The Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded a ton in the last ten years, but where are the headed now? Take a look from 2016 to the upcoming infinity Wars.
In 2008, Marvel Studios kicked off their live action movies with Iron Man. Since then, the universe has expanded to 17 released films, plus at least seven more in the works, three TV series, six Netflix series, one Hulu series, plus several other items in production or pre-production.
The MCU has introduced many characters, crossovers, relationships, inspirations, heart breaks, amazing special effects, epic music, and so much more. There have been fantastic hits, and misses, but the universe continues to expand and bring even more entertainment for everyone.
Let’s take a look at where the movie portion of the MCU is heading in part 2 of this series.
Phase 3 started in 2016 and will go through 2019. We started out with Captain America: Civil War in 2016, continuing the tensions from previous movies into an all out conflict between heroes with everyone being both right and wrong. Black Panther and Spider-man are introduced, Ant-Man is brought into the fray, and things split heavily between all characters. Many things go wrong for both sides, there are injuries and, in the end, things are unnecessarily split by pride and egos. Civil War had an opening weekend of $179m at the box office and has, so far, grossed $408m. As of now, it is the fourth highest grossing movie from the MCU, with Avengers being first, Age of Ultron second, and Iron Man 3 third.
Doctor Strange was released at the end of 2016, introducing the magical protections to the Earth that protect from invaders fro other planes. It opened at $85m and grossed $232m thus far. Stephen Strange gets control of the Eye of Agamotto, aka the Time Infinity Stone, and sets himself up as the guardian of New York’s portal. Again, origin story, but doesn’t drag, providing just the right amount of comedy and action as well as some amazing (and dizzying) effects. The sorcerer makes allies and enemies, and introduces himself to Thor in the end, leading straight into Thor: Ragnarok. But that is not the next movie in line for release…
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2 released after Doctor Strange, coming out in 2017 as the first of three Marvel movies for that year. Guardians continued the saga very quickly after the first movie, with the Guardians enjoying their newfound fame to get jobs and be paid. We meet the adorable baby Groot, are introduced to Mantis, are privy to Rocket’s insecurities, and find out this version of Peter Quill’s parentage. While we do not see the elusive Soul Stone, we do get some great cinematics, a compelling storyline, and some fantastic music once again. The Guardians of the Galaxy have easily proved to be a favourite of new fans everywhere. Guardians 2 opened at $146m at the box office and is fifth overall, grossing $389m so far. Considering how popular it was, that number will probably increase.
Spider-man: Homecoming released next in 2017, showing how Peter Parker copes with his abilities, and how he really wants to impress Tony Stark and Happy in order to become an Avenger. This movie was fantastic, as it introduced three villains: Vulture, Shocker, and the Tinkerer. Vulture employs Shocker (both Shocker 1 and Shocker 2) and Tinkerer. Overall, the movie was fantastic and gives us a great look to what is to come for Spiderman and how resourceful he can be. Also, Happy needs to just answer his phone. How much could have been prevented if Happy had answered his phone! Spider-man was fairly popular as a release, swinging into sixth overall grossing at $334m, opening box office made $117m.
2017 ends with Thor: Ragnarok‘s release and…wow. Thor meets Doctor Strange, finds out his brother is alive, has to team up with his brother to fight his homicidal sister after watching his father die, gets his hair cut by a scary arm, has to fight the Hulk, and meets the last known Valkyrie to still be alive. Oh, and he loses his home, has to bring about Ragnarok himself, ends up on a spaceship, and seems like Thanos is now attacking them since Loki may or may not have the Tesseract from Odin’s Vault after everything. He’s not had the best of weeks…but it was extremely entertaining. This movie was what Thor movies needed to be: comedy gold mixed with a fun soundtrack and great action scenes. Thor’s latest adventures opened the weekend with $122m and has, so far, grossed $306m, not even out of the theaters yet.
2018 promises some very interesting movies and team-ups. Black Panther is scheduled to release February 16, 2018 and delves into Wakanda, the secretive African nation that produces vibranium, and the struggles T’Challa has taking control as King of this nation. Everything from the past movies should tie into the May 4, 2018 release of Avengers: Infinity Wars, bringing the Infinity Stone saga to a peak, if not an end. Avengers: Infinity Wars promises to be an amazing feat of cinematics, bringing to the screen 64 main characters. 64! That is a HUGE amount of actors and actresses to wrangle, personalities to mesh, and filming to do.
After Avengers, Ant-Man and the Wasp will fly into theatres in July, 2018. This is said to tie heavily into the Avengers: Infinity Wars plot. We can bet that Scott will be trying to figure out how to balance his life as a hero, relationship with Hope, fatherhood, and probably have quite a few comedic moments during all of those. Hope gets her Wasp suit, which should be awesome, and Hope’s mother is rumored to make an appearance!
2019 starts off with Captain Marvel, introducing Carol Danvers and her training. Set in the 1990’s, the film will probably have a huge origin story aspect as well as expand on the Kree-Skrull war that was hinted at in Guardians of the Galaxy. Much more is unknown, but we can bet that Marvel will be adjusting some things from the comics again, perhaps even giving Carol Danvers her powers via Infinity Stone, rather than Kree. However, we should still see the Kree hero Mar-Vell.
Avengers 4, the untitled sequel to Avengers: Infinity Wars, is also scheduled to come out in 2019 and wraps up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just about nothing is known about this movie, and probably won’t find out what will happen until after Avengers: Infinity Wars and if the 4th Avengers get together will be a continuation of the Thanos issues or a separate thing. Personally, I’m hoping for a continuation of Infinity Wars, as there are so many possibilities for expansion on that plot and definitely enough source material for it.
Phase 3 was wrapping up with the last Avengers movie, but more movies are scheduled to come out. Will this be a Phase 4? Marvel has not announced it as such, but these are the upcoming movies the post-Avengers.
Spider-man 2 is scheduled to come out July, 2019, following Peter Parker and his continuing adventures against…who knows what! As well, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has been announced, but no dates for when we should expect the team to save the galaxy from who-knows-what maniacal creature. Perhaps we will see the Collector and Grandmaster team up? Or even the cosmic entities Entropy, infinity, and Death…whatever it is, hopefully it will be epic!
As of now, phase 3 is continuing, potential phase 4 in the works, and Marvel is expanding its universe to different venues, not just the movie screen. Stay tuned for Part 3, where we explore the MCU content on the smaller screens and internet venues.