Between the releases of Avatar and Avatar 2, Marvel will have released an astonishing 26 MCU movies. Marvel recently announced their plans for the MCU's Phase 4, which includes five movies across 2020 & 2021, while Avatar 2 isn't scheduled to release until December 17, 2021.
Avatar was released in 2009, after two MCU movies - Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk - had already been released. Since then, however, the MCU has only continued to expand, moving from two movies a year to three back in 2017, and with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This speaks not only to the rapid growth of the MCU, however, but also just how long the Avatar sequels are taking to make.
Avatar 2 has been beset by delays, mostly due to James Cameron's drive to develop the best technology possible for the film and also while work was conducted on the script for the movie. It was originally scheduled for release in December 2014, but was then delayed until 2015, then 2016, 2018, and eventually 2020. When the Disney takeover of Fox was complete, Avatar 2 was delayed one final time, pushed back to its current release slot of December 2021.
Since 2009, Marvel has released the following movies: Iron Man 2 (2010); Thor; Captain America: The First Avenger (both 2011); The Avengers (2012); Iron Man 3; Thor: The Dark World (both 2013); Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Guardians of the Galaxy (both 2014); Avengers: Age of Ultron; Ant-Man (both 2015); Captain America: Civil War; Doctor Strange (both 2016); Guardians of the Galaxy 2; Spider-Man: Homecoming; Thor: Ragnarok (all 2017); Black Panther; Avengers: Infinity War; Ant-Man and the Wasp (all 2018); Captain Marvel; Avengers: Endgame; and finally Spider-Man: Far From Home (all 2019).
As revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Marvel's next film is Black Widow, scheduled for release on May 1, 2020, followed up by The Eternals on November 6, 2020. That will take the MCU to 25 films in total, and 23 since the release of Avatar. In 2021, then, Marvel will release Shang-Chi on February 12, Doctor Strange 2 on May 7, and finally Thor 4 on November 5, making that 28 MCU films, 26 of which have released since Avatar. Avatar 2 will then break the streak when it finally releases that same year (assuming it isn't delayed again), before Avatar 3 comes out in 2022.
Marvel hasn't announced any release dates beyond 2021 yet, but it's likely that another three MCU films will be released in 2022. This all comes while there's been a major box-office battle between the two franchises, with Avengers: Endgame recently overtaking Avatar as the highest-grossing movie of all time. Despite having so many releases planned, it's still unlikely that Marvel will beat that by the time Avatar 2 is released.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Avatar 2 (2021) release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Avatar 3 (2023) release date: Dec 22, 2023
- Avatar 4 (2025) release date: Dec 19, 2025
- Avatar 5 (2027) release date: Dec 17, 2027