Marvel reveals massive Phase Four film and television plan

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Marvel Studios’ Phase Four of its Marvel Cinematic Universe will include 10 movies and Disney + series when it launches next year, with 2021 looking especially crowded. President Kevin Feige appeared at San Diego Comic-Con for Marvel’s 90-minute appearance in Hall H, where he gave a pretty lengthy update on Phase 4.

The Phase Four slate that Marvel unveiled includes the following: Black Widow (May 1st, 2020), Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Fall 2020), The Eternals (November 6th, 2020), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (February 12, 2021), WandaVision (Spring 2021), Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (May 7th, 2021), Loki (Spring 2021), What If...?(Summer 2021), Hawkeye (Fall 2021), and Thor: Love and Thunder (November 5th, 2021). Feige made a surprise announcement at the end saying that he didn’t have time to address where the Fantastic Four or X-Men would end up in the franchise, but that one additional project will be Blade, which will feature Mahershala Ali.

Image: Marvel Studios

The next phase includes a mix of sequels, like Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness — to be directed by Scott Derrickson, which is described as the MCU’s first horror film, Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth movie in the franchise, to be directed by Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. Unlike the last several Marvel movies, however, Natalie Portman will play Thor this time around. There’s at least one prequel, too — Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson in the titular role, one that she has been fighting to have for years. Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, and David Harbour will also star.

Image: Marvel Studios

Other film projects will feature several new heroes: The Eternals and Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. Like Guardians of the Galaxy, neither Shang-Chi or The Eternals are household names — but it looks as though Marvel Studios is hoping that they’ll have wide, mainstream appeal.

The Eternals centers on a group of beings known as Eternals who use their advanced skills to protect humans in the future. The comic book series, created by legendary creator Jack Kirby was, “one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about,” Feige previously told Slash Film. Feige also confirmed that the movie will star Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie.

Shang-Chi will focus on the titular character, Shang-Chi, who devotes his entire life to bringing down his father’s criminal empire. Feige confirmed at Comic-Con that The Mandarin, the villain who was supposed to appear in Iron Man 3 but ultimately did not, will appear for real this time in Shang-Chi. Marvel is working with director Destin Daniel Cretton on the project, best known for his critically acclaimed film Short Term 12. Simu Liu, best known for his work on Canadian comedy series, Kim’s Convenience, is set to play Shang-Chi.

Image: Marvel Studios

But the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t just movies anymore — Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, Disney+, will feature several ongoing projects, like Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, and What If...?. Feige and his team went into some more detail about a couple of shows, including Loki. The show will follow the character after he escaped with the Tesseract in 2012 — something that only happened thanks to Avengers: Endgame. The version of Loki played by Hiddleston appears to be one that didn’t experience the events of several films, like Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. The show will premiere on Disney+ in spring 2021.

Unlike the existing entries in the MCU, where there was a major divide between the film and television properties, it looks as though the stories will fit together closely, with projects like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier picking up after Avengers: Endgame, Hawkeye exploring some of the character’s time as Ronin, and with the events in WandaVision leading right into Doctor Strange 2. Feige and Disney CEO Bob Iger previously said the MCU films and Disney+ series would intertwine, and now we know how that looks. There’s a good chance other characters from all of the aforementioned series and films could intertwine in some way, too.

Image: Marvel Studios

That will also extend to the Disney + show What If...?, a non-canon, animated series that presents alternate takes on the existing MCU, like what if Loki had found the hammer of Thor? The panel revealed that numerous MCU actors will reprise their roles for these alternate takes.

The Phase 4 slate answers the immediate question about what comes after the franchise that culminated with Avengers: Endgame and Spider-man: Far From Home. Expect more information next month at Disney’s D23 conference.

Comments

I’m sure most of these releases will just keep printing money like their predecessors, but as a non-comic reading, more than casual MCU fan, none of these do anything for me outside of Thor 4 and maybe the Falcon/Winter Soldier one if done well (as Captain America: Winter Soldier was one of my favorite movies in the MCU).

None of the others seem remotely appealing.

I dunno dude they’re doing Blade, that’s gonna be sick.

Yes, but I don’t want Blade to be apart of the MCU. I want it to be a separate entity. I still love the old Blade movies; the blood and expletives worked. While the last movie was’n’t as good as the first two (actually, not one was as good as the first), I don’t see how that world fits in with Thor and Spider-Man.

I don’t see how that world fits in with Thor and Spider-Man.

They don’t have to fit in at all. There can just be connective tissue, such as Doctor Strange (who can just as easily appear beside either Spider-Man and Blade), but not every MCU character needs to interact. Considering Morbius is a Spiderman Villan, Blade is not that disconnected.

How sick can a PG-13 Blade be?

They are doing Blade, but it’s not even schedule for the next two years. they got this hype going, and it seems they’re taking a break in 2020 with only two movies, at the peak of their success. By the time we have a Blade movie, or a Guardians 3, or anything else it’ll be at least 30 months from now.

Same. In particular I thought the rave reviews the Avengers films received were bizarre. Were we watching the same plodding corny films? It’s all so painfully wholesome, cheesy, predictable and one-dimensional. I’ve given them an honest try, just not for me I suppose.

That’s what people said about Guardians, Black Panther and Captain Marvel, all became billion dollar franchises doing better than Spider-Man critically and monetarily. Let’s judge the product, not the name cache.

If that’s the case, I would argue you’re not a "more than casual" MCU fan, since that implies you have an interest in MCU beyond the household name heroes and Avengers films, which it seems you don’t.

The title of Doctor Strange 2 seems so fake…. They have done it before….

Hail Hydra?

"That is America’s ass."

Either intentional or it’s just a placeholder. Doesn’t really matter.

I really don’t like when they fork timelines. Tell the Loki story as in the main timeline, why not tell it like so? That’s the Loki we know.

Because the Loki we know is dead?

idk deaths don’t really seem to be that permanent in the MCU

(except if your contract ends of course)

Loki is dead. He was killed prior to the snap, and he’s not coming back unless he jumps from one time to another a la Gammorra.

Or they just write him back in.

They can’t, not with how final Black Widows death was.

Anyone and anything can be ass-pulled back to life by Marvel. Their comics prove the point.

Movies and TV aren’t the comics though, or else everyone would be back and every death would be pointless.

They opened the time-travel box… At that point literally everything becomes possible. In particular for Loki, who has fakes his own death multiple times.

And haveing cottonmouth be blade simultaneously

Black Widow died in a mystical realm, and she also had to die for the stone. Loki died a rather simple and unconsequential death.

They can’t,

Oh, so comic books need to adhere to the laws of nature now?

View All Comments
Back to top ↑