The first two phases of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe have ended, and the third phase is looking to be the largest and most expensive yet. Still, there are a ton of films coming up in the third phase that we need to prepare for. Today I’ve assembled a watchlist for people interested in the new actors, directors, and writers for two of Marvel’s third phase films.
Now, while there are a lot of projects that are still somewhat unknown – there are two films that we need to prepare for, in one way or another: Doctor Strange, and the Sony-Marvel Spider-Man reboot.
DOCTOR STRANGE (2016):
This is the one movie that I’m not sure the casual Marvel-movie fans have their eyes on. And I’ll tell you this much – if you’re not interested in this project, then you’re missing out. Doctor Strange has a horror director, a sci-fi writer, and an amazing cast attached to it. It has been described as Marvel’s Fantasia, and is sure to be one of the most unique Marvel movie experiences.
- Sinister (2012) – Directed by Scott Derrickson: Derrickson is a great horror director, and I think one of his stronger films is Sinister. Derrickson both directed and co-wrote this film, and while some argue that it falls apart in the final act, I think it is one of the most brilliant horror films of this decade, so far.
- Prometheus (2012) – Co-written by Jon Spaihts: Now, I had a tough time getting a Spaihts film on this list. Here’s the reason: Spaihts only has two films out. He wrote The Darkest Hour, which wasn’t really a great sci-fi film – and he has co-written Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. I actually like Prometheus, even though it is not the strongest Ridley Scott film. His original Prometheus script was actually redeveloped by Damon Lindelof, but you should really check out the three-hour documentary on Prometheus, in which you get a good idea of what Jon Spaihts had in mind originally. Otherwise, then maybe look for his Passengers script online, which has been praised before.
- Sherlock (BBC TV-Show) – Starring Benedict Cumberbatch: There’s a reason why people say that Benedict Cumberbatch was a safe choice for Stephen Strange. Cumberbatch has a built-in fanbase, has blockbuster experience, and has already played ‘the smartest guy in the room’ in the absolutely brilliant Sherlock tv-show. In Sherlock, you basically have three feature-length films in one season – and thus this is the best way to familiarize yourself with this excellent actor.
This is the film that I think most people are wary of. We’ve already seen two decent takes on his origin story – two different Peter Parkers – and while Marvel is being brought in to help, guide, and assist wherever they can, this film is still a Sony film.
We already know who’s going to be the new Parker, the new director, and the new writer(s) – so we have quite a bit to go on and work with.
- Cop Car (2015) – Directed by Jon Watts: Now, this is a very inexperienced movie director, and the only other film that he has completed is Clown – a horror film. Now, this Spider-Man film won’t be a horror film, therefore I’ve not put Clown on the list. But Cop Car is a very different film, and one that could help you in understanding the process of the director, seeing as he worked with two young actors in this film. It follows two boys that come across a, seemingly, abandoned cop car – but now the Sheriff is chasing them to bring it back.
- Vacation (2015) & Horrible Bosses (2011) – Written and co-written by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley: These two guys are to write the script for the Spider-Man reboot, and they are somewhat experienced while almost exclusively with comedy. While Vacation isn’t as strong of a film as Horrible Bosses, both of these films have an audience. The latter definitely highlights the talent of these guys – though be aware of the fact that they actually wrote Horrible Bosses with Michael Markowitz, who will not be writing Spider-Man.
- The Impossible (2012) & In The Heart of the Sea (2015) – Starring Tom Holland: Now we get to our leading man. Tom Holland will be seen in the upcoming In The Heart of the Sea, starring alongside Chris Hemsworth, no less. While I obviously have not seen that film yet, it is a must see – but it is not as important on this watchlist as The Impossible is. While Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts should be the ones to watch in a film like this one, Tom Holland is definitely the star of it. Holland, playing Lucas Bennett, gives one of the best young actor performances I’ve seen so far in this decade – whether that was pure luck or not, we obviously don’t know yet this early in his career – but this performance made me believe in the casting of Tom Holland as Peter Parker.
How are you preparing for Marvel’s Phase Three? Sound off in the comments.
I’m Jeffrey Rex