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Everything we know so far about Marvel Phase 4, including release dates

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« on: July 17, 2019, 12:12:25 am »

Everything we know so far about Marvel Phase 4, including release dates and rumoured new MCU movies

By Bradley Russell 11 hours ago Feature
Here's what could be arriving as part of Marvel Phase 4

Dread it. Run from it. Marvel’s Phase 4 arrives all the same. And now, it's almost here.

While Marvel boss Kevin Feige has yet to officially announce any Marvel Phase 4 movies, there have been more than a handful of reports confirming what’s in store for the billion-dollar superhero franchise, including the introduction of a few fresh faces as well as some souped-up sequels to already iconic movies.

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Despite having a winning formula, Marvel is looking to mix things up with Phase 4, with the studio diving deep into comic book lore to find exciting new characters to bring to the big screen. The Eternals, for instance, are not particularly well-known, even to comic readers. The same can be said about Shang-Chi. Then there’s the Black Widow movie, which, for obvious reasons following the events of Endgame, does not quite fit into Marvel’s normal way of doing things.

Below, you’ll find a round-up of all the confirmed (and unconfirmed) Marvel Phase 4 movies, plus all the latest whispers and rumours that inevitably surround them. There’s casting news, some intriguing set photos, and even a glimpse of Keanu Reeves. Because we all need more Keanu in our lives.
Marvel Phase 4 release dates

Marvel Phase 4 release dates

Marvel Phase 4 may not have a single confirmed movie, but we already know the release dates for the movies. How? Disney kindly let the world know that it has eight Marvel movies in the works, and they’ll be arriving on the below dates (which are, of course, subject to change).

    May 1, 2020
    November 6, 2020
    February 12, 2021
    May 5, 2021
    November 5, 2021
    February 18, 2022
    May 6, 2022
    July 29, 2022

Marvel Phase 4 movies

Marvel Phase 4 movies

Despite there being no official unveiling just yet, news has been leaking out about six Marvel Phase 4 movies. The Black Widow movie, The Eternals, Shang-Chi, Doctor Strange 2, Black Panther 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 have all been publicly discussed by directors, actors, and trade publications. We can, therefore, be pretty confident about what will be coming to cinemas across the next three years, starting with the Black Widow movie, which is currently filming. Chances are, all will be revealed at the Marvel SDCC 2019 panel, though that has not happened yet.

The Black Widow movie

Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Yes, Natasha Romanoff is dead. She sacrificed herself so the Avengers could retrieve the Soul Stone – so how could she possibly be back?! Common logic would dictate we’re getting a prequel, if not an origin story.

First, the cast. Scarlett Johansson is back as the ass-kicking Avengers, and she’s being flanked by some newcomers to the MCU: Midsommar’s Florence Pugh (via Variety), Stranger Things’ David Harbour (via THR), and The Departed actor (and British icon) Ray Winstone.

The Black Widow movie will be directed by Cate Shortland, and is currently filming in the UK. With that being the case, expect this to be the first Marvel Phase 4 movie, which means it will likely take that May 1, 2020 release date.

Of course, there’s also the small matter of where it all fits into the timeline. Despite being a Marvel Phase 4 addition, the Black Widow movie may yet fit in-between Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. That’s all down to a handy bit of product placement which may have clued us in on the 2017 setting. If you thought the Marvel timeline was confusing before, just you wait.
The Eternals

The Eternals is a hard sell for some. After all, the comic characters are millennia-spanning untouchable demigods who have weaved their way into human myth and travelled to the deepest reaches of the cosmos. While it’s a long way from Iron Man hammering away in an Afghan cave, the Eternals, who were created by the Celestials, it could be the MCU’s greatest ensemble cast yet - if the casting rumours ring true.

Former Lara Croft actress Angelina Jolie was one of the first names reportedly attached to the film, followed by Bodyguard’s Richard Madden and The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani. But there’s more. Millie Bobby Brown has been attached to the project (though has publicly removed herself for now), and Keanu Reeves has also been rumoured to have a role. How’s that for an A-List cast?

Interestingly enough, Thanos’ dear old daddy was an Eternal in the comics. If the Mad Titan makes an MCU return, this could be the way to do it.

November 2020 could be when The Eternals are making their MCU debut – though, 2021 could be just as likely; a two-year gap without any former MCU characters could be a bitter pill to swallow for the audience otherwise. Oh, and to get you even more excited for The Eternals, Chloé Zhao - director of one of 2018’s greatest independent films, The Rider - will helm the project.

Shang-Chi could, without a shadow of a doubt, be the most culturally important Marvel Phase 4 movie. In the same way that Black Panther entered the zeitgeist at just the right moment, the Master of Kung Fu kicking and punching his way onto the big screen with an Asian lead could strike the right chord with under-represented audiences.

Not much is known about Shang-Chi, at least compared to the first two new Marvel movies on this list, though there’s plenty to get excited about. Destin Daniel Cretton (who worked with Captain Marvel herself Brie Larson on The Glass Castle) has supposedly signed on to direct the movie. There’s no word on the casting of the lead actor… yet.
Doctor Strange 2

The Sorcerer Supreme is back. Scott Derrickson is reportedly back to direct, and C. Robert Cargill (as per That Hashtag Show) will be penning the script.

After Doctor Strange’s powers proved more than a match for the likes of Thanos recently, expect him to get knocked into the fifth dimension by Baron Mordo, who betrayed Strange during the original outing. Outside of that, not much is known about the sequel, though, after peering through a Time Stone, a 2021 release seems to be a lock when taking into account the likely 2020 movies that are being slated.
Black Panther 2

After the wildly-successful first movie, leaving Black Panther 2 off the table would be among the worst things Marvel Studios could potentially do. Don’t worry, it’s definitely happening. Kevin Feige, of all people, has confirmed that a Black Panther sequel is coming to cinemas (via CNet) and that director Ryan Coogler is back on board. He’s currently working on the story.

2021 would be as good a time as any for another trip to Wakanda, even if the gap of four years between Black Panther movies seems like an eternity.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3

The curious case of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 has as many twists, turns, and misdirects as a trailer for a Russo Brother film. James Gunn was initially fired by Disney. Then he was re-hired less than a year later. Now, a Guardians of the Galaxy 3 script is bringing people to tears. Gunn, though, is still working on a Suicide Squad reboot and won’t be transferring back to the MCU until that’s released in 2021. With that being the case, a late 2022 release could be a distinct possibility.

Expect Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel to return. The movie may even focus on the search for Zoe Saldana’s Gamora after the events of Endgame. Meanwhile, we shouldn’t discount Chris Hemsworth joining the crew of the Milano and making it a big Asgardians of the Galaxy shindig.
What else is coming in Marvel Phase 4?

That leaves two empty slots in the eight-movie list up above. Among the most likely candidates are Captain Marvel 2 – they can’t cast Brie Larson and have her appear in just one main movie and a bit-part in Endgame for nearly half-a-decade – and Spider-Man 3. Slash Film’s Peter Sciretta suggests that Marvel will regain control of the Spidey rights when Spider-Man: Far From Home passes a billion in the box office.

There’s also the A-Word. You know, that big billion-dollar word: Avengers. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are no more, at least in their current guise. Iron Man is dead, Hulk is battered beyond repair, and Old Man Cap would much rather feed the ducks than fight evil. Could the new guard step up? There’s nothing like a good MCU team-up movie, and perhaps one of 2022’s dates is being eyed for a soft Avengers reboot, or a different flavour of Avengers. Think Young Avengers or Dark Avengers and you’re on the right track.
Are the X-Men and Fantastic Four in Marvel Phase 4?

Almost definitely not. Sorry to disappoint. When Kevin Feige says something bluntly, you know (for the most part) he’s not telling fibs. The head of Marvel Studios has said he has a five-year plan that does not include the former Fox properties X-Men, Deadpool, or Fantastic Four. Plans can change. Yet, with at least six movies in production, and a couple more waiting in the wings, it’s hard to see where Marvel Phase 4 has the space to fit it all in. Expect a 2023 return for Marvel’s First Family, the Merc with a Mouth, and Professor X’s mutants.
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