Marvel unveiled all of its plans for the next phase of the MCU after Spider-Man: Far From Home with a hint at phase five with Blade. Not much is known about some of these projects, but the little information available gave me a nerdgasm.
Initially rumored to take place in possibly the 90s, the cast of the upcoming standalone flick told Entertainment Weekly it will set shortly after Captain America: Civil War.
The new faces that will standby or against Black Widow will be never before seen characters she met at this time in her life. David Harbour (Stranger Things) described his character, Alexei, as, “In the Cold War, the Americans were developing weaponry, and the Soviets were responding. The Americans developed Captain America, and the Soviets responded with something called the Red Guardian. In a way, he’s a super-soldier, but he’s also a very complicated guy. He has a lot of flaws, a lot of idiosyncrasies. It’s a very rich character.”
Florence Pugh (Midsommar) tells EW that Yelena is Nat’s “sister figure” and that “it’s quite heightened and heated.” During behind closed doors, a fight scene was shown with Pugh and Johansson in Budapest, Hungary. After a cut, the two are talking things over with a bottle of vodka.
O.T. Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) is a “fixer” named Mason, the man that superheroes or spies go to in need of assistance. Fagbenle goes further by saying, “It’s a bit of a complex relationship with Natasha because obviously, ostensibly we have this kind of business transaction, but I think there’s a little romantic frisson.”
Rachel Weisz plays an experienced assassin and spy. Malena’s description was kept brief because “She’s also deeply involved in a scientific experiment which I cannot tell you about because it’s part of the story we can’t talk about!”
The villain will be the classic Taskmaster, who is kept a secret except for his announcement.
Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland and will release on May 1, 2020.
By its description, this will be an experimental and important film in Marvel’s grand universe building. The synopsis is that immortal beings are looking after Earth from Deviants. The protagonists are sent by Celestials, beings who have been seen before in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
The cast is stacked with Angelina Jolie (Thena), Richard Madden (Icarus), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Lia McHugh (Sprite), and Don Lee (Gilgamesh). Eternals will also heavily expand representation in the MCU with a deaf hero (Makkari), some LGBT characters, and more people of color to widen Marvel’s diversity.
Directed by Chloe Zhao, the film will release on Nov. 6, 2020.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
A Disney+ series that will follow Falcon AKA the new Captain America (Anthony Mackie) and original Captain America’s best friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan).
Not much is known about the show’s plot, but Daniel Bruhl’s Baron Zemo from Civil War will return as the villain. Turning Baron towards his comic book origins, he will wear the purple mask from the source material.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will stream on Disney+ sometime during fall 2020.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Rising star Simu Liu will take the mantle as Shang-Chi, a new face to help protect Earth from threats. He will face the Mandarin (Tony Leung) and his legion within the Ten Rings. Yes, this is the Mandarin, not the fake from Iron Man 3.
Destin Daniel Cretton sits in the director’s chain, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will release on Feb. 12, 2021.
Taking place after Endgame, this series will follow Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her lover/co-Avenger Vision (Paul Bettany). Yes, Vision is dead, and nobody knows how this will work.
When discussing the series, Olsen said, “It’s gonna get weird … and we’re gonna finally understand Wanda Maximoff as the Scarlet Witch.”
Other characters are set to appear like grownup Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel, who will be played by Teyonah Parris. During the Doctor Strange sequel, Olsen will appear in that film, and this show will have a lot to tie into Benedict Cumberbatch’s next standalone journey.
WandaVision will stream on Disney+ in spring 2021.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
The multiverse is real as confirmed from the first Doctor Strange and Endgame. This sequel will explore aspects in both tone, style, and narrative that has never been touched on in the MCU. Scott Derrickson, who has had plenty of horror experience with Sinister, described this as a horror film. Whether it is straight-up nightmare-inducing or simply darker and creepier will be determined once the world gets a first look at the movie.
This “gothic horror” will hit theaters on May 7, 2021.
One might be dead, but another is alive. That’s right, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is back. In his own show on Disney+, we will see Loki after the Endgame time heist where he takes the Tesseract and teleports away from his captors. This version is the one known in the first Avengers, not the more mature God from Ragnarok or Infinity War.
Loki will be back in spring 2021.
This animated series will go across the endless amount of multiverses to give unique stories that will never follow the main plot of the MCU. The Watcher (Jeffery Wright) will guide audiences through the show that will feature many new and familiar voices. The actors that are coming in to reprise their roles for these what-if scenarios include Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Josh Brolin as Thanos, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan, Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, Sean Gunn as Kraglin, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Taika Waititi as Korg, Toby Jones as Arnim Zola, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, and Michael Rooker as Yondu.
“The Watcher is a being, a non-earthly being who observes all things. He’s watching over the multiverse, and occasionally may or may not intervene with the doings of earthlings,” said Wright.
What If…? comes to Disney+ in the summer of 2021.
The bow-wielding Avenger is passing down the bow to Kate Bishop and explore the dark path he went as Ronin.
Hawkeye comes to Disney+ in fall 2021.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Natalie Portman returns to the MCU as Jane. She once left due to a negative experience filming Dark World, but now she will play a more significant role. She will wield the hammer and electric powers of Thor. No worries, Chris Hemsworth will remain as the OG God of Thunder.
Since Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) was left to look after New Asgard and said she “needs to find her queen” it gives a good hint at what’s to come that brings Jane into the life of a superhero. Valkyrie is the first LGBT hero in the MCU despite this not being explored yet. When speaking about Valkyrie’s sexuality, Kevin Fiege told io9, “How that impacts the story remains to be seen with that level of representation you’ll see across our films, not in just Thor 4,”
Ragnarok director Taika Waititi is back to direct the fourth installment of Thor’s standalone movies. The film is set to premiere Nov. 5, 2021.
A brief overview of what’s to come after phase four was given by Fiege. He mentioned obvious sequels like Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Black Panther 2, and Captain Marvel 2. Then he says plans for Fantastic Four and X-Men.
Before ending the panel, Moonlight and Luke Cage actor Mahershala Ali came up with a Blade baseball cap. Then the screen behind everyone showed the Blade title. Nothing else was said about the vampire hunter except he will feature alongside the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other sequels in the following phase.
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Images via Marvel Studios