Most of us are familiar with Earth-199999, otherwise known as the Marvel Cinematic universe. It's the first timein history that comic-based films (outside of sequels and prequels) fall into the same continuity.
Currently, the MCU contains:
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
With two more entries due out this year:
- Thor (May 6th)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22)
And one more (highly anticipated) film already in development:
- The Avengers (May 4, 2012)
Today, I wanted to highlight a number of other films floating around they may also tie in to this ever expanding universe.
Note: I tried to take films that would seem plausible in an Avengers based Universe, those already known to tie in, 0r those movies that may have some truth to them, since we all know that there are always rumors of Charcter A or Character B getting his own solo film.
So here we go. 8 MCU contenders to watch for in the coming years.
1. Iron Man 3 Announced last year by Marvel, and with a release date of May 3, 2013, Iron Man is likely to be the first of this list to hit theaters. Jon Favreau, director of the first two installments, will not be back for this round, instead opting to direct Disney's Magic Kingdom. His replacement will be Shane Black, producer, actor, director and screenwriter whos works include Predator, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Last Boy Scout, and Lethal Weapon 1+2.
2. The Incredible Hulk sequel Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige announced that 2008's Hulk met expectations, and is returning for a sequel, only after the Avengers finishes filimng. Mark Ruffalo is most likely to return as Bruce Banner, following his debut in The Avengers. Tim Blake Nelson could return for the sequel, as his character (Dr. Sterns) was set up to become The Leader.
3. Captian America sequel In February, five months before its release, Marvel announced that Captain America writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus had been hired to write a sequel. As the original has yet to be released, there's no way too know what the sequel's plot may be.
4. War Machine Don Cheadle, who replaced Terrance Howard as James Rhodes/War Machine in Iron Man 2, announced in January that a War Machine spin was in development. No other news has come out about the film, but it's more than likely to premiere after The Avengers.
5. Black Widow Last September, Feige annouced that they had began talks about a Black Widow solo film. As with War Machine, it was stated that it would enter serious talks after The Avengers.
6. Nick Fury/The S.H.I.E.L.D. Samuel L. Jackson, who is contracted to play Fury in at least five more films, has stated on multiple occasions that there will be a movie centered around Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. that will take place after The Avengers. Jackson has also stated that The Avengers will be a launching pad of sorts for Fury.
7. The Black Panther Shocker! While Black Panther doesn't exactly jump to mind when someone says "The Avengers", it has been establish that there is a Black Panther existing in Earth-199999. During Iron Man 2, Nick Fury and Tony Stark are seen sitting in a room with a number of monitors, one of which features a map with numerous points of intrest shown by red dots. Jon Favreau confirmed that the red dot over Africa does in fact represent Black Panther. This, coupled with the January 2011 announcement that Kevin Feige is producing a Black Panther script from documentary film maker Mark Bailey, and we may have our next hero.
8. The Punisher (3rd reboot) Shocker, part duex! The Punisher also doesn't scream "Avenger" when his name is mentioned, but the film rights to The Punisher franchise reverted back to Marvel Studios late last year. Feige stated that the film would be focused more on "Frank Castle" instead of "The Punisher", and it would be a reboot, having nothing to do with the '89 version, '94 version or '08 version.
In addition, there are three others that I'd to highlight:
1. The Sub-Mariner Aside from a bare-bones entry at the Internet Movie Database, and a tenative 2014 released date, nothing much has been stated about this movie. But, seeing as Namor was an Avenger in mainstream continuity, it seems reasonable that he could join the team.
2. Hawkeye Let's be clear now. There's been no announcements about any Hawkeye solo movie. But, seeing as Hawkeye has been announced as a member of The Avengers, it would seem plausable that Hawkeye would get his own solo run sometime in the future.
3. Ant-Man Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) announced back in 2008 that he planned to direct an Ant-Man film. The film eventually was put on hold, but he has since started writing the script again. I had hoped to cover this in the MCU list above, but in the same article that stated the film was back on, Wright also stated that his film would not fall into the MCU continuity, but would stand as it's own film.