The Marvel Cinematic Universe unveiled its long-awaited Phase 4 plans Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, with the studio announcing a slate of returning superheroes, new franchises, Disney+ series and a reboot that will be released over the next two years.
Among the returning Avengers, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow will receive a standalone film set for release on May 1st, 2020, the first of the Phase 4 projects. That film co-stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz and is directed by Cate Shortland.
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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – the sequel to Benedict Cumberbatch’s 2016 superhero origin film and a movie that was dubbed the first “horror” film in the MCU – arrives May 7th, 2021 with director Scott Derrickson back at the helm. Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch will co-star in the Doctor Strange sequel; Olsen’s character will also headline her own Disney+ series, WandaVision, alongside Paul Bettany’s Vision in Spring 2021.
The fourth Thor film, Thor: Love and Thunder, strikes November 5th, 2021 with director Taika Waititi, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman all reprising their roles. According to reports from the Comic-Con panel, the plot will find Portman’s Jane Foster becoming the Mighty Thor, as the character did in the comics. “I’ve always had hammer envy,” Portman said at the panel (via Variety).
Disney+, the studio’s upcoming streaming service, also announced series dedicated to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Fall 2020), Tom Hiddleston’s Loki (Spring 2021) and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye (Fall 2021), as well as an animated series titled What If?, based on the speculative comic book, that will feature Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher.
Among the new properties, Marvel’s long-expected Eternals was also formally announced, with Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak and Angelina Jolie as Thena among the cast. The Rider‘s Chloe Zhao will direct the film, which is due out November 6th, 2020.
Marvel’s kung fu master Shang-Chi will make his big screen debut in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, starring Simu Lui as the title character, Tony Leung as the Mandarin and and Awkwafina in an unspecified role. That blockbuster drops February 12th, 2021.
Finally, Marvel announced plans to reboot Blade with Mahershala Ali filling the vampire-slaying role once played by Wesley Snipes. This is Ali’s second appearance in a Marvel property, having previously portrayed Cottonmouth in Netflix’s Luke Cage series. The Oscar-winning actor approached Marvel about reviving the beloved comic. No release date was set for the reboot.
Marvel’s Kevin Feige also discussed the studio’s plans beyond 2021, revealing that another reboot of Fantastic 4 is in motion thanks to Disney’s absorption of the Fox property. However, Marvel Studios has no future plans for X-Men, another former Fox franchise, at the moment.
Which movie in ‘Marvel Phase 4’ you are more excited for? pic.twitter.com/dKOq5VSP4d
— Marvel Universe (@77MCU) July 21, 2019
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