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Marvel & DC: The Battle Continues

By Alex Wiggan

Remember last week when I posted about Warner Bros/DC Entertainment’s forthcoming movie schedule? You know the one where Warner Bros threw down the super hero gauntlet by announcing the release of ten films including Wonder Woman (2017), The Flash (2018) and Cyborg (2020)? Well as predicted, Marvel Studios has made a counter move by offering up its own ten movies which are set to hit screens between 2016 and 2019. The list – which was announced by Marvel Studios President Kevin Fiege on October 28th – is pretty impressive and includes some old favourites, some new additions and a couple of pant wettingly exciting announcements.

The release schedule is as follows:

In 2016 we are going to see Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. In 2017 we have Guardians of the Galaxy 2; Thor: Ragnarok; and Black Panther. 2018 brings Captain Marvel; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1; and the Inhumans. Whilst 2019 sees the release of fourth Avengers movie – Avengers: Infinity War Part 2.

The Captain America, Thor and Guardians movies were a given – thanks to the success of the previous entries in the series – but until now, the likes of Black Panther, Captain Marvel and the Inhumans were just a rumour. Doctor Strange had recently been announced, but was anyone expecting a double whammy of Avengers movies?

The ten films, along with Ant Man (2015), will form Marvel Studio’s Phase Three and collectively they demonstrate a strong commitment by Marvel Studios to continue developing its cinematic universe. Let’s not forget that this universe only began in 2008 with the release of Iron Man, so by the time we get to Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, Marvel Studios will have released a mind blowing 21 movies! Jeez, 21 movies in 11 years isn’t bad going for a studio that initially took a risk with that very first Iron Man movie.

So how does this all stack up against Warner Bros’ list of movies?

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Well first up Warner Bros is releasing both Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, so this means that these films will go up against Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. The Batman/Superman movie has the instant appeal of two of DC Entertainment’s most iconic characters but let’s not quickly dismiss the Captain America sequel, because it has a lot to offer.

This year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a big hit with both audiences and critics alike, so the anticipation for another movie has increased accordingly. In addition, the events of The Winter Soldier also tied into TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, giving it a much needed boost in the story department. Now throw in the fact that Captain America 3 carries the Civil War subtitle – referencing one of Marvel’s best storylines in recent years – and it will also star Robert Downey JR – Marvel’s most bankable star – and you can see the success of this movie is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

The battle between Batman, Superman, Captain America and Iron Man is going to be an interesting one. As for Doctor Strange and the Suicide Squad, well they could go either way for both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros as both are unfamiliar properties to audiences. Based on Marvel Studio’s track record of hits I think it’s safe to say that Doctor Strange will do well, so Suicide Squad is the biggest gamble of the bunch in 2016.

Moving into 2017, Marvel Studios has a triple whammy with Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther. Two of these films feature established characters, so it is only Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman in the title role, which seems like a risk. Surely Marvel Studios has 2017 in the bag?

Hold your horses just a minute, as Warner Bros has a very strong offering in 2017 with Wonder Woman and Justice League Part 1. Wondy in particular will be on everyone’s radar, as not only is the character a pop icon, she will also be the first super heroine out of the blocks in the Marvel/Warner battle. Justice League Part 1 on the other hand is DC Entertainment’s equivalent of The Avengers, so will be a huge success regardless.

2018 brings another triple attack from Marvel Studios with Captain Marvel on July 6th; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 on May 4th; and the Inhumans on November 2nd. Captain Marvel will feature the character Carol Danvers, so will mark Marvel Studios’ first solo female offering, whilst Avengers: Infinity War – EPIC ALERT – will connect all of the past Marvel Studios movies which have come before. Inhumans is the outsider amongst this bunch as it’s a less familiar property, but it will definitely benefit from riding the wave of Captain Marvel and The Avengers.

As Marvel Studios has such a strong line up in 2018, Warner Bros’ offering now seems a little less exciting in comparison, which is a shame really as both The Flash – starring Ezra Miller – and Aquaman – with Jason Momoa – seem quite promising. That said, we are quite a few years off from 2018, so with the characters appearing in the Justice League movie in 2017, by the time 2018 comes around they will already be established characters.

In addition, The Flash will continue to make a name for himself on TV screens, where he is played by Grant Gustin. The show is already the most watched TV show in the history of its channel, the CW, which will continue to raise the Flash’s profile.

Jumping into 2019 at present Marvel Studios only has one movie – expect this to increase – but as it is the conclusion to the Infinity War story started in 2018, expect it to be another EPIC event. Warner Bros meanwhile has Shazam – DC’s Captain Marvel – and Justice League Part 2, so with both studios serving up heavy hitters it is looking like 2019 will be another interesting battle – the biggest yet?

Moving into 2020, Warner Bros has Cyborg and Green Lantern, but as of writing Marvel Studios has made no commitments beyond 2019. I think it’s a safe bet to say this will change in the next couple of years.

So what else did Marvel Studio’s recent announcement reveal? Well for starters there is no new Hulk movie (boo) so that means no Planet Hulk or even a Hulk & Iron Man: BFF team up movie. There’s also no solo Black Widow or Hawkeye films.

Speaking at a Q&A session after the big Marvel Studios announcement, Marvel Studios President Kevin Fiege had this to say about the Hulk:

“For now, he’ll be appearing with his friends in the other films.”

It’s also worth noting that there was also no announcement about an appearance by Spider-man in any future movies. As discussed in a previous post, it will take some contract wangling and a lot of negotiating to get Spidey and the Avengers to team up on the big screen, but we can still keep hoping; right?

Well, when asked about any additional rumours flying around at the moment regarding Marvel Studios’ forthcoming movies, Fiege said:

“Anything that wasn’t specifically and obviously revealed today is either not true at all, or still rumour until it’s worked out.”

One could speculate that ‘until it’s worked out’ is a reference to the Spidey deal with Sony… but I’ll let you ponder that one yourself.

So there we have it. Marvel Studios has made its next move and it’s a bloomin’ big one. It’s your move now Warner Bros.

 

About Alex Wiggan: Alex didn’t start the fire; it was always burning since the world’s been turning. He did eat the last cookie though. You shouldn’t have left it unguarded.

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Posted in Film & TV, Marvel, Pop Culture
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