Marvel Studios pumped six films into theaters this year and it'll come close to that number again in 2019. Right now, we've got five confirmed but there's still plenty of time. Avengers: Endgame is the biggie. The follow-up to Infinity War will mark the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's ten-year, three-phase plan. It may be the last time we see Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and everyone else together as Avengers. Time will tell. Endgame has the potential to be the biggest blockbuster ever made.
Meanwhile, Marvel marches on. The studio will expand the worlds of Spider-Man (Spider-Man: Far From Home) and X-Men (Dark Phoenix) while introducing a slew of new heroes (Captain Marvel, The New Mutants). If you're saddened by the prospective end of the Avengers, hopefully these new properties will get your blood flowing.
Here's a closer look at all the Marvel movies coming in 2019:
1. Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019)
Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, Lee Pace, Djimon Hounsou, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan
Analysis: The 21st movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel introduces Brie Larson as the title superhero. This is a big character introduction for Marvel and one that should prove even bigger for Brie Larson. Her life is about to change in a major way. Captain Marvel isn't just getting her own standalone movie in 2019, she's also going to appear in Avengers: Endgame. It's gonna be a big year for this blonde lightning bolt.
Plot: Set in 1995, Carol Danvers (Larson) is an ex-fighter pilot whose DNA is mixed with Kree blood after a crash landing. The procedure gives her immense superpowers including enhanced strength, flight, and the ability to explode bolts of energy from her body. The movie follows Danvers as she joins Starforce, an elite galactic military unit, and becomes one of the universe's most explosive heroes. She'll have to return to Earth to save it from being crushed between two warring alien worlds. Back home, she gets help in the form of Nick Fury (Jackson) and Phil Coulson (Gregg) in their younger years.
What we know: Avengers: Infinity War previewed Captain Marvel's arrival with that post-credits pager message, but that's more about her inclusion in Avengers: Endgame. Captain Marvel follows Ant-Man and the Wasp in the MCU timeline but its status as a prequel limits its crossover potential (Cap is still frozen in ice in 1995, for example). Still, that won't really matter for the biggest Marvel character introduction since Black Panther. Captain Marvel will be a force. The second trailer shows her dominating in space against alien warships, saving the planet by herself. She's basically Superman. We also know Jude Law will appear as Mar-Vell, Starforce commander and Danvers's mentor. And watch for the returns of Kree villains Ronan the Accuser (Pace) and Korath (Hounsou) from Guardians of the Galaxy.
2. Avengers: Endgame (April 26, 2019)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Evangeline Lilly, Jon Favreau, Letitia Wright
Analysis: "We're in the endgame now." Doctor Strange said it in Infinity War and here we are. He's also dead, supposedly, along with half of all living things. But everyone's coming back — somehow. How do we know this? We don't, but Marvel has a Spider-Man sequel coming out months after this one, and they've got Doctor Strange 2 in the works as well. So Peter Parker and Stephen Strange are coming back, at least. We can also cite the Infinity War storyline from the comics which sees everyone resurrected. (And Nebula stealing the Gauntlet!) There are fan theories about alternate realities, but I'm guessing time travel will be involved. In the end, Marvel movies tend to keep things simple.
Plot: There's nothing official from Marvel at this point but we know from the trailer and Infinity War that things are dire. We also know Endgame will wrap 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Phase Three, and give birth to the next chapter in Marvel movie history. Avengers: Endgame is arguably the most important comic book movie ever made considering its finale status (not to mention box office potential). The point is — Marvel ain't gonna screw this up. There will be a reckoning for the Mad Titan Thanos (who appears to be relaxing as a farmer if the scarecrow in the trailer is any indication). The Avengers and every other superhero will have their collective big moment and Phase Three of the MCU will close its curtains in glorious fashion.
What we know: Tony Stark is about to die in space after being left on Titan with Nebula after the snap. In the trailer (below), he records a message for Pepper Potts (and a leaked image shows her wearing rescue armor). So look for Pepper to save Tony and bring him back early in Endgame. The trailer also promises the return of Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Rudd) who has obviously survived the Quantum Realm after the events of Ant-Man and the Wasp. The post-credits scene after Infinity War previews the arrival of Captain Marvel so expect her to play a major role. According to Marvel President Kevin Feige, "The focus now is on delivering Captain Marvel and then bringing (her) story into the finale of everything we've started thus far." As for the inclusion of Adam Warlock, who plays a crucial role in the comic storyline, director Joe Russo has said he won't appear, but never say never. Adam is promised in the post-credits scene after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II so he's going to show up at some point.
3. Dark Phoenix (June 7, 2019)
Starring: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain,
Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters
Analysis: "They're right to fear me." The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the most famous in comic history and we'll see it unfold once this one hits theaters in June. A sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse and set 10 years later, Dark Phoenix will add a sullen new chapter to the X-Men franchise and kill off at least one main character. The Dark Phoenix storyline was adapted already, for X-Men: The Last Stand, but everyone hated it so let's hope they do the story justice this time. Director Simon Kinberg has stated Dark Phoenix will be "a new chapter" for the franchise.
Plot: The X-Men are now heroes on Earth ten years after the events of X-Men: Apocalypse. On a mission in outer space, their place is hit with a solar flare which unleashes Jean Grey's telekinetic abilities and remakes her as the all-powerful Dark Phoenix. In the comics, she's seduced by the villain Mastermind who tricks her into turning on the X-Men. Jean also leaves Earth and wipes out an entire planet, incurring the wrath of the Kree and Skrull empires (who have big roles in Captain Marvel). But we'll see if the movie follows suit. The film will definitely feature the X-Men trying to save Jean from herself in multiple battles, but we don't know why exactly. Professor X will do his best to keep her under control, but the Dark Phoenix will be too much. In the end, Jean dies to save her friends, battling against herself to reclaim control. It's also worth mentioning the Dark Phoenix Saga was adapted in New X-Men as well and that storyline focuses more on mental illness as Jean loses control of her superpowers.
What we know: Plenty, it's just a matter of what's included in the film and what isn't. X-Men comic book fans are itching to see how Fox redeems itself after ruining the Dark Phoenix Saga in Last Stand. We're not expecting a battle on the Moon like in the comics, but let's hope things stay true to the original story. One change we already know about is the virtual gender-swap of Mastermind. Jessica Chastain (above) isn't cast as the villain, but she is playing an alien who "manipulates Jean," according to Kinberg. From the trailer (below), we also know the X-Men have a teary funeral in the rain that's not for Professor X, Beast, Storm, or Nightcrawler, who are all shown in attendance. So that means Mystique, Cyclops, or Quicksilver will probably die, and our money's on Mystique. Why? Cyclops is important to the story and needs to be there at the end with his love, Jean. And Quicksilver isn't a big enough character to warrant such a big funeral. So that leaves Raven Darkhölme. It would make sense if Jean kills her somehow (perhaps by accident) and that's the breaking point for the X-Men to take the Dark Phoenix down.
4. Spider-Man: Far From Home (July 5, 2019)
Starring: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Cobie Smulders, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, J.B. Smoove
Analysis: The film that kicks off Marvel's Phase Four, Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place "minutes after" the events of Avengers: Endgame. Peter Parker (Holland) will be back and breathing (somehow) after de-materializing excruciatingly ("I don't wanna go!") on Titan in Infinity War. Far From Home will be a direct sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming as well. It'll be interesting to see how Parker is holding up after Endgame. The trailer doesn't mention anything but Spider-Man will undoubtedly be influenced by being resurrected.
Plot: Marvel has revealed the movie is set in Europe where Parker and his friends, Ned (Batalon) and MJ (Zendaya), are on summer vacation. Parker will reportedly team up with Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal) to stop the villainous Elementals when they show up on Earth. Beck, however, will eventually transform into one of the Wall Crawler's greatest foes — the illusion expert, Mysterio. Fans should also look for Parker and MJ to start their romantic relationship. (Where better than Europe?)
What we know: The trailer debuted at Comic-Con Experience Brazil and it'll arrive online on Saturday, but word is Mysterio looks comic book-worthy, which is all I really care about. Peter will also don a "stealth suit" in the film which looks very S.H.I.E.L.D. produced. Filming locations include London, Prague, and Venice so most of the film will take place overseas. But the movie was also shot in New York City so Spidey won't be far from home the entire time. Reportedly, Nick Fury, not Tony Stark, recruits Parker for a mission in the film (likely to fight the Elementals). The inclusion of the Elementals means there will be huge CGI creatures made from earth, air, water, and/or fire. The Vulture (Keaton) is also back, although I doubt he'll have a big role.
5. The New Mutants (August 2, 2019)
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga
Analysis: An X-Men spin-off, The New Mutants were a team of superheroes first introduced in the early '80s who have seen a few different incarnations over the years. We even met a few of them in X-Men: Days of Future Past (Blink, Warpath, Sunspot), but The New Mutants will feature different actors. Taylor-Joy plays Magik who'll likely be the leader. She's also the sister of Colossus so there's Deadpool crossover potential there. In the comics, The New Mutants were actually relaunched as X-Force in the '90s. But don't expect this one to be full of sarcastic quips and fun. The New Mutants is a superhero horror movie.
Plot: Unknown, but the trailer really plays up the horrific aspects of The New Mutants, making it look like a claustrophobic haunted house thriller. It takes place in a facility not unlike many we've seen in the X-Men films (and Stranger Things, which was likely a reference point). Mutants are being held and experimented on and our heroes are the subjects. They'll be subjected to things they never dreamed and learn to harness their unique abilities. Magik is a sorceress who can teleport. Wolfsbane (appropriately played by Arya Stark herself, Maisie Williams) can transform into a wolf. Cannonball (Heaton, from Stranger Things) can become exactly what his name suggests. Sunspot (Zaga) can manipulate solar energy. And Mirage (Hunt) can materialize your deepest fears like Pennywise in It.
What we know: The New Mutants is directed by Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars) who's done nothing close to horror up to this point. He did, however, create his own comic book to pitch this film so he does have a thoughtful plan. The movie is supposedly a "Stephen King meets John Hughes-style horror movie," according to ComingSoon. Reportedly, Professor X, and Storm will appear in some capacity and Demon Bear will be a villain. Antonio Banderas has been cast, but will supposedly appear in a post-credits scene, not the feature. The fact this film has been pushed back twice now, from April 2018 to February 2019 to August 2019 does not bode well, but we're not expecting Oscar-caliber material here anyways.