What’s Coming Soon to the MCU?
Over the next calendar year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its less attractive twin will add at least 11 new titles (now, up to 31 titles since this article was drafted).
Rumors persist that one or two more will potentially join the list, but we’re not dealing in rumors here.
Instead, let’s talk about the 11 confirmed projects coming to Phase Four of the MCU…and its ugly sibling!
Venom: Let There Be Carnage — October 1st, 2021
Earlier this month, Sony gets serious about its horrifically named Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters.
The first member of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery finally gained a sequel on October 1st, devouring box office records with it.
The Antihero, Venom, will start his own enemies list, and Spider-Man won’t be at the top of it.
Instead, Kletus Casady will return after a brief mid-credits appearance in Venom. That scene set up the debut of Carnage.
Everyone familiar with Spider-Man comics knows that Carnage is the scariest of all symbiotes, a carnivore at the top of the food chain.
So, the frenemy bromance between Eddie Brock and Venom will face the ultimate test when a serial killer joins with an even scarier monster.
Venom 2 has bounced around the release schedule since the start of the pandemic, but Sony believes it has a winner here… and the company’s predictions proved correct.
Read MarvelBlog’s review here!
Eternals — November 5th, 2021
The next actual MCU title comes with an even more prestigious pedigree. Its director, Chloe Zhao, just won an Academy Award for Best Director.
Her film, Nomadland, also claimed the ultimate awards season title, Best Picture. As such, she’s already a made woman in Hollywood.
Marvel has suggested that Eternals could earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture on its own merits.
This story will fill in many of the blanks in the MCU’s history, as the Eternals have earned that name.
Members of this group have lived for millennia and witnessed the very creation of human civilization.
So, why did they stay out of the fight with Thanos? That’s a question that Eternals will answer. It’ll introduce the most powerful being in the MCU to date.
Venom 2 may be the next official Marvel movie, but Eternals is the one that matters. Don’t feel bad for Sony. December will be a good month for the studio!
Hawkeye — November 24th, 2021
Pizza Dog is almost here! Oh, a couple of superheroes named Hawkeye will also appear on this Disney+ series.
Readers of the comics understand this, but you must wait until Thanksgiving if you’re feeling a bit lost.
That week, Kate Bishop will develop tremendous skill with a bow. Her talents will help her save the current Hawkeye, Clint Barton, from his past.
Remember that scene in Avengers: Endgame where Barton plays Ronin, the dark assassin?
Well, enemies from Ronin’s past appear to ruin his Christmas holiday. Bishop gets caught in the middle.
We presume that she earns Barton’s respect enough that she replaces him as Hawkeye, but Marvel’s full of surprises. So, you never really know.
I expect Kate Bishop to become Hawkeye, but it would probably be even more intriguing if she turned into Ronin.
Spider-Man: No Way Home — December 17th, 2021
Okay, some of the titles on this list matter more than the others. That’s just the way it is.
On a championship basketball team, even Anthony Davis isn’t LeBron James, you know?
That’s the same with Marvel movies, where anything with Spider-Man or Iron Man in the title matters a bit more.
Spider-Man: No Way Home represents the most ambitious Sony movie to date. In fact, it brings nine (!) films full circle as previous characters appear.
Actors like Alfred Molina and J.K. Simmons will appear, as will <redacted> and <redacted>.
Seriously, I know most of the spoilers about this film, and it’s gonna blow your mind.
I expect Spider-Man: No Way Home to become the 2021 release that earns the most money domestically and probably worldwide as well.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings set the bar here, but Eternals and the next Spider-Man film should surpass it.
Morbius – January 28th, 2022
Have you heard about the Blade reboot coming to the MCU? If you read MarvelBlog, your answer is obviously yes!
However, before then, Sony will introduce its own vampire. In late January, Morbius the Living Vampire will finally debut.
Like Venom 2, this project has bounced around the schedule due to the pandemic. It appears likely to stay in its current spot, give or take a few weeks, though.
In this movie, Academy Award winning actor Jared Leto portrays the title role while former Dr. Who, Matt Smith, plays his best friend/mortal enemy.
Meanwhile, Jared Harris is onboard as Morbius’ mentor. So, the casting alone should make you want to watch this medical science leading to…vampirism.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — March 25th
Here’s the other title of storytelling significance between now and the start of July.
Marvel has another fun date movie lined up for May, but NOTHING will advance the Phase Four plot as much as the Dr. Strange sequel.
This film functions as a de facto follow-up to WandaVision, as the Scarlet Witch has opened a door to the multiverse.
We witnessed the first impact at the end of Loki. Now, we’ll watch as Stephen Strange tries to fix something that has broken the universe.
Marvel has promised plenty of surprises as we enter the Multiverse of Madness. That doesn’t mean that they’re helpful surprises, though.
Expect the situation to devolve before a new team of Avengers joins together to save the day.
Wanda’s love for children who may not even exist is gonna get us all killed.
Ms. Marvel — First Quarter 2022
Speaking of new Avengers, we’ll meet another member of the next generation in this upcoming series.
Kamala Khan idolizes Captain Marvel so much that when the teen develops superpowers, she embraces that name.
A superpowered 15-year-old who is only slightly taller than a gremlin is gonna absolutely wreck a bunch of criminals.
Ms. Khan instantly became one of the hottest characters in the comic book industry when she debuted.
Now, she’s ready to star in a Disney+ TV series that will skew younger than most Marvel titles. And that’s why it’s brilliant.
The under-18 crowd is about to fall in love with a female Muslim Pakistani-American character, which is a win for society as a whole.
Thor: Love and Thunder — May 6th, 2022
This project circles back to Thor: Ragnarok in that it’s just a purely entertaining idea.
After Thor: The Dark World failed in pretty much every way, Marvel went back to the drawing board with the character.
Since then, Thor stories have emphasized the fun and engaging nature of the character.
Now, Marvel has developed the Lady Thor comic book arc into a feature film. Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster, who experiences a strange year.
Presuming that the story follows the comics, Foster first develops cancer. Then, she becomes the new Thor.
Where does this turn of events leave the current Thor? And is he still an obese, smack-talking gamer rather than a head-taking Avenger?
At one point, Disney had lined up this title as a February date movie. So, I expect that the Jane Foster/Thor relationship will persist.
However, the shoe will be on the other foot (Mjolnir will be on the other arm?) this time. Foster will wield all the power.
She-Hulk — Second Quarter 2022
An office comedy with superheroes has been at least somewhat done before.
I highly recommend the short-lived NBC series, Powerless, if you haven’t seen it.
Still, a Marvel sitcom set in a law office sounds next-level brilliant…or utterly absurd. There’s really no in-between here.
If you hear the idea and love it, you’re gonna watch this show. If the idea strikes you as an abomination, well, that’s your loss.
She-Hulk stars Tatiana Maslany as Bruce Banner’s cousin, Jennifer Walters. Mark Ruffalo appears as Banner/Hulk as well.
Oddly, Tim Roth will also return as the Abomination, who vanished from the MCU after the disappointment of The Incredible Hulk.
This character recently returned in <redacted> and will have a significant role in She-Hulk.
Best of all, Renee Elise Goldsberry and Jameela Jamil round out the cast. So, fans of Hamilton and The Good Place will mark out with each new episode.
This Disney+ series is gonna be weird, and I love that about it.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — July 8th, 2022
Last year, I wrote about Marvel’s impossible position with Black Panther.
Audiences fell in love with this character, only for Chadwick Boseman to die far too young and before a sequel could be made.
While we all relish every posthumous appearance Boseman makes on What If…?, the Black Panther sequel must fill this void somehow.
In terms of box office, this project would appear on paper to be the biggest non-Avengers movie Marvel could make right now.
Black Panther still stands as the 12th most successful blockbuster of all-time with nearly $1.35 billion.
Will the franchise maintain that level of popularity without Boseman? I suspect that people will possess high levels of intrigue about the sequel.
However, if thew new Black Panther character ascension isn’t well crafted, Marvel fans will ANGRILY turn on this project.
As such, this title feels like the one with the highest ceiling and lowest floor.
Marvel really needs to get this one right. The cultural significance of Black Panther and Wakanda is off the charts.
Moon Knight — Summer 2022
Here’s the project that we know the least about, but the early news is tantalizing.
Marvel reportedly swung for the fences with Moon Knight, trying to convince Keanu Reeves (!) to play the role.
Their fallback plan is Oscar Isaac, one of the three stars of the most recent Star Wars franchise. When you’re settling for Poe Dameron, you’re doing pretty well.
Anyway, Moon Knight is the offbeat Egyptian answer to Batman. Marvel created an archeologist hero who gets left for dead.
Then, this possibly insane individual, Marc Spector, reappears. He claims that Khonshu, Egyptian mythology’s moon god, has resurrected him.
Oddly, Khonshu doesn’t give Spector any superpowers. Instead, he becomes ultra-wealthy and develops tech toys to help him fight crime.
Yeah, this is Marvel’s (legally different) Batman. The Disney+ series will apparently dive deep into the archeology aspects of the character.
So, we might get some Stargate out of this story, too. Either way, Oscar Isaac starring in a TV show is a big deal.