Earlier tonight, Marvel announced a mega-event for their comics division called Secret Wars. Before the event, Marvel billed the announcement as their biggest announcement of 2014. Given that Marvel's brand stretches far beyond comics and into television, movies, video games, and toys, why would a comic event be their biggest announcement of the year?
Because Secret Wars is not just a comic event, Marvel has already revealed that they see huge merchandising opportunities with this event, so fans can almost certainly expect to see t-shirts, toys, and likely video games. What Marvel hasn't officially addressed yet is how or if this Secret Wars event might tie into their television or movie projects.
But keep one important thing in mind, if history is any indicator, everything Marvel does is well planned out. There was a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book launched before the movie was released to help get fans more familiar with those characters (and to also have more comic product to sell once the movie hit theaters).
So do you really think it's a coincidence that this announcement was made shortly after all sorts of rumors started to break on Marvel Studios future plans. There were two really big rumors that hit in the movie world this past week. The first big rumor was that Marvel was planning to leave most of the original Avengers out of Avengers 3 and save them for some big event type film. The second big rumor was that Marvel and Sony were talking about somehow connecting Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If you think about it, those two rumors almost fall perfectly in place with the Secret Wars mega-event just announced for the comic division. Marvel runs the Secret Wars comic event in 2015, builds brand recognition and excitement with comic-related merchandise. Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters in 2015. Then, Avengers 3 hits two years later in 2017 with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man leading a different team of Avengers that doesn't include Captain America, Thor, and Hulk.
Of course, Captain America, Thor, and Hulk won't be out of site during this time, as they will each have their own solo movies. Then, either in 2018 or 2019, Marvel releases their biggest event movie ever called Secret Wars, which pulls together everyone who has been an Avenger, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and even Spider-Man.
The Secret Wars is one of the few things that Marvel can do to create a movie that's actually bigger than the Avengers team movies. And for those saying Sony would never do it, there's always ways a deal could be struck. For one thing, having Spider-Man in such a big event picture would get fans more invested in the character and likely boost attendance for his solo movies.
One other thing that tends to support this little piece of speculation is how Robert Downey Jr. has been behaving in recent appearances. Downey Jr. told Letterman he wasn't going to do Iron Man 4, but he was going to do other stuff with Marvel. Downey Jr. has also constantly re-iterated that Marvel has a plan, but they are very "secretive" about it. Instead of doing Iron Man 4, Secret Wars could be the other "secretive" stuff with Marvel that Downey Jr. is talking about.