Marvel Studios has announced its schedule up until July 31, 2015, which is the newly minted release date for Edgar Wright's Ant-Man, but it's plans beyond then remain a complete mystery. Disney has already etched out three weekends for Marvel properties in 2016 and 2017, but all of them remain mysteries. Because Marvel has so many options to pursue, from Black Panther to Doctor Strange to more sequels for Thor and Captain America, at this point in time the big question isn't necessarily "which character is going to get their own solo movie next?" but rather "when are the are titles going to be announced?" Now we have a fairly vague answer to that question.
With a chance to speak with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige at the recent press junket for the upcoming Thor: The Dark World, Movies.com took the opportunity to ask about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and when we might start hearing some announcements. Asked about the possibilities of seeing a Doctor Strange movie, which Feige actually promised for Phase Three back in January, the film exec responded,
"Doc Strange, as I've been saying for years, is a movie I believe we should make -- we're just figuring out how to make it a great movie. It is in active development right now. Whether that's one of the movies we announce for 2016 or 2017, we have to see. I think it'll be the middle of next year before we announce officially what the post Ant-Man films will be."
"Middle of next year" can almost be taken as a confirmation that we will be hearing some big news at San Diego Comic-Com 2014. After all, the studio does have an exciting history with the event, just this past summer using the venue to announce the title of Joss Whedon's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Last year they officially revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy - due out next summer - was in the works, and the year before that was when Whedon, Jeremy Renner, and Mark Ruffalo took the stage for The Avengers.
In the same interview Feige was also asked about the possibilities of getting to see a female superhero get her own movie, and whether or not they were aiming to get it done before DC Comics and Warner Bros. could do so. While the Marvel President admitted not knowing any details about DC and WB's plans, he pointed to the strong female characters already present in the Marvel universe and suggested that there could be place for a solo movie in 2016 or 2017. Said Feige,
"I know we have numerous exciting female heroes, whether none of them are currently slated, some of them are in development -- frankly, you can look at what Jane Foster does in [Thor: The Dark World], look at Pepper Potts literally saving the day and defeating the bad guy in Iron Man 3, and I'd say we already have great female heroes that are showcased and play major roles in our universe now. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as you will see, features Black Widow in her biggest role yet in any of our films. In terms of a solo standalone female hero, I'm not sure when that will be. We make two movies a year, we've planned through 2015 and we have some ideas of what we're doing in 2016 and 2017, so we'll see what happens."
Thor: The Dark World will be in theaters on November 8th, so stayed tuned in the next couple weeks for more of our coverage.