ByChris Harkin, writer at
It's hard to tell who's more crazy... me, or everyone else. Aspiring Screen Writer and Speculator of Everything. Feel free to shoot me an em
Chris Harkin

Okay, this is the first part of an epic article trilogy, where I give details and speculation on the upcoming superhero films between now and 2020. After this will come a second trilogy (think of this as Lord of the Rings and that as Hobbit) where I speculate on the future of the respective universes. This is part one, Marvel's phase 3.

Ant-Man (17th July 2015)

Please, no hate for this being technically phase 2, I beg you internet, leave me alone.

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, 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 looks way more awesome than many people originally expected it to be. Marvel is getting into the tradition of doing a big game changing film in the spring, and hitting late summer with a comedic, totally out of the box film. (see 2014 for details). Anyway, I expect that is what will happen this year, making Ant-Man another huge success. Paul Rudd is the perfect casting in my choice, especially playing Scott Lang instead of Hank Pym, and I love that Marvel is using Scott as the Ant-Man, allowing Hank to be more of a watcher and mentor, not just for Scott, but probably for the whole MCU. Also, it presents us with a MARVELlous opportunity to see the Wasp in an after credits scene, finally giving us all of the original Avengers in the MCU. Darren Cross looks set to be a great villain (Yellowjacket) and I am excited for further exploration of the MCU's history. This looks set to be an epic film.

Captain America: Civil War (29th April 2016)

Remember what I just said about the big game changing film in spring? Yeah... this is what I was talking about. This film... wow. I just can't wait. The cast list, in case you haven't seen it, is now up to this:

  • Chris Evans- Steve Rogers/Captain America
  • Robert Downey Jr- Tony Stark/Iron Man
  • Scarlett Johansson- Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
  • Sebastian Stan- Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
  • Anthony Mackie- Sam Wilson/Falcon
  • Paul Bettany- Vision
  • Jeremy Renner- Clint Barton/Hawkeye
  • Don Cheadle- James Rhodes/War Machine
  • Elizabeth Olsen- Wanda Maimoff/Scarlet Witch
  • Paul Rudd- Scott Lang/Ant-Man
  • Chadwick Boseman- T'Challa/Black Panther
  • Emily VanCamp- Agent 13/Sharon Carter
  • Daniel Bruhl- Baron Zemo
  • Frank Grillo- Brock Rumlow/Crossbones
  • William Hurt- General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross
  • Martin Freeman- ?
  • Spider-Man?

"Captain America: Civil War" picks up where "Avengers: Age of Ultron" left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

If you're not excited for this film now, get out. Now. I mean it. This is THE game changer for the MCU. If anything from the comic happens, then we are about to see some major changes. We may see Captain America and Iron Man leading two separate teams of Avengers, we may see an underground resistance of Avengers, we may see Captain America die! (Probably not). But we will certainly see our current (new) Avenger team break up, and a new team/s form from the remains. We will also see Ant-Man probably join the Avengers, and see Black Panther's solo film being set up, as well as Martin Freeman joining the Universe, for more on that see here. Don't forget that we will finally see Spider-Man in the universe!

Dr Strange (26th October 2016)

Benedict Cumberbatch. Need I say more?

I'm very excited about this film. I'm finding it a little strange (get it?) that we haven't found out much about it yet, with it coming out in the same month as Suicide Squad (which we have seen cast photos for) while Dr Strange doesn't even have a full cast yet. Chiwetel Ejiofor has been rumoured as a villain, which would be awesome, but apart from that, nothing has been confirmed. I'm really hoping we will see Scarlet Witch in this film, but I'm not sure. It is an exciting prospect, because I think Marvel will have big plans for this character. Benedict Cumberbatch is the same sort of calibre as Robert Downey Jr, and could headline the phase 4 movies like RDJ has phase 1 and 2.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (28th April 2017)

I am Groot?
I am Groot?

How is it possible not to be excited about this one?!

I'm not so sure this will be as much a game changer as it will be INCREDIBLE!

The possibilities of this film are endless. So many potential villains, so much possible setting up for Infinity War, so many potential after credits scenes, and so many potential new characters to bring into the universe!

Seriously, those five, already established, could be even better than the first one. More old music, more misunderstanding earth customs, more strangely inappropriate jokes, more dance offing and MORE GROOT. That is all.

Spider-Man: The New Avenger? (28th July 2017)

It's safe now Spidey
It's safe now Spidey

Yes, this title is just a rumour, but frankly, who cares?

Spider-Man is coming to the Universe! Praise Kevin Feige!

This is extreme news. We will hopefully know more about who will play him soon (Asa Butterfield please and thank you) and then who knows?

There are so many possibilities, maybe not just for the film itself. Think about the other characters Spidey brings with him, such as Norman Osborn, who, in addition to being the original Green Goblin, causes major problems for the whole Marvel Universe on a regular basis (see Siege).

It's an incredibly exciting prospect, especially since we can finally get men like Kevin Feige to do Peter Parker the way he was intended. Yes Tobey Maguire was great, and yes, Andrew Garfield was... Anyway it should be fun.

Thor: Ragnarok (3rd November 2017)

We'll reach 2017 and be 4 years without Loki on our screens, a disaster which will be quickly rectified. I'm already excited because, out of all the phase 3 films (including Cap 3) this is the one which has been set up the most by Age of Ultron. We will see a lot of interesting stuff going on in this film. Loki and Thor may have their final final final battle, and the many Thor supporting characters we have missed out on (Executioner, Enchantress) could be shown in all their glory. While I wasn't expecting much teeing up for Infinity War in this film, the events of Age of Ultron seem to indicate that Thor has gone off to Asgard specifically to deal with the infinity stones, also the schedule changes may mean this film is the last before the first infinity war film, suggesting there must be some reference to the upcoming battles. Speaking of which...

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (27th April 2018)

Well, who can say anything? It's going to be an incredible thrill ride 11 years in the making. Agents of Shield, Netflix, and the films will all combine in a battle stretching across the cosmos. Everyone will have something to do, everyone. This battle is truly going to be epic. Thanos, and a bunch of other potential super villains from the past three phases will come together to fight all the avengers. I've heard rumours that this will be separate from the second part, but I don't buy that. The main issue currently is that there are two films between part 1 and part 2. My theory is that a team of Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy will go to fight Thanos, and will fail, ending part 1 with him getting the infinity gauntlet and going off to conquer earth, leaving the defeated team behind him.

Black Panther (6th July 2018)

Another film that will bring us a much loved character who we, as fans, deserve to see on screen. He will be introduced in Civil War, and my thinking is that we may see him as T'challa in the film, and the after credits scene will introduce us to him in costume for the first time, therefore eliminating the need for an origin story in this film. It is possible that he remains on earth while the Avengers are off in space, and this means it can take place chronologically between the two infinity war films without getting directly involved. It also allows him to escape the confines of purely protector of Wakanda (although I'm not sure they need to escape that) since the Avengers who normally take care of it all will be gone. (On a side note, any TV shows coming out in the year between the two Infinity War films can also deal heavily with this.) I love the idea of seeing Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue more after Age of Ultron, and Chadwick Boseman is an exciting prospect for phase 4 major member.

Captain Marvel (2nd November 2018)

Speaking of major players in phase 4, meet the new "Captain" of the team. Surely a power player once the likes of Thor and Iron Man are out of the picture, Carol Danvers is going to be great to see on screen. Also, in the comics some of my favourite moments recently have been her and Spider-Man's conversations and arguments. We don't even know who is playing her yet, but we can assume that if Marvel wants to avoid origin stories, they will probably introduce her in a film before this one. This film is also between infinity wars, so it is possible we see a major threat hit earth in the Avenger's absence, and Carol has to fight it off. This could be slightly inspired by 2013's Infinity storyline, although only to the extent that the Avengers are off earth while a major threat invades.

Avengers: Infinity War part 2 (26th April 2019)

Come at my bro
Come at my bro

This is it. This is the ultimate battle. Here is my thinking, Thanos gets the infinity gauntlet and enough stones to take down the avengers that come after him in part one, then leaves at the end of part one to go to earth for the last stone/s. This means we see agents of shield, the defenders, heroes like black panther, Captain Marvel and others left to fight an incredibly powerful invading Thanos (again like Infinity in 2013) which culminates in the defeated avengers returning to earth and taking him down. Cut, that's a wrap folks.

Inhumans (12th July 2019)

Now we have absolutely no confirmed news about this, except what we can guess from watching the Inhumans on Agents of SHIELD. I think we will still see the royal family of Inhumans from the comics take the lead in the film, but that doesn't mean that we can't see all of the others that have already been introduced make up the rest of the population. This film may round out phase 3, even after infinity war, which could potentially end in the same way as 2013's Infinity (I apologise for mentioning it yet again) where a terrigen bomb goes off, infecting thousands of humans around the world with the Inhuman gene, activating their powers and causing worldwide panic. This was a huge Inhumans event, and would be really awesome to see on screen.

So that's it, what a mega article that was. Marvel's phase 3 looks incredibly awesome, but which of these films is the most exciting of all?

The trilogy will continue in part 2 (Fox's future films) and conclude in part 3 (DCCU phase 1). For more of the Comical Theory, like the facebook page or follow the twitter account @comicaltheory.

Please comment if you like any of the theories, or disagree and want to vocalise your displeasure.


Which phase 3 film is most exciting?


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