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[Updated] An In-Depth Look At Each Of Marvel’s Huge Phase 3 Films (And What They Mean For All Comic Book Movies)



Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up) has been cast as T’Challa (better known as Black Panther) for the next film on the Marvel slate. We know Panther will be showing up in Civil War, and… that’s pretty much it outside of some costume concept art. Feige said,

“Black Panther, and all of Wakanda, is one of the most interesting characters in Marvel history. He’s a bit of a prince, he may even become a bit of a king, but it’s all about how this isolationist country meets the world. Maybe it goes well, maybe it doesn’t.”

Wakanda is a fictional African nation in the Marvel comics universe, and Black Panther is pretty much just amazing at everything (super smart, super fast, vibranium armor, etc). We don’t know who will be writing or directing the film, but let’s hope for a good and honest look at Panther’s origins, and for a Wakanda that is neither insulting nor stereotypical.


Well, a Carol Danvers Captain Marvel movie is pretty much my dream film. If you haven’t picked up the current run of the comic, you should – written brilliantly by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Carol Danvers is a kick-ass Air Force pilot who also happens to have the power of flight, super strength, and shooting pure energy beams at things until they explode a lot. It’s pretty great. The Avengers send Carol off to space to look after the Guardians of the Galaxy (because, seriously, they need it), and she brings her cat Chewie along with her (’cause she’s a big Star Wars nerd). She’s basically amazing and Katee Sackhoff should clearly play her in this movie – though Feige said we should look for a writer and director announcement before one about casting. Ladies for all the things, please!

And I know we are all disappointed about the lack of a Black Widow film. Would it have been awesome to see Captain Marvel and Black Widow films announced? Totally. But I wasn’t expecting it. Feige has said on multiple occasions that, because Black Widow has been such an integral part of other films, she wouldn’t be the first woman to get her own stand-alone film. Is that total garbage? Sure! But Black Widow has still gotten some pretty kick-ass screen time; and, ultimately, isn’t it better to have two awesome female superheroes populating the Marvel universe instead of leaving Widow as the Token Lady? And this time, it’ll be a woman with actual superpowers (no offense, Nat).

It’s also worth mentioning that Black Widow, like Wonder Woman, would have been the safe choice here. Everyone knows Wonder Woman; her box office success is practically guaranteed. Black Widow is incredibly popular and well-established in the MCU; you can be sure she would have generated a good theater turn-out. But Captain Marvel is a complete unknown to most people; she’s only had her own stand-alone comic title for about two years, and she’s never been mentioned in any of the Marvel Entertainment properties. By taking a chance on Captain Marvel, Marvel is saying they believe in the power of a female superhero movie to stand on its own; they don’t need the, “Remember? You love Scarlett Johansson in black leather, guys!” audience for a lady movie to be successful. They’re going the Guardians of the Galaxy route and telling the world that an unknown female superhero is no more risky than Doctor Strange or Ant-Man. And I love that. Still, a Black Widow movie and a Carol movie would have been better. But, you know. It’s okay. If we don’t see Carol at the end of Ultron (as has been rumored), I’m sure we’ll see her pop up in either Civil War or GOTG2 (or both) to establish her in the greater universe before her stand-alone film.

InhumansLogo Okay, so everyone saw this coming. But the really interesting thing about the Inhumans movie is it seems incredibly tied-in to the current plot of Agents of SHIELD. This would mean that, unlike last year’s Winter Soldier, the plot of a Marvel TV show will be directly influencing the storyline of the films, and that’s some cool backwards cross-over.

I wrote about the inclusion of the Inhumans in the MCU over here in my last Agents of SHIELD recap, but here’s the bare bones: Marvel can’t use “mutants” because they don’t own the film rights to the X-Men. The Inhumans are a great way to include super-powered humans in the ‘verse. Plus, they were created by the Kree, who have had a major role in both Agents of SHIELD and Guardians of the Galaxy, so it all ties together.

What do we actually know about the movie so far? Well, Vin Diesel has been talking about an Inhumans movie for ages, and everyone assumes he would be playing the silent Black Bolt (so there’s no change of anyone mistaking his voice for Groot’s). Sources say Joe Robert Cole (Amber Lake) has already written the Inhumans script, which would make Cole the first POC to helm an MCU script since Hawk Ostby co-wrote Iron Man.

AvengersInfinityLogo Hoo, boy. And this is the biggie. Feige confirmed these two Avengers films will be the culmination of everything we’ve seen happen in Marvel’s first three phases of films. We can only imagine this means a huge battle with Thanos involving the Infinity Stones and the Infinity Gauntlet.

A quick backgrounder: the Infinity Stones have been showing up in tons of Marvel films, not just Guardians of the Galaxy, where they were officially given a name. There are six Stones (known as Gems in the comics): Mind, Soul, Power, Space, Time, and Reality. It seems like this is what we’re working with so far (though there is some debate about Loki’s staff):

Orbs In the comics, Thanos collects all the stones into a big golden glove (which was also seen in Odin’s vault), which he then uses to destroy half of the universe basically to make his girlfriend happy. And guess who puts the universe back to rights again? None other than Thanos’s adopted daughter and bad-ass queen of our hearts, Nebula. Pretty stoked for that.

Now that that’s out of the way, there’s a few more things to go over. Hawkeye, Howard the Duck, and the Hulk do not have movies in the works currently, and Feige didn’t want to talk Phase 4, so there’s no information there. But this tweet gives me some hope:

The Runaways is one of my favorite comics of all time (a bunch of teenagers discover their parents are super-villains, fight back against them; gang includes goth witch, girl with telepathic dinosaur, gender-fluid alien, and more). The comics were written at one point by Joss Whedon himself, so Marvel should really get on this.


Luke Cage is anti-registration during Civil War, so that could be cool.

Did I miss any important points? Want to talk about Phase 3? Let’s chat down in the comments!

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Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.