Sony and Marvel Entertainment Inc. today announced an updated release schedule that will introduce and bring back multiple superheroes to the big screen in advance of the release of The Avengers, the much anticipated adaptation of Stan Lee’s ensemble comic. In reporting the news Coming Soon notes that this is the first time individual super heroes and their story arcs will be introduced separately and brought together in the same movie.
For Marvel’s self-produced projects several dates have changed. The new schedule keeps Iron Man 2 slated for May 7, 2010, moves Kenneth Branagh’s Thor from July 16, 2010 to June 17, 2011, drops The First Avenger: Captain America from May 6, 2011 to July 22, 2011 and pushes The Avengers from July 15, 2011 to May 4, 2012.
The renewed cinematic superhero craze that began with the 2000 release of X-Men shows no sign of abating, so this enormous, expensive gamble should pay off. It will certainly to do so for Samuel L. Jackson, signed to play Nick Fury in all four movies (and five others).
The studios have also confirmed the release of Spider-Man 4 on May 6, 2011, which will be directed by Sam Raimi, who is currently gearing up to promote Drag Me to Hell, his return to horror.