What’s Up In The Avengers-Verse?

Marvel’s cinematic universe is intricate and elaborate. High off a record-breaking theatrical release (The Avengers’ box office take is the highest of any comic-book movie in history) Marvel has several more projects in the works.

1. Iron Man 3

A new Iron-Man 3 trailer premiered during the Super Bowl. It was the highest-rated movie spot in the game, coming in ahead of Star Trek Into Darkness, Oz and the new Fast and Furious film.

An animated Iron Man feature is coming to DVD on April 13th. Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore will team Tony Stark up with Nick Fury, Black Widow, The Punisher and War Machine to battle a terrorist who has invented a powerful new weapon.

Iron Man 3 hits theaters May 3rd.

2. The Hulk

The Hulk has had a tough time of it in standalone films. First he was turned into a gummi bear in the regrettable Ang Lee adaptation; then, Edward Norton dropped out of The Avengers, leaving a new actor to pick up the role. A rumored Hulk TV show has been shelved in favor of S.H.I.E.L.D.

It seems that things, storywise, will pick up for the old Hulkster soon. (You may want to skip this paragraph if you are spoiler-averse.) According to Latin Review, studio execs have spilled that they plan for The Hulk to get launched into space at the end of Avengers 2. This will be the beginning of an arc that mirrors Planet Hulk, where the big green guy will crash land on an alien planet, become a slave, then a gladiator, then a planetary hero.

3. Captain America

Captain America 2 has its female lead: Emily VanCamp. Emily’s been delivering the soapy goods on TV’s Revenge for two seasons, but, this will be her first role in a major film. Her Revenge character is a serious bad-ass, so, we think she’ll be a great addition to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is coming to theaters April 4, 2014.

4. Black Widow

A Black Widow film is still only in the rumors phase – Scarlett Johansen and those connected with Marvel say it’d be great, but, nothing firm is in the works. However, it appears that Black Widow will be part of the action in the new Captain America film.

5. Thor 2

We’ve known for some time that Thor: The Dark World would involve the demigod facing off against his ne’er-do-well brother and a band of Dark Elves. But, newly released info implies that the Dark Elves aren’t the only bad guys in town. When The Dark World begins, a group known as The Marauders will be attacking Asgarda, gradually weakening the defenses of Thor’s home realm. It is uncertain how this will relate to the Dark Elves, but it seems pretty likely that there’s an alliance here.

Thor: The Dark World will be in theaters November 8.

6. Avengers 2

Not that there was a lot of doubt, but, it has been confirmed that Joss Whedon will write and direct the second Avengers movie. It is rumored that the film will lay the framework for solo character standalones that follow.

7. S.H.I.E.L.D.

Joss Whedon is writing and directing the show pilot, but he is not the show runner, so take your fingers off the cancel button, network executives. That role falls to Buffy the Vampire alumni Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen.

Cobie Smulders nailed it with her tough depiction of Agent Maria Hill. You’ll be please to know that it’s confirmed that she will return for the pilot of S.H.I.E.L.D. The heroic agent John Coulson is coming back, as well. We’re not sure how they are going to work that out – does S.H.I.E.L.D. start before The Avengers? Is it an unrelated timeline? – but, fans of the childlike Captain America fan will definitely be glad to see more of him.

8. Ant Man

Fans have waited for years for the Edgar Wright-directed Ant Man standalone film, and it is confirmed that it is part of Marvel’s Phase Three. Wright has said that Ant Man will be a bit of a genre bender. Some people think it could be a super hero/spy mash-up. Those who saw the bit of footage shown at Comic Con have said it seems more like super hero/heist. Since Wright is the man who brought us the zom-rom-com, we think we’ll trust him.

Ant Man comes out November 6, 2015.

9. Dr. Strange

This one, so far, exists in the highly-possible rumor category. No release date, no casting rumors… just a quote from Marvel president Kevin Feige, “Ant-Man is the only one officially announced, but you probably don’t have to look too far to guess at the next list of characters we’re toying with and beginning to develop… Doctor Strange, which I’ve been talking about for years, is definitely one of them.”

10. And then, there is this:

Despite being the most egregiously unmentioned snub in the Academy Awards Best Picture category, The Avengers aren’t holding any grudges. Avengers cast members Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will assemble on stage to present an award at the ceremony.

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