As Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has drawn to a close, many of us are left questioning what remains to come. Endgame obviously shook things up, and the future is unknown to many of us. Lucky for us, Kevin Feige graced everyone with some additional Phase Four information at San Diego’s Comic Con just three weeks ago. Some of these movies had already had rumors swirling about their development, but with the Marvel President shedding more light on them it all but guarantees they are now in the works.
Black Widow (5/1/20)
This is a movie that has been in the works for a loooong time, and it is confirmed that this will be the movie that officially kicks off Phase Four for the MCU. ScarJo will be playing Natasha Romanoff, but in a role that occurs before everything we have seen take place throughout the last 22 Marvel movies. Playing alongside ScarJo will be David Harbour (Red Guardian) and Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova). Both would be allies of sorts to Natasha, as the Red Guardian is basically the USSR’s version of Captain America and Yelena was trained by the Red Room as Natasha was. Yelena will be an interesting character though, mainly because before she and Natasha were allies they were foes. She also becomes the officially designated Black Widow by the Russian government, so maybe we will see the clashing of the two women in the opening Phase Four movie.
The Eternals (11/6/20)
The second slated Phase Four movie for the MCU will be The Eternals, which is based around a group of superpowered beings who are nearly immortal. They have also been described as “an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth.” The main villains in the Eternals comic book series look to be “The Deviants”, who are also a group of superpowered humanoids created by Celestials behind the Eternals themselves. There are quite a few Deviants and Deviant Mutates (other hideously mutated Deviants), so I doubt this movie would include more than a few of the more well known villains. This movie is set to start filming at some point in 2019, but beyond that not much is known about the plot or schedule of things to happen prior to its anticipated release date next November. One thing that is for certain however is the casting, and we can expect to see all of these star studded celebs in late 2020: 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, Don Lee as Gilgamesh and Angelina Jolie as Thena.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2/12/21)
If I’m being completely honest, I have never heard of Shang-Chi or the Legend of the Ten Rings until just last week. This will be the first superhero movie with an Asian lead though, and will be using Black Panther as a template for developing the film and its fan base. The movie will be based around Shang-Chi, who is the son of the notorious villain Fu Manchu. Shang is raised and trained in martial arts by his father, until he finds out how evil he truly is, which then causes Shang to turn against him. This movie will more than likely not feature Fu Manchu, or at least not a lot of him, as it is based around the terrorist group “The Ten Rings.” Many of you may not remember (including myself), but this was actually the terrorist group from the first few Iron Man movies. They also can be found in the first Ant-Man movie, but I don’t remember them being in it at all. One of the main things to know about them is that, well… not much is known about them. Nick Fury once said to Agent Coulson, “The Ten Rings aren’t your typical terrorists. They’ve raised secrecy to an art form. We still don’t have the first clue what’s really behind them.” This movie has a lot of potential though, and I cannot wait to see how it turns out!
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (5/7/21)
Now this is a movie I am really looking forward to! I remember just a few weeks ago when it was announced as the first “Horror” film within the MCU I about lost my mind. I realize it won’t be a true horror flick, but the fact that they are tackling that genre in an MCU movie is downright spectacular. In terms of plot for this movie, not much is known, which makes perfect sense since its still nearly two years away. However there are a lot of theories around this area, one of which is that we may get to see the Cancerverse with some twisted versions of our favorite Marvel heroes throughout the “multiverse” the movie will be based around. The title also leads us to believe that all of these other universes will lead doctor strange, or maybe even the scarlet witch (played by Elizabeth Olsen), into a state of madness. Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning as Doctor Strange, and we can expect Benedict Wong to return as Wong too.
Thor: Love and Thunder (11/5/21)
The fourth installment of the Thor franchise made huge waves at SDCC when they announced that Natalie Portman would be returning. She will be playing Thor (yes I said Thor), and will become the MCU’s first female version of the character. Of course Chris Hemsworth will also still star in the film, and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) will be returning as King/Queen of Asgard. It also seems that two villains have been almost all but confirmed for the movie, with those two being Enchantress (recently seen in the DC Suicide Squad portrayal) and Gorr the God Butcher. Along with those two, there are rumors that Mangog, or the sum total of the hatred of “a billion billion beings” of a mysterious alien race whose invasion of Asgard had been thwarted by Odin, will be the third villain as well. Taika Waititi will also be returning to write and direct the film, which means we can expect yet another incredible segment of the Thor storyline to be displayed for us in November of 2021.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBA)
This movie was originally slated to release in 2020, but after the whole fiasco with James Gunn and his twitter comments it has been pushed back until 2021. He was actually fired after the ordeal occurred, but was rehired back on recently. As soon as he finishes The Suciide Squad, he is set to tackle the third GOTG movie with one of our favorite casts. It is also rumored that Marvel kept Gunn’s completed script, so not much should change from his original script that he intended on using to close out this franchise. It’s looking like the plot will take place roughly four years after the second installment as well as after all of the events that took place in Endgame. Many are anticipating that the plot will revolve around the search for Gamora.
As for the cast, many of our main characters will be returning and we can also expect Chris Hemsworth to play a role in the film since he leaves with the team at the end of Endgame. Along with Thor, we may see characters such as Kraglin, Stakar and his Ravagers, and Ayesha return to the big screen for the conclusion of this epic saga. Gunn has also teased finally getting Rocket’s true backstory as well, so be ready for something like that to play itself out in his movie as well.
Black Panther 2 (TBA)
As one of the highest grossing movies of all time, Black Panther 2 was a no brainer for Marvel. There is little to nothing known about the plot or its release date. Many do believe that it will be released in February of 2022 though since it did so well in its original release in that same month. As of now, the only person I would assume is 100% returning would be Chadwick Boseman as The Black Panther. It is probably safe to assume any of his co-stars from the first movie who also survived the events of Endgame would be returning, but I just can’t guarantee anything like that when the movie is still this far out. Ryan Coogler will return as the writer/director for the second movie though, which means we can expect another A+ performance as this franchise continues to make leaps and bounds for Marvel.
Now this will be something I will hands down go see when it finally drops. This is a franchise I watched with my dad when I was younger, and with Mahersela Ali portraying the vampire slaying Blade I think this franchise will be killer. There is basically nothing known about this movie yet outside of Ali playing the main character however, but it was confirmed at SDCC that it is in the works! Another fun fact I did find out about the movie too is that Ali actually reached out Kevin Feige saying he wanted to play the role, and so they decided to give it a reboot since he did. This will also be Ali’s third portrayal of a comic book character, as he played Cotton mouth in Netflix’s Luke Cage season one and Prowler in Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Even though not much is known here, Mahersela is an absolutely incredible actor so I am positive that he will do this franchise right when the time comes.
San Diego Comic Con proved to be quite the release for Marvel Studios, and I for one couldn’t be more excited for the next few years. As we sit and wait for Phase Four to begin, be sure to continually check back for more articles on these movies. Thanks for the read, and enjoy your wait for what may end up being one of the most enjoyable phases of the MCU.