Marvel Cinematic Universe Backstage: Phase 3


Doctor Strangelove

It all started in July 2014 at the San Diego Comic Con.  After much anticipation, fans had eagerly been waiting for this moment where two teaser announcements would take place.






This was orchestrated by Kevin Feige: the first was the trailer of The Avengers’ sequel and the second was a forum of discussion about Ant-Man. That was it! The fans were like, WTF?

On the 28th of October that year, a few journalists – and some selected bloggers – received an invitation to a special announcement from Marvel Studios at the Los Angeles El Capitan Theater. Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three and could now begin.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America Civil War Figurine

Originally called Captain America Serpent Society, this sequel has three purposes: first, to end the Captain America trilogy, second, to emphasize on the disagreement between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, and third, to end the story-arc around Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier.

This third episode of the Captain America trilogy was directed by the same previous team, active on the set of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The Avengers joined the party, except for Thor and The Incredible Hulk. King T’Challa of Wakanda, aka Black Panther, would make his first appearance, as well as Peter Parker, aka Spider Man.

Introducing King T’Challa of Wakanda at this stage is strategic, for two reasons: it allows the directors to work on his origins story without having to waste the first third of its solo movie about it, as well as finding a solid story-arc concerning this newbie.

Ditto for Spider Man. Plus, it is his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, freed from Sony’s supervision.

So, not only was Serpent Society, sorry, Captain America Civil War characters composed of a huge cast, it was also shot in various locations, each far away from each other: Atlanta, Puerto Rico, Iceland and Germany, for instance.

By the way, did I mention that the big bad guy next door is Baron Helmut Zemo, and is played by actor Daniel ‘Goodbye Lenin’ Brühl? No? Well, there you go.

Captain America: Civil War came out in 2016 and earned $1.153 billion.

The deeper we go into Phases, the more difficult it is to watch each movie from the Marvel universes separately. Interconnections multiply and, as a consequence, a Marvel Cinematic Universe chronological order comes in handy. You now need a global vision to enjoy and understand the various movies of Marvel universes.

Who is Doctor Strange?

Magic and Multiverse. What am I talking about? Well, if you think of it, the word ‘multiverse’ is quite self-explanatory: it means a group of universes. But when we are talking about Marvel comics, it means that Marvel characters evolve within the Marvel Universe, which in turns is part of a bigger universe. This larger universe is a multiverse. Et voilà!

Magic and Multiverse: these are the fields Marvel Studios now want to step into. So. It starts with Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme. But who is Doctor Strange? He is a former surgeon who became a witch with the ability to travel in parallel dimensions. Not that it matters, but he is arrogant, too.

Kevin Feige finally chose Scott Derrickson, the director of Sinister, to coordinate Doctor Strange. Derrickson absolutely wanted British actor Benedict ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Cumberbatch to act as Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme.

Doctor Strangelove

Unfortunately, Benedict was not available, busy playing Hamlet on stage. Derrickson was depressed. Depressed. Depressed.

So depressed, that Marvel Studios agreed to postpone the production dates of Doctor Strange in order to align them with Cumberbatch availabilities. Derrickson was extatic!

The movie premiered in Hong-Kong on October 13, 2016. This 14th movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe earned $677.4 million.

Marvel Studios explained that Dr Strange was the foundation of the rest of Phase 3, but most of all, of Phase 4. And Kevin Feige added that Doctor Strange 2: In the Multiverse of Madness, was going to be the first Marvel incursion into scary, horror and gothic. It will hit the big screens on May 6, 2021.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Starlord guardian of the galaxy

James Gunn, who directed Vol.1, directed its sequel. Nicole Perlman was not the scenarist, as she was given another major project of the MCU: the deliverance of a scenario for Captain Marvel, the first MCU franchise featuring a female character.

And you thought everything was going smoothly in Marvel’s Kingdom, Of course not! Gunn wanted to make Ego, the Living Planet, the biological father of Peter Jason Quill, aka Star-Lord. That was problematic, because in Marvel comic books, the story is different.

In addition to this, the rights over Ego belonged to Fox. A never-ending legal battle was forthcoming. However, at the time, Fox was contemplating making a movie out of Deadpool comics.

The director, Tim Miller, wanted to give the mutant Ellie Phimister, aka Negasonic Teenage Warhead, different super powers from the ones she has in the comics. Such amendments required the approval of Marvel Studios.

Problem solved: in exchange of Ego, Marvel Studios allowed Fox to bring the changes they wanted to Negasonic character.

Kurt Russell would play Ego, the intelligent Living Planet with a human face. Another challenge.

Groot resurrected, through a smaller shape and thus was nicknamed Baby Groot.

James Gunn made a point, in terms of goodies, of having all female characters represented as action figures: you will be able to shop online to get Des Gamora, Nebula and Nova Prime, inter alias.

The only bum note was the accidental destruction of the Sony Walkman headset that Quill uses in the movie. Russell Bobbitt, the movie prop man, decided to build one himself, since its price on eBay was at the time $1800.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spiderman Home Coming

Director:  Jon Watts

Producer: Kevin Feige

Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover, Bokeem Woodbine, Robert Downey Jr.

Tomatometer: 92%

Box-office: $880.2 million

The intention of Marvel Studios was not to tell, for the umpteenth time, the origin story of Spidey. Let’s not forget that he made his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War. The aim was to observe how Peter Parker was going to evolve between his day life as a student in a school in Queens, and his activities as a night super hero.

Tony Stark would be his mentor. Since the first movie, Tony Stark character is in the center of the MCU. He is the first one that Nick Fury goes to consult, he played a major part in the creation of the super soldier Steve Rogers and of the SHIELD, he unfortunately built the psycho robot Ultron and he originated the conflict due to the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War.

The big bad villain is played by Michael ‘Batman’ Keaton: he acted as The Vulture, who sees Tony Stark liable for his own misery.

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor Ragnaro

Chris Hemsworth return as Thor in this third sequel of the adventures of the god of the Norse mythology.

The synergy between magic and science within the Marvel Cinematic Universe is clearly established in this movie. Ragnarok means the fate of the Gods, as in the final destruction of the world. What a program!

Thor: Ragnarok premiered in Los Angeles on October 2017 and earned $584 million at the box office.

Black Panther – Black is Beautiful!

Black has always been beautiful, so it was high time that we got to see a movie whose cast is primarily African-American. Originally, Black Panther was a comic book written by our favorite duo, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Black Panther

Black Panther is the 18th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to receive an Academy Award. Bliss! It was directed by Ryan ‘Fruitvale Station’ Coogler, who is already working on a sequel.

The film premiered in January 2018 and earned over $1.3 billion at the box-office.

Avengers: Infinity War

As the 19th movie of the MCU, Avengers: Infinity War premiered in April 2018 in Los Angeles and grossed over $2 billion worldwide.

In the Avengers: Infinity War, we are introduced to  a super-villain, namely Thanos. This character is portrayed by actor Josh Brolin. Thanos attempts to collect the Infinity Stones, which are powerful gems that can be used to destroy anything.

Avengers Infinity War

And why does he want to collect them, you might ask? Well, because since he is in love with Lady Death, he wants to impress her by destroying the universe.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: the Buzz!

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the sequel of the 2015 Ant-Man movie. Paul Rudd, aka Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, is back and is now accompanied by Evangeline ‘Lost’ Lilly as The Wasp, aka Hope Van Dyne.

The Wasp

The action of the movie takes place in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War.

The movie premiered in Hollywood in 2018 and earned $622 Million. At the end of the closing credits, a statement says that Ant-Man and the Wasp will return.

Captain Marvel: not Girly!

Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, is Marvel Studios’ first female-led super hero. It was about time, if you ask me. I mean, there are so many female characters in the Marvel universe!

Captain Marvel

Thank God, a sequel will be released during Phase 4 of the MCU.

Originally, Captain Marvel is based on the comic book called Ms Marvel, the counterpart of Captain Marvel. In 2012,  Carol Danvers assumed the identity of Captain Marvel.

The film premiered in February 2019 and earned over $ 1.1 billion at the box-office.

Spider-Man: Far from Home

It was released on June 2019 and it has already grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide. Spider-Man : Far from Home is the 23rd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Spiderman Far From Home

It has probably been brought to your attention that on August 20th, 2019, The Walt Disney Company, who owns Marvel Studios, announced that Spiderman was leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Perhaps you’ve seen on Twitter hashtags such as #savespiderman #savespidey or #savespidermanfromsony.

Historically, Sony has owned Spider-Man movie rights for years. The arrangement with Marvel Studios was that Kevin Feige would produce Spider-Man movies and integrate the super hero within the MCU.

This arrangement did not however involve sharing any box-office income generated by the use of the Spider-Man character by each party.

Since Spider-Man: Far from Home outperformed James Bond Skyfall as Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing film worldwide of all time, Disney entered into discussions with Sony in order to split future Spider-Man films according to a 50/50 co-financing arrangement as well as profit. Sony declined.

Disney thus removed Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios as producers of future Spider-Man movies made by Sony and also let go of good old Spidey from the MCU. To be continued.

Phase 4: 2020

It starts in 2020. And I will be here to keep you posted. To be continued…

Source: “Dans les coulisses du Marvel Cinematic Universe”, Jean-Christophe “Faskil” Detrain

12 thoughts on “Marvel Cinematic Universe Backstage: Phase 3”

  1. Hello again! Very interesting article. You always come up with such brilliant facts; No I did not know that Daniel Brühl played Baron – and strangely enough I was having a discussion about this with a friend of mine the other day. At least I have the confirmation now 🙂

    Could I ask, if you had to choose, who would be your favourite actor to play in a Batman role? I think mine would be Christian Bale. Love him

    1. Hi Renée! Thank you for your comment. My favorite Batman actor is definitely Michael Keaton. He wears the mask perfectly and he is also very handsome in a tuxedo as Bruce Wayne. In addition, I love the atmosphere created by Tim Burton in Batman and Batman Returns. I don’t like the strange voice of Christian Bale in ‘The Dark Knight’, but he also is an excellent actor, for sure. Cheers! Anso

  2. I had never heard of Doctor Strange. I think I got him confused with Dr House! Anyway, thank you for this article, it makes things clearer and now I can’t wait to hear about Phase 4.

    I knew about all these super heroes, but I could never tell which one was DC Comics and which one a Marvel one. I see that you wrote some stuff about some DC Comics heroes, too. I will go and read that. Henry

    1. Me, it’s the opposite: I have heard of Dr House, but I am not an expert. Glad you like the article and that it makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe clearer for you. I will surely write about Phase 4, but I will now concentrate a bit on DC Comics characters. Anso

  3. I have watched all the movies from the phase 3, I didn’t know they were all in phases before. All of them were really successful in the cinema and I really enjoyed watching them except for captain marvel that seemed a little off. I felt she had just too much power than she was given. All the same, I too can’t wait for the next movies especially the second part of the black panther. The movie was a huge success too. Great one on keeping us entertained here. Thank you

    1. You’re welcome, Henderson. Figuring out the phases is quite complicated, I confess. Especially when movies telling again the story of the same superhero are inserted in the timeline. Anyway, I am glad you enjoyed reading about phase 3. Cheers, Anso 

  4. So much information being offered up here to the extent that I just couldn’t figure out which i know about before and the ones I didn’t. Wow! So many different ups and downs behind all the movies and it seems they are all intertwined. I love visiting this website. Also, I haven’t seen the spiderman home coming so I couldn’t resonate well with the information on it but all others, I have seen. Great article

    1. Thank you Tracy. Yeah, poor Spidey, he had a hard week.Hope everything will be fine for him (and for us). Take care. Anso

  5. Oh I’m glad they were able to accommodate for Benedict Cumberbatch to be Dr Strange. It’s just the perfect cast. 

    Ok, I have to admit i’ve not watched Spider-Man Homecoming, for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I thought it was going to be same old, same old. Well, I think I’ll have to watch it after all. Thanks for making its case, I had given up on Spidey.

    (This also goes for Spider-Man: Far from Home, especially since we don’t know what’s going to happen next…)

    1. Hello Petra! Yes, Sony and Disney are currently having heated discussions about poor Spidey! I will try to catch up and let you know. Cheers, Anso

  6. I never had so much deeper knowledge about these comics but have seen the movies in our cinemas. Marvel movies and also Avengers became my favorite well produced movies. However, reading all about so much facts from you writing has inspired me to dig deeper and learn much about these comics. You have provided so much valuable information and it also sparked my interest in these comics and the movies.

    Keep writing because the content is great and very informative.

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