ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

So, by now you've probably heard the news. Sony and Marvel have worked things out and Spider-Man is on his way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Now, so far all we really know is that Spidey will appear in the MCU sometime before July 28, 2017 - when his next solo-movie will be released - most likely in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. Other than that, his likely role within the movies themselves remains very much in the realm of speculation.

Whatever his role, though, it now looks as though...

Marvel Has Changed the Whole of Phase 3 for Spidey

Specifically, a whole lot of their planned release dates for Phase 3 have now been changed - and a few of them might just tell us a whole lot about what to expect from the next five years of Marvel movies.

Now, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - all scheduled to be released before the next solo Spider-Man movie in July 2017 - are set to remain in their original slots, as are both halves of Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018 and May 2019 (which, you would imagine, will now feature Spider-Man too).

Other than that, though - everything has changed. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of the alterations - and what they might tell us about what's to come...

Thor: Ragnarok Has Moved to November 3, 2017

Which, seeing as the new Spider-Man movie has taken its original July 28 spot, isn't too surprising.

What it does mean, though, is that any lingering questions we have about Thor after what may well be a momentous ending to Avengers: Age of Ultron for the thunder god may now have to wait over two years to be answered.

Now, this could mean we're set to see more of Hemsworth's Thor in other Marvel movies in the meantime - Doctor Strange would be an intriguing option - but it might also suggest that he's set to spend some time locked away. By, perhaps, a certain Odin-impersonating Loki...?

Black Panther Has Moved to July 6, 2018

Thor's move, in turn, has forced The Black Panther's solo debut back from its original November 3, 2017 slot. Which, combined with Spider-Man's likely arrival in Captain America: Civil War, may just have fundamentally altered Chadwick Boseman's level of involvement in the next few years of the MCU.

After all, if Black Panther isn't set to get a solo outing until mid-2018, the likelihood of the plot directly following on from his involvement in Civil War has certainly diminished - and since he'll now debut after the first Infinity War movie, it seems likely his movie isn't set to act as a prelude to the main action. Could we, instead, be set to see something closer to an origin story - or, better yet, an Africa-set adventure that, unlike most superhero movies, isn't entirely about middle-class Caucasian males?

Captain Marvel Has Moved to November 2, 2018

Speaking of superheroes who aren't middle-class Caucasian males, Captain Marvel is also on the move - with Black Panther having taken her original July 6, 2018 spot.

Now, intriguingly, this is the only move which doesn't actually substantially alter its lead hero's placement in relation to the major Marvel team-up movies. Whereas Black Panther has now moved to after Infinity War, and Thor further away from the presumed influence of Age of Ultron and Civil War, Captain Marvel remains very much in the middle of that whole Infinity War dealio.

Could that confirm that she will, in fact, have a central role to play in the whole affair? Here's hoping...

Inhumans Has Moved to July 12, 2019

Now, this move - taking the Inhumans from their original November 2, 2018 slot - is perhaps the most revealing of them all.

I - and many others - have long suspected that the Inhumans movie, having been scheduled just before the release of Infinity War Pt 2, was set to play a key role in the development of the story-line.

Now, though, it's looking increasingly likely that it will instead take on a role closer to that of Phase 2's Ant-Man - setting up characters and plot threads for the Phase that's soon to arrive. In this case - Phase 4.

Could the Inhumans, then, have a key role to play in the next generation of Marvel movies, rather than this one?

We'll find out in 2019, it seems...

What do you guys think, though? Are there any other repercussions of Marvel's release date changes that I've missed?



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