With Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe now concluded following the recent release of Ant-Man, audiences can now look forward to the epic-looking Phase 3.
Both Phase 1 and 2 have incorporated six films each, but the third phase of the franchise will have a whopping ten offerings for us all to enjoy.
Everyone has their opinions about the best films so far – generally, the likes of Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk are thought of as the worst movies in the franchise, while the likes of Iron Man, The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are considered to be among the best.
But what about the decuplet of upcoming movies? In this article, we’re going to take a look at Phase 3 of the MCU and predict how good its movies will be by ranking them from what we believe will be worst to best, starting with the worst.
The Untitled Spider-Man Film
Marvel Studios have got comic movie movies down to a T now – heck, anyone who can make successful live adaptations of Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy deserves a medal – so we really don’t think any of Phase 3’s movies will be bad, it’s just a case of picking which one will be the least good.
Sadly, that accolade falls to Spider-Man.
Billy Elliot the Musical star Tom Holland has been cast in the titular role in the as-yet-untitled 2017 reboot – though he will appear first in Captain America: Civil War – and it will probably underwhelm a few people. The youngster is very talented, but Spider-Man has been done to death (five movies in total since 2002) and it’s getting a little boring.
Either Marvel Studios will skip the origin of the character and it will feel rushed, or they’ll do the origin again and it will be boring.
Regardless, the likelihood is that it will be the least well-received movie in the third phase of the MCU.
The Inhumans movie is the last one scheduled in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, coming in 2019. It’s a pretty obscure concept – just like Guardians of the Galaxy was – and Marvel Studios will be hoping the race of genetically altered humans can become their “X-Men“, but that probably won’t be the case.
Inhumans will be decent enough, but without the humour of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the established popularity of the X-Men, it certainly won’t blow people away.
Moreover, after the second part of the Infinity War saga, it might feel like something of an anti-climax and probably isn’t the best way to round off Phase 3.
The likes of Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon and Karnak are interesting and varied enough (especially in terms of their powers), but they just don’t have the selling power or impact that most other offerings in the third phase of the franchise will have.
Captain Marvel will see the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first movie with a female lead. The 2018 offering will come in between the two Infinity War movies – along with Black Panther – and will follow the adventures of Carol Danvers (who, amongst other names, has also been known as Ms. Marvel in the comics).
It will certainly be a refreshing change to see a female lead and the movie will probably gain a favourable critical reception and moderate box office success, but it could lack substance.
Carol Danvers has a very interesting comic book history – she’s a human with superpowers, having had her DNA perfectly amalgamated with that of the Kree – but, as Captain Marvel, she doesn’t really have any major villains and has mostly worked in teams and groups.
Add in the fact that her movie is surrounded by the two Infinity War offerings and there is a chance that it will be unfairly and unfavourably compared to them.
Thor: Ragnarok is one of the biggest movie events of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 and, in that sense, it will definitely an enjoyable thrill-ride of a movie – but, based on precedent, you have to think it won’t be one of the better offerings in the third phase of the franchise.
Both Thor and, in particular, Thor: The Dark World were two of the poorer movies in the MCU to date and you have to assume the same will be said for the third solo movie for the Asgardian hero.
As popular as Chris Hemsworth’s character is, there’s something about his solo movies that audiences aren’t taking to as well as the others. Perhaps it’s to do with the fact that Natalie Portman and Idris Elba aren’t enjoying their roles and aren’t giving their all as Jane Foster and Heimdall respectively. Or perhaps it’s because of Kat Dennings’ annoying Darcy Lewis.
It will certainly be a spectacle – the coming of Surtur is a big deal – but it probably won’t go down as well as most of the other Phase 3 movies.
Doctor Strange is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year in 2016, with Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch already cast in the lead role.
It will introduce the concept of actual magic to the MCU for the first time (what Loki and the Asgardians et al have demonstrated thus far has been explicitly stated as being advanced science) and will delve into other realms, planes and dimensions.
With that in mind, it might divide opinion. Those used to seeing the cosmic, science-based and technological powers in the MCU might think it’s a little too far-fetched and fantasy-esque, but comic book movie fans – and fans of the Strange character in particular – will love it.
It’ll be a great (and somewhat arty) movie with a great story – and, having been looking forward to it since Strange’s name-dropping in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, some fans will flock to see it – but the division between comic book fans and those fans only familiar with the movies will be tangible for this one.
Black Panther will bring some diversity to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018, as the franchise gives a black character a solo movie for the first time – albeit one from the fictional nation of Wakanda (a country already mentioned in Avengers: Age of Ultron).
Get on Up star Chadwick Boseman will portray the character – appearing first in Captain America: Civil War – and it’s a prospect hardcore Marvelites are really looking forward to. Black Panther is a classic member of the Avengers and it’s about time he joined the fray.
T’Challa – as the character is otherwise known – has a very unique origin. He inherits the title of Black Panther from his father, wears a vibranium-weave armour and gains modest superhuman attributes via a herb exclusively grown in Wakanda
It will be a much more culturally-focused movie and will undoubtedly be very well critically received. However, it might not be exciting enough for those fans only familiar with Marvel through their experiences at the movies.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the surprise box office mega-successes of 2014. The somewhat obscure team of space-based heroes from the pages of Marvel Comics provided a humour-filled and heart-warming cinematic experience and gained a lot of new fans in the process.
Consequently, 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be every bit as good and every bit as successful as the first movie.
The first cosmic instalment of Phase 3 will see the return of Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon and Drax and will introduce important new characters like Adam Warlock to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Expect more laughs, more great performances, more emotion, more epic adventures and some key links to the event the MCU franchise has been building up to since day one – the Infinity War. Thanos will probably appear more prominently than ever before and be closer than ever to obtaining the Infinity Stones needed to launch his assault on the universe.
Critics will love it, fans will love it and it will smash it at the box office.
Captain America: Civil War
Next year, Captain America: Civil War will kick-off Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in explosive fashion – and it will be absolutely awesome.
The mega-event will put Captain America and Iron Man at odds over the implementation of the Superhuman Registration Act – and both heroes will put together teams of feuding fellow heroes to face-off against each other.
It will see a massive divide in the ranks of the Avengers – one that will need to be fixed when Thanos arrives with the Infinity Gauntlet in the Infinity War movies – which will make an extremely interesting change to anything seen in comic book movies prior to its release.
In addition to fighting each other, the heroes will also have to fend off the likes of Crossbones and Baron Zemo in what will be an incredibly action-packed and star-studded adventure.
It will see newcomers Spider-Man and Black Panther joining a plethora of old faces on screen and it will be one of the biggest hits of 2016 – both financially and critically.
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1
Now we’re talking! The Infinity War movies are what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been heading towards since Iron Man first donned his armour in his 2008 movie.
The first of the two movies – which takes place in 2018 – will surely see Thanos donning the completed Infinity Gauntlet for the first time and facing off against a handful of heroes.
Presumably, following the events of Civil War, the Avengers will still be split in two and the Mad Titan will easily defeat whichever side still officially calls themselves Avengers.
There will be some epic battle scenes and it will undoubtedly end on a cliffhanger – perhaps with the arrival of the Guardians of the Galaxy or the Nova Corps to Earth to aid in the battle with the god-like villain, just as he is about to destroy the planet.
It will be the best movie in the franchise up to that point, will probably break box office records and will leave audiences chomping at the bit in anticipation over the second Infinity War movie a year later.
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2
In 2019, the movie to top them all – the second Infinity War – movie will see the coming together of a plethora of Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes to battle Thanos.
With the Avengers looking down and out – and probably having suffered at least one casualty in the first movie – they will be joined by the heroes they had fallen out with in the Civil War movie, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and probably other heroic characters (S.H.I.E.L.D., the Nova Corps, the Ravagers, the Defenders et al) and they will unite to defeat the Mad Titan.
It will be a comic book movie on a scale of none that came before it, it will have some truly epic scenes and it will blow audiences and critics alike away.
It may well become the highest-grossing movie of all time and will be incredibly hard to top – although exactly how the god-like Thanos will be defeated when he’s wielding the Infinity Gauntlet remains a mystery at this point.
What do you think? Do you agree with this order of ranking? What do you think will be the best and worst Phase 3 movies? Have your say below.