In December, Marvel Studios adjusted their schedule of release dates for 2014 by moving their June time slot to and odd pre-summer date of early April. As we just found out from Disney today, that early April weekend is reserved for Captain America 2.

When actor Neal McDonough said a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger could begin shooting as early as this year, he wasn’t joking. Read on for details and a brand new still from The Avengers!

The Avengers is done and will hit theaters in four weeks to kick off the summer movie season. Later that month, Iron Man 3 begins production and either during or just after, Thor 2 will also enter principal photography so they can both release next year. Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 will both be helmed by new directors in Shane Black and Alan Taylor, respectively.

What would come after that from Marvel Studios in 2014 was up in the air even though they had locked down a pair of release dates, one for May and one for June (changed to April as mentioned above). Despite expressing interest in a variety of other Marvel characters and spin-offs, the safe (read: bankable) bet for Marvel Studios is to continue with their core franchises and as expected, the next confirmed film on their production schedule is Captain America 2.

The Walt Disney Studios has announced a release date for Marvel Studios’ sequel to the blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger on April 4, 2014. The second installment will pick-up where the highly anticipated Marvel’s The Avengers (May 4, 2012) leaves off, as Steve Rogers continues his affiliation with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D and struggles to embrace his role in the modern world.

While Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 are said to be isolated stories not directly tying into, or relying on The Avengers, Captain America 2 is taking a different approach and utilizing SHIELD and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury character. At this point, we can consider it a bridge between The Avengers 1 & 2.

Another solo vehicle for Chris Evans playing Steve Rogers is not surprising, but an April release date partly is. Why open a month before summer? We speculated in discussing Marvel’s plans for 2014 that there are two main potential reasons for this:

  1. Marvel will add a third release date, either in the summer (maybe making use of that June 27 date) or in the fall, something they’re testing in 2013 with Thor 2. This would allow them to play with interconnected films and/or do more to setup for The Avengers 2 the following year.
  2. Dropping a summer date for a spring date means one of two things. This mystery project is not a big-budget tentpole or it directly ties into whatever the second movie is in May and needs to come before it. The May date is the most important and has to stay there.

As we know now, the April movie is not a low-budget flick so it (Captain America 2) could very well lead into the May film which opens a mere few weeks later. Could it finally be Ant-Man from director Edgar Wright, who last spoke about the project at Comic-Con? We knew the character couldn’t fit into The Avengers and would get his intro later, in time for The Avengers 2

Since Captain America 2 is about Steve Rogers and SHIELD, and according to Edgar Wright, Ant-Man is about its title character playing a SHIELD spy, Cap 2 is the perfect place to introduce or cameo in Ant-Man since whatever it will have already been filmed. It may be a safer bet than going cosmic post-Avengers

Another possibility is the less-discussed option of a SHIELD/Nick Fury film, something Samuel L. Jackson once name-dropped, and something Neal McDonough reiterated when he spoke about Cap 2 filming late this year:

“They’re planning [to go into production] for the end of this year, because Marvel does one film at a time. So they’re going to do Thor 2 and as soon as Thor has wrapped, they’ll do Cap 2. Hopefully right after that, we’ll jump into Nick Fury because that’s the one I’m looking forward to more than anything.”

With The Avengers 2 likely coming in the summer of 2015, a SHIELD movie makes sense as the last Marvel releasing before it. It’s also another smart place to introduce the Ant-Man character.


The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Tom Hiddleston and Stellan Skarsgard. It is of course written and directed by Joss Whedon, opening in theaters on May 4, 2012.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes if you’re a Marvel fan.