When Marvel Studios talks, people listen -- a six-year track record as one of the most consistently successful franchises in box office history tends to do that. So when it became public that Marvel Studios had planned a event -- open to press and lucky fans -- to take place midday Tuesday at the Disney-owned El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood but with no further details released, observers were understandably curious.
After all, it's been an eventful few days for the studio -- the highly anticipated initial "Avengers: Age of Ultron" trailer landed online last week a few days earlier than expected (first through a leak, then by official means), and on Monday reports surfaced that "Sherlock" star Beneditch Cumberbatch was entering negotiations to play the title role in "Doctor Strange," after months of rumors and speculation as to who might fill that cloak.
Whether or not this event has anything to do with either of those two things is, of course, up in the air -- as, again, Marvel has been very tight-lipped as to what's planned for the presentation. But CBR News is there live -- things are slated to start around 11 a.m. Pacific -- so keep hitting refresh for the latest updates, unless a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent confiscates our laptop.
Following the El Capitan's customary organ concert and elaborate curtain rise, the event started with the Marvel Studios opening sequence, and the arrival of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, out to a warm reception. "I want to start with something you've already seen, thanks to the fine people of Hydra," Feige said. Of course, that was a reference to the "Avengers: Age of Ultron" trailer, which then played on the big screen.
After the trailer, Feige pointed out that "Age of Ultron" writer/director Joss Whedon was in the audience, which the crowd was very happy to hear. Feige mentioned that "Guardians of the Galaxy" was the 10th Marvel Studios film -- and the highest-grossing domestic movie of 2014 thus far -- something that "blows his mind." "What James Gunn did with that movie exceeded all of our expectations," Feigie added.
Feige also briefly talked the upcoming release of "Ant-Man," set for July 17, 2015. But he said he wasn't there to tell people things they already knew.
"Let's talk about Phase Three," Feige said. First revelation: The full title of the third "Captain America" film is "Captain America: Serpent Society," which is scheduled for May 6, 2016.
Announced officially for Nov. 4, 2016: "Doctor Strange," which gets a logo reveal on the screen. "I think I've been talking about 'Doctor Strange' since the day I was born," Feige said. "Because I love it, because it's very important to us, and because it takes us a while to work on these movies.
"Guardians of the Galaxy 2" has a new release date: May 5, 2017. The film was originally announced for July of that year. A short video from Gunn plays on the screen, telling the fans he wanted to spend the "whole summer" with them.
Coming in July 28, 2017: "Thor: Ragnarok."
"Chris Hemsworth is returning as Thor, of course Tom HIddleston returning as Loki," Feige said. "This is a very important movie for us in the Phase Three timeline," he continued, comparing it to how "Captain America: Winter Soldier" also changed the course of Marvel Studios. The film will pick up where things are left off for Thor in "Avengers: Age of Ultron."
"Black Panther" is made official for Nov. 3, 2017 -- "T'Challa himself, and all of Wakanda" -- is coming to theaters on . "We have already started seeding things in the films leading up to this moment," Feige said, calling Black Panther one of the most exciting and integral Marvel characters. The film will be about the "isolationist nation" of Wakanda meeting the rest of the world, which may go well and may not.
Another new character joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe: "Captain Marvel," set for July 6, 2018. "I want to make it very clear that this Captain Marvel's name is Carol Danvers," Feige said. This film has been in development almost as long as "Guardians of the Galaxy," according to Feige, who said the character straddles two worlds -- Earth-bound origins and outer space adventures.
Also in 2018: "Inhumans," which is set for Nov. 2, 2018.
If that weren't enough, the Marvel Studios head announced a slew of new films that are sure to excite fans -- by way of an Infinity Gauntlet onscreen with the next two "Avengers" films on the stack: "Avengers: Infinity War" parts one and two -- Part 1 hits May 2018, Part 2 in May 2019.
In fact, that wasn't even close to all: Feige was joking about the subtitle for the "Captain America" movie, and confirmed that "Captain America 3" is actually "Captain America: Civil War."
Chadwick Boseman was confirmed as playing the Black Panther, and came onstage alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans.
"I'm blessed to be a part of this Marvel Universe, to work with you both and to make magic together," Boseman said.
Plus, if you want a first look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe design for T'Challa, Marvel has you covered:
Feige signed off, saying "We have a lot of work to do." With a film slate going all the way through 2019 and two fan-favorites confirmed to join the Marvel film universe, that statement certainly rings true.