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Blade, Ghost Rider & Punisher Return To Marvel; Kevin Feige Says Doctor Strange Is “Next Up” For Phase Three

Blade, Ghost Rider & Punisher Return To Marvel; Kevin Feige Says Doctor Strange Is "Next Up" For Phase Three

With “Iron Man 3” set to make, approximately, a kajillion dollars this weekend and Marvel‘s Phase Two already mapped out, Phase Three is now the focus of their attention. We already know “The Avengers 2” and “Ant-Man” will kick off what will be a banner year for Disney in 2015, but what’s next after that? Of course, there’s all kinds of speculation and options, particularly with “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” giving the comic company the chance to introduce even more characters to the Marvel-verse, and with the rights to even more of their catalog returning it’s giving Kevin Feige plenty to play with.

In the recent issue of EW (via ComicBookMovie), it’s revealed that Blade, Ghost Rider and Punisher are all back in the Marvel fold and all three have an interesting track record. “Blade” of course spawned a modestly successful trilogy of films, that are probably best remembered for the Wesley Snipes anecdotes they have provided. “Ghost Rider” got off to a great, surprising start for Sony, but the sequel made almost $100 million less worldwide than its predecessor, killing off that potential moneymaker, while “The Punisher” has a cult devoted to the 2004 movie (including Thomas Jane himself who made an unauthorized short film), but has lain dormant since ‘War Zone.’ So, reboots for all? Not so fast.

Feige has already tempered expectations about a potential Daredevil movie, and he’s even more candid about these three properties. “Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore – and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well received,” he told EW. “They all have potential, but we’re not going to say, ‘We got it back – make it!'” 

But one character that might finally get up on the big screen is Doctor Strange. Rumors have been kicking around for years, with a script handed in way back in 2011 (though it would probably need to be re-written at this point to reflect the changes in the Marvel-verse). Feige has said the character is part of Phase Three, recent rumors have suggested Justin Theroux may be in line for the part. But all signs point to Doctor Strange finally getting into the movie fold.

“Dr. Strange is something that I talk about often and it’s sort of next up for us to dig into and explore.  Our executive producer of ‘Iron Man 3,’ having done ‘Captain America: The First Avenger‘ and as that was finishing he started working on the bones that would become ‘Iron Man 3,’ and now that he’s finished with ‘Iron Man 3,’ he’s working on the bones that would become ‘Doctor Strange.’ Now that Iron Man 3 is finished, some of our quote-unquote spare time is going to be devoted to trying to crack ‘Strange,’ ” Feige told Collider.

He added: “As we look past 2015, past ‘Avengers 2’ and ‘Ant-Man,’ I think ‘Dr. Strange’ should be one of the next movies in the years following that.”

So there you have it. It’s as close to a confirmation one is likely to get from Feige, but all the signposts are there. Thoughts? Opinions? Share ’em below.

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