Words by CineMasai
After months of speculation and predictions (I was rooting for Michael Jai White), president of Marvel Entertainment Kevin Feige finally confirmed today who would be playing the African superhero Black Panther: actor Chadwick Boseman, of “Get On Up” and “42” fame. His standalone film is set to release on November 3, 2017, finally beginning to address the diversity issue that many fans have complained about since the first “Avengers.” But that isn’t the only news that Marvel had for press and fans today. They continued to lay the groundwork for the rest of their Cinematic Universe, complete with release dates and title cards for each, and here are five other doozies that are shaping up to be something huge:
Guardians of the Galaxy 2’s release date moved up
This summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprise critical and commercial hit, proving that Marvel can reach as far back into its character archives as they want and still be met with healthy profit, so the news that the studio wants GotG 2 out two months early comes as no surprise. Director/co-writer James Gunn stressed that this time around, he wants to spend “the whole summer” with fans. This means that Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoë Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), and Groot (Vin Diesel) will be back in our lives sooner than we thought.
The MCU will involve Civil War
For those who don’t know, Civil War is a mini-series that involves the US government getting sick and tired of all the collateral damage that heroes cause and forcing them to register themselves under the Superhero Registration Act. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is pro-registration, while Captain America (Chris Evans) is against it, and it creates a rift in the superhero community that will re-define the universe from this point on. As far back as Captain America: The First Avenger, many of us thought that the MCU would be heading in the direction, and our prayers were finally answered today with the revelation that Captain America 3 has been subtitled Civil War. It remains to be seen how it plays out, because both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four are integral parts to the story in the comics, but they’re both owned by Sony and Fox, respectively, and therefore can’t appear in this movie. But Marvel will think of something, I’m sure. Black Panther will also have his first official appearance — in costume, no less — in this movie. Bring it on.
Captain Marvel will be the first female MCU hero to headline her own movie
One main criticism that films in the MCU have received is a lack of racial and gender diversity in the ranks of superheroes. Not only will Black Panther be given his chance in the spotlight, but female Marvel mainstay Carol Danvers is now getting her own movie as well. A pilot who absorbed alien energy and gained superhuman strength and flight (among other things), Danvers’ movie, Captain Marvel, will mark the first time a female hero in the MCU has headlined her own movie on July 6, 2018, which is an excellent step forward, even if Marvel was beaten to the punch by DC/Warner Bros. announcement that Wonder Woman would get her own solo movie. All that matters is that women are finally being recognized.
The Inhumans are on deck
The Inhumans are an alien/human hybrid super race that was experimented on by the Kree (the aliens from Guardians of the Galaxy) and take up residence on Earth. Seeing how important the Kree are going to become, it’s no surprise that Marvel announced their movie for release on November 2, 2018. Members include Medusa, who has control over her hair, and the leader Black Bolt, with super strength, flight, and a voice so powerful that a whisper could level a city block. No casting news as of yet, but they serve as a great connect between Earth and wider space like the Guardians do.
Avengers: Infinity War double movie is going to bring things to a head
All of this buildup has to have some sort of fantastic payoff, and Marvel’s planning a huge event to kick it off. Avengers: Infinity War will be a two-part story, with part one premiering in May 2018 and part two in May 2019. The “Infinity” in the title refers to the six Infinity Stones that have been scattered throughout the movies, three of which we’ve seen so far (the blue Tesseract, the red Aether, and the purple Orb). Ominous big bad Thanos (Josh Brolin) will most likely don the Infinity Gauntlet, which houses all six stones, and wreak havoc, which will no doubt require the might of everyone in the universe thus far. And this is only the beginning. Marvel Studios has films planned out until 2022, so who knows what else they have in the bag at this point?
Ant-Man will kickstart Phase 3 when it comes out on July 17, 2015.