Every day this week Marvel Entertainment has successfully planned and executed a major PR move, planting the brand in mainstream media headlines as they lead into Comic-Con where they’ll host multiple panels for their upcoming comics, video games and film initiatives. From an all-new female Thor, the first black Captain America, a new team of Avengers – which may hint at future movie roster changes – and now, five new release dates for Marvel Studios productions.

Up until this point the assumption for Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that after Ant-Man kicks things off next summer, two months after The Avengers: Age of Ultron, there would be two films in 2016, two in 2017, all leading to The Avengers 3 in May 2018 to round off the next chapter of the franchise. That’s not going to be the case.

Disney and Marvel were quick to put their foot down in a pair of 2016 dates last summer, and another for 2017. Moments ago they added another two to 2017, and three more dates for 2018-19. It seems increasingly evident that Marvel’s Phase 3 is going to be a lot bigger before The Avengers re-assemble for what we expect to be their first bout again Thanos in 2019.

While we can’t tell you just what they are yet, you can look forward to new films hitting theaters July 28 and November 3, 2017; July 6 and November 2, 2018; and May 3, 2019.

My guess is that The Avengers 3 is coming in 2019, something I’ve been speculating on in recent episodes of Screen Rant’s SR Underground podcast, and it makes sense given that Marvel Studios is aiming to expand the universe deeper into the cosmos (beginning next month with Guardians of the Galaxy) and and into the realm of magic and mysticism (with Doctor Strange). In order to keep things fresh and fit in more new properties alongside sequels to established ones in Phase 3, this needed to happen.

NEXT PAGE: What Movies Are Coming in Phase 3? >

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