After a big year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe that included two hugely successful Netflix series and two blockbuster films, the plans for new MCU content in 2017 are even bigger. Three new Marvel series will be debuting on Netflix, including Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders. Theatrical releases scheduled for 2017 include the latest installments for Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy, while Spider-Man stars in his first film since joining the MCU. And on top of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a new live-action series joins the Disney-ABC Television Group with Marvel’s The Inhumans.
What follows is a look at everything currently scheduled to be released in 2017 as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — Season 4 Conclusion
Agents of SHIELD has been on a break since December 6, returning to ABC on January 10. The series is scheduled to air a total of 22 episodes for Season 4, but the focus after the new year will switch from Ghost Rider to the Life Model Decoy. As is generally the case with any sort of artificial intelligence in a sci-fi world, the beautiful robot designed by Holden Radcliffe has started to act on its own accord. It would appear that Radcliffe missed the memo about Ultron.
Marvel’s Iron Fist — Season 1
If Iron Fist comes anywhere close to receiving the sort of response that Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage received before it, then Danny Rand will likely be established as a household name just before the debut of The Defenders. While each Marvel/Netflix series so far has had its own aesthetic and unique approach to storytelling, there is a certain feel to them that sets them apart from the characters in the films and the ABC series. There’s no reason to think that Marvel’s Iron Fist won’t add to that legacy when the first season is released via Netflix on March 17, 2017.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
As reported by Box Office Mojo, the first installment of Guardians of the Galaxy had a domestic box office that nearly doubled its $170 million budget. Worldwide, the film did more than $773 million. It should come as no surprise that everyone plans to reprise their role in the MCU sequel, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, and Glenn Close. When Guardians 2 is released on May 5, it will be the first Marvel Cinematic Universe theatrical addition since Doctor Strange.
Marvel’s The Defenders — Season 1
Although no official release date has been set for The Defenders crossover series on Netflix, three or four months after Iron Fist would make it a Summer series. And since Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will collectively be defending New York City, it makes sense that it would be released around the same time as Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is about another Marvel Comics superhero that is primarily based out of the Big Apple.
While there may not be any Iron Man movies planned for the MCU’s future, the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming shows that Tony Stark will be playing an integral part in the development of Peter Parker as the newest member of The Avengers. Spider-Man is the only Marvel superhero that has had his film franchise rebooted as many times as Superman and Batman from DC Comics. But with superhero pop-culture at an all-time high, this could easily prove to be the most successful Spider-Man movie yet. It hits theaters on July 7, 2017.
Marvel’s The Inhumans — Season 1 Premiere
The Inhuman race has already been introduced on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the series hasn’t dealt specifically with the Inhuman Royal Family, which was originally scheduled to be a part of the MCU film franchise. As noted by ComicBook, this series will focus on characters like Black Bolt and Medusa, who are the king and queen of the Inhumans in Marvel Comics. The first two episodes of Marvel’s The Inhumans will debut exclusively at IMAX theaters on September 4 before being replayed on ABC two weeks later.
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Marvel’s The Punisher — Season 1
After playing an amazing role in the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix, Jon Bernthal was offered his own series as The Punisher. Likely to be released sometime after both Iron Fist and The Defenders, there will certainly be plenty of anticipation building through most of 2017 until Marvel’s The Punisher finally hits Netflix.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — Season 5 Premiere
At the conclusion of Season 4, Agents of SHIELD will have been around long enough to go into syndication, which could help lead to a decision to cancel any future seasons. Unlike the MCU’s endeavors into huge films and gritty Netflix series, their network television programming hasn’t connected with fans in a major way. Marvel’s Agent Carter only lasted two seasons, and the short, digital spin-off series Agents of SHIELD: Slingshot was released with almost zero fanfare. As noted by TV Line, the show has been moved to ABC’s Tuesday night 10/9c slot, which has been historically bad. If Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returns for a fifth season, it will likely have a season premiere around September 26, 2017.
Thor will be the third character from the MCU film franchise to have a third film named after him, joining his brothers from The Avengers: Iron Man, and Captain America. With both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers apparently having put their alter egos aside, will the trend continue for the third film to be the last? As can be seen in the video below, there are big plans for the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarok, which seems likely to play into Avengers: Infinity War in 2018. The third Thor movie hits theaters on November 3, 2017.
[Featured Images by Marvel Studios]