Malekith the AccursedIron Man 3 is in production and plenty of info has been dished out on it over the past few months, as well as a few Captain America: The Winter Soldier teases.  What of the other upcoming Marvel films though?  Would you like to know where they stand?  If the answer is “No”, they why the hell did you click on the link?  If the answer is yes, read on and I’ll try to keep my answers short and sweet.

Fox’s The Wolverine goes into production this month.  While we are still unclear on some of the story aspects (i.e. are The Hand being used?), we do have a sizable chunk of the cast revealed.  Obviously Hugh Jackman will be reprising the title role, making this his SIXTH appearance as the character.  James Mangold (Walk The Line, 3:10 To Yuma) directs from a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Mark Bomback.  The always-awesome Hiroyuki Sanada will be portraying Yakuza boss “Shingen Yashida”.  Will Yun Lee has been cast as “Kenuichio Harada (aka Silver Samurai)”.  Svetlana Khodchenkova will appear as “Viper”.  Tao Okamoto appears as Shingen’s daughter, “Mariko”.  Rila Fukushima will be deadly assassin “Yukio”.  Brian Tee, James Fraser, and Hal Yamanouchi are also among the cast.  The Wolverine is currently scheduled for a July 26th, 2013 release.

Next on deck?  Marvel Studio’s Thor: The Dark World.  As soon as the subtitle was announced, many concluded that the main baddie’s of Odinson’s second solo outing would be the sinister Dark Elves of Svartalfheim.  Mads Mikkelsen was initially attached to play the then-unnamed antagonist, but eventually dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with NBC’s Hannibal.  Well Chewers, I’m here to tell you that he has been replaced by the equally capable Christopher Eccleston and the villain is indeed the ruler of Svaralfheim:  “Malekith the Accursed”.  Are you smiling?  Because I am.  Feige has promised that this entry will take place primarily in Asgard and the other realms, which is absolutely the right direction to go.  More details will no doubt roll out in the coming months as we get closer to production.

Last on the list is Matthew Vaughn’s second entry in his proposed X-Men prequel trilogy, which we now have a title for.  Nope, it isn’t X-Men: First Class II or X-Men: Second Class.  About two months ago I reported on a rumor about the possible direction that Vaughn & Co. would be taking with their sequel and it turns out it was true.  On July 18th, 2014, X-Men: Days of Future Past will hit the silver screen.  Straight from producer Bryan Singer’s mouth…

I can say it’s being written right now and it will start shooting in a few months. It’s going to be very ambitious. It’s called Days of Future Past and it deals with aspects of that comic but also some very new things. I just don’t want to give any of it away. Matthew Vaughn will be directing and I’m totally excited about it.

And it looks like an appearance by Wolverine and/or other X-characters is a distinct possibility (likely in the “future” sequences)…

I think there’s a strong desire to broaden out the universe. The X-Men universe on its own is every bit as big as the Marvel universe and I think it’s time to reach out and explore it and perhaps even bring some connectivity between the films, as Marvel’s done so well. You may see some of that, I don’t know.

While he’s certainly hedging his bets about what will and won’t make it into the film, it’s obvious that they are going to have a bit of fun playing with the timeline.  It seems like they might be Star Trek ’09-ing things up a bit after all, as many of us have hoped.  What better way to forge on into the future of this series without being hamstrung by lining up with the original three?  Smart move, Fox.

OK, that wasn’t as short as I promised.  Oh well.  Chime in below and on the forums, True Believers!  And remember, with great commenting power comes great commenting responsibility!

Source | IGN (via /Film), Deadline