Marvel is taking a deep breath before plunging into the third phase of its interconnected film universe, which begins in 2016 with Captain America: Civil War. The influential studio is changing its initial plans today, squeezing in an Ant-Man sequel and making 2018 an extravagant year of three new Marvel movies: Black Panther in February, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 in May, and Ant-Man and the Wasp in July. The studio’s first woman-led film, Captain Marvel, is pushed into early 2019.
The deliberately diminutive Ant-Man is having a major effect on Marvel’s plans, despite emerging from a publicly troubled development and being initially seen as another esoteric, is-that-going-to-work-in-a-movie import from the comics. But like Guardians of the Galaxy, and possibly the upcoming Doctor Strange, Marvel is making the weird work. With the introduction of an Ant-Man sequel, the rest of the Marvel lineup has shuffled into the release order you see above. Phase 3 doesn’t include 2017’s Spider-Man movie, which technically falls under Sony Pictures, but I added it since the character will appear in Marvel’s Phase 3 movies.
Barring any other surprise announcements, Marvel itself has 13 movies due between now and 2020. Ten of those form what the studio calls Phase 3, set to conclude with The Inhumans in 2019. After that, Marvel plans to fill 2020 with three more unannounced, uncategorized films.