Having listed their slated release schedule up till 2020, everybody and their pet dinosaur has speculated over what that year’s line up of Marvel blockbusters will be. There have been some wild assumptions and wishful thinking banded about by other reputable sites so I think it only fair that I have a stab at predicting the first run of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase IV films. Forgive the rambling, try to keep up and if you get lost, don’t panic.
2020: The Competition
With Fox keeping their franchise cards close to the chest after the monumental balls-up of this year’s Fantastic Four monstrosity, their run of features for the X-Men universe are a little up in the air. We may have already seen X-Force and New Mutant features, Gambit and Deadpool sequels too. With both Marvel’s Infinity Wars and DC’s Justice League two-parters due between 2017 and 2019 the smart money is on Fox waiting until 2020 to re-establish their main X-Men series, but now with added Channing Potato.
DC’s cinematic universe is currently still in its infancy but has its release dates set until 2020 where both Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps movies seem like tiny specs in the distance. With next year’s Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice tent-pole features we will get a better understanding of this as-yet-untempered behemoth.
2020: Probably not…
Straight off the bat I want to get a few entries excluded for a number of reasons. Universal shares rights to both an Incredible Hulk sequel and a Namor: The Submariner movie. While we’ll be seeing Mark Ruffalo’s green goliath buddy-up with Chris Helmsworth in the 2017 threequel Thor: Ragnarok, both Marvel and Universal have allowed DC to test the waters with their Aquaman movie due out in July, 2018.
… and no victory laps!
Baring in mind the dizzying contracts and gargantuan fees involved, I believe we’re unlikely to see Robert Downey Jr. in an Iron Man 4, Chris Evans in a Captain America 4 or Chris Helmetface in a Thor 4. I mean… that last one really doesn’t roll off the tongue. A run of trilogies allows characters to find a rhythm, create an arc and work as an ensemble in the Avengers movies. Infinity Wars part 2 will be the 8th main appearance for RDJ as Iron Man, and although the Phase I originators could probably coast a while longer, it makes more sense to bring new blood into the rich tapestry of this mega-franchise.
2020: Netflix and ABC
A Blade reboot has been mentioned, with Wesley Snipes having met Marvel to discuss characters for various projects. It is more likely that the next Blade outing will be a Netflix release as it is strongly rumoured that we’ll be seeing a Punisher series, and possibly even a Moonknight show before the decade is over. The ABC network are already working on a number of additional MCU projects besides Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter, including a recently green-lit, single camera comedy show based on Damage Control.
May 1st – Spider-Man sequel
Bearing in mind that 2017 will unleash the latest Spider-Man reboot, made possible by an (unholy) alliance between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios, it is likely we’ll see ol’ web head for a sequel shortly after Infinity Wars. Three out of five Spider-Man movies have had May release dates as it starts the summer blockbuster ball rolling. We get the oddball and untested Inhumans movie July 2019 so the smart money is on the first MCU feature of Phase IV being a tried, tested and much loved icon. Landing squarely in New York after so many space-led, cosmic adventures would definitely make sense. Kind of like how For Your Eyes Only followed after Moonraker but you know… actually good. We’ll have seen a bit of Spidey already by this point but a bonafide sequel would fit in timeframe-wise.
July 10th – Fantastic Four
Stay with me on this one…
After the rumours that the rights had reverted back to Marvel in the wake of two recently announced X-Men TV shows, fans concluded that a deal had been made by Marvel to hand over the TV rights for its mutants in exchange for the Fantastic Four to return to the fold. Sadly this was poo pooed by both Marvel and Fox but that’s not to say that the rights won’t revert back to Marvel if Fox can’t get another FF reboot/ sequel off the ground within the contracted timeframe. Also, the possibility of another alliance between studios similar to the Sony/ Marvel Spider-Man agreement isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Getting Marvel’s first family into the MCU would be an incredible way to start Phase IV, opening doors to other cosmic characters not currently available to Marvel Studios such as Silver Surfer, Galactus and alien, shape-shifting race the Skrulls. Avengers: Secret Invasion anyone?
November 6th – Doctor Strange sequel
Scott Derrickson’s take on the sorcerer supreme recently started filming and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular hero. Although I’m sure people will be screaming for a third Guardians movie by this point it will have been four years since the bearded one’s first cinematic outing. Also, with Cosmic’centric movies in the shape of Guardians 2 (2017), Infinity Wars (2018/2019), Captain Marvel (2019) AND Inhumans (2019) it would probably be a wise move to get back down to earth at the start of Phase IV with some mind melting magic to go along with the web shooting, wall crawling, (and hopefully) fantastic family teamwork.
Of course these are merely speculation and educated guesses (…sort of). The fact is, until Kevin Feige and co. sits everybody down for another scheduling announcement we won’t know for sure. Between Ant-Man and next year’s Captain America: Civil War we have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D season 3, Jessica Jones season 1, Agent Carter season 2 and Daredevil season 2. That’s 50 hours of Marvel Cinematic Universe in the space between two movies.
What an amazing time to be (reasonably) young and geeky.
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