Release dates, rumours, and MCU news

(Pocket-lint) – When Marvel released Endgame in 2019, it brought an end to some of Earth’s mightiest heroes and served as a finale to the first few phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, aka the Infinity Saga.

But the MCU will continue.

As hard as it might be to imagine an MCU without the superheroes we’ve come to love over the past decade of 20-plus blockbusters, it’s comforting to know the universe isn’t done. That leads to the question of: What’s coming next? Marvel has already planned a small gap between the start of the next phase of the MCU, but the pandemic made that gap into a chasm, as it will be over two years between Endgame and the next MCU film, Black Widow, due out in May 2021.

That being said, fans can start to get excited again, as Marvel has revealed an avalanche of new series and films. In 2021 alone, Marvel is planning to release six new Disney+ series and four feature films. The best part is it won’t slow down after those projects. The studio has released a roadmap of 23 series or films they’re planning to release over the next few years. For reference, there have been 23 movies since the MCU began with Iron Man in 2008.

So, here’s everything you need to know about what’s next for the MCU. We’ve also included details about adjunct films, such as the upcoming Morbius film and the Venom sequel, which are part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.

Confirmed: Every new Marvel movie and show definitely coming

If you want the spoiler-free version of this guide, scroll to the bottom, where we’ve appended at-a-glance list versions that you can skim.

NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS BELOW.

Marvel

WandaVision

  • Release date: 15 January 2021 (on Disney+)

WandaVision will see Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff return for an adventure of her own, exclusively on the new Disney+ streaming service. The show will feature Paul Bettany’s Vision, who we last saw getting his head crushed in/exploded by Thanos. Early rumours and the first glimpses at the teaser trailer show the couple perhaps living in a false reality created by Wanda based on classic TV shows like Bewitched. Check out the latest trailer for WandaVision here. 

Marvel

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

  • Release date: 19 March 2021 (on Disney+)

The first of the new Marvel shows made for Disney+ will see two familiar faces: Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier. In a bit of a surprise, the bad guy they’ll both be tasked with stopping is Daniel Bruhl’s Baron Zemo, who was the villain in Captain America: Civil War. They’ll also have to deal with John Walker, played by Wyatt Russell, who the government chose to wield Captain America’s shield. Check out the first trailer for the series here.

Marvel

Black Widow

We know the character Black Widow sacrifices herself in Endgame to obtain the Soul Stone and defeat Thanos, but that hasn’t stopped Marvel from moving forward with her character in the MCU. A Black Widow solo film will explore the character’s mysterious past. It’s set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War, and it has David Harbour co-starring alongside Scarlett Johansson as the Soviet Union’s answer to Captain America, Red Guardian.

Marvel

Loki

  • Release date: May 2021 (on Disney+)

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is returning! This time, he’s coming to Disney+. However, we won’t see more of the Loki who died trying to save his brother in the Infinity War. Instead, the show will be centered around the Loki who escaped after the battle of New York – during the time-travel escapades in Endgame. In other words, a version of Loki that hasn’t begun his turn toward the good guys.

Early rumours seem to point toward Loki traveling through time during the series, but little else is known. Michael Waldron will serve as the showrunner for Loki; he’s previously worked as a writer and producer for the hit animated series Rick and Morty. See the new Loki trailer here.

Marvel Entertainment

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

  • Release date: 9 July 2021

Shang-Chi is the first Asian superhero for Marvel to be put on the big screen.

Simu Liu has been tapped as the master of Kung-Fu, Shang Chi, and Destin Daniel Cretton will serve as the director. This film will reportedly see the Mandarin as the villain. (The Mandarin is sort of in Iron Man 3, with Ben Kingsley playing the role. However, it’s revealed he is not the real Mandarin but merely an actor paid by the real villain, Aldrich Killian.) A different actor will play the Mandarin in Shang-Chi film and should be more like the comic book evildoer.

As for the “Ten Rings” in the title, Marvel diehards will recognise it as a callback to the Ten Rings terrorist organisation that kidnapped Tony Stark in the first MCU film, Iron Man. So, Shang-Chi might face off with a resurgent version of the terrorist organization led by the Mandarin.

Marvel

What If…

  • Release date: Summer 2021 (on Disney+)

What If… is an animated Marvel show coming to Disney+. It’s based on comics of the same name. It will feature Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher, a member of a race of beings who watch the events of the MCU. Each episode will focus on a different “What if” style question, for instance, the most recent trailer showed a glimpse of what would happen if Peggy Carter received the super-soldier serum instead of Steve “Captain America” Rogers. 

Marvel

Hawkeye

  • Release date: Autumn 2021 (on Disney+)

The last Disney+ show announced from Disney at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 will see Jeremy Renner return as Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye). The series will feature the sharpshooter training a new female Hawkeye named Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld. Disney announced that the show will premiere in the fall 2021. Expect it to dive into Clint unexpectedly getting his family back after spending the five post-snap years as a murderous vigilante. 

Marvel

The Eternals

  • Release date: 5 November 2021

The Eternals are an offshoot of humanity and effectively immortal, and they each have different types of powers.

Depending upon the comic series you’re reading, the characters can be destroyed to the point that nothing but molecules remain, and yet, they can still regenerate. They were Earth’s original protectors and often do battle with the Deviants, who have similar powers to the Eternals.

A November 2020 release date was announced at SDCC 2019. Actress Angelina Jolie is attached to star as the warrior Thena, with Kumail Nanjiani, Selma Hayek, and Richard Madden co-starring alongside her. And Kit Harrington is set to star as the sword-wielding Black Knight.

Marvel Entertainment

Spider-Man 3

  • Release date: 17 December 2021

The third Tom Holland Spider-Man film is shaping up to be a doozy.

Already we’ve seen reports of Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) being included in the film. The most exciting news, however, is that Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield may reprise their own versions of Peter Parker, setting up a potential live-action version of the hit animated film Into The Spiderverse. 

Marvel Entertainment

Ms Marvel

Disney announced Ms Marvel will be made into a live-action show for Disney+. The character will be portrayed by Iman Vellani.

Ms Marvel’s real name is Kamala Khan, and the character debuted in 2013 as a Muslim Pakistani-American from New Jersey. She first appeared in the comics and has become one of the largest successes for Marvel Comics in the short time since her inception. Kevin Feige announced the series will debut in 2021.

Marvel

Thor: Love and Thunder

  • Release date: 11 February 2022

Chris Hemsworth is slated to return as the God of Thunder for the fourth Thor film, but this time he won’t be the only Thor.

He’ll be sharing Mjolnir with his former love interest, Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman. After the success of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi will return to direct, and Tessa Thompson is also returning as Valkyrie, the Queen of Asgard. Christian Bale is set to star as Gorr the God Butcher, an alien man who lost his family and finds a terrible weapon that he uses to take vengeance out on all the Gods in the universe.

Marvel Entertainment

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

  • Release date: 5 March 2022

The sequel for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Stephen Strange was confirmed at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, with the surprise that Elisabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff will aid Doctor Strange. The plot for the upcoming film is rumoured to center around something happening in the Marvel Universe, perhaps started by Wanda in WandaVision, which will lead to alternate universes merging in destructive ways, and Doctore Strange will presumably have to fix the situation.

Marvel Entertainment

Black Panther 2

  • Release date: 8 July 2022

The original Black Panther is the highest-grossing solo film in the MCU, with only the Avengers films topping it. The highly anticipated sequel is expected to dive into the wider world of Wakanda, as Marvel announced they won’t be recasting Chadwick Boseman’s character following his tragic death.

Marvel Entertainment

Captain Marvel 2

  • Release date: 11 November 2022

Captain Marvel is one of the newest Avengers, and we know, thanks to the success of the first film, there will be a sequel to the 2019 hit. The first Captain Marvel is set in 1995, and we don’t know what Brie Larson’s character has been up to between then and her appearance in Endgame, but we can safely say from the addition of Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan and Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau, that the film should be set in what passes as the modern-day for the MCU.

There’s also the credits scene from Far From Home. It featured Nick Fury aboard a spaceship, which could be linked to the next Captain Marvel feature.

Marvel Entertainment

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

This third Guardians film was initially slated to hit theaters much earlier, but Marvel delayed it when they announced James Gunn, the writer and director of the first two films, would be returning for a third installment (he was busy working on Suicide Squad – hence the delay). But it’s since been delayed again.

We have no exact details about what the plot could be for the new film, but it could see the Guardians looking for Gamora, who was missing at the end of Endgame, or it could reveal the teased-character Adam Warlock, previewed at the end of Guardians 2. Disney also recently revealed that the cast will be filming a Disney+ holiday special for release in 2022. You can also expect the release of a series of shorts on Disney+ about Baby Groot, aptly titled I am Groot.

Marvel

Fantastic Four

  • Release date: Unannounced

Completely forget all the previous films when it comes to this Fantastic Four.

The Fantastic Four have been some of the premiere comic characters for Marvel since their inception. All that success, however, hasn’t translated to the big screen yet, with three films produced since 2005, and none of them being particularly successful. That will likely all change with the next Fantastic Four film, as Marvel reacquired the rights to produce it and add the foursome to the MCU.

It’s unknown when we can expect the film, but Marvel President Kevin Feige recently announced that a Fantastic Four film was in the beginning stage of production, with the director of the MCU’s two Spider-man films, Jon Watts, slated to direct as well. 

Marvel Studios

Blade

  • Release date: Unannounced

After winning Best Actor, Mahershala Ali set up a meeting with Marvel and let them know he wanted to play the vampire hunter Blade.

Marvel Studios announced his casting at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, but little else is known about the film. Since it wasn’t officially announced as part of Phase Four, we’ll assume we won’t see the sword-wielding vampire hunter until 2023 at the earliest. 

Marvel Entertainment

Deadpool 3

  • Release date: Unannounced

While most of the excitement with Disney’s purchase of Fox Films centered around potential future films for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, it was easy to forget that Disney now owns the rated-R superhero Deadpool, and if rumours are to be believed, he’ll make an appearance in an end-credits scene in Black Widow. As far as a movie of his own, though, we know that Disney and Ryan Reynolds are working on the project.

Bob’s Burgers writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Loeglin are penning a script. You can expect this film to be rated-R, too, just like its predecessors. 

Marvel Entertainment

Moon Knight

  • Release date: Unannounced

Moon Knight is closer to the Deadpool end of the spectrum when it comes to Marvel heroes. Originally a hired gun named Marc Spector, he’s saved by Egyptian Gods when left for dead in the desert and dons the mantle of Moon Knight. He has multiple personalities and is generally a little crazy.

In October 2020, rumours pointed to Oscar Issac handling the role of Moon Knight, but considering Marvel left his name out of the Disney Investors Day event, where they officially unveiled a ton of other casting news, we’re not so sure about that anymore. There’s no release date information as of yet, either.

Marvel Comics

She Hulk

  • Release date: Unannounced

We’ll forgive you if you think this is just a girl version of the strongest Avenger, but Jennifer Walters is a character all her own in Marvel Comics.

Bruce Banner is her cousin and she gains his powers during a blood transfusion, but she’s much more comfortable with a big green alter-ego than her cousin, as she becomes the lawyer of choice for any superhero who has to be in court. Of course, Marvel will probably change some of her origin story, but expect the lawyer bit to stay, according to Kevin Feige. Tatiana Maslany will play Walters, aka She Hulk, and Mark Ruffalo will appear as the Hulk.

In a bit more surprising news, Tim Roth will reprise his role as The Abomination from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.  There’s no word on a release date yet.

Marvel

Iron Heart

  • Release date: Unannounced

Dominique Thorne will star as Riri Williams, a young savant who created her own version of the Iron Man armour at the age of 16. She could serve as the replacement for Iron Man with no Tony Stark in the picture. No word yet on a release date for Iron Heart.

Marvel

Armor Wars

  • Release date: Unannounced

This series will star Don Cheadle as his MCU character, James Rhodes, aka War Machine, who deals with the fallout of his old friend’s technology falling into the wrong hands. The series will be based on a popular run of the Iron Man comics, albeit with major differences, as Tony Stark is dead. 

Marvel

Secret Invasion

  • Release date: Unannounced

This Disney+ series stars Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury, while Ben Mendelsohn will return as Talos. It’s a live-action version of one of the most famous comic storylines of all time, which will see shape-shifting Skrulls infiltrate Earth. Kevin Feige indicated the series will be a crossover event, meaning we could be seeing lots of other characters from the MCU. Because of that, we’d expect this to be one of the last of the announced Disney+ series to premiere.

Unconfirmed: Movies and shows possibly coming to the MCU

These are films Disney hasn’t confirmed, but because it owns the rights to these franchises, the following films are expected:

Marvel Comics

Avengers 5

A fifth Avenger film most certainly will happen, but Phase Four (aka the next stage) of the MCU was announced without the big team-up that closed out the first three phases. So, we’re at least four years away from the next Avengers film. Also, remember, since the first Captain America introduced the first Infinity Stone, the MCU had been building toward a confrontation with Thanos. That’s done now, and the Avengers are currently scattered across the universe.

So far, it seems like the next Avengers installment will see smaller teams of heroes come together, such as the Young Avengers led by Tom Holland’s Spider-Man or the all-female A-Force led by Captain Marvel. As far as what could force the whole gang to get back together again, there’s been some news about Marvel beginning the casting process for the voice of Galactus, a celestial being known for devouring worlds.

Marvel Comics

X-Men

Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox means Marvel owns the rights to a whole host of new characters, including the X-Men. We already know Marvel’s working on a Fantastic Four film, and Kevin Feige left people drooling at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 when he said he’d run out of time to talk about mutants. However, there’s a problem with adding the X-Men to the MCU, and it can’t be solved with an origin story.

The X-Men aren’t normal people who fell into radioactive waste and got superpowers. They’re an entire offshoot of humanity itself.

So, it’s a bit more complicated getting these guys onto the screen in the context of the MCU, but considering all Marvel has accomplished already, it won’t be long until Wolverine is seen joining up with Spiderman, Captain Marvel, and all the rest of the gang. We expect Marvel to begin laying the groundwork for the addition of the mutant race in the upcoming films before we actually get an X-Men film.

Marvel Comics

Namor the Sub-Mariner

There’s a moment in Endgame you might’ve missed that seems to preview another Marvel comic character making his big-screen debut: As Black Widow is having her hologram conference with a few of the remaining Avengers, Danai Gurira’s Okoye mentions earthquakes in the ocean off the coast of Africa. While this could be just a throwaway line, it could also hint at the debut of the Sub-Mariner, Marvel’s answer to Aquaman.

There’s been a ton of rumours about Marvel making a Namor film since the release of Endgame, with even the Rock being linked to playing the Atlantean. If so, you can expect this character to potentially make his debut in the Falcon and the Winter Soldiers series or as the villain in the upcoming Black Panther sequel.

Expected: Adjunct movies and shows coming to the MCU

Here are more expected films, including the two from Sony’s expanded Spider-verse and the final Fox-produced X-Men Universe film. These are confirmed.

Sony/Marvel

Morbius

  • Release date: 19 March 2021

Morbius is the next film from Sony’s extended Spider-Man Universe.

It tells the story of Dr Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), who, through trying to cure himself of a rare blood disease, effectively turns himself into a vampire. While the character is one of Spider-Man’s antagonists, he’s also seen time as an antihero. The recent trailer connects the Sony universe of Spider-Man villains to the MCU by showing a poster of Spider-Man with the words “murderer” spray-painted on it, a reference to the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Morbius is also expected to feature Michael Keaton’s Vulture, the antagonist of the first Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Sony/Marvel

Venom: Let There be Carnage

  • Release date: 25 June 2021

Venom was a surprise success that proved Sony’s extended Spider-Man Universe wasn’t as dumb of an idea as we all initially thought. The sequel will feature Tom Hardy returning as the black Symbiote and figures to see him take on Woody Harrelson’s serial killer Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage.

The film is currently scheduled to be released on 25 June 2021 and has Andy Serkis directing.


Spoiler-free: Marvel movies and shows at a glance

Here’s everything we described above, broken down into three at-a-glance lists that are spoiler-free.

Note: We’ve excluded the final Fox-produced X-Men movie, The New Mutants, as Marvel Studios was not involved with them.

Confirmed: Every new Marvel movie and show definitely coming

Disney has confirmed dates for eight new movies over five years – and recent leaks suggest the following will be those films:

  • WandaVision (15 January 2021)
  • The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (19 March 2021)
  • Black Widow (7 May 2021)
  • Loki (May 2021)
  • Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (9 July 2021)
  • What If… (Summer 2021)
  • Hawkeye (Autumn 2021)
  • The Eternals (November 2021)
  • Spiderman 3 ( 17 December 2021)
  • Ms Marvel (2021)
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (11 February 2022)
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (25 March 2022)
  • Black Panther 2 (8 May 2022)
  • Captain Marvel 2 (8 July 2022)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)
  • Fantastic Four (Unannounced)
  • Blade (Unannounced)
  • Deadpool 3 (Unannounced)
  • Moon Knight (Unannounced)
  • She Hulk (Unannounced)
  • Iron Heart (Unannounced)
  • Armor Wars (Unannounced)
  • Secret Invasion (Unannounced)

Unconfirmed: Movies and shows possibly coming to the MCU

These are films Disney hasn’t confirmed, but because it owns the rights to these franchises or just because of common sense, the following films are expected:

  • Avengers 5 (unknown)
  • X-Men (unknown)
  • Namor the Sub-Mariner (unknown)

Expected: Adjunct movies and shows coming to the MCU

Here are more expected films, all part of Marvel and Sony’s extended Spider-Man Universe deal:

  • Morbius 19 (March 2021)
  • Venom 2 (25 June 2021)

Did you like this?

Then maybe you’ll like our movie order viewing guides:

We also have this rumour round-up on upcoming Star Wars movies:

Writing by Maggie Tillman.





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