Marvel Phase 4: What We Know About The Next Movies - The Marvels, Wakanda Forever, Fantastic Four, And More
Marvel's Phase 4
In 2021, fans will be able to watch four Marvel Cinematic Universe movies in theaters. While that may seem like a lot, the year prior saw no theatrical releases from the MCU because of the coronavirus pandemic. And looking beyond this year, there are a lot of Marvel movies--like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Marvels, as well as TV shows like Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel coming your way soon.
Marvel recently released a video showcasing new artwork and theatrical release dates for 10 of its upcoming movies, and a few of these films got brand-new titles as well, like the previously mentioned Black Panther and Captain Marvel 2 movies. Beyond those films with specific release dates, there are a few more still in the pipeline, like Blade.
Additionally, after the successful rollout of Marvel's Disney+ shows WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, the MCU will continue to utilize its parent company's streaming service to put out high-quality original series. Loki is right around the corner, and beyond that, there are plenty of other shows you'll probably want to check out.
Below, you'll find everything confirmed for the future of Marvel, from the movies and TV shows within the MCU to the Hulu animated and live-action series which may or may not live outside of the shared cinematic universe.
Ever since The Avengers, fans of the MCU have been waiting and waiting and waiting for a solo Black Widow movie, and it's finally starting to come together, but it has been a bit of a bumpy road with not much to report on.
Black Widow's first trailer arrived in December 2019 in spectacular fashion, bringing with it some potential clues about the movie's plot and first-looks at brand new faces. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the movie has been pushed back, along with the rest of the upcoming MCU movies.
Yet another release delay happened late in 2020, pushing the movie to spring of 2021. Black Widow will release in theaters and on Disney+ under Premier Access on the same day.
Confirmed release date: May 7, 2021
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Marvel is moving forward with Shang-Chi, its first feature film with an Asian lead. Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, The Expendables) will be writing the upcoming movie, which will follow the titular comic book character. Destin Daniel Cretton has been tapped to direct.
Shang-Chi is a martial arts expert with no superpowers, but he's really good at defending himself and beating people up. His training has given him the abilities to dodge bullets, focus in on sounds, and have keen reflexes. He's a mortal human who has spent his life training in his craft. Sure, in the past few years he gained the ability to duplicate himself, but the movie will more than likely ignore that.
The full title of the movie was revealed at 2019's Comic-Con: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. If you're a Marvel comic book reader, then you know that means we'll be seeing The Mandarin. Kevin Feige revealed Simu Liu (Fresh Off The Boat) will play Shang-Chi and Tony Leung will play the Mandarin.
You can watch the first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Confirmed release date: September 3, 2021
It's a year since The Eternals was teased. Back in April 2018, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige spoke about the upcoming film with The Wrap. "Eternals is one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate," Feige explained. He again teased The Eternals at a press day for Captain Marvel, saying he wanted to introduce an ensemble team to the MCU, like Guardians of the Galaxy, but not tonally.
So who, or what, are The Eternals? Out of the legendary mind of Jack Kirby, The Eternals are an evolutionary offshoot of humans. The Celestials--the oldest beings in the Marvel Universe--came to Earth and altered some human genes, a million years ago. These superhumans are not immortal, but they live long lifespans and have incredible superpowers. That's the short and sweet of it, but it goes a lot further than that because Kirby's science fiction work is incredibly complex. This one is still in the earliest phases of pre-production so don't expect it any time soon.
During Comic-Con 2019, Feige hosted the Marvel Studios panel where he gave more detail about The Eternals, describing the tone of the movie as "full Jack Kirby" and the characters as "a group of immortals who have been on earth for 35000 years, but we haven't met them before."
Director Chloe Zhao (The Rider) was in attendance and said the movie was "about this group of incredible immortals but through their journey we really get to see what it means to be human."
Eternals has yet to receive a trailer, but conventions like Disney's D23 Expo at the end of 2019 did give us some first looks at concept art.
Confirmed release date: November 5, 2021.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
After a back-and-forth battle on the rights to Spider-Man, it was revealed the friendly neighborhood webslinger would be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for at least one solo film and one appearance in another MCU movie. Amy Pascal--who produced Homecoming and Far From Home--will produce this latest Spidey adventure. We also got a release date for the upcoming movie. No further details have been released at this time.
Even though the rest of the MCU movies have been pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic, the next Spider-Man movie will hit theaters right before Christmas.
Release date: December 17, 2021
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness
Things are slowly coming together for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Director and writer Scott Derrickson was originally directing the film, but now, Sam Raimi will helm the film. Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong will be returning to play Dr. Strange and Wong respectively.
This time around, the movie will fit into a different genre. "What excites me about Doctor Strange is from the comics--he doesn't fight villains from this Earth, he fights everything from everywhere. If I was gonna do a sequel we're gonna dip into the gothic and the horror -- we're gonna make the first scary MCU film," former director Scott Derrickson said during the Marvel Studios panel at 2019's Comic-Con.
Confirmed release date: March 25, 2022
Thor: Love And Thunder
The fourth Thor movie will see Taika Waititi return to direct. Both Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) will return as well. At the Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con, it was revealed Natalie Portman will reprise her role of Jane Foster once again.
Waititi will pull heavily from writer Jason Aaron's comic book run of the book, which sees Jane Foster become the God of Thunder. Portman came out to the panel holding Mjolnir. "This feels pretty good," Portman joked. "I've always had a little hammer envy." Casting news has started to pick up with Christian Bale reportedly joining the movie in an unconfirmed role.
Director Waititi revealed some interesting tidbits about the upcoming movie during an April 2020 live stream. Sadly, because of the pandemic, we'll have to wait even longer for this movie to come out.
Confirmed Release Date: May 6, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
At the 2019 Academy Awards, Black Panther won three Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. The movie made $1.3 billion dollars worldwide. Obviously, it was a huge hit and a cultural phenomenon.
After the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther 2 is sure to look much different as Marvel Studios confirmed they will not be recasting the role of T'Challa. The only things we know are that Ryan Coogler will return to write and direct the next installment of the franchise. Additionally, it will probably go into production in 2020. That being said, we're thinking Black Panther will have another February release date.
Release date: July 8, 2022
After one week in the theaters, Captain Marvel amassed $569 million dollars worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It's not slowing down and will continue to make money right up until Avengers: Endgame hits theaters. However, a sequel for this movie is not out of the question. The only MCU movie to not get a sequel--or have one in the works--was The Incredible Hulk because that was a box office flop.
After watching WandaVision and with Ms. Marvel coming out to Disney+ in the near future, Captain Marvel 2 seems like it's going to be a team movie, featuring multiple people--thanks to that pluralization and all three character's logos being utilized in the logo. There's no confirmation yet that Ms. Marvel and Photon will join Captain Marvel on her latest adventures, but it's a safe bet.
Release date: November 11, 2022
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
The Ant-Man and the Wasps third film will deal with the Quantum Realm, obviously.
Release date: February 17, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The third movie in Marvel's cosmic franchise has been through some trying times. Director and writer James Gunn was fired from the movie, and recently, was rehired by Disney. Gunn took to Twitter to say he was grateful for all the support.
With the return of Gunn, it was revealed that shooting for the movie may start sooner than we all originally thought, in 2020. Even though Suicide Squad is expected to hit theaters in August 2021, there is a very good chance that Volume 3 of the Guardians saga could arrive before it. The movie was confirmed by Kevin Feige at the Marvel Studios panel at 2019's Comic-Con in passing. No other details were given.
James Gunn revealed on Twitter that the movie will not see a delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he's still wrapping up Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, so we're still a bit off from seeing the next installment.
Release date: May 5, 2023
Fantastic Four And Mutants (X-Men)
During the Investors Day press conference, Kevin Feige confirmed that the Fantastic Four are indeed headed to the MCU.
When Marvel showed off all its upcoming movie release dates, the Fantastic Four logo was included; however, there was no date attached to it.
Release date: Unknown at this time
While there have been rumblings of a new Blade TV series, the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel threw everyone an awesome curveball by announcing an upcoming Blade movie starring two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali as the daywalker. No other details were given at the time of the panel.
In the Marvel movie release date video, Blade was the only upcoming MCU movie project not mentioned. This is a bit disconcerting to fans. However, it is still in the works, as of February 2021. Stacy Osei-Kuffour (HBO's Watchmen) was brought on write the upcoming film, which does not have a release date. We're betting late-2023 or early-2024.
Release date: Unknown at this time
There are also some new cartoons coming to Hulu, featuring Marvel characters that simply might not work as standalone stories in live-action. First up is M.O.D.O.K., who is simply "an egomaniacal supervillain with a really big head and a really little body, who struggles to maintain control of his evil organization and his demanding family."
It was revealed that Patton Oswalt will write, executive produce, and voice the titular character for the series.
Confirmed release date: May 21, 2021
This one is a bit puzzling. After all, present-day Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is dead after the events of Avengers: Infinity War. However, something interesting happened in Endgame. When Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) revisited the Battle of New York in 2012, the version of Loki from Marvel's Avengers got his hands on the Tesseract, otherwise known as the Space Stone, and disappeared.
It's entirely possible this is the version of Loki that is getting his TV show. In that case, though, it's worth noting this is a truly terrible version of Loki at his most villainous.
It was confirmed at the Marvel Studios panel at Comic-Con 2019 that Loki's scenes during Endgame were in fact a set up for the Disney + show. "Where did Loki go? What happened to Loki? This series will answer that," Feige said. This will be the version of Loki from after the first Avengers movie, so he's still a bad guy.
Confirmed release date: June 11, 2021
Ms. Marvel (Disney+)
Kamala Khan is better known as Ms. Marvel, an Inhuman superhero who idolizes Captain Marvel. Back in May 2018, Kevin Feige stated that there is a plan for a Ms. Marvel movie, but they wanted to introduce Captain Marvel first.
Khan made her debut in 2013 at Marvel Comics and found a legion of fans who loved the character who "embiggens" as her super-power (she can stretch, grow and shrink, and even shapeshift). That's all we know. At this point in time, it's unknown as to whether this is actually in pre-production or not.
The series will be coming to Disney+.
Release date: Unknown
Marvel's What If...? (Disney+)
What If…? Will be Disney+'s Marvel animated series, conceptually based on the comic book series of the same name. It will see the stars of the MCU voicing their characters for a series of one-off stories that explore some interesting potential alternate realities. One that's been teased is a world where Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) was given the super serum, while a scrawny Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) goes to war in a robotic suit made by Howard Stark. Given that Endgame introduced the idea of branching timelines, practically anything is possible in the MCU, so here's hoping What If…? leans heavily into weird.
Just like the classic comic book series, the animated What If...? series for Disney+ will explore hypothetical scenarios about the world and stories for Marvel characters. Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) will star in the series as The Watcher, the narrator who guides the viewer between each adventure. During the panel, it was revealed that many actors will reprise their roles for the animated series.
Confirmed Release Date: Summer 2021
Original Avenger Hawkeye is also getting his own TV spin-off. In it, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) will reportedly train the next generation of Hawkeye, Kate Bishop. If you don't know who she is, don't worry, we have you covered. Like the other Disney+ shows, this is a limited series. So chances are we'll still see these characters on the big screen. Unless that is, this is the final appearance of Clint and the next big-screen Hawkeye we get is Kate. There's also the question of Clint's kids, specifically his daughter Lila who we saw taking up archery during Avengers: Endgame. Where does Kate come in to the Barton family and what happens to Lila when she does? Or is is it possible Kate Bishop won't play a role at all and Lila is the next generation of Hawkeye?
Hawkeye will follow Kate Bishop, and Jeremy Renner stated that this show is about her becoming Hawkeye. "What I get to do is shepherd a new character to be ultimately a better version of me," explained Renner. "I get to teach someone else how to be a superhero without superpowers--which is an amazing thing because that means everyone can be a dang superhero, right?"
Additionally, this show will also explore Renner's Hawkeye during his Ronin years.
Confirmed Release Date: Fall 2021
Moon Knight (Disney+)
At this year's D23 expo, Marvel Studios announced a new series at Disney+: Moon Knight. No further details have been revealed at this time.
OUT NOW: Marvel's Hero Project (Disney+)
Interestingly, there are also Marvel docuseries in the works for Disney+. Marvel's Hero Project will profile young people who are making a positive impact in their communities. According to an official description, "These inspiring kids have dedicated their lives to selfless acts of bravery and kindness, and now, Marvel celebrates them as the true Super Heroes they are."
Release date: Available now
OUT NOW: Marvel's 616 (Disney+)
According to an official description, 616 "is an anthological documentary series exploring the intersection between Marvel’s rich legacy of stories, characters, and creators, and the world outside your window." Essentially, it sounds like the show will look at how the world influences Marvel stories and history, and vice-versa.
Release date: November 20, 2020
OUT NOW: WandaVision (Disney+)
This is one of the most mysterious of the Disney+ shows. WandaVision, obviously, follows Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). However, Vision is very dead. What's more, Olsen told Variety that the series would be something of a period piece. "There's quite a few other comic books that we’re pulling from and it’s going to be Wanda and the Vision, and I think at the Disney+ launch chat, they showed a photo of us in the '50s," she teased.
How will this story unfold? How is Vision alive? Why are they in the '50s? These are all questions we're going to have to wait to get an answer to.
WandaVision was confirmed to take place after Avengers: Endgame and it will feature Monica Rambeau--the young girl in Captain Marvel--as an adult. According to the cast, this is going to be a very weird show.
Confirmed Release Date: January 15, 2021
OUT NOW: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+)
After the events of Avengers: Endgame, we do know what some of Marvel's superheroes are up to next and that's TV shows. The new original Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is coming to the Disney+ streaming service and will see Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) teaming with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). While plot details remain a mystery, at the very least we know Sam has Captain America's shield now.
For The Falcon and the Winter Soldier segment at Marvel's panel at 2019's Comic-Con, Anthony Mackie, who plays The Falcon walked onto the stage during the Marvel Studios panel holding Captain America's shield. And while that may not be a huge surprise, considering how Avengers: Endgame ended, something else big happened.
At the end of this segment of the panel, Daniel Brühl appeared in a video message. He played Baron Zemo in Captain America: Civil War. He will be the villain of the series and he told both of the stars, "Gentlemen, I'll be seeing you both very soon."
Confirmed Release Date: March 19, 2021
OUT NOW: Helstrom (Hulu)
Hulu will also bring Helstrom to live-action. The series will center on Daimon and Ana Helstrom, children of a serial killer who dedicate their lives to tracking down and defeating villains of the world. Between this and Ghost Rider, it definitely gives the idea that Hulu's Marvel offerings will be darker than those on Disney+.
CANCELED: Hit-Monkey (Hulu)
Hit-Monkey might be the strangest entry of the Hulu animated bunch. The character, which was first introduced in an issue of Deadpool, is a "wronged Japanese snow monkey, mentored by the ghost of an American assassin." Office Christmas Party directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck are writing this one.
This project has been canceled.
CANCELED: Tigra & Dazzler (Hulu)
This one might be the most exciting. The two female superheroes--a cat person and a mutant--are teaming up for the greater good. A brief description reads, "two woke superheroes and best friends who fight for recognition among powered people."
The series was canceled in January 2020.
CANCELED: Howard the Duck (Hulu)
After being an Easter egg in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Endgame, Howard the Duck is finally getting the spotlight he deserves. Very little is known about this series, other than it will be written and executive produced by Kevin Smith (Clerks).
The series was canceled in January 2020.
CANCELED: Ghost Rider (Hulu)
It's not just Disney+ that's getting new live-action Marvel shows. A new Ghost Rider series is coming to Hulu, which will see Gabriel Luna star as Robbie Reyes, the version of Ghost Rider in this series. Interestingly, Luna previously played the same role on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, though it remains unclear how closely-tied to that show and the Marvel Cinematic Universe this series will be.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, this project has been canceled and will not proceed.
CANCELED: The Offenders (Hulu)
Taking a shot at Netflix's Defenders with its title, The Offenders will see the various animated characters team for a special outing on Hulu. According to the streaming service, the team-up is forced upon them as they are tasked with saving the world "and certain parts of the universe."
The series was canceled in January 2020.