[Update: Hah, the answer is YES. Captain Marvel has been announced for 2018.]
If you missed today’s news, reports indicate that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness) is in final talks to play the titular lead in Doctor Strange for Marvel Studios and that movie is expected to release in July 2016. While not yet confirmed Strange would represent the 14th Marvel Studios feature… and the 14th to star a white male protagonist.
Needless to say, with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment announcing Wonder Woman for 2017 and Sony Pictures reportedly developing a female-led Spider-Man feature for 2017 as well, it’s not the best PR situation Marvel will find itself in after president of production Kevin Feig, said there were no firm Marvel plans for a female character film earlier this year.
Realistically, that’s going to change very soon. Marvel co-president Louis D’Esposito has namedropped Ms. Marvel as a name of interest for a Marvel One-Shot short film on multiple occasions although Marvel’s seemingly stopped working on One-Shots (with its latest two home video releases, anyway). That character however, was rumored to be included in some way in The Avengers: Age of Ultron as far back as the first rumors and reports of The Vision (Paul Bettany) and the latter proved true. Even Thor 1 & 2 star Natalie Portman said there’s a female superhero movie in the works at Marvel.
At this point, it must happen. Skipping over the talk over the years of Scarlett Johansson getting her own Black Widow movie, if any female Marvel character is going to lead their own Marvel Studios feature, it’s likely going to start with Ms. Marvel. Of course there are multiple iterations of this character but we can only assume they’d start with the original Carol Danvers character who currently goes by Captain Marvel in the comics.
Captain Marvel has her own self-titled comic series and while the book’s sales numbers aren’t impressive, Marvel is keeping it in print while cancelling several other series according to today’s reports by Bleeding Cool. Their sources, comic book creators at Marvel, are “under the impression” that this particular series is being kept because the character is set to appear in The Avengers sequel. The movies influence the comics more than anything.
If this is true it’s been one of Marvel’s best kept secrets despite the large amount of rumors and reports about the possibility of Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel being introduced in Age of Ultron. We have no idea who’s playing her if she is or if there’s a plan to launch a solo spinoff movie. However, there is a mysterious Marvel Studios event tomorrow morning where something(s) is going to be showcased and/or announced. If it happens to be information on Marvel’s six still-unannounced features coming between 2016-19 then perhaps we’ll have some clarity. The time is now to start getting diverse with lead characters in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And c’mon, all the Captain Marvels are kick-ass.
With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers: Age of Ultron pushing more into alien lore and super powers (the “age of miracles”), they’ve been building towards this for some time…
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4, 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on July 28, 2017, Black Panther on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Captain Marvel on July 6 2018, Inhumans on November 2 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019.
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