Marvel revealed plans for Phase 4 of the MCU at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, but why was there no mention of The Avengers 5? Although Kevin Feige only announced the release dates for MCU movies in 2020 & 2021, he still made sure to mention a number of the other projects on the horizon after that, including Blade, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and more. Even amongst those rapid-fire drops, though, there was no room for Avengers 5.
This actually makes sense when looking at the breadth of the MCU's Phase 4, which is made up of five movies and five Disney+ TV shows across just two years. Assuming that's the full extent of Phase 4, and that the other films mentioned at the end of the SDCC panel are part of either Phase 5 or whatever Marvel has planned next, then it leaves no room for a new Avengers movie.
Marvel's typical schedule with Avengers movies was to release one every three years, starting with The Avengers in 2012. However, 2019's Avengers: Endgame changed this, and not just because it was only a year after Avengers: Infinity War. Avengers: Endgame was the climax to everything the MCU had been doing since its very beginning, and the final outing for the original Avengers team. It was a goodbye, and that means there needs to be a sizeable gap before Avengers 5. It'd feel like a bit of a cheat to have the new Avengers movie arrive in 2022, just three years after Endgame and the emotional weight it carried.
This also points to a shift in Marvel's storytelling within the MCU too. Phases 1-3 were highly focused on interconnectivity, forming the Infinity Saga by threading the Infinity Stones through a number of different movies, and introducing Thanos as the overarching villain. Phase 4 is making things more standalone by comparison, as there's not, as yet, a clear thread between all of the confirmed movies and TV shows. Black Widow has nothing to do with The Eternals, which has nothing to do with Shang-Chi, and so on.
Instead, the connective tissue is coming from the working relationship between the MCU movies and the Disney+ TV shows. WandaVision has been confirmed to link to Doctor Strange 2, with Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch then set to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is about establishing the MCU's new Captain America. Hawkeye will be training Kate Bishop, which is then likely to lead to a Young Avengers team-up. It's not about setting up Avengers 5.
That'll continue even beyond the firm release dates, with the other MCU movies mentioned by Feige similarly standalone. It's certain that the Avengers will be back in some form eventually, but Marvel has so many other sequels to make and new characters to introduce, while also needing the impact of Avengers: Endgame to be felt, that it doesn't need to be a priority. It's likely we'll get Young Avengers or maybe even Dark Avengers within the next few years, which again fits with Marvel's shift in direction post-Infinity Saga. Avengers 5 will happen, it just won't be in the MCU's Phase 4, and maybe not even the Phase after that.
- 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
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021