I think it has been enough time for all of us to come back down to Earth after taking the magical carpet ride that was The Avengers this past summer. The second phase of Marvel Films’ master plan to conquer the world of comic book blockbusters and make DC Comics their simpering puppet is well under way with Iron Man 3 first out of the gate in May, Thor: The Dark World in production now with a release set for this November, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy fast approaching the start of filming in anticipation of their theatrical bows next year, and The Avengers 2…. well I’m sure the production offices are open and someone’s paying the electric and water bills.
Obviously people are now looking to the future and the elusive Phase 3 of the Mighty Marvel Movie Universe to see what the studio that is reaping the riches from bringing their four-color classics to the big screen the way they were meant to be seen has in store for us once The Avengers 2 inevitably reduces us all to quivering nerd puddles come May 2015. The only title in Phase 3 that has been announced so far is Ant-Man, which has Edgar Wright sitting pretty in the director’s chair and his frequent collaborator (and writer and director of 2011′s awesome sci-fi adventure Attack the Block) Joe Cornish co-writing the script with Wright.
“‘Ant-Man’ is definitely part of Phase Three,” said Marvel Films’ production honcho Kevin Feige in a recent interview with MTV News. “Like ‘Iron Man 3,’ it’s certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it’s also through the lens of Edgar Wright — which is the only reason we’re making the movie.”
According to Feige, Ant-Man is a project that has been on Wright’s mind long before his movies began to catch on with American audiences. How this unconventional hero and the innovative director who intends to bring him to cinematic life will fit in the larger Marvel movie universe remains to be seen, but Feige expressed high hopes about the creative collaboration:
“I’ve known Edgar since our first lunch together at Comic-Con in 2004. He asked me what Marvel was doing with ‘Ant-Man’ — we weren’t even a studio then; what a difference eight years makes! It’s very much an ‘Ant-Man’ origin movie from the perspective of Edgar Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish. It will of course be firmly planted in the MCU, but a different corner than we’ve seen before.”
Ant-Man was announced by Marvel as one of their next slate of movies at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con even though no release date had been set, but last October the release was officially set for November 6, 2015, making it the first of the Phase Three films. Wright, who has already shot some test footage that garnered a rapturous reception at Comic-Con, plans to begin filming after he completes his next feature, The World’s End.
Outside of Ant-Man, and possibly The Avengers 3, no other Phase 3 film projects have been announced officially as of yet, but when Feige was asked about whether or not one particular classic Marvel hero would be making their big screen debut in the coming years he pretty much confirmed what a lot of us had long been hoping and praying for:
“’Doctor Strange,’ which I’ve been talking about for years, is definitely one of them. He’s a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have,” Feige says of Doctor Strange. “He’s totally different from anything else we have, just like Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s totally different from anything we’ve done before, as is Ant-Man, which keeps us excited.”
Straight from the horse’s mouth, Doctor Strange, the all-powerful sorcerer created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko who first appeared in the pages of Strange Tales #110 in July 1963, is getting the Marvel movie treatment and will likely have a dandy creative team at the helm and a positively perfect casting choice for the role of the Sorcerer Supreme. Guillermo Del Toro long held a desire to make a Doctor Strange movie, but that was just one of a myriad of dream projects he has talked about in interviews. Back in September we reported on a widespread rumor that Viggo Mortensen had been cast as the good doctor and would potentially be making a cameo appearance in Thor: The Dark World, but that news has yet to confirmed.
One thing’s for sure: if done right a Doctor Strange film has the potential to be one of the coolest and most visually astounding superhero movies of all time. Done wrong, it will be a colossal mess. Either way the end result could not be any worse than this….