While the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to dominate the worldwide box office, there are plenty of other Marvel movies on the horizon - from Sony Pictures and Disney's newly-acquired subsidiary 20th Century Fox - that have release dates set in between future MCU films. In 2018 alone, audiences saw six Marvel movies released, while 2019, 2020, and 2021 are delivering their fair share of spinoffs, reboots, and even more sequels.
On one hand, the superhero genre has never been stronger in Hollywood, equating to positive critical reception, as well as massive box office returns (just look at Avengers: Endgame's absolutely staggering $1.2 billion opening weekend). That being said though, anyone suffering from superhero fatigue should seriously consider bracing themselves.
Studios have become substantially more confident in the genre following the massive success of franchises like The Avengers and X-Men, so we're now in the midst of seeing studios take bigger (and necessary) risks. They're adapting standalone properties, offering lead roles to women and people of color, and having the confidence to choose directors with distinct trademark styles, while also offering them more creative control (see: Thor: Ragnarok). The cinematic superhero genre is evolving, and this upcoming slate is just a taste of things to come.
Last updated: April 29, 2019
X-Men: Dark Phoenix - June 7, 2019
Following the critical dud X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016, X-Men: Dark Phoenix continues the mutant franchise with its younger batch of characters, taking the franchise's recent trend of jumping from one decade to the next level (this one takes place in the 1990s). Long-time producer Simon Kinberg is taking over the directing reins, and the plot will specifically center around Sophie Turner's Jean Grey, whose mind is being hunted by a "malevolent, power-hungry force." Unfortunately, Dark Phoenix was delayed multiple times due to the production undergoing extensive reshoots and partly due to conflicts with Turner's schedule.
Men in Black: International - June 14, 2019
Not a traditional Marvel property, Men in Black is technically owned by the House of Ideas; original publisher Aircel Comics was bought by Malibu Comics, which is now owned by Marvel. The agents are making a return to the big screen in 2019 with Men in Black: International. While there were originally plans for Phil Lord and Chris Miller to helm a Men in Black/21 Jump Street spinoff, Sony has instead decided to launch a sequel/reboot of sorts, starring Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray directs the new installment which is a sequel to the original Men in Black trilogy.
Spider-Man: Far From Home - July 5, 2019
After Sony agreed to "share" Spider-Man with Marvel Studios, the web-slinger was finally able to join the MCU. Now, after the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tom Holland will reprise his role as Peter Parker in his fourth on-screen appearance as the character (as well as the first official entry in Phase 4 of the MCU) in Spider-Man: Far From Home. In addition to continuing Spidey's solo adventure in the MCU (which will see Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio fight alongside Spidey against Elementals), Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place minutes after Avengers: Endgame, which means it will also carry the burden of dealing with the aftermath of the final Phase 3 film.
The New Mutants - August 2, 2019
Joining the cinematic ranks of young superheroes is The New Mutants, adapted from the comic series of the same name. Locked away in a secret facility, but desperate to fight their way to freedom, the young cast includes recognizable names like Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch), and Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things). With YA roots courtesy of Josh Boone, who directed the adaptation of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, The New Mutants also walks a fine line between sci-fi and horror. It was originally meant to release April 2018, but was pushed back at the last minute by more than a year to allow for reshoots.
Kingsman 3 - November 8, 2019
Another Marvel Comics property most casual viewers may not have realized belonged to Marvel Comics (it's part of the Icon Comics imprint) is the Kingsman franchise, from comic book writer Mark Millar (who also wrote Marvel's Civil War story arc). Kingsman has been greenlit for a prequel as well as another sequel. Writer/director Matthew Vaughn has some ideas as to how the trilogy will end (assuming it does end), stating that he had been unofficially prepping Kingsman 3 while working on The Golden Circle. While there aren't any "official" details on either property, it's been reported that the Kingsman prequel, titled Kingsman: The Great Game, is filming before Kingsman 3, which means it will presumably take the November 2019 release date.
Morbius - July 31, 2020
After playing the Joker in Suicide Squad, Jared Leto is returning to the world of comic books in a role that should offer him a bit more screen time. Sony's Morbius, the Living Vampire movie has already begun filming and will release in July 2020. Leto plays Michael Morbius, a doctor who tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease but instead imbues himself with vampire-like traits, including a lust for human blood. Morbius is directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) and will also star Doctor Who alum Matt Smith.
Venom 2 - (Likely) October 2, 2020
Though many doubted it, and reviewers panned it, the Tom Hardy-led Venom proved to be an unstoppable juggernaut, grossing $855 million at the worldwide box office and more than securing a sequel. Venom 2 will see writer Kelly Marcel returning to pen the script, though director Ruben Fleischer may be too busy with Zombieland 2 to come back for this sequel. The movie doesn't have an official release date yet, but it seems likely that Venom 2 is the sequel movie that Sony has penned in a release date for in October 2020.
Black Widow - 2020 TBD
A solo Black Widow movie is officially in the works, with Cate Shortland taking the reigns as director, thus becoming Marvel Studios' first solo female director (Anna Boden is co-directing Captain Marvel). Fans have been clamoring for a standalone adaptation of Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson since Natasha Romanoff first turned up in Iron Man 2, and ten years later it could happen. Details are light, although it wouldn't be a surprise if the film was a prequel looking back at Widow's dark, pre-Avengers past, chronicling her early days before becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Production on Black Widow is expected to begin in early 2019 with a release being planned for sometime in 2020.
The Eternals - 2020 TBD
Spinning out of Thanos' arrival in Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel Studios plans to release the movie The Eternals, which sees The Rider director Chloe Zhao in the director's chair. Based on a script by Matthew and Ryan Firpo, The Eternals could be an MCU prequel that's set millions of years in the past. It will presumably become the launch pad for a more cosmic MCU in Phase 4 and beyond. While there aren't any official details regarding the cast or characters, the film has been in development for quite some time and is expected to release sometime in 2020, thus replacing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which put on indefinite hold in 2018.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 - 2020/2021 TBD
In addition to developing the story, it took several years to create the animation style that's seen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which released in December 2018 and quickly became one of the most beloved superhero movies ever released. Shortly before Into the Spider-Verse hit theaters, Sony Pictures confirmed plans to produce a sequel. While details are scarce, Into the Spider-Verse set up two sequels that allow for Miles Morales' story to branch off in multiple directions. And since the technology to make the movie has already been made, developing a sequel should be more straightforward than it was the first time around. At the moment, Sony Pictures Animation has three release dates carved out in 2020, but that doesn't mean Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 will snag one of those dates. Regardless, though, an Into the Spider-Verse sequel is very much in development.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Spinoff - 2021 TBD
Another Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follow-up movie is going to be an all-female Spider-Man film, which will see Gwen Stacy's Spider-Gwen return at the forefront. Furthermore, the spinoff movie will introduce audiences to Silk and Spider-Woman. While the Into the Spider-Verse spinoff is in development, it's unclear when it will release or if it will even be put into production before the Into the Spider-Verse sequel releases in theaters.
Black Panther 2 - 2021 TBD
Ryan Coogler's Black Panther quickly became one of the biggest movies of all-time in the United States, and while its international gross wasn't on the same level as Avengers: Infinity War (which no one expected it would be), there's no denying that it was an astounding success - critically and commercially - for Marvel Studios. So, it's no wonder that they want Black Panther 2 to happen with Coogler back in the director's chair. Black Panther 2 is currently in development, but as long as it doesn't take another 26 years to make, chances are high that the film could release in February 2021, thus staking out the same weekend that allowed it to become a smash hit.
Doctor Strange 2 - 2021 TBD
Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War earned him widespread acclaim, which is partly why Marvel Studios is interested in moving forward with Doctor Strange 2. With Scott Derrickson returning to direct, it's certainly possible that the studio may bring back C. Robert Cargill to write the screenplay. If everything continues to move forward smoothly behind the scenes, then Doctor Strange 2 could enter production by the end of 2019 and ultimately release in theaters sometime in either late 2020 or in 2021.
Shang-Chi - Release Date TBD
Promising to bring hardcore martial arts action into the MCU, Shang-Chi is a priority for Marvel in Phase 4. The movie is based on comics about the son of Fu Manchu, who has his eyes opened to his father's wickedness after being sent on a dark mission, and decides to become a superhero instead, fighting for those who need him instead of the father who would command him. Shang Chi will be directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and will reportedly film in Australia, but there's no release date just yet.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 - Release Date TBD
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has already had a rocky road to production, with director James Gunn being fired by Disney after offensive jokes he made on Twitter years earlier resurfaced. After both fans and colleagues came out fiercely in support of Gunn, the decision was ultimately made to rehire him - though not before he'd already been snapped up by Warner Bros. to direct upcoming sequel/soft reboot The Suicide Squad. Since he'll be focusing on that first, Guardians of the Galaxy 3 reportedly won't start filming until February 2021, which means it'll be a while before we see the team back in action.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- Gambit (2020) release date: Mar 13, 2020
- Men in Black International (2019) release date: Jun 14, 2019
- New Mutants (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019