October 29, 2014. Marvel Studios held a press event in the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles and shocked everyone when Kevin Feige announced their full slate of movies for the next four years, and then some.
The lineup was impressive: three sequels, four new sets of characters and of course one blockbuster that pulled it all together. Marvel Studios was set up huge things after their Phase 3 announcement.
WATCH – MARVEL STUDIOS’ PHASE 3 ANNOUNCEMENT:
Fast forward. Nearly four years later now, Marvel certainly has accomplished some huge things. However, they did not accomplish exactly what they set out to. One could argue that they instead accomplished more and that would be fine, but there have certainly been some changes to the plans along the way.
After Feige showed the audience a trailer for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which had previously leaked a week earlier (thanks Hydra), he began to share the studio’s lineup moving forward.
The first film on the list was “Captain America: Serpent Society.” He did not share any further information on the film and with good reason. We’ll come back to that later.
The next film announced was “Doctor Strange.” This came on the heels of an Easter egg dropped in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” earlier that year, in which the Sorcerer Supreme was mentioned by name, Of course, we did see “Doctor Strange” on the big screen, on the exact date it was slated for in this presentation.
“Guardians of the Galaxy 2” was next up on the slate. There were some minor changes to the logo and the title, eventually becoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” but once again the film was released right on the target date.
Feige then introduced another sequel in the form of “Thor: Ragnarok.” Feige didn’t provide too much information regarding the film, except that Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston would reprise their roles and that “Ragnarok” meant “the end of all things.”
This was however, the first movie on the slate to miss its target date of July 28, 2017. You can’t really blame Marvel for that one though. Something amazing happened later on that gave Marvel another movie to fill that July spot.
Marvel finally struck a deal with Sony that would bring perhaps their most iconic superhero back home where he belongs. Spider-Man made his MCU debut in 2016 and then had his solo film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” hit theaters July 7, 2017. As a result, “Thor: Ragnarok” was pushed back to November 3, 2017.
With that change, other adjustments obviously had to be made. “Black Panther” was the next new movie up on the slate, scheduled for the date now taken by “Thor: Ragnarok.” Because of the change, “Black Panther” was slid back to February 16, 2018.
That catches us up to where we are today. In case you somehow didn’t already know, “Avengers: Infinity War” hit theaters Friday, shattering records at the box office. That was the next film on the lineup and it was originally scheduled for May 4, which was going to be correct up until roughly a month ago when the release date was moved up one week.
The next movie was planned for July 6, 2018, and while there is a movie set to be released on that date, it’s not the one that was originally scheduled. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” was later added to the lineup and took over this date. We’ll circle back to the movie that was booted.
The next scheduled movie was Marvel’s biggest, and one could argue only, misstep. “Inhumans” was planned for November 6, 2018. For one reason or another, the film was scrapped and instead turned into a television series which premiered on September 29, 2017. The series received less than stellar reviews.
Marvel Studios does not technically have a film scheduled to take that fall opening that “Inhumans” left. There is however, a highly anticipated movie based on a Marvel character hitting theaters on October 5, 2018. Sony’s “Venom” may or may not be taking place within the MCU. There are rumors that Tom Holland will cameo in the film as Spider-Man but there hasn’t been any official word.
Now, back to that movie that got booted from the July 6 slot. “Captain Marvel” will still be hitting theaters, and now it appears to be in an even bigger spot. The MCU’s first female-driven solo film will now premiere on March 8, 2019 and will be the last movie before “Avengers 4.”
And speaking of “Avengers 4,” some changes have been made there. Originally Avengers 3 and 4 were titled as “Infinity War parts 1 and 2.” That is no longer the case. Instead, “Avengers 4” has a mysterious new title that has yet to be revealed. It is however, still currently scheduled to premiere May 3, 2019.
After announcing the full lineup of movies, Feige circled back to the first one on his list, “Captain America: Serpent Society.” A graphic revealed a new title for the movie: “Captain America: Civil War.” It was released on the target date of May 6, 2016.
Then, to cap it all off (see what I did there?) Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans took the stage and introduced Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.
I end on that because it was the perfect end to the presentation itself. It was a truly unprecedented event that generated an incredible amount of excitement for the years to come. Yes, there have been some changes. Most of them for the better, some for the worse. There is no arguing though that Marvel accomplished something great on October 29, 2014 and throughout the years following.
And we still have one more year left to find out just what else Phase 3 has in store.