The Marvel Cinematic Universe

With the American release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, on May 6th, now seems to be a good time to talk about future movies from Marvel, and about the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

Currently, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in Phase Three. Phase One consisted of introductory movies for the main Avengers characters (Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Iron Man 2) plus The Avengers. It was Phase One that started the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and first drew attention to it, with the release of Iron Man in 2008 and culminating in The Avengers in 2012.

Phase Two consisted largely of sequels to the Phase One movies, such as Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. These movies expanded on characters introduced in Phase One and tended to be rather darker and grittier than the “comic book” feel of their predecessors. Along with the sequels came two other movies, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, that introduced new characters and plotlines. Phase Two spanned from 2013 to 2015.

That brings us to Phase Three, which started last year, in 2016, with Captain America: Civil War, which functioned as a sequel to Age of Ultron. The other two Phase Three movies released thus far have been Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 

There are seven movies planned for the future at the moment, which will continue the trend of some movies being sequels and others introducing new characters. Two of them (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther) will serve to formally introduce characters who first appeared in Civil War, while four of them (Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers 4) will be sequels. The last planned movie, Captain Marvel, will introduce an entirely new character.

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