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3. Spider-Man Comes Home To Marvel For Civil War

As you probably know, Sony owns the film rights to Marvel’s Spider-man universe, which prevents the Spider-man/Avengers big screen crossover that would be oh so cool. Earlier this month we heard that Sony and Disney might possibly be in talks to bring Spider-man home to the Marvel movie universe, or at very least, allow Spidey to play in the connected Marvel Studios universe we all love. No one I’ve talked to has been able to explain to me how this would work — I doubt Sony would give up the rights to the Spider-man films, but its possible a deal could be great for both parties.

We’ve also recently heard that Robert Downey Jr will be a big part of Captain America 3, which will kick off a whole new phase for the Marvel Cinematic Universe — an adaptation of The Civil War — the popular comic book storyline which centers around the Superhero Registration Act, which requires anyone with superpowers to identify themselves to the U.S. government and effectively work as a police force for the authorities.

The controversial legislation pits Tony Stark against Steve Rogers, with the former supporting the program and the latter arguing it threatens civil liberties. Eventually, Rogers and other superheroes are forced to go on the run to avoid arrest. Effectively, this makes Tony Stark the villain of Captain America 3. The meaty premise also gives the Marvel Cinematic Universe plenty to work with over the next several films leading up to Avengers 3 and 4, as various characters find themselves dealing with the fallout or grappling with the thorny issues raised by the Superhero Registration Act.

The problem with adapting the Civil War storyline for the big screen is that secret identities aren’t a big thing for the main Avengers cast — Tony Stark spontaneously announced that he was Iron Man at the end of the first film. And Spider-man being unmasked was always a huge aspect of the comic book storyline. So if Marvel is in fact going for the Civil War storyline in Phase three, Spider-Man would be a great character to include in the films.

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4. Marvel Announces Their Upcoming Slate / Phase 3

A couple weeks ago Warner Bros made a huge announcement of their upcoming film slate, which included ten new DC comic book movie adaptations dated 2016 to 2020. It is possible that Disney also wants to lay claim to some more dates and project announcements.

Marvel has claimed dates for May 5th 2017, November 3rd 2017 and May 4th 2018, but none of them officially have titles attached.  Marvel has been developing Thor 3 and Black Panther (which many have pointed out the Wakanda connections in the Age of Ultron teaser), so those are real possibilities. Many expect May 4th 2018 to be the third Avengers film, which fits with the schedule of the previous installments.

We’ve also heard rumors that The Avengers 3 could be split into two parts, and more recently we’ve heard that Captain America 2 and 3 directors Joe and Anthony Russo might be in line to direct the Avengers two-parter.

Here is a full look at the entire Superhero movie release date calendar as it stands now. I’m not sure if Disney really needs to combat Warner Bros’ recent DC film announcements — but in Hollywood its all about appearances and a show of strength will go a long way in the trades.

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5. Ant-Man Footage

Ant-Man has been filming for a couple months now, and Marvel definitely has some footage in the can if they wanted to make a preview. They showed an early test at Comic Con this year, and following the controversial departure of fan favorite director Edgar Wright, they might want to again push their tiny original superhero as the test footage seemed to impress the comic book crowd in San Diego. Ant-Man still has something to prove, even in a world where Guardians of the Galaxy can make over $750 million worldwide without any big Avengers crossovers or name brand characters. 

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/Film’s Russ Fischer and Peter Sciretta will be live at the Marvel Event today. Check back on /Film starting at 11am pacific time, 2 pm eastern time as we hope to have whatever news that breaks online as soon as possible. You can also follow me on Twitter at @slashfilm for up to the minute micro updates.

 

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