A while back I had a feeling that Marvel Studios might be looking at adding additional team-ups to its filmography after the tremendous success that was The Avengers. The one that stood out to me as most likely was The Defenders. With the news that Doctor Strange was being looked at to be the next centerpiece of the MCU in the post-Stark world, it just made a lot of sense that his "non-team" would get the team-up film. After recently hearing that Marvel Studios still does not hold the rights to Namor, the Sub-Mariner, one of the central members of the Defenders, I was a little bummed and promptly updated my story to reflect the fact that I did not think the Defenders team-up would move forward without him. My current belief that Danny Rand's Iron Fist will be joining the MCU in Phase 3 has made me reverse field again.
Phase 3 is starting to come together and reveal itself bit by bit. We know that Ant-Man will kick it off on July 31, 2015 and that Doctor Strange will be another Phase 3 film. Marvel is rumored to be strongly considering putting Mark Ruffalo into a solo Hulk film based on the current, excellent Marvel Now title, The Indestructible Hulk. If my deductive work is on track, Iron Fist will get the other Phase 3 slot leading up to the eventual end-of-phase team-up film.
So, a potential Phase 3 goes:
And, without any dramatic build-up, all 4 of these guys either currently are or have been members of the Defenders. If you're keeping track Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Drax, Captain America, Scarlet Witch and the Vision have been Defenders as well. So, my hypothesis continues to evolve. My current line of thinking sees Marvel on track to give the Avengers a vacation and focus on a new group of heroes: The Defenders!
A Defenders movie would just have an entirely different aesthetic and tone from the Avengers. They could take on any number of supernatural foes and even delve into the Cosmic side of things. Now, pragmatically speaking, there's not enough to go on with solid footing to believe that a Defenders film is going to be in theaters as a part of Phase 3 or ever. However, when you can sit back and connect the dots you can make a compelling case that it might just be a possibility. We'll all find out together.