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9/13/2021 • 4 min read
The record-breaking box office of SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME was a major theatrical landmark for the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. While the rollout of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe got off to a difficult start thanks to the pandemic, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swept away any shreds of uncertainty about the MCU's future. The stories Marvel has developed over the past decade are paying off, and everyone wants to know what happens next.
Now we know not only about the end of Phase Four but the full theatrical plan for Phase Five — and even three major movies in Phase Six! Marvel has movies planned out through the end of 2026, when AVENGERS: SECRET WARS will close out not only Phase Six, but the Multiverse Saga.
It's a lot to take in, so let's break it down simply. Here are all the new Marvel movies coming in 2023, all the way to the middle of 2026.
Phase 4 ends here. Through the tragic passing of star Chadwick Boseman, many delays, and a release date pushback, BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER has weathered several storms. But now the movie is in theatres. As the title suggests, it's a very Wakanda-centric story, but there are some events that will be felt in future Marvel movies to come. Read more about BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER here. [Now Playing]
Marvel's next major story cycle begins with the studio's first movie of 2023 and will run through the middle of 2024.
The third Ant-Man movie will open Phase Five. It features 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. [February 17]
James Gunn returns to write and direct. 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) – are back, too. As is a version of Gamora (Zoe Saldana), even though the Gamora we previously knew did not make it through AVENGERS: ENDGAME. This third GUARDIANS film will also mark the end of this version of the Guardians’ journey within the MCU. Read more about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 here. [May 5]
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 debuted 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 is directed by Nia DaCosta (CANDYMAN). Read more about THE MARVELS here. [July 28]
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. Read more about CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER here. [May 3, 2024]
THUNDERBOLTS might be a bit like Marvel's version of SUICIDE SQUAD, as it is about villains taking on secret missions for the government. The lineup features Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova/Black Widow II, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Wyatt Russell as USAgent, Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost, Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as Contessa. And Jake Schreier (ROBOT & FRANK) is directing based on a script by Eric Pearson (THOR: RAGNAROK). Read more about THUNDERBOLTS here.[July 26, 2024]
Marvel is rebooting BLADE, with two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (MOONLIGHT, GREEN BOOK) set to star. We don't have any story details, but Yann Demarge has signed on to direct and filming should begin a few months into 2023. Read more about BLADE here. [September 6, 2024]
Ryan Reynolds announced on Twitter that DEADPOOL 3 is moving forward — and that Hugh Jackman will play Wolverine once again! All we know of the story, thanks to another post from Reynolds, is that the film takes place before LOGAN, which was set in 2029. Shawn Levy (FREE GUY) is directing. [November 8, 2024]
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. 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 quite yet. It's not a stretch (ahem) to guess that Spider-Man will appear, however, because the Webhead has many ties to the Fantastic Four in comic books. Read more about FANTASTIC FOUR here. [February 14, 2025]
Details are very thin about this movie right now — we don't even know who the Avengers will be by the time this one rolls around! Jeff Loveness is writing, and Destin Daniel Cretton (SHANG-CHI) will direct. And the subtitle tells us a lot. Kang the Conquerer was introduced in "Loki" and is the villain in ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA. He'll be the big bad. And since Kang can control time, he might be even harder to beat than Thanos. Read more about AVENGERS: THE KANG DYNASTY here. [May 2, 2025]
Take what we know about THE KANG DYNASTY and cut it in half. That's still more than we know about SECRET WARS. But the subtitle here gives us clues, too. The first Secret Wars took place in 1985, in a big Marvel Comics crossover event. A sequel followed a few years later, and then in 2015 a "spiritual sequel" greatly compacted Marvel's comic book multiverse. Since this is the final movie (that we know about) in the Multiverse Saga, expect a lot of big changes by the time the credits roll. Michael Waldron is writing. Read more about AVENGERS: SECRET WARS here. [May 1, 2026]
Most Marvel movie phases have six to seven movies each; Phase Three, which ran from CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR to SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, was unusually long at 11 movies. Right now, six movies are announced for Phase Five. Looking at their release dates, which are pinned to Marvel's traditional spring, summer, and fall release windows — with one unusual February opening, for QUANTUMANIA — there isn't much room for another movie.
But Marvel has three more release dates planned. Currently, we expect Marvel movies on July 25, 2025, November 7, 2025, and February 13, 2026. One is likely to be ARMOR WARS, the Don Cheadle spin-off which will take his War Machine character in new directions, and which will probably incorporate WAKANDA FOREVER's Ironheart character, too. (The "Ironheart" streaming series premieres in late 2023.) Originally, ARMOR WARS was set to be a streaming series, but it was bumped up to feature film status. It just doesn't have a date yet.
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 2021 that the film already has a sequel underway, and the first film’s director, Daniel Cretton, will be helming it. But we don't know how that has changed now that Cretton has bounced over to THE KANG DYNASTY. Did SHANG-CHI 2 mutate into KANG, or will someone else direct this sequel?
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. We just don't know when or how or with whom. The moment we do know, you'll know too!
All images courtesy of Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios.
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