The Marvel machine is revved up and cranking at full speed, with no sign of stopping or even slowing down. Last year’s super heroic performance of The Avengers at the box office, coupled with a very strong reboot of the web-slinger franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man, have convinced the powers that be at Disney and
Marvel that comic book super heroes are a good investment (understatement of the year.) Not only will Disney/Marvel bring us the Avengers 2 and 3, as well as new Captain America and Thor installments, but Sony (currently filming the follow-up to the Spider-Man reboot) recently announced release dates for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 AND 4!
Speaking of sequels, The Avengers 2 has been slated for a May 2015 release date. Although it would have taken a colossal bomb by the sequel to prevent an eventual third film, any doubt was erased with the recent news that Robert Downey Jr. would reprise his role as Iron Man in both the second and third installments of Disney/Marvel’s newest cash cow. Downey Jr.’s contract to portray playboy billionaire Tony Stark and his not so secret identity, Iron Man, expired after his appearance in the third film in the series, which has grossed over $1 billion worldwide through the end of June.
Although Robert Downey Jr. was by no means a guarantee to return as the iron clad superhero in future films, it was hard to imagine that Disney would let him walk after his starring role in four films as Iron Man generated nearly (wait for it…) $4 billion in revenue. It was also hard to imagine any actor in Hollywood being able to replace Downey in this role, which he has truly made his own. In fact, while some may have been concerned about how the character would play amongst the other superheroes in The Avengers and whether Downey’s performance would suffer when not solely in the spotlight, I believe that Downey’s Iron Man was better than ever playing off his co-stars, who more than held their own in the biggest movie of 2012.
On the other side of the Marvel spectrum is the (Amazing) Spider-Man franchise, whose films will continue to be released by Sony Pictures, due to contractual agreements in place before Disney’s acquisition of the comic book conglomerate. Last year’s reboot of the Spidey franchise scored big with moviegoers, raking in over $750 million worldwide and assuring Sony/Columbia of one, maybe two sequels, right? Wrong! Sony has announced release dates for the next three sequels to hit theaters as follows:
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 2, 2014
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 June 10, 2016
The Amazing Spider-Man 4 May 4, 2018
So it appears that Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man will be visiting your neighborhood every two years for the foreseeable future. And he will have plenty of company with his Avenger friends most likely filling in the odd numbered years (2014, 2017, etc.) Let's not forget the X-Men and a grumpy old chap named Wolverine who bought a huge plot of land in that neighborhood a bunch of years ago.
So thanks to Disney and Sony, Marvel fans will be able to continue enjoying new movies one after another featuring their favorite comic book characters for years to come...or at least until they stop making big bucks at the box office. In the words of the father of Marvel comics, Stan Lee, "Excelsior!'
Which Marvel movie are you most excited about? Leave us a comment.
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