All the New Marvel Movies Coming in 2021 and Beyond
9/13/2021 • 4 min read
The events of AVENGERS: ENDGAME shook the Marvel Cinematic Universe just as real-world events dramatically changed the movie landscape for all of 2020 and much of 2021. As a result, new Marvel movies have been rare over the last year and a half. But now BLACK WIDOW and SHANG-CHI are both open, and even as we enjoy both of those event movies and the new characters they introduce, we're looking forward to Marvel's future plans.
As promised in 2019 and 2020, the rest of Marvel’s massive Phase Four slate will give us a new Thor, introduce an Avengers-sized collection of new heroes, and offer new and unpredictable looks at some of our favorite characters. After Phase Four is done, the next few years will expand the scope of the MCU and finally bring Marvel's First Family back in-house. Here are all the new Marvel movies that are racing towards theaters in the next few years.
ETERNALS will bring a brand new franchise into the MCU. In the comics, the Eternals are an evolutionary offshoot of humanity, created millennia ago by an alien race known as the Celestials. The Eternals are tremendously powerful – in fact, Thanos himself is descended from the Eternals. Beyond that, the specifics of the story are a relative mystery. And while the Eternals are new to many audiences (just as the Guardians were a few years ago), Marvel has assembled an all-star cast to ensure that we all pay attention. Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjani, and Brian Tyree Henry are all on board, as are Richard Madden, Don Lee, Lauren Ridloff, and Lia McHugh. Chloé Zhao, who made the acclaimed films THE RIDER and NOMADLAND, is directing.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
The third Spider-Man movie is directly tied to the second Doctor Strange movie. How? We're glad you asked! The third Spidey movie to feature star Tom Holland features Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel's most mystic doctor, likely in a mentor role akin to that of Tony Stark in Holland's first solo movie. Not that the Webhead is swinging solo this time — in addition to Doctor Strange, Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) and MJ (Zendaya) are both on hand. And since the end of SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME left Peter Parker and Spider-Man in a pretty terrible position, the young hero is going to need all the help he can get. We expect to see a multi-dimensional adventure that folds in characters from previous incarnations of Spider-Man, like Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx's Electro. And remember that original Spider-Man filmmaker Sam Raimi is also directing DOCTOR STRANGE 2. Our heads are spinning over the possible connections.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Here's where things get really… weird. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) got to play a huge role in the last two Avengers movies; now he’s back to star in DOCTOR STRANGE 2. Even better, the film’s proper title — DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS — is possibly the wildest moniker Marvel has bestowed on a movie to date. If you think that sounds like it could be a horror movie, you’re not far off. Story details are as elusive as faces in a dream, but we know a few things. Benedict Wong will return, and Elizabeth Olsen will also appear, reprising the role of Scarlet Witch. That lead trio will journey to new dimensions and alternate realities. We also know that Rachel McAdams will reprise her role from the first Doc Strange movie (which should raise a few questions and imply at least one answer) and that Xochitl Gomez will appear as the relatively new Marvel hero America Chavez. Master horror filmmaker Sam Raimi is directing. Jade Bartlett is writing.
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, but there’s a big surprise in store. They’ll be joined by Jaimie Alexander, returning as Sif, and Christian Bale as the ominously-named villain, Gorr the God Butcher. He's probably very nice. Finally, 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 she’ll be more important than ever before. 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
While THOR 4 is technically the end of Phase Four, Marvel is already planning the story cycle that will follow. Towards the end of the Comic-Con panel in 2019, Feige teased a whole set of additional sequels and a few big new MCU additions. “We didn’t even mention that we’re making BLACK PANTHER II,” he said. That movie is now called BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, and while we still don't know much about the story, director Ryan Coogler is still on board, and Marvel has explicitly stated that it "will not recast the character [Black Panther], but will explore the world of Wakanda and the rich characters introduced in the first film." We don't know more than that at this time.
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. 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 is on track to write and direct the movie. Presumably, that means that the core GUARDIANS characters and cast — Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) — will return as well. And 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 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 — 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.
New Deadpool, Captain America, and Mutant Movies
This kicks off three quick news blasts. 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.