Over the past several years, Marvel has carefully mapped out its slate of movies, from Iron Man in 2008 to the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. After that, however, things suddenly appear much more uncertain.
Marvel hasn't announced any definitive plans for the future, aside from assuring fans that the next 10-20 years are being planned out behind the scenes. But going into Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we don't really know what the next few years will look like.
What we do know is that Phase 4 of the MCU will shake things up. Characters like Iron Man and Captain America may no longer be around as Marvel starts to focus the spotlight on new faces. Meanwhile, characters like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel will have more prominent roles.
Here's what comes after Avengers: Endgame.
All the latest MCU news
May 7, 2019 - Marvel reveals movie roadmap for 2020 and beyond
Disney on Tuesday revealed a roadmap for several movies to come over the next few years, which will include Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Avatar. That roadmap will also include several new Marvel movies, which are as of now untitled.
- Untitled Marvel movie - 05/01/2020
- Untitled Marvel movie - 11/06/2020
- Untitled Marvel movie - 02/12/2021
- Untitled Marvel movie - 05/07/2021
- Untitled Marvel movie - 11/05/2021
- Untitled Marvel movie - 02/18/2022
- Untitled Marvel movie - 05/06/2022
- Untitled Marvel movie - 07/29/2022
As you can see, no titles have been revealed as of yet, but we do know what Marvel's upcoming slate will include sequels for Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy. We're also expecting a solo Black Widow movie and a film about The Eternals.
April 9, 2019 - Marvel Studios teases 5-year plan following Avengers: Endgame
With Avengers: Endgame just a few weeks away, many people want to know: What's going to happen over the next few years? Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige isn't ready to share the exact details though he did tease a five-year plan. Unfortunately, the immediate future likely won't include X-Men.
Feige revealed the details in an interview with io9:
It'll be a while. It's all just beginning and the five-year plan that we've been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it's much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where (the X-Men will appear) right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they're home. That they're all back. But it will be a very long time.
So, if X-Men won't be part of Phase 4, what should audiences expect to see? Feige wouldn't say, but rumors suggest movies such as Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and Doctor Strange 2 will be part of Phase 4. We're also expecting The Eternals and Shang-Chi.
Feige said that all of the information we're looking for will be revealed after Avengers: Endgame hits theaters, which is just a few weeks away.
All the big details
Spider-Man: Far From Home arrives July 2, 2019
The next movie in Marvel's library will be Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. The film is set to star Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man as he and some classmates travel abroad on a school trip.
Spider-Man: Far From Home will mark the debut of Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio, who in the film is an expert on the Elementals, a group described as extra-dimensional humanoids capable of controlling natural forces.
Marvel recently said that Spider-Man: Far From Home will wrap up Phase 3 of the MCU, so what comes after that? No MCU movies have been scheduled for a 2020 release, so it's possible there will be a lull before Phase 4 gets underway.
What is Marvel's Phase 4?
Think of Marvel's phases like seasons in a year. Each season has its own different characteristics, feeling, and mood. Marvel has broken up the MCU into different phases in order to control the narrative without overwhelming audiences with too much information.
Phase One was all about introducing the core team, including Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. Things culminated with The Avengers, when everyone got together to fight the Chitauri invasion.
Phase Two then dove deeper into Marvel lore by exploring the Infinity Stones and the Quantum Realm. Phase Three was all about preparing for the arrival of Thanos.
The past 21+ movies all built up to Avengers: Endgame, which will signal the end of an era for Marvel. The film will be followed by Spider-Man: Far From Home, which will close out Marvel's Phase 3.
That brings us to Phase 4, which feels less like a continuation of the past ten years and more like a soft reboot. Things should feel a lot different in the coming years. For one thing, fans should expect the MCU to get more cosmic.
We've spent a lot of time on Earth, but with the Guardians, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange, things could get really weird.
I think it will vary. I think the overall mythology will begin to grow, as you've already started to see with Guardians and certainly now with Panther and with Doctor Strange. I don't think we'll ever leave our past behind necessarily, but I think the new elements and the new inroads and, by the way, place that we haven't explore yet from the comic universe, will become more and more at the forefront.
Additionally, Feige said that the familiar structure used over the past ten years will get shaken up.
We do know what's coming. We have ideas of the shape of what's to come. But that structure that you laid out was from the comics, right? Everyone had their individual stories. They meet up for a mega event and they go back to their individual stories changed from that event. I think that's a wonderful structure that's worked for decades in the comics, has worked for us now for a decade, so I think it's a good model. But it doesn't necessarily mean we're going to stick to it in stone.
What movies will we see in Marvel's Phase 4?
Marvel hasn't definitively stated what its upcoming roadmap looks like, though a number of movies have quietly been confirmed—we just don't know when they'll be released.
Marvel typically shares a roadmap of upcoming movies with audiences. But the studio seems content to focus on Avengers: Endgame, seeing as the movie marks the end of a long and complex narrative arc.
For now, the list of movies below will likely fill Marvel's Phase 4:
- Doctor Strange 2
- Black Panther 2
- Black Widow
- The Eternals
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
What comes after Phase 4?
Here's where things get really interesting. Disney has finally acquired the assets of 21st Century Fox, which opens the floodgates for Marvel movies down the road. Notably, the acquisition could see Marvel incorporate X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU.
When the deal was announced, Disney teased the possibility of "richer, more complex worlds."
The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.
Since the deal is still so fresh, it will be at least five years before any of these characters are properly incorporated into the MCU. But it opens up a host of new possibilities for Marvel. Fans are no doubt anxious to see Wolverine and Hulk fight side by side; it just won't happen anytime soon.
There are so many possibilities beyond Phase 4. Hopefully, Marvel will share some details about its plans after Avengers: Endgame is released.
Disney has some big Marvel shows planned
In addition to a host of new movies, Disney is also planning several TV shows starring your favorite MCU characters (played by the same actors. These upcoming shows are set to hit Disney+ and will tie directly with the larger MCU.
- WandaVision, a live-action series with Elizabeth Olsen returning as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany reprising his role as The Vision.
- The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, a live-action series with Anthony Mackie returning as Falcon and Sebastian Stan reprising his role as Winter Soldier.
- Tom Hiddleston will be reprising his role as the God of Mischief in "Loki" for the streaming service.
- "Marvel's What If…?," the first animated series from Marvel Studios and takes inspiration from the comic books of the same name. Each episode will explore a pivotal moment from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turn it on its head, leading the audience into uncharted territory, such as what if Peggy Carter took the super soldier serum and Steve Rogers joined the fight in an armored suit from Howard Stark?
A show focused on Hawkeye is also reportedly in the works, though Disney hasn't announced any official details. Once those are made available we'll update this post.
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