Written by Abby Johnson
Note: The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of RetoxMagazine.com
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to carve out its own large corner of the film industry, each year has been marked by their newest major titles. 2015 will be no different, so here's a look ahead at the year in Marvel films, and why we're excited for each one.
When It's Out: April 24 (UK), May 1 (USA)
Why We're Excited: It goes without saying that "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" will be one of the biggest and most anticipated films of the year, and with good reason. 2012's "The Avengers" was arguably the most ambitious superhero film to date, and if anything it exceeded expectations. Well, now director Joss Whedon and his team have the difficult task of trying to outdo that success, and we can't wait to see them try.
The impact that "The Avengers" had on superhero film culture is difficult to overstate. The film furthered the outstanding modern legacies of Robert Downey, Jr.'s Iron Man and Chris Hemsworth's Thor; injected some life into Chris Evans' Captain America (following a somewhat lacklustre first film for the Captain); and established an incredibly enjoyable Hulk character when two previous films failed to do so. The sequel may or may not have this type of impact, but it's safe to say it will be an equally large and ambitious effort. The trailer sets a darker stage and appears to imply the biggest challenge these heroes have faced yet in cinema, and Screenrant is reporting that "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" will use more visual effects than any Marvel film yet.
When It's Out: July 17 (UK & USA)
Why We're Excited: Excitement and apprehension walk hand-in-hand when it comes to the idea that Paul Rudd is joining the Marvel Universe as a new superhero; let alone Ant-Man. Following the casting decision, Marvel.com quoted studio president Kevin Feige essentially gushing about the pick, claiming that the most important step in any new Marvel film is finding the right star. It turns out that the star they were looking for is Rudd.
By now it's no secret that the studio likes to inject its stars with a comedic touch. Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark is good for a few laugh-out-loud moments in every film; Thor is amusing in his unabashed ridiculousness; and the Hulk was equal parts funny and terrifying. With all this in mind, perhaps the casting of career comedian Rudd isn't as surprising as it initially looks. Although, it's still fair to say that the most exciting aspect about the upcoming "Ant-Man" film is, simply, seeing how he does. The supporting cast is interesting, too. A look at the film's cast reveals Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Judy Greer, and Michael Douglas all as new additions to Marvel cinema. Finally, there's fact that the Ant-Man hero is essentially untouched in the 21st century, which means the studio is starting with a blank slate.
When It's Out: August 6 (UK), August 7 (USA)
Why We're Excited: If "Ant-Man" represents a blank slate for Marvel, the Fantastic Four characters may as well do the same. While there were two films made for these characters in the 2000s, both were essentially terrible. Now, the only lasting example of these characters in modern entertainment comes in the form of online video games. There's a fun arcade Fantastic Four game you can play, with Betfair having done a nice job of capturing the essence of the comic book characters without depending entirely on imagery from the mediocre films. The game is worth mentioning because it's positioned alongside similar games for various other Marvel heroes, which helps keep the Fantastic Four in the minds of fans.
But aside from this game and two poor films, the Fantastic Four characters have faded from popular attention, which makes the idea of a reboot very interesting. The cast, headlined by up-and-coming star Michael B. Jordan, is certainly more intriguing than what we saw in the previous films. Also, the new film's creators appear perfectly willing to make bold new changes, as "io9" reports they're essentially reinventing iconic Marvel villain Doctor Doom. Ultimately, this represents the most exciting thing about "Fantastic Four": it's a bold and daring reboot where one was desperately needed.