‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Doctor Strange’ will lead the charge for Marvel’s Phase Three

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk

What are the two best adjectives to describe the third round of Marvel Films? For now, it's "small" and "weird."

It's the little guy who's first out of the gate after "The Avengers 2" bows during the summer of 2015, as Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige has revealed that "Ant-Man" will be the official party-starter for Phase Three of the superhero saga.

"'Ant-Man' is definitely part of Phase Three," Feige said in a recent interview with MTV News. "Like 'Iron Man 3,' it's certainly set in the Marvel Universe, but it's also through the lens of Edgar Wright -- which is the only reason we're making the movie."

Indeed, many Marvel fans feel that the only reason they're excited for an "Ant-Man" movie is because it's being made by the director of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." One can only imagine the bizarre energy and imagination he's going to bring to the story of Henry Pym, a brilliant scientist who invents a substance that turns him really, really small.

And what other new characters might be introduced to the expanded Marvel Universe during this third phase?

"'Doctor Strange,' which I've been talking about for years, is definitely one of them," Feige confirmed. "He's a great, original character, and he checks the box off this criteria that I have: he's totally different from anything else we have, just like 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' He's totally different from anything we've done before, as is 'Ant-Man,' which keeps us excited."

Stephen Strange was a neurosurgeon whose career comes to an abrupt end after his hands are damaged in a car accident. After tracking down a Himalayan hermit known as the Ancient One, Strange is taught the mystical arts and reinvents himself as Doctor Strange, the "mightiest magician in the cosmos."

A stand-alone "Doctor Strange" movie is still in the planning stages, and hopefully Marvel will remain "excited" about it enough to actually make it ... which certainly wasn't the case with the "Black Panther" movie, which seems to have been abandoned in favor of "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Anyway, let's not get too ahead of ourselves here. Before we delve into Phase Three, we have the Phase Two films to look forward to, starting with "Iron Man 3" (May 3) and followed by "Thor: The Dark World" (November 8), "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (April 4, 2014) and "Guardians of the Galaxy" (August 1, 2014). "The Avengers 2" (May 1, 2015) will mark the end of Phase Two, with "Ant-Man" (November 6, 2015) ushering in the next round of Marvel adventures.