Marvel Studios have announced that, in celebration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 10 year anniversary, the whole, 20-chapter saga is to be re-released in a special series of screenings that will take place from 30th August – 6th September.
Thursday 30th August
Iron Man (2008)
Premiered 14th April 2008. Iron Man introduced Anthony Stark, AKA Iron Man, a founding member of the Avengers. Also introduced is James Rhodes, who’ll become War Machine, a member of the Avengers. This re-release will be the first time that Iron Man has been shown in IMAX.
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Premiered 8th June 2008. The Incredible Hulk introduced Robert Banner – whose alternate form is the Hulk – a founding member of the Avengers. The Incredible Hulk is the lowest-grossing Marvel Studios film domestically. This re-release will be the first time The Incredible Hulk has been shown in IMAX.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Premiered 26th April 2010. Iron Man 2 develops Stark’s relationship with Rhodes, who becomes War Machine. Also introduced is Natalia Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, a founding member of the Avengers. Peter Parker is also seen for the first time wearing an Iron Man mask.
Premiered 17th April 2011. Thor introduced Prince of Asgard Thor Odinson and Clinton Barton, founding members of the Avengers. Also introduced is a plot device called the Tesseract.
Friday 31st August
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Premiered 19th July 2011. Captain America: The First Avenger introduces Steven Rogers, AKA Captain America, a founding member of the Avengers, who is frozen in the 1940s and reawakened in the 2010s. Also introduced is James Barnes, who apparently dies. The Tesseract’s backstory is expanded upon. This re-release will be the first time Captain America: The First Avenger has been shown in IMAX.
Marvel Avengers Assemble (2012)
Premiered 11th April 2012. Marvel Avengers Assemble assembled the Avengers for the first time – consisting of Stark, Banner, Romanoff, Odinson, Barton and Rogers. The Tesseract is used as the maguffin, and Thanos is revealed to be the mastermind behind it all. Marvel Avengers Assemble also has the highest-grossing opening May weekend domestically.
Iron Man Three (2013)
Premiered 14th April 2013. Iron Man Three concludes Stark’s adventures as Iron Man. Rhodes’ War Machine becomes Iron Patriot. Events are recalled by Stark to Banner.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Premiered 22nd October 2013. Thor: The Dark World develops Odinson’s journey to Asgard’s throne. The second Infinity Stone, the Aether, is introduced. Thor: The Dark World is the lowest critically rated Marvel Studios film.
Saturday 1st September
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Premiered 13th March 2014. Captain America: The Winter Soldier explores Rogers’ adjustment to life in the 2010s. Barnes is revealed to have become the Winter Soldier. Also introduced is Samuel Wilson, AKA Falcon; Pietro Maximoff, AKA Quicksilver, and Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch – all members of the Avengers.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Premiered 21st July 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy introduces the founding members of Guardians of the Galaxy: Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord; Gamora; Drax “the Destroyer”; Subject: 89P13, AKA Rocket Raccoon; and Groot Sr. Also introduced is the third Infinity Stone: the Orb. The nature of the Infinity Stones is explained. Three more Infinity Stones are revealed to exist. Thanos’ character is expanded upon. Groot Sr. dies, and from him sprouts Groot Jr.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Premiered 13th April 2015. Avengers: Age of Ultron reassembles the Avengers: Stark, Banner, Romanoff, Odinson, Barton and Rogers. Stark comes out of retirement as Iron Man. The Vision is created, sustained by the fourth Infinity Stone: the Mind Stone. Vision joins the Avengers with Rhodes, the Maximoffs and Wilson. After a membership restructuring, the Avengers is reformed into the New Avengers: Rogers, Romanoff, Rhodes, Vision, Wilson and Wanda Maximoff. Odinson realises the significance of the Infinity Stones and begins a journey to discover more about them. Thanos acquires the Infinity Gauntlet.
Premiered 29th June 2015. Ant-Man introduces Scott Lang as the second Ant-Man. Flashbacks show Henry Pym as the first Ant-Man with Janet van Dyne as the first Wasp. Hope van Dyne becomes the new Wasp. Wilson becomes aware of Ant-Man’s existence. Janet van Dyne is revealed to have apparently died.
Sunday 2nd September
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Premiered 12th April 2016. Captain America: Civil War follows Rogers’ point of view during a feud between current and former Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. Siding with Rogers are Barnes, Wanda Maximoff, Barton, Lang and Wilson. Siding with Stark are Romanoff, Rhodes, Vision, Parker – who is now Spider-Man – and the here-introduced T’Challa, who becomes Black Panther. The New Avengers disband to enter exile as the Secret Avengers.
Doctor Strange (2016)
Premiered 13th October 2016. Doctor Strange introduces Doctor Stephen Strange and his quest to become Sorcerer Supreme. Also introduced is the fifth Infinity Stone: the Eye of Agamotto.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Premiered 10th April 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sees the Guardians of the Galaxy – Quill, Gamora, Drax, Raccoon and Groot Jr. – teaming up again. Joining the team are Mantis and Yondu Udonta. Udonta dies.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Premiered 28th June 2017. Spider-Man: Homecoming develops Parker with a standalone. Stark is also present as Parker’s mentor. Rogers is also featured in video footage.
Monday 3rd September
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Premiered 10th October 2017. Thor: Ragnarok reveals the whereabouts of heroes absent from Captain America: Civil War. Odinson seeks help from Strange and finds Hulk in outer space. The Tesseract is also taken from Asgard by Laufeyson. Romanoff is also seen in stock footage.
Black Panther (2018)
Premiered 29th January 2018. Black Panther develops T’Challa with a standalone. Barnes is revealed to now be the White Wolf. Black Panther holds the domestic box office records for highest grossing Monday, opening weekend in February and winter, opening four-day President’s Day weekend, and any four-day President’s Day weekend. Black Panther is also the highest critically rated Marvel Studios film.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Premiered 23rd April 2018. Avengers: Infinity War is the climax of the Marvel Cinematic Universe metanarrative. Thanos collects all the Infinity Stones in the Infinity Gauntlet in a chain of events that unites the former Avengers with the Guardians of the Galaxy – who also disband – and culminates in the Infinity Gauntlet fulfilling its purpose of eliminating half of all life from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The location of the Soul Stone is revealed. Parker, Vision, Wanda Maximoff, Wilson, Strange, Quill, Mantis, Drax, Raccoon, Gamora, Groot Jr., T’Challa and Barnes die. Avengers: Infinity War holds the worldwide and domestic box office record for highest-grossing opening weekend and the domestic box office record for highest-grossing Saturday, Sunday, April opening weekend, Spring opening weekend, 3-day opening weekend, opening weekend for a PG-13 rated film and quickest film to make 150, 200 and 250 million dollars.
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
Premiered 25th June 2018. Ant-Man and the Wasp shows the partnership between Lang and Hope van Dyne. The partnership of Pym and Janet van Dyne as the original Ant-Man and the Wasp is presented in flashbacks. Janet van Dyne is revealed to be alive. Pym and the van Dynes are then revealed to be amongst those killed by the Infinity Gauntlet.
Tuesday 4th September: Origins Day
A selection of the origin stories of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes:
Iron Man and Doctor Strange are the only conventional origin stories included here (Thor has no secret identity, Lang merely succeeded someone else in the role of Ant-Man and The Incredible Hulk confines the origin story to the opening credits). Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther are not origin stories – Black Panther’s origin was incorporated into Captain America: Civil War, during which Parker is already Spider-Man (his origin has already been told outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe twice). And speaking of Captain America, surely his origin in Captain America: The First Avenger is much more fitting? And even then, there’s only three films there, not four. Personally, I think that the two “theme” days should’ve been excluded, with the festival only running six days instead.
Wednesday 5th September: Team Ups Day
A selection of films depicting the adventures of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s teams:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Captain America: Civil War
Marvel Avengers Assemble
Avengers: Infinity War
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is an expansion of a pre-existing team and Captain America: Civil War is the dividing of a team into two factions. Marvel Avengers Assemble is the only film included here in which its members do “team up” and Avengers: Infinity War is a teaming-up of two teams together. Perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy should’ve been included as the middle act of a three-film day, but that would still be one less than the previous days. Again, this calls into question the point of running “themed” days just to lengthen the festival to eight days instead of six. It’s not as if those extra two days are showing any films not included in the others anyway.
Thursday 6th September: Fan Choice Day
A poll conducted by IMAX on Twitter (which has since closed) gave fans the ability to vote for two of four films to be screened on the final day: Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel Avengers Assemble and Black Panther. After 50, 000 votes, a combined 66% of fans decided that the two films shown on the final day will be
Marvel Avengers Assemble
The results make perfect sense. Marvel Avengers Assemble not only proved that the Marvel Cinematic Universe could work as a concept, but also still retains the unique experience of seeing the Avengers assemble for the first time – something that successive Avengers films just couldn’t recapture. Iron Man was also the film that started out the whole sage those 10 years ago, so it’s only right that it should be the one to close out a festival celebrating its endurance a decade later.
Happy 10th anniversary year, Marvel Cinematic Universe. Long may you continue.