When the original Iron Man came out, I don't think anyone--especially Marvel--thought it was going to become what it did, which is basically the first cog in a giant machine known as Phase I. Phase I involved setting up a cast of characters that would be shoe-horned into each other's movies and lead up to the eventual Avengers film. Well that happened and everybody made a dump truck full of money (despite the fact that no one really likes Captain America all that much). Which now brings us to Phase II, which begins in exactly one month when Iron Man 3 hits theaters.
In the above video, check out the cast and crew of these movies lay out their plans for what Phase II will bring to audiences. ANd while I'm hoping this is the last time Gwyneth Paltrow will be talking about being in a Marvel movie, from what we've gleamed from the trailer, it looks like she'll be sticking around for awhile. Damn. And be sure to check out the entire Marvel release calendar for the next three years of your life after the jump.
Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013) - With Lethal Weapon-scribe Shane Black taking the reigns of the franchise after the pallid, long-winded Iron Man 2, anticipation is high that the latest installment of Tony Stark's adventures will most undoubtedly kick ass. This time Iron Man will be going up against the Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley, who always nails sinister. And as Robert Downey Jr. will be pushing 50 by the time of the film's release, we're hoping for at least one 'I'm getting too old for this shit' from him.
Thor: The Dark World (November 15, 2013) - This is a tough one. Thor ended on a great, tragic note: His brother was lost in space and his love was stuck on Earth with no way of reaching each other. Then The Avengers kind of came and said, 'Eh, the hell with all that,' so I'm not sure what to expect going into the Thor sequel. While we're thankful Natalie Portman is returning, not much else is known of the plot, though the title does suggest the villains will possibly be the Dark Elves. And we're excited that Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor is filling Kenneth Branagh's vacated shoes behind the camera.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014) - Things are off to a shaky start before filming has even begun as Community directors Joe and Anthony Russo were hired to tackle the Cap sequel. The first movie already felt like just a trailer for The Avengers so I was hoping for more action-ready, gritty filmmakers to step up, but...oh well. The plot has been confirmed to be in present-day and the title suggests Cap will be facing his old WWII friend Bucky as a foe, who is reborn after his near-death as the 'Winter Soldier.' While we were hoping Anna Kendrick would be taking the lead, the role went to the lesser interesting, lesser attractive Emily VanCamp.
Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1, 2014) - Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? I have no idea. We already have The Avengers, who as we saw in their movie, kind of acted as guardians...of...the...galaxy, so...where does that leave us? With little name recognition and a complicated mythology, there's little to get excited about for this project, yet. Though the interesting choice of Slither and Super director James Gunn to helm it at least got us to stop scratching our heads. Parks and Rec's Chris Pratt has already been cast.
Ant-Man (November 6, 2015) - Be excited. Be very excited. Love or hate Scott Pilgrim, Edgar Wright is the man to direct a Marvel movie. It doesn't even matter who the character is. In this case it's Henry Pym, a man capable of shrinking down to the size of an insect. Eh? I'm already underwhelmed, but, I'm trying to remain positive, especially after this test-footage and because if the script Edgar and Joe Cornish wrote is anything like the great adventure they pulled off for Tin Tin, Ant-Man is going to be awesome.
The Avengers 2 (May 1, 2015) - The last time we saw them, the Avengers had just saved Earth from an alien invasion intent on conquering the globe. So it's tough to know where they go from there that isn't just treading familiar ground. Count on plenty of new additions to the Avengers Initiative to spice things up and hopefully not another hour-long sequence that takes place on a floating aircraft carrier that makes no sense to have as a mode of transport.