ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

With less than 24 hours to go until Marvel's big "surprise announcement" tomorrow, many are wondering what it will entail. There has been a lot of speculation, but there is really only one (or possibly two) announcements that truly warrant this exposure and hype. So without any further ado:

Seriously, Marvel didn't do something like this when they cast Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Edward Norton OR Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk or Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. They didn't do it for Chris Paratt or Zoe Saldana or even Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper.

Given that, I highly doubt Marvel would make such a huge announcement simply out of the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch - or whoever winds up finally agreeing to be the Sorceror Supreme - as [Doctor Strange](movie:559685) (and a definite date for the film).

Unless Marvel Studios - which reportedly REALLY wants "Doctor Strange" to reach "Iron Man" levels of popularity so they can be a bit less dependent on Robert Downey, Jr. - is trying to make it clear with the announcement that Stephen Strange's adventures are indeed THAT big a deal, I don't feel that announcement is it.

If that is one of the announcements tomorrow, I feel there will be others. If the pieces are in place, I don't think it is out of the question that Marvel Studios adds a third film in 2016, presumably in the Fall.

But announcing a "[Black Panther](movie:9047)" and "Captain Marvel" (or "Gamora" or "Black Widow") film for 2017, while also announcing the good doctor's film would make it more of an event. Much will be made of the first black and/or female to headline their own solo films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But they could have waited until San Diego Comic-Con nest year to do that, right? Unless the leak of their "Avengers: Age of Ultron" trailer convinced them that they need to announce these things before the media does.

I still think it will be bigger - and I don't think they want to box themselves in by announcing things TOO far ahead. A "Black Widow" or "Hawkeye" film, for example, would assure everyone that they survive "Avengers: Age of Ultron", for example.

Which for me, leaves three, maybe four, options.

I think there is a very strong possibility that they announce that RDJ's Iron Man will indeed be in " [Captain America 3](movie:994409)". This would present the best showdown they could muster and possibly get more buzz than "Batman v. Superman". I think they will probably reveal the title as "Civil War" as well. More on that later.

One of the few things that could surpass that would be if they announces that RDJ is indeed on board for an "Iron Man 4". There is so much demand for this, especially if they do the Mandarin right this time. Also, I think Robert Downey, Jr. wants to get this out there so he's not asked about it incessantly while he's trying to promote his other films, like "The Judge".

But really, most of these announcements would create excitement, but aside from the huge diehards, are they worthy of what some are calling an "Apple-type" event.

None is really a game changer.

Which is why I think there's a very real possibility Marvel Studios will announce that Spider-Man has come home and is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Seriously, if anything could up the ante on DC/WB's big slate announcement it would be Marvel Studios reaching agreement with Sony to either have sole or joint film rights to the character.

I don't know how a joint partnership would work, but I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Sony makes a deal where they get a couple licenses from Disney that Disney has no plans on using - like "John Carter", which they let expire this past week.

Gaining the film rights to the character long considered Marvel's most popular - Stan Lee has basically called him "Marvel's Mickey Mouse" would send shockwaves through Hollywood.

Also, this may be the long-term reason Sony abandoned their prime date of the first weekend in May, 2016, because they have been both working on a "Civil War" movie/arc with Marvel Studios all along.

If "Captain America 3" features not only a clash between RDJ's Iron Man and Chris Evans's Captain America, but Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, Hawkeye AND the first appearance of Spider-Man in the MCU, then DC/WB will be soiling themselves.


Well, Marvel Studios and Fox get along..and Fox REALLY loves Hugh Jackman as Wolverine AND they offered him a 4-picture $100 million deal to keep playing Logan that he turned down.

But Jackman has talked about wanting to keep doing different things with the character.

So what if Jackman said, "You know what? i would REALLY like to have Logan meet Iron Man and Captain America. Just for one film."

Would they do it to keep him excited playing the character?

Of course, this is just speculation. We will find out less than 18 hours from now.

I can't wait!


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