Everything We Just Learned About The Future Of Marvel Movies

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Ant-Man represents the end of Marvel’s Phase Two of movies. But what does the House of Ideas have up its sleeve for Phase Three? We got some one-on-one time with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, and he dropped some hints. Here are 11 teases for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Note: We also talked to Feige about Marvel’s Ant-Man, and we’ll share more of that with you closer to the movie’s release date. But for now, here are some clues about the future, from our one-on-one interview with Feige.


They’re still settling on a Spider-Man villain

We know Tom Holland is playing Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but part of what makes Spider-Man a great hero is his amazing villains. Feige said the following about the status of who (or what) Spider-Man will be fighting come his 2017 solo film: “He’s got an amazing Rogue’s Gallery and bench and we’re honing in on who will get the call to be in that standalone movie.”


The Mandarin isn’t in Ant-Man... but he could be

In Iron Man 3, Ben Kingsley wasn’t the Mandarin but, because of the Marvel One Shot, All Hail The King, we know a real Mandarin is out there. Then, on the set of Ant-Man, several extras were spotted with 10 Rings tattoos on their necks, hanging out with the mysterious character played by actor Martin Donovan. So, is Martin Donovan the Mandarin? “I guess anything is possible but that’s not necessarily what we were currently thinking,” Feige said. Then he jokingly added “But now that you said it…”


The Hulk may actually be in Civil War

A few weeks back, Mark Ruffalo (who plays the Hulk) revealed that Robert Downey Jr. told him he was in Captain America: Civil War. Which was news to the world, since the Hulk disappeared at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Feige said this about the potential slip up, leaving the door open. “[Hulk] is not a primary part of Civil War. He may not be a part at all.”


Marvel will most likely be at the D23 Expo

Last week, a sizzle reel that included footage from the currently-in-production Captain America: Civil War was shown at a trade show in Europe. We asked Feige if there was a chance U.S. fans would get to see that at the D23 Expo in August. “There is a possibility of that,” he said.


The Civil War story is small, the rest is not

We know Captain America: Civil War is going to be a big movie, but only in terms of characters. Feige explained the film has a simple story, allowing all the characters to exist. Here he is:

Certainly at the end of Civil War it’s a whole new ball game....What’s fun about Civil War though is, as you know from the comics, it’s a very simple story. And it really has to be, to accommodate that many players. It’s very much a Captain America movie and it’s very much a sequel to the Winter Soldier in ways I don’t think people [will expect].... It’s a very simple structure that allows you to have these amazing character interactions in a way that I don’t think becomes overwhelming. And it’s very much is a kick off to Phase 3 because it sets thedynamic for everything that follows.


Ant-Man 2 could happen before Infinity War is over

Last year, Marvel announced their film release schedule through 2019. One film that wasn’t mentioned was a potential sequel to Ant-Man. We will see Ant-Man himself in Civil War but, if his movie is a hit, could an Ant-Man 2 be released before 2019’s fourth Avengers film? Feige responded:

The answer is I don’t really know. We’re entering territory that’s an incredible problem to have, which is too many franchises to navigate. That’s a very very high class problem, and if we’re faced with that high class problem we will try to figure out a solution in a way that allows us to produce the movies in the way we have.... We’d never want to stretch ourselves too thin that we’re not able to make them in the way we believe they should be made.


An upcoming origin story could be set in the past

This one is so big, we wrote about it earlier (in much more detail). But to reiterate, Feige teased that one of the upcoming origin story films (Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Inhumans) could be set in the past, like Captain America: The First Avenger, instead of being in sequence with the rest of Phase Three.

Certainly we could [set another one in the past]. There are no rules. I think the majority of them will be chronological, but not all of them necessarily.


There are some Doctor Strange vibes in Ant-Man

It’s hard to get too detailed about this without spoiling some major aspects of Ant-Man, but near the end of the film there’s a sequence that Feige says is “just the tip of the iceberg” in terms of what they plan on doing in Doctor Strange, both visually and in terms of exploring multiple dimensions.


The Marvel TV characters will eventually appear in the movies

Daredevil was a huge hit for Netflix and fans have universally praised the casting of Jon Bernthal as The Punisher for season 2. So we asked Feige, as those properties get bigger, does he see them as potential pieces in the Cinematic Universe as well?

As those [shows] come out, as those get into the culture I think they’re, just like what happens in the movies, tools in the toolbox for some of those shows. And what happens on those shows could be tools in the tool box of the movies. I think that’ll happen at some point.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will have some huge reveals

James Gunn has finished writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 for 2017 release and Feige had this to say about his current feelings on it.

I’m very excited for it and excited that we and James are not resting on the laurels and just saying “Here’s another soundtrack and another space adventure.”There’s a lot of very surprising additions to the movie and reveals in the movie that if I were to tell you now you’d go “What!?!” But when you see the movie I hope it is just as surprising as Guardians 1 was the first time around.


Kenneth Branagh won’t direct Thor: Ragnarok, but we’ll find out who will soon

Recently, a rumor surfaced that Thor director Kenneth Branagh could be coming back for the third Thor, Thor: Ragnarok. Well, Feige shot down that rumor definitively. Branagh won’t direct part three—but Feige does think we’ll find out who will soon.

I think towards the end of the summer there will probably be a filmmaker announcement and a writer announcement and maybe even some additional casting announcements. That won’t start filming until middle of next year.