Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4: What to Expect

Many of us spent the entire lockdown season stuck at home missing the normal things we used to do, including watch blockbuster movies in theaters, particularly, those from Marvel Studios.

Thursday night church

Thursday night Church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness for a time, and so did the brothels.

Instead of watching movies in theaters in the summer and holiday flicks in wintertime, we were locked up at home most of the time. When the restrictions eased up a bit late last year, some of us tried to resume some of our seasonal activities. Some ladies started to shop for the best Bogner women’s ski pants for weekend ski trips. Some men strapped their boots on and went hiking and camping in late fall. Families resumed most of their holiday traditions, while still observing COVID-19 protocols.

But still, no movies and no Marvel superheroes on the big screen.

But that doesn’t mean that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been put on hold. In fact, exciting things are up ahead for both hardcore and casual MCU fans.

Upcoming Release Dates

The MCU’s movie timeline is messed up but not because of the multiverse but because of the coronavirus. We’ve seen several changes in Hollywood’s release dates that we have no idea which announced release dates are the latest and most accurate. But we did our best to gather the absolute latest from Marvel Studios about the release dates of movies and shows we’re expecting in Phase 4.

  • Loki – June 11, 2021
  • Black Widow – July 7, 2021
  • What If…? – Summer 2021
  • Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings – September 3, 2021
  • Eternals – November 5, 2021
  • Hawkeye – Late 2021
  • Ms. Marvel – Late 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home – December 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – March 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder – May 6, 2022

Note that because of the present global health crisis, these dates are still subject to change.

MCU Movies

The last MCU movie to be released in theaters was Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019. Here are some of the movies down Marvel Studios’ pipeline:

Black Widow
2020 was supposed to be the release of Scarlett Johannsen’s Black Widow but it has been postponed several times due to the pandemic. Fans can look forward to seeing her in action in theaters and on Disney+ come July.

Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings
For those saying there’s just not enough Asian representation in the MCU, Marvel Studios is bringing to you Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings. Simu Liu will lead the cast as the titular Master of Kung-Fu.

The cast of Eternals has been brought on stage in 2019’s San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC). And although casual fans have a vague idea what the Eternals are all about, hardcore fans are geeking out at the casting choice. We will finally see them in action, hopefully, in November.

Spider-Man: No Way Home
A lot of speculation is going on about this third Spider-Man MCU flick. But among them all, the Spiderverse is what has all fans excited. With Jamie Foxx reprising his role as Electro, fans have high hopes that former Spideys Andrew Garfield and fan-favorite Tobey Maguire will both be donning their costumes again.

Thor: Love and Thunder
Step aside, Chris Hemsworth. You’re not the only one worthy of wielding the enchanted Mjolnir. Former Thor leading lady, Natalie Portman, will be taking over the role of the God of Thunder in this fourth Thor movie.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Benedict Cumberbatch will be wearing the mystical, and sometimes whimsical, Cloak of Levitation once again. It is believed to be tied into WandaVision as Elizabeth Olsen has been confirmed as part of its cast.

MCU Disney+ Shows

With WandaVision done and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier about to conclude in a couple of episodes, what do fans have to look forward to with Marvel Studios’ Disney+ shows?

Yes! Everyone’s favorite god of mischief is back with a vengeance. Tom Hiddleston as Loki may have been sorely missed in Avengers Endgame but Marvel Studios is making up for it by giving him his own series. Unlike WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki has been confirmed to have more than one season.

What If…?
What If…? is based on the Marvel Comics series of the same title which explores how our heroes will fare in alternate situations that are familiar but not. Oh, this will be an animated series but it shouldn’t alienate adult fans, especially since most of the voice actors are several of the MCU actors reprising their roles in a different form of media.

Clint Barton, perhaps the most underrated but essential Avenger, will be seen training protegé, Kate Bishop, who he describes as the best Hawkeye ever. The series will take time to explore Barton’s time as Ronin in between Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame as well as Kate Bishop’s transformation into a superhero.

Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel has leaked way ahead of the intended time of announcement. While it is still uncertain if she will be included in Phase 4 or 5, Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel will surely be a welcome addition to the MCU.

Beyond Phase 4

Marvel Studios just kicked off its Phase 4 but has already been hard at work with Phase 5. Movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther 2, an untitled sequel to Captain Marvel, and the highly-anticipated Fantastic Four plus Disney+ shows She-Hulk and Moon Knight are just some of the treats they have in store for all of us.

We can’t wait for COVID to be over and done with so we can all enjoy these great MCU movies on the big screen once again. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

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