Marvel Movie Slate Takes Shape

As Iron Man pulls in big bucks at the box office and The Incredible Hulk gets set to smash next month, Marvel Studios has announced plans to produce an Iron Man sequel and a few other films based on its comic-book properties over the next couple of years. While reporting its first quarter financial results, the company let slip that the next Iron Man flick and a Thor movie are being prepped for release in the summer of 2010, followed by two Avengers-based pics in the summer of 2011.

Fans can look forward to the return of Tony Stark and his iron-clad superhero alter-ego on April 30, 2010. Shortly after, the Norse god of thunder will make his big-screen debut in Thor on June 4, 2010. Marvel’s 2011 slate will kick off with the May 6 bow of The First Avenger: Captain America (working title), followed by The Avengers in July of that year. Ant-Man is also listed as being in development.

While Marvel has no film in its own pipeline for 2009, it does have X-Men Origins: Wolverine on deck at 20th Century Fox for May 1, 2009. Prior to that, Lionsgate will release Punisher: War Zone on Dec. 5, 2008. For the small screen, the company is working on two animated television series slated to debut on Nicktoons in spring 2009. Wolverine and the X-Men is being produced by India’s First Serve Toonz, and Iron Man: Armored Adventures by France’s Method Films. Also in development for spring 200 9are cartoon series titled Hulk Gamma Corps and Super Hero Squad.

Fans of Marvel’s direct-to-DVD series of PG-13 animated movies will be happy to know that Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is being readied for release later this year. It will be followed by Hulk Vs. in early 2009, Thor: Son of Asgard in late 2009 and Planet Hulk in early 2010. Sega and Activision will continue to release video games based on the company’s superhero franchises, and Marvel Ent. has teamed with Hello Ent. and Sony Pictures Ent. to produce the live production Spider-Man: The Musical, to be directed by Julie Taymor (Across the Universe, Frida) with music and lyrics by U2′s Bono and The Edge.

Marvel’s first self-financed film, Iron Man has set the bar high for those that follow. The company next hopes to re-energize another comic-book staple with The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton as the beleaguered Bruce Banner and a CG-animated Hulk created by vfx house Rhythm & Hues. That film hits theaters on June 13.