by far the most popular Marvel hero. He has had three successful movies fighting off against Iron Monger, Whiplash/Crimson Dynamo, and Aldrich Killian of A.I.M., teamed up with War Machine/Iron Patriot, beat Chitauri ass in The Avengers, might lay the smackdown on Ultron in The Avengers: Age of Ultron (As well as Hulk in his Hulkbuster Armor), and will probably be on the front line against The Mad Titan Thanos in The Avengers 3. But people can't help but wonder: What else? Is there going to be an Iron Man 4? Will Robert Downey Jr. continue his Tony Stark role outside of his contract obligations? Anything that is said past this point is pure speculation. There is literally no hint or leak of any kind of info. But one can't help but wonder about what Marvel has already done to find out the future of Iron Man. Despite Iron Man 3's box office success, fans were less than pleased with the portrayal of The Mandarin. But Marvel rewarded us with apology when they released "Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King." While not outright saying it, they blatantly told us to our face that the real Mandarin is still out there. Planning. Waiting. Pissed off. This could more or less be enough incentive to do another Iron Man film. This time giving us the Mandarin we want and deserve. But will Robert Downey Jr. be the one to continue his legacy? Maybe, maybe not. Hugh Jackman recanted his words about ditching the Wolverine role when presented with awesome script material. Maybe Marvel can convince RDJ to stick around if the script is good enough? What do you think?
Thor: The God of Thunder himself, Thor is arguably one of the strongest heroes in Marvel period. And he has proven this time and time again on the big screen. So one can't help but wonder: What's in store for the Son of Odin, especially since a third film has been confirmed? Well let's look at Thor: The Dark World as a reference to what may happen. At the end of the film, we see Thor finally making Earth his new home, as well as Loki finally assuming the throne of Asgard (It is uncertain what happened to Odin. Locked up? Killed? Who knows). One of the hottest talking points is The Ragnarok story, where Thor must confront the gods to the gods when Asgard is threatened with the Norse apocalypse. Next to this, one of the most wanted villains for the film is Surtur, a fire demon native to the extradimensional plane of Muspelheim (Shown in Thor: The Dark World as one of the worlds in the portals), land of the fire demons and one of the nine worlds in Norse mythology. I won't spoil too much about this plot, to be honest because I haven't done much research on this story arc. But all I can say is, there is a lot of death and action. It would be a great way to introduce Amora/Enchantress as well, a powerful Asgardian sorceress turned evil by Loki (Amora's sister Lorelei was in an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Thor 3 could potentially be a big film. What do you think?
Steve Rogers/Captain America: The hero of America, as well as the leader/strategist of The Avengers, and one of the most iconic superheroes in western media. Steve Rogers certainly has had an experience. Losing his best friend (Only to find out he's alive and brainwashed), being frozen for 50+ years, and having to put up with Tony's shenanigans. Captain America will have his hands full in the upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron, especially after the crap he had to deal with in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But what about after? Well Captain America 3 has been confirmed. So it's more or less playing the guessing game. But here are some clues that can shed some light for us:
- Steve Rogers has a growing mistrust in his own government
- The Winter Soldier not only appears, but Bucky Barnes begins to recollect his memory.
- The epic foreshadowing of Crossbones.
Sebastian Stan, Bucky Barnes, is signed on for a 9 picture contract.
The list goes on. But long story short, these information pieces scream of one particular plot. The Death of Captain America at the hands of Crossbones, as well as The Winter Soldier picking up the Vibranium Shield and becoming the new Captain America. Yes I know. No confirmation of this, only speculation. But Marvel has been doing a good job lately of taking source material from the comics. One can't help but think this is the direction they are going in. Especially since Chris Evans has expressed interest in other projects once his contract obligations are done with Marvel. What do you think?
Bruce Banner/Hulk: Did I mention Thor was one of the strongest Marvel heroes? I did? Well then I forgot to mention that Thor has competition with the gamma radiated giant Hulk, scientist Bruce Banner's crime fighting (And sometimes teammate fighting) alter ego. The Hulk had a rocky start when the 2003 film "Hulk" with Eric Bana left a bad taste in our mouth. But once Marvel got the stones rolling with the Cinematic Universe, the Hulk made a comeback with Edward Norton and revitalized our faith in the character in "The Incredible Hulk." Though this movie made the least amount of box office money out of all the MCU films, it still was a very successful film. Sad to see Edward Norton leave, but Marvel gifted us with a casting so great and amazing. Enter Mark Ruffalo. Favored by both Marvel and the fans, Mark is returning to us in The Avengers: Age of Ultron and from the sounds of it, there's going to be plenty of Hulk in the second Avengers; And maybe even Avengers 3.
But what about another solo film? Fans have literally been begging for another Hulk film with Mark Ruffalo, but nothing has popped up yet. Mark furthered confirmed this when he dispelled rumors of a Hulk sequel. But we all know Marvel, always playing those mind games. So what would a future Hulk film look like? Would we finally see a modest intellectual hulk like the comics, actually speaking (albeit in third person) and seeing the gentle side of Hulk who only wants peace and quiet? Would we see the reprisal of The Leader played by Tim Blake Nelson? Would we see the return of Abomination, as well as newcomers like Absorbing Man and Zzzax? What about General Ross/Red Hulk, or Bruce's cousin Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk? There really are a lot of plot points just begging to be put on the big screen. One of the popular plots would have to be Planet Hulk, followed by World War Hulk: A plot revolving around the Illuminati (Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and other various heroes that sadly are not within the rights of Disney) sending Hulk to space because of how dangerous he is. Hulk crash lands on a planet where eventually he becomes it's ruler, and exacts revenge on Earth and his former comrades when he returns to invade. Most think this story is unlikely because it doesn't really seem to be within the plans of Disney to pit all their favorite heroes up against each other. Especially since these films are not only targeted towards adults, but kids as well. Kids whom would probably be upset to see their favorite heroes turn on each other (Another reason why a Civil War story might not happen, at least not until after Avengers 3). But who knows? We literally have zero info to go about with Hulk. We have no clue what Marvel is planning with the green giant. Anything is possible. What do you think?
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow And Clint Barton/Hawkeye: While not as iconic as their Avenger teammates, Black Widow and Hawkeye deserve nothing less than gratitude for the equal amount of effort in saving the planet in The Avengers film. And we'll be seeing them again in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I'm particular happy about Hawkeye getting more heroic screen time. I understand that the plot demanded Hawkeye be brainwashed by Loki in The Avengers, and I was ok with it. But I couldn't help but feel bad for Jeremy Renner. But all is good. Or is it? In all the films both have appeared in, they have been diminished to supporting role. Again, I understand why. It wasn't their films. But this begs the question: When are we going to see a plot-centric media adaptation of Black Widow and/or Hawkeye. Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow solo film. Even more fans have been chanting for a Black Widow/Hawkeye film, centered around the famous Budapest incident mentions in The Avengers. Seriously. I want to know what the hell happened in Budapest. But why stop at film? Marvel has been poking around with the television concept. Maybe make another series out of this next to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, and etc? It would be an excellent way to introduce more lesser heroes like Mockingbird, and even give agents like Sharon Carter more screen time. Villains like Crossfire and the Death-Throws (Hawkeye archenemy and the team he hires frequently), and Black Lotus and Snapdragon (Martial arts masters and assassins hired to hunt Black Widow) can easily be included as well. We can even explore their past and upbringing. Bring in Hawkeye's mentor Swordsman and his brother Trickshot, as well as explore Black Widow's past and find out how she got "red on her ledger." One of the biggest reasons why these stories haven't surfaced yet is probably because it wouldn't contribute much to the MCU Phase storyline. But come on Marvel. You're taking risks with Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Why not make the risk with these two? What do you think?
Wanda and Pietro Maximoff/Scarlet Witch And Quicksilver: The Twins. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, two sibling mutants who are the children of Magneto (Oh wait...I'm not supposed to mention that...Please don't sue me Fox...), they were teased at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier as prisoners of Baron Von Strucker, the leader of Hydra. They will be making their official debut in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. First starting out as opposition for the Avengers, and later becoming allies to fight against Ultron. But outside of the second Avengers film, what more can we expect from these two? Can we expect a Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch film? Well there are three things that need to happen before we can even entertain that thought:
- 1. The film needs to be released first. There is no point at all of discussing the idea of a solo outlet for the Twins if we have no idea how the fans are going to react to them. But don't worry too much. Joss Whedon is helming the film, and Disney/Marvel haven't failed us on a casting yet.
- 2. The issue of the character rights. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are co-owned by both Disney and Fox. Fox being able to capitalize on the characters true origins (as long as no mention of the Avengers pops up), and Disney able to make use of their Avengers role (without making no mention of being mutants or children of Magneto). But would Disney be able to apply these two to a media outlet that doesn't involve the Avengers? I'm not a complete know it all when it comes to contracts and intellectual properties and etc. So I can't answer for sure on this.
- 3. Another bit of confusion would be their enemies. A majority of their foes are owned by Fox, being mutants. So would there be anything at all to work with plot wise?
We'll just have to wait and see for The Avengers: Age of Ultron to further this discussion. What do you think?
Guardians Of The Galaxy: The upcoming Guardians of The Galaxy, a story of a ragtag team of misfits consisting of: Peter Quill/Star Lord, Gamora, Drax The Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. While the film has not been released yet, already leaks and reviews of the movie are being released. And even a Guardians of The Galaxy sequel being rumored. All in all, GOTG is a risk/reward film, that seems like it's going to pay off and get all the reward. So since a sequel is rumored, what else can happen? Will the GOTG meet up with the Avengers? Will Iron Man join the GOTG? There are also characters of interest that fans REALLY want to see, such as Nova and Adam Warlock. As for a plot, I'm not an expert on GOTG. I only just found out about this lesser known team a few years ago. And while I've done my research on the characters individually, the stories and adventures they were on have not yet passed my eyes. I am however aware of certain villains such as the Universal Church of Truth and Magus (An alternate version/time paradox of Adam Warlock, created to counter Thanos but failed and became insane). So I'm going to rely on you guys to let me know what a sequel could possibly contain. What do you think?
Hank Pym and Scott Lang/Ant-Man: Ant-man has been on a rocky road as of recently. But the film is still coming. And I have faith that Marvel will deliver. Just recently, Peyton Reed has been announced as the new director. Followed by a plot synopsis:
Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.
This film is definitely another choice from Marvel to go outside the box. And we won't know anything about it until it's 2015 release, as well as a trailer that will be released prior. So what can we expect? Who would be the villain? To be honest, Ant-Man doesn't have a whole lot of stellar villains. Elihas Starr/Egghead and Alexander Gentry/Porcupine are two that I can think of. Though Ultron will be appearing in the second Avengers film prior to Ant-Man, maybe he'll make his way in some form in the film since Hank Pym is "supposed" to be the original creator? Or maybe even Jocasta (Ultron's significant other) could be brought in? And what about Janet van Dyne/Wasp? Hank Pym is going to be an elderly man in the film. What will happen to the role of Wasp? Will she be elderly too? Will Pym be robbing the cradle with Wasp? Will Wasp be reworked into being Hank's daughter and instead be Scott Lang's love interest? Another talking point is Ant-Man's involvement with the Avengers. Of course it worked in the comics, but one can't help but think a tiny superhero that can talk to ants wouldn't fit with the onscreen Avengers. But you know who can? GIANT-MAN. That's right. Eventually Ant-Man learns how to grow his body instead of just shrink, and dons the new persona Giant-Man. This new alter ego would definitely fit in an Avengers film. But why stop there? Why not Yellowjacket, another persona of Ant-Man? It would definitely create an excellent plot point for a future movie to delve into Ant-Man's turmoil; And Yellowjacket was even a member of The Defenders, an upcoming Netflix tv show. A lot of different ideas that can work. What do you think?
Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange/Doctor Strange: He's coming. A director has been announced. A casting role rumored. And a name drop in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Surgeon-turned-sorcerer Stephen Strange will become the Sorcerer Supreme to protect Planet Earth against magical threats of all kind. When? We don't know. The story? We don't know. The villain? We don't know. Involvement with the Avengers?..I won't repeat myself again..The entire film and direction is shrouded in mystery. This is pure 100%, fact-absence speculation. In the first Thor film, in Odin's treasure room, we are quickly shown The Orb of Agamotto, which can be used locate where magic is being used or dangers to the world. In the comics, the orb rests in Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum in a room called the Chamber of Shadows. But as of right now, it's located in Asgard. Eventually it will have to make it's way to Doctor Strange, as it is necessary for him and is linked to Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto. As for villains? One villain comes to mind: Dormammu, the Lord of the Realm of Darkness. Having the ability to manipulate mystic energy, as well as being immortal, Dormammu would be the perfect picture villain for Doctor Strange as well as the perfect plot to create much needed drama. But why stop there? Dormammu is more of a sequel/final villain for Doctor Strange. There are lesser known villains like Baron Karl Mordo, powerful sorcerer and fellow disciple of the Ancient One who turns evil, and the Mindless Ones, a race of beings with incredible strength but no will of their own, who act as agents of pure destruction for whoever controls them. Though The Mindless Ones would seem to fit better as tools of a villain, rather than the villain themselves. Shuma-Gorath, ruler of ancient Earth, could be used as well. With the introduction of Doctor Strange, as well as the magical and mystic world that follows him, new doors are being opened at Marvel and the possibilities are literally endless. What do you think?
T'Challa/Black Panther: The Prince of Wakanda, son of King T'Chaka, residing in the land sitting on top a Vibranium (Captain America's Shield) deposit, and famously known as the most popular African American hero, T'Challa/Black Panther is rumored and favored to be coming to the big screen soon. Kevin Feige has even expressed interest in this. Some fans were disappointed when they learned that Doctor Strange was coming before Black Panther, but in the immortal words of Satoru Iwata (fourth president of Nintendo Co): Please Understand. Black Panther IS coming. When and in what format, we don't know. But given the rumors that The Avengers: Age of Ultron will feature plenty of Wakanda easter eggs, fans need to rest easily that Marvel knows what they are doing. Have faith. Kevin Feige will not disappoint. This is Marvel we're talking about, not DC (Sorry for the call out on DC. It's usually mandatory that DC and Marvel drop the mic on one another at least once in any discussion). Just like Doctor Strange, we don't know the when, where, villains, plot, and Avengers involvement of Black Panther. But what can happen? Well as we all know, T'Challa is the son and prince of King T'Chaka. Eventually T'Chaka is murdered by Ulysses Klaw/Klaw, an expert physicist and villain who has the power to manipulate sound. So potential villain number one has been named dropped. Other villains could possibly be White Wolf (T'Challa's adopted brother) which would make for an interesting story, Batroc has made appearances against Black Panther and has even appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Another appearance in the Black Panther film would give even more connectivity between the films), and M'Baku/Man-Ape, a Wakanda originator who tries to usurp the throne of Wakanda and eventually joins with the outlawed rivals White Gorilla Cult. As for the involvement with the Avengers, there are rumors that Wakanda will be an easter egg in the upcoming Avengers sequel. In the comics, Ultron tries to upgrade himself with Vibranium, and Captain America has even visited Wakanda to have his shield repaired. All in all, Black Panther fits perfectly within the MCU. So much rich history and story to tell with the character. Can't wait to see him on the big screen. What do you think?
Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel: There are many different iterations of Ms. Marvel: Carol Danvers, Sharon Ventura, Karla Sofen, and Kamala Khan. But for the sake of what the MCU is portraying, the likelihood of Carol Danver's incarnation appearing is the most probable. A member of the United States Air Force, she met Dr. Walter Lawson (the human alias of alien Kree hero Mar-Vell/Captain Marvel) and was caught in an explosion of a Kree device after being kidnapped by Yon-Rogg. Although Captain Marvel manages to save her life, Danvers sustains serious injuries. Danvers resurfaces with superhuman abilities thanks to a fusion of alien Kree and human genes and becomes the hero Ms. Marvel (Though not confirmed, supposedly the blue alien shown in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a Kree. The Kree race, as well as Ronan The Accurser, will be in the upcoming Guardians of The Galaxy as well). In May 2013, the The Hollywood Reporter reported that Marvel Studios has a script for a Ms. Marvel feature, so that is why I am including her on this list. That and fans REALLY want her. So bad, that Marvel fans are demanding that she get a film before DC's Wonder Woman just to spite Warner Brothers.
It's about time the big screen comic movies get some female love (Discount Elektra and Catwoman). So what would a Ms. Marvel film look like? Well let's get the first point out of the way. She is an important member of The Avengers in the comics, so including her in the films would not only be appropriate, but give the team some feminine love that it needs as well (Sorry Scarlett Johansson. Love ya but we need more estrogen). But what about her solo movie? Well Yon-Rogg, a Kree military officer who is the commander of the Hellion, as well as one who holds deep hatred towards Mar-Vell, was involved in her accident. So potential villain number one is out of the way. M.O.D.O.K., an acronym for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing and having a plethora of psychic powers which he used to take control of A.I.M. A.I.M was first introduced in Iron Man 3, and could potentially make a comeback in a Ms. Marvel movie. Deathbird, ruler of the alien race Shi'ar (one of the most powerful empires in space), was a frequent enemy of Ms. Marvel. She has gotten in her way countless times, and would make for a great female hero/villain combo on film. What do you think?
Update Note: Apparently not only does Fox own the rights to GabrielSummers/Vulcan, a member of the Shi'ar race, but apparently they own the rights to the Shi'ar completely? If this is true then please discount my comments on Deathbird. As I said in this article above, I'm not 100% savvy on who owns what with contracts and intellectual properties. Just the generalized stuff.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And Future Marvel Television Shows/Movies: I know I said I would be talking about the films. but come on. Any person whose a true blue MCU fan absolutely LOVES Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and can't wait for the Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones tv series, followed by The Defenders. These television shows play as much of a large part of the MCU as the big screen films do. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just finished it's first season, and a second one is on the way. Coulsen has been given charge in rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. So does this mean Coulsen will meet up with the Avengers again? I really hope so. Tony needs the closure knowing his friend is still alive, though his death was understandable as it pushed The Avengers to becoming the team they are. But it also begs the question: What about that alien (Kree or Inhumans?) blood that was injected into Coulson, Jonathan Garrett, and Skye? Garret was shown to be writing some sort of symbolism, followed by Coulsen doing the same. And what about Skye's origins? Her "monster parents", as well as one of her parents shown to still be alive at the end of season one? And what about Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones? Is the Defenders all we're going to get? Will there be other members joining the Defenders, like Hawkeye and Yellowjacket whom were members in the comics? Even Yondu from GOTG served as a member in one point in time. There has been mentions of a rumor, that Moon Knight will be coming in some way or form as well. And why stop there? What about a Heroes For Hire with Luke Cage and Iron Fist? Disney/Marvel owns the rights to Blade, Ghost Rider, and The Punisher. What about Marvel Knights with Daredevil? Sooooooooo many things to choose from. Marvel is going to be busy for the next 20 years. What do you think?
Update Note: I completely forgot about the Agent Carter television show. Her show being about the upbringing of S.H.E.I.L.D. could make for a very interesting plot, introducing many enemies as well as allies.
Bonus - The Mad Titan Thanos and Avengers 3: I know, I know. Thanos is in no way a hero. Not even by a long shot. But come on, his influence in the MCU is just as apparent, if not more, than the heroes we love. The Infinity Stones serving as plot points in multiple Marvel movies? The Chitauri in The Avengers? Controlling Ronan as well as The Collector in Guardians of The Galaxy? And most likely being the final boss in Avengers 3, while wielding The Infinity Gauntlet? Thanos is literally forming the entire Phase 1, 2, and 3 films. Said to be played by Josh Brolin, Thanos is setting up the MCU to climax a huge and extraordinary battle in Avengers 3. A lot of people speculating that a lot of heroes will die. And what about Mistress Death, Thano's love interest? Thano's right hand man The Other makes note that fighting the Avengers is to court death. Thanos turns and smiles after hearing this. Is Thanos simply obsessed with the concept of death? Or are we going to see a literal incarnation of Death herself, with Thanos doing everything in his power to impress her? And what of the Infinity Gauntlet? From what we can see, The Infinity Stones look nothing like their gem counterparts, which would simply be inserted into the glove. Will the Gauntlet be utilized in a different way on screen? So many questions. What do you think?