'Captain Marvel' and 'Black Panther' on Marvel's list of new films: Why it matters

Marvel Comics unveiled the titles and release dates of upcoming superhero films. 'Black Panther' and 'Captain Marvel' will mark the studio's first films centered on black or female characters from Marvel comics.

John Phillips/Invision/AP/File
Chadwick Boseman, seen here attending the world premiere of 'Get On Up' in September in central London, will play Black Panther in the film of the same name.

"Doctor Strange," ''Black Panther," ''Captain Marvel," and the "Inhumans" are joining the Marvel cinematic universe.

The studio unveiled the titles and release dates of its upcoming superhero films through 2019 during a Tuesday event in Hollywood. The schedule includes a mix of sequels featuring familiar faces and originals focused on Marvel characters that have yet to be introduced on the big screen.

The slate includes "Captain America: Civil War" and "Doctor Strange" in 2016; "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," ''Thor: Ragnarok" and "Black Panther" in 2017; "The Avengers: Infinity War — Part I," ''Captain Marvel" and "Inhumans" in 2018; and "The Avengers: Infinity War — Part II" in 2019.

"Black Panther" and "Captain Marvel" will mark the studio's first films centered on black and female characters from Marvel comics. Feige said the big-screen iteration of the Captain Marvel character will be Carol Danvers, a US Air Force officer whose adventures take her to space in the comics.

The movies join next year's "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Ant-Man."

"When we have information we want to reveal, we reveal it,"Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told fans and members of the media on stage at the El Capitan Theatre. "Sometimes that's in a press release, sometimes that's in San Diego Comic-Con — if everything comes together well — and sometimes that's on a random Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the morning."

At the end of the event, "Get On Up" star Chadwick Boseman was announced as the actor who will portray Black Panther. He joined "Iron Man" and "Captain America" stars Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans on stage for the reveal.

"I'm blessed to be part of this Marvel universe," Boseman said. "I look forward to making magic together."

Feige said the character will make his first appearance in "Civil War," which will pit Captain America and Iron Man against each other. In the comics, Black Panther is the leader of the fictional African nation of Wakanda who becomes a member of The Avengers.

"He is definitively a big part of 'Civil War,' " Feige said. "We will see him for the first time in 'Civil War' in costume."

No casting announcements were made for "Captain Marvel," the sorcery-centric "Doctor Strange," or "Inhumans," which is about a race of superbeings.

The Marvel films represent an important chunk of the Walt Disney Co.'s portfolio. Feige said the first 10 Marvel films, which kicked off in 2008 with "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk," have made over $7 billion.

During a question-and-answer session with the media following the event, Feige defended the studio's decision not to focus films specifically on the characters of Black Widow and Hulk, who are portrayed by Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo in "The Avengers."

"It's about bringing new characters to the screen," Feige said. "Black Widow couldn't be more important than as an Avenger herself, and like Hulk, 'The Avengers' films will be the films where they play a primary role."

Tuesday's unveiling of the so-called "phase three" of Marvel's film schedule comes two weeks after Warner Bros. announced a slate of 10 films based on DC Comics characters, including "The Flash," ''Aquaman," ''Cyborg," ''Wonder Woman," and "Shazam."

The full slate of upcoming Marvel films:

— May 1, 2015: "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."

— July 17, 2015: "Ant-Man."

— May 6, 2016: "Captain America: Civil War."

— Nov. 4, 2016: "Doctor Strange."

— May 5, 2017: "Guardians of the Galaxy 2."

— July 28, 2017: "Thor: Ragnarok."

— Nov. 3, 2017: "Black Panther."

— May 4, 2018: "The Avengers: Infinity War — Part I."

— July 6, 2018: "Captain Marvel."

— Nov. 2, 2018: "Inhumans."

— May 3, 2019: "The Avengers: Infinity War — Part II."

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