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Marvel Phase Three Films Announced
Recently, Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios had announced their films for their "Phase Three" lineup. Some may say that it is a knee jerk reaction to DC's recent release of their slate of films releasing over the next few years, but it makes sense for Marvel since their second phase is coming to a close in just a few short months. Add in the fact that there has been plenty of speculation of Black Panther, Captain Marvel and possibly even Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it made sense for them to make an official announcement on their plans. The biggest rumor as of late was that Captain America 3 would indeed set off into motion Marvel's biggest and most popular storyline of Civil War, which was officially confirmed at this event. The overall theme of Phase Three seems to be split, unlike any previous phase, on the earthly level we have the brewing Civil War and the tension between our heroes. The other hand is the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe will continue to be expanded in films such as Thor 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Inhumans. In this article I will go forth and explain the importance of each film in the third phase, and what I expect to happen in them.
Captain America 3: Civil War
The seeds of this conflict had slowly been building ever since the first Avengers film when Tony Stark and Steve Rogers were at each others throat's due to their conflicting ideas. It was touched on even more heavily in The Winter Soldier as the government wanted to place the blame on the superheroes at the climax of the film. Age of Ultron seems to continue this trend by breaking up the Avengers. It is heavily rumored that the team will be broken up at the end in light of Tony's decision to create Ultron and the destruction that he brought. Tony, at this point, will most likely see a need to regulate heroes and other super-powered beings within the government as the best means to do good. His animosity towards Steve over conflicting ideals will be even more present as Steve has become increasingly frustrated at the government forcing him to ally himself with fellow super-powered beings that have the same views as himself. Tony will move forward with the Registration Act pitting Tony and Steve against each other on the subject. I would also imagine that at the end of the film, Steve's fate is left unknown as to whether he dies or if he simply walked away. I'd imagine that he walks away from the Avengers and sticks to those that he shares views with. However, I think it would be foolish of Marvel to try to wrap up Civil War in one singular film, if this is the starting point of it, then that is perfectly fine.
Kevin Feige really wants to get this film right, as he has been very clear that Doctor Stephen Strange is his favorite character in the Marvel Universe. Doctor Strange will also open up the Marvel Universe to the more supernatural side as well as the cosmic side. Strange is one of the most powerful heroes in the universe while also being one of the smartest. If done right, Strange could be the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe much like Robert Downey Jr has been for all of this time. Feige knows that eventually he will lose Downey, thus the proverbial torch would be passed to Strange. It makes even more sense when you take into fact that it has taken so long to cast the role. It is heavily rumored that Benedict Cumberbatch has landed the role, but it is strange (no pun intended) that Feige did not confirm this at the conference just the other day. Cumberbatch, however, would be ideal for the role. He is a rising star in Hollywood who would own the role much like Downey does with Iron Man.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
The biggest surprise of the Marvel films to date would be how successful Guardians of the Galaxy was. None of the characters were marketable and widely unknown but yet they successfully pulled it off making it one of the best films to date at Marvel Studios. The original did a terrific job of establishing the team while opening up the Marvel Cinematic Universe a little more, and most likely they will open up the cosmic side of things much more in the sequel. I would imagine that another Infinity Stone would be found and possibly fall into the hands of Thanos who may just be the main villain of the film. Drax certainly still is holding out on exacting his revenge on the Mad Titan.
Thor's final solo outing was hyped up at the conference as a very important film for the third phase. It apparently picks up with Thor right after the events of Age of Ultron while greatly impacting everything that comes after. I have speculated before that Thor 3 would place the God of Thunder in a precarious manner. So much so, that Asgard would meet it's end of days. With Loki in place as the King of Asgard I predict that he will look to destroy it with the help of Surtur the fire demon. This would fulfill a prophecy of sorts of Ragnarok but at the end of the day, Thor will come out victorious. However, Thanos promised Loki that there was no place he could hide if he did not fulfill his end of his bargain by using the Chitauri to destroy Earth. Loki would then try to get one over on Thanos by providing him the Infinity Gauntlet which is stored in the Odin vault, but this would end up being Loki's undoing as Thanos by this point would have full control of the Gauntlet and the stones. The movie would end with him putting the Gauntlet on and destroying Asgard as Thor is sent back to Earth.
It was announced that Chadwick Boseman from 42 and Get on Up would be playing Black Panther. Also that he wouldn't just star in the role for his own solo film, but that he would also be a part of Captain America: Civil War. It isn't too surprising considering the trailer of Age of Ultron showed a Captain America's shield broken. Black Panther holds vibranium inside Wakanda, which allows him to be able to re-forge Captain America's shield which also would serve as a good start to their friendship. Black Panther is the king of Wakanda, which in this Marvel Cinematic Universe, will most likely be used as a safe haven for super heroes during the Civil War. Due to Marvel not getting the rights back to Spider-Man, they most likely are using Black Panther in the role of Spider-Man for the Civil War storyline. Spider-Man at first took the side of Iron Man in the comics but eventually switched over to Captain America's side of things. Black Panther is also expected to be facing off against his nemesis, Ulysses Klaw, who will be established in Age of Ultron.
Infinity War: Part 1
The Infinity War in the comics was a massive long branching story but I doubt it will be as big on film. In the comics it included just about every character in the Marvel Universe, which isn't possible due to some of the characters belonging to Fox and Sony. This film I'd imagine would focus on a dysfunctional Avengers team trying to face off against Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet. With Asgard destroyed, I would imagine that Thor will take this fight very seriously and look for revenge. I doubt that the Guardians of the Galaxy will team up with the Avengers here just yet, as that would be saved for the second part when the rest of the Avengers assemble to take down the Mad Titan.
This movie, however, is much harder to speculate on. Captain Marvel has been a character that fans have been clamoring for as she is a very strong female character which helps in adding diversity to the Avengers roster, but she also has plenty of story to tell. Some figured that maybe she'd be introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 but instead she is getting her own film. As for her film, Feige explained that it would be more earthly as opposed to taking place in space. Seeing as how Carol Danvers gets her abilities through the Kree and more directly from Mar-Vell to become Captain Marvel, I'd imagine that they would show her origin story and coming to grips with her power. As for a villain, I would not be surprised if the Kree do not take a liking to her newfound powers and view her as a target leading for her to take on their race head on. The other aspect of this film is that it does take place in between the Infinity War and I'd imagine she becomes a part of the Avengers seeing as how she frequently sees eye to eye with Captain America. Furthermore, I'd imagine that her and Black Panther would factor into Captain America's newly minted Avengers team that he had hand picked following the events of Civil War.
For casting the role of Carol Danvers, I'd imagine that they look for someone that has plenty of screen presence while having a bit of a toughness to them. Katee Sackhoff has been a fan favorite for the role for quite some time and rightfully so as she fits exactly what you would want from the role. However, I think another likely target would be that of Emily Blunt. Marvel previously had eyed her for Black Widow, but Blunt did not want to play a "secondary" character. Now with Captain Marvel having her own film, I'd imagine that the role would be much more appealing to her. Blunt also proved that she does well with action films this past summer starring alongside Tom Cruise in Edge of Tommorow.
This film doesn't come as much of a surprise as Feige had mentioned it as a film he'd like to do dependent on the success of Guardians of the Galaxy. Obviously, it did well so it feeds into the belief that Feige and Marvel can hit the same kind of gold with Inhumans. Feige also views the Inhumans as his replacement to the X-Men for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All of the Inhumans were human, but then they were experimented on by the Kree who used Terrigan Gas on them giving them incredible powers. The leader of the Inhumans is almost always, Black Bolt, who has been rumored to be played by Vin Diesel. This is odd due to him voicing Groot in Guardians, but Black Bolt does not speak. He is simply an intimidating leader whose voice is hypersonic. All of that being said it is easy to see how they could fit into the ever growing big picture of the Universe, but would they eventually be a friend or foe to the Avengers?
Infinity War: Part 2
This is what it all comes down to, the final battle against Thanos that we have all been waiting for ever since the end credits tease of Avengers 1. I'd imagine at this point, the Avengers are defeated having failed in their last attempt to defeat the Mad Titan and most likely suffered some casualties. However, reinforcements are undoubtedly on the way in the form of Captain America coming out of hiding following his disappointment with the government and Tony. Captain America with his new group of Avengers, including Black Panther and Captain Marvel would lead the charge against the Mad Titan in a large and massive fight unlike anything we have screen to date. Seeing how this is the final film for a majority of the actors involved, I would imagine that a few Avengers would fall. Without a doubt in my mind, I would imagine Captain America will die in a heroic manner fighting Thanos. This would then serve as a passing of the torch and a way to show the younger crew of Avengers that will take over true heroism. At the end of it all, Tony would realize his mistakes having fought with his friend for so long and put an end to the Registration Act while becoming a mentor of sorts to the New Avengers in memory of his fallen friend.