With The Avengers rapidly breaking one box office record after another—at $1.07 billion, it is already the record holding comic adaption and Disney film, and it’s only been out for a couple weeks!—the future looks bright for Disney-owned Marvel Studios. As a fan, I definitely want more of Marvel’s superheroes on the big screen.
And more is on the way, with one more film, The Amazing Spider-Man, lined up for 2012, and five more coming in the next two years. Where is it all heading? That’s the question I had when I started an afternoon of searching the internet. I will share with you the answers I found. Beware, though, for there will be spoilers for the post-credit clip for The Avengers.
Who the hell is Thanos?
Did you see The Avengers yet? It has two post-credit scenes. One of them has all of our superheroes eating shawarma after saving New York, while the other is a bit more epic. After the first credits, we see the Chitauri leader talking to someone, saying that the humans are not to be underestimated, and to face them would be “to court Death itself.” The mysterious person turns towards the camera and smiles evilly.
That person is known in the Marvel universe as Thanos. He is a recurring, super-powerful villain who is obsessed with death. To court Death itself is exactly the kind of thing Thanos wants. Interestingly enough, in the comics, Thanos’ weapon is the Infinity Gauntlet. We briefly met this weapon in the films already, in Odin’s vault in Thor. Based on those two major hints, I believe it’s safe to say we will see Thanos as a villain in the next Avengers film. After all, according to Marvel, The Avengers was just the first act in a big epic. Currently, there is talk of the sequel to Joss Whedon’s Avengers coming in 2015, with the third part being released two years later.
The Amazing Spider-Man
First things first, though. Marvel’s next film will hit theaters July 3rd. The Amazing Spider-Man promises a darker, edgier reboot of the Spider-Man films, focusing on the story of a younger Peter Parker trying to find his parents. While I initially had my reservations about the film, the newest four-minute preview definitely suggests a good show:
With the more scientific approach of this reboot, Spider-Man would fit perfectly into the Avengers—even more so with Thanos probably being Marvel’s next supervillain. In the comics, Spider-Man had to team up with The Avengers to defeat Thanos. Unfortunately, though, while The Avengers and the films leading up to it were all created by Marvel Studios, Spider-Man’s rights are in Sony’s hands. Thus, chances are slim they will be able to include Spider-Man in the epic mythos. Sad news, especially with Spider-Man being one of my favorite Marvel heroes. I would have loved to see him team up with the Avengers.
Marvel heroes in 2013
After The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, Iron Man 3, The Wolverine, and Thor 2 will all come out in 2013. According to Marvel’s website: “Iron Man 3 continues the story with a new chapter that will deliver more heart-pounding action than ever before. Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 will find Tony Stark with his back against the wall, facing his most fearsome foes yet.” British magazine SFX has a good idea who may aid Iron Man in battling those foes. They report that James Badge Dale was cast to play Coldblood.
As with The Amazing Spider-Man, I had been hoping Wolverine, often a part of the Avengers in the comics, would make an appearance in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. However, The Wolverine—which will be a standalone film about Wolverine training with samurais in Japan, rather than a sequel to Origins or The Last Stand—isn’t owned by Marvel Studios either. Instead, 20th Century Fox will be producing the film, which starts filming in Australia in August.
Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3, and The Wolverine comes out on July 26 of next year. The third Marvel character based film of 2013, Thor 2, will be released on November 15. In the sequel to Thor—which will have a more Viking-influenced feel—Loki will have to take responsibility for his actions. He isn’t going to be the main villain, however. Personally, I’m most thrilled about Natalie Portman returning to reprise her role as Jane.
2014 and beyond
After Thor 2, Marvel has a lot more lined up for us. Captain America will be coming to terms with living in the future in an April 4, 2014 sequel. Sony is confident in the popularity of The Amazing Spider-Man and already has tentative plans to bring a sequel to theaters in May 2014. And then there’s The Avengers 2…
But it won’t end there, hopefully! For example, Samuel L. Jackson was cast as Nick Fury for no less than nine films, while Mark Ruffalo recently revealed the Hulk will be in five more films after The Avengers.
Meanwhile, a Black Widow standalone has already been confirmed by Marvel Studios. According to Scarlett Johansson, it might be a prequel, focusing on one of Black Widow’s Russian adventures. Hawkeye, too, may well get his own standalone film, something I would definitely welcome. In fact, even War Machine—Iron Man’s colleague in Iron Man 2—may get his own spinoff film. And what of the persistent rumors surrounding an Ant-Man adaption? If the gossip is to be believed that Firefly and Castle‘s Nathan Fillion will star as Ant-Man, I’m already sold. That, however, is mere speculation at this point. The fact remains that there have been fruitless plans and speculation about this film for years. With the success of The Avengers and the growth of Marvel Studios lately, however, the sky is the limit.
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