It’s a massive superhero shake-up today as Marvel Studios adds four films to its slate and shifts around two others. In terms of movements, both Black Panther and Captain Marvel have been shifted around once more. This time, Black Panther‘s release has actually been pushed up, jumping from July 2018 to a February 16, 2018 release. That means that Thor: Ragnarok is no longer the last solo film we will see before the mad titan Thanos brings his cosmic conflict to Earth in Avengers: Infinity War Part I, which is still slated for May 4, 2018.
Captain Marvel has unfortunately been pushed back four months from November 2018 to March 8, 2019. That still places it ahead of Avengers: Infinity War Part II (May 3, 2019) and reportedly gives Marvel a little more time to nail down their script, a director, and a star. It’s a little troubling that it’s taking the studio this long to get their first true lead female character to the screen, but I’d rather them take a little longer and do it right than pump out a subpar film.
So why the shifts on both films? It’s simple: another film has been added to Phase Three. On July 6, 2018, Marvel will release Ant-Man and The Wasp, the sequel to this year’s hit superhero debut. Many had speculated that though Ant-Man will appear in Captain America: Civil War this coming May and also in both Infinity War films, the studio would not have time to give him his own solo sequel until around 2020. Looks like the rumors were wrong! While I’d prefer it if Captain Marvel and Ant-Man 2 switched spots, it makes sense that the latter would come together more quickly, given that the core cast is already in place and scriptwork has likely already begun. There’s no word at this time if director Peyton Reed will return, but we can probably bet on at least Adam McKay and Paul Rudd sharing script duties.
The November slots for 2018 and 2019 are now vacant and will remain that way. There has been some speculation that Ben Affleck’s first solo Batman film has been unofficially slotted into November 2018. If true, it makes sense that Marvel would want to move Captain Marvel out of the way and also avoid putting another film in the same space. As for November 2019? There’s not much need for this one if they are putting films in March, May, and July already. There’s occasional chatter that Marvel might move to four films a year eventually, but I suspect we are a ways off from such a decision.
Lastly, Disney as a whole has announced (to a point) its slate through the end of 2020. Marvel’s own three dates for that year are included, although no titles are set at this time. The as-yet-untitled films will arrive on May 1st, July 10th, and November 6th, respectively. Hazarding a guess solely based on the way the current films are spaced out, I’m leaning towards the May date going to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the July to Doctor Strange 2 (assuming it does well enough to get a sequel), and then likely a new property in November (or reverse the last two). Feige seems deadset on starting a new Marvel property every year now and they certainly have enough potential projects waiting in the wings to manage that for years to come.
Below you will find Marvel’s entire upcoming slated as it now exists…
Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017
Untitled Spider-Man Film – July 28, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
Black Panther – February 16, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War Part I – May 4, 2018
Ant-Man and The Wasp – July 6, 2018
Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019
Avengers: Infinity War Part II – May 3, 2019
Inhumans – July 12, 2019
Untitled Marvel Film – May 1, 2020
Untitled Marvel Film – July 10, 2020
Untitled Marvel Film – November 6, 2020