Will there be a Black Widow standalone movie? When will we get to see Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther? Which actress will be cast as Captain Marvel? Is Benedict Cumberbatch going to be Doctor Strange?
With Marvel, every major announcement begets a waterfall of followup questions. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige indulged a group of journalists following Tuesday’s massive information dump (read Anthony Breznican’s play-by-play here) with some teases, some specifics and a whole bunch of misdirects. Here’s what we learned:
First off, let’s talk about those Benedict Cumberbatch rumors. Feige didn’t deny the widely reported scoop that the baritone-voiced Brit would be taking up the Doctor Strange mantle, but he wouldn’t confirm it either. “If it were confirmed we would have introduced him today,” said Feige, who then decided to turn the question back to the major casting announcement they did make on Tuesday with Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, who will be a big part of Captain America: Civil War where we’ll meet him “in costume” before his Nov. 3, 2017 standalone.
“I think there’s always been speculation on a lot of different characters for Black Panther but I’m glad that didn’t leak in earnest the way every single other actor in human history of a certain age has been for Doctor Strange. Like everything else that will be announced…later this afternoon? This week? Next month? Sometime before the release of the movie in November 2016,” he said.
Feige also said teased that the “Civil War” is the “Civil War of the cinematic universe, which will be greatly inspired by the Civil War of the comic universe, but we have very different continuity there,” he said. “This will be the Civil War based off of all the other films that you’ve seen up to this point, particularly Winter Soldier and particularly Age of Ultron.”
As for who will be playing Captain Marvel, Feige wasn’t prepared to announce anything about a potential lead actress, but, he acknowledged that he fully expected “rumors to start flying” immediately. That doesn’t mean we’ll have to wait too long for more Captain Marvel info, though. “The initial announcements in terms of announcements for that film will be writer announcements and director announcements, which I expect will be quite soon. In terms of the actress, I think there’s more time on that,” he said.
In light of all these casting and standalone announcements, Feige also addressed the question of whether or not Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow would be getting her own standalone film. He was…evasive to say the least, but it doesn’t look promising.”Frankly, it’s about bringing new characters to the screen. Black Widow couldn’t be more important as an Avenger herself,” he said. “Her part in Avengers: Age of Ultron is very, very big and further develops and further enhances her character. The plans we have for her throughout the rest of the Avengers saga is very, very big. A lynchpin, in fact, to those films. So instead of taking her out, instead of doing a prequel, which we haven’t done yet, we’re continuing the forward momentum and continuity of the cinematic universe of which Widow is a key, key part.”
Likewise, Hulk may just continue to be an Avengers player up through Infinity. “Mark Ruffalo is on board for all those films,” said Feige. “We’d love to find a place to put it, but right now Hulk will be appearing with his friends.”
Feige also revealed some fun questions about what we might be seeing in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (May 5, 2017). “The great thing about the Guardians series is there are no lack of awesome characters that we can do fun things with,” he said. “Is Groot gonna be small? Is Groot gonna be big? Is Cosmo going to come back? Will he speak? What’s that duck doing after he took that swig? Where’s the Collector?” He promises he’ll be going over with writer-director James Gunn soon.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned to EW.com for more on Tuesday’s big event.