Ranking Marvel’s Upcoming Phase Three Movies Based On Hype
It’s 2016. Phase Three is finally here and with it comes the culmination of more than 10 years of work. What will Marvel’s Cinematic Universe look like after the Infinity War? How will the new characters resonate with audiences? Can the original Avengers pass the torch to a new generation of heroes? The answers are nearly here!
Phase Three currently consists of 11 gigantic blockbusters that will arrive right in the middle of a superhero golden age for film fans. When it’s all over, Marvel’s carefully constructed universe will look drastically different. Phase Three is already historic generating tons of hype and fan speculation.
Below you’ll find rankings for all of Marvel’s Phase Three films ranked by that very hype. Where do your favorites rank?
[UPDATE: Disney/Marvel recently removed Inhumans from their release schedule. There’s currently no word on whether the project is delayed or cancelled altogether. Phase 4?]
Technically, the mythology of the Inhumans is being setup on Marvel’s Agents of Shield. There have been several reports that the TV show will not feed directly into the film’s main storyline. Regardless, AoS has improved a great deal since the Inhuman plot thread was introduced.
Inhumans is essentially an X-Men replacement for Marvel with Fox rolling out blockbusters like X-Men Apocalypse every few years. Can a relatively obscure group of characters make their mark on the big screen? Ask the millions of fans who love Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s certainly possible but too little is known about this project. It gets knocked down a bit further because it will likely act as a prologue to Infinity War. Perhaps the plan is for Inhumans to serve as a launch pad for Phase Four?
10. Ant-Man & The Wasp
The first Ant-Man movie suffered numerous production issues including losing director Edgar Wright to creative difference. The end result was a solid movie overall but not a ‘great’ entry in Marvel’s universe. Ant-Man will forever be known as the afterthought of Phase Two. The movie sandwiched between The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War.
The follow up, Ant-Man and The Wasp, isn’t due for a few more years but there’s a chance it could be really great. Everything depends on Ant-Man’s reception in Civil War. As a comedic supporting character, fans will finally see how Ant-Man connects to the rest of Earth’s mightiest heroes.
Ant-Man and The Wasp may be #11 for now but it could jump a few spots if Paul Rudd steals the scenes he’s a part of in 2016.
9. Captain Marvel
Marvel’s first female led superhero film won’t be able to generate any real hype until they cast the lead character. The concept behind the film is intriguing with another cosmic character joining the MCU. She will easily fit into a universe that includes Thor and Star Lord. So just sign Emily Blunt and let’s get the hype train moving!
8. Black Panther
T’Challa’s first appearance in the Captain America: Civil War trailer convinced me. He looks amazing and beyond that, he appears to play a pivotal role in the film. Phase Three’s new characters includes Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and the Inhumans. We need a new bad ass superhero and the Black Panther is it! I hope they keep the character as mysterious as possible and offer just enough to get fans excited for his action packed solo adventure.
7. Doctor Strange
In a roundabout way, I suppose I just suggested that Doctor Strange is NOT bad ass. I stand by that statement. He’s not going to be a brawler like Captain America or Iron Man. But he doesn’t have to be. Stephen Strange will open up an entirely new corner of the MCU by exploring supernatural themes like magic and alternate dimensions. It ranks high on this list because Benedict Cumberbatch is PERFECT for the role and it promises to be something fresh and new from Marvel’s cinematic machine.
It’s risky but it’s Spider-Man. I believe Spider-Man won’t play a huge role in Captain America: Civil War. His screen time will be important as we will get a sense of Marvel’s vision for Peter Parker. Spider-Man is my personal favorite superhero. Iron Man has a trilogy. When Phase Three ends Thor and Captain America will join him with trilogies of their own. They can’t carry the weight forever. Spider-Man is a perfect candidate to move the MCU forward. BUT I find it incredibly difficult to picture a high school student taking on Thanos in Infinity War. How will Spider-Man fit into the big picture? Will he lead a new team of Avengers someday? Will he miss the Infinity War entirely? It’s that question along with ANOTHER reboot that keeps Spider-Man in the middle of this list.
5. Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: The Dark World is my least favorite Marvel film. Second place? The original Thor. I love the character in The Avengers and Loki remains one of the MCU’s most interesting villains. But his solo adventures are… Just okay.
However, Thor: Ragnarok is shaping up to be one hell of an adventure featuring Cate Blanchett as Hela and… AND!!! The Hulk! Pitched as a buddy comedy adventure, Ragnarok could be a PIVITAL film for Phase Three.
During the events of Age of Ultron, Thor finally realizes the threat the Infinity Stones pose to the universe. He even suspects a menace like Thanos is behind all the chaos. Ragnarok will undoubtedly pick up those story threads. I believe the third Thor film will be the first time we see Marvel’s big bad Thanos in action.
If that’s not enough, rumors have suggested the film will also adapt the Planet Hulk storyline in which Bruce Banner finds himself stranded on an alien planet. Forced to defend himself in endless gladiator like battles. AND Loki is back too.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
I like to tell people that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was my favorite Phase Two film… Yet… Guardians of the Galaxy definitely leads the league in repeat viewings. The film has become my go to ‘background’ noise movie. Except every time I put it on, I’m drawn to it and it eventually earns my complete attention. It could very well be my favorite Phase Two movie after all.
Sequels are always bigger and feature more characters and larger set pieces. However, director James Gunn has repeatedly stated he will scale back the number of characters in order to focus on the Guardians themselves.
Volume 2 has the potential to be extremely important moving the Infinity War story forward. Marvel fans everywhere have high hopes for an Avengers/Guardians cross over in Infinity War. Will the seeds be planted in Volume 2? Thanos will definitely make an appearance. Perhaps Star Lord will be drawn back to his home world?
3. The Avengers Infinity War Part 1
It’s hard to believe a movie as massive as Infinity War will exist in a few years. It’s going to be gigantic. A movie overflowing with superheros against a foe who has remained hidden for over a decade!
Thanos will finally attack and presumably unleash the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet. It’s safe to say Infinity War will be historic. Can Marvel pull it off? Producer Kevin Feige has always said ‘there’s always been a plan.’ Soon that plan will be revealed!
2. Captain America: Civil War
Why isn’t Infinity War 1-2 on the list? Because Captain America: Civil War will shatter Marvel’s Cinematic Universe as we know it. Relationships will never be the same and the consequences will be drastic.
It’s all but assumed the MCU will lose at least one major character during the events of Civil War. Will they actually kill off Captain America himself? I think it’s a guarantee fans will leave the theater saddened by a final act that will rip Earth’s mightiest heroes apart. A perfect opportunity for Thanos to strike.
Civil War sets the tone for the entirety of Phase Three. It’s also our first chance to see the Russo Brothers balance so many characters in a film. The success of Infinity War will depend on how Civil War is received.
If the first trailer is any indication, we are all in for a special film.
1. The Avengers Infinity War Part 2
All bets are off.
The Avengers Infinity War Part 1 will be a showcase of Thanos’ power. The damage will be catastrophic and the universe will never be the same. I think part 1 will feature all of Earth’s heroes minus those that potentially die in Civil War.
Part 2 will include EVERYONE. Avengers, Guardians and perhaps the return of old friends. It will take every single hero to defeat Thanos and his minions. I believe the battle will be so epic it will solidify Thanos as one of the greatest cinematic villains ever.
Can he take his place next to legends like Darth Vader? We will find out as Phase Three comes to an end and what an end it will be.