I hope this post finds you all well.
I’ve been beavering away lately, working on a brand new Martial Arts Movie Madness post, which I’m hoping to share with you in the coming days, along with a few other things i’ve been working on. When my buddy, colleague and fellow black Jedi council member, The Manc Geek sent me some links whilst I was hard at work (honest guv’!) at my day job. As I opened the links, I saw some news that got me both excited and disappointed.
If you haven’t heard already, today Marvel Studios made a few big announcements regarding their slate of ‘Phase 3’ movies which are due for release over the coming years. Slash Film gives you a pretty good breakdown of what things have been changed in in terms of release dates, but the main thing that stood out to me was the fact that ‘Ant-Man’ would be getting a sequel entitled ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’. The film has been scheduled for release on July the 16th 2018, which means that ‘Black Panther’ has now been brought forward to February 16th 2018 and that ‘Captain Marvel’ has moved back to March 8th 2019.
On the one hand, I’m delighted that Black Panther has been brought forward after having to be relegated from it’s original release date to accommodate a brand new ‘Spider-Man’ movie in 2017. Spidey is one of the characters that drew me into my comics collecting in the early days, so I will always have a soft spot for him, but I was quietly frustrated at having to wait another year to finally see an iconic African character on the big screen for the first time. ‘Black Panther’ is more than just a hero, he’s a king, the leader of a nation that looks to him for inspiration, guidance and protection. He determines his own destiny, so it will be fascinating to see how he handles the challenges of ruling a kingdom whilst battling enemies both internal and external. Having to wait a little while longer for this movie to come along doesn’t feel as bad now that it has been brought forward.
As for the ‘Ant-Man’ sequel, as you’ll see from my mini review, I really enjoyed the first movie. It felt fun and refreshing, introducing us to different types of characters to the ones we have seen before in previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. The idea of an ‘Ant-Man and The Wasp’ movie feels like a great natural progression for their story arcs and hopefully director Peyton Reed can recapture some of the spirit of the first film.
However, I have to admit that I am disappointed that as a result of this announcement, ‘Captain Marvel’ will now be moved from it’s original release date. Whilst I can understand the reasons why this decision may have been made (‘Ant-Man’ is more of a ‘sure thing’ at this point, in terms of box office success) I think it ignores one of the main reasons why so many fans of Marvel Studios movies have been so excited for Phase 3. That joyous evening back in October last year, Marvel made every fan’s dreams come true, as they confirmed that for the first time, they would deliver a big budget adaptation of ‘Captain Marvel’, Earth’s Mightiest Hero. It would be another first for Marvel, as they confirmed that their Captain Marvel would be none other than Carol Danvers. As I was already emotional at the time, I couldn’t stop myself from leaping out of my chair at home (for about the 3rd time that evening). At last, we were going to see one of our female heroes leading her very own story, doing battle with the worst the cosmos has to throw at her. At last, the superhero genre would get some much needed diversity. We all chalked the date down in our diaries (I have a calendar alarm for the release dates of all Phase 3 movies. Yes, I am that dedicated.) and begun the waiting game. So, finding out today that Marvel have decided to push this movie back is very frustrating. I can certainly appreciate that ‘Captain Marvel’ is perhaps not as far along in it’s development process as the other films within the ‘Phase 3’ slate, but surely the proposed ‘Ant-Man’ Sequel could have taken the 2019 slot?
To my knowledge, there was no overwhelming public demand for an immediate ‘Ant-Man’ sequel, and as much as I enjoyed the film, I could have waited until 2019 for it. Yes, I am aware that ‘The Wasp’ has equal billing to ‘Ant-Man’ in the film’s title, so she is likely to play a major role in the film. But for me, that simply isn’t a reason to excuse the delaying of ‘Captain Marvel’. This has been a film that people have been dreaming of ever since Carol Danvers took the mantle of ‘Captain Marvel’. Kelly Sue DeConnick delivered a thrilling story during her fantastic run on the comic book, and you could see how much cinema audiences would be able to appreciate the fun, complexities of the character and how she would fit seamlessly into the current story arc being told within the movies. A straightforward adaptation of that story arc would be perfect, and with two trusted scriptwriters already in place, the search for a suitable director and lead actor shouldn’t have been too complicated. My concern with this decision, is the message that it seems to send out. To my eyes, it seems as if Marvel Studios have deemed that ‘Captain Marvel’ is not as important as ‘Ant-Man’, which is a dangerous impression to leave people with. As I said, ‘Captain Marvel’ is a ground-breaking character for Marvel Studios to tackle and moving her away from her 1st release spot only opens the door for rumour and innuendo. What are Marvel saying with this decision? Do they not care about female superheroes having their opportunity to share the stage with their male counterparts? Marvel Studios has built up a certain amount of goodwill with cinema going fans. They have delivered some great movies and brought our childhood dreams to ‘life’ in ways we dared not to imagine, but are they putting that good will at risk for the sake of ‘playing it safe’ and backing ‘Ant-Man’ to come good again, rather than taking the bolder step of sticking by their release date for ‘Captain Marvel’?
It’s difficult to say if any of this is accurate. These are the ramblings of an emotional Marvel ‘fanboy’ after all, so please take this all as just my thoughts on the situation and nothing more. For all I know, tomorrow, we will get a huge announcement on ‘Captain Marvel’s’ casting and a director confirmed and all will be right within my crazy little world once more.
So what do you think amigos? Am I just talking bollocks and worrying over nothing? Do you agree with any of my concerns? Are you looking forward to any specific movies from Phase 3? Let me know in the comments below?