Last year didn't go according to plan when it came to releasing superhero movies, but then again, neither did good guys' plan at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. And you know what they did? They tried again! That's what 2021 is about—hopefully seeing all the superhero movies that didn't actually get released in 2020.
Marvel has released a teaser video for its updated Phase 4, and it looks like it will be well worth the wait. Black Widow will be our first return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in July. Then, as summer winds down, we'll get the long awaited debut of Shang-Chi in September, followed by The Eternals in November. But, perhaps what's most exciting is that Marvel's latest teaser for Phase 4 also announced the title of the next Black Panther sequel, called Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
See the full list of upcoming superhero movies from both Marvel and DC below.
Original Release: May 1, 2020
New Release: July 9, 2021
Scarlett Johansson is starring in a standalone Black Widow movie, to the delight of many fans who wanted more of the character’s story after her death in Avengers: Endgame. Johansson told fans that she hopes the film gives audiences “closure.”
Suicide Squad Sequel
Original Release: August 6, 2021
New Release: Same!
Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, Idris Elba, Nathan Fillion, and Taika Waititi are all back in the sequel to the 2016 movie. But director David Ayer has been replaced with Guardian of the Galaxy’s James Gunn.
Shang-Chi And the Legend of the Ten Rings
Original Release: Feb. 12, 2021
New Release: September 3, 2021
Marvel's first Asian-American led superhero film stars Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The film will feature Tony Leung as the villain Mandarin, written by Dave Callaham and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.
Original Release: Oct. 2, 2020
New Release: September 24, 2021
Sony's weird take on the Spider-Man anti-hero/villain, Venom, brings back Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and his friendly alien symbiote. Michelle Williams is set to return as Anne Weying and Woody Harrelson will star as the villain Cletus Kasady, known as Carnage.
Original Release: July 31, 2020
New Release: October 8, 2021
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) March 5, 2019
After his disastrous run as Joker, Jared Leto will return as yet another comic book villain, in the upcoming Morbius movie. Michael Morbius is a biologist who accidentally transforms himself into a vampire, starting out in the Spider-Man universe as a villain before becoming something of an anti-hero.
Original Release: November 6, 2020
New Release: November 5, 2021
The Eternals is one of Marvel's most exciting additions coming up. Featuring its most diverse (and potentially largest) cast, save Avengers: Endgame, the 2020 release about the strongest superheroes in the universe will star Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Barry Keoghan, Gemma Chan, and Kit Harington. Take our money.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Original Release: July 16, 2021
New Release: December 17, 2021
After much drama with the ownership between Sony and Disney over the Spider-Man title, the Tom Holland-led MCU staple will return for a third film. Details are slim, but Zendaya and Jacob Batalon will return alongside director Jon Watts.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Original Release: May 7, 2021
New Release: March 25, 2022
This one is on pretty tight lockdown, other than the fact that the release date has changed and that Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen are signed on. Actress and screenwriter Jade Bartlett is writing, with Scott Derrickson coming back to direct. According to Collider, this is going to be the first “scary” Marvel Cinematic Universe movie.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Release: November 5, 2021
New Release: May 6, 2022
Natalie Portman is already gearing up to take hold of the hammer as Thor in the newest phase of the MCU. At San Diego Comic Con this year, Portman revealed that she would be reprising her role as Jane Foster, but she’ll also be taking on the role of female Thor—talk about range. Taika Waititi will be directing.
Original Release: June 25, 2021
New Release: March 4, 2022
Ben Affleck has made it clear that we will never again see him jump into the Batmobile, but there’s another Batman on the rise now.
Robert Pattinson will star as a younger Bruce Wayne, which gives the film more room to dig into plot points the comics covered that haven’t been seen on screen before. Pattinson told The New York Times that he could never play “a real hero,” and according to Pattinson, Batman isn’t a hero. There’s a take to look forward to.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Original Release: May 6, 2022
New Release: July 8, 2022
Black Panther is getting a sequel, yes, but it’s going to come with a bit of a wait. Most of the details are up in the air, especially after Chadwick Boseman's passing, but Marvel still has plans to move forward with the story.
Original Release: July 7, 2022
New Release: November 4, 2022
After some feet-dragging in development, The Flash is marked and set for the screen under the direction of It and It 2 director Andrés Muschietti. Ezra Miller will star as hero Brady Miller alongside Kiersey Clemons and Billy Crudup.
Original Release: April 1, 2022
New Release: June 2, 2023
With DC’s Shazam cinematic universe shaping up to expand, the details of Shazam 2 are still fairly under wraps. Leading man Zach Levi is set to return along with director David Sandberg, while rumors are swirling that Henry Cavill will return as Superman. Word on the street has it that there will also be an appearance from Dwayne Johnson.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, DC’s newest standalone follows Shazam’s archenemy, the antihero Black Adam. Little is known about the film, other than Dwayne Johnson’s long-time link to the leading role. It’s unclear whether the film, arriving shortly after 2019’s Shazam and just before its 2022 sequel, will advance plot details within the collective cinematic universe.
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