At San Diego Comic-Con last year, Marvel Studios head Kevin Fiege unveiled the Phase 4 slate of the MCU. Unlike any previous MCU SDCC announcement, this line up included TV Shows which are all confirmed to be part of the MCU. Previously there have been TV shows that were said to be part of the MCU. Although, as time went on it became clear that this relationship was unrequited. But that’s a different story for a different day…
Some of these TV shows announced for Phase 4 will lead directly into movies. This being the case with WandaVision which is confirmed to lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Without a doubt, this is the most unique Marvel SDCC announcement to date. It seems like Marvel are really diversifying their content with Phase 4.
Of course, with the current pandemic, the original plans have been changed and certain projects will undergo delays both in production and release.
WandaVision (January 15, 2021) – TV Show
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be returning once again as Scarlet Witch and Vision with Jac Schaffer (Co-writer of Captain Marvel) as the series showrunner and Matt Shakman (Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Fargo) in the director’s seat
It’s currently unknown what the story is going to be about or how Vision will be returning after his death in Avengers: Infinity War.
In a statement she made at SDCC, Olsen said “We’re gonna have a lot of fun. We’re gonna get weird, it’s gonna get deep, and have lots of surprises.” She also went on to say that “we’re finally going to understand Wanda Maximoff”.
This will no doubt be one of Marvel’s weirdest projects to date as we’ve been told to expect a 1950s style sitcom telling classic Marvel superhero tales.
Marvel boss, Kevin Fiege, said in a recent interview “Having the opportunity to tell more of their story, to see more of what Wanda can do, more of what makes Vision Vision, and – most importantly – reveal a name that I’m not even sure we’ve said in the MCU yet, but we absolutely make a big deal of in the show, which is that Wanda is, in fact, the Scarlet Witch,”
We also know that this show will lead into Doctor Strange: in the Multiverse of Madness and the events of the show “will have repercussions for the entire future Phase 4 of the MCU.”
Another exciting addition to the cast will be Monica Rambeau, a character that appeared in Captain Marvel as a child. Now all grown up, she will be Played by Teyonah Parris. Parris described her character as a “Marvel Superhero”, so it looks like we’re going to see her team up with WandaVision.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (2021) – TV Show
Kicking of phase 4, we have the first Marvel TV show to debut on Disney+, this will also be the first time the MCU will officially make its way to the small screen. We were previously promised that a myriad of Marvel TV projects were going to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But as we mentioned, these promises were not true as the connection only seemed to be one way as the movies refused to acknowledge the TV shows.
Starring Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka Falcon and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier the story will centre around the pair reuniting after the events of Avengers: End Game as they embark on a ‘global adventure that tests their abilities – and their patience’.
It’s unknown what exactly this means but we do know that we will be seeing the return of the villain Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Brühl), who was last seen in Captain America: Civil War.
The show will also feature John Walker aka US Agent played by Wyatt Russell. A character that replaced Captain America in the comics after he disappeared following WWII (later found out to be frozen in ice).
Kari Skogland (The Walking Dead and The Punisher) is directing all episodes with Spellman and Derek Kolstad (John Wick) as the show’s main writers. Most of the filming is set to take place in Atlanta but it has been confirmed that there will also be scenes filmed in Prague.
The series will feature six episodes with one dropping every Friday after the first one is released.
Black Widow (May 7, 2021) – Movie
The first movie of phase 4 (originally meant to be the first release of phase 4), is a movie that fans have long requested, the Black Widow’s first solo outing. This is the closest thing we are going to get to an origin story of the MCU’s Black Widow.
Detailing Natasha’s formative years as a KGB agent groomed by the Soviet Union to be the ultimate spy. The movie picks up after the events of Captain America: Civil War (15 years after the collapse of the USSR).
The official synopsis reads:
“Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Natasha Romanoff finds herself alone and forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.”
Directed by Cate Shortland, starring Scarlett Johanson as Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow, Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Alexi a.k.a. The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova (a “sister figure to Natasha” that also takes up the mantle of the Black Widow), O-T Fagbenle as Mason and Rachel Weisz as Melina (an original character also known as Black Widow, trained by the same organisation as the other two Black Widows.. are you still following?).
The fan favourite copycat villain, Taskmaster is also set to feature. It’s currently unknown who will bring this iconic character to life on screen for the first time. There are rumours suggesting we may see a female Taskmaster. Given Marvel’s history of changing the race and gender of characters, this could be the case.
The Eternals (November 5, 2021) – Movie
One of the most interesting announcements at last year’s comic con was the announcement of an Eternals movie. The Eternals are a race of aliens of immortal beings sent to earth by the celestials to protect humans from the deviants (the race of which Thanos happens to be a member).
In the comics, the deviants are mutant Eternals (possessing the Deviant Syndrome gene). They are unstable, naturally evil creatures born with monstrous features.
With Chloe Zhao set to direct, the cast includes Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Salma Hayek as Ajak (the “leader of the Eternals,”), Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos (a “genius”), Don Lee as Gilgamesh (physically the strongest of the Eternals), Lia McHugh as Sprite and The Walking Dead’s Lauren Ridloff will be playing Makkari. Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) will also be playing the Black Knight.
Like many of the projects on this list, not much is known about the story for this movie but Fiege told comicbook.com “It will be a story that will introduce you to this incredibly eclectic group of immortals, they’re the focus of the story.”
Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9, 2021) – Movie
Another surprising revelation was Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings. Personally, I thought this would be a character we were sure to see in the Marvel Netflix shows but we all know how that played out…
This is the first Asian-led superhero movie with Simu Liu at the helm as Shang-Chi, “The Master of Kung FU” and Tony Leung as the Mandarin, the leader of the ten rings.
Originally, the Mandarin was actually Iron Man’s arch-enemy. So it’s disappointing that we will not get to see them face off especially since we were already cheated out of this when Marvel pulled that fast one in Iron Man 3 (2013).
However, disappointment aside, it’s very exciting to finally see Shang-Ch brought to life on the big screen.
We know Preson Daniel Cretton will be directing the movie, but apart from the two aforementioned cast members, not much is known about the cast.
As for the story, if the source material is anything to go by Shang-Chi is raised by his father the villainous Fu Manchu, who raises to become his personal assassin.
However, Shang-Chi later rebels against his father and fakes his death after his first assignment and vows to fight evil. Due to his training Shang Chi is one of the most prolific martial artists in the Marvel universe and despite possessing no actual superpowers he is not to be taken lightly.
Loki (Early 2021) – TV Show
Tom Hiddleston will be returning as the god of mischief in his very own Disney+ series. The story will be following the events after Loki (from the alternate universe) escaped with the tesseract in Avengers: End Game.
This means that the Loki we get to see in this TV shows is not the Loki who changed his ways and claimed his redemption. This Loki is still the power-hungry, scheming trickster we saw in the first Avengers movie.
By stealing the Space Stone from the main timeline he created an alternate timeline. Which will also affect the main timeline. So if he doesn’t return the Space Stone this could greatly affect the MCU.
The Hollywood Reporter cited that their sources say the show will see Loki popping up “throughout human history as an unlikely influencer on historical events.”
Another thing worth pointing out is that Loki can also be spotted wearing a “Time Variance Authority” jumpsuit in the Disney+ Superbowl trailer.
This is an organisation governs and monitors realities throughout the multiverse, an organisation that villain Kang the Conqueror happens to be a member of (which also strongly suggests an appearance from him).
Spider-Man 3 MCU (December 17, 2021)
So far we know that Tom Holland will be reprising his role as donning the famed spandex once again. We will also be seeing the return of MJ played by Zendaya and Jon Watts, director of the two previous movies will also be returning.
The story picks up after were left on a massive cliff-hanger in the previous movie. Within which Mysterio fakes his own death framing parker just before his secret identity is revealed on TV by J. Jonah Jameson painting a massive target on his back.
One of the most exciting rumours is that we might see the inclusion of a long time Spider-man friend and ally, Matt Murdock aka Daredevil who is said to be Parker’s lawyer defending him against the charges he is no doubt left facing after the events in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Tom Holland confirmed that shooting for his third outing as Spider-Man began October 26 2020.
What If…? (Mid 2021) – TV Show
In what is no doubt one of Marvel’s greatest ideas to date, Marvel have confirmed they are developing an animated series based on the popular comic book series “What If…?” A comic book series that reimagines characters and events in the Marvel universe by asking what if…? For example what if uncle ben had lived? or if Daredevil wasn’t blinded? But instead of comic book events, this will no doubt be “what if’s” based on the MCU’s events.
The show will feature Michael B. Jordan, Sebastian Stan, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Hayley Atwell, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Neal McDonough, Dominic Cooper, Sean Gunn, Nicole Portman, Stanley Tucci, Taika Waititi, Toby Jones, Djimon Honsou, Michael Rooker, and Jeff Goldblum who will all be providing their voices and reprising their Marvel roles in the cartoon.
The series will also feature Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright who will be voicing The Watcher, a near-omniscient entity devoted to chronicling grandiose events across the universe.
Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11, 2022) – Movie
Going from good ideas to bad ideas here we have the next Thor movie “Thor: Love and Thunder”. And as you may have gathered from the picture Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman) is the new Thor. How she or anyone but Thor can be Thor makes no sense at all but they’re going with it.
Many are no doubt excited about this but personally, I thought it was a bad idea in the comics and an even worse of an idea for the movies. Marvel has been making some disastrous choices with Thor’s character over the past few years but it sells so people must enjoy it.
The last time we saw Thor he left earth and his role as king of Asgard to embark on a mission with the Guardians of the Galaxy in hopes of discovering himself.
Chris Hemsworth will be returning as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Taiki Waititi will be directing after being responsible previously directing Thor: Ragnarok.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022) – Movie
Doctor Strange (2016) movie was the first movie in the MCU to explore alternate realities. Now once again Doctor Strange will be exploring the multiverse and this time he will have company in the form of Scarlett Witch played by Elizabeth Olsen.
Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning as the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. Previously, Scott Derrickson was set to direct but he and his writing partner, C. Robert Cargill, left the project due to “creative differences”. Although, it is known that Sam Raimi has some involvement in the project.
This movie will be the first MCU movie of it’s kind in that its a horror. Cumberbatch told SDCC that there will be “a twist of horror that will really have people gripped… We’re going back to try and destroy [Doctor Strange] a bit I think.”
Kevin Fiege has teased that, “The multiverse is the next step in the evolution of the MCU and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness is going to crack it wide open in ways that will have repercussions.”
Hawkeye (TBA 2022) – TV Show
Also coming to Disney+ is the Hawkeye series, with Jeremy Renner returning as Clint Barton. With the show being so far away not much is currently known as of yet. But we do know the show will feature Barton training Kate Bishop and it will also explore more of Hawkeye’s time as Ronin in between Infinity War and Endgame.
Beyond Phase 4
At last years Comic-Con, Feige also gave us a preview of what’s to come beyond Phase 4. He confirmed Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Captain Marvel 2 are all in development. He also name-dropped “mutants” and the Fantastic Four.
However, it is unknown if any of these movies will be part of phase 4 or not. One was confirmed to be beyond Phase 4. Another thing he didn’t confirm or deny is the possibility of a new Avengers movie. He just said this chapter is all about “new beginnings”.
Blade (TBA) – Movie
For me personally, the most exciting announcement of all was the upcoming Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali as Eric Brooks a.k.a Blade.
Long before the MCU, before the original Spider-Man trilogy, even before the X-Men, there was Blade. The first Marvel movie franchise to become a success. It was gritty, dark, violent and nothing short of amazing (excluding Blade III)
Marvel got the rights back to the character a few years ago and ever since then fans have speculated when (or even if) Marvel will be using the character again. This announcement came as a shock but it was certainly a warmly welcomed surprise.
Which Movie/TV Show are you most excited for? Let us know in the comment section below…