Marvel Rearranges Phase 3 Release Schedule, and Here's How It Impacts Future Comic Book Movies

Here's a quick recap: Last night's Spider-Man announcement sent shock waves through the internet because Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have accomplished what seemed like an insurmountable task: bringing Spidey into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Sony still retains creative control, but it's a step in the right direction.) The press release revealed that Spider-Man would appear in an upcoming Marvel Studios film (later confirmed to be Captain America: Civil War) and then star in his own solo film (once The Amazing Spider-Man 3, now likely to be re-titled) on July 28th, 2017. We have a list of ten actors we think would be great in the role.

But the new addition of everyone's favorite web-slinger means that Marvel Studios had to rearrange their schedule for Phase Three, and that means that some highly-anticipated films are being pushed back in order to make room for Spidey. Here's the new breakdown:

May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War

November 4, 2016: Doctor Strange

May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2

July 28, 2017: Amazing Spider-Man 3

November 4, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok

July 6, 2018: Black Panther

November 2, 2018: Captain Marvel

July 12, 2019: Inhumans

So immediately, we see that Thor: Ragnarock, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and Inhumans have been pushed back. That's a bummer for those waiting to see Black Panther and Captain Marvel hit the big screen, and I empathize with the complaints I've seen about the studio acquiring yet another white superhero and bumping its minority characters to make room for him. (It would go a long way if Marvel introduced this new Spider-Man as Miles Morales, but that seems unlikely.) It also means that Marvel won't win the arms race to get the first female-led comic book superhero movie since Elektra into theaters: Warner Bros. and DC have Wonder Woman lined up for June 23rd, 2017. That's an important benchmark for the modern era, and hopefully Michelle MacLaren can pull it off. Marvel has to be slightly disappointed that they're letting DC have that one.

No word yet on how Avengers: Infinity War might be affected by the schedule change, but those movies were previously scheduled for May 4th, 2018 and May 3rd, 2019, so that means Black Panther and Captain Marvel will now be in between the two. It's tough to speculate about Marvel's plans this far out because as we just saw last night, things are a bit more fluid than we thought and can be changed in order to make room for important things they want to work in, but let's do it anyway. Before, it seemed like Inhumans was being introduced before Infinity War concluded so those characters could show up to help The Avengers (and practically everyone in the entire MCU) finish Thanos once and for all in Infinity War Part II. But now seems like the kind of galactic expansion that the studio could use to jump-start Phase Four, introducing a whole new set of characters (much like the Guardians of the Galaxy) and using them as building blocks moving forward. After all, we aren't sure which of the good guys are going to survive the Infinity War, and by then, the original Avengers cast will probably be ready to move on to other ventures outside of the MCU.

There's a lot to process with these announcements, and we'll keep bringing you updates as we hear about them. In the meantime, what do you think about the new release schedule?

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