Future Marvel Movie Release Schedule - Marvel Studios

This week brings Ant-Man and the Wasp to theaters for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans who are looking for a little levity after the heartbreaking events of Avengers: Infinity War. It’s the third and final film Marvel will release in 2018, and it’s the second year in a row the comic book movie studio has released three titles in 12 months. They’ll do it again next year, and Kevin Feige explained the reasons behind that plan, and it’s not just to maximize profits.

Kevin Feige has been making the publicity rounds for Ant-Man and the Wasp, and he explained why Marvel Studios will continue releasing three movies a year, and it’s mostly because there will be a lot of new characters to introduce once a new era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins after Avengers 4. But they also have franchises that fans want to revisit as soon as possible. 

Speaking with CinemaBlend, Feige laid out more in-depth why Marvel Studios needs to release three movies a year:

“It’s one of the reasons we’ve expanded to three films a year, is so that we could do the sequels to films that people have responded to — because we love to make continuing stories with characters people have responded to — but also keep doing the stuff that nobody’s ever heard of, and people go, ‘Why are you doing that?’ That’s fun. And that’s what Phase One was built on, Phase Two was built on, Phase Three was built on, is having that… Whenever we announce the next year, two years, three years, five years, whatever we’re going to announce, there will be plenty of those that, maybe people in the know like yourself will know what they are, but the world at large will go, ‘What is it? Why are they doing that?’ That’s exciting, for sure.”

However, don’t expect Marvel Studios to start releasing more than three movies a year. That seems to be the magic number so the studio can continue introducing new characters for fans to fall in love with while still progressing other characters who already have a fanbase. Feige talked about how releasing any more than three movies would make things problematic for them:

“When you’ve got, what is it now, six, seven separate franchises? It’s part of the scheduling process. Sometimes when people ask, ‘What about this character, what about that character?’ I go, ‘Well, it’s scheduling.’ And they go, ‘What’s he talking about?’ Scheduling. How many years between movies can you have? You know, [Thor:] Ragnarok was four years. There’s four years between, right? He had an appearance in between there. So that seems to be maybe okay – sometimes, though, you want it to be less. Sometimes it can be more.”

That’s part of what makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe great. While some fans had been hoping to see Mark Ruffalo get his own Hulk movie between Avengers titles, they had their appetite satisfied with his significant role in Thor: Ragnarok. All of Marvel’s established characters can pop up in other franchises, especially those who have a long history in comic crossovers. Plus, as we saw with Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, new characters can be introduced in other franchises, so they won’t always need the traditional, increasingly tired origin story to set them up.

Feige echoed those sentiments when he said:

“Sometimes it’s where do those characters pop up? [Doctor] Strange, you know, whenever we do another Strange one, which we will do, it will be a number of years from the first Strange, and yet he’s a very big part of [Avengers:] Infinity War. So it is just a good problem to have when you have too many beloved characters that people want to see more of, whilst keeping to our core belief that we need to keep exploring nuance and keep doing different types of things.”

In the meantime, fans will just have to be patient to see what happens with some Marvel Studios franchises. We’ve already heard that we can expect Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to lay the groundwork for the next 10 years of the MCU, so hopefully we’ll have more answers in 2020. Otherwise, Captain Marvel arrives on March 8, 2019 and Avengers 4 follows on May 3, 2019.

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