Marvel’s Phase 3: My Take on the Rumored Future of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
This week, Marvel Studios gave Entertainment Weekly a few hints of what to expect during their “Phase 3” slate of movies. To get you up to speed: “Phase One” started with Iron Man then continued on with The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and concluded with The Avengers. We are now entering “Phase 2” which will include Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and then like before, will end with the follow-up to The Avengers. After Avengers 2, Marvel studios will launch “Phase 3”. Some titles have already been announced, others are merely rumored. Having read the article, here’s my take on what I think of the announcements:
Ant Man- This one is confirmed and I’m pretty excited about it! First and foremost, it’ll be directed by Edgar Wright (of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World fame). Having seen his work with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wright can definitely make a great comic book movie and splice in some of the humor that his movies are known for. This has been rumored for a few years now, but it’s nice to see it finally coming to fruition.
Over the last few years, there’s been a few “Ant-Men”, but I really hope that this Ant-Man is the Hank Pym incarnation, of course with the humor of later Ant-Men. With Ant-Man Pym, we’ll get his wife Janet Pym (aka The Wasp, whom Joss Whedon tried to put in The Avengers) as well. It would make sense too as both helped create the original team of Avengers (Captain America came in a bit later). In addition, a Hank Pym Ant-Man movie will open the door for Ultron, a robot that Pym creates which eventually forms and Oedipus Complex and decides to try to destroy humans and tangles with the Avengers. Finally, Hank Pym is a severely flawed hero, which may make for a interesting character. He has numerous times in the past, physically abused his wife Janet and in the Ultimate Marvel version, he’s a Prozac popper. Of course that makes a hard character for kids to look up to, but Tony Stark’s an alcoholic and Iron Man toys seem to sell pretty well. With that said, it can probably be toned down a bit, like maybe implied pill popping and just one jerk-like backhand to Janet. But don’t show this:
Iron Man 4- Obviously, this will be one that’ll more than likely happen. However, there’s a potential problem on the horizon: Robert Downey Jr. will have fulfilled his contractual obligations as Tony Stark once Avengers 2 happens. After that, we may be looking at a recast as RDJ is currently 48 and by the time that movie rolls out, he could very well be sitting at 50. Of course that isn’t a big deal seeing how Bruce Willis is in his mid-50s and doing things like jumping off buildings still and we really just need to see him as Tony Stark. Of course, Iron Man is a role that can definitely live beyond any one actor…but with RDJ being pitch-perfect as Tony Stark, can we honestly say the same for Iron Man’s alter-ego?
On the flip-side, there’s not a whole lot of memorable foes that Iron man faces off against on his own and with most of the known ones already played out and with Fin Fang Foom being a little too out in left field, I don’t really know who we’ll see Iron Man tangle with following Avengers 2.
Daredevil- Daredevil along with Blade and The Punisher, just had the rights returned to Marvel. However, it seems as if they’d rather wait it out until making these films. I completely understand the decision, but I would really like to see a new adaptation of Daredevil. It’s been 10 years since the Ben Affleck version, so I think enough time has passed. Plus Daredevil is one of those cool heroes with a great rouge gallery (Kingpin, Bullseye, ect) so with a reboot, we can probably get a great Daredevil movie. As for the others, Punisher had 3 movie chances and Blade completed a trilogy and a failed TV show, so those can sit on the shelf for a while.
Hulk- After 2 mediocre performing movies (although I loved the Norton version) Hulk seems kind of a risky choice. Fortunately, the Avengers proved what can happen to the big green monster if he was in the right hands. If another solo-Hulk movie does happen, I really hope we see him come off as the Hulk we saw in Avengers, but I also wouldn’t be disappointed if he’s just a supporting role in Avengers movies among others.
Doctor Strange- I really can’t take the character seriously without thinking of the parody character Doctor Orpheus from The Venture Brothers. He does rock a cool outfit though. But then again, they did make Thor, an admittedly silly character, into a pretty legit film and Guardians will feature a tree-alien and a talking, rocket-firing raccoon. So quite honestly, they can probably pull it off as it’s a bit more toned down than Thor or Guardians.
Black Panther- I haven’t read any of the series (see also: The Inhumans), and beyond playing as him in Ultimate Alliance and occasional event comics, I’m largely unfamiliar with the character. However, I think it’ll be cool for him to pop up in Avengers 2.
The Runaways- HOLY COW! I REALLY WANT THIS ONE TO HAPPEN!!! I’ve tried at least 2 times to start an article on this site to praise this series and campaign for it to turn into a movie. I jumped into the series a few months ago and absolutely fell in love with it. Basically, it’s about a group of teenagers who find out that their parents are secretly a group of super-villains known as “The Pride”. The teens then decide to investigate further and discover a few secrets about themselves in the process. They ultimately decide to take their parents on. The team consists of:
Chase- The son of mad scientists. He steals some of their weapons and uses them.
Nico- Parents are dark wizards. She discovers she can use magic as well.
Gert- Parents are time traveling criminals. She has a telepathic link with her genetically engineered pet velociraptor from the future “Old Lace”!!!!
Karolina- Finds out that she’s an alien and her parents are invaders.
Alex- Parents are mobsters. He becomes the leader of the team.
Molly- Daughter of telepathic mutants. She has the mutant power of super-strength.
Old Lace- Gert’s pet velociraptor!! Freed by the teens shortly after discovering their parent’s dark secret lives.
The first volume of The Runaways (only like 18 issues) would make for a great movie. First of all, it’s within the Marvel Universe but really doesn’t intertwine with it as much as the above mentioned films. To further set the tone; there are no spandex costumes or superhero names, which can be a refreshing change on the screen. If we cut out when they encounter a dangerous vampire kid and eluding capture by B-Grade heroes Cloak and Dagger, it’s a very contained, not to mention, great story of them taking on their horrible parents.
Marvel Zombies-Not entirely sure why they went out of their way to say that this movie won’t happen since it’s almost common sense. It is a cool book none-the-less. Especially if you read “Dead Days” prior to it and then for some extra fun “Army of Darkness vs Marvel Zombies” afterwards. Also, the covers by Arthur Suydam are insanely awesome (I have a signed zombie Spider-man print by him proudly hanging in my home). However, kids don’t want to have posters of zombie Hulk eating beloved super-heroes, and a lot of the best heroes-turned-zombies like Spider-man, Quicksilver and Wolverine belong to other movie studios. On top of that, alternate-universes don’t generally translate well on-screen (save for 2009’s Star Trek). But maybe in a few years, they can amuse us with an animated direct-to-DVD/Blu/whatever we’ll be watching in the future.
Phase 3 is still a few years away and we still have sequels to Thor, Captain America and Avengers as well as Guardians of the Galaxy and a S.H.E.I.L.D. TV show to hold us over until it launches. In addition, some of Marvel’s leased out characters such as X-men, Wolverine, Fantastic 4 and Spider-man (hopefully 2nd movie’s better) are currently filming or are in the works, to keep the Marvel super-heroes on our screen so we won’t have a shortage of Marvel heroes any time soon.