It’s been a big month for Marvel Studios news and if the earlier report about their plans for San Diego Comic-Con has any truth to it, it got a lot bigger.

A few weeks ago we wrote about the rumor that the folks at Marvel were looking into the strategy of introducing members of their vast line-up of lesser known characters through short films attached to the theatrical releases of their tentpole big budget superhero epics. What that means for us moviegoers is that, like Disney does with Pixar films (remember, Disney owns Marvel now), we could start seeing The Avengers among other upcoming flicks showcasing 10-minute shorts for the likes of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange and other characters the studio is interested in adding to their growing franchise.

It made total sense and while unconfirmed, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Marvel goes down that path.

Later that day, news broke that Marvel Studios had signed a deal with the writing pair Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan, Cowboys and Aliens) to pen the screenplay for a Dr. Strange movie. That, combined with the recent news about the Runaways movie, a S.H.I.E.L.D. film after The Avengers and reports that the studio is in talks with a notable actor about Luke Cage, really emphasized the idea that Marvel wants to grow their franchise and give many of their other properties a chance in the spotlight.

And yes, there’s still Ant-Man

All of this represents only what has happened over the last few months, with much of it occurring just in the last few weeks no less. What happens next week at San Diego Comic-Con when director Kenneth Branagh shows up to debut the first ever Thor trailer for Marvel Studios? What else will they show? What other movies will they tease or announce? What surprises will keep fans talking for months and months after the event closes?

Comic-Con is the most exciting time of the year for comic book fans and most especially, comic book movie fans. Last year we were treated to the wildly entertaining Iron Man 2 panel, but this year we’re likely getting so much more. After all, Marvel has two feature films debuting next year in Thor and The First Avenger: Captain America. On top of that, they have started preliminary work on The Avengers among other properties mentioned above and, unlike last year, we can expect competition from Warner Bros. who will start the ball rolling with Green Lantern and their upcoming slate of movies.

Suffice to say, we expect big things from this year and according to [an anonymous source] we’ll be getting just that. The [source] has revealed plans for Marvel Studios’ panel at Comic Con from one of those infamous “well-connected” people. Let’s go through the four points one at a time:

Continue to see Marvel’s rumored comic-con plans, the new Bruce Banner, Joss Whedon and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye!

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