Marvel Bits: CAPTAIN MARVEL, DOCTOR STRANGE 2, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, Phase 4
Late last year, Marvel Studios’ newest big screen hero, Doctor Strange, became the highest grossing debut solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) next set to appear in Thor: Ragnarok and then Avengers: Infinity War, the surgeon-turned-superhero will be a big part of the Marvel Universe moving forward, and with the first movie such a big success, a Doctor Strange sequel is a no-brainer.
While Doctor Strange 2 has yet to be officially announced by Disney, a new report from Deadline mentions Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson will be directing several episodes of Locke & Key before “segueing to the Doctor Strange sequel.”
Marvel announced the directors for Captain Marvel over the weekend, tapping Mississippi Grind directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck to bring the cosmic superhero to the big screen (Marvel Studios’ first female-lead solo movie). The directing team previously brought audiences It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Sugar, and Half Nelson. Academy Award winner Brie Larson will star as Captain Marvel (aka Carol Danvers). Written by Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) and Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy), Captain Marvel is set to open March 8th, 2019.
Ant-Man and the Wasp, direct sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, will see Hope Pym (Evangeline Lilly) take flight as the heroic Wasp, and the sequel starts shooting this June, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige revealed. Returning to the director’s chair is Ant-Man helmer Peyton Reed, who says Wasp will be as prominent as her superhero partner, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd).
“It’s something we’re excited about. For me as a comic nerd, I always thought of Ant-Man and Wasp as a team and that’s a lot of what the second movie is really about is how they work together, what their personal and professional relationships are like,” says Reed. “To show her finally fully formed in this movie is really exciting. We really get to introduce this character into that universe. I mean we’ve introduced the character, but we haven’t seen her with her full power set and everything, so to me she’s not a supporting character in this movie. It’s every bit as much her movie as it is Scott Lang’s.”
Lastly, Feige stated that what comes next for the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe “will be very different” following Avengers: Infinity War, which will no doubt be a game changer for the MCU. When asked about the loss of certain characters due to the potential expiration of contracts, Feige said, “We’ve been lucky that [contract expirations] haven’t factored in too much. We’ve had people under contract for certain films, then we’ve had new ideas and new directions like Civil War like we wanted to do, and we’ve been lucky enough to make new contracts. Or Spider-Man: Homecoming, the cast has been awesome in their enthusiasm for the direction and the storylines that we’ve been telling.
“So it really does, right now, all start with where we wanna take the stories. Certainly as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU. And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.”
Feige made similar comments exactly a year ago, saying, “I think there will be a finality to moments of Phase Three, as well as new beginnings that will mark a different, a very different, a distinctively different chapter in what will someday be a complete first saga made up of three phases.” What that means, exactly, remains to be seen! Following the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5th (over the weekend, writer/director James Gunn announced he’s officially returning for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, July 7th will see the arrival of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Homecoming (creatively produced by Marvel Studios) and November 3rd will see the arrival of Thor: Ragnarok to theaters.