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Phase Two: What To Expect From 'Iron Man 3,' 'Thor 2,' 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' And The Rest Of Marvel's Slate

by Oliver Lyttelton
July 16, 2012 10:01 AM
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Thor 2 logo
"Thor: The Dark World"
Despite it being the next film to go into production, word on the "Thor" sequel is still pretty much under wraps, with the title announcement the only part of the presentation that really referred to the film. As best as we can tell, 'The Dark World' doesn't refer directly to any existing part of the "Thor" comics, although it could be a reference to Dark Elves, a powerful race who've been recurring Thor villains since the 1980s, ruled over by the evil Malekitch the Accursed, along with his right-hand man Algrim The Strong (later transformed into a more powerful being called Kurse by super-powerful villain The Beyonder). Rumors have pegged popular villains The Enchantress and The Executioner (the latter thought to be the one that Mads Mikkelsen was in talks for before dropping out) to be the antagnonists in the sequel, but could the Dark Elves be the real villain here?

Captain America 2, logo
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
Unlike with "Thor," Marvel were a little more revealing with their subtitle for the "Captain America" sequel, making it pretty clear where the plot will be heading. The Winter Soldier is an alias of Bucky Barnes, Cap's best pal, as played by "Gossip Girl" star Sebastian Stan in the first film, and last seen falling off a train to his apparent demise. In the comics, Bucky seemingly perished in the same incident which freezes Steve Rogers, but in a recent plot twist written by Ed Brubaker, it turns out, in fact, that his body (minus an arm he lost in an explosion) was found by a Soviet submarine, and taken back to the USSR, where he's rehabilitated, albeit with a total loss of memory, and trained to be an assassin.

Kept in cryogenic stasis between missions (hence not aging much), Bucky, codenamed The Winter Soldier, becomes a ruthless killer (and at one stage, has a relationship with Black Widow, suggesting we might be seeing Scarlett Johansson cropping up in the film). He finally crosses paths with his old friend after killing hundreds in a terrorist attack in Philadelphia in the present day, stealing a Cosmic Cube, and kidnapping Sharon Carter, SHIELD agent, and niece of Cap's wartime love Peggy Carter -- indicating that Hayley Atwell may have another role in the follow-up. Rogers eventually confronts Bucky, bringing back his memories, and, feeling guilty for his past actions, he teams up with his old friend, and joins S.H.I.E.L.D. In the comics' continuity, he actually takes up the mantle of Captain America after Steve Rogers was assassinated, but that would be a fairly bold move for the film to take.

Either way, it seems like we're looking at an extended role for Stan in the film, although we suspect that it won't be strictly villainous, with another baddie -- a returning Red Skull? Arnim Zola? Baron Zemo? -- pulling the strings behind the scenes. Either way, it gives a nice emotional heft to the plot, which can only be a good thing.

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  • Josh | July 19, 2012 2:57 PMReply

    Where the heck is The Incredible Hulk 2? I can't believe that there's not more demand for this movie. Mark Ruffalo did a spectacular job taking the character on in The Avengers, and The Hulk's fight sequences were some of the best in the film, why can't we have more Hulk? (Aside from the obvious answer being that The Incredible Hulk did not make obscene amounts of money.)

    Most excited for Ant Man and especially Guardians of The Galaxy. I guess I just prefer seeing the new characters being adapted for film rather than sequels of the characters we already know.

    Also wanna' see Black Panther get his own movie for phase 2, but I doubt that'll happen. He's a lot cooler than Henry Pym, though. C'mon why not, Marvel? I also bet Black Widow could kick some butt in her own movie, or at least a Black Widow/Hawkeye combo movie.

  • Gridlockmanfifesto | July 18, 2012 5:01 PMReply

    Wow, there is so much to take in with these theories my head feels like it’s going to explode. The potential here is seemingly limitless with the enormous budgets they have to play with, but eventually, all stories will have to lead to The Avengers sequel. I love going to see all of the big movies in the theatre, like Thor, but I also love watching them on my home theater, and my Dish co-worker comes over to watch with me. Since I have Epix 1 in HD, I watched Iron Man 2 and Captain America. I get the best quality my theater can produce when I watch Epix, 1080p, and that makes all the difference with my 90-inch projector.

  • Abz | July 16, 2012 4:21 PMReply

    Still waiting on the Doctor Strange announce...

  • cinematic_high | July 16, 2012 11:00 AMReply

    That shit Cray? Really dude? Andrew Adamson for Guardians Of The Galaxy, not that John Cater fucker. I'm very curious to see how Captain America: The Winter Solider plays out because it's one of the most intriguing characters out there....this one could be the darkest of entry of "PhaseTwo"....and I'm cool with that.

  • RNL | July 16, 2012 10:35 AMReply

    "Wright gets underway on "The World's End" in October, so he could theoretically be ready to move onto "Ant-Man" by October 2014"


    He could theoretically be ready to move onto "Ant-Man" by this time next year, making a late 2014 release feasible (is that what you meant?). But I agree that it'll probably be 2015. And I actually doubt we'll see "Avengers 2" before 2016. It'd be nice if they did a Black Panther movie or something else in 2015 - one new Avenger (or even two if "Ant-Man" features Wasp) for the second film doesn't seem very satisfying. Also, what about a new Hulk movie? Before or after "Avengers 2"?

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