In the wake of the stunning $100 million debut of its first film, Iron Man, Marvel Studios unveiled its plans for 2010 and 2011 today (largely because of the timing of the writers’ strike there will be no Marvel Studios’ films in 2009). After the premiere of The Incredible Hulk on June 13th of this year, the next Marvel Studios film will be a sequel to Iron Man, which will debut on April 30th, 2010 and will likely feature basically the same cast and director (Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, etc.) who are responsible for the current film. The second Marvel Studios movie for 2010 will be Thor, which is slated to premiere on June 4th, 2010. Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust) is set to direct Thor (see “Marvel Taps Matthew Vaughn”).
The Avengers will be Marvel Studios’ theme for 2011 starting with the May 6th, 2011 debut of The First Avenger: Captain America (working title) followed by the release of the first live action Avengers movie in July of 2011. Evidently Marvel is no longer worried about the possible lack of interest in a Captain America movie outside these shores and calculates that its strong brand identity can overcome any anti-American sentiment regarding the Star-Spangled Hero.
The big loser in the Marvel Studios derby appears to be Ant-Man, which writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) has been developing. With the success of the straight forward approach to superhero action movies as demonstrated by Iron Man, we may have to wait a while to get a more humorous and twisted take on the genre—at least from Marvel Studios.