It is October 2014, sometime between Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It is something of a pause between superhero movies, with a nine month gap between Guardians and the second Avengers film. Seems like a good time to take a breath, and to summarize what's on the horizon.
2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Fantastic Four
In the second Avengers we will see all of the characters from the first film, with the addition of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision. This time around they'll be facing Ultron, one of their most popular villains from the comic books. There is talk of other characters being introduced at the end of this movie, with a possible new lineup set up for a third Avengers film.
Ant-Man is going to be a heist movie, with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas starring as two different iterations of the minuscule hero. Back when Edgar Wright was directing, this was going to be relatively isolated from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but with a change of directors it will likely be more in line with Marvel's overall plans for Avengers 3.
Josh Trank is directing the Fantastic Four reboot, with a cast of relative unknowns. Yes, I've seen Chronicle and it is cause for hope. This film promises to be more "scientific" than previous film incarnations of the team.
2016: Captain America 3, Doctor Strange, Deadpool, X-men: Age of Apocalypse, The Sinister Six, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad
The hype surrounding Captain America 3 is going to be intense. The Winter Soldier was such a success, and this is the Marvel tentpole going head-to-head with Batman v. Superman. There are no details on this movie as yet, but most of the creative team from Winter Soldier is returning.
Scott Derrickson has been assigned as director for Doctor Strange. No one has been cast as the Doctor just yet, though Ethan Hawke is often mentioned in the context of this project. I imagine that they'll announce the lead very soon. I love the character, but I'm not a huge fan of Scott Derrickson's derivative brand of horror.
Deadpool has been in development for something like forever. Fox has finally given this project the go ahead, and a "test reel" has been making the rounds online. If they don't water it down too much it should be a good movie. I'm hoping Ryan Reynolds returns at everyone's favorite mercenary.
X-men: Age of Apocalypse ought to be good. Everyone who made X-men: Days of Future Past is on board, and the film introduces one of the X-men's greatest villains. This movie will be set in the 1980s, and features the cast from X-men: First Class.
The Sinister Six? Man, what a dark horse this movie is. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Sony's Spider-man franchise, and it's possible that this one might get shelved altogether. I guess it could work, but the idea sounds kind of dumb to me.
Speaking of dumb ideas, whoever thought up the title "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" should be fired. This movie serves as a sequel to Man of Steel, and also as an attempt to introduce the Justice League. I'm not a huge fan of Zack Snyder, though the guy who wrote the script also wrote Argo. Here's hoping the actual movie is better than the title.
The Suicide Squad movie has just been announced. It looks like David Ayer will be directing. If it's more like End of Watch and less like Sabotage it will be good.
2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Wolverine sequel, Fantastic Four sequel, Justice League, Wonder Woman
There will probably be other superhero films in 2017 (see below), but these are the ones that seem most probable.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will get made for certain. It's too early to say much about it, but I'm hoping it introduces Adam Warlock. It might even set up Avengers 3, with Thanos attempting to assemble his oft-mentioned Infinity Gauntlet.
James Mangold is set to direct the third Wolverine outing, with Hugh Jackman returning to the role that he is now both too old and too tall to play. I thought The Wolverine was an OK movie, but nothing to write home about.
Details regarding the Fantastic Four sequel are equally vague. If I was the director of that movie, I'd be trying to bring Galactus into it. He was wasted on the first Fantastic Four sequel (?), and I'd like to see something truly cosmic in scale.
Justice League and Wonder Woman have just been announced. It's too early to say much about them, other than to reiterate the persistent fact that Gal Godot looks nothing like Wonder Woman.
In addition to the above, Warner Bros. has announced six more DC films to be released after 2017. They are The Flash (finally!), Aquaman, Shazam, Justice League 2, Cyborg, and Green Lantern (reboot?). I'm hesitant to go into any detail about these films, because we haven't even seen the first Justice League. If Batman v. Superman tanks at the box office, odds are that the above films won't get made.
Sony has also announced plans for other Spider-man films, not all of which feature Spider-man as the main character. But with the poor performance of the Amazing Spider-man 2, the future of these films has been cast into doubt. There is even talk of Sony sharing the character with Marvel Studios, or selling him back to Marvel outright. I find such rumors more exciting that whatever Sony has planned for Spider-man, especially since having Spider-man in Avengers 3 would be EPIC.
And of course there will be other Marvel and X-men films that aren't listed above. An Avengers 3 is a certainty, and X-men: Age of Apocalypse will have to be really terrible to end the series.