We’re two films into Marvel’s Phase Two slate with the third pic, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, set to be unveiled in just a couple of short months. While we already know that the rest of Phase Two is filled out by Guardians of the Galaxy this August and The Avengers: Age of Ultron next May, thus far the studio has only confirmed the title of one Phase Three release: Ant-Man in July 2015. Marvel has a bevy of “untitled” features staked out through May 2017, but the studio has yet to reveal what exactly those films will be. Well a new report may have shed some light on at least one of Marvel’s upcoming titles, as a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel is apparently on tap for 2016. Hit the jump for more, including the possibility of a Guardians animated series also coming to fruition in the near future.
The folks over at JoBlo are hearing that the “Untitled Marvel Film” slated for release on May 6, 2016 is in fact Guardians of the Galaxy 2, with an animated series based on the comics set to debut on Disney XD in Fall 2015. Given that we’ve seen three Iron Man films, two Thor films, and now two Captain America films, it’s clear that at least a few of Marvel’s upcoming releases will be sequels, and if Guardians strikes a chord with audiences this August, it would make sense to strike while the iron is hot and get the follow-up moving forward sooner rather than later. Obviously this has yet to be confirmed and Marvel reserves the right to shift things around further, but the studio no doubt has an idea of what each of these “untitled” films will be and a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel seems entirely feasible. In fact, Marvel has its slate roughly figured out through 2021.
With director James Gunn’s take on Guardians, Marvel is venturing into wholly new territory on a galactic scale; from everything we’ve seen and heard, the pic will be unlike anything Marvel has done before. Thus far, we don’t have any firm confirmation of Guardians characters playing a major role in May 2015’s Avengers sequel, so a proper follow-up for Guardians in May 2016 would be a smart way to keep these characters in play.
As for Marvel’s other upcoming releases, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige went public with the fact that Doctor Strange will almost certainly be an early Phase Three property, and we’ll likely also see a third entry in the Captain America or Thor franchise in Phase Three as well—or maybe even both. The future of Iron Man is considerably more uncertain given that Robert Downey Jr. has yet to sign on for further standalone Iron Man films (he’s agreed to appear in The Avengers 2 and 3), so don’t be entirely surprised if that franchise sits Phase Three out.
All of this being said, we’ve learned time and time again not to try and predict what Marvel will do next, so we’ll all be waiting until this summer’s Comic-Con panel for possible full confirmation regarding Phase Three. Everyone knew that Thanos would be the villain in The Avengers 2 until Marvel revealed the full title of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, everyone knew that Iron Man 3 would bring us the definitive version of The Mandarin until Shane Black threw us all a curve ball, and everyone knew that Marvel was going to unveil its full Phase Three slate at Comic-Con last year until they didn’t.
For those keeping track at home, here’s Marvel’s current release date calendar:
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 4, 2014
- Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1, 2014
- The Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1, 2015
- Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
- Marvel Untitled (possibly Guardians 2) – May 6, 2016
- Marvel Untitled – July 8, 2016
- Marvel Untitled – May 5, 2017