Recently, Unleash the Fanboy posted what is at best a very misleading post about Phase 4 of the Marvel Universe:
Marvel Studios Phase 4 will lead with a New Avengers movie. Boom.
Because there is so much credibility with a sentence that ends with “Boom,” and having talked with other industry professionals an related project, this statement was a bit of a shock to me. It should also be stated that Marvel is mid-way into Phase two currently, which will come to a head with The Avengers: Age of Ultron movie that will be released in 2015.
We already know that Ant-Man and Doctor Strange are part of Marvel Phase Three, and that Kevin Feige talked about Thanos at end of The Avengers, giving us a hint about Thanos being the big bad of Phase Three. We also know that Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones will all be getting shows on Netflix, which will each be 13-episodes long and over “multiple years” as stated from Marvels official press release, which will lead in to its own Defenders Series.
The anonymous source was quoted as saying:
It’s so incredibly early in the process, but unless Robert [Downey Jr.] makes an insane deal with these guys, they’re going with New Avengers.
Which is very oddly worded as it would have to be Marvel making the insane deal to keep Robert Downey Jr. on board considering what he said during his GQ interview:
It got me thinking about how big the message from your cosmic sponsor needs to be before you pick it up. How many genre movies can I do?
It’s not unlike: I heard (Tom) Brady signed on for three more years with New England, and then he’s done being a QB, because he’ll be 40. I’m 47, and I’ll be 50.
It is also important to note that many people like to point out that not only is Downey Jr. making a mint ($50 million up front plus back-end options), but he also has been fighting for his co-stars to get better pay (at least $5 million up front plus back-end options) before renegotiation his contract to do the second Avengers movie. Considering his co-stars were only making $200,000 each on a film that made $207,438,708 in the first week in the USA alone and $1,511,757,910 Worldwide by December 29, 2012 in theaters alone, the raise and Downey Jr.’s pay is like a drop in the bucket, and it doesn’t even include the profits from the merchandise and licencing. Marvel made $6 billion in retail merchandise in 2010. $6 billion! That’s enough money to buy 7,058,906 60″ HD TVs that if you stacked them end to end will be 6684 or so miles long, or about the distance from California to China!
Then let’s talk about that next rumor:
Well, you’ve heard the recent casting announcements. They’ve got a ton of great guys. Paul Rudd. Michael Douglas. Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Whoever they choose for Doctor Strange and the other new guys in Phase 3. They’ve got a lot of great guys to lead the new phase of the team. But that’s all I [sic] say. It’s really early.
We know that Paul Rudd is going to be the secound Ant-Man, Scott Lang and Michael Douglas is going to be the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym. Putting Michael Douglas in the ranks of “Phase four” is nothing shy of ridiculous at this point. Aaron Taylor-Johnson of Kick-Ass fame is a given being that he is playing Quicksilver in the up coming Avengers movie, but why there is no mention of Elizabeth Olsen? Considering she is to play Scarlet Witch, it’s a little odd. What about Don Cheadle, who has shown up as War Machine, especially considering the comments about Robert Downey Jr.
Now with these quotes and “source,” Stretch Armstrong would be impressed. We can just guess there will be a Phase 4 considering how much money is actually being made here. But to lead a “Phase” with a new group movie, is so against the grain that it blows my mind that anyone would think that. There is a formula to the universe building that Marvel is using that focuses on testing through character-centric film that lead to a massive conclusion, just like comic books, and there is a reason for that: They know that superhero movies can go horribly wrong if the characters are tossed to the side.
It’s also important to consider is that everyone’s contract is up after Phase Three finishes, meaning there’s every chance that no one will come back for a hand off to the new characters. Without the well-known heroes, all that’s left is a group of less-popular characters that are highly unmarketable. Just the fact that we are talking about Ant-Man and Dr. Strange being major lead in to this “New Avengers” should give you enough of a hint about that. So let’s just take a look at the five characters that haven’t been talked about but should be talked about, as they will at the forefront of the minds of the executives greenlighting these movies:
THE WASP: The wife of Hank Pym (Ant-Man) and a key support person for him until their divorce, its shocking to not hear anything about her. Might as well ax her from potentials.
THE VISION : My favorite for a great many years, and hell bent on the Avengers’ destruction before joining the team, he makes for one of the most interesting characters and is reasonably well known. He is also the son of Ultron, making him a likely candidate for phase three.
THE BLACK PANTHER : Doing battle with Thanos’ lieutenants opens him up for joining in phase three and is more widely known. Plus he sees himself as the avatar of the Panther God, which is amazingly metal of him.
CAPTAIN MARVEL: Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel is likely the most well-known of the ones listed here. She would be a great addition as a ultra strong female character who likes the… occasional… drink.
SHE-HULK : We have to have a Hulk, and if we lose the old one, we should really get a She-Hulk in response.
With all these rumors circling, you should let us know in the comments below what you think about the Phase Four idea and who you might want to star in the next, next generation of Marvel films.