Phase Three of Marvel's Cinematic Universe looks to be a group of movies that fans will undoubtedly love.
Starting with Captain America: Civil War - which is currently No. 3 in both the ComicBook Composite and the ComicBook User Ratings -- and ending with the ultimate super hero clash, Avengers: Infinity War, these four years are going to be filled with instant comic book classics that will be talked about for decades.
Some of these films are being made by returning directors who have done a stellar job in the MCU so far. You've got Joe and Anthony Russo directing Civil War and both parts of Infinity War, Peyton Reed returning to helm Ant-Man and The Wasp, and fan-favorite, James Gunn, finishing up on the sequel to his ever-popular Guardians of The Galaxy.
While these three MCU veterans are providing the cornerstones, the rest of the Phase Three films are being taken over by new faces. Some comic fans are weary of young, fresh directors taking over franchises - after they saw what Josh Trank did with Fantastic Four - but Marvel Studios has yet to make that kind of misstep.
Sure, as a fan, it's hard to trust a newer director with properties you love so much, but there are plenty of reasons not to worry. These filmmakers have a collective body of work that is so diverse and incredible that we should put our minds at ease. Let's take a look at these newcomers and what they've done; and how their talents will fit into the ever-growing MCU.
Taika Waititi - Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Let's be honest here, Thor: Ragnarok has the potential be one of the best MCU films to date. It has one of the most memorable story-lines in Thor's history, and it's featuring plenty of elements from Planet Hulk as well. It sounds like a lot all at once, but Taika Waititi is the man to bring it all together and hammer it home.
A New Zealand native, Waititi is a natural comedic director. He got his start working with Jermaine Clement on the popular, Flight of The Concords TV show, and followed that up with the cult hit What We Do In The Shadows. The film was a low-budget mockumentary starring Waititi and Clement, and it followed two modern day vampires living as roommates. While this film was a hit among critics, it was his sophomore effort, The Hunt for Wilderpeople, that cemented Waititi's position as a skilled filmmaker. The film trekked through the jungles of New Zealand, and brought us a mix of fast-paced action and heartfelt humor that felt straight out of Marvel's textbook. After watching the film, it was clear Waititi was the perfect choice for Thor.
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – The Incredible Hulk!"
The cast features Chris Hemsworth in the title role for the fifth time; Tom Hiddleston as Thor's adversarial, adopted brother, Loki; Idris Elba as the Asgardian sentry, Heimdall; Sir Anthony Hopkins again portraying Odin, Ruler of Asgard; Mark Ruffalo reprising his role of Bruce Banner/the Hulk; Cate Blanchett as the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela; Jeff Goldblum as the eccentric Grandmaster; Tessa Thompson bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen; and Karl Urban will add his might to the fray as Skurge.prevnext
Jon Watts - Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Possibly the most anticipated film in Phase Three, Spider-Man: Homcecoming marks Peter Parker's first starring role since joining the MCU. Tom Holland played the part perfectly, and was easily many fans' favorite character in Civil War. We're finally getting the young and spunky Spidey that fans have been asking for, but we're getting Tony Stark in the film as well - Not a bad co-star for your first feature. Experienced comedy writers Jonathan M. Goldstein and John Francis Daley (Horrible Bosses and Vacation) are penning the script, and handing it over to new director, Jon Watts.
Watts got his start working in comedy, as he was a director and producer on several episodes of The Onion News Network. For those who aren't familiar, The Onion is a satirical news site, famous for false and hilarious articles that circulate around the Internet. That type of satire and wit is perfect for a film featuring Holland's Spider-Man and RDJ's Tony Stark. He had the humor part down, but it was is second feature film, Cop Car, where Watts proved he could handle a bigger story.
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
The cast features Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green, and Marisa Tomei.
The film is being directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car), based on a screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Vacation reboot) and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.prevnext
Ryan Coogler - Black Panther (2018)
Providing one of the stand-out performances of Captain America: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman has made audiences everywhere excited for the upcoming Black Panther film. He, alone, was enough to make audiences flock to the theaters in 2018, but Marvel's choice for director is one that will make even casual movie-goers show out for the film.
Easily the most experienced name on this list, Ryan Coogler has been taking Hollywood by storm over the last couple of years. Even though he only has two major features to his name, they both stand out amongst critics and fans as incredible pieces of work. His debut, Fruitvale Station, was in indie hit back in 2013. It was a gritty look at the final hours of a young African-American man in Oakland leading up to his wrongful death. The story was visceral and heartbreaking, but it was such a real look at modern race relations, and how racial problems still exist in our world today. The film made a statement, and it propelled Coogler onto the industry's watch list. He followed Fruitvale up with a little film last year that you might have heard of. Creed ring any bells? Coogler took the dead Rocky franchise and resurrected it in spectacular fashion with the Michael B. Jordan drama. Following the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, and aging legend Rocky Balboa, the film was a deep look at the psyche of a fighter, and an incredible tale of a son trying to fill the giant shoes left behind by his father. You remember what happened to T'Challa in Civil War? Creed starts to look even more like a great stepping stone into the MCU when you consider all of the parallels with Black Panther's story.
After the success and acclaim of his first two films, Coogler is at the forefront of an incredible age of African-American filmmaking. In the last couple of years alone, we saw films like 12 Years a Slave, Straight Outta Compton, Selma, and Chi-Raq capture the attentions, and hearts, of people belonging to every race. We might be a little behind on bringing a black hero into the fold, but Black Panther will be a game changer when it's needed most. Look for Coogler to take this story, and this cast, to places no other director could. This film could also pave the way for other black comic book characters in the future.
Black Panther follows T'Challa who, after the events of Captain America: Civil War, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T'Challa's mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk.
The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira , Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. Additional cast members include Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Sterling K. Brown, and John Kani.prevnext
Captain Marvel (2019)
The jury is still out on who will be directing Marvel's first female-driven film, Captain Marvel, but we are all still excited for the film regardless. Judging by the other directional choices of Phase Three, we should have nothing to worry about.
While the movie may be without a director, it does have a star and a team of writers. Brie Larson will portray the legendary Captain Marvel, and the duo of Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve are penning the script. Production is slated to begin as early as January of 2018, so expect a director choice any day now.
What do you think of the new directors in the MCU? Anyone who you would like to see direct Captain Marvel or another future Marvel film? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Comicbook.com Facebook page!prev