I could arguably say what we’re planning for the year 2021. Will that happen? I don’t know. But what we planned for 2015 in 2006 is happening.
That's Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, in a recent interview with Wired Magazine. Planning has been part of the key to their success, putting Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man, and making S.H.I.E.L.D. a bigger part of Iron Man 2.
We've seen how their plans have come together over the past few years in "phase one," and we can see the pieces still set to be played moving forward in phase two with Thor 2 and Captain America 2 on the way and wrapping up with Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, followed by Ant-Man and rolling into Phase three.
Currently, Feige says he is "coordinating a half-dozen films in various stages of production, making sure the individual arcs serve the overall direction." Adding that their plans seem to hold about 75% of the time with the last quarter offering up some changes.
So what do we know about the future of Marvel Studios? Well, the confirmed movies on the way for Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man will wrap up phase two, but what of phase three?
Doctor Strange and Black Panther are making their rounds at the top of the rumor list, not to mention that we could see sequels for Capatain America and Thor again. We may not see Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man 4 since he has only signed on for Avengers 2 so far, but Avengers 3 will probably happen, possibly Thanos will show up for that since Ultron is going to be occupying the Avengers time in the next film. A Guardians of the Galaxy sequel will probably happen if that film is a success. Mark Ruffulo signed with Marvel for several movies, so they have to try their hand at a solo Hulk movie at some point. And last, but not least, don't forget that Marvel Studios now owns the rights to Daredevil again, so he might work his way into phase three.
DC definitely got their foot back in the door with Man of Steel, even though it received mixed reviews, and their announcement of Batman vs Superman in Man of Steel 2 was well received. But they definitely seem to lack the cohesive line-wide vision bringing their movieverse together for the next several years. Will that still hold them back going forward? Perhaps though, they are content to ride on Superman and Batman holding down theaters as they've done for years. At this point though, Marvel's biggest super-movie competition may be coming from themselves in the form of Marvel properties owned by other studios as Amazing Spider-Man continues and Fox gets the X-Men and Fantastic Four back on track.