With Warner Bros and DC announcing their long list of upcoming superhero movies, it was only a matter of time before archrival Marvel Studios did the same. Indeed, the marvel cinematic universe will receive no fewer than nine new comic book superhero movies that will release from 2016 to 2019, including Captain America 3: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok (Thor 3), Black Panther, a two-part Avengers 3 movie, Captain Marvel, and Inhumans.
We are about to discuss everything you need to know about the nine movies — well, the major things, at least — but before we do, here is a schedule highlighting what the movies are and their release date(s):
- Captain America 3: Civil War — May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange — November 4, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 — May 5, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok — July 28, 2017
- Black Panther — November 3, 2017
- The Avengers: Infinity War, Part One — May 4, 2018
- Captain Marvel — July 6, 2018
- Inhumans — November 2, 2018
- The Avengers: Infinity War, Part Two — May 3, 2019
That out of the way, let’s begin the “everything you need to know” session. Don’t forget to let us know which superhero movie you are most excited to see…
Captain America 3: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
It has long been rumored that the third Captain America movie would be based on Marvel Comic’s Civil War storyline, and now it has been confirmed.
In Captain America: Civil War, the U.S. government passes a Superhero Registration Act that demands anyone with super powers to reveal their identities to authorities and act under an official government police force. As just two of the numerous Marvel characters — both superheroes and villains — caught up in the devastating war, Captain America (he’s against the act) and Iron Man find themselves on opposing sides, eventually engaging each other in battle over liberty, moral responsibility, and civil order.
One of them dies, and it’s Captain America…
It is unclear how closely the movie will follow the comic, but we don’t expect it to fall too far off the mark.
Set to arrive in May 6, 2016, Captain America: Civil War is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and will star the usual suspects of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man).
Doctor Strange (November 4, 2016)
While the general public is very familiar with Iron Man and Captain America, Doctor Strange is more of a stranger. But as they will find out come November 4, 2016, he is one hell of an interesting Marvel character.
In the comics, Doctor Strange is a former neurosurgeon who, after being forced to abandon his career because of a crippling car accident, becomes the Sorcerer Supreme, currently serving as the primary protector of earth against magical and mystical threats in the Marvel universe.
He is considered the “the mightiest magician in the cosmos,” as well as “the most powerful humanoid hero”… Take that Steve Rogers and Tony Stark!
Over his tenure as Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange has faced many foes, including Dormammu, the “Lord of Chaos” who rules over the Dark Dimension; Nightmare, the evil ruler of the Dream Dimension; and Baron Mordo, a treacherous magician who trained alongside Strange under the Ancient One — a master he eventually kills.
The Doctor Strange movie is written by Jon Spaihts and directed by Scott Derrickson.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017)
With the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie proving to be a hit with audiences and critics alike, it’s fair to say Marvel will go extra big with its sequel.
James Gunn will once again direct Guardians of the Galaxy 2, with Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon) and Vin Diesel (Rocket Raccoon) all expected to reprise their respective roles. Josh Brolin will play the villainous and ultra-powerful Thanos.
With Thanos due to appear in 2018’s Avengers 3, expect some crossover with the Avengers storyline. Gunn has confirmed that the plot of Guardians 2 will unravel some of the mystery surrounding Star-Lord’s father, whose identity will be different than in the comics.
Not much was revealed about Quill’s dad in the first Guardians movie, except that he hired the Ravagers to abduct his son from the hospital, and that he probably had something to do with Quill’s strange genetic code, which isn’t entirely human.
Thor: Ragnarok (July 28, 2017)
Thor: Ragnarok (aka Thor 3) is intriguing in that that picks up after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Producer Kevin Feige promises that the movie will take the Asgardian strongman “to another level of his own franchise,” with Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston returning as Thor and Loki. Unfortunately, Natalie Portman may not reprise her role as Jane Foster.
The word “Ragnarök” has several meanings. In Norse mythology, it is used to describe the apocalypse — a series of future events that results in the deaths of several gods, including Odin, Thor and Loki.
Ragnarok is also the name given to a dark robotic clone version of Thor that was created by Tony Stark after Thor’s disappearance. Ragnarok made his first appearance in the Marvel Civil War storyline.
Black Panther (November 3, 2017)
While not Marvel’s first black superhero to make an appearance on the big screen (Anthony Mackie’s Falcon in The Winter Soldier lays claim to that title), Black Panther was mainstream comics’ first black superhero. It’s fitting, then, that he is getting a standalone movie.
Don’t worry, he’s not associated with the notorious Black Panther Party in any way, shape or form, nor should he be viewed as the male version of Catwoman.
T’Challa is the son of T’Chaka, the previous Black Panther, who was murdered by an adventurer named Ulysses Klaw. Before assuming his rightful place as the next Black Pather and king of the isolationist African nation of Wakanda, he went on a walkabout rite of passage and fell in love with Ororo Munroe (Storm from the X-Men).
After completing the walkabout, T’Challa earned the attributes of Black Panther by defeating various champions of the Wakandan tribes.
Like Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Tony Stark, T’Challa doesn’t have any superpowers. However, he does possess heightened senses; the strength, speed, reflexes, stamina and agility of an Olympic athlete; and a genius-level intellect.
Played by Chadwick Boseman — best known for his role a James Brown in the biopic Get On Up — Black Panther (T’Challa) might actually be featured in Avengers 3…
The Avengers: Infinity War, Part One (May 4, 2018) & Part Two (May 3, 2019)
The Avengers: Infinity War (Avengers 3), which centers on the Avengers’ battle against a power-hungry Thanos who successfully gains control of the six gems that make up the Infinity Gauntlet, has such an expansive storyline to cover that it will be divided into two movies, one releasing in summer of 2018 and the other in 2019.
If the comics are anything to go by, the Avengers lineup will look notably different after Age of Ultron, with Black Panther potentially joining the team.
“We’ve always had a plan since Nick Fury broke into Tony Stark’s house and told him he’s part of a bigger universe,” Feige recall. “‘Avengers: Infinity War Part 1’ is the beginning of the culmination of everything that has come before.”
Both Thanos and the Infinity Stones have been teased in Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy. With the Infinity Gauntlet in his possession, The Mad Titan (pictured above) is essentially able to control the entire universe, which he does just to prove his worth to Lady Death.
What do you want to see in the The Avengers: Infinity War movies?
Captain Marvel (July 6, 2018)
The lack of female superheroes in the Marvel cinematic universe is very apparent, with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow carrying the entire mantle herself. While many expected that the Black Widow would be the first to get a standalone movie, she has been bypassed for Captain Marvel.
Admittedly, we find a Captain Marvel movie to be way more exciting than a Black Widow movie, given that the heroine has some serious superpowers, including superhuman strength, flight, energy absorption, endurance, a sixth sense, physical durability and resistance to toxins.
There have been several versions of Captain Marvel in the Marvel comics, but the movie will center on her more recent alter ego.
As the story goes, US Army Officer Carol Danvers encounters Dr. Walter Lawson (the alien Kree superhero, Captain Marvel) while overseeing the security of a restricted military base. After being abducted by a Kree military commander, an explosion of a Kree device results in her sustaining serious injuries that nearly proved fetal. Fortunately for her, Captain Marvel saves her life by bonding his genes with hers, thus giving her the aforementioned superpowers.
Captain Marvel frequently crosses over into the storylines of other major Marvel characters and teams, such as The Avengers, Guardians Of The Galaxy, X Men and even Spider-Man, so she shares many of her greatest enemies with other notable Marvel superheroes, with Thanos, Ultron and Doctor Doom arguably being her most dangerous adversaries.
It would be interesting to see how true the Captain Marvel movie is to the comics.
Inhumans (November 2, 2018)
In addition to superhero teams of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Marvel cinematic universe will soon include the Inhumans, an ancient and secret population that has long hidden their kingdom from their human cousins.
First introduced in the Fantastic Four comics in 1965, the Inhumans started off as a group of primitive humans being experimented on by the Kree, an alien race also featured in the Captain Marvel movie.
Once the Kree abandoned their experiments, the mutated test subjects formed an advanced society — Atitlan — on earth that was later transported to the “Blue Area” of the Moon.
They are currently ruled by legendary monarch Black Bolt and his Royal Family, which in the comics includes queen Medusa (has long, super-strong hair that she can manipulate with her mind), Crystal (can control all four elements — earth, air, fire and water); Gorgon (has super-strength and can create shockwaves) and Karnak (a master martial artist).
While the Inhumans share many of their enemies with the Fantastic Four, The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, perhaps their biggest threat to their kingdom is Black Bolt’s younger brother, Maximus the Mad.
A schizophrenic with super intelligence and mind control abilities, Maximus spends most of his time concocting ways to usurp his brother’s throne.
It’s A Flop! The Predator Bombs At Box Office
20th Century Fox’s hopes of reviving its Predator franchise is going according to plan.
Directed by Shane Black, reboot/sequel of the iconic Predator movie grossed just $55 million at the global box office, notably lower than its $88 million budget
In North America, the film grossed $24 million compared to the $26 million analysts estimated, placing it third in the franchise after Alien vs. Predator ($38.2 million) and Predators ($24.7 million).
Things were a little bit better internationally, but $30.7 million from 72 markets isn’t much to write home about, either.
The poor results can be attributed to mixed reviews and bad word of mouth stemming from actor Steven Wilder Striegel’s registered sex offender allegations.
As things stand, Iron Man 3 will remain the only box office hit on Black’s directing C.V. f-or the foreseeable future.
Have you watched The Predator? If so, share your impressions in the comments below and let us know it’s worth the ticket of admission.
Look Out For Many Easter Eggs In Venom Movie
Easter eggs are scattered throughout this Marvel Comics adaptation.
Despite Venom’s history as one of Spider-Man’s most popular nemesis, not being in the same cinematic universe as the webs-linger leaves his movie precariously isolated in this era of interconnected blockbusters. Fortunately, even though there isn’t likely to be any acknowledgement or direct references to Spider-Man, the character has a rich history in the comic book world to draw from
Director Ruben Fleischer assured viewers, especially comic book fans, in an interview with Fandango that the Venom movie will contain a few subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the source material, stating:
“I definitely tried to pepper in Easter eggs throughout the film. Some are more obvious than others. I’m excited for fans of the comics to see the movie.”
Look no further than the third trailer (shown above) for one of the Easter eggs, which features a threat issued by Eddie Brock after merging with the Venom symbiote that was pulled straight from the pages of an Amazing Spider-Man comic book. Fleischer added:
“Even a line that’s featured in the trailer: ‘Eyes, lungs, pancreas. So many snacks, so little time,’ is directly taken from the comics. It was exciting to me that people recognized that and appreciated that.”
The new Venom movie also includes some nods to the franchise’s future, and as the first installment of Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, sows the seeds for potential spinoffs.
Keep an eye out during the post-credits sequence.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 Non-Spoiler Review
The fifteen movie in the Marvel cinematic universe is an entertaining fusion of action, comedy and heart-wrenching drama.
Following up to the funny and action-packed formation of the team in the first movie, Guardian Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 sees the Guardians travel the universe to unravel the mystery behind Peter Quill’s parentage. And that’s essentially the plot — simple and short.
I enjoyed Guardian Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 a lot more than I thought I would. It strikes a nice balance between action, humor and drama. Whereas the first movie’s sole intention was to bring the team together, this one flushes out not just Quill, but also the other characters, including antagonists Nebula, Yondu and Mantis, a new character whose abilities adds greatly to the humor.
In Guardian Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, we get an understanding of why Drax is so obsessed with killing Thanos, and why Thano’s own daughter, Gamora, not only detests him, but also wants him dead.
As for Rocket Raccoon’s tough, big-guy attitude, let’s just say it all stems from a traumatizing experience that transcends animal abuse. You will definitely feel for him.
We don’t get to learn a lot about Groot, unfortunately, but what little screen time he has is entertaining and memorable.
Nebula’s bitter and destructive rivalry with sister Gamora rears its ugly head in Guardians 2, but there is a lot more complexity to their relationship that we learn about. Daddy issues, anyone?
Yondu’s backstory in connection with Quill’s is arguably the most heart-wrenching. The blue alien man has some serious depth to him and there is a very good reason why he couldn’t kill Quill in Guardians 1.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that without Yondu’s sub-plot, Guardians 2 wouldn’t have been as engaging.
Not only does Guardians 2 add more meat to each character’s lore, but it does so with sheer quality in everything — writing, acting, cinematography, etc. — and at the right amounts.
The writing, while predictable at times, is as good as in any other marvel movie and masterfully executed by the cast.. The characters are portrayed masterfully, and you can connect and empathize with each one, good guy or baddie.
As for cinematography, while the Marvel Cinematic Universe has built a reputation for and even reinvented the scope and artistry of ensemble action, I think the Guardian films are the most dazzling of all the Marvel series.
Like the first Guardians, Guardian 2 is a swashbuckling adventure flick complete with a vibrant array of sweeping panoramas, epic action sequences, dynamic framing and composition, with a healthy serving of slapstick comedy injected throughout.
The CGI is mostly spot on, demonstrating Marvel’s mastery of the art. One CGI character especially had me fooled.
Music is another hallmark of the Guardians Of The Galaxy films, and Guardians 2 delivers in spades. While you may not agree with the song selection, you will appreciate how well they are used throughout the adventure, be it during the chaos of the opening credits, big action pieces or scene transitions .
Guardian Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is a thoroughly enjoyable superhero movie, but I can see a few places where film and especially comic book enthusiasts will find issue.
The first deals with the main crux of the story — Peter finding his father Ego. Many viewers will find it fairly predictable, but the writers probably couldn’t have done anything drastically original with with. I found it to be fine, but nothing special.
Speaking of Ego, avid comic book fans may scuff at his backstory deviating from the comics. The same can be said about the true relations between Quill and Yondu, and many other dissimilarities that carry over from the first movie.
This is not a major issue, however, considering that most audiences know relatively little about Star-Lord’s squad and have no basis of comparison.
Finally, there is an increase in comedy compared to Guardians 1, and it could feel at times that the movie is trying too hard with the humor. The gratuitous amount of silly gags could turn off those looking for something more dialed-backed and mature.
As funny, dramatic, action-packed and even cliche as Guardian Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is, it is really about family at the core, particularly building and repairing relationships. It tries to cement the relationships between the original characters, while adding a new one.
It delivers an action adventure that ticks nearly all the right boxes. It has a more than an adequate script, impeccable acting, great humor and great cinematography, but in the end, it was the quirky roster of heroes (and anti-heroes) and their chemistry that sells the flick.
Like it or not, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 will put a smile on your face.