Marvel Studios has been filling up the Hollywood release calendar as far ahead as 2016 and they have now confirmed a couple more dates for Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which primarily features characters from The Avengers franchise.
For those wondering what's next for "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" one only has to look at the lost of movies being released over the next couple years to at least get an idea of what we can expect down the road.
Thor: The Dark World - November 8th, 2013
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - April 4th, 2014
Guardians of the Galaxy - August 1st, 2014
The Avengers 2 - May 1st, 2015
Ant Man - November 6th, 2015
Untitled Marvel Film - May 6th, 2016
Untitled Marvel Film - July 8th, 2016
Untitled Marvel Film - May 5th, 2017
What we do know from this list is that Thor and Captain America are next up and will likely be the focus of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) moving forward. Marvel will keep introducing new characters to the mix like Ant Man and the interstellar Guardians team of heroes leading the way while we may see other established characters begin to fall by the wayside or even killed off depending on how MCU caretaker Joss Whedon decides to develop the overall story.
One big clue to this seemingly unstoppable franchise's future is the recent signing of Robert Downey Jr for the next two Avengers movies although he will, for the time being, not be returning for any more Iron Man solo movies. Will Tony Stark become more of a background player or "part time Avenger" compared to the rest of the cast, or is this just another building block towards bigger and better things.
RDJ himself said he would like to take more time to work on personal projects and smaller scale films so maybe Stark's story is will come to a close after the third Avengers movie. My money is on having Stark stick around but only in a supporting role while Don Cheadle's Iron Patriot character could step into Iron Man's place on the Avengers roster.
As Phase 2 rolls on, we will also see the addition of The Falcon played by Anthony Mackie as well as The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the aforementioned Ant Man whose Phase 3 solo movie will be directed by Edgar Wright. There has been a lot of speculation about other upcoming titles with the most prominent names being Doctor Strange and The Hulk especially after how wildly popular the green giant became after The Avengers smashed its way into box office history.
One thing we do know for sure is that Disney and Marvel Studios has absolutely no plans to slow down this seemingly unstoppable franchise and we may even see more release dates added into the already packed schedule if things stay on track. As the MCU gets bigger and better, which Marvel character would you like to see added in?
Doctor Strange, The Black Panther, The Vision, Ultron, The Wasp...?