It is no secret that Marvel Studios is a behemoth of a movie industry success story. Born from the always dying comic book industry, Kevin Feige and team had a dream of putting the biggest in B-list and C-list heroes and making them into gigantic money makers. And they succeeded. Disney’s Joss Whedon’s Marvel’s The Avengers made more money than God, and have a great streak of quality films on their roster that make people proud to wave their geek flags high. They made magic by adding spectacle to storytelling, and it is anticipated they will duplicate their success in less than two weeks with Guardians of the Galaxy.
In anticipation of this week’s San Diego Comicon, Marvel released a list of release dates for seven films through 2019. Here at Hooksology, we like to use logic and science when breaking down the unknowable events of the future. It is with this undeniable reasoning through the soul of Carl Sagan that we can deduce what is going to be on Marvel Studios’ slate of films through the end of this decade… and possibly beyond.
And don’t worry, this post is not click bait. You can scroll up and down the page like a goddamn man, just how
God Al Gore always intended you to do.
May 1: Avengers: Age of Ultron
This one was easy, mostly because they set the release date like a year ago and are currently filming the darn thing.
July 17: Ant-Man
This one is tentative. There’s still a possibility the whole thing is going to blow up in everyone’s faces, and everyone will just go home and call it a day.
May 6: Captain America 3
With the buzz surrounding Warner Brothers’ Batman v. Superman: The Case of the Dawn of the Night Before I Can’t Believe It’s Not The Justice League, it was expected that Marvel was going to blink on this release date. They did not. Either the world is going to end as the ultimate Marvel vs. DC nerd battle takes place in theaters, one of the two films will end up changing its release date, or someone is going to die. I’m voting for death.
July 8: Doctor Strange
We have a director! We have cast announcements coming soon! We have no other dates for Marvel films in 2016! This thing is a sure bet.
May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Unless this thing unexpectedly bombs, Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be a hit. How else do hits get celebrated in Hollywood? Sequels, of course! James Gunn has put a lot of time and heart into the first firm, and three years is the sweet spot for making a great sci-fi sequel. There is a lot of confidence in Gunn’s galactic vision, and Marvel’s confidence in the Guardians will be proven by giving it the sweet beginning of May sweet spot release date. Let’s hope for a 90s soundtrack this go around; nothing would be better than Groot and Rocket killing space Nazis to the sweet harmonies of Boyz II Men.
July 27: The Inhumans
Who??! Rap time! “Well, once upon a time not long ago/money for Marvel was moving quite slow/They sold the X-Men rights for a little bit of change/but now their movies lack characters born strange”. You have just witnessed the beginning and end of my rap career. Anyway. Marvel has been hinting at the introduction of the Inhumans as an analogue to the X-Men for long enough, and Marvel needs to get their replacement mutants established ASAP. There has even been talk that Vin Diesel, who voices Groot for Guardians of the Galaxy, would play Black Bolt, who has no voice. Regardless, speculation will turn into reality in 2017, as Marvel Studios finally debuts a team that can be X-Men without actually being the X-Men.
The more I think about it, I think Phase Three will be all about embracing the weird and different found every day in Marvel Comics: Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, Guardians 2, the Inhumans, and… more.
This is the more I mentioned before. If Marvel can successfully sell a talking tree and a raccoon scratching its nuts to the general audience, one would hope they would not have a problem selling a black super hero who runs a financially-and-politically powerful black country. Of course, the Panther will be scheduled for a safe November date in case it doesn’t do well, but tied into the Avengers mythos enough that it can solidly pave the way for Avengers 3.
According to the National Association of White People (NAWP), Thor 3 is a thing that has already been confirmed and will happen during Phase Three. In the interest of continued peace and to delay a race war from happening at a specified point in the future (don’t fret, it is still happening, I’m just not saying when), I will appeal to my friendly white friends and allow this entry in place of Panther. Besides, any movie that involves the entire decimation of an historically white race can’t be all that bad.
May 4: Avengers 3
Whoa whoa, wait-a-minute! Marvel didn’t announce May 4, 2018! You cheating, Hooks! You cheating! Perhaps. But May 4, 2018 makes perfect sense for an Avengers film. It ends Phase Three with seven films, they will be doing three movies a year starting in 2017, and May has thus far been a great position for Avengers-y films. Also, this would fulfill the contracts for Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr., and we could start Phase Four (or All-New Marvel Cinematic Universe NOW!) in a great position to keep the franchise fresh and relevant.
July 6: Hulk
And here’s how you start Phase Four with a bang. Marvel has already said there will be no Hulk film for Phase Three, but nothing was ruled out for Phase Four. In four years, audiences may be clamoring for a Hulk film, and Planet Hulk is the epic story that fans have been wanting for some time. Depending on where the cast is and the universe is, this film may demand something more down to Earth. Nevertheless, a new film starring the Jade Giant would give audiences the first Hulk film in nearly a decade, provide a huge beginning for Phase Four, and set a new direction for the MCU.
Nov. 2: Black Widow
Let’s say Avengers 3 ends with the team disassembled after a climatic battle with Thanos and/or a Civil War that left Captain America dead. Scarlet Johansson has already expressed interest in a solo Widow film, Marvel have stated there may be an audience for a solo Widow film, and having Widow out on her own without any ties to the Avengers would be a great set-up for a solo Widow film. Placing the film in 2018 would allow time to develop a great story for ScarJo to chew the scenery in, and allow her time to spend with her soon-to-be-born baby. All that said, I can easily see Black Widow switching places with Black Panther on the calendar.
May 3: Captain America 4
Steve Rogers is dead. Chris Evans’ contract has ran out. Sebastian Stan has like 3,000 films left on his contract. Enter: The Winter Soldier as Captain America.
wait what are you doing this is as far as the list goes
Trust me, brain! I know what I’m doing!
you’re not even getting paid to speculate this far, you stop typing right now and go make some money
This isn’t about money, brain! This is about life! And freedom! And I am a grown ass man who can do what he wants!
Marvel’s The Ultimate Spider-Man
Sony is running out of money. The rights to the Spider-Man franchise are made of money. And Spider-Man is the heart and soul of the entire Marvel Universe. And in 2020, it is time for Spider-Man and his Amazing Franchise to come on home.
Spider-Man is not the only franchise that will find its way home to Marvel Studios.
The Fantastic Four
Fox will soon realize there is not much return on the investment that the Fantastic Four brings. The films are critical nightmares, they barely make anything at the box office, and no one seems to know how to do them right. Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben–welcome back.
Our aging sun has slowly warmed over its lifetime. Having exhausted all of its nuclear fuel, the sun has now bloated into a red giant. Threatening to engulf our planet, life on Earth begins to fade. The plants die first; Earth’s temperatures begin to slowly rise, more water vapor will form, resulting in the steady removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which plants need for photosynthesis. With the plants dead, the animals–including humans–that remain on Earth will die out. Our species, having evolved to whatever stage of evolution comes next, has mostly left the planet, but our civilization remains far and few in-between. Our home is gone, our life is done, our future is written in darkness.
Somewhere, amongst the stars in the great nothing that is space, there are two men: one, an archeologist; the other, an attorney. The archeologist has uncovered a strange artifact. The attorney, recognizing the artifact, looks over the specimen carefully. The attorney does the numbers in his head, and realizes, that after countless years, fruitless attempts, and an infinite number of disappointments, he cannot disappoint humankind any longer. There are not many of us, you see, and the few who remain would love to witness this historic event occur.
“It is yours now,” the attorney says. “It is finally yours.”
The archeologist, whose ancestry dates back to the Whedon clan, wipes a tear from his eye. He looks down. He smiles. 2.8 billion years later, and the worst is finally over.
Welcome back to Marvel, X-Men. Hope you survive the experience.