Hours ago, Marvel Studios blew the roof off Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre -- not literally, but you get the point. Marvel Chief Kevin Feige delivered an exciting look into the studio's future, which included some game-changing films. Here's their complete Phase Three slate:
Captain America: Civil War opens May 6, 2016. Feige pulled a fast one on the audience by first announcing the film as Serpent Society (we see what you did there), but the rumors are true and we'll get a superhero schism storyline Feige says will be inspired by the comic book but more grounded in the MCU continuity.
Doctor Strange makes his debut (possibly with Benedict Cumberbatch) Nov. 4, 2016. Fans might have been hoping for a Cumberbatch sighting, but if the reports of his negotiations for the part are true, the deal obviously wasn't signed in time to get him on stage. Someday, Marvel's going to announce a Stephen Strange ... but it was not this day.
We'll see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 sooner rather than later. It's been bumped up to May 5, 2017. You're welcome.
Thor:Ragnarok opens July 28, 2017. Ragnarok itself means "the end of all things." The film will pick up right after The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Feige called the story "game-changing." Of course, he's said the same thing about Age of Ultron, so it could be that "game-changing" is the new hyperbolic adjective du jour. Still, Thor as a solo franchise likely doesn't have legs far beyond a third film (and Chris Hemsworth's contract only stipulates so many films), so it could be that Ragnarok will put the wraps on Thor outside the Avengers banner.
Black Panther will finally grace the big screen on Nov. 3, 2017, and he'll be played by Chadwick Boseman! This was probably the biggest reveal of the day, and it was accompanied by an awesome moment when MCU vets Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. introduced the man who'll play T'Challa. Boseman's a great pick -- a strong actor and a star on the rise, but not big enough that Marvel can't lock him into their usual multipicture deal at what is likely reasonable money. Feige had this to say about the storyline: ""He's a bit of a prince, he may even become a bit of a king, but it's all about how this isolationist country meets the world. Maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn't." We were also told we'll meet Black Panther in Civil War.
Captain Marvel gets HER time to shine on July 6, 2018, and Feige confirmed that it WILL be the Carol Danvers version of the character. No word yet on whether the rumors Captain Marvel will show up in Age of Ultron are true, but this is a promising step for fans who've been clamoring for a female-led film from Marvel.
Inhumans will hit theaters Nov. 2, 2018, following in Guardians of the Galaxy's cosmic footsteps. In a day less packed with news, this would have been a centerpiece story, but as it is, it's still pretty cool. Feige says we can expect to see Inhumans-related easter eggs popping up soon so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Finally, it looks like the rumors of Avengers 3 being split into two films were true. The sequel will be split into two installments: Infinity War: Part I and Infinity War: Part II. They're slated for May 4, 2018, and May 3, 2019, respectively.
It's a pretty massive and exciting slate that serves as a direct response to Warner Bros./DC's recent announcements and sets up a pretty titanic clash between the two comics giants at the movies over the next five to six years ... and an overall release schedule that should have any funny-book fan's mind ready to overload.
Which Phase 3 films are you the most excited about?