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Guide to Marvel Phase 4: Everything you need to know

Portman Thor

To say the MCU dropped a bomb at their Comic-Con panel this year would be an understatement. They dropped a nuke on the stage and then dropped a few smaller bombs while they were at it.

At the Comic-Con panel, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige along with an abundance of actors, actresses, and filmmakers gave us details on five Disney+ shows, five Phase 4 movies, and a few other projects. 

There is a LOT to talk about. Once you’re done reading this article, let’s take the discussion to the comments section below to keep the conversation and the speculation going!

Guide to Marvel Phase 4

Phase 4

It is important to point out that although this is Marvel’s current complete line-up for Phase 4, Feige says things can change:

For example, as Phase 2 was ending in 2015, Marvel Studios acquired the rights to put Spider-Man in their films. Obviously, this changed up the future of Phase 3 quite significantly with Spider-Man appearing in five movies including two of his own.

The Disney+ shows

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Falcon and Winter Soldier

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” will feature Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their roles. It is coming out in fall of 2020, and deals with the two character’s lives after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” 

Falcon has a new weight on his shoulders as he is now expected to take up the mantle of Captain America after Steve Rogers went back in time for that long-awaited dance.

Along with Stan and Mackie, Daniel Brühl will be returning to reprise his role as Baron Zemo. Zemo was the main villain in “Captain America: Civil War.” His family was killed during the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and since he didn’t fully get his revenge in “Civil War,” he may want to continue to dismantle the Avengers in “Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

Loki

During “Avengers: Endgame” the Loki of 2012 made a quick getaway by stealing the Space Stone. “Loki” for Disney+ will follow the God of Mischief as he makes his way through the universe.

Wait, didn’t Loki die?

Yes, he did die in “Avengers: Infinity War.” However, the show will be following an alternate timeline Loki. This Loki hasn’t gone through the character development Loki experienced in “Thor 2: The Dark World” and “Thor: Ragnarok,” so he is in need of redemption. Apparently, this Loki will be traveling throughout the universe with the Space Stone getting into loads of adventures along the way.

Hopefully, since he has an Infinity Stone, his path may cross with Thanos and we’ll get to see Josh Brolin’s return! 

“Loki” will be released on Disney+ in Spring of 2021.

WandaVision

Both Scarlett Witch and Vision will return for new adventures in “WandaVision.”

Wait, isn’t Vision dead?

Yes, Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead.

However, as we have seen, the MCU is not afraid to bring people back from the dead. Just ask, Agent Coulson, Loki, and everyone that died in the Snap. We expect that Black Panther’s sister Shuri might be able to use her tech to bring him back, or Scarlet Witch will just magic him back from the dead.

Feige promised that characters will return in the show, including Monica Rambeau. Her character was in “Captain Marvel,” which took place in the ’90s. Now, she is a grown woman, and she’s ready to get into the action in “WandaVision.”

Events in the show are expected to lead into “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Also, Elizabeth Olsen will be playing Scarlet Witch in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” but more on that later.

“WandaVision” will be released on Disney+ in Spring of 2021.

What If

In the summer of 2021, Disney+ will feature the first animated endeavor in the MCU.

“What If” tackles alternative scenarios in the MCU. More specifically, it tackles “what if” situations. These are scenarios where things didn’t go the way they went in the MCU. They are named after the comics that bear the same name.

Most of the MCU alumni from the movies will return to voice their characters, but there is no official list of who will return. However, we do know that the following will be included:

  • Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger
  • Sebastian Stan as Winter Soldier
  • Josh Brolin as Thanos
  • Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki
  • Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor
  • Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter
  • Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther
  • Karen Gillan as Nebula
  • Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye
  • Paul Rudd as Ant-Man
  • Michael Douglas as Hank Pym
  • Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan
  • Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark
  • Sean Gunn as Kraglin
  • Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
  • Taika Waititi as Korg
  • Toby Jones as Arnim Zola
  • Djimon Hounsou as Korath
  • Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster
  • Michael Rooker as Yondu

Since they weren’t listed, we doubt Chris Evans will return as Captain America or Robert Downey Jr. will return as Iron Man for the first season. However, if they show does well, they might come back for a second season. 

The show will also bring on Jeffrey Wright who will play the Watcher. The Watcher is a being in the Marvel universe who observes history unfold, but does not get involved. You might remember seeing several Watchers in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.”

Hawkeye

In the fall of 2021, Clint Barton will begin training Kate Bishop to become the newest bow-and-arrow-wielding master in “Hawkeye.”

Jeremy Renner and Kevin Feige remained pretty tight-lipped about this project. This is probably because it’s more than two years away and a lot can change.

However, we do know that the series will dive into Barton’s time as Ronin. Between “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Avengers: Endgame,” Barton began ridding the world of evildoers who survived Thanos’ snap. He did this under the guise of “Ronin.” It could be that the sins of Barton’s past may come back to haunt him.

The movies

Endgame

Black Widow

TaskMaster

It might seem a bit odd, but the MCU will kick off Phase 4 with a prequel. 

Set during the events of Agent Romanoff’s famous Budapest mission, “Black Widow” will dive into the agent’s origins, her previous relationships, and the red in her ledger. 

Fans at Comic-Con got to see a small teaser which Disney is adamantly trying to make sure stays off YouTube, but we did hear about what it showed:

Along with lots of awesome Black Widow stunts, the trailer showed Widow’s sister character Yelena as her relationship with Romanoff develops.

Finally, the trailer ended with a brief glimpse at another villain in the movie, which many fans speculate is Taskmaster. Taskmaster is a mercenary as well as a sort of supervillain coach. Basically, he is sometimes hired to help train people on how to be villains.

He’s basically Robbie Rotten meets The Punisher:

Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz will be playing Melina Vostokoff aka Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden is one of the classic villains in the Black Widow comics. Finally, David Harbour is joining the cast as Red Guardian, a Soviet superhero. Funny enough, Red Guardian’s real name is Alexei, which is the name of the Russian that Harbour’s character joins forces with in “Stranger Things.”

The Eternals

Eternals

If your Marvel knowledge is only confined to their most popular characters, then you;ve probably never heard about the Eternals.

Basically, they are ACTUALLY Earth’s mightiest heroes. The Eternals are immortal cosmic beings (basically, they’re aliens) that have godlike powers and abilities. Millions of years ago, Celestials (that’s the same species as Star-Lord’s dad) looked at early humanity and created two additional races. They created a disgusting, monstrous race called the Deviants. They also created the advanced Eternals. 

We do not know much about the plot for the movie, but we do know several members of the film’s cast. This includes Salma Hayek who plays the leader of the Eternals, Ajak, and Angelina Jolie who will star as Thena. 

One thing to point out is that Thanos himself was a member of the Eternals in the comics. It will be interesting to see if the MCU will dive into that plot point once the film comes out in November of 2020.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Shang Chi

Much like the Eternals, you’ve probably never heard about Shang-Chi.

Without question, he’s probably the least-known Marvel superhero to get a standalone MCU movie.

He’s a martial arts master who can also duplicate himself.

As you probably know, in “Iron Man 3” Ben Kingsley played a fake version of the villain the Mandarin. However, as you might not know, Marvel created a short called “All Hail the King,” where we learned that there is a real Mandarin who is not happy about what has happened to his name.

Thankfully, we are going to get to see the Mandarin in all of his glory as he graces the screen in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” 

The Ten Rings is a terrorist organization who has been involved in the MCU since the start. They kidnapped Tony Stark, assisted Whiplash, and they even infiltrated Pym Laboratories!

Look at the neck tattoo on the guy with the beard. Does that emblem look familiar?

We don’t know who will be the next big bad guy in the MCU, but the Ten Rings and the Mandarin would be a phenomenal choice. The Mandarin’s mystic arts could create a new web of problems for the Avengers resulting in some great movies. Whether it’s a hit or a flop, we will find out in February of 2021.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange

I wonder if in those 14 million futures Doctor Strange saw, he saw his character going down this route.

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will be Marvel’s first dive into the world of horror. 

No, it will not be rated R. According to Feige, the movie will be rated PG-13.

Although we don’t know much about the movie, we do know that the events of “WandaVision” will lead into the movie. Also, Scarlet Witch herself will be a main character in the film. Whether or not Vision will make an appearance is yet to be known, however, if we get more awesome scenes like Strange’s fight with Thanos, we will be happy campers. 

Thor: Love and Thunder

Finally, bringing Phase 4 to a close will be “Thor: Love and Thunder” in November of 2021.

Chris Hemsworth will be returning as the God of Thunder, and Tessa Thompson will be returning as Valkyrie. Speaking of whom, Marvel confirmed that Valkyrie will be the MCU’s first openly LGBTQ superhero!

The movie will take place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” with Thor soul-searching for the next stage of his life. However, the next stage of his life might just be the end because a new Thor is set to make her debut.

Female Thor

That’s right, the female version of Thor will be featured in “Thor: Love and Thunder!” Even better, Natalie Portman will be reprising her role as Jane Foster who will wield the hammer and become the new Thor. 

In the comics, Thor loses his powers and the ability to wield his hammer. However, a successor is deemed worthy as a new female character becomes the new Thor.

Clearly, Natalie Portman is worthy to wield the hammer. However, are you?

Other projects

Blade

At the end of the panel, Mahershala Ali surprised everyone by coming on stage. At the request of Feige, he donned a baseball cap with “Blade” written across it.

Wait, haven’t there already been a few Blade movies?

Between the late ’90s and the mid-2000s, Wesley Snipes starred in three Blade movies. Although they do have a few fans, they never really attained a huge audience, and they especially never made MCU money. However, the R rating in each film meant that we got lots of gore and lots of adult language.

WARNING: Video is NSFW

Blade is part-human and part-vampire, but he isn’t a fan of that second half of his DNA. He hunts down and kills vampires across the world.

Yes, vampires exist in the Marvel universe. 

He uses a wide array of weapons including guns, anti-vampire gear, knives, and explosives. However, he is best known for fighting off vampires with a samurai sword. 

The movie will not be a part of Phase 4, so don’t expect to see anything about it until 2022.

Pretty much none of us anticipated a new Blade movie, but now all anyone can think is how could we NOT want a new Blade movie. If the MCU FINALLY gives us a movie with an R rating, we will be overjoyed. (Remember R-rated “Deadpool” wasn’t a part of the official MCU until Disney acquired Fox earlier this year.)

Think about it. How can you give us a gory, vampire slasher that’s not rated R?

Untitled Fantastic Four movie

Although it was only for a second, we did hear from Feige that Marvel Studios is working on a Fantastic Four movie.

Wait, haven’t we had, like, a million Fantastic Four movies?

We have had three Fantastic Four movies and none of them has been very good. The movie “Fantastic Four” in 2015 with Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan is arguably one of the worst superhero movies ever made:

Hopefully, Disney and Marvel can do the Fantastic Four justice. It will all start with a great cast, so hopefully, Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm will finally get their due. 

*cough *cough Cast John Krasinski as Reed Richards *cough *cough.

A Fantastic Four movie might mean that Doctor Doom is coming to the MCU. If he does, then we might just the next big villain to take the reins from Thanos. 

Stuff we know is coming:

Although none of these got trailers, we did hear word that we will be getting the following sequels:

  • Captain Marvel 2
  • Black Panther 2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3
  • A bunch more Spider-Man movies

The mutants and the X-Men are coming

Don’t worry, the X-Men were mentioned by Feige at Comic-Con. 

The X-Men/mutants will be in the MCU in the future. We might not know where they will fit in, but we hope to hear more about them soon!

 Wrapping up

Wow, that was a LOT to cover.

From the Disney+ shows, to the array of new movies, we have so much to look forward to in the next two years. Right now, we are betting that “Thor: Love and Thunder” will be the best movie of the lot. However, we will be happy to be proven wrong!

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