Marvel Phase 4 will bring plenty of exciting new storylines into the MCU and introduce several interesting characters that many are not familiar with. Here’s what to expect in Marvel Phase 4.
Phases in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Marvel’s “Phases” are a way to group films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Thus far, there have been three phases with Marvel Phase 4 set to begin in 2020 and run through 2022. The first three phases are generally defined as follows:
Phase 1 – introduction to the Avengers
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- The Avengers (2012)
Phase 2 – deeper storyline for each of the characters and an examination of the fallout from The Avengers movie
- Iron Man (2013)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Ant Man (2015)
Phase 3 – explores the uneasiness among the superheroes after Avengers: Age of Ultron that leads to the culmination in Avengers: Endgame
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Black Panther (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
Marvel Phase 4
First thing to note is Marvel Phase 4 is not confined to just movie theaters. Marvel Phase 4 will be the first phase in the franchise to include television series in its works with 6-8 episode runs that have budgets comparable to a full-flown MCU movie. Several of these event series will premiere on Disney+ including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (August 2020), WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and What If…?
Secondly, Marvel Phase 4 is an introductory sort of phase, like Phase 1 back in the 2000’s. Phase 4 will be all about getting to know new characters and delving deeper into the backstory of ones we already know (or think we know).
It’s important to note that the coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into all Hollywood projects. Dates have already moved and could move further. If they do, we will keep you updated with the new release dates here.
Here’s what to expect in Marvel Phase 4.
Black Widow (November 6, 2020, pushed back from May 2020)
Black Widow will kick off Marvel Phase 4. The cast will include Scarlett Johansson returning as Natasha Romanoff; Stranger Things’ David Harbour as Alexi; Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, O-T Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff AKA Iron Maiden. The Taskmaster will be in the movie but we have yet to see who will be behind the mask. There are also rumors of several cameo appearances.
The story will follow Black Widow and her past. The timeline takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. “Natasha Romanoff finds herself alone and forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.”
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (August 2020 on Disney+)
The Falcon and the Winter Solider will be the first Marvel Phase 4 TV show. The plot will follow Captain America (Sam Wilson) teaming up with Bucky Barnes.
Filming began in October 2019.
Wanda Vision (December 2020 on Disney+)
Wanda Vision was surprisingly moved up in Marvel Phase 4’s lineup. It was originally slated to debut in Spring 2021 and was moved up significantly to December 2020. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be reprising their roles as Scarlet Witch and Vision.
The series takes place following the events of Avengers: Endgame and will lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The plot will delve deeper into the Scarlet Witch’s background in an unusual and wacky way. WandaVision will explore where the character’s alias Scarlet Witch comes from.
Filming began in November 2019 and concluded by March 2020.
The Eternals (February 2, 2021, pushed back from its original November 2020 date)
The second Marvel Phase 4 movie will be The Eternals with a cast that will include Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani will be playing Kingo, Salma Hayek (Ajak, the “leader of the Eternals,” according to Feige), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos, a “genius,” says the actor), Don Lee as the hulking Gilgamesh, while Lia McHugh and The Walking Dead’s Lauren Ridloff rounds out the current confirmed cast, playing Sprite and Makkari respectively. Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington will also appear as the Black Knight.
The Eternals are immortal aliens sent to earth by the Celestials to protect mankind. The movie will delve deeper into each alien in the group and follow their story after the events of Avenger: Endgame.
Filming began in July 2019 and wrapped up in February 2020.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (May 7, 2021)
The third Marvel Phase 4 movie will feature the first Asian-led superhero movie. Simu Liu as Shang-Chi will play the Master of Kung-Fu and Tony Leung will play the real Mandarin and leader of the Ten Rings.
Filming began in February 2020.
Loki (Spring 2021 on Disney+)
Loki will return in Marvel Phase 4 and will tie in with Avengers: Endgame and “tell you what happened with Loki right after Endgame”. It will lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Spider-Man 3 (November 5, 2021)
Spider-Man 3 will open during the 2021 holiday season after what appeared to be hopeless negotiations between Sony and Marvel. Remember where we left off in Marvel Phase 3: Mysterio gave up Spider-Man’s secret identity. The plot will take place during Peter Parker’s senior year of high school.
What if…? (Summer 2021 on Disney+)
What If…? Is the strangest of the lot. It will be an animated series that explores “different versions” of MCU scenes and moments. The cast is probably the heaviest in movie history and will include Michael B. Jordan, Sebastian Stan, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Hayley Atwell, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Neal McDonough, Dominic Cooper, Sean Gunn, Nicole Portman, Stanley Tucci, Taika Waititi, Toby Jones, Djimon Honsou, Michael Rooker, and Jeff Goldblum.
And finally, Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright will be voicing The Watcher, otherwise known as the being dedicated to chronicling universe-shaking events across the cosmos.
Hawkeye (2022 on Disney+)
Hawkeye will star Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton. All we know at this point is the show ill feature Barton training Kate Bishop, who Renner describes as “the best Hawkeye… and I get to teach someone else how to be a superhero without superpowers.”
Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11, 2022)
Thor: Love and Thunder was to be the last movie of Marvel Phase 4. Of course, the big news is Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) playing the new Thor (now officially called Mighty Thor) with Chris Hemsworth back as the God of Thunder and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. The villain is rumored to be Christian Bale.
The movie will introduce Jane Foster as Thor and delve into Valkyrie’s search for a queen.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)
Doctor Strange will now appear *after* Thor, not before as originally planned. The original Director and writer both quit the production citing “creative differences”. Not much is known about the plot although a horror-theme has been suggested. Oh, and the film will co-star Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch, and will tie directly in with her Disney+ series WandaVision, as well as with the series Loki, making this the first MCU film to be directly tied to any television series.
Ms. Marvel (2022 on Disney+)
Kamala Khan will be the first Muslim superhero in the MCU as Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel will play on Disney+.
Moon Knight (2022 on Disney+)
Marc Spector is a rich crimefighter, aka Batman. Despite being unfamiliar to many, this one should be pretty interesting and potentially the biggest hit of the bunch.
She-Hulk (2022 on Disney+)
Will be coming to Disney+. She-Hulk is Bruce Banner’s cousin, who gains superpowers after receiving a blood transfusion from him.
Beyond MCU Phase 4 – MCU Phase 5
Very little is known about Marvel Phase 5 but some movies are in pre-production. Consider the following rumor only.
Gurdians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Rumor is the movie may even focus on the search for Zoe Saldana’s Gamora after the events of Endgame.
Black Panther 2 (May 6, 2022)
All we know is that there will be a Black Panther 2 and that it won’t be called “Black Panther 2”.
Captain Marvel 2 (July 8, 2022)
Rumor says Carol Danvers next adventure will take place in modern day, not in the 90’s.
Should be filming in 2021 and 2021 with a release in 2022.
Mahershala Ali will return as Blade. Nuff said.
A new Avengers team? All we’ve been told is “The Avengers will be a very different incarnation of the team with some people you’ve already met and some you haven’t met yet.” Probably will hit the theaters in 2022.