Marvel Studios has officially unveiled Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The massive line-up includes 10 movies and Disney + series and was announced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige during a 90-minute Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend.
The first movie on the slate will be the Cate Shortland-directed ‘Black Widow,’ due for release on May 1, 2020. Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited solo outing of the talented spy and assassin also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle and Rachel Weisz. Fans in Hall H were treated to a sizzle reel of the Budapest-set action, which kicked off with Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff going to head-to-head to with her “sister-figure” Yelena Belova (Pugh). The above art by resident Marvel conceptual artist Andy Park features Black Widow and the villain Taskmaster.
Following ‘Black Widow’ on November 6, 2020, will be the big screen outing of the Jack Kirby-created ‘The Eternals.’ With Chloé Zhao (‘The Rider’) behind the camera, the saga of the Eternals features a cast that includes Angelina Jolie as Thena, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Salma Hayek as Ajak, and Don Lee as Gilgamesh, aka “The Forgotten One.” The piece above, by Thomas Polito, gives us a look at The Celestials.
February 12, 2021 sees the release of ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,’ with Simu Liu as the titular hero and Tony Leung playing the Mandarin—the real Mandarin, not the imposter played by Ben Kingsley in ‘Iron Man 3.’ ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ scene-stealer Awkwafina also stars, in an unconfirmed role. As previously revealed, ‘Short Term 12’ filmmaker Daniel Cretton is in the director’s chair.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer supreme returns for ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ on May 7, 2021, with Scott Derrickson back at the helm. Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen, will also feature. According to Feige, Scarlet Witch will play a major role, with events of the Disney+ series ‘WandaVision’ tying directly into ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ receives the sequel treatment on November 5, 2021 with the awesomely titled ‘Thor: Love and Thunder.’ Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reprise their roles, with Thompson’s Valkyrie confirmed to having a LGBTQ storyline. “As new king, she needs to find her queen,” Thompson said. “That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.” Taika Waititi, who is back as director for the fourth outing, brought Natalie Portman on stage, revealing that Jane Foster will return and get to play Thor this time round, adapting Jason Aaron’s fantastic run of ‘The Might Thor’ which saw Foster wield Mjolnir as the Goddess of Thunder.
On the Disney+ side of things, Marvel has ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. That series also sees the return of Daniel Brühl’s Zemo from ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ with Emily VanCamp also likely to appear.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be joined by Teyonah Parris (‘Candyman,’ ‘Point Blank,’ ‘Dear White People’) for ‘WandaVision,’ a series that promises to be “weird.”
Tom Hiddleston’s God mischief is headed to Disney+ with ‘Loki,’ an original series beginning after Loki stole the Tesseract and escaped the Avengers.
Disney’s streaming service also includes ‘Hawkeye’ with Jeremy Renner back as Clint Barton as he trains a new protégé Kate Bishop.
Finally, we have ‘What If…?,’ the first animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher Uatu, a celestial being who observes events in the Marvel universe, delving into alternative possibilities and what could have been. Michael B Jordan, Josh Brolin, Karen Gillan, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Hayley Atwell, Paul Rudd, and many more MCU stars will be reprising their roles for the anthology series.
If all that wasn’t enough, ‘Black Panther 2,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,’ ‘Captain Marvel 2,’ ‘Fantastic Four,’ and ‘Mutants’ aka ‘The X-Men’ are all on the way. Moreover, to top it all off, Fiege brought Mahershala Ali (‘Green Book,’ ‘Moonlight’) onto the stage, revealing that the two-time Oscar-winner will take the title role in a reboot of ‘Blade,’ bringing the Daywalker into the MCU in Phase Five.