Marvel may have been feeling the pressure to bring the diversity of their comics universe into their Cinematic Universe, but they've put their money where there mouth is thanks to a recent slew of announcements. Not only will Captain Marvel bring the first female-led superhero film to their universe, but the fan favorite Black Panther movie has also been made official, with Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up) in the title role. Not to be left out, Marvel will indeed be bringing a more... mutated side to their movie universe with Inhumans also joining the fray in Phase Three.
The announcement likely to get the most positive response (outside of the core fans) will be Captain Marvel, as the growing number of female characters in Marvel's existing slate - but all being resigned to supporting roles - has been noted by more and more fans and critics. Guardians of the Galaxy certainly applied even more pressure to do a female superhero right on the big screen, and it's a safe bet that Carol Danvers' story - coming July 6, 2018, will fit into that same cosmic side of the shared universe.
Though exact details or a casting announcement won't be coming for some time, the announcement of a female-led Marvel movie will signal that more changes could be coming sooner than fans may have hoped (and DC's Wonder Woman may have a direct competitor).
Big changes will be coming with the introduction of Inhumans as well, although that film's announcement has been rumored for some time, between Vin Diesel teasing a potential (on-screen) role in Inhumans and Marvel producer Kevin Feige making his wishes to bring the superhuman team to the movie universe clear, early and often. The problem faced by Marvel being the exclusive rights to 'mutants' held by competitor Fox and their X-Men. And for more than a few reasons, a film like Inhumans helps them around that obstacle.
When both Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver - originally mutants in the comic books - were confirmed to be joining The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the need for another race of superhumans became even more pressing. Feige played coy about working the Inhuman origin into their own introduction - paving the way for a full-blown Inhumans franchise - but with the film's announcement for November 2, 2018, there's a chance to see it connected to existing characters.
That's still unclear at this point, but Marvel has yet another ensemble cast to add to its existing slate, and given the studio's recent shift towards A-list stars as opposed to younger, lesser-known actors, Inhumans could call on some impressive members.
With Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Inhumans now officially taking their spot in Phase Three, Marvel has put a plan in place to address a growing demand: that their films reflect the ethnic and gender diversity of their audience - one that is growing to every corner of the world. Talent takes precedent, of course, but for now, Marvel has sent the message that they have heard their fans - and their critics - loud and clear.
Which of these announcements are you most excited by? The chance to see Carol Danvers take her place alongside Marvel's greatest cosmic heroes, or to witness Black Panther join the ranks of The Avengers? Share your thoughts in the comments, and we'll bring you more details as they arrive.
Black Panther hits theaters November 3, 2017. Captain Marvel arrives July 6, 2018, with Inhumans to follow on November 2, 2018.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for all your Marvel updates, as well as TV, movie and gaming news.