With Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, behind us, we have finally come to the conclusion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Phase 3.” Although it wasn’t the longest of the MCU phases, it had the most films with ten total. But while these films mark the end of an era for Marvel Studios, we all know that’s nowhere near the end of the story. We’re just gettin’ started, folks.
So just what movies and TV series are going to be making up the MCU’s Phase 4? Turns out, between big screen adventures and a slate of new shows on Disney+, it’s quite a lot. Between both mediums, there will be a whopping 14 different Marvel Cinematic Universe projects, spread across two years!
What Are All the Phase 4 Projects?
At San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, Kevin Feige unveiled the entire Phase 4 slate, which consisted of films and television series on Disney+. A month later at the D23 Expo, he added a handful of other titles to the mix. He also announced cast and crew for these projects, although some of them have since been amended. Many delays are occurring in production due to COVID-19, and the whole Marvel schedule has been upended. Here is the complete Phase 4 schedule as it stands now:
The Black Widow (Film – November 6, 2020)
Phase 4’s kick off was meant to be in May of 2020 with Black Widow. But the outbreak of the coronavirus halted those plans. Starring Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/The Black Widow, this film is said to take place shortly after the events of Civil War. Directed by Cate Shortland, the cast also includes David Harbour as Alexi, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff, a.k.a. Iron Maiden in the pages of Marvel comics. Taskmaster will be the primary villain from all indications. November 6, 2020 is Black Widow’s new release date.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Series – early 2021)
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are reprising their roles as Sam Wilson (The Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier). This Captain America spin-off series also sees the return of Daniel Brühl’s Baron Zemo, as well as Emily VanCamp as Agent Sharon Carter. Wyatt Russell joins the series as John Walker, also known as U.S. Agent. Filming delays due to COVID-19 have pushed the six part series to sometime in early 2021, instead of August of 2020 as originally planned.
WandaVision (Series – December 2020)
Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) reunite in domestic bliss—even though when last we saw Vision, he was very dead. So what is going on here? This six episode show is said to be Marvel’s trippiest yet, with the couple seemingly living through various sitcom realities created by Wanda’s reality-altering powers. Kevin Feige has said we will see Wanda fully become the Scarlet Witch in this series.
Characters from across the MCU are joining this series, including Teyonah Parris as a grown up Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel. In the comics, the character famously becomes Captain Marvel herself. Also joining up are Kat Dennings as Thor’s Darcy Lewis and Ant-Man and the Wasp’s Randall Park as Agent Woo. There are rumors that Evan Peters is joining the series, which is interesting because he is the X-Men film’s Quicksilver. Who just so happens to be Wanda’s brother in the comics. Also hinted at arriving into the MCU are Wanda and Vision’s twin sons, Speed and Wiccan.
The Eternals (Film – February 2, 2021)
Marvel’s immortal race known as The Eternals were created by Jack Kirby in the ’70s and are now filling in some important MCU history. This all-star cast includes Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Lia McHugh as Sprite, and The Walking Dead’s Lauren Ridloff is Makkari. Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington will also appear as the Avenger known as the Black Knight. Directed by Chloe Zhao, Eternals was originally set to come out in November of 2020. But the pandemic pushed the release to February of 2021.
Loki (Series – Spring 2021)
Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief keeps cheating death. Despite dying at the start of Infinity War, a version of him from the past gets away via the Space Stone in Endgame. The six-part Loki series will follow that version of Loki on a journey through time, running afoul of the Time Variance Authority. Joining Loki on this adventure are actors Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, Richard E. Grant, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. All the actors so far have unspecified roles. Rumors persist that Lady Loki will be a part of this show as well. Loki is dropping in the Spring of 2021.
Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings (Film – May 7, 2021)
The lethal martial artist of ’70s Marvel Comics is finally coming to the big screen. Directed by Dustin Daniel Cretton, the film will star Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung-Fu. Tony Leung will be playing the real Mandarin and leader of the Ten Rings. Awkwafina will also appear in Shang-Chi in an as-yet undisclosed role. This is the first big screen Marvel Studios adventure starring an Asian lead, with a mostly Asian cast. Shang-Chi’s original release date was in February of 2021, but it is now set to hit in May of that year.
What If…? (Series – Summer 2021)
Alternate realities and the Multiverse is going to be a big thing going forward in the MCU. And that will especially be felt in Marvel Studios’ first animated series What If…? Uatu The Watcher (Geoffrey Wright) watches over the Multiverse in a series which will give us alternate versions of famous MCU heroes, voiced by their live-action counterparts. Confirmed to return to their respective roles are Michael B. Jordan, Sebastian Stan, Josh Brolin, Mak Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Hayley Atwell, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Natalie Portman, Stanley Tucci, Taika Waititi, and several others.
Hawkeye (Series – Fall 2021)
The Avengers’ archer supreme, played by Jeremy Renner, will finally get his spotlight. The Disney+ series will focus on Clint Barton passing on the heroic mantle of Hawkeye to the next generation. Just as in the comics, teenager Kate Bishop (possibly Hailee Steinfeld) will become the new Hawkeye, after a period of training by Barton.
Spider-Man 3 (Film – December 17, 2021)
For a brief moment in 2019, it seemed that Sony’s third Spider-Man outing with Tom Holland would not be set in the MCU. A new deal was struck however, and the MCU Spidey trilogy will conclude in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it was meant to be. Director Jon Watts will be back, as will most of the main cast. All we know so far is that it will deal with the direct fallout from the cliffhanger ending in Far From Home, which saw Peter Parker’s identity exposed to the world. It’s also very likely that it will have the word “home” in the title. Spider-Man 3 has had three release dates so far: July 16, 2021, then November 5, 2021, and finally, December 17, 2021.
Thor: Love and Thunder (Film – February 11, 2022)
The God of Thunder will return, as Chris Hemsworth gets a fourth solo Thor film in 2022. Thor: Love and Thunder will once again be helmed by Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi. Tessa Thompson, who played Valkyrie in Ragnarok, is also back. Christian Bale leaves Gotham City behind to play the film’s villain, and Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster. Similar to the comics, this time Jane will wield the hammer and become Thor herself. Vin Diesel has said that the Guardians of the Galaxy members will appear as well. This one comes out Valentine’s Day weekend in 2022.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Film – March 25, 2022)
The Master of the Mystic Arts will finally get his long awaited sequel, when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters in 2022. As the title suggest, the film will explore the Marvel Multiverse, opening windows into strange new iterations of several classic characters. It was originally set to be directed by Scott Derrickson, who helmed the first film. He departed the project in early 2020 and was replaced by the original Spider-Man trilogy’s Sam Raimi. Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejiofor are reprising their roles from the original film. Elizabeth Olsen is reprising her role as Scarlet Witch, in a storyline that will spin off from WandaVision.
She-Hulk / Moon Knight / Ms. Marvel
Three additional Disney+ shows were announced by Kevin Feige at D23 Expo, but are not expected to premiere until the end of Phase 4. The shows, which feature iconic Marvel Comics heroes who have not yet been in live-action, are only in the earliest stages right now. She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and Ms.Marvel are scheduled to go before the cameras in 2021, with release dates for 2022.
What About Phase 5?
There are only a few release dates for any of Marvel’s Phase 5 films, but we already know what several of them are going to be. Announced at SDCC 2019 was Blade, starring Mahershala Ali as the daywalking vampire slayer. Also confirmed are Black Panther 2, once again directed by Ryan Coogler. Fans will be return to Wakanda on May 6, 2022. Captain Marvel 2 is slated for a July 8, 2022 release, with Brie Larson back as the cosmic Avenger. James Gunn will return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, as will Peyton Reed for Ant-Man 3. Neither of these films have release dates as of yet.
Marvel Studios has also announced the following release dates for several of their films, so any of the above which currently don’t have a release date could go into one of these slots:
October 7, 2022
February 17, 2023
May 5, 2023
July 28, 2023
November 3, 2023
What About the X-Men and the Fantastic Four?
Due to the merger of Disney and Twentieth Century Fox, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four characters are now in the domain of Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios. So are they coming in Phase 4? Not so fast. But they are coming. At SDCC 2019, Feige hinted at both “the Fantastic Four and mutants” coming to the MCU soon. We would assume “soon” means sometime during Phase 5.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios
Originally published on June 20, 2019, with updates on July 31, 2020.