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May 6 was the date that Marvel's The Avengers movie arrived and took the world by storm. As I write these words, The Avengers has grossed over $1.4 billion dollars worldwide and over $600 million alone from North American theaters.
Last week one big piece of the puzzle concerning the inevitable Avengers sequel fell into place as Marvel Studios announced the return of writer/director Joss Whedon for Avengers 2. Marvel had already set in ink the planned release dates for their second wave of superhero movies:
Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3, 2013;
Thor: The Dark World arrives on November 8, 2013;
Captain America: The Winter Soldier streets on April 4, 2014;
And finally, on August 1, 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy lands.
What was missing is how The Avengers 2 fits into this second phase of Marvel's Cinematic Universe. And now we finally now: Walt Disney Pictures will release The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.
This gives Whedon a little under three years to get all of his superhero ducks in a row. The dude cut his teeth writing for a compressed television schedule, so I don't think that cracking this nut will be an impossible challenge for him at all.
The release date for Avengers 2 also means that Marvel can begin thinking ahead to its third wave of movies. What follows after the third Iron Man movie? Will the studio spend some of that billion dollars that they made from The Avengers on securing Robert Downey Jr. to more Iron Man and Avengers movies? What about other Marvel superheroes like Ant-Man, Black Panther or other cosmic heroes -- will they get their own movies after 2015? Those are the chief questions we can start speculating about now.
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