Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, which saw an official close to The Infinity Saga, fans have been on pins and needles to know what's next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Things got started with the MCU's Phase 4, which not only features several films but introduced multi-episode, long form television series debuting on Disney Plus.
Over the last three years (postponed in part because of the pandemic) Phase 4 has said goodbye to beloved characters and hello to many more. With shows like WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If, Hawkeye, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk. On the film side, the world said an official goodbye to Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow, but also said hello to Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Audiences also met Shang-Chi and The Eternals in their respective films, while familiar faces like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Thor also got new movies.
While exits and entrances have been the big focus, at San Diego Comic Con 2022 it was revealed what Phase 4, which wraps up with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, was building up to: the next great saga in the MCU — the Multiverse Saga. Phase 4 is the first leg of this new chapter, with Phase 5 set to really kick the overarching story into high gear with a bevy of new movies and TV shows.
Here is a breakdown of everything coming our way with MCU Phase 5:
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Release date: February 23, 2023
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton, Jonathan Majors
Director: Peyton Reed
What you need to know: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania kicks off Phase 5. After saving the world in the events of Avengers: Endgame, Scott Lang has immersed himself in the glory of being a hero and writing a book. However, at home, things are shakey as Cassie, now a full grown teen, has begun getting into trouble with the law. Scott's attempts to smooth things over with his daughter are soon interrupted, however, when an experiment goes wrong and Scott, Cassie and the Pym/Van Dyne clan are sucked into the Quantum Realm. There, Scott faces his most menacing foe yet: Kang the Conqueror.
Prepare for surprises with this one. It's going to be a big piece of The Multiverse Saga storyline. Jonathan Majors makes his Marvel Studios film debut as Kang (he debuted as a variant of Kang called "He Who Remains" in Loki season 1). At San Diego Comic Con, director Peyton Reed confirmed MODOK will appear in the film, as will Bill Murray in an undisclosed role.
Release date: Spring 2023
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Colbie Smulders, Ben Mendelsohn, Don Cheadle, Olivia Coleman, Emilia Clarke, Kingsley Ben-Adir
Showrunner: Kyle Bradstreet
What you need to know: Secret Invasion is being billed as a paranoid conspiracy thriller in the tradition of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The series takes off from the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, where it was revealed that Nick Fury (Jackson) was off planet and Skrull buddy Talos (Mendelsohn) was subbing for him. Not much else is known about the plot or who Coleman, Clarke and Ben-Adir are playing. But it's expected to be a grounded thriller.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release date: May 5, 2023
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Will Poulter, Chukwudi Iwuji, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Maria Bakalova
Director: James Gunn
What you need to know: There was a time where Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was going to be directed by another filmmaker, but luckily Marvel Studios brought back James Gunn back to helm the final chapter in his space opera series. We know the plot revolves around Quill (Pratt) searching for the time displaced Gamora (Saldana), as well as diving into the backstory of Rocket Raccoon (Cooper) and introducing the MCU to Adam Warlock (Poulter) and Cosmo the Space Dog (Bakalova). We also know this is the final film featuring this iteration of the Guardians. What will happen to them and why? We'll just have to wait until May 2023 to find out.
Release date: Summer 2023
Cast: Alaqua Cox
Showrunner: Marion Dayre
What you need to know: Fresh off her explosive debut in Hawkeye, Alaqua Cox reprises her role as deaf antihero Maya Lopez, aka Echo. The last we saw the character, she had just taken her revenge against Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio), aka the Kingpin, for the murder of her father. Though little is known about the new series, her show could lead into the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again series. More on that later.
Loki season 2
Release date: Summer 2023
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Sophia Di Martino
Showrunner: Eric Martin
What you need to know: The God of Mischief is returning for more chaos. C'mon. What did you expect? This time, Loki is being shepherded by Eric Martin as showrunner and Moon Knight directoring duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Production is currently underway in London and the show is expected to release around the same time as The Marvels.
Release date: July 28, 2023
Cast: Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, Teyonah Parris, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Nia DaCosta
What you need to know: While little is known about the actual plot going into the sequel to Captain Marvel, we do know Ms. Marvel breakout star Iman Vellani and WandaVision co-star Teyonah Parris are joining Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. The end of Ms. Marvel teased a possible plot point for the upcoming release, with Vellani's Kamala Khan seemingly switching places with Carol Danvers randomly. We'll see where things go from there.
Release date: November 3, 2023
Cast: Mahershala Ali
Director: Bassam Tariq
What you need to know: In 2019, when Kevin Feige brought out two-time Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali on the Hall H stage, fans have been wondering when they were going to see Ali's spin on The Daywalker. Three years later, they finally got their answer. Though many may not have seen him, everyone who saw Eternals heard him, as Ali lent his voice to a post-credit scene in that film involving Kit Harrington's Dane Whitman attempting to pick up the cursed Ebony Blade sword, before being stopped by Blade. It's unconfirmed if Harrington is reprising his role in Blade.
Release date: Fall, 2023
Cast: Dominique Thorne
Showrunner: Chinaka Hodge
What you need to know: Not much is known just yet about what will be set up in the Ironheart series. The character of Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne, makes her debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; there's a small glimpse of her in the trailer. We know the character has genius level intellect and built her own suit of armor. In the comics she catches the attention of Tony Stark, but with him gone from the MCU for now, the origins of this character may deviate a bit from what's been established in the comics.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
Release date: Winter 2023/2024
Cast: Katheryn Hahn
Showrunner: Jac Schaeffer
What you need to know: She killed Sparky. That's it. Just kidding. The devilishly delightful Kathryn Hahn will be getting her own spinoff of WandaVision. Presumably they'll have to answer the questions regarding what Agatha's been up to in Westview following her defeat at the hands of Wanda, as well as more about her origins as a centuries-old witch. Maybe even the return of another famous witch? Might not be out of the cards.
Daredevil: Born Again
Release date: Spring 2024
Cast: Charlie Cox, Vincent D'Onofrio
Showrunner: Matt Corman & Chris Ord
What you need to know: Marvel has ordered a massive 18-episodes for Daredevil: Born Again. While not much else is known about the series, we know for sure, per Kevin Feige, that Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio are reprising their respective roles as Matt Murdock/Daredevil and Kingpin following appearances in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye. Additionally, Daredevil makes a confirmed appearance in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Captain America: New World Order
Release date: May 3, 2024
Cast: Anthony Mackie
Director: Julius Onah
What you need to know: Sam Wilson is Captain America. Period. He rightfully inherited the title from Captain America, though struggled to earn it in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Kevin Feige revealed the title and date for the upcoming release, but previously it was announced that it would be written by Falcon and the Winter Soldier writers Malcolm Spellman and Dalan Musson and directed by Luce director, Julius Onah.
Release date: July 26, 2024
Director: Jake Schreier
What you need to know: Feige announced Thunderbolts as the final film of Phase 5. Little is known about who will be starring in it, but we've seen Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Contessa Valentina Allegra De Fontain (aka Val) assembling a team. Possible candidates could include Daniel Bruhl's Zemo, Florence Pugh's Yelena Bolova and Wyatt Russell's John Walker (aka US Agent).
All in all that's two full years of movies to cover. But wait, there's more MCU goodness coming your way. Feige also announced three films for the MCU Phase 6.
Mike is a proud, sarcastic nerd with a penchant for comic books, comic book movies, and movies in general, and occasional delusions of grandeur. He's also a UC Berkeley graduate who decided to go into writing over pre-med because he figured he'd ultimately save more lives by not being a doctor. He's a Slytherin and a Pisces, so he's very emotionally sensitive, yet also evil, but can be defeated by exploiting his insecurities. His goal is to live one hell of a unique life, and it's been working so far! His proudest moments are being retweeted by James Gunn and Ryan Reynolds in the same week, and getting 999,999 points on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland.
You can find Mike's writing around the web at publications like The Nerds of Color, What to Watch, Spoiler Free Reviews, and That's It LA.
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