If you believe Stan Lee, both Dr. Strange and the Black Panther will be getting solo films during the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think the official slate of Phase 3 films will be announced at Comic-Con later this month, but when asked whether Marvel was going to incorporate either the Civil War or World War Hulk stories into its future films, he offered the following:
“I’m not involved in those decisions anymore, but the people at Marvel are spending hours trying to think ‘what will we do next?’ and there’s a damn good chance that they will think of just what you mentioned, ‘cos it would be a great idea and little by little everything you want to see will come along, because [Marvel] are just like you, they’re fans of the stories and they’re trying to think ‘what would the fans like to see next? What would we like to see next?’ So they’re working on Ant-Man, they’re working on Doctor Strange, they’re working on Guardians of the Galaxy, they’re working on god knows what. And did I say Black Panther also. Those are the ones I know about and there are others that I don’t even know about, and shame on them for not telling me.”
If you’re wondering what Stan Lee’s actual position with Marvel is…it’s essentially to go around being Stan Lee. He’s been a human hype machine for the company for fifty years plus and fifty years from now I’m sure his ghost will be screaming, “EXCELSIOR!!!” from the beyond. I do think both of those characters are next for incorporation into the MCU. If you look at Phase 1, there were six films. Phase 2 has five films, and Phase 3 will probably have six films leading into Avengers 3.
Phase 3 Schedule So Far Three Confirmed Release Dates:
November 6, 2015 Ant-Man (who’d have thunk that would be a lead-off film?)
May 6, 2016 Mystery Film 1
May 5, 2017 Mystery Film 2
Summer 2018 (est.) Avengers 3
Now, given the two-a-year Marvel format they’ve been following, I think a fall release for 2016 and 2017 are also likely. That gives us our six films. So if Dr. Strange and Black Panther are the two mystery films, we have two unknowns. Robert Downey Jr. is not contracted for anything but Avengers 2 and 3 so you can rule out Iron Man 4. I think one will be Hulk 2, though what the story for that will be has been all over the map. The remaining film I think will either be Thor 3, Cap 3 or Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I can see GG2 because they’ve invested so much in making that a new franchise, but if they’re already introducing three new characters with solo films in Phase 3, they may go with an established franchise like Thor or Cap. Always fun to speculate. What do you all think?