WARNING: This article contains major SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe will close out Phase 3 this summer, but it's not the end - so what upcoming MCU movies are on the way? Avengers: Endgame will perhaps forever stand as the most monumental installment in the franchise, but Spider-Man: Far From Home is the actual last chapter for Phase 3. Disney's latest release date news has finally shed some light on the MCU's long-term plans.
Disney updated their movie release date calendar following the 20th Century Fox acquisition. Most of the in-depth release dates are planned out through 2022, with certain titles even set through 2027. Most of the remaining 2019 schedule and 2020 plans come with no major surprises. With that said, the calendar for 2021 and onward provides has many movie fans talking, such as the slew of Marvel Studios release dates. Here's a breakdown of their scheduled release dates, revealing when MCU Phase 4 will begin:
- May 1, 2020
- November 6, 2020
- February 12, 2021
- May 7, 2021
- November 5, 2021
- February 18, 2022
- May 6, 2022
- July 29, 2022
It's important to point out that Disney categorized these dates for "untitled Marvel" movies, not "untitled MCU." It's possible that one or more of these dates could be set aside for other Marvel properties outside of the MCU, like with the case with Deadpool and other characters previously owned by Fox. Dark Phoenix is still on the calendar for a June release while The New Mutants is now slated for an April 2020 premiere. As for the future of the MCU, here's a breakdown of every upcoming movie in development.
Spider-Man: Far From Home - July 2, 2019
Even though the MCU is a Disney-owned franchise, the Spider-Man character and films are owned and operated by Sony Pictures. The same goes for Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Far From Home, a sequel to 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming and the first MCU film post-Endgame. The movie follows Peter Parker as he travels abroad on a school trip. While in Europe, Nick Fury recruits young Spider-Man to team up with Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a superhero from another dimension, to fight a group of Elementals. Since the movie will mark the final film for Phase 3, it's expected that Phase 4 announcements will begin in the months following Far From Home's theatrical release.
Considering Natasha Romanoff sacrificed herself in Endgame, Black Widow is all but guaranteed to be a prequel. It will likely focus on Nat's life prior to becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Based on events from Endgame, some believe that Nat's father will be involved in the film's storyline. Scarlett Johansson is reprising her role as Black Widow while Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and O-T Fagbenle are all starring in supporting roles. The Black Widow solo movie also marks the first MCU installment to be solely directed by a woman, with Cate Shortland taking the reins. It seems probable that the movie will take one of the 2020 release dates.
The Eternals is expected to be the fellow MCU installment alongside Black Widow set for a 2020 release. The film was first announced by Kevin Feige back in 2018. Since then, Angelina Jolie has been reportedly negotiating for one of the lead roles, with Kumail Nanjiani and Richard Madden also being in talks. Ma Dong-seok, meanwhile, has joined the cast. The film is expected to focus on Sersi and Ikaris, two members of the Eternals species that were created by Celestials. Eternals have already been introduced to the MCU through the presence of Thanos.
Black Panther 2
Black Panther broke a number of box office records during its release in 2018. The groundbreaking movie truly set the bar high for future MCU installments. Not only was it the first superhero movie to be nominated for the Best Picture category at the Oscars, but it went home with three wins, including costume design, score, and production design. Following Black Panther, the character of T'Challa was involved in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Now that Thanos' snap has been reversed, T'Challa is expected to become an integral part of the MCU's future. Endgame even suggests that Namor could be a central point of Black Panther 2. Ryan Coogler is currently developing a sequel in which he will write and direct.
Doctor Strange 2
Doctor Strange was a major hit with fans when the film debuted in 2016. Shortly after, Scott Derrickson was expected to develop a sequel that he intends to direct. Since Stephen Strange's introduction into the MCU, his character has appeared in Thor: Ragnarok, Infinity War, and Endgame. Strange had a heavy hand in figuring out how Thanos' plan would play out. Strange proved to the Ancient One that he was on the path to become the smartest Sorcerer Supreme. It's possible that Doctor Strange 2 would focus on the character unlocking his full potential. Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong are expected to reprise their roles for the sequel.
Marvel started to get the ball rolling with a Shang-Chi movie when David Callaham was hired late last year to write the script. Destin Daniel Cretton was later hired to direct the film. Shang-Chi will mark Marvel's first Asian-led film. Although not many details have been released thus far, the movie is expected to be a part of Phase 4. In the comics, Shang-Chi is a master Kung Fu and has been a member of the Avengers, Marvel Knights, and Heroes for Hire. Shang-Chi will reportedly be filmed in Australia.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The future of the Guardians of the Galaxy series was up in the air after the firing of James Gunn. Shortly thereafter, Gunn took over as the writer and director for DC Films' The Suicide Squad. Disney later reinstated Gunn to develop Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Although its development has been delayed, the sequel will reportedly start production as early as 2020. The fast-track could result in the sequel releasing ahead of some of other confirmed MCU movies. Not much is known about the plot, but it's assumed that it will follow the Guardians in their quest to find Gamora. It also seems very likely that Thor will be along for the journey based on how Endgame ended.
Confirmed Marvel TV Shows On Disney+
Along with Disney's plans for Marvel and Phase 4 of the MCU, they also have extensive plans for their upcoming streaming service, Disney+. The unscripted Marvel series planned for Disney+ include Marvel's 616 and Marvel's Hero Project. Year one of the Disney+ launch will include Marvel's What If...?, an animated anthology series that imagines what certain MCU would be like if things happened differently. As for the planned series expected to intersect with the MCU, Falcon & Winter Soldier will be one of the first to debut. The limited series will focus on the characters portrayed by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. It seems likely that the limited series will focus on Sam's transition in taking over as Captain America.
WandaVision has been confirmed to follow Scarlet Witch and Vision, with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their MCU roles. Tom Hiddleston will also return as Loki for a solo series based on his character. Both WandaVision and Loki are expected to premiere during the second year of Disney+. Hawkeye is believed to round out the first set of characters making a jump to Disney+ with a project in development. Jeremy Renner will reprise his role as Clint Barton and it's rumored to focus on passing the role of Hawkeye to his successor, Kate Bishop. This is certainly just the beginning of Marvel's plans for Disney+, so stay tuned for more announcements as the launch gets closer.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019