Over the past few years, Marvel Studios has produced remarkable numbers with its big-screen films, including $1.5 billion for 2012’s The Avengers, as well as over $750 million for its newcomer Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, it’s about to take its film library to a whole new level.
During a press event today, Marvel Studios announced its “Phase Three” slate, and it’s got comic book fans excited, as it will bring about several big events that they’ve been expecting for several years. This includes the arrival of Thanos in the Avengers series (after he was teased at the end of the first movie in 2012), as well as new Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy films.
In addition, the line-up will also introduce several new heroes to the fold, including 2016’s Doctor Strange, which will reportedly feature Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role; 2017’s Black Panther starring Chadwick Boseman in the lead role; and The Inhumans, which will debut in 2018. Captain Marvel will arrive in 2018 as well.
Perhaps the big news is that the third chapter in the Avengers series, Infinity War, will be divided into two films, with the first part coming in 2018 and the second arriving a year later. Word has it that stars from Guardians of the Galaxy could be involved somewhere in this story, though no confirmation has been given yet.
Mainstays Captain America and Thor will also get their own separate chapters in the Marvel Universe. Following the success of this year’s Winter Soldier, the Captain will return in 2016 with Civil War, which will also feature Robert Downey Jr. appearing as Iron Man; and Thor will return, with Loki as well, in Ragnarok, which will arrive in July 2017.
This is big news for Marvel, especially considering that its primary 2015 film release, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, has set a record number of views with last week’s trailer debut, cleaning up 32.3 million views in its first 24 hours of release. No doubt it’ll have no problem matching — or even surpassing — the original Avengers‘ $1.5 billion total. Ant-Man is scheduled to release next summer as well.
Indeed, big-budget blockbusters based on comic books continue to do big business for Marvel. Here’s hoping Phase Four is just as awesome.