Marvel’s “Phase 3” film slate announced

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Hot on the heels of the announcement of the DC Cinematic Universe (or DCCU), Marvel decided it was time to toss a little chum in the fanboy/girls’ water. They announced at a press conference today (Oct. 28) a gargantuan list of movies that will make up “Phase 3” of their cinematic universe. It is set to begin following next summer’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

The first one has already been written about here at the Tennessee Star Journal: “Captain America 3” (or “Captain America: Civil War,” as it was described today). Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man will take on Chris Evans’ Captain America on May 6, 2016

Following “Civil War,” the Sorcerer Supreme “Doctor Strange” will be given film treatment. Scott Derrickson, best known for his work in 2012’s “Sinister,” will direct it. Although unconfirmed, it is assumed that Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness”) will portray Doctor Strange. The release date is November 4, 2016.

The announcement of  “Guardians of the Galaxy 2″ was the big surprise with respect to Marvel’s 2017 season. The film’s original release date was winter of 2017 but moved to May 5, 2017 instead. The world will once again rejoin Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and Groot in the summer of 2017.

Marvel has also thrown “Thor: Ragnarok” in the 2017 mix. Not much was said about the film, but if the ending of “Thor: The Dark World” is any indication, things are about to get bad in Asgard.

Rounding out the busiest year for Marvel Studios will be a character making his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Black Panther. Black Panther, or Prince T’Challa, hails from Wakanda, a fictional African country. Wakanda is rich in one important element that draws the world’s attention to it: vibranium, the same metal that makes Captain America’s shield so powerful. “42” star Chadwick Boseman will portray the character, set for release on November 3, 2017.

While 2017 will be an immense year for Marvel Studios, 2018 will be humongous. It will start on May 4 with “The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1,” bringing to a head the storyline of the Infinity Stones while showing the power of the evil Thanos. The film will be followed up on May 3, 2019 with “Infinity War Part 2.”

2018 will also launch another new character and Marvel’s first solo female in “Captain Marvel.” July 6 will mark the release date. Given that it is so far in the future, no casting decisions have been made with respect to what actress will portray Carol Danvers.

Ending the announcement of the “Phase 3” films is another new addition. But instead of a new character, it will be a whole new team. The team? The Inhumans, a group of cosmic heroes who have a base on Earth’s moon. They’re a more serious version of The Guardians of the Galaxy. Similar to “Captain Marvel,” casting decisions for the “The Inhumans” remain to be seen. The scheduled release date is November 2, 2018.

Combining these announcements with the known other Marvel films, along with the Warner Bros. lineup for DC, we’ll see an astounding 33 superhero movies between now and 2020.

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