With the launch of Iron Man 3 on Friday is when Marvel begins Phase Two - another ambitious expansion of its superheroes’ cinematic universe. Entertainment Weekly
talked to producer and studio president Kevin Feige about this new Phase in Marvel's movie careers which includes Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers 2 and Ant-Man and below are new highlight and artwork for these movies.
Thor: The Dark World - Release: November 27th, 2013
Chris Hemsworth’s thunder-summoning god was banished to Earth to learn humility in 2011's Thor, but he's still grappling with his responsibilities as a leader and protector. This sequel will spend more time in the galactic stomping grounds of the hammer-wielding hero as Thor brings his astrophysicist love (Natalie Portman) to the celestial realm of Asgard for safekeeping when life on Earth becomes too dangerous for her to stay there alone. The threat this time: Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston), a sorcerer and leader of the chaos-craving dark elves.
Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor is picking up the reins from Kenneth Branagh for the sequel. “Alan is bringing a grittier, more visceral, more textured patina to the designs of the worlds, and to Asgard in particular,”
Feige says. One of those realms is known as Svartalfheim – the domain of Malekith.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Release: April 4, 2014
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are taking over the franchise from filmmaker Joe Johnston. “Winter Soldier” refers to an assassin (pictured in concept art above) who is the resurrected and brainwashed version of Captain America’s best friend Bucky (played by Sebastian Stan), who was last seen plunging off an icy train in the first movie.
Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Jackson’s Nick Fury return for major roles in this installment, with Anthony Mackie joining the superhero squad as the high-flying hero Falcon, and Robert Redford playing S.H.I.E.L.D veteran Alexander Pierce.
Guardians of the Galaxy - Release: August 1st, 2014
Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord), the half-alien leader of a team that includes genetically engineered gunslinging varmint Rocket Racoon, a giant fighting tree named Groot, wrestler Dave Bautista as knife-wielding green muscleman Drax the Destroyer, and Zoë Saldana as the assassin Gamora, the last survivor of an otherwise extinct alien race. In the never-before-seen concept art above, we see a young Quill’s first close encounter on Earth, before he is whisked away to the far reaches of the galaxy. Marvel isn’t revealing much about the craft, but it is not the ship from the comic books that goes by the name “Ship” -– a sentient spacecraft with a feminine persona who has a kind of crush on Star-Lord.
“Guardians takes place within the continuity of the [other movies] but it’s on the other side of the universe,”
Feige says. “It’s a huge story on a massive canvas,”
Feige says. “We can take it to all those crazy places as long as all the characters respond in an emotionally truthful way. That’s why I believe people are going to respond to Chris Pratt and to an alien Zoë Saldana—because they did respond to that one time before [with Avatar]. And to a tree and a raccoon who, it is certainly our intention, will steal the whole movie.” The voices of Rocket Raccoon and Groot haven’t been cast yet.
The Avengers 2 - Release: May 1st, 2015
“If we’re going to add new characters, there’s going to be a reason and they’re going to be a major part of the movie.”
All of the Avengers from the first movie will be back. At least, that’s the plan. Robert Downey Jr. has currently fulfilled his contract obligations as Iron Man, but nobody – including the actor himself – expects that he’ll skip this one.
New characters will also join the ranks. “What’s fun is that the roster shifts,”
Feige says. “It was always the intention to have a storyline that brought in, obviously, new bad guys and potentially new heroes"
Joss Whedon has finished a first-draft and has been reported saying that there will be a brother-sister team in it. Many speculated that it would be Quicksilver and his sorceress sister Scarlet Witch. Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that they are the brother-sister team in the movie.
"I’m not confirming or denying,”
Feige said. “The draft could change six months from now.”
He notes that the Mandarin was the main villain in the first Iron Man movie until shortly before filming began.
Even though the Marvel source confirms that the studio does have the right to use them in the movie, the siblings in the comic books are supposed to be the children of Magneto – a character licensed to Fox for the X-Men movies, which are made independently of Marvel Studios.
Ant-Man - Release: November 6th, 2015
Ant Man will begin Phase Three and being in the first film in the new line-up. The hero with a suit that allows him to size-shift at will, and technology that lets him communicate with insects and other tiny-but-deadly creatures. Although miniaturized, Ant-Man still has the weight and power of a full-sized person, so even a tiny punch can knock a man’s tooth out and send him caroming off a wall.
Writer-director Edgar Wright has been developing the project since before the first Iron Man. “Frankly, now we have to re-write it to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed,”
“We’ve talked about various names over the past eight years but as you can imagine they keep changing as time goes by,”
says Feige. “But towards the end of this year, we’ll buckle down and start casting and start refining the script, which is great and which is very Edgar. He has done a great job being incredibly true to the comics but is putting his own spin on it, so we’ll be drawing on multiple mythologies for this one.”