Doctor Strange Will Enter the Avengers Movie Universe in “Phase 3”

“Phase 2” of the Marvel Universe movies kicks off at the end of April, beginning with Iron Man 3 and leading up to the release of Avengers 2 in May of 2015. In a recent promotional call, the president of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige discussed what moviegoers can expect from this growing cinematic universe and what aspects of “Phase 2” are paving the way for the post-Avengers 2 “Phase 3.”

The biggest aspect of “Phase 3” so far? Make a workable Doctor Strange movie.

2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy seems to be something of a testing ground for what the Avengers movie universe will look like past Avengers 2. Feige on the new movie:

“[For a] long time that we wanted to bring in a movie and adventure set entirely in space. We immediately liked the idea of making a movie based on a comic mostly unknown by people […] that present[ed] various superheroes in one movie.

Guardians represents the only unproven Marvel Comics property to debut in “Phase 2,” which otherwise consists of sequels in the separate Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America franchises. Marvel’s original gamble in introducing these characters to the moviegoing public paid off handsomely, but the company hedged its bets by only dealing with its most high profile characters. (And when you consider the two Hulk movies, sometimes that didn’t even work.)

Guardians has a tougher battle ahead of it, being a book with characters that the majority of comic book fans themselves are unfamiliar with. And while the concept of a superhero ensemble bouncing around the cosmos isn’t entirely unworkable, there’s not a lot of wiggle room in regards to creating a movie to which folks both familiar and unfamiliar with the comic can relate.

Guardians of the Galaxy movie

But if Marvel can pull off a successful Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it looks like that will pave the way for more movies from the more esoteric wings of the Marvel universe. The studio is clearly banking on Guardians succeeding, since Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, debuting November 6, 2015, kicks off “Phase 3.” Although Feige admits there’s only a rough outline of that phase of movies:

“Currently, the third phase is still developing. 99.9% of our time is used for Phase 2, the development of The Avengers 2 and the Guardians of the Galaxy keeps us very busy. Definitely we’re not leaving aside the old glories and we can also see familiar faces such as Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.”

Going ahead into “Phase 3,” however, Feige knows exactly who he wants to add to the universe:

“Dr. Strange! I love the aura of mystery that surrounds this superhero and the magical world that surrounds him. We’ve never faced anything like this and there is a lot of material that we could exploit. I would love to also see a new superhero in the ranks of the Avengers. We shall see!”

Considering that Robert Downey, Jr. isn’t sure he’ll be Iron Man in standalone movies past Avengers 2, what does that mean for “Phase 3”? Would it essentially be the following films?

  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Thor 3 (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Captain America 3 (2017)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
  • Avengers 3 (2018)

What other heroes might they pile in after Avengers 2? Will Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk eventually get his own film? And what would the Marvel movie landscape look like once we’ve had three films from the Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America each? Are Avengers movies essentially done by that point?

No one knows! (Except Kevin Feige.) But it’s fun to speculate.

Chris Lough is the production manager of and would like to suggest that a Runaways movie happen now, please.


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