When Marvel Studios decided to push forward with its plan to make an Avengers movie for summer 2012, I was kind of upset. Why? Because the Marvel Universe's mythology is so dense in its scope, I felt that a film adaptation of its all-star team needed to be carefully and meticulously plotted out over the course of many years. As it is, the time between Iron Man and next year's anticipated superhero spectacular will be just four years and I figured, originally, that an Avengers movie should hit in the summer of 2015 (if not later), giving the Disney brass (who now presides over all the Marvel properties) plenty of time to build full franchises out of the individual characters like Captain America and Thor. That's not what's happening; instead, the company is giving us a mad-rush of origin films for the core characters before a hastily produced Avengers flick.
However, Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, has finally outlined a post-Avengers production plan that will expand the Marvel Universe in the all-encompassing manner which I had hoped would occur before The Avengers. According to IGN's interview with Feige, we can expect the magical side of Marvel to make its way to movie theaters, as well as the space fantasy stories that have enthralled fans for years.
"X-Men was the dawn of the new Marvel cinematic age," said Feige. "Iron Man was the dawn of the Marvel Studios age and the establishment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the beginning of that continuity. The Avengers is the next big step. Once all these characters come together, it's the culmination of all that has come before. It launches a new era and a new time in the history of our films. Not only will it be the first film that our new home studio, Disney, will be distributing, but it will also renew each of these characters and launch them into their own franchises, starting with the second film to be released by Disney, Iron Man 3."
So aside from furthering the Iron Man series, what else can we look forward to? Well, Feige wants more Thor and Captain America, but the fun won't stop there.
"Thor will go off into a new adventure, and Captain America will continue to explore the modern world in another film of his own," he said. "We hope that holds true for the characters appearing in that film — Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the spy organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. —all of whom are more than worthy and capable of carrying their own films. And, we've got a lot of other characters we're prepping and getting ready for film debuts: the world of martial arts, these great cosmic space fantasies, Dr. Strange, and the magic side of the Marvel Universe. There are many, many stories to be mined."
Quite right, Mr. Feige. Just as Thor will provide an alternate take on the comic book movie genre, Dr. Strange could do the same, opening up a world of sorcery, time-travel and alternate dimensions to the masses. And we've been hearing about a Luke Cage and/or Iron Fist film for such a long time, it's bound to happen (considering it would be cheaper than the effects-heavy production that Dr. Strange would require). It's very exciting to hear the Marvel is planning ahead, but I just hope its next three, crucial films will in fact be worthy of sequels in the first place.