Marvel Studios has announced an update to its Phase Three slate of films, stretching from 2016 to 2020. With a worldwide box office total of $409.8 million, Ant-Man has apparently done well enough that Marvel has greenlit a sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp. That film will drop on July 6, 2018 and will now technically be the first Marvel film with a female lead in the title.
To make room for Ant-Man, Black Panther is moving up to February 16, 2018, putting it right in the middle of Black History Month. Unfortunately, the originally-announced female-led film, Captain Marvel, has been pushed back from July 6 to March 8, 2019. In addition, Marvel is adding slots for three unnamed films in Phase Three, with premiere dates on May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020, and November 6, 2020.
This makes the biggest phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe even bigger. Prior phases were six films a piece, with the second Phase settling into a cadence of two films per year. Phase Three will have two films in 2016, Captain America: Civil War (May 6) and Doctor Strange (November 4), before kicking things up to three films a year in 2017. 2017's third slot is technically not a Marvel film, the untitled Sony's Spider-Man reboot directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, but the studio is making space in its schedule for the co-production.
The changes make the current Marvel film slate look like this:
- May 6: Captain America: Civil War
- November 4: Dr. Strange
- May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- July 28: Untitled Spider-Man Film
- November 3: Thor: Ragnarok
- February 16: Black Panther
- May 4 : Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1
- July 6: Ant-Man and the Wasp
- March 8 : Captain Marvel
- May 3: Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2
- July 12: Inhumans
- May 1: Unnamed Film
- July 10: Unnamed Film
- November 6: Unnamed Film
A second Spider-Man film will probably take one of the 2020 film slots, leaving two open for either sequels or brand-new properties spinning out of Infinity War. I'm guessing a second Doctor Strange film would pick up that November slot again, depending on how well the first film does. That leaves us with a big old question mark, potentially a third Guardians of the Galaxy film or something new.
Either way, that's a lot of superhero heading our way with all of Marvel's films, the Netflix series, Agents of SHIELD, Damage Control, and an unnamed show on TV, joined Warner Bros' DC Universe films and five different DCU-based TV shows (Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Powerless). Superhero is the new Western.
It's a good time to be alive.