While Marvel has been secretive about their plans for movies after the 2015 double-feature of “Avengers: Age of Ulrton” and “Ant-Man,” there have been some numerous hints at what could be coming in Phase 3 of the Marvel movie world. It will, of course, start with “Ant-Man,” which sees Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas star in the movie as the past and present Ant-Man characters. The question now is where will Marvel go next?
There will probably be one or two sequels. There is a “Thor 3” in the works, as Marvel has hired Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost to write the third movie. That will likely see Thor and Loki once again on opposite sides against each other. “Captain America 3” is also in development with the Russo brothers coming back for that sequel. But, Marvel has also promised new characters and it looks like the long rumored Doctor Strange will be the next new character.
According to HitFix, Marvel has a short list of four directors that they want to helm the film as it goes into development.
The four men that Marvel has tapped to comprise their shortlist are Mark Andrews (“Brave”), Nikolaj Arcel (“A Royal Affair”), Dean Israelite (“Welcome to Yesterday”), and Jonathan Levine (“50/50”). It also sounds like Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger (“Kung Fu Panda”) will write the screenplay.
This keeps up with Marvel choosing interesting, off the wall directors to helm their movies. Marvel hired Shakespearian director Kenneth Branagh to direct “Thor,” a former Troma filmmaker in James Gunn to direct “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and one of the best crime screenwriters of our generation in Shane Black to direct “Iron Man 3.” Of the four names, Andrews is an interesting choice thanks to his Pixar background and Levine is the most experienced.
Who is Doctor Strange?
Whoever they get will need to understand the dynamics of Doctor Strange. In Marvel Comics, Strange was a former surgeon who was arrogant and selfish. When he lost the use of his hands in an auto accident, he sought out anyone who could help him and ended up finding a great wizard. He soon earned his trust, gained magical powers, became a loyal and honorable hero, and became the greatest sorcerer in the universe.
Rumor has it that Johnny Depp is who Marvel wants to play Doctor Strange and they hope that he could be the next Iron Man, in other words the character that Phase 3 and beyond will be based around.
What will this mean for Marvel?
With Robert Downey Jr. getting older and other actors like Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth having a certain number of appearances written into their contracts, Marvel will need to start dipping into their rich cast of characters to make their movies continue on for years. Unless they plan to operate like the James Bond franchise and just switch out their actors over the years, new characters are important and Doctor Strange could be a big piece of that. It is also important that the character is not young, so Johnny Depp – or whoever they case – could last as the character for longer than someone who was forced to fight a lot like Thor.