Long gone are the years where the Marvel Cinematic Universe only released two films a year. Fans won’t have to wait as long anymore for the next Marvel film to hit theaters, and according to studio head Kevin Feige, there is a specific reason for this new three-a-year rule.
According to Cinema Blend, Feige wants the pace of the MCU to be very steady and to introducer smaller characters fans may not be familiar with.
“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.”
Smaller and unknown character films won’t bring in the big bucks like Avengers flicks or major character movies like the Iron Man franchise, so the push for three films a year is more necessary than anything to keep fans engaged.
The beginning of the MCU fluctuated between one and two movies a year. Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk kicked off the universe both in 2008 and it would be two years before Iron Man 2 followed in 2010. 2011 introduced Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, while Marvel’s The Avengers flew solo in 2012.
Phase two began in 2013 with two movies a year. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World premiered that year, while Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy debuted in 2014. 2015 saw the releases of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange kicked off Phase Three in 2016 before things heated up the next year.
2017 marked the first year when fans were treated to three Marvel films: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. 2018 followed suit with Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. 2019 will see Captain Marvel, Avengers 4, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. What’s to come in 2020 and beyond remains to be seen, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 the only sure thing in 2020.
It’s unknown which films will be a part of the three-year-plan in Phase 4, but fans can count on a Doctor Strange sequel, along with a Black Widow solo film, both of which have been confirmed by Feige. Fans will more than likely get a Black Panther 2 and Spider-Man 3, which will intermingle with the smaller characters previously hinted at by the studio head.