Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has talked about their five-year plan and while we don’t know officially what that looks like we already have some puzzle pieces put together thanks to trade reports of the development of some of them, others have already started filming and more getting ready to. While there have been some assumptions that Feige will outline all of their plans for Phase 4, but that seems a little unlikely they reveal all of the titles.
We’ve compiled a list of the potential film projects coming to Marvel Studios in the next five years and possibly even beyond that.
First, here are some things that are confirmed about the next wave of movies beginning with the official release dates for 2020-2022 via Disney.
- May 1st, 2020 (expected to be Black Widow)
- November 6th, 2020 (expected to be The Eternals)
- February 12th, 2021
- May 7th, 2021
- November 5th, 2021
- February 18th, 2022
- May 6th, 2022
- July 29th, 2022
PHASE 4 MOVIES ALREADY CONFIRMED
Also, there are six Phase 4 movies that we do know are happening even if Marvel Studios hasn’t officially announced them by they do include the following titles.
- Cate Shortland’s Black Widow (currently filming in Norway and primarily filming at Pinewood Studios UK)
- Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals (begins shooting at Pinewood Studios UK this September)
- Destin Daniel Cretton’s Shang-Chi (may begin filming this fall at Fox Studios Australia)
- Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther 2 (might begin shooting in early 2020)
- Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange 2 (might begin filming spring/summer 2020)
- James Gunn’s Guardians of The Galaxy 3 (expected to begin filming late 2020 or early 2021)
THE UNANNOUNCED SEQUELS
CAPTAIN MARVEL 2: After the first installment earning over a billion dollars it is safe to assume that a second film is coming but as far as we know a writer hasn’t been assigned along with the unknown status of directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (currently involved with FX’s Mrs. America) with a sequel.
Kevin Feige has said they’re interested in a sequel, which isn’t shocking given the box office return.
It remains to be seen if the film will take place before the events of Avengers: Infinity War/Avengers: Endgame or after them. There does seem like an opening for them to tackle the peace talks between the Kree Empire and Xandar (via Nova Corps.) that most likely was led by Danvers once she returns to the Kree homeworld of Hala.
I would personally like to see them tackle a mostly off-world adventure with Captain Marvel saving other planets other than Earth since she’s an extremely over-powered character seemingly the only threats she’d end up facing would be cosmic. My favorite scenes from the first installment took place off-world and wished we ended up getting more of that.
Captain Marvel producer Mary Livanos has suggested to ComicBook that they’re listening to the fan campaign and interest from the actors to pursue a relationship between Carol Danvers and Valkyrie, which would mean that those potential interactions would take place after Avengers: Endgame.
LIVANOS: “And then, of course, there’s the Brie/Tessa Thompson love going on online which is fun to see,” Livanos said. “It’s so charming and so fun to see the actors themselves get excited about the potential mashup so that as a creative makes you start thinking.”
THOR 4: Speaking of Valkyrie, actress Tessa Thompson recently told the LATimes that she has heard that Taika Waititi might be returning for fourth Thor movie after a possible pitch.
THOMPSON: “I heard that a pitch has happened for [another “Thor” film]. I don’t know how real that intel is, but I hear that the pitch has happened. I think the idea is Taika [Waititi, who directed ‘Ragnarok’] could come back.”
Taika is going to be a little busy for the next little while as he’s now confirmed to co-write and direct WB’s live-action Akira film which will be released in 2021. An expectation is that if he does return he won’t be able to shoot a Thor 4 until 2021-2022.
However, it looks like Thor has decided to join the Guardians of The Galaxy for their third movie and might not be coming back to lead his franchise when Valkyrie has sort of taken that leadership role of leading Asgardians as the Queen of New Asgard and possibly the new protector of the nine realms.
SPIDER-MAN 3: Tom Holland has one more solo Spider-Man movie with his contract and there is an expectation that Spider-Man 3 is a sure thing given the character’s popularity and along with Spider-Man: Far From Home might be getting a box office bump from Avengers: Endgame in July.
Nothing official has been announced as there isn’t a writer officially attached and unknown if director Jon Watts will return, we rarely see Marvel directors stick around for more than two movies.
The Sinister Six would make for a perfect threat for a third Spider-Man film.
I’m also kind of hoping that the Multiverse angle of the film could be expanded in a third film and could give Marvel a perfect reason to pair Holland with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. Madame Web anyone?
ANT-MAN 3: Earlier this year, Ant-Man actor Michael Douglas teased to EntertainmentTonight that Marvel was talking about a third movie, which isn’t terribly shocking given how Ant-Man and The Wasp directly connected to the plot of Avengers: Endgame.
DOUGLAS: “There’s been talk [about another Ant-Man]… [but] there’s been nothing formal right now that I know of. They always kind of spring it on me. The first time you hear about it, it’s already in its third rewrite.”
There are plenty of ways to go with a new Ant-Man/Wasp film as they can explore the Quantum Realm on a larger scale or possibly the Multiverse as Hank Pym might try to explore other universes to document them.
One of the things cut from Ant-Man and The Wasp was the return of Advanced Idea Mechanics, which would make fore interesting villains in a third film as they could have a whole team of baddies with inventive tech-based powers.
DEADPOOL 3: Disney’s Bob Iger has been quite vocal about continuing the Deadpool franchise and looking towards more sequels, said to keep it’s R-rating. While it looked like X-Force was up next before the merger, there is a really good chance that Disney has asked screenwriters, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, to finish up their work on the Deadpool 3 script.
The pair had been reportedly working on a Pirates of The Caribbean script (said to pivot from Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow as the main lead) for Disney before recently exiting the project, which could mean, and this is just speculation, they may have been asked to prioritize Deadpool 3 instead.
X-FORCE: This was actually at one time expected to be the follow-up to Deadpool 2 and Drew Goddard (The Cabin In The Woods, The Martian, Bad Times At The El Royale) had been attached to write/direct. The film was said to have Josh Brolin’s Nathaniel Summers aka Cable in more of a leading man role with Zazie Beetz’s Domino and Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson as the secondary leads. Along with new characters assuming the group would have grown beyond the team that got slaughtered in Deadpool 2.
X-Force feels like a no-brainer given that you’d want to expand that universe beyond solo Deadpool movies, but I do think it equally makes sense on the part of Marvel Studios/Disney to want to crank out one more solo film before tackling spin-offs or big team-ups. Then again, after the reception of Brolin’s Thanos in the two massively successful Avengers installments, Brolin’s global awareness currently might be a bigger reason to pursue X-Force first.
SILVER SURFER: A solo Silver Surfer movie has been in development for ages at 20th Century Fox, one incarnation included a draft/outline penned by a young James Gunn that never saw the light of day.
Vice writer-director Adam McKay alluded to early talks with Marvel Studios about developing a Silver Surfer movie while speaking with MTVNews after he publicly stated interest in the project.
MCKAY: “(Laughs) There actually has been some discussion about Silver Surfer. My agent certainly woke up. They were excited. We’re in the middle of, you know, backing Vice right now, but, who knows, in a couple of months it could pop up. I really am excited by that idea. So, we’ll see what happens.”
DOCTOR DOOM: Doctor Doom is similar to Deadpool 3 and X-Force as we know that Noah Hawley (Legion, Fargo) has been writing a script before the merger with the potential plan to direct the feature film. He revealed that the film would and that Kevin Feige was seemingly still interested in the project with Hawley still involved with it.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter’s Bryn Elise Sandberg at South by Southwest, Hawley said he met with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who asked him of the script, “Are you still working on it?”
“Should I still be working on it?” Hawley replied. But no concrete answer was forthcoming.
Hawley added he’s not certain when, or if, the project might move forward. He joked that Feige wouldn’t reveal the “thousand-year plan” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to him.
Noah also dropped some details about his take on the project.
Hawley said during the panel, as he has before, that he envisions Doctor Doom as a geopolitical thriller more than a standard superhero movie. It begins with Doom putting a dome over Latveria, the fictional European country he rules. He later invites a female journalist to be his voice to the world, meaning its protagonist would be someone without superpowers.
The Russo Brothers had hoped to see Noah’s version of Doctor Doom in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
JOE RUSSO: “I’d love to see Noah’s interpretation of that character. Anything that Noah does.”
Noah will be making his feature film directorial debut with the Fox Searchlight sci-fi film Lucy In The Sky starring Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm. Perhaps, that debut will wow the studio enough to let Hawley end up making his solo Doom movie.
FANTASTIC FOUR: Arguably the biggest pickup Marvel got concerning the Fox/Marvel characters was access to the Fantastic Four.
Ant-Man director Peyton Reed has been trying to get his version of a Fantastic Four movie made for ages and is still hot on the idea. It remains to be seen if he’ll be given the project or someone else when they’re ready to make the announcement.
X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn (who also produced the last Fantastic Four film) recently gave Marvel Studios some advice that they should consider making a period film as it would fit the Fantastic Four characters perfectly.
VAUGHN: “As the man that produced the last terrible Fantastic Four – and I will say that because I said it from day one, but no one listened to me — I think Fan Four is, for me, it’s the live action version of The Incredibles. It’s probably the most, I think, commercially viable Marvel Comic. Kevin Feige will get ahold of that and probably make a masterpiece.”
“That’s what I did with the X-Men, though. These ideas were born — sort of the Fan Four and the nuclear family and the dysfunctional family and science — it’s an easier time. I mean, superhero films in the modern world … everything in the modern world, it’s harder and harder to do. Because you know, the technology, it’s all out there. You know, Iron Man’s suit doesn’t seem that far away anymore. It’s sort of odd. The Iron Man suit when Iron Man came out [in the comics] was awesome. That was probably late sixties, early seventies. Iron Man, I don’t know when that came out. It’s easier because everything was sort of black and white, everything was more bad versus good. You knew what was what was what by then because there were boundaries and clearer horizons. So yeah, I love a period piece. I’ve just done another period movie [in the Kingsmen prequel]. It’s really good fun.”
The Fantastic Four has always been one of the best crossover comics at Marvel and could be excellent entry points to introduce Namor The Submariner, Silver Silver, Galactus, and a heap of villains. Considering they don’t have a feature film legacy as beloved as the X-Men it gives the more reason to tackle them first.
X-MEN: Kevin Feige has said to io9 that we might not see the X-Men anytime soon as they currently don’t factor into their five-year plan.
FEIGE: “It’ll be a while,” Feige told io9 when asked about bringing the X-Men into the MCU. “It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time.”
“The slate that we’re building over the next five years [is] not apples to apples,” he said when asked to compare the past and the future. “It is two very distinct things and I hope they’ll feel very distinct. But there is a similar mentality going into it, which is ‘How can we continue to tell stories with some of the characters that audiences already know and love in a unique way, in a different way, in a surprising way, of which we have a lot of plans and ideas and work already going into it?’ [Then] ‘How can we introduce new characters that even hardcore fans, comic fans, have barely known or barely heard of.’ That’s really exciting too.”
It makes a lot of sense to give the franchise a cooling off period and it gives creatives at Marvel Studios plenty of time to develop entry point ideas along to introduce mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Along with figuring out who to cast in those multiple roles, as actors would likely be in those roles for 10+ years.
Other X-Men projects that were being developed at Fox before the merger included a Kitty Pryde film from Deadpool/Terminator: Dark Fate’s Tim Miller and Brian Michael Bendis, the Laura/X-23 spin-off of Logan that James Mangold was developing, a Multiple Man movie that really didn’t get too far, and two more New Mutants movies that been suggested by director Josh Boone. The latter might have a chance if the reshoots that are happening later this year helping to retrofit the film into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there haven’t been any legitimate signs of that actually being the case at the moment. Stuff like Kitty Pryde or even an altered version of X-23 might still interest Marvel but remains to be seen if they’ll get full-fledged theatrical outings or Disney+ limited series instead.
WHAT ELSE MIGHT BE COMING IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE
NOVA: A recent report from MCUCosmic (first ones to reveal The Eternals was coming) suggested that Nova (Sam Alexander or Richard Rider?) was feature film project that studio was in early development on and Kevin Feige has previously suggested in the past that Nova might be a character they’d want to adapt down the road.
Other rumblings and Easter Eggs have suggested the studio might be interested in pursuing stuff like Dark Avengers, Thunderbolts, Young Avengers, and The Ultimates in the future.
It’s assumed that future sequels may include Black Panther 3, Doctor Strange 3, Captain America 4 with Sam Wilson in the titular role, Captain Marvel 3, Black Widow 2-3, The Eternals 2-3, and Shang-Chi 2-3.
My personal wishlist includes Ka-Zar/Savage Land, Squadron Supreme, Agents of Atlas/Atlas Foundation, Starjammers, and Killraven.