Last Updated: May 4, 2021
The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 is over, and now all eyes have turned to Phase 4 and even the MCU’s Phase 5. Avengers: Endgame will perhaps forever stand as the most monumental installment in the franchise, but Spider-Man: Far From Home actually closed out Phase 3. The next phase of the MCU will break even more boundaries than it did before, with the promise of the multiverse and maybe even more time travel in the franchise’s future.
Disney has been updating its movie release date calendar following the 20th Century Fox acquisition and, with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing everything into uncertainty, films like Black Widow and Eternals were pushed back, first by several months and then more than a year, with both films shifting to 2021. Things shifted enough that WandaVision emerged as the first MCU project set in Phase 4, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier coming second.
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Most of the in-depth release dates are currently planned through 2023, with certain titles even set through 2027. However, Marvel Studios has been only willing to share details on movies up until early 2023, seeing as the MCU’s Phase 4 lasts just two years. Any Marvel movie releasing later in 2023 or beyond won’t be discussed for quite some time. Sony will also expand its own Marvel universe in 2021, but those films will only loosely tie into the MCU and aren’t considered proper entries. With that in mind, here are all the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies hitting theaters soon.
Black Widow – July 9, 2021
Black Widow is an upcoming prequel movie set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, and it’ll dive into the history of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. Cate Shortland is directing from a script written by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson. Black Widow‘s cast includes Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, O. T. Fagbenle as Rick Mason, Rachel Weisz as Melina, and David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian. Ray Winstone has also been cast as Dreykov, the man in charge of the Red Room, with the Taskmaster set as the villain. Black Widow is confirmed to take place at least partially in Budapest, which means it may finally reveal Black Widow and Hawkeye’s Budapest mission. Filming wrapped in early October 2019, and the film was slated to hit theaters in May 2021, but was pushed to July 9, receiving a theatrical release and a Disney+ Premier Access streaming option for an additional $30.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – September 3, 2021
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the first Marvel movie to feature an Asian lead as well as an Asian superhero, and it’s currently scheduled as the second feature film in the MCU’s 2021 slate, releasing on September 3, 2021. After meeting with several actors, Marvel Studios hired Simu Liu to play Shang-Chi, with Tony Leung joining the film as the villain. Leung is playing the real Mandarin in the new movie, an Iron Man villain that was previously believed to have been Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian. Awkwafina also stars in Shang-Chi, with Destin Daniel Cretton directing based on a script from David Callaham. Story details aren’t readily available, but Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will undoubtedly continue and potentially conclude the story of the Ten Rings that began with the very first Iron Man movie.
The Eternals – November 5, 2021
Eternals is the actually the third Marvel Cinematic Universe movie set for release in 2021. Directed by Nomadland’s Chloé Zhao from a script by Matthew K. Firpo & Ryan Firpo, Eternals follows an immortal race of aliens who were created by the Celestials – the oldest living beings in the Marvel Universe – and are “sent to Earth to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants.” Featuring one of the most impressive lineups in the MCU so far, the Eternals cast includes Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, and Don Lee as Gilgamesh. Filming officially wrapped on Eternals in February 2020, with the movie scheduled to release in theaters on November 5, 2021.
Spider-Man: No Way Home – December 17, 2021
This sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home was in doubt for a while in 2019, thanks to the very public problems Marvel Studios and Sony had when coming to an extension of the deal that puts Peter Parker in the MCU. The plot of Spider-Man: No Way Home will be set after the shocking ending to Far From Home, but details beyond that aren’t known. However, there is a lot of speculation that the film will tackle the multiverse and casting announcements have included familiar faces from previous Spider-Man films, including Jamie Foxx as Electro and Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus. Returning cast members include Tom Holland as Peter and Zendaya as MJ; they’ll be joined by Benedict Cumberbatch, who will reprise his role as Doctor Strange. Jon Watts is back for the third time as director.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – March 25, 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an upcoming sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange movie and it’s expected to dive deep into the MCU’s Multiverse, which was first teased in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Sam Raimi is taking over as director for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong set to reprise their roles as Doctor Strange and Wong, respectively. Furthermore, Elizabeth Olsen will appear as Scarlet Witch, and the movie will tie directly into her Disney+ series WandaVision, which concluded its season before Doctor Strange 2 will hits theaters. Raimi, who previously directed the Evil Dead will be harnessing his horror roots, since Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is supposed to be the MCU’s first scary movie.
Thor: Love and Thunder – May 6, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder marks the first time that a solo film series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has received a fourth installment. In this case, Thor. After the uber-successful Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi is returning to write and direct Thor: Love and Thunder, which not only brings back Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (who is also now the MCU’s first LGBTQ superhero), but also Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. Portman is playing the Mighty Thor in the new sequel, which is confirmed to take place before the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The movie doesn’t come out until May 6, 2022 and has already begun production.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – July 8, 2022
Black Panther 2 is confirmed to be happening, but it’s not technically part of the MCU’s Phase 4. Black Panther broke a number of box office records when it released, and the fact that it was the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars made a sequel inevitable. Ryan Coogler is coming back to write and direct Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, though it’s unclear at the moment what the story will be about or when it will take place in relation to the rest of the MCU. In the wake of Chadwick Boseman’s tragic death from colon cancer in August 2020, the sequel will now be focused on other characters in Wakanda as Marvel has rightfully opted not to recast T’Challa.
The Marvels – November 11, 2022
Captain Marvel 2 (officially called The Marvels) is officially in the works and is set for November 11, 2022 release. Few details have been revealed thus far, but Brie Larson will reprise her role as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, in a story set in the MCU’s present day. Captain Marvel co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck aren’t coming back. Taking their places is Candyman director Nia DaCosta, who will direct from a screenplay by WandaVision writer Megan McDonnell . Joining Larson will be Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel. Zawe Ashton has also been cast in the role of villain. Not much else has been revealed about the film, but stay tuned.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – February 17, 2023
Little is known about Ant-Man 3 so far, but Paul Rudd is returning as Scott Lang, as is Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, aka The Wasp. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer are also returning as Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, respectively. Joining them is Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, the time traveling villain from Marvel comics. Peyton Reed is also back as director, with Rick & Morty writer Jeff Loveness set to pen the script for the threequel. The film, officially titled Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, is set for release in February 2023.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – May 5, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is still happening, though it’ll release much later than originally expected. Shortly after submitting his script draft to Marvel Studios, James Gunn was reportedly scheduled to begin production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in either late 2018 or early 2019, so that the movie could make a mid to late-2020 release date. But due to Disney firing Gunn and then rehiring him, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s development got pushed back. Gunn was then scheduled to make The Suicide Squad for DC Films, which he completed, before moving onto Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will now be released on May 5, 2023. Aside from that, all the original cast members – Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Pom Klementieff – are expected to return.
Blade, the Vampire Slayer
Blade is one of the more surprising additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe slate. Previously played by Wesley Snipes, the Blade movies are decidedly different than what audiences are used to in the MCU, thanks to the inclusion of vampires. But Snipes isn’t returning to play Blade. Instead, two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali is playing Blade in the MCU. Even though Ali is attached to the project, Blade is a Phase 5 movie, which means it likely won’t be released until late 2023 at the earliest. Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Watchmen) is set to write the film, but there is currently no director attached.
A Fantastic Four movie is coming to the MCU, but it’s only in the early stages of development. Considering that the Disney-Fox deal was completed in March 2019, Marvel Studios must’ve only begun thinking about the Fantastic Four‘s inclusion shortly before the studio’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.
An X-Men movie is also coming to the MCU, similar to Fantastic Four. However, it seems the X-Men movie is going to be second-in-line, behind Marvel’s First Family. Marvel Studios’ tease of X-Men was by referring to them as “mutants”. Details on the X-Men and mutants in the MCU may not be revealed for quite some time.
While plans for an X-Force film seem to have died when Disney bought Fox, former Disney boss Bob Iger previously confirmed that Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool franchise would live on at Marvel Studios. In December 2019, Reynolds confirmed that Deadpool 3 was in development. It was announced that Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin and Wendy Molyneux were working on the script and that the film would at least maintain its R-rating. Filming on the third installment, however, won’t begin until 2022 at the earliest, so fans will have to wait a bit longer to see the film.
Confirmed Marvel TV Shows On Disney+
Along with six movies coming in the MCU’s Phase 4, Marvel Studios has several TV shows releasing on Disney+ in 2021 and 2022, which will make up the rest of the new Phase. WandaVision first aired in January 2021, followed shortly by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in March. Loki isn’t too far behind, coming to Disney+ June 11, 2021. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Loki follows the 2012 version of the character who escaped with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame. Loki is also expected to take place in the past – further in the past than just 2012 – and will be much more mischievous than what fans are used to. Releasing in summer 2021 is Marvel’s What If…? animated series. By examining what certain MCU stories would’ve been like with certain things changed, What If…? will capitalize on altering the MCU by bringing back 25 Marvel actors, in addition to introducing Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher. The next Disney+ Marvel TV show is Hawkeye, which will officially introduce Kate Bishop into the MCU. Jeremy Renner is also reprising his role as Clint Barton/Hawkeye in Hawkeye. It’s expected to be released in the fall of 2021.
Three additional MCU TV shows are also in the works, including Ms. Marvel (which began filming in the fall of 2020 and stars Iman Vellani in the title role), Moon Knight starring Oscar Isaac, and She-Hulk with Tatiana Maslany. All three series have been floated for possible 2022 premieres on Disney+, though Ms. Marvel could come as early as late 2021. Stay tuned.
Next: All 14 Marvel TV Shows Releasing After Falcon & Winter Soldier
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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