Marvel Studio's Phase Three slate announcement offered us no less than four confirmed new franchises (joining Ant-Man for five new Marvel movie properties) - but what about the old standbys?
Kevin Feige said that Captain America: Civil War will officially kick off Phase Three (making Ant-Man kind of the post-script on Phase Two), and it's gonna be a doozy. As we already knew, Robert Downey Jr will return as Tony Stark and he'll come into direct conflict with Captain America. But over what? In the comics Civil War grew out of a Superhuman Registration Act that required every hero make their identity known to the government. Nobody in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a secret identity.
Well, if you read Badass Digest you'd already know the answer, as I wrote about it here. Feige confirmed the outline - the events of Age of Ultron and other superhero brawls has left the public wondering about these beings - who is in charge of them? With the dissolution of SHIELD there's nobody watching them; in Age of Ultron Stark funds The Avengers and Captain America runs the team, but nobody is doing oversight. Remember that I told you the scene of Black Widow before Congress was added late in The Winter Soldier - this is why.
And so the conflict becomes who watches the watchmen. In a clip from Avengers: Age of Ultron shown at the event we see the seeds of Civil War; Tony and Steve, after being defeated by Ultron, are in hiding at Hawkeye's farm. They're chopping wood and talking about what just happened. They've all been shown their dark sides by Wanda Maximoff (something I also revealed to you guys a long time ago), and that leads to the question of what Tony Stark saw (he doesn't like that Steve doesn't have a dark side, by the way). This leads into the larger question of the Ultron program, which Tony says is why they fight - so they can one day stop fighting. He created Ultron so the heroes could retire. Steve disagrees, saying that pre-emptive wars always lead to the deaths of civilians. Always. And to prove his point, Steve Rogers RIPS A BLOCK OF WOOD IN HALF WITH HIS BARE HANDS.
As for Thor: Ragnarok... Feige says that this film will serve Phase Three the way The Winter Soldier served Phase Two, shaking up the whole universe. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Norse mythology knows that Ragnarok is like the apocalypse - sort of. It is a series of events that includes a great battle that kills Thor, Odin, Loki and other major gods. The world is submerged in water, and then it rises again, reborn. Ragnarok is the end of all things, but in the way that clearing a table ends one course of a meal so another can begin. In the comics Asgard has faced a number of Ragnaroks.
How that will play out in film is anyone's guess, but I've been told that Thor isn't in Avengers: Infinity War Part I, so I'd say shit looks bleak for the Odinson.
Captain America: Civil War comes out May 6, 2016. Thor: Ragnarok hits July 28, 2017.