Marvel Studios is known for their long-range planning, and while they haven’t shared all of their plans, we are reasonably sure that they know precisely what films they are making to at least 2021. Ibn fact, outside of one title – Ant-Man – we don’t know for sure what the makeup will be of their slate post 2015’s The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Sequels to both last fall’s Thor: The Dark World and this spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier seem like good bets as the studio has announced that they are currently in talks with possible screenwriters and directors for the jobs.
But sitting on the schedule are three big question marks – May 6, 2016, July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017. These are three dates on which Marvel has announced that they will be releasing films, though they have not yet announced the titles for those films.
Over at JoBlo, though, they think they might have an answer as to what one of those films will be – a sequel to next August’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. The site is quoting an unnamed source that Guardians 2 will be one of the two movies Marvel will bu putting out in 2016.
Honestly, this seems a bit of a no-brainer to me. From all indications, Marvel is building up their franchises to a big showdown in Avengers 3 between Earth’s Mightest Heroes and the cosmic villain known as Thanos. We saw him very briefly in one of the tag scenes in The Avengers. Several of the characters who will be appearing in Guardians Of The Galaxy have ties to Thanos in the comics, so I would not be surprised if he makes an unannounced appearance. And even if he didn’t, a second Guardians film would be the perfect place to help set the character up with audiences for his Avengers 3 role.
The bad news, though, is if Marvel is sticking with their pattern of four films per “Phase,” as we see with the current “Phase Two,” than Captain America, Thor and Guardians Of The Galaxy sequels will mean that any long-rumored films featuring fan favorite characters like Dr. Strange or Black Panther may be pushed even further back.
I expect we may get some more concrete word as to how Phase Three will take shape this summer at San Diego Comic Con.