Phase Three: Will Doctor Strange & Hulk Get Solo Movies Before ‘Avengers 3′?

Published 2 years ago by

Dr Strange Movie Actors Phase Three: Will Doctor Strange & Hulk Get Solo Movies Before Avengers 3?

It was nearly three years ago when we learned that Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan the Barbarian) had been hired to draft a screenplay for a live-action Doctor Strange feature film. The following summer they had reportedly turned in a draft for Marvel Studios to begin searching for a director to oversee the project’s development.

With the focus at the time being on Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, both setting up for The Avengers the year after, Doctor Strange fell off the radar until recently when Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige namedropped the neurosurgeon alongside Ant-Man as Phase Three films coming after The Avengers 2.

The untitled Avengers sequel marks the end of Phase Two in May 2015 but later that year, Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man launches Phase Three. Ant-Man is the only Phase Three movie (so far) with an official release date though it’s expected that Captain America and Thor will both receive third installments while other, newer characters get their big screen introductions leading up to The Avengers 3.

Dr. Strange Character Art 570x220 Phase Three: Will Doctor Strange & Hulk Get Solo Movies Before Avengers 3?

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Doctor Strange will be among them. Speaking to us while doing press for Iron Man 3 in a conversation alongside director Shane Black, we brought up Ant-Man and Doctor Strange before Black asked Feige for us if Strange was actually confirmed. Feige replied:

“No, not necessarily. It’s something I talk about a lot because I want to do a Doctor Strange movie because it’s different than any other movie we’ve done. That’s what attracts me the most. But it’s all developing.”

After expressing his confidence in a Doctor Strange solo film nearly a year ago – alongside other obscure and risky projects including Inhumans and Guardians of the Galaxy (the latter of which is actually happening)- Feige all but confirmed earlier this year in January that moviegoers would meet Stephen Strange sometime after Ant-Man.

During his interview sessions for Iron Man 3, Feige also told Collider that one of their franchise exec producers will be shifting towards developing Strange as their next project.

“Dr. Strange is something that I talk about often and it’s sort of next up for us to dig into and explore. Our executive producer of Iron Man 3, having done Captain America: The First Avenger and as that was finishing he started working on the bones that would become Iron Man 3, and now that he’s finished with Iron Man 3, he’s working on the bones that would become Doctor Strange. Now that Iron Man 3 is finished, some of our quote-unquote spare time is going to be devoted to trying to crack Strange.”

Feige might be referring to Stephen Broussard who used to be his assistant before co-producing Cap and then exec producing Iron Man 3. As for when Doctor Strange could hit theaters?

Dr. Strange Marvel Movie Phase Three: Will Doctor Strange & Hulk Get Solo Movies Before Avengers 3?

“As we look past 2015, past Avengers 2 and Ant-Man, I think Dr. Strange should be one of the next movies in the years following that.”

Rumors had Stephen Strange possibly showing up in Thor: The Dark World but the same source provided rumors about Iron Man 3 which turned out to be false. The rumors we’re more interested in are the latest about the franchise which indicated that Marvel Studios may finally be looking to cast Black Panther – a character that could also get a debut in Phase Three.

It won’t be long until we find out more as Feige told Entertainment Weekly that it’ll be later this year when his team begins planning out what comes next since Thor 2 is already in post-production, Cap 2 has begun shooting and Guardians of the Galaxy is prepping for a summer start. Next up is The Avengers 2 and Joss Whedon’s first draft of the script is already done.

“Within the next year or so we’ll really start the advanced planning on post – Avengers 2, and I would love Strange to be a part of that. There’s a whole supernatural/magic dimension going on in Marvel comics that we haven’t ever touched on.”

Ant Man fitting in with the Hulk storyline Phase Three: Will Doctor Strange & Hulk Get Solo Movies Before Avengers 3?

Another big possibility for Phase Three is a third attempt at selling a Hulk solo film, but Feige indicates that such a project wouldn’t be a Planet Hulk adaptation:

“There’s no script in the works or anything, but we are talking about it. All the Hulk energy right now is on Avengers 2, but Mark Ruffalo is signed up [for more films]. What we’re excited about exploring and expanding is Mark – and Bruce Banner is not in Planet Hulk at all. The fun of Hulk is his interaction with humans.”

What movies should Marvel make in between The Avengers 2 & 3 and which new characters need to be included?


Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange sometime after that.

Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes if Doctor Strange should join The Avengers!

Sources: Collider, EW

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I’m hoping for a Thor 3 an cap 3 definelty. If guardians is good then a sequel for sure.

    It would be a dream to see Pepper in RESCUE Rhodes in classic war machine and iron man in a fourth.

    But wanna see hulk dr strange.

  2. Phase 3:
    Ant-man, November 2015
    Hulk, May 2016
    Cap 3, November 2016
    Doctor Strange, April 2017
    Thor 3, August 2017
    Black Panther, May 2018
    GOTG 2, November 2018
    Avengers 3, Summer 2019

    • where’d you get the black panther info? imdb?

      • It comes from Black Panther getting talked about by Marvel Studios quite a bit, but Phase Two films have all been planned and announced, so people assume BP is in Phase Three.

    • I like this, I would very much LOVE this. Bring it on!

    • That would be awesome if they make a second GOTG, but I have a feeling they might kill off some characters in the first one. Or at least make it appear like they’re dead.

      I’m not sure why you’d need a third Thor, but Cap 3 makes sense since he’s tied in with SHIELD.

      I like that Marvel keeps trying to introduce more characters. Keep ‘em coming!

      • I think Thor 3 is going to happen. He is popular with the fans and is a fairly safe investment from an economic point of view.

        GOTG 2 I could see happening as it is a sequel and this will have a fan base, especially if a sequel is the third outing for some of the characters (if they appear in A2).

        Marvel have to careful not to overload with new characters as then films will bomb and then we never have any chance of seeing new characters on screen. If we are then to look waaaay into the future you could then have maybe an IM4 and Hulk 3, Black Panther/Ant-man 2 plus two or 3 new characters in Phase 4. It’s a difficult game to get right as there are the economics to consider as well as the ‘not getting stale’ aspect of things. I feel the best way to do this is to slowly integrate new characters and to use Avengers films as launch pads for other characters.

  3. Avengers 2
    Ant-Man ‘15
    Thor 3 ‘16
    Dr Strange ‘16
    Captain America 3 ‘17
    GoTG 2 ‘17
    Black Panther ‘18
    Avengers 3 ‘18

  4. All I’m hoping for are another Hulk movie and to finally get black panther on the big screen.

  5. Can’t we just looking forward to Phase 2 first? :)

    • my thoughts exactly. I hope the SR crew wasn’t so disappointed by Iron Man 3 that they’re not looking forward to phase 2 anymore..

      • I’m sure most of the SR crew is still looking forward to Phase 2, maybe just with more tempered expectations. Though I very much enjoyed Iron Man 3 myself. :)

        • I’m glad to hear it! :)

          • Yeah the end of the podcast they all stated their excitement for thor 2. They all just had worrys about Gotg because james gunn is very shane black like.

            • how is James Gunn like Shane Black? they could not be any different in their styles.. the fact that Kevin Feige said that Marvel likes directors to put their own vision and even fight with them to keep it is another thing though.

        • Yes, Iron Man 3 was amazing. I can see the part of the movie people were dissapointed but doesnt make the movie any less better. I loved it

          • Someone told me Iron man 3 is like a great macho John Wayne western, where the whole overall movie is good and exciting with an interesting story, but then at the end they reveal manly John Wayne is gay, and his horse is really named Mr. Ed. What in blue thunder….?!

  6. Sounds like they are a little more decided on what not to do with Hulk, and that any Hulk film will probably involve pairing him with another character, like they did with Black Widow and then Thor in Avengers. That worked, and now they realize it.

    • The Banner & Romanov scene near the start of the Avengers suggests that those two together would be a good pair for a Hulk film.

  7. Phase 3
    Ant man
    Doctor strange
    Avengers 3
    Thor “fall of Asgard ‘
    The death of captain America
    The defenders
    Black panther
    Prince Namor The sub mariner

    • The Defenders would be sick! However Fox has Silver Surfer.

  8. If solo film for Hulk, then is must be with great matchup. Hulk vs Wolverine, Rhino, Thor, Leader, Red Hulk, or whoever strong opponent with good story. In phase 3 i wanna see Planet Hulk. Avengers 2 for Hulk is ofcourse next logical step.

  9. It was my understanding that Mark Ruffalo did the motion capture for the CG Hulk in the avengers. They probably want to develop Banner’s character a bit more, but he would be great doing Hulk in a Planet Hulk film, even if Bruce Banner does not appear.

  10. This would be Wonderful but I fear with other Sequels and the demand for others It wont happen or either be any good.

    Hulk has to get his own movie, IDK why this is even up for discussion. Like why wasn’t his movie written in the plan for the phases at the beginning.

    • Because the Banner/Hulk dynamic is very difficult to get right. The thing the audience wants to see the most, Hulk tearing sh@t up, costs a lot of money per-second, which means most of the film has to be Banner. It can be tough to make a scientist being chased while he controls his breathing EXCITING for 45-60 minutes.

      Banner is an amazing character – especially with Ruffalo behind it – but box office returns on past Hulk films haven’t been huge and the movie would be expensive if they did a lot of Hulk time. Simply put, the way the character is at his foundation, he works great with some other things going on, and is harder to make work by himself.

      • That’s why Planet Hulk will be a no go, it’s all Hulk it’s all smash, to do it properly the CG bill would be mind-boggling.

        You have to be careful with a Banner-centric story or it’ll come over as a elaborate TV episode, Banner turns up somewhere, things get ugly, HULK, end Banner wanders off.

        Also, would such a story work with the relationships that have been forged in the MCU, especially with Tony Stark [NO SPOILERS]. If Banner’s in trouble would Tony not intervene so how would that play with RDJ’s on going commitment to the MCU.

        And I have to disagree with Kevin Feige, the fun of the Hulk is HULK SMASH, is interaction with humans is simple, they run or they attack.

        • They could always write it so relationships change. What is now, won’t always be.

  11. Phase 3
    Ant man – 2015
    Doctor Strange – 2016
    Thor 3 – 2016
    Captain America 3 – 2017
    Incredible Hulk 2 – 2017
    Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – 2017
    Avengers 3

  12. I wanna see a Hulk- Banner relationship like Avengers: EMH did it. Banner showing up as some kind of shadow or conscience to Hulk, so they’re both onscreen at the same time.

    • I actually think this would be a unique way to approach the hulk/banner dynamic on the big screen. If done right it could effectively show the complexity of their relationship.

    • +1

  13. I’m thinking since Marvel has 3 Phases set up and is probably planning on 5 Phases it very well could go like this:

    Guardians of the Galaxy sets up Avengers 2.
    Doctor Strange sets up Avengers 3.
    Inhumans sets up Avengers 4.
    Captain Marvel sets up Avengers 5.


  14. I know they have never mentioned a Black Widow solo film, but I could seriously use 90+ minutes of just Scarlett kicking butt and looking gorgeous.

    One of the best bits in the Avengers was the Banner/Stark interaction. And at the end they drove off together so they are maintaining a friendship away from the Avengers by the looks of it. It might ease the pressure if you were to have a Hulk film that featured Stark/Iron Man. Whether RDJ would be interested, I don’t know.

    • I really wish they would do a Hawkeye & Black Widow movie. Basically it could start with their origins (which isn’t as heroes) and work its way around to their joining SHIELD and the first misstion that they talked about in the Avengers.

      • I disagree, I like not seeing and knowing everything. It lets you imagine the things they mention.

  15. I’m down with another Hulk movie, absolutely. I say carry on the storyline… Tim Blake Nelson becomes The Leader and begins to gamma infect a small group of followers. They becomes the… U-FOES! Vector, vapour, x-ray and ironclad. Ruffalo just picks up where Norton left off, like terrence howard to don cheadle.

    Then we combine those awesome characters with the “countdown” storyline in the comics, where Banner is poisoned and has to defeat all the “foes” in a certain time before he dies. All the while his hulk getting weaker while the foes get stronger. In the comics he fought Abomination, ms.marvel, leader and madman but they could keep Leader and replace the rest with u-foes.

    It was grey hulk in the book, maybe at the end he would be grey…? The grey hulk wasn’t as powerful, but smarter and meaner.

  16. As my name here would surely suggest, the only thing I would need after the avengers 3 is a civil war story line. After that, the avengers are done.

    It should be clear for most of the screenranter that the avengers focusses on the main baddie Thanos who ‘s behind the scene influence will be responsible for the demise in all three movies. The way I see it, Thanos won’t be a direct physical threat until the Avengers 3, while at the same time we will meet side-baddies in both the avengers 2 and 3. This of course is a consequent of the rapidly expanding amount of super heroes that will appear on screen. The more heroes we have, the more enemies they will face. Also, in the avengers 3 it seems logical to have both a cosmic and an earthbound threat so more odds are at stake and the final chapter in the trilogy would go down as a unique experience.
    After the third movie we are left with quite a void. Are we? Well not really, because we are left with so many super heroes. The question arises: What’s going to happen to society with so many super powered humans around. Think the original X-men movie. A conflicted triangle between non-super heroes, super heroes who demand unification and super heroes who wish to remain independent would make for an incredible movie. I even think there’s both an option to work with all the super heroes that have been ‘created’ thus far and end with one great civil war movie that is the conclusion of all the previous phases and movies Marvel worked so hard to develop. OR they could make it a 2-part civil war story that gives a bit more depth and even allows a few new heroes to debut onscreen.
    The 2-part civil war story would be my personal choice. This would possibly also be the most strategic way to go for Marvel. This is not only because it would generate the most income, it would also set stage for a few more standalone super hero movies after the avengers. Also it would give the opportunity for a shared universe with whatever characters marvel would currently have the rights to (but for now think x-men). The standalone movies could be anything really, because the avengers chapter would have been sufficiently shut down. By the time we would actually be at this stage though (2023?) one could also suggest that a final concluding movie after avengers 3 would be an excellent opportunity to start rebooting some beloved super hero characters.

    Just thought I’d share my hopes with the world ;)

    • @Pitt Man
      Great ideas for another stand-alone Hulk film. I am right with you.

      • Thanks Traps

    • And @civilwarsuperhero
      While I would love to see all that on the big screen, it would be tough. Would there be too many actor changes with all of those characters AND the prolonged set up of such a massive story? A civil war movie would make a ton of money, but not as much as separating all of the characters and releasing as many solo films as possible.

    • Civil War would just ruin our feelings towards some of our heroes. No Civil War. Keep the government plots against the heroes concentrated in the X-Men (Sentinels, etc.).

    • It would be nice if Marvel did have such an exit strategy and weren’t planning to milk the franchise until it goes bad.

  17. Phase 3: Ant-Man, The Incredible Hulk 2, Dr.Strange, Captain America 3, Thor 3,Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Avengers 3

  18. I like all these ideas for Hulk movies. I think it’d have to include Iron Man since they set up that friendship in the Avengers and continued it in IM3.

    I don’t think the Civil War storyline would be possible since Marvel doesn’t own the film rights to all of it’s characters.

    I think Marvel will try to do an Inhumans movie to set up the third Avengers movie.

    • Marvel wouldn’t need the rights to every single character from the books. There is so many, that they could make it work with who they have.

      And as stated earlier, when this Civil War inspired film would go down, Marvel could possibly own more rights than they do currently.

  19. Planet Hulk? Pass, we’ve already recieved an animated film based on that.

    That’s why I feel in the new Batman series, they should go from Dick Grayson as Robin to Tim Drake as Robin, while Dick has become Nightwing. Why skip over Jason Todd? We don’t need another Under the Red Hood.

    What happened to Sterns? The Leader was foreshadowed, he should be the villain of the next Hulk movie

    • Don’t worry, Planet Hulk isn’t going to happen.

      1) The Illuminati can’t exist in the MCU. Marvel Films owns 1? 2? of those characters? Sure they could just have the Avengers replace the Illuminati in that pivotal discussion, but it would be a stretch. Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, etc. all agreeing to get banish the Hulk? No way.

      2) Plant Hulk IS A Princess of Mars. After the near total failure of John Carter, Disney will never greenlight a Hulk version of it.

  20. While I’m aware of the time and costs these films take to come to fruition something has really been bothering me about the MCU.
    There is a 68 year gap between the “death” of Captain America and
    Tony Stark’s reason for being in Afghanistan.
    I propose filling this gap with the Classic Phase. Five films released on multiplatform (dvd, download,vod)

  21. 1) Howling Commandos
    2) SGT. Fury
    3) Union Jack
    4) Agent Carter
    5) Secret Forces
    Four standalones and a team up. Since all have an affiliation with
    S.H.I.E.L.D. and/or Captain America the team up could be inspired
    by the Secret Avengers storyline.
    Again, I know these things take time but some of us oldtimers would like to see some of this stuff before we die. Cmon Marvel.

    • None of these are dynamic enough to fly, but I have to give you kudos for reaching back in the vault and pulling out obscure ideas no one else has been original enough to mention before. How about a guest-appearence in Iron Man by “Force” (villain mentored to become a possible would-be future hero by Iron Man in the comics?)

  22. I would love a Hulk Solo film with The Leader as the main villian and maybe a few others for Hulk to bang around while introduceing She-Hulk. I would much rather see the Inhumans,Namor,Luke Cage, and Black Panther get films before Doctor Strange just never like that character.If they wanted to explore the Mystical aspects why did they change the Mandarin in IronMan 3? I hope we get a better version of Mandarin at some point ,and would love to see villains like Ultron,Baron Zemo,Enchantress, and even Red skull return.I think The next Ironman suit should be the Ultimate version. We have had no,i repeat no main female villains yet and Marvel has an arsenal of them Enchantress could be used very well in a Thor film OR and Avengers film seduceing Thor or Ironman with her techniques.I would also love to see a Team of Villains fighting a team of heros not just one on one.

  23. Well, there are some excellent suggestions here, Screenranters. Good job. I hope the studios are listening.

    What I’d like to see on the big screen:
    Avengers 3 – Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet
    Avengers 4 – Kree incursion with Captain Marvel and S.W.O.R.D
    Avengers 5 – Kang travelling from the future, rebooting the timeline
    Avengers 6 – Galactus and the Silver Surfer (Fantastic Four Team-Up)
    Avengers 7 – Civil War
    Avengers 8 – Planet Hulk

    • Exciting reading those ideas for Avengers 6-8. There needs to be more villians for the Avengers to face off against. The more characters the better. Not everyone needs a solo film, either. You could introduce several characters in individual films, that could lead up to something bigger. Who wouldn’t want to see Fantastic Four and the Avengers in the same film? The ideal would be a Civil War film, but we could still get the same sort of feel with a different story line, but most, if not all, of those characters.

    • @calypso – rebooting the timeline, that is an awesome idea and could provide a perfect way to introduce new characters. After the rebooted timeline Marvel could have an Avengers containing Wolverine, Spiderman, FF etc. Inspired idea if the MCU ever gets stale :)

    • I’d say let’s see Kang, Ultron, Skrulls, maybe Diablo, Whirlwindd, and the “real” Mandarin cause some problems for The Avengers!

  24. I would have Had Mandarin in Ironman 3 get his High Tech Rings from another worldly being and have that said Being gathering super villains around the world to do his bidding.They would have been freeing other villains like The Leader who is captured by shield from how im takeing it since they kinda left us hanging at the end of the Incredible Hulk and things like that.

  25. There is the problem of having so many people in charge of the solo projects. They can go their own direction at times. Shane Black isn’t the one who wants to explore the ‘mystical’ side of the MCU, is he?

    • @ Traps Like Bane which is exactly why they have “over-seers.” For Marvel it is Feige and Whedon, and if rumors prove true Nolan/Snyder will be the DC equivalent.

      • I hope Nolan spends most of his time doing original work, and not get stuck in the comic book world. He is too creative and intelligent for that. And no offense to anyone, I love my comics.

  26. Does anyone really know how much input Whedon has on the solo films? Feige was the one who wants to explore the mystical side, if I am not mistaken, and I would bet that he has more input than Whedon, but to completely shoot down the plot of Iron Man 3…..they wouldn’t have hired Black in the first place.

  27. Thats simple.. The answer is no they wont. Solo movies are getting kinda boring. Why not do a team up movies instead? Hulk & strange.. defenders redux if u will. That would be much more interesting.

    • But wouldn’t they be making less money than if they separated the characters into solo films? Assuming that they could make good solo films that would make money.

      • True money is always something they must consider. But as Marvel has stated many times, they can only crank out so many films per year. With a growing roster at some point you either keep pushing certain character’s solo adventures further into the future or perhap combine them in new and fresh ways. If seeing strange could be done sooner (by say 2-4 years) if he appeared in a team up type movie rather then a solo film would fan prefer that? No evidence they’d go for that, just curious of what the fans would like.

  28. Just a Three phases please. Anymore then that gets drawn out and old. Maybe then move onto other big team ups besides Avengers.

    If Marvel has there way with in the next 3-4 years and gets all their eggs in one basket with all the properties they sold we should get a Civil War build up.

    I’m not saying Drawn out and old in a bad way. I love , the first one. Just give us something new to look foreword to. Anyone remember , Snakes on a plane with Nick Furry?


  29. I want a Hawkeye/Black Widow movie with Jeremy Renner & Scarlet Johannson.
    that would be a great film to see.