With the release so far this year of the MCU TV shows WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and What If...? on Disney+, as well as Black Widow in theaters, it appears that Marvel is having a massive return in 2021 after a relatively quiet 2020. Phase Four, which was released in 2019, is now in full effect. So what can we look forward to from MCU for the rest of 2021 and into 2022?
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Release Date: September 3, 2021
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings involves the main character confronting the past he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film’s cast includes Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy, and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan.
Release Date: November 5, 2021
Eternals features an exciting new team of superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, The Deviants. This film stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Kit Harington. Chloé Zhao, known for her work on the film Nomadland starring Francis McDormand, is the director.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date: December 17, 2021
Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Tom Holland and Zendaya, but it has been suggested that Benedict Cumberbatch will reprise his role as Doctor Strange in the film. There have been hints that Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius will also make an appearance. However, there is no official word on either. This movie is wrapped in secrecy, as no official plot synopsis has been released. However, using educated guesses based on pre-existing information, the third Spider-Man movie will almost certainly deal with the repercussions of Spider-Man: Far From Home’s ending.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Release Date: March 25, 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continues after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Dr. Stephen Strange continues his research on the Time Stone. But an old friend puts an end to his plans, resulting in Strange unleashing unspeakable evil. The film is a sequel to Doctor Strange, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and a crossover/sequel to WandaVision and Loki. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch), and Benedict Wong as Master Wong, with Danny Elfman composing the score.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Release Date: May 6, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster (Mighty Thor). While many plot details of Love and Thunder aren’t being revealed, the film will serve as a Mighty Thor origin story of sorts, including elements from the Mighty Thor comic book. In that storyline, Thor has become the Unworthy Thor, and Jane, battling cancer, picks up Mjolnir and gains Thor’s powers. However, every time Jane becomes Mighty Thor, she loses the benefits of her cancer treatment. If she continues to be Mighty Thor, she will most likely die from cancer. Taika Waititi serves as both the film’s director and co-writer.
Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever
Release Date: July 8, 2022
The next installment in the Black Panther franchise, Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever, further explores Wakanda’s world and the characters introduced in the first film. A large part of the first movie’s success goes to Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote and directed Black Panther. He was brought back to write and direct Wakanda Forever, ensuring that there will be creative continuity between the two films. The official synopsis for the movie says it will “continue to explore the incomparable world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.” Cryptic descriptions often make for good sequels, but with last summer’s unexpected loss of Chadwick Boseman, the franchise’s star, it still leaves much uncertainty.
Release Date: November 11, 2022
The Marvels, the sequel to Captain Marvel, is one of the more exciting and anticipated movies of Phase Four, as it will bring back the character Major Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) as well as continue the stories of Monica Rambeau (first seen in the Disney+ series, WandaVision) and Kamala Khan (first introduced in the TV show, Ms. Marvel).
MCU movies to look forward to in 2023 include the third in the Ant-Man films, Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania, which is scheduled to be released on February 17, 2023, and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, which Marvel confirmed will be released on May 5, 2023. Let the countdown begin!
Final Note: To avoid confusion, it’s important to mention that Andy Serkis, director of Venom: Let There Be Carnage (release date: October 15, 2021), has confirmed that the movie is not operating in the MCU and, therefore, wasn’t included in this list. “We’re treating this very much as his own world. Venom’s story is his own world,” reveals Serkis. Although this film and its 2018 predecessor have teased that they fit in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, any connection it might have to Spider-Man is presumed.
Key Release Dates
Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (2021)Release Date: Sep 03, 2021
Eternals (2021)Release Date: Nov 05, 2021
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release Date: Dec 17, 2021
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness (2022)Release Date: Mar 25, 2022
Thor: Love And Thunder (2022)Release Date: May 06, 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release Date: Jul 08, 2022
The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release Date: Nov 11, 2022
Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release Date: Feb 17, 2023
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release Date: May 05, 2023