Recent interviews with Chris Evans [Captain America] have revealed that the inevitable sequel to the smash summer hit will likely come in 2014. Furthermore, Evans revealed that Cap likely won't cameo in any of the post-Avengers sequels due to the structure of his contract. Also, I think because The First Avenger is a period movie, having Steve Rogers cameo in Iron Man 3 or Thor 2 would seriously screw up the continuity of Marvel's films [looking at you Fox]. With one 2014 movie being released May 16, 2014, just two weeks after the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man and another on June 27, 2014, it's safe to assume that the Cap sequel will be the movie released on the 27th in order to capitalize on the following weeks Fourth of July holiday. So that leaves the May 16, 2014 release date as the big mystery. What could Marvel Studios possibly be planning that could match the hype and fanfare that Spider-Man will surely bring?
Well this past summer has seen a lot of news and developments come out of Marvel regarding their plans for life beyond Hulk, Captain America, Iron-Man, and Thor. Back in August we were told Marvel just had the Doctor Strange script delivered by Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer. Beginning in March of this year, the number of actors coming out and expressing interest in Luke Cage has to mean that this one is coming down the Marvel pipeline soon. Also in August, we were all somewhat stunned to learn that Guardians of the Galaxy were suddenly in active development at Marvel Studios. Back in April, Joe Cornish and Edgar Wright also joined the dubious "in development" game when they moved their thimble a few paces past GO by handing in their second draft of the Ant-Man script. Lengthening the the growing list of Marvel movies in development, was the news that Raw Leiba recently met with Marvel about reportedly portraying Black Panther rogue, Erik Killmonger. Oh, and don't forget those Namor The Sub-Mariner teasers that have been carefully sprinkled in Iron Man 2.
Based on these developments, we have a current list of potential Marvel movies containing:
- Black Panther
- Doctor Strange
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Luke Cage
- Namor The Sub-Mariner
Of course, there is also the possibility that Marvel could be planning a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie to spin-out of The Avengers or maybe even another Hulk movie. But more than likely, the other 2014 movie will be based on one of the character listed above. The character that makes the most sense here is Black Panther. He's a character with a deep history and has strong ties to the Avengers which would work well with Marvels apparent plan to have individual character story-lines all weave back towards assembling an Avengers team. Plus, you can't follow a movie like Spider-Man with a risky character that the general populace isn't overly familiar with. If Marvel continues to follow their current plan for the Avengers sequel, then Black Panther makes the most sense out of all the movies currently in development. Of course if certain rumors prove to be true, then Guardians of the Galaxy also would make sense for Marvel but that's a step in breaking away from the Avengers formula. Instead of a solo hero movie that leads back to a second Avengers film, the Guardians of the Galaxy already contains a team element, one that's as different from the Avengers as apples are to oranges. What's smart about this approach is that it truly opens up story line possibilities for Marvel to go beyond Earth and beyond it's interwoven earthbound stories. What would be extremely cool, is if Marvel started a totally different space continuity, completely independent but running concurrent to what's happening with Cap, Thor, Hulk, etc. You could then have the space storyline and earthbound storyline all come together for one seriously monumental cinematic comic book movie event. At the same time, it would be a neat mechanism for escaping the tight constrictions continuity places on the director and script writers who have been quietly voicing complaints ever since Marvel saw a golden opportunity with a harmless, last-second cameo in Iron Man. Speculatively speaking, the wonderful continuity Marvel has created has probably also cost them the directorial vision of both Jon Favreau and Kenneth Branagh, maybe even Brian Kirk. Continuing on this path, the creative constraints of continuity are probably the reason Marvel's looking to bring in young, relatively inexperienced directors for their upcoming projects. Directors who won't have the successful back-history to balk at heavy studio influence of how stories must unfold and what subplots have to be included. But that's a different conversation all together and it's just my personal musings.
With Iron Man 3 [May 3, 2013], Thor 2 [July 26, 2013 release date] coming out a year after the Avengers and Captain America set for a 2014 release date, we can rest assured that the other 2014 film won't be one of the big 3. While there's still a chance that the Avengers will setup the Hulk to steal the show and use that momentum to steamroll him into another solo film, it's really unlikely given the past financial figures and overall critic/fan perception of the last two attempts. It's looking like Marvel will be introducing a new hero in 2014 and it's someone that has the potential to derail or invigorate the Marvel Studio superhero franchise. Which of the above heroes has the following and origin story to handle that pressure?
As for the other potential movies on the list, I'll leave it to you guys to argue the merits and detractions of releasing them in 2014 below, in the comments section. Sound off in an orderly and civilized fashion!
Find me on Twitter: @All_Thats_Bueno