All that's about to change; with Captain America: Civil War a matter of months away - and following today's confirmation that Ryan Coogler (Creed) will be directing Black Panther - the Marvel is poised to reclaim box office attention all over again.
With a staggering 12 films and seven TV shows on the horizon, below are all the required information and dates you need to mark in your diary.
Agent Carter, 19 January 2016
Created by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Set in 1940s America, this TV series - canon with the MCU - follows Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter, the secret agent who was initially introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). With a ten-episode run, the second season will touch upon 'the Darkforce', a plot strand that directly ties into the upcoming Benedict Cumberbatch film, Doctor Strange.
Daredevil, 18 March 2016
Created by Drew Goddard
Fans were feverish upon the recent announcement that the second season of Daredevil - Marvel's first of five planned original Netflix series' - is to premiere in mere months. Charlie Cox returns as the blind lawyer-by-day, crimefighter-by-night who this time around will clash with Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) - a character audiences may know better by the alias, Punisher. Deborah Ann Woll and Rosario Dawson are both set to return as Karen Page and Claire Temple, respectively.
Captain America: Civil War, 6 May 2016
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
Marvel's next film sees Chris Evans' shield-wielding patriot return to the forefront alongside the franchise's most bloated cast yet, chief of which is Tony Stark (Robert Donwey, Jr.). He'll be showing up as the film covers Marvel's crucial Civil War storyline which sees Iron Man championing a political act that regulates superhuman activity. So basically, the two will square off. Did we mention it'll mark the first appearance of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in the MCU?
Doctor Strange, 4 November 2016
Directed by Scott Derrickson
AKA Benedict Cumberbatch's introduction to the MCU. After years of development, Stephen Strange finally makes his way to the big screen in this story of a neurosurgeon who, after suffering life-changing injuries, encounters the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). The film boasts perhaps Marvel's most impressive cast yet, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Michael Stuhlbarg all down to star.
Luke Cage, 2016 TBC
Created by Cheo Hodari Coker
After a cameo role in Netflix's Jessica Jones, third up to receive a dedicated TV series is Luke Cage, the Harlem-based fugitive who generates super strength and unbreakable skin after an experiment-gone-wrong. Devised by Cheo Hodari Coker (executive producer of Ray Donovan), the series will co-star Mahershala Ali (House of Cards ' Remy Danton) and the Emmy award-winning Alfre Woodard. A crossover appearance will occur in the form of Rosario Dawson's Daredevil character, Claire Temple.
Marvel's Most Wanted, 2016 TBC
This pilot order from US network ABC will centre on popular Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters Bobbi Morse / Mockingbird (Adrianne Palicki) and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood). Obviously, there are no guarantees this will get a full season order but, going by Marvel's other successes, its chances fall on the side of positive.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 5 May 2017
Directed by James Gunn
The sequel to 2014's unprecedented smash 'anti-Avengers' hit - the first Marvel film to feature an influx of new characters - could well be the franchise's most eagerly anticipated. With Gunn returning to both write and direct, the entirety of the original's ensemble, led by Chris Pratt's Star-Lord, will return with at least one new character from the comics; we're just hyped for the soundtrack.
Untitled Spider-Man film, 28 July 2017
Directed by Jon Watts
Having only acquired the rights to induct the web-slinger into the MCU last February, Marvel president Kevin Feige didn't hesitate to make up for lost time. The superhero will be played by British rising star Tom Holland who, at 19 years of age, will play a younger incarnation than has been seen on-screen before. With Jon Watts, a newcomer to big-budget films, on directing duties, rest easy knowing the script will take inspiration from Christopher Nolan's franchise re-setter Batman Begins (2005).
Thor: Ragnarok, 3 November 2017
Directed by Taika Waititi
Continuing their run of hiring a vibrant range of filmmakers, Marvel's most intriguing appointment yet is Taika Waititi, an actor-director whose credentials include an Oscar win (for short Two Cars, One Night in 2004) and New Zealand's highest-grossing ever film (Boy). No word on a plot yet, however Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are due to return as Thor and Loki, respectively. Oh, and Mark Ruffalo will show up as Hulk too.
Iron Fist, 2017 TBC
Created by Scott Buck
Originally intended to be dropped on Netflix in 2016, Iron Fist - the streaming service's fourth original series - looks likely to be delayed by a year. Why? Well, because there is currently no production schedule in place, nor have any casting announcements been made. The character of Iron Fist is a martial arts master with deep connections to the entire Marvel universe, so let's hope they don't botch it (if rumours are to be believed, Ryan Phillippe could star).
The Defenders, 2017 TBC
So, this is the big one - the series that the Netflix TV shows are all building to. A small screen version of The Avengers, this TV show will feature the combination of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist - otherwise known as supergroup The Defenders - in what is sure to be an essential viewing experience for any Marvel fan. That The Defenders' comic book counterparts include Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) and the Hulk (Ruffalo), could this be the series that blends the cinematic universe with the televised?
Jessica Jones, 2017 TBC
In January 2016, it was announced that Hell's Kitchen superhero-turned-private investigator Jessica Jones would be returning for a second season following an acclaimed debut in November 2015. Krysten Ritter will naturally be returning as the eponymous character.
Black Panther, 16 February 2018
Directed by Ryan Coogler
An initial appearance in Captain America: Civil War will undoubtedly whet fans' appetites, but they'll have to wait until 2018 for Black Panther's lead debut. Chadwick Boseman (Get on Up) is the actor tasked with playing Wakandan prince, T'Challa who takes the ancestral mantle of 'Black Panther' when his father is treacherously murdered. Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) will direct.
Avengers: Infinity War - Part 1, 4 May 2018
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
With Joss Whedon having officially laid down the directing reins, it's Captain America saviours Anthony and Joe Russo who will take over - a big move considering this isn't just any old Avengers outing but the first of two parts chronicling the game-changing Infinity War storyline, teased ever since an Infinity Gauntlet was glimpsed in 2012's Thor. This'll mark the first lead credit for Josh Brolin's villain Thanos.
Ant-Man and the Wasp, 6 July 2018
Directed by Peyton Reed
The final film of Marvel's phase two, Ant-Man successfully told the origin story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who took the superhero baton from Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Despite seeing him in both Civil War and Infinity War, Ant-Man's sequel won't arrive until 2018 fit with returning director Peyton Reed, Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, the former becoming the first female Marvel superhero to be named in the title.
Captain Marvel, 8 March 2019
No director attached
Very little is known about the MCU's first female-centric superhero film, although Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve (the latter of whom wrote 2015's Pixar output, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur) are down to co-pen the script. Originally set to appear in Netflix's Jessica Jones, Marvel decided Carol Danvers was worthy of her own film. Currently uncast, we're sure this is one role being eyed by some of Hollywood's most accomplished actresses.
Avengers: Infinity War - Part 2, 3 May 2019
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
If you were in any doubt about the stature of Avengers: Infinity War's concluding part, allow the directing duo's recently confirmed news that the film will feature a staggering 67 characters see to that. Back-to-back filming of the two is scheduled to begin in late 2016 and the word is this will probably be the final Avengers film.
Inhumans, 12 July 2019
No director attached
The fan excitement that followed the confirmation of an Inhumans film was solidified when they were introduced during the second season of TV's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Inhumans are an entire species of abandoned experiments, led by The Unspoken, who possess superpowers following their exposure to Terrigen Mist. Could their TV appearance indicate that other characters from Marvel's small-screen projects could find their way into the films?
- More about:
- Black Panther
- Captain Marvel
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Doctor Strange
- Antman Inhumans