Kevin Feige updates on Marvel's Phase 3; Black Panther, Thanos, Spider-Man and more!

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We’ve already had our first major glimpses at Marvel’s Phase 3 plans with that incredible trailer for Captain America: Civil War and those new pics/details for Doctor Strange, but there’s still a lot more than just star-spangled heroes and supreme sorcerers on offer in the comic book film studio’s next slate of movies. And speaking to Empire (via CBM), Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige shared some info about just what to expect.

In the comics, there have actually been several different versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Would the upcoming movie sequel also be bringing in some of that team roster fluidity?

“There’ve been many different incarnations of the Guardians over the years in the comics and we’ll catch a glimpse of additions over the course of the movie.”

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Surprisingly, one seemingly obvious addition to the cast that you actually won’t be seeing much of is Thanos. It seems Marvel has much bigger plans for the purple cosmic despot that has been pulling the strings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the last few years.

“I wouldn’t look too hard in that movie for Thanos. The next time we see Thanos he will not be messing around. It will be, ‘Oh, that’s why they’ve been teasing this villain for five years!”

In other words, expect Thanos to lay the universe-shaking smack down when he shows up in The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 & 2. But not everything in Phase 3 is set on a cosmic scale though. The new solo Spider-Man movie reboot is said to have a much more intimate scope as it properly introduces the webslinger to the MCU. But “more intimate” doesn’t mean no stakes though.

“Smaller scale is all relative… It’s going to be as big and spectacular a Spider-Man film as has ever been made. But it’s a Peter Parker story and has more opportunity to be focused on the story of a 15-year-old kid going to high school.”

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Now if you’re familiar with your Thor comics –  and Norse mythology – then you know that the “Ragnarok” storyline was focused exclusively on the the fall of Asgard, and featured all kinds of mythological nasties and a whole lot of other gods. Of course the world of Thor in the movies is a lot different to that of the comics – for one, they’re not actually gods now – and so too the Thor: Ragnarok movie will also not follow the comic book storyline exactly. Hell, it won’t even be made in the same mold as it’s two predecessors. Especially since this third film features one very important (and very green) co-star.

“I don’t think people will read into that title alone [regarding] what the movie’s going to be. It’s going to be, perhaps, as totally different from the two prior Thor movies as Winter Soldier was from the first Captain America. We want to take it to new places, we’ve got new characters that will show how big we’re swinging on this. And we have a Hulk.”

“The film takes place within the cosmos primarily which is to say, frankly, very little Earth.”

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And sticking with characters where the colour of their skin is important, Phase 3 also sees the solo movie debut of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther aka Prince T’Challa of Wakanda after he gets introduced in Captain America: Civil War. As the first black American superhero to have his own comic, Black Panther is a very important character in African American pop culture and Marvel are fully aware of that. It’s been reported that Creed and Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler is in talks to helm the solo movie, and that the film will have a predominantly black cast (which makes sense since a large part of it should be set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda).

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But even with that important socio-political focus, this is still a Marvel movie. Specifically, this will be the last Marvel movie before Avengers: Infinity War starts the process of bringing Phase 3 – and all the narrative work that’s been happening since the MCU began – to a close. And Black Panther plays a very important part in setting that up.

“This one is important. Not only do you get an unbelievable lead character, but you also get all of Wakanda which is a whole new setting and culture to explore.”

“It’s a big geo-political action adventure that focuses on the family and royal struggle of T’Challa in Wakanda, and what is means to be a king. T’Challa’s story is very important to us as it links to the next Avengers films, which is why we brought it forward.”

Marvel’s Phase 3 kicks off on May 6, 2016 with Captain America: Civil War before switching gears to explore the magical dimensions of Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016. Over in 2017, we then get Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 on May 5, followed by the still untitled solo Spider-Man film on July 28, 2017 and then Thor: Ragnarok on November 3, 2017. Marvel’s 2018 will get underway with Black Panther on February 6, before Avengers: Infinity War – Part I officially puts in the Phase 3 home straight on May 4. That’s not where it ends though, as Ant-Man and The Wasp then releases on July 6, 2018, followed by Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, and finally Avengers: Infinity War Part II brings the whole “Infinity Gauntlet” saga to a close May 3, 2019.

Whether that’s the end of Phase 3 is debatable as we also still have Inhumans scheduled for July 12, 2019, and not to mention the three still unnamed Marvel movies scheduled for May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020, and November 6, 2020 respectively. I think it’s safe to say though that those movies can probably be considered part of Phase 4, whatever that may turn out to be (C’mon, “Annihilation”!).

Last Updated: January 5, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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