With this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego looming, there’s a lot of speculation regarding Marvel Studios’ plans for the show. Over the pre-show weekend, the studio dropped some clues with the announcement of five release dates it’s staking a claim on over the next five years.
After Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ant-Man next year, the studio already has a third Captain America film planned for May 6, 2016, and two unidentified films scheduled to hit theaters July 8, 2016, and May 5, 2017. Now the studio has also earmarked July 28 and November 3 in 2017, July 6 and November 2 in 2018, and May 3, 2019, for five more installments of its rapidly growing cinematic universe.
Of course, the question now becomes: Which films on which dates?
So far, the most obvious, unconfirmed pairing of project and release date is the upcoming Doctor Strange movie and the weekend of July 8, 2016. With a writer and director already attached and everything but the cast seemingly nailed down, Doctor Strange is a likely candidate for the next open slot on the schedule. After that, things get quite a bit more uncertain.
Of the projects expected to go into development down the road — in some cases, far down the road — there’s the third installment of The Avengers, as well as a likely third installment of Thor, since both Iron Man and Captain America each received three films so far. If all goes well with Guardians of the Galaxy (and early reviews seem to indicate that it will), a sequel to that film will likely slide into one of the open dates, too.
Beyond that it’s all in the realm of rumor, speculation, and plain ol’ guessing, with potential projects like Black Panther, The Inhumans, or a Hulk solo film all possibilities, as well as a sequel to Ant-Man if that project is received well.
One thing’s for certain, though: We’ll know a lot more about Marvel’s big-screen plans after its Comic-Con panel July 26.