This past Saturday at San Diego Comic Con, Marvel Studios officially unleashed their Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This one is going “cosmic” for the most part as we will be dealing with the Multiverse! If you missed the news, here’s what’s happening for Phase 4, which will handle more of the fallout from Avengers: Endgame.
But first, a big congratulations goes out to Marvel Studios as Avengers: Endgame is now the highest-grossing box office film of all time, surpassing the record by James Cameron‘s sci-fi epic Avatar. Endgame made $2.790 billion at the global box office, with Avatar finishing at $2.789 billion.
Now onto Phase 4…
May 1, 2020 will open MCU Phase 4 with Black Widow, which brings back Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, the ex-KGB assassin who has proven herself to be a vital part of the Avengers team. The film, like Captain Marvel, serves as a prequel where after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Romanoff heads to New York City and fifteen years later, finds her past catching up. The film co-stars Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, Ray Winstone, O-T Fagbenie, and David Harbour as The Red Guardian.
Cate Shortland is directing the film from a script by Ned Benson and Jac Schaeffer.
The first of the new streaming Disney+’s MCU limited series will come in Fall 2020 and it will be the team-up of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Anthony Mackie is returning as Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan will return as Bucky Barnes. The duo will now become a new powerful force to be reckoned with after the retirement of Steve Rogers. Appearing will be Daniel Bruhl as Zemo, his villain character from Captain America: Civil War and Emily VanCamp will return as Sharon Carter.
Kari Skogland will be directing the eight-episode limited series.
November 6, 2020 will see Marvel introduce Eternals, based on the Jack Kirby comic. The film will revolve a cosmic war between the titular group and their arch rivals, the Celestials. Angelina Jolie will play Thena. Richard Madden will play Ikaris. Kumail Nanjiani will play Kingo. Bryan Tyree Henry will play Phastos. Train to Busan‘s Ma Dong-Seok, aka Don Lee, will play Gilgamesh. Lia McHugh plays Sprite. Finally, Salma Hayek will play Ajak, the leader of the team who undergoes a gender reversal here. Lauren Ridloff‘s Makkari will be the first deaf superhero in the MCU.
Chloe Zhao is directing from a script by Matthew and Ryan Firpo.
February 19, 2021 will make the long-awaited debut of another Marvel character, Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu. The new film, titled Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will revolve around the martial arts superhero and the Mandarin, a villain character first revealed in Iron Man 3 only to learn that the Mandarin of that film was a fake actor named Trevor Slattery. The real Mandarin will finally make his debut in the film, with Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-Wai set to play the Mandarin.
After a worldwide search, Chinese-born Canadian actor Simu Liu, who is best known for his role as Jung on CBC’s Kim’s Convenience (now streaming on Netflix), has scored the role of Shang-Chi himself. Comedienne/musician Awkwafina has scored a role in the film as well.
The film plans to do for the Asian community what Black Panther did for the African and African-American community in terms of authenticity. Destin Daniel Cretton will be directing from a script by Expendables co-creator Dave Callaham.
The second Disney+ series will revolve around the characters of Wanda Maximoff, aka The Scarlet Witch; and Vision, the hero born out of Jarvis’ A.I. and a body originally meant for Ultron. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be returning in their roles for the eight-episode series, which is rumored to have a 50’s style to it.
The series will premiere in the Spring of 2021.
On May 7, 2021, Marvel will unleash the sequel with the fantastic title: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. With the chaos that has ensued with the aftermath of Endgame, the title couldn’t be more fitting. Benedict Cumberbatch will return as the Sorcerer Supreme.
Scott Derrickson is expected to return to the director’s chair for the sequel.
Also coming in Spring 2021 is Marvel’s third Disney+ series, this one focusing on fan favorite anti-hero Loki. The following contains a bit of a spoiler alert: After stealing the Tesseract in 2012, Loki travels to the 1970’s and he’s not a happy camper.
Tom Hiddleston will return to the role of the Norse God of Mischief and Thor’s brother.
In a very bold move, the Summer of 2021 will unleash the first animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jeffrey Wright will voice The Watcher, the narrator of the series, which takes pivotal moments in the MCU and turn them around with many of the actors past and present, voicing their signature characters.
The fifth Disney+ series will revolve around the archer hero Hawkeye, once again played by Jeremy Renner. However, in this series, he will become the mentor to socialite Kate Bishop as they prepare for her to take on the mantle of the character. Casting will soon go underway for who will play the character of potential Hawkeye Bishop.
Finally, Phase 4 will end with a tale of two Thors as the news was announced just last week that Taika Waititi will return to helm the next installment of the Thor films. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor will reunite with his long lost love Jane Foster, who finds herself worthy of holding the hammer Mjolnir and thus becomes the female Mighty Thor. That’s right, there will be two Thors in this one and Tessa Thompson will return as Valkyrie as well.
That film will end Phase 4 on November 5, 2021.
And three more titles that will join the MCU, in Phase 5, have been announced but with no dates yet. What will they be?
The Daywalker returns! After a trilogy of films starring Wesley Snipes as the sword-wielding, martial arts fighting vampire-human, Blade will make his debut to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This time, Blade will be played by Mahershala Ali, who had played the villain Cottonmouth on season 1 on Netflix’s Luke Cage.
The other two that are in development are former Fox franchises that Marvel gained back with the recent acquisition of Fox to Disney, who owns Marvel: The Fantastic 4 and X-Men.
This is major news of the MCU. What do you think of Phase 4? Are you excited?