Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase 4: Release Dates, new superheroes, new cast and everything else you need to know

With a miniseries set to hit the small screens by the end of the year and Disney releasing an official release date schedule for eight movies, we take a look at the list of films that are most likely to be part of Marvel Studios' plans for the future


                            Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase 4: Release Dates, new superheroes, new cast and everything else you need to know

Spoiler alert for 'Avengers: Endgame'

With 'Avengers: Endgame' successfully running in theatres across the globe, the Infinity Saga is drawing to a close with the upcoming release of 'Spider-Man: Far from Home, which is slated to release on July 2 this year. Plus, there is already a roster of upcoming miniseries on Disney+ which will go live on November 12 this year.

But what's next?

Disney confirmed the release dates for their upcoming films in phase 4 through 2022, sans the titles. Have a look at the dates below and let's get talking about the eight movies we can expect in the next three years.

(i) May 1, 2020

(ii) November 6, 2020

(iii) February 12, 2021

(iv) May 7, 2021

(v) November 5, 2021

(vi) February 18, 2022

(vii) May 6, 2022

(viii) July 29, 2022

'Black Widow'

Black Widow is reported to be an origin story. (IMDb)

Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow may have met a tragic end in 'Avengers: Endgame', but the character who has been a part of seven MCU films as one of the founding Avengers finally gets her own standalone movie and in all probability will be an origin story. Cate Shortland ('Lore') has already been roped in as the director. Guess we may finally find out what happened in Budapest — the reference both Hawkeye and Natasha keep bringing up in their conversations but reveal nothing else about.

Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland, best known for Nazi drama 'Lore', has already come on board as director. With filming set to begin in June, 'Black Widow' might be the first of the phase 4 movies to hit us in May 2020.

'The Eternals'

Richard Maden is likely to play the role of Ikaris (IMDb)

With shooting slated to start by the end of the year,  the Richard Madden-Angelina Jolie starrer might be the next 2020 release soon after 'Black Widow'. 'The Eternals' was a comic created by Jack Kirby in 1976 which is set millions of years in the past, where cosmic beings known as The Celestials experimented on humans to create individuals with superpowers, known as The Eternals, to battle against their foes, The Deviants. The two groups battled each other throughout history. The Eternals also warred with Greek, Roman and Norse deities before leaving Earth to explore the stars.

Madden and Angelina Jolie would join Kumail Nanjiani, and Ma Dong-Seok, with Jolie, likely playing Sersi, an Eternal who relishes moving among humans and who falls for Ikaris (Madden), a member of the heroes who battle against The Deviants.

The film will be directed by Chloe Zhao while the script was written by Matthew and Ryan Firpo.

'Shang-Chi'

Shang- Chi will be the first Asian superhero in the MCU. (Marvel Comics)

Over the last few months, there have been reports that 'Shang-Chi' is in the works and see the studio feature the first Asian protagonist. Dave Callahan, the Chinese-American writer has penned the script and will be directed by Daniel Cretton. While no casting and film date has been announced, it's safe to assume that 'Shang-Chi' might make some noise only by the end of 2021, so a November 5, 2021 release maybe?

'Black Panther 2'

'Black Panther 2' may see a new villain in Namor (IMDb)

T'Challa will be back and given 'Black Panther's amazing success, after outgrossing 'Infinity War' and raking in three Oscars, it's no surprise that there will be a sequel. Besides, Wakanda may also have a Namor issue to deal with after 'Avengers: Endgame' subtly teased his appearance in the fourth phase.

Ryan Coogler will return to script and direct, but there has been no filming date announced officially. It looks like T'Challa and his team might make an appearance only in 2021.

'Doctor Strange 2'

'Doctor Strange 2' may be one of the 2021 releases.  (IMDb)

Benedict Cumberbatch will be back too. The sorcerer has been instrumental in phase 3 and with the new Avengers set to form sometime in the fourth phase, a sequel and his presence might pretty much be the way to go. At the moment, Scott Derrickson is reportedly set to helm the movie while the script will be written by C. Robert Cargill. The movie again might be one of the 2021 releases with 'Black Panther 2.'

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. III'

James Gunn's 'Guardians' will most likely show up in 2022. (IMDb)

Or do we get to call it 'Asgardians of the Galaxy' as to how Thor humorously puts it in 'Avengers: Endgame'? The James Gunn-directed third volume was one of those movies confirmed for a  2020 release. With Gunn's firing and re-hiring, along with the fact that he has started work on 'Suicide Squad 2' which is due in 2021, we might see Star-Lord and Co. only in 2022. 

Well, that's six movies we have so far and that leaves two slots open. Although unconfirmed, one of it is most definitely going to be a Captain Marvel sequel given that she's the most powerful superhero in the MCU and she is likely to be the new leader of the Avengers.

Meanwhile, we are left to wonder if we will see the Avengers assemble again? Even if they do, will it be post 2022? 

Not to forget the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Now that Disney has acquired 20th Century Fox, it could mean that the X-Men and Fantastic Four can be a part of the MCU at some point.

Who are the new faces we might see in MCU's Phase 4?

Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden are already on the list after being chosen to play important roles in 'The Eternals'. While much of the cast details are still under wraps, 'Doctor Strange 2' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3' have already hinted that there would new faces and a few cast reprisals. According to Digital Spy, Gunn wanted Sylvester Stallone's Stakar to come back at some point in the MCU's future, alongside his fellow Ravagers – Aleta Ogord (Michelle Yeoh), Charlie-27 (Ving Rhames), Mainframe (voiced by Miley Cyrus) and Martinex (Michael Rosenbaum) in the MCU's future.

And with all of this, one can expect more new developments about the fourth phase which Marvel may have to work hard a bit given the blockbusters it has gifted the world in recent times. 

Watch this space for more updates on MCU Phase 4.

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