It’s crazy to think that we’re already talking about Marvel’s Phase Four slate of films when we still have Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, a new Spider-Man, and much, much more before we move into a new “Phase.” But, for better or worse, that’s where we are — keeping one eye firm on the present with our ears open to anything and everything coming down the road. To that end, Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors behind Civil War and the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, is teasing a new line-up of Marvel’s heroes for Phase Four.
Speaking at a Q&A panel from Wizard World New Orleans Comic Convention and quoted by ComicBook.com, Joe Russo said of developing Infinity War:
“Everything is finite, right? Nothing can last forever. It’s cyclical. Some New Avengers in Phase Four are going to become prominent and then maybe some Avengers might not be around anymore. So, we’ll see how all this plays out but you have to treat every character with respect. I think it’s interesting that if you’ve seen four or five movies with the lead character having an arc, I want to see some story telling from some of the secondary characters. We’re focusing on that right now with Infinity War while we’re breaking into those movies, is which characters can we pull to the forefront who potentially haven’t had their own ‘A’ story arc to this point. I think you’ll see that the supporting Avengers are going to become primary Avengers.”
In other words, that means good news for everyone not named Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and Star-Lord. It’s difficult to discern whether he’s also referring to folks like Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man, who haven’t had their standalone ventures yet but will in the years ahead. My personal hope is that Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch gets a ton more screen time, but it would also make sense for the MCU’s Infinity War, if I’m to make an educated guess — she received her powers from the Mind Stone, after all.
If you also look at recent and upcoming comic books from Marvel, there’s evidence there to suggest the MCU is planning a major shake-up to continue the franchise. We already have one new line-up of Avengers with Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Vision, and War Machine, though that could quickly change with the events of Civil War. Plus, we need to think about who from the standalone Phase Three films might stick around in Phase Four. There are currently three mystery Marvel movies slated for release in 2020, so start placing your bets at what Kevin Feige and company have planned for us. For now, here’s what the schedule looks like so far:
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017
- Untitled Spider-Man Reboot – July 28, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
- Black Panther – February 26, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part I – May 4, 2018
- Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 – May 3, 2019
- Inhumans – July 12, 2019