Doctor Strange

There’s the sense that Marvel might try something new in this slot, something unpredictable. Losing Iron Man might be an issue, and if so, they’ll need another star-led brand, which is why there was so much heat around those Johnny Depp-as-Dr. Strange rumors gained so much traction. While they likely opted not to deal with Depp’s eleventy billion dollar salary, it seems like the gamble would be to introduce a brand new Marvel hero, probably one to fill the void left by the end of Age Of Ultron. Dr. Strange would work: so would Black Panther. The key is to also introduce a big actor in the role, someone who could work in a similar capacity to Robert Downey Jr.

This could be moot, as DC has taken up this slot as well, promising a massive superhero showdown between whatever Marvel’s got cooking, and a Man Of Steel sequel. Marvel’s probably going to keep the release date longer for a few reasons. For one, they probably haven’t yet decided what it’s going to be. There’s also a possibility the WB restructures again and shifts the release date for their film again, possibly to an earlier date. And maybe Marvel just likes messing with WB properties and is playing a game of chicken: they were quick to aggressively steal that July 17th release date for Ant-Man as soon as the Batman/Superman film relocated. Ultimately, if Batman/Superman keeps that release date, expect Marvel to move.

That third Captain America film seems best suited to the July 8th slot. While it seems bizarre that both Cap films have studiously avoided the no-brainer Independence Day release, this might be as close as they get. It would also be more than a full year since we’ve seen any of the Avengers in the wake of Age Of Ultron, long enough to keep them fresh. Joss Whedon intended his original vision of The Avengers to center on Cap, a decision that was basically vetoed at the editing stage. Considering the identity of the title character of The Winter Soldier, and the possibility that Age Of Ultron goes darker than its predecessor, the audience just may crave more time with the most relatable Avenger in the wake of significant tragedy. Let it not be forgotten that The Avengers boasts a talented cast, but the most untapped actor has to be Evans, who deserves to be a bigger star than he is, and remains under contract for only one more Marvel film beyond Captain America III.

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