Tonight ended one of the craziest and most exciting weeks for anyone who has ever read a Marvel comic book or enjoys the current Marvel Cinematic Universe format. To think, it all started with a mistake…
Last Tuesday, rumors were traveling around the internet that a trailer for the Avengers: Age of Ultron had leaked online. While I was personally not able to see the leaked trailer, I had read that it followed the second half of the footage shown at this year’s Comic-Con. Marvel reacted to the “rumored” leak with the following tweet, confirming that the leaked footage was legit in a very appropriate way:
This was the trailer that was originally supposed to debut during tonight’s Agents of Shield episode, in order to provide a ratings boost to a series that has dropped below five million viewers. Millions of Marvel fans would have made sure to catch this episode, thus providing a much needed jump for the fledging series. So, what would Marvel do? Would they just let the leaked trailer grow throughout the internet and everyone would have seen it before the episode’s premiere? No, they decided to release the full, high-definition trailer.
The trailer blew up! It broke the previous record that Iron Man 3 held for the amount of trailer views within 24 hours by over 10 million views (34.3 million vs. 23.1 million). It created an absolute buzz around the upcoming release, as well as allowing viewers to search for any easter eggs and hidden secrets (If you’re interested in these aspects, take a look at IGN’s Rewind Theater analysis). They took the plunge and released the full trailer, to the joyous reception of their fans! They even announced that they would release unseen footage of the movie during tonight’s Agents of Shield, in order to make up for the leaking of the original trailer.
The problem was, Kevin Feige wasn’t done with just showing off Age of Ultron. He and Marvel Studios invited fans to an Apple-esque event this morning, where they would be making some “ground-breaking” announcements. Many assumed it would something as simple as confirming that Benedict Cumberbatch was cast as Doctor Strange. However, it was way more than that!
He debuted the Phase Three schedule for the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
It was incredible! The third Captain America, confirming Doctor Strange (but not Cumberbatch… yet!) and moving up the release date for the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. This three films confirmed the films that we knew were going to be released, but the best announcements were to come.
First came Thor: Ragnorak, the third film focusing on the Asgardian God which Feige described as the equivalent of what happened in Captain America: The Winter Soldier for Thor. This means that this film will change the course of Thor’s world, like the <SPOILERS> reveal that Hydra had control of Shield did on Captain America. Feige also described that Ragnorak is Norse for “The end of the world”, which can only mean terrible things for Thor, Loki (Hiddleston Returns!), Jane Foster and Asgard itself.
Next came four brand new movies, with three brand new heroes: Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans. These movies will increase the diversity of Marvel’s superhero ensemble with the first African-American and Woman solo films of the Cinematic Universe, addressing an issue that many criticizers have been bringing up about Marvel movies for a long time. Many analysts believe that Inhumans may turn into a X-Men type of franchise due to the main characters being a super-powered ensemble, each with their own individual abilities.
The fourth movie brought the big reason for the event, Avengers: Infinity War, which will bring to fruition the plan that Marvel started when Nick Fury broke into Tony Stark’s house at the end of Iron Man. Not only that, but it will be split into two movies! Also, check out the teaser for it below. How can you not be excited about this????
This was the way to end an event! Feige had given the Marvel fans what they want… But he wasn’t even done there. He had one final movie announcement. The third Captain America movie would be titled “Civil War”, featuring the Superhero Registration Storyline that so many fans were clamoring for! To make it complete, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. came out on stage and did a face-to-face pose against each other, giving attendees a playful tease to the serious lines that were going to be drawn between the two of them.
It got even crazier as they announced that Black Panther would debut and be a key character in Civil War. They even brought out Chadwick Boseman, the great actor who played Jackie Robinson in “42”, who had been secretly cast as Black Panther. After all of the leaks that occurred in the last week, how on earth did they keep this casting a secret? Let alone that he would be a featured cast member in the Civil War divide between Stark and Rogers!
The lineup is as follows:
So after all of the craziness that Marvel Studios had to endure in the past week, Marvel has seemed to take it all in stride and embraced the idea of getting ahead of leaks. Kevin Feige became the Steve Jobs of the movie industry on Tuesday, taking advantage of a leak and announcing something even better for their fans to sink their teeth into! 11 movies are scheduled for the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the next five years, which means that there will be 23 total movies within the Universe over Feige’s first three phases.
The announcement that Feige held on Tuesday was unprecedented, especially given that many of these movies are a couple years away. Most events like this feature a product that would be coming out at most six months from the event’s date (see Apple). The attendees loved it, the fans loved it, the actors loved it, oh c’mon who didn’t love it!