After a long drought of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Phase 4 is set to pack the next three years with as many movies and Disney+ exclusive series as Marvel fans can handle. With all the reshuffling that happened since Avengers: Endgame (2019), there is a lot of planned content to keep up with.
So, let’s take a look at the Marvel phase 4 release schedule and what upcoming Marvel movies and series are confirmed next for Marvel’s Avengers characters.
What is the next Marvel release: What If…? on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.
MCU Phase 4 Release Date Summary
- May 21, 2021 – MODOK (All episodes released same-day on Hulu)
- June 9, 2021 – Loki (Episodes dropping every Wednesdays on Disney+)
- July 9, 2021 – Black Widow (In theaters and on Disney+ same day)
- August 11, 2021 – What If…
- September 3, 2021 – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
- November 5, 2021 – Eternals
- December 17, 2021 – Spider-Man: No Way Home
- Fall 2021 – Hawkeye
- Late 2021 – Ms. Marvel
- March 25, 2022 – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
- May 6, 2022 – Thor: Love and Thunder
- July 8, 2022 – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Black Panther II)
- November 11, 2022 – The Marvels (Captain Marvel 2)
- 2022 TBC – Moon Knight
- 2022 TBC – She-Hulk
- Rumored Fall 2022 – Loki Season 2
- Rumored Later 2022 – Secret Invasion
- Late 2022 – The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
- February 17, 2023 – Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
- May 5, 2023 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3
- 2023 – Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (coming to Disney Channel)
- Rumored July 28, 2023 – Fantastic Four
- Rumored October 7, 2023 – Blade
- Rumored November 3, 2023 – Deadpool 3
- Predicted 2023 – Ironheart
- Predicted 2023 – Armor Wars
- Untitled X-Men film rumored to be called The Mutants
- Captain America 4 starring Anthony Mackie/Sam Wilson as Captain America
- Deadpool animated series
- Black Panther series for Disney+
- I am Groot – a series of shorts coming to Disney+
2021 Marvel Studio’s Line Up
Earlier this year already Marvel dropped WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Solider on Disney+ and you catch these original series anytime. WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch/ Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany’s Vision in one of the most unique entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier follows Falcon/ Sam Wilson – now Captain America (Anthony Mackie) and Winter Soldier/ Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) as they deal with the legacy of Captain America/ Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in a world post-Blip.
Loki debuted on June 9th. The official description of the series reads:
“In Marvel Studios’ “Loki,” the mercurial villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) resumes his role as the God of Mischief in a new series that takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” Kate Herron directs and Michael Waldron is head writer.”
The first film in Phase 4 is the much-delayed Black Widow which was released simultaneously at the theater and on Disney+ on July 9, 2021, for an additional cost. It will kick off the start of MCU Phase 4. This Marvel Studio’s film will be the first to usher fans back to theaters since 2019. This new release date will finally give Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) her due. The official description from Marvel reads:
“In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.”
Black Widow‘s first and possibly only solo film will also introduce fans to Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova and Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff, both of which are other versions of Black Widow. As well Red Guardian/ Alexei Shostakov played by Davis Harbour (Stranger Things) and Taskmaster.
The first Marvel Studio’s original animated series What If…? will stream on Disney+. It is currently being reported for August but this has not been confirmed by Marvel yet. The series will expand on Marvel Phase 4’s theme of the multiverse by exploring alternate versions of characters like a version of Star-Lord voiced by the late Chadwick Boseman.
What If…? will also feature an alternate timeline where Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) took the super-soldier serum and became Captain Britain instead of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) becoming Captain America. Each episode will be its own contained story and will even take fans to the Marvel Zombie universe.
While many fan-favorite actors are returning, Brie Larson, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Robert Downing Jr. are not returning as Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, or Iron Man. The show does not have an official description yet and while it might not be canon in the main MCU timeline it will exist in the new Marvel Cinematic Multiverse.
Related: When Will We See ‘Avengers 5’?
Marvel Studios will follow it up with Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. Marvel’s Master of Kung-Fu will make his debut on September 3, 2021, and the official description of the upcoming movie is:
“Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. The film also stars Tony Leung as Wenwu, Awkwafina as Shang-Chi’s friend Katy and Michelle Yeoh as Jiang Nan, as well as Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng.”
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings will be Marvel Studio’s first Asian-led film and could bring back Doctor Strange‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo. And in may Hulu will be getting its own Marvel original animated series – MODOK, which will not be a part of the MCU Phase 4 but will sure to a fun adventure for Marvel fans on May 21, 2021. Though some rumors have it crossing over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point.
Also, with unannounced streaming dates but confirmed for late 2021 is Ms. Marvel starring Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, the Inhuman shape-shifter. Then Hawkeye starring Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton and Hailee Steinfield as Kate Bishop.
Marvel’s Eternals is set for November 5. This will focus on the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The official description from Marvel Studios reads:
“Marvel Studios’ Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes 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.”
The cast for Eternals is as packed as any Avenger movie. With stars like Angelina Jolie (Thena), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Lia McHugh (Sprite) and, Kit Harrington (Black Knight).
And 2021 will finish up with Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17. The third installment of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man series is rumored to be the MCU’s version of the Spider-verse. Marvel Studio’s latest partnership with Sony Pictures will be a massive end to the year with rumors that it could bring back Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as their versions of Peter Parker.
2022 MCU Phase 4 Films and TV Shows
At this time, 2022 is also set to have four new Marvel movie releases. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is expected on March 25, 2022. Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) is set to join Benedict Cumberbatch in this Doctor Strange sequel. Alongside Xochitl Gomez’s debut as the Young Avenger America Chavez, Miss America.
Since it will follow up on the success of the Disney+ series WandaVision, a lot more is known about Doctor Strange 2 than the rest of Marvel’s Phase 4. We know it will expand the MCU beyond anything it has reached before and delve into the currently unexplored multiverse with the Sorcerer Supreme either teaming up with or batting the Scarlet Witch.
Then Thor: Love and Thunder will come on May 6, 2022. The fourth entry in the Thor franchise will feature much of the cast of The Guardians of the Galaxy, who are not set to head their own film again until sometime in 2023. This MCU Phase 4 movie will introduce the female Thor / Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).
Dropping at some point on Disney+ will be Moon Knight, starring Oscar Isaac (Star Wars) as Marc Spector, the vigilante with multiple personalities. And She-Hulk will introduce Marvel fans to Jessica Walters, played by Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black). Jessica Walters is a lawyer by day and one of the strongest characters in the Marvel universe by night.
Black Panther II, now titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, will take Marvel fans back to Wakanda on July 8, 2022. This is in addition to a Wakanda series for Disney+. The tragic death of T’Challa actor Chadwick Boseman has left much of the plot of this film up in the air. It has, however, been confirmed that the actor won’t be recast.
There isn’t an official description for Wakanda Forever yet but it does have a logline:
“Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will continue to explore the incomparable world of Wakanda, and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.”
Then Captain Marvel 2, now with a confirmed title of The Marvels will finish up the year on November 11, 2022. The full logline for Carol Danver’s second outing is below:
“Marvel Studios’ The Marvels will feature Brie Larson returning to the role of Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers. In the film, she’ll be joined by Teyonah Parris, who was first introduced as adult Monica Rambeau in Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, along with Iman Vellani, who will appear as Ms. Marvel in the upcoming Disney+ series of the same name. Prepare to experience it and fly higher, further, and faster with the film, directed by Nia DaCosta!”
We also know that 2022 will end with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which does not have a confirmed release date for its premiere on Disney+ yet. But it will mostly drop sometime in December around Christmas.
2023 Confirmed Marvel Studio’s Schedule
2023 will start off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17, 2023. It will bring Scott Lang/ Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hope Pym/ Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) deeper into the Quantum Realm. They are rumored to be taking on Kang the Conqueror and Kathryn Newton’s aged-up version of Cassie Lang could take on her superhero alter ego of Stature.
The next Marvel film after that will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the summer, just like the previous Guardians films, with a confirmed date of May 5, 2023. Along with an assumed Awesome Mix Vol 3, the latest James Gunn direct film will bring back Marvel’s favorite group of miscreants, including Star-Lord/ Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Groot Vin Diesel, Rocket Racoon (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Nebula (Karen Gillen) and Drax (Dave Bautista).
None of the Marvel Studio’s original series have official dates at the moment. But we know that Samuel L. Jackson will return as Nick Fury alongside Ben Mendelson’s Skrull Talos in Secret Invasion. The thriller will also feature Kingsley Ben-Adir as an unnamed villain and Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones).
Many fans of Marvel television series past are hoping that Secret Invasion could bring back popular Agents of SHIELD characters or even some actors from Netflix’s Defenders series. And the series will be directed by Thomas Bezucha and Ali Selim.
We also know that Ironheart starring Sofia Wylie as Riri Williams and Armor Wars starring Don Cheadle as Rhodey aka War Machine are most likely coming in 2023. Both Marvel shows will take on the legacy of Tony Stark’s Iron Man (Robert Downing Jr.).
There will also be a series of shorts called I am Groot about Baby Groot. And Disney Channel will almost be getting in on the Marvel action with its own original animated series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. The official description from Marvel for this series reads:
Based on Marvel’s hit comic books, “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius Lunella Lafayette and her 10-ton T-Rex, Devil Dinosaur. After Lunella accidentally brings Devil Dinosaur into present-day New York City via a time vortex, the duo works together to protect the city’s Lower East Side from danger.
Rumors Beyond Marvel Movies in 2023
Disney has announced three other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that some of which do not have confirmed release dates. Charles Murphy of Murphy’s Multiverse shared on Twitter that he received a leak with the release dates for several 2023 films.
According to his information, which has not been confirmed at this time, the 2023 release schedule for these Marvel films is:
— Charles I Don't Know About NWH Trailer Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) March 7, 2021
Most important are the rumored Fantastic Four and Deadpool 3 release dates. Both MCU movies previously did not even have an expected release year, let alone a date. Fantastic Four was confirmed to be part of MCU Phase 4 and casting announcements could be imminent.
Not much is known about either Fantastic Four or Deadpool 3. Disney did confirm Deadpool will keep its R-rated tradition from the 20th Century Studios films. It makes sense that they will both come in 2023 since Marvel has a history of releasing four films every year.
It’s worth noting that these rumors are based on dates and either of these final two could be the Blade film, which was not mentioned by Murphy. At the moment, both Blade and Deadpool 3 are not officially confirmed as part of Marvel’s Phase Four. Though Blade was leaked to be coming to theaters on October 7, 2023.
One last series that could be coming to Disney+ in either 2023 or 2024 is currently untitled series about the history of Wakanda. Other than its existence little else is known about the upcoming TV show.
What These Marvel Release Dates Mean
It makes a lot of sense for Marvel to put Fantastic Four in the summer blockbuster spot. Fans have been clamoring for Marvel to make an announcement about their First Family ever since the rights were transferred to them. We all wanted that engineer in WandaVision to be Reed Richards. Marvel Studio’s Phase Four is set to culminate with this leaked release date.
Previously, fans have not been thrilled with the versions they have been given of Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm / The Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm/ The Human Torch, and Ben Grimm / The Thing. The hype for Marvel’s take on the classic comic book team will be a huge summer event.
With this date, production would most likely start somewhere around early next year, so casting announcements may drop by this summer or fall. Fantastic Four is one of the most anticipated films of Phase 4.
As for Deadpool 3, a November release date puts it late in the line-up. Marvel could be nervous about their first foray into an R-rating for a superhero film starring Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, the Merc with a Mouth.
Or, they could be testing the waters for its success. Fans of Blade have been begging for Mahershala Ali’s version of the character to get the same treatment. Right now, it is expected to be PG-13, but that could change if Deadpool 3 is a success.
Technically neither film has been officially confirmed to be part of Marvel’s Phase 4 — and it is doubtful Marvel would ever release two R-rated films back-to-back. It makes sense to put Deadpool in Phase 4 and keep Blade for Phase 5. This would allow Marvel to put their reported X-Men film, The Mutants, in between the two films.
Where Is Marvel Phase Four Taking Us
For now, it seems the path of the next three to four years of MCU programming seems to be set. Adding any more would make Phase 4 a behemoth in the Marvel Universe. The whole theme of this new phase is to expand the MCU.
Many upcoming Marvel movies, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Spider-Man: No Way Home will bring more of the magical side of Marvel Comics to the movies. Both films are about alternate timelines that have been created by the events of Avengers: Endgame.
Even Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will bring MCU fans to a whole they have left most unexplored and bringing in a character like Kang means more time travel could be in store for Marvel. The Loki series will have a plot that combines time travel, magic, and alternate timelines.
Thor: Love and Thunder, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, The Marvels, and Eternals will all bring more cosmic themes to the MCU. It seems like Marvel is moving beyond the Earth, although movies like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Black Widow will still take a smaller-scale approach. Other Marvel shows like Hawkeye and She-Hulk are expected to take on more street-level stories.
As for where it could all be leading may be an Avengers 5 or something like Secret Wars, a Marvel Comic story involving the clash of alternate realities.
Stay tuned here for all the updates for the Marvel Phase 4 and tell us in the comments below what you are most looking forward to.