MCU Phase 4 marks a new chapter with plenty of new characters, new filmmakers, and a few familiar faces returning in new ways. We’ve listed the confirmed movies, that are releasing from 2021 to 2023.
Phase 4 Movies
Black Widow is an upcoming superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film was directed by Cate Shortland and written by Eric Pearson from a story by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson, and stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow alongside Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz. Set after Captain America: Civil War (2016), the film sees Romanoff on the run and forced to confront her past.
Development of a Black Widow film began in April 2004 by Lionsgate, with David Hayter attached to write and direct. The project did not move forward and the film rights to the character reverted to Marvel Studios by June 2006.
Johansson was cast in the role for several MCU films beginning with Iron Man 2 (2010). Marvel and Johansson expressed interest in a solo film several times over the following years, before Schaeffer and Shortland were hired in 2018. Benson joined in early 2019, with Pearson added later. Filming took place from May to October, in Norway, Budapest, Morocco, Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom, and in Atlanta and Macon, Georgia.
Black Widow is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 7, 2021, as the first film in Phase Four of the MCU. Its release was delayed twice from an original May 2020 date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Shang-Chi. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the 25th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a screenplay by David Callaham and stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, alongside Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu, Ronny Chieng, and Michelle Yeoh. In the film, Shang-Chi is forced to confront his past after he is drawn into the Ten Rings organization.
A film based on Shang-Chi entered development in 2001, but work did not begin in earnest until December 2018 when Callaham was hired. Cretton joined in March 2019, with the project fast-tracked as Marvel’s first film with an Asian lead.
The film’s title and primary cast were announced that July, revealing the film’s connection to the Mandarin (Leung) and his Ten Rings organization that appears throughout the MCU. Filming began in February 2020, but was put on hold in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Production resumed in August before completing in October. Shooting occurred in Australia and San Francisco.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is scheduled to be released in the United States on July 9, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.
Eternals is an upcoming superhero film based on the Marvel Comics race of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the 26th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film is directed by Chloé Zhao and written by Kaz and Ryan Firpo. It stars an ensemble cast including Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Gemma Chan, and Barry Keoghan. In the film, the Eternals, who have hidden themselves for thousands of years, must re-unite to protect Earth from their enemies, the Deviants.
In April 2018, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced that a film based on the Eternals had begun development, with Kaz and Ryan Firpo hired to write the script for the project in May. By late-September, Marvel had hired Zhao to direct the film.
A diverse cast was hired to portray the Eternals, which include Marvel Studios’ first depiction of an LGBTQ superhero. Principal photography began in July 2019, with Zhao able to use her own style and film more on location than previous Marvel Studios films. Filming continued until February 2020, with locations including Pinewood Studios, London, and Oxford in England, as well as the Canary Islands.
Eternals is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 5, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.
Spider-Man 3 (Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel)
The untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel is an upcoming superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is intended to be the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and the 27th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, alongside Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Alfred Molina.
A third MCU Spider-Man film was intended as early as 2017, during production on Homecoming. By August 2019, negotiations between Sony and Marvel Studios to alter their deal—in which they produce the Spider-Man films together—ended with Marvel Studios leaving the project. However, a negative fan reaction led to a new deal between the two companies a month later.
Watts, McKenna, Sommers, and Holland were set to return at that time. Filming began in October 2020 in New York City, before moving to Atlanta later that month. During filming, Foxx and Molina were revealed to be appearing in the film, reprising characters from past Spider-Man films. Shooting will also occur in Los Angeles and Iceland, and will conclude in March 2021.
The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 17, 2021, as part of Phase Four of the MCU. A fourth Spider-Man film is also in development.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016) and the 28th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film is directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Jade Bartlett and Michael Waldron, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez. In the film, Strange unleashes an unspeakable evil as he faces a new enemy.
Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson had plans for a sequel by October 2016. He signed to return as director in December 2018, when Cumberbatch and Wong were confirmed to return. The film’s title was announced in July 2019 along with Olsen’s involvement, while Bartlett was hired to write the film that October.
Derrickson stepped down as director in January 2020, citing creative differences. The next month, Waldron joined the project, and Raimi took over as director by April 2020. Filming began in November 2020 in London but was put on hold in January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to be released in the United States on March 25, 2022, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.
Thor: Love and Thunder
In July 2019, Waititi had signed a deal with Marvel to write and direct a fourth Thor film, titled Thor: Love and Thunder. It was also revealed that Natalie Portman would return to portray Jane Foster taking on the mantle of a female incarnation of Thor, in a manner similar to the comics.
Thompson will reprise her role as Valkyrie who, after being declared King of New Asgard, will begin searching for her queen, revealing her to be the MCU’s first major LGBTQ character. In October 2019, Waititi confirmed that Korg will return in Love and Thunder.
In January 2020, Christian Bale entered talks to join the sequel, and in March was confirmed by Thompson to have been cast as the villain, later revealed as Gorr the God Butcher. In February 2020, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson was brought on board to co-write the screenplay with Waititi.
In March 2020, Vin Diesel, who voices Groot in the MCU films, stated that the Guardians of the Galaxy would be incorporated in the film, including Chris Pratt reprising his role as Peter Quill / Star-Lord. In December 2020, Jaimie Alexander was revealed to be reprising her role as Sif after being absent from the third film.
Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled for release on May 6, 2022.
Black Panther II
By October 2018, Ryan Coogler signed to write and direct a sequel to Black Panther (2018), which Kevin Feige confirmed was in development by mid-2019 with the placeholder title Black Panther II.
Plans for the film changed in August 2020 when Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman died from colon cancer, with his role as T’Challa not recast. Some of the main returning cast members were confirmed by that November.
Filming is expected to begin in June or July 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia, and last up to six months. Black Panther II is scheduled to be released on July 8, 2022.
Captain Marvel 2
Feige confirmed a sequel to Captain Marvel (2019) was in development at the July 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, with Megan McDonnell writing the script and Brie Larson returning as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel by January 2020.
The studio wanted a female director for the film rather than have Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck return from the first, with Nia DaCosta hired to direct by that August. Captain Marvel 2 is scheduled to be released on November 11, 2022.
Iman Vellani will reprise her role as Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel from the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel (2021), alongside Teyonah Parris as her adult Monica Rambeau from WandaVision, after the character was previously portrayed as a child by Akira Akbar in the first film.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
A third Guardians of the Galaxy film was planned by Marvel Studios in April 2016, with James Gunn returning to write and direct a year later. Disney fired him in July 2018 after the resurfacing of controversial tweets, but reversed course that October and reinstated Gunn as director.
Gunn’s return was revealed in early 2019 along with the five main stars’ involvement, with production beginning after Gunn completes his film The Suicide Squad (2021) and its spin-off series.
Feige confirmed the film was in development at the July 2019 San Diego Comic-Con. Filming is expected to begin in late 2021. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be released in 2023.
The film will take place following the events of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022).
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Ahead of the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), Peyton Reed and Marvel Studios expected a third Ant-Man film would be made and had discussed potential story points, with Reed returning as director by November 2019, alongside Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly as Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp.
Jeff Loveness was writing the script by April 2020, with the title and new cast members revealed that December.
Filming is expected to begin in early 2021. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania has a possible release in 2022.
At the July 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, Feige announced Marvel Studios was developing a Fantastic Four film for the MCU, with Jon Watts announced as the director in December 2020.
Two-time Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali is playing the MCU Blade! The new Blade movie won’t arrive until Phase 5, but original Blade (and Marvel movie godfather) Wesley Snipes has already endorsed the change.