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Here is your complete guide to Marvel on the hugely popular streaming service.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+
What MCU movies and TV shows are on Disney+ so far?
Disney+ is the official home of the MCU. Ever since The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in August 2009, Marvel has inexplicably become one of the biggest cinema franchises in the world. With the debut of Disney+ in November 2019, the MCU could be streamed directly into people’s homes with every movie so far (aside from a handful of exceptions) available for Marvel fans to enjoy.
Currently from Phase One, only The Incredible Hulk (2008) is not available, and from Phase Three, both Spider-Man movies — Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) — are not available to stream. The Incredible Hulk and the MCU Spider-Man series are owned by other distributers, notably Sony Pictures for the web-slinger, who own the overarching Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
You can see all Phase One, Two, and Three movies down below — these are all featured on Disney+.
Earlier this year, Sony signed a deal with Netflix to bring their Spider-Man movies to the popular streamer with Disney then gaining the right to stream the 2022 release slate from 2023. This will include other Sony’s Spider-Man Universe movies like Tom Hardy’s Venom (2018).
There have been two movies released so far in the MCU’s Phase Four. Kevin Feige’s superhero studio has delivered Cate Shortland’s Black Widow (2021) and Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021). Scarlett Johansson returned as the eponymous Avenger and former Red Room assassin in the action-thriller that debuted simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ — a move that resulted in a rather controversial lawsuit.
Shang-Chi was released exclusively in theaters and went to smash Labor Day box office records as well as cementing itself as one of the highest-grossing pandemic era movies. The Master of Kung Fu will debut on Disney+ on November 12 AKA Disney+ Day. The move by Shang-Chi has caused a ripple effect for Disney and Marvel Studios with all future releases getting at least a 45-day exclusive theater release before moving to streaming.
Black Widow (2021)
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.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
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.
Black Widow should have been the movie to launch Marvel’s Phase Four but due to the delays caused by the pandemic, it was actually WandaVision that brought the MCU back for the first time since Spider-Man: Far From Home. The Emmy-nominated Disney+ show was followed by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and What If…? The latter being the first animated series in the MCU canon. Check out the official descriptions of WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and What If…? which all debuted on the Disney streamer.
Marvel Studios’ captivating new series “WandaVision,” which premieres in early 2021 on Disney+. Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, “WandaVision” marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience—in Marvel Studios’ “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.” The all-new series is directed by Kari Skogland; Malcolm Spellman is the head writer. Streaming exclusively on Disney+.
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. Debuts on Disney+ in June 9, 2021.
“What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, “What If…?” launches exclusively on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.
What TV shows are coming to Disney+ in the future?
As Marvel continues building its Phases, more television shows are yet to come to the Disney streamer including Hawkeye (November 24, 2021), Ms. Marvel (2022), Moon Knight (2022), She-Hulk (2022), Secret Invasion (TBA), Ironheart (TBA), Armor Wars (TBA), I am Groot (TBA), Loki Season 2 (TBA), Untitled Wakanda series (TBA), Echo (TBA), and What If…? Season 2 (TBA).
History of Marvel’s Phases
Why does Marvel operate in Phases?
Marvel Studios have successfully built a huge interconnected universe where each film, and now television show, exists within the same shared world. The studio’s choice to operate in Phases allows Marvel to structure their ever-expanding franchise in a way that tackles certain themes, events, and featured characters. A prime example of this is how Marvel’s Phase One introduced each of the Avengers in turn through starring and supporting roles before culminating in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers (2012).
Phase One began back in 2008 with Iron Man and featured The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and The Avengers.
Phase Two immediately started after the climactic first team-up Marvel movie, The Avengers, and included Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and Ant-Man (2015).
Phase Three launched with the third outing for Captain America with Captain America: Civil War (2016) before moving forward with Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and Black Panther (2018).
Marvel’s Phase Three saw the finale to the overarching Infinity Saga. While each Phase does contain its own story arc, Phase Three also featured the Russo Brothers Avengers conclusion — Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Despite the epic Avengers finale, Phase Three actually ended with Tom Holland’s sophomore solo Marvel movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home. The second Spidey adventure acted as almost an epilogue for Avengers: Endgame while also propelling both the Spider-Man franchise and the MCU into the next chapter.
Is there a Phase Five?
Marvel’s Phase Four might be extremely packed but that hasn’t stopped Feige’s studio from already announcing more projects that could possibly show up in the next Phase — Phase Five. It must be noted that these films have not been confirmed as appearing in Phase Five, but their release dates, as well as the recently released Marvel Studios sizzle reel featuring Phase Four’s projects, signposts that these yet to be revealed movies most likely will be in the MCU’s Phase Five. So what’s been announced so far?
Marvel fans know that a Blade reboot movie is coming to the MCU from director Bassam Tariq and writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour, and starring Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali as the titular vampire hunter. From there, Marvel has revealed that Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson MCU debut will come in the form of a new Deadpool movie, with a mutant-centric (X-Men) movie joining Blade and Deadpool, as well as a Captain America 4 project from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier creator, Malcolm Spellman, and starring Sam Wilson/Falcon/Captain America star, Anthony Mackie. New characters may also be put together as the Young Avengers.
Recently, Marvel Studios announced new movie release dates but as of right now, there aren’t any MCU films attached to them. Chances are some of the aforementioned projects could pair up with the following dates: July 28, 2023, October 6, 2023, November 10, 2023, February 16, 2024, May 3, 2024, July 26, 2024, November 8, 2024. Out of the 2023 dates, chances are Blade will release in the October slot, spooky season and all.
Marvel Legacy on Disney+
What is Marvel Legacy?
Upon the acquisition of 20th Century Fox (now, 20th Century Studios) Disney also became the home of the many Marvel projects the studio had produced prior including franchises like X-Men and Fantastic Four. In order to keep viewers clear on the many Marvel options now on the streaming service, Disney renamed these older projects as Marvel Legacy.
Notably, the new selection on Disney+ also seemed to rework some of the television shows Marvel fans once considered part of the greater MCU timeline such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter, whose existence is still somewhat questionable. However, much like Star Wars Legends, just how much this changes over the next few years as Marvel further explores the Multiverse remains to be seen.
What films and TV shows are considered Marvel Legacy?
All the films included in the Marvel Legacy section on Disney+ are, X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Fantastic 4 (2015), Deadpool (2016), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Deadpool 2 (2018), and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019).
Even though sequels like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer are on Disney+, the first film in Fox’s Fantastic Four series is currently not on the streaming service due to previous contractual agreements.
In terms of TV shows, Marvel Legacy includes animation like Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, X-Men, and The Incredible Hulk. However, popular shows like Netflix’s Daredevil, Hulu’s Runaways and M.O.D.O.K, and other pre-Disney+ television outings, are still neither confirmed as being part of the MCU or not, casting further confusion for Marvel fans.
Marvel documentaries and specials on Disney+
What are Marvel Studios ASSEMBLED and LEGENDS?
To further enhance the MCU experience on Disney+, Marvel Studios, like Star Wars, has released companion documentaries like ASSEMBLED and Marvel refresher series LEGENDS. You can see the official descriptions here:
As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, Marvel Studios LEGENDS celebrates and codifies what has come before. Revisit the epic heroes, villains, and moments from across the MCU in the preparation for the highly anticipated stories still to come. Each dynamic segment feeds directly into the upcoming series premiering on Disney+ — setting the stage for future events. Marvel Studios LEGENDS weaves together the many thread that constitute the unparalleled MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.
ASSEMBLED is a comprehensive series of documentary-style specials streaming on Disney+ that chronicles the creation of MArvel Studios’ thrilling new shows and theatrical releases. Journey behind-the-scenes of productions such as WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki via exclusive on-set footage. Join filmmakers and stars like Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner as they detail the genesis of the Black Widow film, and the Hawkeye series. ASSEMBLED is an immersive, and in-depth examination of the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What is your favorite Marvel project on Disney+? Let us know in the comments down below!