Marvel Studios held a fan and press presentation at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood this morning and delivered one bombshell announcement after another. The 30 minute presentation featured a number of surprises and when the dust settled, these are the eight big things we learned from the event:
1. Though news that Benedict Cumberbatch was in talks to star as Doctor Strange hit the web the day before the event, he was not in attendance at Marvel’s big event. Though Cumberbatch might still be the leading candidate for the job, it appears that talks have not been finalized and Marvel didn’t feel comfortable enough to officially announce him yet. “If it was confirmed, we would have announced it today,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said during the post-event Q&A session.
2. In a jam-packed thirty minutes of haymakers, Marvel not only confirmed a Black Panther movie, but locked in a release date (November 3, 2017), released concept art and dropped a bombshell by revealing Chadwick Boseman as the actor who will portray the character in his solo movie. Feige said that we wouldn’t have to wait til 2017 see Black Panther on screen. “We will see Black Panther in Civil War in costume,” he said. Which leads us right into the third thing…
3. Phase 3 films were fully revealed… including TWO Avengers movies. The Phase 3 slate of films will pick up after Ant-Man and will go in the following order: Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016), Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017), Thor: Ragnarok (July 28, 2017), Black Panther (November 3, 2017), Avengers: Infinity War –Part 1 (May 4, 2018), Captain Marvel (July 6, 2018), The Inhumans (November 2, 2018) and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 (May 3, 2019). The immediate thing you’ll notice is that this is the most Marvel movies packed within a “Phase” so far. Phase One featured 6 films while Phase Two featured 5.
4. Though Captain America 3 was initially tagged Serpent Society, it was a deliberate misdirect by Marvel and the film will follow the Civil War story line. Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans took to the stage to talk a bit about what to expect. “The Avengers torn apart like cotton candy,” Evan said. “It breaks my heart.”
5. Speaking of Robert Downey Jr., there was some thought that there might be an Iron Man 4 announcement at this event. Downey had appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last month and jokingly confirmed the sequel only to back-peddle on The Late Show with David Letterman that same day. Some folks read in to that thinking that Marvel was cooking up a fourth Iron Man film, but was trying to work out the details. No such luck although there will still be plenty of Iron Man in Civil War and Age of Ultron.
6. Despite rumors that Marvel might announce that Spider-Man (or at least the Mike Morales version) would be appearing in future MCU movies, nothing was mentioned at all. That doesn’t mean that Marvel won’t stick him as a surprise cameo in one of the later Avengers movies that are still several years away.
7. Marvel finally made the jump to a solo female superhero movie, but it wasn’t Black Widow. Instead, Marvel went with Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel for their female led comic book movie. Captain Marvel will take to the big screen a year after WB/DC Comics’ Wonder Woman which will arrive in 2017.
8. Speaking of Black Widow, Kevin Feige says that for now, like Hulk, her role will be in the Avengers films. But he emphasized that she will be a key part in those films.