With Iron Man 3 hitting $1 billion worldwide and ‘Phase 2′ of Marvel’s movie universe under-way, I thought it would be a good opportunity to run through all of the upcoming Marvel movies set for release in 2013, 2014, and beyond. This is purely Marvel Studios, so future X-Men, Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four films aren’t included (even though they are happening at Fox and Sony).
Thor: The Dark World – November 2013
Thor director Kenneth Branagh decided against returning for the sequel so Patty Jenkins (Monster) was put in charge, however the first big budget superhero movie with a female director wasn’t to be as she left/was fired and Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor came on-board.
Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, and Idris Elba will all reprise their roles. The story will follow Thor as he fights to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy. Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 2014
Anthony and Joe Russo, two brothers who have direct episodes of Community and Arrested Development, will direct the sequel as original director Joe Johnston won’t be returning. The title reveal at ComicCon gave fans a big clue as to what to expect in the next film, which will be set in modern day following on from the events in The Avengers.
The Winter Solider storyline in the comics involves Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who fell to his apparent death in Captain America: The First Avenger. Bucky’s cold-preserved body, minus one arm, is found by the Russians, who take him to Moscow and give him a bionic arm. Bucky has no memory of his identity so they reprogram him as a Soviet assassin, and is kept in a cryogenic stasis when not on missions (and hardly ages as a result).
Captain America: The Winter Soldier will follow Steve Rogers, aided by The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), as he tracks down the Winter Solider. Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders will be back from S.H.I.E.L.D, and Emily VanCamp will play the new love interest.
Guardians of the Galaxy – August 2014
The Guardians of the Galaxy are “a team of superhuman and extra-terrestrial adventurers dedicated to the safeguarding of the Milky Way Galaxy from any force that threatens the security or liberty of its various people”. The team includes Star-Lord (a human interplanetary policeman), Drax the Destroyer (a resurrected superhuman warrior and nemesis of Thanos), Groot (a plant monster who can control trees), Gamora (a dangerous female assassin who has a preference for knives and swords) and Rocket Racoon (a genetically altered racoon who can fly a plane and carries a laser pistol).
The movie is a big risk for Marvel, but if it works for them like The Avengers did it has the potential to be huge. It obviously doesn’t have the build-up Joss Whedon’s movie did, but audiences will no doubt turn out for the first real superhero movie set in space. Plus there’s the kick-ass raccoon.
James Gunn (Super) will direct, and a summer 2014 release date has been set. Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana round out the cast as Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora.
The Avengers 2 – May 2015
The sequel to The Avengers is already in development and a script is in the works. Joss Whedon will return to direct and The Avengers 2 villain is thought to be the Mad Titan known as Thanos. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be new additions to the roster, and Whedon says he has “a greater opportunity to dig into the relationships in the second one”
Ant-Man – November 2015
Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz) has been attached to direct Ant-Man, which follows a brilliant scientist who invents a substance that allowed him to change his size, since 2006. Wright has written various drafts of the script over the years with Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, and at ComicCon Marvel revealed some unfinished test footage of Ant-Man shrinking and enlarging whilst fighting a group of guards in a hallway.
The reason it has taken so long to get moving is because Ant-Man isn’t a tent pole film for Marvel, but they still want to make it and have taken time to get the script right. Plus Wright has been busy with other movies such as Scott Pilgrim, and will next shoot The World’s End with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, completing their ‘Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy’. Ant-Man is currently set to be released in late 2015, and the script is currently being re-worked so that the character can fit within the Marvel movie universe. Could we see Ant-Man pop up in upcoming Marvel movies?
Runaways - A movie following a group of six kids whose parents are a criminal group of mob bosses, time-travelers, dark wizards, mad scientists, alien invaders, and telepathic mutants got very close to filming in 2011 with Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) at the helm, however Marvel put the movie on hold to focus on The Avengers. Screenwriter Drew Pearce said in October 2011 that Marvel were happy with the script, but it was just a matter of waiting for them to give the movie the go-ahead.
Dr. Strange – Writers were hired to pen a script in June 2011. Very little movement has been heard since, but Marvel Studios’ President of Production Kevin Feige said last year that he hopes to see Dr. Strange in ‘Phase 3′ of Marvel’s movies, and hopes the movie comes around “sooner rather than later”.
Black Panther – References to Black Panther were spotted in Iron Man 2 (where Nick Fury shows Tony Stark a digital map which pinpoints various metahumans across the globe) and there was speculation Black Panter would be one of Marvel 2014 movies, however nothing was confirmed or announced. At ComicCon Kevin Feige said creating a world like Wakanda would be “a little more difficult” and the character shares “a lot of the same characteristics of Captain America”, so it may be a while before we see T’Challa on the big screen.
Iron Fist – Rich Wilkes (xXx) was given the job of writing a screenplay for Iron Fist in 2010. Nothing has been heard since so there is a possibility it has been put on the back-burner while Marvel focuses on it’s more popular heroes.
Which of the upcoming Marvel movies are you anticipating most? Are there any other characters you want Marvel to develop for the big screen?