Currently the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the largest movie & tv franchise in history. The franchise is expected to become even larger with Marvel & Disney announcing an action packed schedule up to July 12, 2019. This includes twelve movies and at least five TV shows. This might change with Disney renegotiating deals with Sony, Fox, Lionsgate and Universal Studios for the return of some of their greatest superheroes. These missing characters do take away from Marvel's ability to produce more accurate comic book movies, but does not take away from what has already come out and what is planned for in the future.
Which studio should Disney negotiate with first?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Marvel's TV productions have improved dramatically since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (AOS) aired for the first time in September 2013. At first we had no expectations on what to expect with AOS or where the show was going to take us, or how it was going to tie into the MCU. All we knew was that it was going to be part of the universe. By the end of the first season in mid-2014 the show had successfully crossed over with Hydra and their involvement with The Winter Soldier. We also became aware of Inhumans being introduced to the MCU via terrigen mist. Marvel were also kind enough to bring Lady Sif from Thor to a few episodes.
A few months later the second season of AOS aired maintaining its focus on Hydra and Inhumans. Elements of Civil War are beginning to arise with Coulson's S.H.I.E.LD and Gonzales' S.H.I.E.LD . It was also recently announced that there would be an AOS spin-off show. There isn't much information on this yet. I expect more news on this to break over the following weeks. Coming to the end of the the second season, we hope to see some sort of tie in with this year's summer blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Agent Carter aired during the AOS 2015 winter break. Only eight episodes were produced which received a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomato. The show added some interesting history to the MCU, which included Jarvis being introduced and Tony Stark's playboy ancestry. Many saw this as a prequel to AOS, which I cannot disagree with at all. However, we also learnt about the Black Widow programme and the origins of the Winter Soldier program at the end of the last episode.
Recently the Netflix's Daredevil aired with a binge worthy 13, violent and gritty, episodes never before seen in a Marvel production. It has been received extremely well by fans of MCU. The show is littered with easter eggs regarding the MCU, including an orphanage that Skye, from AOS, also attended. References were also made to upcoming events such as Iron Fist and Civil War. Hopefully we will get more tie-ins when AKA Jessica Jones airs later this year and Luke Cage (Power Man) is introduced. I have no doubt that the creative team at Marvel will tie-in all these shows to the MCU with ease. These four shows will culminate in The Defenders after Dr Strange comes out in November 2016 . It should be noted that Hells Kitchen is a twenty minute drive from Dr Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, who has also been known to lead the Defenders.
Which TV show are you most excited for?
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ten movies down and twelve movies to go, we have much to look forward. The adventure continues soon with Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, we are missing the Fantastic Four, X-Men and Spiderman from the movie. Marvel have had to work their way around this problem, with one probability being that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are now Inhumans and not mutants. This movie can't come soon enough to answer all the questions we have regarding where the franchise is heading.
Two months later Ant-Man premieres with the original Avenger, Hank Pym, finally introduced to the MCU alongside master thief, Scott Lang. Kevin Feige had the following to say regarding how the movie fits in with the MCU:
"You meet new characters and you learn about Hank Pym and his lineage with the MCU over the years," Feige explained. "But at the same time, it also picks up the thread of Age of Ultron in terms of heroes – major heroes, Avengers – coming from unexpected places. Whether it’s prison in the case of Scott Lang or being a very disgruntled Sokovian Twins as Wanda and Pietro are in Age of Ultron. And in that way it connects a lot. Also, Hank Pym’s attitude towards Avengers, towards S.H.I.E.L.D, and kind of the cinematic universe in general, is much more informed after the events of Age of Ultron, and in a certain way, before the events of Civil War."
From what we have seen in the trailer, we should expect to see a lighter side of Marvel, that isn't afraid of its own brand.
Captain America: Civil War
Almost a year later we get to see Captain America: Civil War, where the Superhuman Registration Act takes center stage. This will probably be introduced in more detail through Marvel's TV Shows of 2015 and 2016. Iron Man comes head to head with Captain America in this momentous story from Marvel. Spiderman should be introduced as teenager with the moral dilemma of choosing which side he is on. Will Marvel stay true to the comics and kill off Captain America? And will Tony Stark take over as the director of S.H.I.E.L.D?
So begins Marvel's introduction to magic and mysticism with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sorcerer Supreme. Filming is expected to begin in May 2015 with very few details known about the movie. Director Scott Derrickson has been on twitter recently sharing information about filming locations. He also shared the tweet below featuring Daredevil and Dr Strange. Is this a hint at a tie-in or cameo? We are still waiting on casting announcements for The Ancient One and Baron Mordo. There have been rumors recently that Scarlet Witch might appear and that the Soul Gem will be introduced.
There is still so much more to come from this huge universe and many unanswered questions. The state of the MCU is in a great place.
But DC has a lot to do to try and compete. However at the end of writing this article the new trailer for Dawn Of Justice was leaked only. I have not watched it. So try not to comment on spoilers but rather on how the it stands up to any Marvel Movie.
Hopefully with your comments and feedback that I received I will be able to write another article to discuss the remaining productions that Marvel has yet to release and announce.