With The Avengers just seven months away from its May 2012 release, we’re starting to get a clearer picture on Marvel Studios’ plans for their interconnected cinematic superhero universe over the next couple of years.
Iron Man 3 is already penciled in for a May 2013 release with Shane Black taking over the directorial reigns from John Favreau. There are also sequels to both of this summer’s superhero films Captain America and Thor. Thor is now reportedly going to start production in April, also for a summer 2013 release, very probably with Monster’s Patty Jenkins directing. (She is currently in negotiations with the studio.)
The studio has also had a number of other projects based on Marvel Comics characters in development including Ant Man, with a script by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish and The Runaways, about a group of superpowered teens who discover that their parents are supervillains. Even more nebulous has been statements that the studio is considering films based on the spy organization SHIELD, the Master of the Mystic Arts Doctor Strange and the Black Panther.All of these could be vying for the two release dates that Marvel has already staked out in 2014 – May 16 and June 27. As to which projects may or would get a greenlight, though, is anyone’s guess.
In this week’s Entertainment Weekly piece on The Avengers, Marvel Studio head Kevin Feige confirmed in a sidebar article that they are currently developing two more comics properties – The Inhumans and The Guardians of the Galaxy.
If rumors that the alien Skrulls are going to be appearing in next summer’s The Avengers hold true, than it is easy to see why Marvel would want to develop an Inhumans film. The Inhumans are a superpowered humanoid race created by the Skrull’s mortal enemies the Kree to be used as weapons in the two races’ centuries-long war.
The Guardians of the Galaxy, who have been previously rumored as being possibly in development, are a group of interstellar heroes who protect the galaxy from various alien menaces. EW quotes Feige as saying about the group –
There’s an opportunity to do a big space epic, which Thor sort of hints at, in the cosmic side of the [Marvel] universe,
I suspect that if the rumors are true and Thor 2 contains a more cosmic storyline and the film does well at the box office either one or perhaps both would be good candidates to follow that up.