Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will officially kick off in 2020, but what will that release schedule look like? The MCU's first saga, consisting of all the movies released from the very first Iron Man, will conclude with next year's Avengers 4, which will culminate into one last showdown with the Mad Titan Thanos. That will also see the mainstays of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes - namely Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Chris Evans' Captain America, Chris Hemsworth's Thor, and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk - presumably either being killed off or seen riding off into the sunset.
Shortly thereafter, audiences will get their first introduction into an MCU post-Avengers 4 with the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which was previously said to take place only minutes after the ending of Anthony and Joe Russo's currently-untitled 2019 film. It makes sense that info has already come out about Spidey's next solo outing considering that it's currently in production, but there's a lot of uncertainty regarding the MCU's slate after the Homecoming sequel.
Of course, one of the most talked about things in relation to the future of the MCU is how the X-Men and Fantastic Four will be included. But the thing is, there currently aren't any concrete plans on how to incorporate either superhero team (or their respective members) beyond the simple fact that they will one day join the ongoing shared universe. Therefore, it's extremely unlikely (and borderline impossible), due to the way the film rights for 20th Century Fox's assets transfer to Disney, for a movie based on either team to hit theaters in 2020. That's not all that's known, though.
- This Page: What We Know About Marvel's 2020 & Guardians 3
- Page 2: Predicting Marvel's 2020 Movies
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT MCU 2020
Exact details regarding the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are unclear at the moment, but there has been some movement behind in the scenes on certain projects as well as plenty of comments regarding the franchise's next steps from executives in the know. It's been said numerous times that the Russos' Avengers 4 will mark the conclusion of the MCU's first saga, bringing an end to the story arc that began with Jon Favreau's first Iron Man movie in 2008. And next year's Spider-Man film will act as a branching off point for the franchise's next stage, as well as a continuation of the events of Avengers 4, but it won't exactly act the big Phase 4 movie that people may expect it to be.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, on the other hand, was (and possibly still is) meant to bridge the old and the new sagas of the MCU together, laying the foundation for the next 10 years or so of Marvel movies. Releasing it as the first movie in 2020 would've been ideal for Marvel Studios to really kick off Phase 4, but that burden will now most likely fall onto another movie's shoulders, similar to how Kenneth Branagh's 2011 Thor film was the movie primarily responsible for setting up Joss Whedon's The Avengers. In this regard, the first real Phase 4 movie will release in 2020 - but it won't be the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3 WON'T MAKE 2020
From the get-go, it was thought that James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would hit theaters in 2020 since it was originally supposed to go into production in early 2019, at least according to the main cast. Since that movie is no longer on the table (for now), with Walt Disney Studios searching for a new director for the project after indefinitely shelving it in the aftermath of firing original director James Gunn, Marvel Studios needs to rethink their entire timeline.
Guardians 3 likely won't move into production in time by early next year, even though it has been confirmed that Gunn's script will still be used, because they would also need to dive into pre-production first. And so, the entirety of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may need to be fundamentally reworked (or Guardians 3 replaced) since that film was reportedly going to set up the future of the MCU, taking the next saga away from Earth and into the cosmos. Whether that happens remains to be seen. But, for now, there are plenty of other movies that have a higher chance of releasing in 2020.
Page 2 of 2: Predicting Marvel's 2020 Movies
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019