As we move into 2022, the record-breaking box office of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME is one of the major theatrical landmarks. As if we needed any confirmation, it is certain that Marvel blockbusters won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. While the rollout of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe got off to a difficult start during the throes of the pandemic, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swept away any shreds of uncertainty about the future of the MCU. Superheroes are truly here to stay, and we couldn’t be more excited.
With DOCTOR STRANGE: IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS coming in hot this spring, and THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER soon to follow in July, we’re already eager for the films that the MCU has in store for us this year and beyond. New heroes, old heroes, and heroes previously unaffiliated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be headed our way in the coming years. In the simplest terms possible: shoot it straight into our eyeballs. Here are all the new Marvel movies coming in 2022 and further into the future.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
If you think that the title of the DOCTOR STRANGE sequel – DOCTOR STRANGE: IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS – sounds like it could be a horror movie, you’re not far off. In fact, the film is purported to be the MCU’s first horror movie. The story concerns Stephen Strange following the events of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, and the first season of LOKI, with Strange now in a role that is central to the Marvel storyline. Stephen uses his magic to cast a forbidden spell that opens the door to the Multiverse, and he will require the help of Scarlet Witch and Wong to aid him in closing it. Benedict Wong returns as Wong, now the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, and Elizabeth Olsen will reprise the role of Scarlet Witch. We also know that Rachel McAdams will reprise her role from the first Doc Strange movie and that Xochitl Gomez will appear as the relatively new Marvel hero America Chavez. The film’s first teaser keeps things vague, but spooky enough with the reveal of a Stephen Strange doppelganger by the end. Master horror filmmaker Sam Raimi is directing, with Jade Halley Bartlett and Michael Waldron penning the script.
Thor: Love and Thunder
THOR: RAGNAROK director Taika Waititi is returning to make the fourth Thor film, THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. This, by the way, officially makes Thor the MCU’s longest-running solo superhero franchise! Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will return as Thor and Valkyrie. They’ll be joined by Jaimie Alexander, returning as Sif, and Christian Bale as the ominously-named villain, Gorr the God Butcher. And, of course, Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster, the greatest love of Thor Odinson’s life. AVENGERS: ENDGAME planted the seeds for Jane’s return to the MCU, and now her role is planned to be even more crucial than in the previous films. Jane Foster won’t be merely a supporting character; this time she’ll wield the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, and with it the power of the Mighty Thor. That’s right — a female Thor! How’s that for a shake-up?
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Through a slew of production delays, the tragic passing of star Chadwick Boseman, and a release date pushback, BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER has weathered a storm of difficulties. It is currently filming and slated for a November 22 release – despite production being delayed yet again due to the current surge of the omicron COVID-19 variant. But co-star Letitia Wright is officially in place to take up the lead role, though what isn’t clear is whether she will actually become the new Black Panther. And though we still don't know much about the story as of yet, director Ryan Coogler is still on board, as is the majority of the first film’s principal cast. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman Angela Bassett, Isaach de Bankolé, and Dorothy Steele will all be reprising their roles. The film will also be adding JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH’s Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart – a brilliant inventor who creates a suit of armor which rivals that of Tony Stark’s – and I MAY DESTROY YOU creator and star Michaela Cole, in an undisclosed role.
The movie originally assumed to be CAPTAIN MARVEL 2 has been revealed as THE MARVELS. Yes, Brie Larson will return as Carol Danvers, and the film will also feature Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau (daughter of Carol Danvers's pal Maria Rambeau, played by Lashana Lynch) from the series "WandaVision." And Iman Vellani, who will debut as Ms Marvel in the streaming series of the same name, will also have a role in the movie. With three versions of Captain Marvel in the roster, that new title certainly makes sense! THE MARVELS will be directed by Nia DaCosta (CANDYMAN).
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Moving even further into the future, there's the third Ant-Man movie, which will feature the return of Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Kathryn Newton joins the cast as Cassie Lang and Jonathan Majors is on board to play Kang the Conqueror — a version of his character from the "Loki" TV series. Peyton Reed, who made the first two films, is back to direct the third.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
All we really know about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL 3 is that, after a brief split with Marvel Studios, James Gunn has since reunited with the studio and is on track to write and direct the movie. Presumably, that means that the core GUARDIANS characters and cast – Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) – will return as well. Of course, this is all save for Gamora (Zoe Saldana), who tragically did not make it through AVENGERS: ENDGAME. But will Thor (Chris Hemsworth) still be tagging along? The Guardians will appear in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, but we don't know what state they'll be in when that movie is over. This third GUARDIANS film will also reportedly mark the end of James Gunn's ride with the Guardians.
This is a big one. The team known as Marvel's First Family has been on movie screens in two different incarnations — one co-starring Chris Evans years before he became Captain America, another starring Michael B. Jordan before he became Warmonger in BLACK PANTHER — but this will be the first time Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios have direct control. We don't know who will play Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Ben Grimm, and Johnny Storm. It's not a stretch (ahem) to guess that Spider-Man will appear, however. That's not merely because the Webhead has many ties to the Fantastic Four in comic books — it's because Marvel's go-to Spider-Man director, Jon Watts, will direct FANTASTIC FOUR.
Marvel is also rebooting BLADE, with two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (MOONLIGHT, GREEN BOOK) set to star. We don't have any story details, but Bassam Tariq is directing from a script by Stacy Osei-Kuffour. And since BLADE is all about a half-vampire anti-hero who hunts creatures of the night, we're hoping for an October release in 2023 – though a leak seemed to reveal that the film will release in October of this year. Take that with a grain of salt, however, as Marvel isn't known for last-minute release date reveals.
Spider-Man 4 and Shang-Chi 2
Following the success of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME: and SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS, sequels have, unsurprisingly, already been confirmed for both films – although little is known about either of one beyond what can be surmised from the end of each character's recent movie. But we do know that Tom Holland’s contract with Marvel Studios and Sony was extended. So that confirms he’ll be back for future installments. As for SHANG-CHI, it was revealed in December that the film already has a sequel underway, and the first film’s director, Daniel Cretton, will be helming it.
New Deadpool, Captain America, and Mutant Movies
We'll finish with a trio of quick news bites. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed that not only will Ryan Reynolds get a third Deadpool movie, but that the movie will be R-rated and set in the MCU.
Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson officially became Captain America in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," and he will topline the new Captain America movie, as well. We don't have any further details at this point but Malcolm Spellman and Dalan Musson, who were key writers on the streaming series, are scripting the movie, too.
Finally, the Fantastic Four aren't the only classic characters coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel's mutant characters, presumably including the X-Men, will be reborn on the big screen. If we had to lay bets we'd suspect that the third Deadpool movie might lay the groundwork for the reappearance of a certain clawed Canuck — we just hope things work out a little better than when Deadpool's first movie appearance took place in that other character's solo movie.
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All images courtesy of Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios.