Marvel timeline: Film and television release dates

Aug 10, 2016

The Cap's third solo outing lays the way for Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War Part 1

Captain America: Civil War was hailed by critics as one of Marvel's best films when it came out earlier this year. But it is certainly not all the comic book company has to offer. There are at least nine more films in the pipeline over the next three years, including two further Avengers sequels, while Spider-Man and Black Panther, along with other Civil War characters, will be making solo outings. 

Marvel movies

Doctor Strange

Spider-Man isn't the only one making his Marvel debut in 2016 - Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch is stepping into Stephen Strange's shoes for the first time. The classiness of the cast doesn't stop there as he has Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor as co-stars. Strange is one of Marvel's less high-profile heroes: the Sorcerer Supreme charged with protecting the Earth from magical and mystical threats. Director Scott Derrickson, who has written several horror films, including The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Devil's Knot, says: "I keep waiting for the knock on the door when somebody says, 'This movie's too weird, we can't make this.'"

Release date: 28 October 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Chris Pratt returns to play Star-Lord as 2014's surprise hit gets another outing. According to Variety, Kurt Russell will make his debut as Star-Lord's father, while original stars Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn and Glenn Close all return. They will be joined by Elizabeth Debicki, of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Chris Sullivan from The Knick and Oldboy's Pom Klementieff.

Release date: 28 April 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

After cropping up in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland's Spider-Man gets his Marvel debut in full. The web-throwing teenager's arrival is a "seismic event", says Den of Geek, which claims the new film will have a "John Hughes vibe" and focus on Peter Parker as a high school student. Cop Car director Jon Watts is at the helm, with Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and Robert Downey Jr making an appearance as Tony Stark.

Release date: 7 July 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

Ragnarok is the Norse "doom of the Gods", suggesting that the third Thor instalment will feature some sort of apocalypse, although according to Avengers star Mark Ruffalo, the film is a "buddy picture". He's joining the cast as the Hulk and it seems a bromance with Thor is on the cards. Tom Hiddleston, who has been busy making headlines with his turns in The Night Manager and High-Rise, will also reprise his role as the villain Loki. Rumour has it that Natalie Portman will not be returning as Dr Jane Foster, but there is set to be a new female hero: Valkyrie. In the comics, she has the power to help the dead pass into the "next realm". Director Taika Waititi was behind a handful of Inbetweeners episodes but is relatively new to the world of high-budget superheroes.

Release date: 27 October 2017

Black Panther

Marvel has a grand tradition of relaunching minor characters with unexpected creators behind them, says The Guardian. That's why Ta-Nehisi Coates, the journalist and political writer, has been asked to script a new series of comics for Black Panther, the ceremonial name of T'Challa, the king of the fictional African nation Wakanda. The Panther's first film outing will star Chadwick Boseman and be directed by Ryan Coogler. Marvel president Kevin Feige says it will be a "big geo-political action adventure".

Release date: 16 February 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

Coming to the set direct from shooting Captain America: Civil War, the Russo Brothers will be working on a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. According to Comicbook.com, the Russos have hinted that Star-Lord might join the action. Joe Russo is also excited about working with Thor after Ragnarok, suggesting that the character will be in a "very interesting place" by the start of Infinity War. "I think he's going to have a real emotional motivation," he said.

Release date: 27 April 2018

Ant-Man and The Wasp

A significant moment, this: the first time a female character has had her name in the title of a Marvel Universe movie. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas have all signed up and Peyton Reed is expected to direct again after being at the helm for 2015's Ant-Man. Rudd will take a writing credit, as he did on the first film, alongside Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari and Adam McKay. Reed told MTV late last year he was excited about maximising The Wasp's role, saying: "It's such a no-brainer that there needs to be female heroes."

Release date: 6 July 2018

Captain Marvel

As comic fans know, Captain Marvel is not a single superhero but an alias adopted by a series of characters over Marvel Comics's history. The latest incarnation is Carol Danvers, the superhuman crime-fighter formerly known as Ms Marvel and one of the franchise's most popular female characters. Former Community star Brie Larson is the current favourite to win the role, Variety reports. The 26-year-old, fresh from winning the best actress Oscar for her intense turn in Room, is said to be in "early talks" to play Danvers. Fittingly for a film about a feminist comic book icon, Captain Marvel is being penned by two women – Inside Out writer Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman, who previously helped develop Guardians of the Galaxy.

Release date: 2019

Marvel television shows

Luke Cage

Marvel and Netflix's third original joint TV offering after Daredevil and Jessica Jones will be the adventures of Luke Cage. Mike Colter, who plays the eponymous hero, says the show will be set a few months after the events of its predecessor, Jessica Jones. "When a sabotaged experiment gives him super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage becomes a fugitive attempting to rebuild his life in Harlem, and must soon confront his past and fight a battle for the heart of his city," says Marvel.

Netflix – 30 September 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Channel 4 has already broadcast three seasons of the US drama, which follows the adventures of a skilled team of agents investigating superhuman people and unusual events. The fourth series will go "a little bit edgier, a little darker, and take some risks", according to ABC, which commissioned the show in the US. How much edgier is as yet unknown, although the series is thought to be airing in the US in a later time-slot, giving the producers more scope for violence.

Channel 4 – series four premiere: autumn 2016 

Cloak and Dagger 

Described as a superhero love story, Cloak and Dagger is based on the titular comic-book duo also known as Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, who have appeared in Marvel Comics classics including Spider-Man and X-Men stories. As the project has only been given the green light, little is known about the show, but it is believed to follow two teenagers from very different backgrounds who fall in love while acquiring their superpowers - Tandy can emit light daggers and Tyrone has the ability to engulf others in darkness.

Netflix – 2017

Jessica Jones

Krysten Ritter is back as the former superhero who opens her own detective agency after escaping the control of the supervillain Kilgrave, played by British actor David Tennant. The first series came to Netflix last November but after the demise of last season's villain, it will have a new focus. "I'm excited to see what happens next for Jessica and the end of season one left a lot of doors open and questions," Ritter said. "Kilgrave was her reason for getting up every morning. Saving people gave her purpose. I wonder how emotionally taxed she's going to be now."

Netflix – series two TBA

Iron Fist

Iron Fist tells the story of Danny Rand, who, after going missing for years, returns to New York with the aim of reconnecting with his past and family legacy. The show promises incredible martial arts set pieces, with Rand's kung-fu mastery a key element in his ability to summon the power of the fiery Iron Fist. Scott Buck, whose credits include Dexter and Six Feet Under, is the showrunner for the series. "I've always been drawn to writing complex, intriguing characters, and that's what most excites me about the opportunity to bring Danny Rand and Iron Fist to life with Marvel on Netflix," he said. Don't expect to see Marvel's Iron Fist Netflix series any time this year, says Den of Geek, but Rand may appear in Luke Cage before then.

Netflix – TBA

The Defenders

Perhaps the most exciting of Marvel's upcoming TV shows, The Defenders will see Jessica Jones, Danny Rand, Luke Cage and The Daredevil team up, much like their big-screen counterparts, The Avengers. But where The Avengers dealt with end-of-the-universe type scenarios, The Defenders will have to contend with lower-level but no less gripping problems, such as street crime. The series will, however, hone in on character development and smaller-scale stories. Daredevil star Charlie Cox says production will begin this winter, meaning a late 2017 air date is expected.

Netflix – TBA 

The Punisher

Jon Bernthal first assumed the role of The Punisher/Frank Castle in season two of Daredevil and quickly became a Marvel favourite. His strong performance as the murderous villain spurred Marvel towards creating a new standalone series for the character. Although the show is in its early days, Bernthal has hinted it will be more of an origin story than a continuation of his appearances in Daredevil. "Castle is reeling from the loss of his family. He's driven by rage and is on a singular mission to find these people who took his family from him, and do it as brutally as possible," he said.

 Netflix – TBA

Graphic provided by Statista for TheWeek.co.uk

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