We’re living the dream. By we, I mean the nerds who grew up reading comics and being the stereotypical unpopular kids. And by dream, I mean it’s a time where characters like Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and god damn Rocket Racoon are showing up in well made, popular mainstream movie franchises.
And as overwhelming as it can feel for some of us. This train that seems to keep gaining speed with no sight in end, so much so that it will either result in a huge fireball or the train passing through dimensional barrier, transcending known genre and entering a new plain of existence… Erm. I’m saying super hero movies aren’t going anywhere for a while.
And the at the very forefront of all of this continues to be the people who started it all, Disney and their Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now we all know that they’re on a three movie per year timetable these days. I’m sure most people reading this could list them off without much effort. But after looking into it, there is a lot more going on in this MCU than even I was aware of.
So I’m going to take a little time to educate you all as to what is on the horizon and the to regale you all my hopes and dreams regarding them.
The Next Three Movies in 2019
Let’s not dwell on these, Captain Marvel is next, followed by Avengers: Endgame and then closing the year we have Spider-Man. I’m expecting all three of these to be great, Captain Marvel and Spider-Man because they’re the new faces that will forge the franchise forward. But also because Endgame is even named for the fact that it plans to tie up the storylines that opened with the very first Iron Man.
In theory at least.
This all old hat at this point, let’s get onto the newer stuff
Black Widow Movie
Did anyone know this was happening? I sure didn’t. I mean, there are rumours floating around about the likes of Hawkeye and Nick Fury getting their own movies all the time. But considering how much effort Disney apparently went to find Australian director Cate Shortland to direct the Black Widow movie, then it seems like it’s actually happening.
Reportedly set “before the first Avengers”, the movie is another that jumps around in the timeline. Captain Marvel doing so before it. I’d imagine it would be set in the past when Natasha was still a Russian spy/agent/assassin, but if it were to take place after she was already working for Shield, and Tony Stark in Iron Man 2, that’d be interesting too.
Let’s be real though, this is going to be another movie with CGI young Sam Jackson in it again. Bringing her into the fold.
It’s about time all being said. Scarlett Johansson has been a mainstay of the MCU since it began, it’s kind of sacrilege she didn’t get her own movie already at this point.
The Disney+ Streaming Service
This is the big question mark floating above the televised iterations of the MCU. The service isn’t planned to go live until the end of 2019 in America. And not in places like here in the U.K. until 2020. Which is shocking.
If this service launches in U.S. only with a bunch of MCU original programming and The Mandalorian, people will riot. That, or they’ll illegally find ways to watch the series and then simply not pay for it when it comes out officially. Disney kind of shooting themselves in the foot a little there.
There are three announced shows for the service already: The Vision and Scarlet Witch, An unnamed Loki series and a Falcon/Winter Soldier “buddy cop” style show. I had kind of hoped those two would star in a 4th Captain America movie, battling for the mantle, seeing as how they both used it at some point in the Comics.
These shows are a sign of intent from Disney and what they plan to do with the television corner of their properties. Each of these series only running from between 6 and 8 episodes each and each one having the budget of one of their major motion picture productions. The Game of Thrones model basically.
It’s kind of funny honestly, that Thanos just erased all of these characters from existence, or straight up killed two of them, and yet they’re here getting new shows confirmed. It undercuts the drama of the end of Infinity War leading into Endgame when you know everyone is going to come back.
Can you imagine if Disney’ deeply committed to marketing campaign for Endgame in which all the actors that had been erased just straight up said that their contracts with the Marvel movies were over and really pushed the idea that these erasures were permanent. It would have been wild.
Netflix’s Murky future
The Punisher just got a second season earlier this month, and Jessica Jones is getting a third later in the year. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if both of them suddenly get cancelled shortly after their release hype has died down.
The talk is that the new Disney streaming serivce will not show anything with an “R” rating. Which is the exact thing that made the Netflix shows we got so unique. What they lacked in the high budget of the movies proper, they made up for in mature themes and a stronger focus on more serious subject matter.
Replacing them with something that are essentially mini versions of the movies are fine, but they have created a hole in the market through cancelling the Netflix shows that someone will fill in if they don’t.
Other Future Projects
With Disney’s acquisition of Fox, a lot of their future projects are handed over to Disney and consequently might become a part of the MCU. The Gambit movie that has been in development hell for the longest time is still being talked about for 2020 apparently. With Channing Tatum still playing the lead. Which I continue to be interested in.
On the movie front, there is also talks of The Eternals being made. Serving as a prequel to the entire MCU and a story of the origin of the entire universe, made to replace part 3 of Guardians of the Galaxy after Disney threw one of their most promising creators under the bus for a tweet he made a decade earlier.
In more pie in the sky news, there have been meetings discussing projects as far in the future as 2025 and 20 more films reportedly in development after endgame. But with Spider-Man just getting started, Disney’s acquisition of Fox and consequently the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties, who knows where they could go.
As long as they keep making money, these movies are going to come out in perpetuity. Maybe there are plans to reboot it all eventually, but with Spider-Verse a huge success, the ongoing continuity of the franchise proper might be less of an issue.
Maybe they’ll eventually do a Who Framed Roger Rabbit style movie in which the Spider-Verse characters break into the live action world of the MCU. It could happen.