Other oft-rumored candidates for Phase 3 introduction include Black Panther and another Hulk movie (Planet Hulk?). Our insiders tell us Black Panther isn't in the cards for a solo introduction (could come in a team-up though) but other rumors point towards The Avengers 2 possibly setting up another Hulk outing for star Mark Ruffalo. Let's look at how Phase 3 could play out:
- July 2015 - Ant-Man
- May 2016 - Guardians of the Galaxy 2
- July 2016 - Doctor Strange
- May 2017 - Thor 3 or Captain America 3
- Second 2017 date - The Inhumans or Black Panther or Hulk
If Guardians and Doctor Strange are 2016 releases by Marvel - and it's a big if at this point - the studio would be banking on their newest characters for a year and a half, and not to mention, properties based primarily in space or on magic. If that roadmap is accurate, does it make sense for another trip to Asgard to come in before The Avengers 3 or will another (more grounded) Captain America adventure be what the franchise needs? Is there room for both before The Avengers 3 (i.e if Avengers 3 takes the second date in 2018)?
We're getting several levels deep into speculation based on a rumor, so let's pull it back and talk about what a second Guardians entry so soon means for the series. If Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel are back so soon, that would confirm what we've all been saying - that the Guardians are helping setup a big confrontation at the end of Phase 3 where they might team with Earth's Mightiest heroes in a confrontation with Thanos in The Avengers 3. If The Avengers 3 is about Thanos (and if they're not saving him for The Avengers 4), then that would lend more credence to the possibility of Doctor Strange and The Inhumans being crucial to Phase 3 since they can be used to introduce more Infinity Stones/Gems that Thanos will need to put together the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet.
And if Captain America 3 - which directors Anthony and Joe Russo are already in talks for - happens to come after The Avengers 3, perhaps we'll see The Winter Soldier wield his shield (for the right reasons this time) and take on the mantle... For now, we look forward to the first Guardians of the Galaxy trailer debuting in the near future.
How do you want to see Phase 3 of the MCU play out and what stories should The Avengers 3 and The Avengers 4 cover? Let us know in the comments!
Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn off of his script co-written by Nicole Perlman. The film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel and Glenn Close.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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