Marvel has announced the release dates for the MCU slate through to 2022, so it's time to look at the evidence and the company's history to predict which movies will make up Phase 4.
Yesterday, Disney announced their release slate of upcoming films, putting dozens of movies on the docket for the coming years. Amongst them, six new Marvel films were given release dates - though naturally no titles were revealed. Though Marvel has been keen to get the word out about upcoming MCU movies in the past, the secretive nature of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 means Phase 4 is mostly a big question mark.
We know what's coming up through 2019, and that Phase 4 will kick off with Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 (the official title hasn't been unveiled yet). Beyond that, however, the next batch of Marvel films is largely up in the air. We've done our best predicting the future of the MCU before, but recent developments and the confirmation of these new release dates have given us a much better idea about what's coming for Marvel Studios in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
This Page: Marvel's 2020 Films
May 1, 2020: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Marvel has had their 2020 dates on the books for awhile, and the first film following the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel is pretty much a sure thing. We heard in 2017 from James Gunn that his next Marvel film would arrive in three years, meaning Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will debut in 2020. Given that Guardians 2 had great success with an early-May release, it only fits for the follow-up to nab Marvel's locked May 1 date; Gunn's series has come to rival The Avengers, so it's definitely earned that prime early Summer slot.
What's more, it's the only film outside of the Spider-Man series that's been confirmed and is being actively worked on. Gunn has already finished a script draft and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will film in early 2019 according to the latest production rumors.
August 7, 2020: Black Widow
Past the next Guardians of the Galaxy, we're mostly in speculation territory. Still, there's plenty of evidence to suggest the Black Widow solo movie will come in 2020. Kevin Feige has been keen to introduce one new IP each year, and the only solo film we've even heard an inkling of is Black Widow. The movie has been rumored for years, and fans have been begging Marvel to make it - something they're finally doing, with a script in development.
Even before it was announced a film was in the works, many fans theorized Widow will help lead Phase 4. Marvel is finally ready to start putting their female heroes in the lead, with Ant-Man & The Wasp this year and Captain Marvel in 2019. By placing Black Widow in 2020, it starts a new trend of a female-led film every year from the studio. And as the August slot was where Guardians of the Galaxy originally launched, it seems like the perfect place to kickstart a new franchise.
Read More: What The Black Widow Movie Should Be About
November 6, 2020: Doctor Strange 2
The other reason August is likely for Black Widow is that November 6 seems destined to bring us Doctor Strange 2. The first film was a critical and financial success and there hasn't really been a doubt that the Benedict Cumberbatch film would get its own trilogy. Post-Phase 3, Marvel's going to want new franchises to replace Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, and continuing the adventures of the Sorcerer Supreme is a no-brainer.
By 2020, it will have been 4 years since the last film and, while Doctor Strange will have popped up several times in the MCU in the interim, waiting much longer seems unlikely. Additionally, the first movie was released in November. Marvel has stuck to this month for the Thor franchise, so there's a good chance so will Doctor Strange. And while Doctor Strange 2 isn't guaranteed for Phase 4, the film seems poised to arrive before long.
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