At SDCC this weekend, one of the biggest announcements that took place was the reveal of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Marvel announced that they will be releasing 11 projects over the course of the next two years for the MCU, which includes TV shows that will live on the Disney+ streaming service.
The first project will be the film Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson and is set to release May 1, 2020. Set to take place after Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War with Taskmaster as the villain.
The second project to be released is Eternals, which will star Angelina Jolie as Thena, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, and Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos. Set to release November 6, 2020.
Next, we have the first release that will be on the Disney+ streaming platform, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It will star Anthony Mackie as the Falcon, Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier and Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo the villain that tore the Avengers apart in Civil War. Mackie said that the series will “explore the Falcon as a character.” The series is set to release in the Fall of 2020.
The next film in the phase is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings starring Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Awkwafina, and Tony Leung as the villain, the real Mandarin. Simu Liu will be the first Asian lead in the MCU. The film is set to release on February 21, 2020.
The series following The Falcon will be WandaVision with Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda aka The Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany reprising his role as Vision. Olsen said, “We’re going to get weird, we’re going to go very deep.” and President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige supports her statement by continually mentioning that the show will be strange, maybe hinting that Doctor Strange will make an appearance. The series will take place after Avengers: Endgame and is set to release in the Spring of 2021.
Loki will also be getting his own show in the Spring of 2021 on Disney+ with Tom Hiddleston as the star. The show is going to explain what happens to Loki after he steals the Tesseract/Space Stone in Endgame. Hiddleston took to the stage to say “You guys saw Avengers, right? He’s still that guy. The last thing that happened to him was he got Hulk smashed.” He also added, “It is one of the most exciting, creative opportunities I think I’ve ever come across. This is new territory, a new world.”
On May 7, 2021, we will get a continuation of Doctor Strange’s storyline with Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. The WandaVision series will lead up to the events of Multiverse of Madness bringing Scarlet Witch back to the big screen. It will also be the first time that the MCU will be directly connected to a Marvel TV series. The film will bring more of the psychedelic weirdness that was seen in the first film with more emphasis on gothic horror as well. This also the first official mention of the Multiverse since Spiderman Far from Home which could also open up the MCU to the Spiderverse (which is exactly what I’m hoping).
What If..? is personally one of the more exciting series’ announced by Marvel, set to release in the Summer of 2021. Not only will this series bring back many of the Marvel characters we already know and love but it will bring them back in animated form. What If..? will be an animated anthology with Jeffrey Wright as the voice of the Watcher. The fact that this will be an animated series further supports my belief that the MCU will open up the doors to the Spiderverse because as you know Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse was also animated.
Jeremy Renner will also be making a comeback with the Hawkeye series that will explore his time as Ronin and introduce Kate Bishop who in the comics is the first female to take on the role of Hawkeye, but her role in the series is still unknown. Feige did say that Hawkeye’s character in this series will also be teaching another character how to be a superhero without superpowers, so may he’ll be teaching Kate to be the next Hawkeye.
We will get the fourth installment of Thor with the release of November 5, 2021, with Thor: Love and Thunder. The film will bring back Thor (I wonder if he lost the blip weight) and Valkyrie and even Natalie Portman as a female Thor who went on stage with Mjolnir to say “It feels pretty good” to be back in the MCU but with a Hammer this time.” We last saw Thor leaving with the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy in Endgame so maybe they will be appearing in the film also which would be nice just so we can see how Groot is doing.
Probably the most exciting announcement is the reprisal of the half-human half-vampire Blade being played by Mahershala Ali who already has a resume with Marvel, having played Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes in the Luke Cage series and Miles Morales’ Uncle Aaron in Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (it probably means nothing in terms of the MCU incorporating the Spiderverse but I can dream can’t I). The release date is yet to be announced, but this announcement has fans wondering why Blade and why now, which Feige responded: “Blade now because of Mahershala, and Mahershala because he loves Blade.” Hopefully, Wesley Snipes makes an appearance as well.
On a panel Kevin Feige also mentioned that they didn’t have time to also announce Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, the introduction of The Fantastic Four (bringing back Michael B. as The Human Torch? probably not but we need more of him) and The Mutants but they are being made. Probably the most anticipated of those films is Gaurdians 3 and many fans were quick to ask director James Gunn who responded that he’s sorry but he has to finish Suicide Squad first.
Which project are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for more updates on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.