We’re currently in the midst of Phase Three, which began with CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, and will end with an untitled Avengers film (a sequel to INFINITY WAR) in 2019.
So far Phase Three has been a big success for the MCU. CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is viewed by many as one of the better Marvel Studios productions to date, and DOCTOR STRANGE introduced not only a new hero, but also new dimension to the universe. That said, we’re only two films into a 10-movie batch, which means we have a lot of questions about what lies ahead. These are some of the biggest ones, whose answers will help define the direction of the MCU.
How Will GUARDIANS 2 Tie In?
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is now in theaters, and though a lot of fans were most excited about the reveal of Awesome Mixtape Vol. 2 or Baby Groot sightings, the implications for the larger MCU are also significant. We won’t get into spoilers (movie reviewed here), but having been presented with another Guardians adventure it’ll be interesting to see how the characters are roped into the next major ensemble film – presuming of course that they will be!
Will Spider-Man Really be Original?
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is next up after GUARDIANS, and the only question that seems to matter is whether or not it will truly offer an original take on the hero. By the look of the trailers, as well as Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) debut in CIVIL WAR, it seems that the answer is yes. This doesn’t look like another rehashing of the same old origin tale that we’ve already seen multiple times, but that something we won’t believe until we see it.
Who Wins The Gladiator Battle?
THOR: RAGNAROK (coming this fall) put out one of the most outrageous trailers we’ve ever seen for a superhero movie. This looks like a fun-filled installment, and if it’s done right it should be a blast. The big takeaway from the trailer was that Thor and Hulk will be pitted against one another in some kind of galactic gladiator arena. The big question will be who wins!
Will BLACK PANTHER Be The MCU’s Critical Darling?
Critics have been pretty kind to Marvel films over the years, but it would seem that BLACK PANTHER has a chance to be the best reviewed Marvel film yet. That’s because the people involved are traditionally associated with movies contending for major awards—not superhero projects. Director Ryan Coogler and cast member Michael B. Jordan have already teamed up on the likes of FRUITVALE STATION and CREED, and Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar before she even became a household name. BLACK PANTHER has the star-power and the talent to be more than just a superhero movie. It could also be a truly great film in its own right.
Will The Defenders Fight In INFINITY WAR?
We’ve heard rumors about the size of the cast for AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, and we know it’s going to be massive. So far it’s unconfirmed whether or not the studio will be including its Netflix Defenders alongside its big screen Avengers. So far, these characters have blended together most everywhere else. They’ve teamed up in the comics, and they’re also mixed together in most major Marvel video games. In fact, a website covering the licensed gaming options from several prominent online casinos shows that the likes of Daredevil, Elektra, and the Punisher are as popular as Spider-Man and the Avengers when it comes games. There’s clearly just as big an audience for the Netflix heroes as there is for their big screen counterparts, and Marvel would be missing out if they never saw each other.
Do We Really Need ANT-MAN 2?
ANT-MAN was fun, and brought a nice comedic touch to the Marvel empire, but do we really need ANT-MAN AND THE WASP in 2018? Some big fans of the character will surely disagree, but this doesn’t feel like an entirely necessary project within the scope of the MCU. It’ll have to be particularly good, or serve a specific purpose, to seem relevant. Otherwise it’s just going to be another piece of window dressing that doesn’t really add anything to the larger universe.
Will We Meet Captain Marvel Before CAPTAIN MARVEL?
And when will we meet Captain Marvel? We know she’s being played by Brie Larson (a great steal for the MCU), and that her solo film is coming out in 2019. Still, we have no idea if Marvel will pull a Spider-Man/Black Panther and introduce us to the character before the solo project sees the light of day. This seems to be the style these days, which means we should probably be on the lookout for a Captain Marvel cameo sooner rather than later, probably in INFINITY WAR.