Marvel has officially provided a roadmap for the first couple of years of phase 4 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The initial announcement actually came at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) last year but since then, more additions have been made and possibly more to come down the road. The following are the phase 4 movies MCU-lovers need to know about and mark their calendars accordingly.
Recognized so far as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a member of the Avengers, Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff) will return in her titular Marvel role to explore her days as a Russian spy. Black Widow will take place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War in the MCU timeline.
Romanoff will be forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy from the past that wants to take her down. David Harbour (Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian) will be playing the Russian super-soldier counterpart to Captain America who once mentored Romanoff. Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) has been reportedly asked for a quick cameo in the movie as well.
Black Widow has been directed by Cate Shortland and will hit theaters on May 1, 2020.
Phase 4 will be taking a cosmic direction and The Eternals will be the first to pave the way forward or upward. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, the fictional race of superhumans will unite to protect humanity from their destructive counterparts, the Deviants.
The Eternals were created by the Celestials to defend Earth from all threats and can be taken as divine beings, possessing great powers and incredibly long lifespans. Their mission is to ensure peace and balance in the universe, which goes against the plans of the Deviants.
The Eternals will bring forth an ensemble cast including Richard Madden (Ikaris), Angelina Jolie (Thena), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Don Lee (Gilgamesh), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), and Kit Harington (Black Knight).
The Eternals has been directed by Chloé Zhao and will hit theaters on November 6, 2020.
Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings will the first MCU entry for the Marvel franchise, as well as being the first Asian-led superhero movie in the timeline. Simu Liu (Shang-Chi) will be playing the titular role as the Master of Kung-Fu alongside Tony Leung (The Mandarin) and Awkwafina in an as-yet-unnamed role.
The Ten Rings is the terrorist organization that abducted Tony Stark (Iron Man) in his debut movie. The organization has been referenced in other MCU entries as well. In Iron Man 3, the leader Mandarin was portrayed by an imposter. Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings will bring forth the real deal.
Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings has been directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and will hit theaters on February 12, 2021.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) will be returning for his second standalone movie. The sequel mostly remains in the dark but a few teasers have pegged Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness to explore a horror tone — a first for the franchise. The whole timeline may possibly get disturbed (again) as the multiverse will be cracked open by the Sorcerer Supreme, leading to several unwanted repercussions.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been directed by Sam Raimi and will hit theaters on May 7, 2021.
Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel
Following a dispute between Marvel and Sony, the Spider-Man franchise appeared to have an uncertain future in the MCU and phase 4 in particular. However, a bridge was created and Marvel is back in the driving seat. The untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home will feature Tom Holland (Spider-Man) and Zendaya (MJ) in their titular roles. However, nothing more is known for now. The only teased is that the movie will be something special in account of what Jake Gyllenhaal (Mysterio) did at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel has been directed by Jon Watts and will hit theaters on July 16, 2021.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) will be taking the mantle of the mighty Thor in the MCU from hereon. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) will be returning as well after reconsidering his earlier decision to give up the role. Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) will also be appearing as the new King of New Asgard and in search for her queen. Interestingly, Christian Bale will reportedly be playing an unnamed role in the sequel to Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor: Love and Thunder remains without a synopsis but according to information available, will be taking inspiration from Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor run which introduced the concept of a female incarnation of Thor.
Thor: Love and Thunder has been directed by Taika Waititi and will hit theaters on November 5, 2021.
Black Panther 2
Marvel only recently confirmed that Black Panther 2 will conclude phase 4 for MCU and assuming, will open the gates for phase 5. Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther) will be taking the lead once again, as well several returning stars from the first movie such as Winston Duke (M’Baku), Letitia Wright (Shuri) and Dani Gurira (Okaraye). Unfortunately, Black Panther 2 remains without a finalized script. Rumors, though, state Namor, the ruler of Atlantis — in the Marvel Universe — to be the main villain and who will be waging a new war in Wakanda.
Black Panther 2 has been directed by Ryan Coogler and will hit theaters on May 6, 2022.