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The Complete Guide to the Next 9 Marvel Movies

From 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' to the two-part 'Avengers: Infinity War,' here's everything you need to know about every movie the Marvel Cinematic Universe has on deck

1 / 10

'Doctor Strange': Nov. 4, 2016

What is it? The first movie about the neurosurgeon turned sorcerer, who's been around in comic book form since 1963. Benedict Cumberbatch continues his dominance of the nerd realm, following roles in Star Trek Into Darkness, Sherlock and The Hobbit. Hollywood has been trying to bring the character to the big screen for 30 years.

Marvel's decision to change The Ancient One from an Asian man to a white woman quickly became a flashpoint for conversations about whitewashing in Hollywood, particular as it pertains to originally Asian roles. Star Trek alum/internet hero George Takei weighed in, saying, among many other things, "To those who say, 'She an actress [sic], this is fiction,' remember that Hollywood has been casting white actors in Asian roles for decades now, and we can't keep pretending there isn't something deeper at work here." Comedian, actress and activist Margaret Cho was also a major voice for the critique, which snowballed into a campaign, #whitewashedOUT, that carried on through the month of May 2016.

Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson acknowledged the grievances:

As did Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who told Deadline:

"We make all of our decisions on all of our films, and certainly on Doctor Strange, for creative reasons and not political reasons. That’s just always been the case. I’ve always believed that it is the films themselves that will cross all borders and really get people to identify with these heroes, and that always comes down to creative and not political reasons. The casting of The Ancient One was a major topic of conversation in the development and the creative process of the story. We didn’t want to play into any of the stereotypes found in the comic books, some of which go back as far as 50 years or more. We felt the idea of gender swapping the role of The Ancient One was exciting. It opened up possibilities, it was a fresh way into this old and very typical storyline. Why not make the wisest bestower of knowledge in the universe to our heroes in the particular film a woman instead of a man? We made changes to some of the other key character in the comic for similar reasons. Specifically, casting Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo and there’s a character named Wong, who is a very big part of comics, and we cast this amazing Asian actor [Benedict Wong] and modernized that role and his talents people will begin to see as materials on the film begin to come out."

Actor Scott Adkins told the Huffington Post he's "sure Scott Derrickson’s going to bring some of his horror element into it as well," going on to promise "a different version of a Marvel comic" filled with "some psychedelic stuff." Derrickson's previous credits as a writer and director include The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, Devil's Knot and Deliver Us from Evil.

Oh, and an early look at the Doctor Strange Lego set may have revealed a villain.

Latest news: Marvel released the following official synopsis:

"Marvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe."

Key cast members: Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Stephen Strange), Tilda Swinton (The Ancient One), Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Baron Mordo), Michael Stuhlbarg (Nicodemus West), Benedict Wong, Amy Landecker

Director: Scott Derrickson  

Writers: Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts

2 / 10

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2': May 5, 2017

Marvel Studios

What is it? The follow-up to returning writer/director James Gunn's 2014 movie, which made a surprising $771.2 million worldwide and currently stands as the studio's fourth-highest earner. The plot will involve Star-Lord investigating his father's history. 

Latest news: The film has wrapped.

Key cast members: Chris Pratt (Star-Lord/Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Vin Diesel's voice (Groot), Bradley Cooper's voice (Rocket Raccoon), Sylvester Stallone, Nathan Fillion (Simon Williams), Karen Gillan (Nebula Bradley), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Kurt Russell (Peter Quill's dad), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Glenn Close (Nova Prime Irani Rael), Elizabeth Debicki (rumored to play Ayesha)

Director/writer: James Gunn

3 / 10

'Spider-Man: Homecoming': July 7, 2017

Marvel Entertainment

What is it? The third reboot of the red-suited web-slinger, despite The Amazing Spider-Man 2 having just dropped in 2014. (At least they spent five years between Tobey Maguire's final run in 2007's Spider-Man 3 and '12's The Amazing Spider-Man!) This is the first time the rights have been cleared for Spidey to join the rest of his Marvel brethren. The new Peter Parker is 19-year-old Brit Tom Holland, who makes his debut in Captain America: Civil War.

Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman said the subtitle is “obviously a high school reference and shows Peter Parker’s enduring conflict—saving the world and getting your homework done." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said other characters from the MCU will show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Chris Evans has expressed interest in seeing Captain America cameo in the film, saying "that might be a fun one to pop up into.” (In the same breath he said Guardians of the Galaxy 2 "would be fun" but that "Cap's more of an Earth-bound guy.")

Latest news: Looper.com scored some intriguing set photos, and Tom Holland shared this on-set, in-costumed selfie:

Key cast members: Tom Holland (Spider-Man/Peter Parker), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May Parker), Zendaya (Michelle), Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, Tony Revolori (Manuel), Kenneth Choi, Logan Marshall-Green, Abraham Atta, Bokeem Woodbine, Tyne Daly, Angourie Rice

Director: Jon Watts 

Writers: John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein

4 / 10

'Thor: Ragnarok': Nov. 3, 2017

Marvel Studios

What is it? The follow-up to 2013's Thor: The Dark World is being teased as a Thor/Hulk buddy movie and will feature Cate Blanchett as the MCU's first female villain. It will also mark the first time the MCU has dropped three films in one year. “This is a very important movie for us in Phase 3,” said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. “We plan on taking Thor to another level. It picks up where we leave Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron and impacts everything that comes after.” 

Screenrant noted that a 2004 Ragnarok comic book storyline "involves Thor receiving the Odinpower after his father dies and turning into a bit of a tyrant. When he finally comes to his senses and realizes what he’s done, he travels back in time to fix all the damage."

Tom Hiddleston is very psyched to bring Loki back, telling Entertainment Tonight:

"I haven't played in the sandbox with Marvel for four years now and I'm about to do it again. I'm interested to see what the experience will be like because four years is a long time. I've lived a lot of life in those four years. Inevitably, what I bring to the table will be different."

Natalie Portman's Jane Foster will not appear, for "many reasons," Kevin Feige told Slashfilm. “Many of which are in the film so you will see that. There are only a couple of scenes on Earth in this movie; 80 to 90 percent takes place in the cosmos.”

report from JoBlo said Thor will find his way to Planet Hulk, where he "will definitely be involved in some gladiatorial games run by none other than Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster." The same article said Thor will "be sporting a shaved head (but not completely bald) for at least a portion of the film."

Latest news: Filming has begun:

Key cast members: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk/Bruce Banner), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster), Karl Urban (Skurge), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie)

Director: Taika Waititi 

Writer: Stephany Folsom

5 / 10

'Black Panther': Feb. 16, 2018

photo via Marvel.com
Marvel Studios

What is it? The standalone tale of T'Challa, the trillionaire king of Wakanda, a fictional African nation in control of some of the world's most advanced technology. Celebrated 29-year-old writer/director Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) is at the helm and handled the script, while Chadwick Boseman, who has recently played James Brown and Jackie Robinson, is the lead. Black Panther will be the first MCU film starring a black actor, and Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and 2 directors Joe and Anthony Russo have said it's a major part of the stage-setting for their über-movie.

Coogler had the following to tell Fast Company for its Most Creative People of 2016 list:

“What Marvel’s doing, and what you see a lot of studios doing now that Marvel has done it so successfully, is making content that exists in a particular universe, where the characters tie in and crossover, and I think that’s a great creative challenge to me—to make this movie as personal as possible. It’s going to be my most personal movie to date, which is crazy to say, but it’s completely the case. I’m obsessed with this character and this story right now, and I think it’s going to be very unique and still fit into the overall narrative that they’re establishing."

Latest news: Michael B. Jordan has confirmed that both he and Lupita Nyong'o are doing Black Panther; casting reports surrounding each of them broke in a two-day span in May. "I’m super excited, especially to put a different spin on it," Jordan told the Hollywood Reporter. "I’m looking forward to working with Ryan [Coogler, director] once again. It’s gonna be a good time.” Jordan has starred in both films Coogler has directed so far. No word on his or Nyong'o's roles, although she's rumored to be playing T'Challa's love interest.

Key cast members we know so far: Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther/T'Challa), Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writers: Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole

6 / 10

'Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1': May 4, 2018

Marvel Studios

What is it? The first of a two-part sequel to 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, which earned $1.4 billion globally, making it the seventh-highest-grossing movie of all-time. (The 2012 original stands at No. 5 with $1.52 billion.) Director Joss Whedon is out, with Captain America captains/brothers Joe and Anthony Russo stepping in. "For us there’s a through line from Winter Soldier, through Civil War, right to Infinity War," Anthony told io9. "In our mind, the storytelling arc moves that way." Both parts will be filmed at once.

The Russos told Uproxx that the Part 1/Part 2 titling is misleading. “The movies are two very different movies. ... The intention is we will change it, we just haven’t come up with the titles yet. But, yes, we will change it. And, yes, that is a scoop: we will retitle them.” They've also alternately teased 67 characters for the film and "probably triple the amount" seen in the insanely stacked Civil War. Guardians of the Galaxy's Bradley Cooper–voiced Rocket Raccoon will quite possibly make an appearance; Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange seems like a lock.

Latest news: Josh Brolin is extremely impressed with what he's read, telling Moviefone:

"Yeah, I sat at a table and I listened to the story from beginning to end, which was...you know, sometimes you go around and you go, 'Oh, it's a great movie. Or this is a great experience,' and you kind of know that it's not. This is the opposite. First of all, from a publicity point of view, or an interest, I've gotten more publicity playing Thanos, even though I haven't done it yet, than all other movies combined. If there's any blurb of publicity at all for me, it includes Thanos in some way or another. 'By the way, he's got Hail, Caesar! coming out. But don't forget about Thanos—that's coming out,' which is amazing, which is really cool. Then the other side of it is really how much it means to people. ... These Avengers stories all come down to this conclusion, and that's our involvement. Basically, my character against everybody. And it's really fun what they've chosen to do with the story. I think it's brilliant, personally. I was blown away, and had goose pimples pretty much 50 percent of the time that I was listening to what was going on, and pretty amazed that I'm going to be involved in it. So it's a big thing that's coming up."

Startlingly brief list of confirmed cast so far (stay tuned): Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Josh Brolin (Thanos)

Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

7 / 10

'Ant-Man and the Wasp': July 6, 2018

Marvel Studios

What is it? The sequel to 2015's surprisingly successful, offbeat action-comedy, and the first Marvel movie with a superheroine front and center. Returning director Peyton Reed says there's "an entirely different genre template" for this one.

Latest news: Reed told Entertainment Weekly in April, "The first movie was really about [Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp] coming into her own as a hero, even though we didn’t see her suit up yet." He went on: 

"So we’re so excited about now being able to show her fully formed and what she is as a superhero. Her power set, how she fights, and what are the injustices that matter to her that she wants to right. That’s part of the really fun thing of the next movie.”

Reed also teased that Ant Man and the Wasp is "going to have stuff in it that you’ve never ever seen in a movie before."

Key cast members we know so far: Paul Rudd (Ant-Man/Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp/Hope Van Dyne), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym)

Director: Peyton Reed

Writer: Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari and Paul Rudd

8 / 10

'Captain Marvel': March 8, 2019

Marvel Studios

What is it? The 21st MCU movie, and the first to centrally focus on a superheroine (since the Wasp shares her movie with Ant-Man). The lead is Carol Danvers, who, in the comics, operated as Ms. Marvel before going full Captain. "This film has been in the works almost as long as Doctor Strange or Guardians of the Galaxy ... and one of the key things was figuring out what we wanted to do with it," said Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige when the movie was announced in late 2014. "Her adventures are very earthbound, but her powers are based in the cosmic realm.” Captain Marvel will likely be introduced in Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1.

Feige told Fandango in April, “I think we’ll be announcing a filmmaker in the next month or two, and probably some cast members later in the summer, at the end of the summer.”

Latest news: Brie Larson, the 26-year-old Oscar-winning star of Room, is reportedly in talks for the starring role, while directors Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) and Niki Caro (Whale Rider, McFarland, USA) are said to be contenders for the big chair.

Key cast members we know so far: Nada!

Director: TBA 

Writer: Nicole Perlman and Meg LeFauve

9 / 10

'Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2': May 3, 2019

Marvel Studios

What is it? The second of the two-part sequel to 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. It will mark the first time a Marvel movie has been broken up into two pieces. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are planning to retitle both films.

Latest news: As previously mentioned in the Infinity War: Part 1 breakdown, Josh Brolin offered his impression of the story, saying, among other things, "I was blown away, and had goose pimples pretty much 50 percent of the time that I was listening to what was going on, and pretty amazed that I'm going to be involved in it."

Cast members confirmed so far: Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Josh Brolin (Thanos)

Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

10 / 10

And a brief breakdown of the previous MCU films

Marvel Entertainment on Youtube

Iron Man: May 2, 2008
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway
Global box office: $585.2 million

The Incredible Hulk: June 13, 2008
 Louis Leterrier
Writer: Zak Penn
Global box office: $263.4 million

Iron Man 2: May 7, 2010
Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux
Global box office: $623.9 million

Thor: May 6, 2011
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writers: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne
Global box office: $644.6 million

Captain America: The First Avenger: July 22, 2011
Director: Joe Johnston
Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Global box office: $370.6 million

The Avengers: May 4, 2012
Joss Whedon
Global box office: $1.52 billion

Iron Man 3: May 3, 2013
Director: Shane Black
Writers: Drew Pearce and Shane Black
Global box office: $1.215 billion

Thor: The Dark World: November 8, 2013
Alan Taylor
Writers: Christopher Yost and Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Global box office: $644.6 million

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: April 4, 2014
Anthony and Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Global box office: $714.4 million

Guardians of the Galaxy: August 1, 2014
James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn and Nicole Perlman
Global box office: $773.3 million

Avengers: Age of Ultron: May 1, 2015
Joss Whedon
Global box office: $1.4 billion

Ant-Man: July 17, 2015
Director: Peyton Reed
Writers: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd
Global box office: $519.4 million

Captain America: Civil War: May 6, 2015
Directors: Anthony and Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Global box office: $1.15 billion

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