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What’s next for the MCU after Black Panther?

Black Panther is out now, decimating even the most ambitious expectations. Marvel’s first black superhero adaptation struck a chord with critics and audiences, leading to glowing reviews and record-breaking numbers. Its importance cannot be overstated, but now the attention is turning to the future of Marvel movies.

Marvel has the next two years mapped out for the MCU. Next is Avengers: Infinity War in April and four more are scheduled to follow within the next 16 months. After that, things are up in the air. That’s quite unusual for Marvel, but it’s understandable when you consider a few characters may be saying their goodbyes in the upcoming Avenger movies.

We’ve compiled the entire list of movies Marvel has announced and laid out the plans that are in store for the MCU.

Avengers: Infinity War

  • Release date: April 27, 2018

All of Marvel’s roads have led to Thanos. The big fight with him has been set up since 2012’s The Avengers, and the payoff is finally happening, six long years later. Avengers: Infinity War will see all of our favorite Marvel heroes taking on the biggest baddie of them all in a climactic duel that will take up two movies. More on that later.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

  • Release date: July 6, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp continues Marvel’s commitment to B-level movies. That’s nothing against against Ant-Man, but it’s hard to deny he doesn’t carry the same cache as Iron Man or even Black Panther. Even so, it’s still fun to see Paul Rudd run around in miniature form causing all kinds of havoc in the streets of San Francisco. This will be the third and final movie for Marvel in 2018.

Captain Marvel

  • Release date: March 9, 2019

Captain Marvel will be the first Marvel movie to star a female character. Oscar-winner Brie Larson has signed up to play the titular role. Not much is known about the movie, with only a few images showing off Larson in her Captain Marvel costume. But rumors have hinted that we may see Captain Marvel in Avengers: Infinity War, so her debut may be right around the corner.

Avengers 4

  • Release date: May 3, 2019

Marvel built up the Thanos storyline so much, it wasn’t going to be done with it in just one movie. That’s where Avengers 4 comes in. Originally titled Avengers: Infinity War Part II, the name was later scrapped and now it remains title-less. Rumors say “Infinity Gauntlet” will likely be the surname, but that’s all speculation. What we do know is that it will conclude the Thanos storyline as well as cleanly tie up most of the storylines explored in the first three phases of the MCU.

Spider-Man: Homecoming 2

  • Release date: July 5, 2019

The Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel is slated to be the last movie in Phase 3 of the MCU, but in many ways, it will be the start of Phase 4. It will take place after the events of Avengers 4, so Thanos will be out of the picture. We don’t know if any major characters will bite the dust in the epic bout with Thanos, but if that does happen, what better way to switch gears than with Spider-Man’s sunny disposition.

After Spider-Man, Marvel has no more movies scheduled in 2019 and beyond, but there are few in the works that are guaranteed to happen. They just need to be officially announced.

MCU movies in the works

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 – 2020

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is happening. Director James Gunn has already stated he is working on a script, and these movies continue to rake in the cash for Disney. It’s a no-brainer to bring back the rag-tag Guardians for a third adventure. Guardians 3 is anticipated to come out in 2020, but like I said, Marvel hasn’t announced anything yet.

Doctor Strange 2 – TBD

Doctor Strange falls into the same category as Ant-Man where a B-level character gets multiple movies. For every Guardians you need a Doctor Strange, and Doctor Strange 2 has been one of the most talked about movies to be a part of MCU’s Phase 4.

Black Panther 2 – TBD

When Black Panther was announced, it seemed destined to be another B-level Marvel movie. But something unexpected happened: director Ryan Coogler made a terrific movie and it became a cultural phenomenon. Its $202 million opening weekend all but assured a sequel. Perhaps we’ll see the character take up the slot vacated by Iron Man: that of a rich, billionaire philanthropist.


Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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