Co-writer/director Shane Black's Iron Man 3 has ruffled some feathers amongst the comic book crowd - just listen to the Screen Rant Underground Podcast for proof of that - but the overall reception has been respectable. Now that it's accumulated some $1 billion in the bank already, the film is paving the way for the rest of Phase Two in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which will culminate with The Avengers 2 in Summer 2015) to be even more financially-rewarding than Phase One.
Such continued box office success for the upcoming Phase Two sequels - combined with director James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy setting the stage for other C-list or D-list comic book superheroes to make the jump to the big screen - would mean that Marvel, and President of Production Kevin Feige, have no excuse to make Phase Three any less ambitious or pioneering in spirit than Phase Two.
Feige sat down with EW, to discuss the possible films that will be arriving in Phase Three. Filmmaker Edgar Wright's long-gestating Ant-Man - which is currently undergoing rewrites to better maintain continuity in the MCU - is the first on the docket, with a set release date six months after Avengers 2 opens in theaters. Certain projects have been floated about as likely candidates to follow thereafter, chief among them being a Doctor Strange movie.
On the topic of Doctor Strange, Feige said:
“I would love Strange to be a part of that only because he’s a great character. He’s a great standalone character. He’s got a great origin story, for the most part. And that world of pure magic, we haven’t done yet. There’s a whole supernatural/magic alternate dimension going on in the Marvel comics that we haven’t ever touched on. So I think that’s exciting.”
Surgeon-turned sorcerer Stephen Strange was rumored to be portrayed by Justin Theroux - costar of Your Highness and screenwriter on Iron Man 2 - with Evil Dead (2013) director Fede Alvarez being in charge of realizing the magic-powered character in live-action movie form. The latter has denied any involvement with the superhero flick at this point, and the only thing that's confirmed right now is that Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (the writing duo on Conan the Barbarian (2011)) penned a Doctor Strange script a couple years back.
Feige told Screen Rant's Amy Nicholson that "we’re not absolutely sure" about Doctor Strange joining the MCU during Phase Three yet; the same holds true for another heavily-rumored non-sequel comic book superhero installment, Black Panther:
Marvel just says everything is speculation at this point. Right now, those rumblings you hear are just evidence of the passion for this character — internally as much as from outside
That speculation includes rumors about Chadwick Boseman (42) being shortlisted to play T'Challa, Prince of the (fictional) African nation of Wakanda, in the Black Panther movie. Comic book fans (us included) have been chomping at the bit, in hopes that T'Challa will be introduced in Phase Three alongside the aforementioned superheroes; for the time being, though, it's not guaranteed to happen (though, no doubt, a Black Panther movie should be made somewhere down the line).
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