Marvel has just laid down the (infinity) gauntlet by announcing their next SEVEN films. Well, release dates, at least. The new schedule, which some are assuming is Phase 3, takes them to 2019, and suggests the world these heroes inhabit is about to expand considerably. However, the tricky part is guessing what these films are. Actors can only star in so many movies, and Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are just two actors who have held fast on strictly fulfilling their contracts.

Evans is signed for three more films, which include another Captain America and two more Avengers. But Downey Jr. is only attached to the next two Avengers, and the contract Marvel inked with the actor years ago suggests it would only be financially viable to bring Downey back to Iron Man solo films if he took a massive paycut (which he will not do). That means Iron Man 4 is out of the equation, while Captain America 3 (and Ant-Man) already have dates.

So, aside from some obvious guesses, those seven slots could be filled with several different Marvel properties. Which are they? Will we see The Punisher again? Could The Inhumans make their presence felt? And what's Thor up to? We looked at the tea leaves and carefully pinpointed just which films are coming down the pike for Marvel, and what the studio might be announcing at next week's Comic Con.

July 8th, 2016: Doctor Strange
This is easily the most obvious of choices for a slot, considering it's the only Marvel film with a director attached, but no release date. Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil ) will be taking on this project, which opens up the mystical world of Marvel. Which could be an implication that Marvel's ready to journey into mystery with their upcoming projects, considering a few actors will be taking their final bow. This is Marvel's fresh new Phase Three entry, so a lot's riding on the Sorcerer Supreme. But at the very least, it will be released only two months after Captain America 3, so the strength of the Marvel brand should help it succeed at the box office.

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