Looking Ahead At Marvel’s Movie Slate – Winter 2013 Edition

marvel_largeRemember when we used to wax on at our local comic shop counter at the idea of Hollywood making more superhero movies? Well, those days are long over as Hollywood has been furiously chasing the the comic movie dollar and Marvel Entertainment has used it to their advantage to become one of the biggest studios in the world.

Now that Phase 1 of their impressive connected movie gambit is complete with the ginormously successful The Avengers, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and his crew are hastily working on sequels to their hit movies as well as new properties such as Guardians of the Galaxy. And that’s not all — other studios, who bought the movie rights to some Marvel characters before Marvel had its film ambitions squared away, continue to cash in on their investment with a second The Amazing Spider-Man movie and not one but three films at work under the X-Men banner.

Today here at iFanboy, we look at the expansive slate of feature films in the works based on Marvel characters, from those months away from release like Iron Man 3 to those filming, in pre-production, just announced, and those even merely rumored. We’ll even throw in some conjecture on our own to get your mind really thinking.



Iron Man 3

Release Date: May 3, 2013 (United States); April 26, 2013 (United Kingdom); April 25, 2013 (International)
Studio: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)
Screenwriters: Drew Pearce (No Heroics), Shane Black
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce
The Scoop: Consider this one signed, sealed and delivered. Both Downey and Black have gone on record saying that they’re aiming to make up for the rushed, haphazard Iron Man 2 and have a more cohesive and challenging story in play this time around. In this one, Downey’s Tony Stark/Iron Man finally meets his comics arch-nemesis The Mandarin (played by Kingsley), while also looping in the adversaries of Warren Ellis and Adi Granov’s “Extremis” story-arc which served, stylistically, as the touchstone for the original movie. As the first movie in Marvel’s Phase Two, Iron Man 3 has a lot to prove.

The Wolverine

Release Date: July 26, 2013 (United States); July 25, 2013 (Australia); July 24, 2013 (International)
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: James Mangold (Walk The Line; 3:10 To Yuma)
Screenwriters: Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher; X-Men; The Usual Suspects), Mark Bomback (Total Recall; Live Free or Die Hard), Scott Frank (Minority Report)
Actors: Hugh Jackman, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tao Okamoto, Will Yun Lee
The Scoop: After X-Men Origins: Wolverine I wasn’t high on the idea of a sequel despite my love for the character and Hugh Jackman’s work, but damned if they haven’t seemed to have turned it around. With Mangold on board and Jackman firmly guiding the movie as a producer and star, The Wolverine looks to be just the kind of standalone unencumbered story the character, and the X-Men franchise, need.

Thor: The Dark World

Release Date: November 8, 2013
Studio: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones; Mad Men; The Sopranos)
Screenwriters: Christopher Yost (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!), Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenger; Pain & Gain)
Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
The Scoop: Although losing Kenneth Branagh as director was a big blow, veteran TV helmer Alan Taylor is a bold choice. Seeing him and the screenwriters push into the darker parts of Asgard with Malekith the Accursed and the dark elves is emboldened storytelling, and one I can’t wait to see on screen. With the recent Conan remake performing so poorly at the box office, these Thor movies could be the Conan of our generation — and then some!



The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Release Date: May 2, 2014
Studio: Sony Pictures
Director: Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man; (500) Days of Summer)
Screenwriters: Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek), Robert Orci (Star Trek), Jeff Pinkner (Fringe; Lost)
Actors: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti (in talks), Shailene Woodley
The Scoop: I lost a bet when The Amazing Spider-Man turned out as good as it was. I’m a fan of Webb’s work, but I had a certain bit of loyalty and respect for Sam Raimi. Color me wrong. Now with this second movie, Webb moves to really cement himself with Spider-Man and he’s got a great set of cast additions from Jamie Foxx as Electro to possibly Paul Giamatti as Rhino to make his dreams (and mine) come true.

Pre-Production & Hiring:


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Release Date: April 4, 2014
Studio: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Anthony and Joe Russo (Community; Arrested Development)
Screenwriters: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The First Avenge; Pain & Gain)
Actors: Chris Evans, Emily VanCamp, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo
The Scoop: Although I was hoping for a little more World War II action for Cap, this plot has the potential to be a different kind of great. Fast-forwarding, history-wise and comic-wise, this story picks up right after the events of The Avengers and promises to show Evans’ Captain America finding out that his dead partner Bucky Barnes is in fact alive and working as a brainwashed assassin. Taking its cues from Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s seminal story-arc of the same name, this movie also promises to see long-time Cap ally the Falcon join the fun, as well as Cap’s long-time foe Crossbones. With the unconventional directing choice and this thoroughly modern story, this Marvel outing has the biggest question marks — it could be very risky, but also potentially very rewarding.

The Avengers 2

Release Date: May 1, 2015
Studio: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Screenwriters: Joss Whedon
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson
The Scoop: Not much has been announced on this front, but what we do know is good news: Joss Whedon is returning to write and direct. There’s conjecture that the scene-stealing appearance of Thanos in the mid-credits scene in The Avengers puts him at the center of this sequel, but Marvel’s remaining mum on if he will play a central role in The Avengers 2 or perhaps this film will be used to bring Thanos into Guardians of the Galaxy. Who knows — maybe both. Even if Thanos isn’t at the center of this, The Avengers have a bountiful selection of adversaries and storylines to pull from to thrill the audience.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Release Date: July 18, 2014
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Bryan Singer (X-Men; Superman Returns; The Usual Suspects)
Screenwriters: Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class; Kick-Ass), Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes; This Means War)
Actors: Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ian Mckellan, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage
The Scoop: You could say that Bryan Singer made superhero movies fashionable again when he directed the first X-Men film back in 2000. Now he’s back to direct what could be the most globe-trotting and time-spanning superhero story of all time: “Days Of Future Past,” based on the classic story by John Byrne and Chris Claremont. It’s one of those story concepts that fans have been clamoring to see brought to life for years, but also one that given its scope was thought to be nigh unfilmable. Luckily, special effects have grown and Singer’s bringing in a who’s who of previous X-Men movie characters to make it work.

The Fantastic Four

Release Date: March 6, 2015
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Josh Trank (Chronicle)
Screenwriters: Unknown
Actors: None announced
The Scoop: The first two Fantastic Four movies left a lot to be desired, but after seeing X-Men: First Class and The Amazing Spider-Man pick up after some lackluster earlier films, Fox went ahead and hired upstart director Josh Trank to reboot the franchise. Nothing else has been announced about the movie in terms of plot, cast, or even screenwriters, but one thing stands out: Fox is very pointedly bringing up the fact they also control the X-Men films and are considering having those films and this Fantastic Four film connect like the Marvel Studios films. Let that percolate in your head for a while.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Release Date: August 1, 2014
Studio: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: James Gunn (Super; Slither)
Screenwriters: Nicole Perlman, Chris McCoy, James Gunn
Actors: Chris Pratt
The Scoop: To borrow a word from the other side of the Marvel U, Guardians of the Galaxy is probably the biggest gambit for Marvel Studios since they self-financed their way into the first Iron Man movie. The Guardians of the Galaxy is a group of C-list characters (in terms of sales and their previous treatment in Marvel’s comics), who Marvel hopes have the potential to be just as big as their other superhero team. With filming set to begin later this year in the UK, look for more news on casting and about the film’s plot any day now.


Release Date: November 6, 2015
Studio: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World; Shaun of the Dead)
Screenwriters: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish (Attack The Block)
Actors: None Announced
The Scoop: Like an ant riding on your pants leg, Ant-Man is is the little movie that could. Originally announced back in 2006 with Wright already on-board to write and direct, it wasn’t until 2010 that the movie was officially greenlit. Rumored to cover both the original Ant-Man Hank Pym as well as Scott Lang, this film promises to have a bit more humor than most of its other Marvel Studios colleagues, but it also the most potential for wide-eyed majesty given Ant-Man’s powers. Just please, no Honey I Shrunk the Kids jokes.

Development Hell:



Release Date: Unannounced
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Tim Miller (Opening credits for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (US))
Screenwriters: Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese (Zombieland)
Actors: Ryan Reynolds
The Scoop: One of the best parts of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie was Ryan Reynold’s portrayal of Deadpool, and soon after that movie came out and made a lot of money, the idea of a spin-off was even more popular than the idea of a sequel. Now with some cooling off time (and Green Lantern) between then and now, the idea of a second Reynolds-led superhero movie looks a little less promising. But with special effects director Tim Miller penciled in to direct, this could pop up as a dark horse candidate and become a big movie in 2014 or after.

Doctor Strange

If you think Marvel’s comic book division are good at teasing, then you’re discounting the wily Kevin Feige at Marvel Studios. After years of on-again, off-again Doctor Strange movie hints, Fiege promised last month that the one-time Sorcerer Supreme would be involved with Phase Three of Marvel’s movie plans, putting it right in line after The Avengers 2 and Ant-Man. Now, we just have to wait.

The Runaways

Ideas for Marvel movies have been tossed around like popcorn in those little bins at the movie concession stand (some by me in my Monday column Comic Book Casting), but Marvel themselves have dropped more than their fair share of movie ideas over the years. The biggest of all was an adaptation of The Runaways, which went so far as hiring a director and some cast before being mothballed so the studio could devote its time to The AvengersBut with them now planning movies five (and possibly 10) years out, Runaways could easily find its way back on the schedule.

Low-Budget Films

In 2010, Marvel met with filmmakers about shooting small-budgeted movies based on secondary heroes like Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, the Inhumans, Dazzler, Power Pack, and the aforementioned Doctor Strange. And before that they hired a think tank group of young screenwriters to develop potential feature film platforms for the likes of Black Panther, Iron Fist, Vision, Cable, and even Nighthawk.

The Avengers Spin-Offs

Marvel Studios has also reportedly thought about giving a starring chance (a third chance for some) to The Avengers without active movies: the most widely talked about has been Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, but there has also been talk about films featuring Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury. Samuel L. Jackson has talked briefly about the prospects of doing a Nick Furymovie down the road, and that could still be on the table despite the forthcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. television series.

Blade, Daredevil, and The Punisher

Possibly the biggest X-factor of all (no pun intended), is the various Marvel movies whose rights, once owned by outside studios, have reverted back to Marvel. Somewhat quietly, Marvel Studios had reportedly re-acquired the movie rights to Blade, The Punisher, and Daredevil so they too could possibly be vetted for feature film do-overs, or perhaps even a surprise appearance in one of the near-dozen Marvel movies mentioned above.

Ghost Rider

The Scoop: Just whatever you do, don’t mention a new Ghost Rider movie.



  1. Holy Toledo, Cleveland, & Cincinnati that line-up looks amazing!!

  2. I’m pretty excited for “Thor 2” and “Iron Man 3”, but I could care less about “The Wolverine” and “ASM 2”. I’m glad the next Captain America movie will be adapting some of Brubaker’s excellant run, I was hoping and hoping for the longest time. Of course I’m also excited for “Avengers 2” , “GoG” and the “FF” reboot. The idea of Deadpool movie has sort of cooled off for me, probably because I’m not collecting him right now. Marvel needs to hurry up and adapt Dr.Strange to the big screen tho if they want him to be part of the Illuminati for Avengers.

  3. This is really useful. Can we assume no such list exists for DC?

    Any ideas what other properties are being adapted, I know Y:The Last Man just got a director, anything else on the radar?

  4. I thought the Daredevil reversion fell through. Did it happen after all?

  5. This is just so, so wonderful. I remember being a little kid and thinking that good comic book movies (from many standpoints; special effects, acting, script, seriousness of purpose) would be a rarity, if not an impossibility. Seeing all these movies and knowing that most of them will be really good makes me happier than I can say.

  6. I think I may be more excited about Ant-man than I am anything else on the list other than Avengers 2.

  7. Thinking back to being a kid, it really is hard to fathom all the great comic book movies we have got and all the ones on the way. God Bless Marvel Studios lol. And if the new Superman movie is as good as it looks, there may be some hope for DC outside of Batman yet.

  8. Marvel movies are knocking them out of the park at the moment. (Minus Ghost Rider and Wolverine) Can’t wait for many of these. Great line-up.

  9. While I didn’t really dig the “Amazing Spider-Man” reboot, I’ve ALWAYS dug Electro and the Rhino. So I’m in for that!

    (On a side note: WARNER! GET YOUR DC STUFF ROLLING! Seriously; do they just feel like, “eh, we don’t really need to make money, do we?”

    Wait…having….Green Lantern flashbacks.

    Okay, Warner. Maybe wait just a BIT longer….

    • I still weep over the wasted opportunity that was Jonah Hex. Not because I don’t have a huge stack of great Hex stories on my bookshelf, but because it would be nice to have at least one on the DVD rack too.

    • For real, I watched 20 minutes of that movie and turned it off. I just couldn’t justify finishing it. It’s such a simple concept and they turned it inside out for no reason

    • @Roi Exactly! Apparently however, the only way to shoot a Western in Hollywood is to be the Coen Brothers or Tarantino. Anyone else and you have to mix in steampunk. Or super powers. Or both.

  10. Thanks you for this! The next few years are enough to droll over, but this year ALONE is looking fantastic!

  11. As a kid, I had every one of the Nicholas Hammond Spider-Man TV movies on VHS. It wasn’t because they were good. Matter of fact, they were godawful. If you wanted live action Marvel though, your choices were pretty limited. So you’d watch Curse of Rava (again) or maybe one of the Incredible Hulk specials (which you’d also recorded on the VCR) and dream of a day when Hulk smash didn’t equate to tearing a t-shirt and Captain America didn’t have a transparent shield. Not that we ever thought the day would arrive, we’d just dream about it.

    The fact that we’re discussing a freaking Guardians of the Galaxy movie, that one of my few quibbles about a Captain America movie was that Union Jack never suited up, and that Iron Man is a household name? I’m still having trouble believing it.

  12. I’m starting to sour on Days of Future Past. I think we all just want a 1970’s First Class sequel with Fassbender and Mcavoy. But now they keep shoehorning in all the actors who played X-men 10 years ago. I was hoping for new younger actors playing roles like Storm and Cyclops. Hopefully they’ll just be a cameo

    • Alternately, they could be playing the characters in the future ruled by the Sentinels. I mean, if I’m a casting director and I’m casting for characters ten or so years older than my current cast, why not get the guys who played those same characters ten years earlier?

    • From what everyone says, this film takes place primarily in the 80s so if they do follow the loose framework of the original story, like pyynk says, I bet they will be playing the future versions of the characters.

  13. The Runaways would probably make more sense as a TV series. Keep it to 13 episode seasons, thus avoiding any filler, and we’d have something excellent. Of course; if they could get Brian K. Vaughn back to write additional ‘monster of the week’ episodes, a full 24-26 episodes seasons could be cool.

    • I’ve often thought the same thing about both Daredevil & Punisher, I think they’d work much better as 13 episode TV series on some cable channel, like FX, or SyFy than as movies.

  14. Who knows what kind of time travel they”ll be using since Kitty won”t have a past counterpart. Basically my concern comes from wasting energy trying to fix Last Stand rather than forging ahead. Hopefully we”ll start seeing some new characters getting cast like Senator Kelly and Trask. Bryan Singers recent movies have earned a little concern

  15. No mention of the rumor that hulk 2 will be planet hulk or WWH as Avengers 3?

  16. The Wolverine is apparently taking place AFTER X-3 and not Origins. Which honestly is a good way to go since the latter was dreadful. Come to think of it, BOTH films are dreadful so this sequel doesn’t give me much hope…

    After the whole blog scandal and the offensive segments he did in MOVIE 43, I really have no desire to see anything by James Gunn ever again. I know this is sounds stupid especially since Guardians is probably going to play a huge role for Avengers 2….But I have no desire to make Gunn a richer man after seeing him tarnish Batman like that.

    I want Deadpool to happen in the worse way possible. It’s probably going to suck royally but I want to see one of my favorite characters done properly on screen darn it! Even if it means Liefeld gets more money I deserve to see this movie happen.

  17. I really want Marvel films to make an Iron Fist movie.

    A film about Danny fighting the other Immortal Weapons – amazing martial arts coupled with some nice CGI and that’s a brilliant film just waiting to be made.

  18. It’s all awesome, love seeing these characters on the big screen and while I may not love every one of em, I like seeing different perspectives/takes on classic characters. The Rhino!!?!! Great choice, I thought he might be too far fetched. I enjoy something outta all of em, cause no,matter what, the stories I love are still there whether I love all these movies or not but think most of em are gonna be really good.