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Marvel unveils Phase 3 with Doctor Strange, Black Panther and more

The comic book movie giant sets its slate for the rest of the decade.

Know where you'll be for the next six years? Marvel Entertainment has a pretty good idea. The studio's president of production, Kevin Feige, took to the stage of the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood Tuesday to unveil "Phase 3" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). For those playing along at home, Phase 1 ended 2012's "the Avengers," and Phase 2, which we're currently in the midst of, will take us up to next May's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and the summer's "Ant-man." Beyond that? Well, funny you should ask.

Feige confirmed the titles and release dates for the nine films that will be make up the third wave of the $200 million action spectacles the studio has become famous for, including more sequels for Captain America, Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy, plus a two-part Avengers story tying everything together with big baddie Thanos (seen briefly in "Guardians of the Galaxy").

But more noteworthy were the new titles introduced, including "Doctor Strange" in 2016, "Black Panther" in 2017 and "Captain Marvel" and "Inhumans" in 2018. "Black Panther" will mark the first Marvel film headlined by an African-American lead, and "Captain Marvel," focusing on the character Carol Danvers, will be the studio's first female-fronted film.

While Feige confirmed the casting of "Get on Up" and "42" star Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther — with Boseman on hand alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans — he did not confirm the rumored casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. In a Q&A following the presentation, Feige pointedly said that anything not mention in today's announcement was merely rumor and speculation until proven otherwise.

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The announcement, coming a week after the trailer for "Avengers: Age of Ultron" leaked online early, was a clear shot across the bow to Warner Bros. and DC Comics, which had revealed a similarly ambitious and far reaching slate during an investor conference call earlier this month. Marvel, it seems, wanted to remind fans that they know how to put on a show. Here's a look at the current lineup of upcoming Marvel films:

May 1, 2015 – AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
July 17, 2015 – ANT-MAN
May 6, 2016 – CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
November 4, 2016 – DOCTOR STRANGE
May 5, 2017 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2
July 28, 2017 – THOR: RAGNAROK
November 3, 2017 – BLACK PANTHER
May 4, 2018 – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART I
July 6, 2018 – CAPTAIN MARVEL
November 2, 2018 – INHUMANS
May 3, 2019 – AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PART II

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick

 
 
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