Marvel Studios' Phase 3 Event: The Five Most Exciting Announcements

Earlier this week, Marvel Studios held a special event in which they rocked all of fandom to its core by announcing their full schedule of Phase 3 films, right up through 2019.

There were nine movies announced. That’s a lot of information to digest, and while it was all pretty exciting, we thought we’d hit the highest highlights for you and point out what we think were the most exciting announcements of the events.

Here are the top five most exciting announcements from this week’s Marvel Studios event.

5. Captain America: Civil War Pits Steve Rogers against Tony Stark

This one ranks last because the news got spoiled a couple of weeks ago, and because it’s a sequel for a character that has already gotten two films, but’s still pretty exciting new.

First, it’s now confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as Tony Stark in the film. This is big news because, let’s face it, Robert Downey Jr. is the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s still a little weird to imagine him not being a part of it. Iron Man 3 wrapped up his character arc pretty nicely, but that his presence in other characters’ films is still welcome.

Second, we now know that the third Captain America film is titled Civil War, and is drawing inspiration from the Marvel Comics event of the same name. That means we’re going to see Cap and Iron Man butting heads over superhero registration when this film hits on May 6, 2016. Superheroes fighting other superheroes has been done countless times in the Marvel Comics universe, to the point that it’s basically a cliché, but with the exception of the brief scuffle in The Avengers, this is new territory for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

4. Doctor Strange Will Explore Parallel Universes

We knew a Doctor Strange movie was coming, and we didn’t get the casting confirmation everyone was expecting. What we did get was an official release date – November 4, 2016 – and a comment from Kevin Feige that the film would explore the concept of parallel universes.

While not as big an announcement as “MOVIE FOR CHARACTER X,” this understated bit of news is huge for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So many classic Avengers and Marvel Universe stories hinge on the idea of the multiverse, but Marvel hasn’t gone to that place yet in their film. They’ve chosen to keep their continuity simple and streamlined with a single, linear narrative.

Opening the door to parallel universes and the multiverse opens a ton of doors for potential Marvel movie stories, which is exciting indeed.

3. Avengers: Infinity War

In May of 2018 and 2019, Marvel Studios will finally bring audiences the event they’ve been waiting for since the post-credits scene of The Avengers in Avengers: Infinity War.

Marvel has truly played the long game with this one. When Thanos debuted at the end of The Avengers, the general assumption as that he’d be the team’s next big foe in Avengers 2. Turns out Marvel Studios has much bigger plans than that, seeding the Infinity Stones throughout their films, having Thanos remain in the background and briefly appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Thanos is the end boss of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we can’t wait for everything to come together when he finally makes his play for power.

2. The Black Panther Movie

The long-rumored Black Panther movie was finally confirmed as hitting the big screen on November 3, 2017, but that’s not all. There was also the announcement that Chadwick Boseman, the actor who has portrayed Jackie Robinson and James Brown on screen in previous films, will play T’Challa, and that the character will make his movie debut in Captain America: Civil War.

While we were happy to have the Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it’s great to see Marvel finally giving a solo film to a minority character. Black Panther was a cornerstone of the early Marvel Comics universe, it’s about time he got his due on screen as well.

1. The Captain Marvel Movie, With Carol Danvers

Really, either Black Panther or Captain Marvel could have taken the top spot on this list, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Carol Danvers, so she wins out. Maybe it’s her time hanging out with the X-Men, maybe it’s the beautiful redesign she got from Jamie McKelvie a few years ago, or maybe it’s that she finally shed the unnecessary “Ms.” From her name and went full Captain, but there’s something special about Carol Danvers.

Don’t’ buy it? Just ask her cult of fans, the Carol Corps. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick has done a great job of stewarding Carol Danvers into a new era, and we’re hoping that the buzz that seems to emanate from the character translates onto the screen.

We don’t know much else about the film so far, but it will be released July 6, 2018, placing it between Part I and Part II of Avengers: Infinity War. That combined with her comic book history with the Avengers and more recent time spent working in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy gives her the potential to be a dramatic lynchpin in the Infinity War narrative.

Honorable Mention: Runaways

It’s not dead yet! While there was no actual announcement, Kevin Feige did say that there is still the chance of seeing Drew Pearce’s Runaways script come to life one day, though it may be on television rather than film.  Runaways, a cult fan favorite, is one of the most underappreciated Marvel Comics creations of the 21st century. Avengers director Joss Whedon even wrote on of the comic’s story arcs. More importantly, it’s something entirely different than anything we’ve seen from Marvel’s Studios so far. This is something we’d love to see happen.