It may have been the end of the line for the OG Avengers, but fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are definitely in for a thrilling ride over the next two years judging from what's coming up in Phase Four
Levels of excitement at Hall H were pretty much through the roof during Marvel Studios' presentation at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), as president Kevin Feige unveiled six movies and five TV shows along with quite a lot of new characters and cast members.
Phase Four will span from 2020 to 2021, making it the shortest phase in MCU history.
It was one heck of an info overload, so here's all you need to know about MCU Phase Four in neat little segments:
1. BLACK WIDOW will officially kick off Phase Four of the MCU
Release Date: 1 May 2020
Details: Set after the events of 2016's Captain America: Civil War, Natasha Romanoff's long-awaited solo movie will explore her past in the Red Room (where she trained to become a Black Widow) and probably reveal what really happened in Budapest (in her perspective, not Clint Barton's).
Scarlett Johansson, reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, will be joined by new cast members David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz
David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy) plays Alexei Shostakov a.k.a. The Red Guardian, a super-soldier and basically Russia's answer to Captain America. In the comics, Alexei is Natasha's husband when they were both working for the KGB.
Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family, Outlaw King) plays Yelena Belova a.k.a. a Black Widow who trained and shared a sisterly bond with Natasha. In an exclusive first look screened at Hall H, the duo reportedly kicked each other's a** in an intense fight scene reminiscent of those in the John Wick movies.
O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid's Tale, Looking) plays Rick Mason, a "fixer in the underworld" and Natasha's former SHIELD contact.
Rachel Weisz (The Mummy, The Favourite) plays Melina Von Vostokoff, a Russian super-spy who was also in the Black Widow training project. It is speculated that she may also don the Iron Maiden mantle.
It is reported that Taskmaster will also appear in the movie, based on concept art released by Marvel themselves:
Release Date: 6 November 2020
Details: Rumours of Angeline Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Ma Dong-seok joining Eternals proved to be true! In addition, Salma Hayek, Bryan Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, and Lia McHugh also join the cast. Producer Kevin Feige has also confirmed that the movie will feature LGBTQ representation.
In the comics, the Eternals are immortal aliens sent to Earth by the Celestials to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants. Here are the characters the stars will be playing:
Angelina Jolie (Maleficent, Wanted) plays Thena, an Eternal with superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, reflexes, and a gifted intellect who has studied under the greatest Eternal and human scholars throughout her lifetime.
Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Bodyguard) plays Ikaris, an Eternal fueled by cosmic energy and is basically immortal, immune to disease and aging, and invulnerable to injuries.
Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley) plays Kingo, a skilled swordsman who spent centuries in Japan learning the ways of the samurai.
Deaf actress Lauren Ridloff (The Walking Dead) plays Makkari, an Eternal who can create cyclones by running in circles, and can run up walls and across water.
Bryan Tyree Henry (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Child's Play) plays Phastos, who carries a special hammer capable of firing bolts of an unknown energy and is also a brilliant engineer, technologist and inventor.
Salma Hayek (Frida, The Hitman's Bodyguard) plays Ajak, leader of the Eternals.
Ma Dong-seok / Don Lee (Train to Busan, Along with the Gods) plays Gilgamesh, whose strength is said to rival Thor's and Hercules'.
Lia McHugh (The Lodge, American Woman) plays Sprite, an incorrigible trickster and practical joker.
3. THE FALCON AND WINTER SOLDIER
Release Date: Fall 2020
Details: The six-episode miniseries will follow the chaotic duo that is Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier and Sam Wilson / Falcon after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie reprise their roles from the MCU... and yes, Sam is gonna be Captain America and the shield is definitely popping up in the show.
Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale, House of Cards) will direct all six episodes, and Emily Van Camp - who plays Sharon Carter in the Captain America movies - is reportedly in talks to join the show.
Daniel Brühl will return as Helmut Zemo (from Civil War), and first look footage suggests that he will be donning a comic-accurate costume, complete with the classic purple mask
4. SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS
Release Date: 12 February 2021
Details: Widely considered to be the greatest martial artist in the entire Marvel universe, Shang-Chi (whose name means "rising of the spirit" in Mandarin) will be the first Asian superhero to get a solo feature film in the MCU (the honour of first Asian superhero goes to Daisy Johnson / Quake, played by Chloe Bennet in Agents of SHIELD).
Canadian actor Simu Liu (who plays Jung in Kim's Convenience), who has been cast as the titular character, will be joined by Crazy Rich Asians' Awkwafina and HK veteran actor Tony Leung as the actual Mandarin (yeah, none of that Iron Man 3 nonsense) in his Hollywood debut.
Release Date: Spring 2021
Details: Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the series will explore how Wanda Maximoff got her Scarlet Witch moniker and subequently lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be reprising their roles as Wanda Maximoff and Vision respectively.
Teyonah Parris joins WandaVision as adult Monica Rambeau, a.k.a. the little girl from Captain Marvel
In the comics, Monica Rambeau is the second Captain Marvel after Carol Danvers.
Release Date: Spring 2021
Details: Loki stans, your saviour is back! Tom Hiddleston will reprise his now-iconic role as the charming anti-hero, with the limited series expected to follow the version of Loki who stole the Space Stone in 2012 during the events of Avengers: Endgame.
7. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (7 May 2021)
Release Date: 7 May 2021
Details: Director Scott Derrickson said that this will be Marvel's first horror film, and will most likely explore the multiverse mapped out by the Ancient One in the 2016 film (none for you, Quentin Beck bye). The WandaVision series will also tie in to the movie, with Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch teaming up with Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange. Rachel McAdams and Benedict Wong are also set to return.
Nightmare, the ruler of the Dream Dimension, will reportedly be the main villain
8. WHAT IF...?
Release Date: Summer 2021
Details: Much like its title suggests, the animated series will explore alternative realities and roads-not-taken in the Marvel universe, with each episode addressing a key moment in the MCU. The series will feature voice work from various MCU actors (with the glaring exception of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans) and Westworld's Jeffrey Wright as the all-seeing Watcher.
The list of confirmed voice cast members are:
1. Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger,
2. Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes,
3. Josh Brolin as Thanos,
4. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk,
5. Tom Hiddleston as Loki,
6. Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury,
7. Chris Hemsworth as Thor,
8. Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter,
9. Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther,
10. Karen Gillan as Nebula,
11. Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye,
12. Paul Rudd as Ant-Man,
13. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym,
14. Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan,
15. Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark,
16. Sean Gunn as Kraglin,
17. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster,
18. Taika Waititi as Korg,
19. Toby Jones as Arnim Zola,
20. Djimon Hounsou as Korath,
21. Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, and
22. Michael Rooker as Yondu.
The first episode will reportedly be based on an alternate reality where Peggy Carter took the super soldier serum and became Captain America instead of Steve Rogers
Release Date: Fall 2021
Details: Jeremy Renner will reprise his role as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, although the show is expected to eventually shift focus to Kate Bishop, who will take over the Hawkeye mantle after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
10. THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER
Release Date: 5 November 2021
Details: Taika Waititi is back, so are Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as Thor and Valkyrie respectively. Most importantly...
Natalie Portman returns to the MCU as Dr. Jane Foster, who is primed to become the new goddess of Thunder a.k.a. female Thor (!!!)
Valkyrie, now King of Asgard, will be "looking for her queen" and be revealed as an LGBTQ hero in the fourth Thor movie
I'm here for Taika's delighted reaction:
Also, a concept. :)
11. BLADE and everything else in development for Phase Five
Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will take on the iconic half-vampire vampire hunter Eric Brooks / Blade in the reboot, a role previously held by Wesley Snipes.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige also confirmed that Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Captain Marvel 2, as well as reboots for Fantastic Four and the X-Men are in development for future phases.
The future of the MCU, ladies and gentlemen!
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