Yes, The Avengers: Endgame was an end – to the previous phases of Marvel movies. But you really didn’t think it was the end of the franchise, did you?
Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, has been busily plotting the future of the franchise with current superheroes returning while new ones are due to be introduced not just on the big screen, but on streaming services including the upcoming Disney+. And of course, the recent studio mergers have brought more under the control of Marvel owned by Disney. While Disney and Sony argued over the fate of Spider-Man, which has now been resolved so the web-slinger can continue in the MCU, properties like the X-Men are coming back into the fold.
Speaking of X-Men, we can expect a total reboot following the dismal box office of Dark Phoenix, the last entry in the previous franchise offerings. Feige confirmed at Comic-Con that new Fantastic Four and X-Men movies are in the works, which might include future cross-overs into our current MCU world. While Marvel had previously sold the rights to both comics to Fox, Disney’s merger with Fox completed in March gives them rights to the characters which will allow them to be incorporated into the now huge and successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Here is a run-down of the MCU movies currently in the works:
- The New Mutants (April 3, 2020 release). Fox already had this one in the works when it merged with Disney so do not expect any MCU cross-overs yet. This latest addition to the X-Men franchise stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton and Henry Zaga to bring a younger cast to reboot the franchise.
- Black Widow (May 1, 2020). Scarlett Johansson reprises her role finally getting a solo movie for Black Widow. Taking place in Budapest, it follows the events of Captain America: Civil War fighting Taskmaster and a character named Yelena. The movie also stars Rachel Weisz, David Harbour and Florence Pugh and is directed by Cate Shortland.
- The Eternals (Nov 6, 2020). Chloe Zhao will direct this movie about an otherworldly group of superheroes. The cast includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Brian Tyree Henry. In the comics, the Celestials (which included Quill’s father from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2) create a superhuman and immortal race they call the Eternals to protect Earth.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Feb 12, 2021). The MCU’s first Asian superhero gets a solo film starring Simu Liu. He will face the Mandarin (not the pretend one from Iron Man 3 but the real one) played by Tony Leung. Destin Daniel Cretton will direct a script by Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984).
- Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (May 7, 2021). Benedict Cumberbatch returns in a mystical sequel which will also star Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch. The title suggests we will get a glimpse at the real multiverse hinted at in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (Aug 16, 2021). While Sony still owns the rights to Spidey, they finally came to an agreement with Disney to allow at least one more Spider-Man movie as part of the MCU. Tom Holland returns to deal with the consequences of his secret identity being revealed to the world at the post-credit scene of Far From Home.
- Thor: Love and Thunder (Nov 5, 2021). Natalie Portman announced at Comic-Con she will return as Jane Foster becoming the first female Thor (first introduced in the comics in 2014). Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson both return with Valkyrie looking for her queen to help her rule Asgard. Taika Waititi will again direct.
- Black Panther 2 (May 6, 2022). Ryan Coogler is again writing and directing the sequel with Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o expected to return with the rest of the key cast. Feige also suggested some Black Panther spin-off films may be coming focusing on Shuri (Letita Wright) and Okoye (Danai Gurira).
The following films have been announced, but do not have release dates as yet so most likely will be 2022 and beyond:
- Blade. The vampire-hunting vampire series is getting a reboot with Mahershala Ali set to star.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3. With the firing and then re-hiring of James Gunn, Vol 3 has been on and off again though is definitely now back on with all the cast set to return. A possible spin-off movie focusing on the fractured team of heroes talked about in the post-credits scene of Vol 2.
- Captain Marvel 2. Brie Larson will return in this sequel though no word yet of the story or where in the timeline it will fall – before or after the events of Endgame.
- Fantastic Four. As mentioned above, Feige definitely plans a reboot of this series with an all-new cast.
- Into the Spider-Verse 2. Sony will produce a sequel to their very successful animated film which will focus more on Miles Morales now that he’s learned to control his webs.
- Into the Spider-Verse all-female spin-off. Another animated entry from Sony, this one will focus on Gwen Stacey and Penni Parker along with some other female heroes like Spider-Woman.
- Venom 2. Sony has greenlit a sequel to its Venom film with Tom Hardy back in the lead and featuring Woddy Harrelson as Carnage.
- Morbius. Jared Leto is set to star in Sony’s upcoming film about the living vampire, Morbius. Daniel Espinosa will direct.
- Silver and Black. Another entry from Sony, Silver Sable and Black Cat will team up in this on-again/off-again movie. The script is currently being re-written but Gina Prince-Bythewood is set to direct which is said to have Sable tracking down talented burglar Black Cat until they have to join forces.
- Logan spinoff. Considering the success of Logan, it isn’t a surprise that a sequel of sorts would be planned. Fox is working on a script that would center on Laura, the little girl Logan was protecting in the first movie. Laura would basically become Wolverine in future film teaming with other young mutants.
- Ms. Marvel. Kamala Khan, a shapeshifting teenager fighting crime like her hero, Captain Marvel, will bring Marvel’s first Muslim superhero to the screen. She is actually set to debut in her own television series on Disney+ before joining the Avengers on the big screen, perhaps in Captain Marvel 2 before her solo film.