With phase three of the MCU coming to a close in just a matter of weeks, we only have a brief idea of what is to come next. There are yet to be any confirmed release dates for all but one of the speculated films. The fate of all characters is uncertain until the release of Avengers: Endgame on the 25th of April. We can expect an official announcement of the phase four timeline by Marvel Studios during San Diego Comic Con in late July, but until then lets look into the potential films to be released in the next phase and the cast and filmmakers rumored to be attached to them.
Spider Man: Far From Home-July 2019
This summer marks the return of one of the most iconic heroes of all time. Spiderman: Far From Home is the sequel to 2017’s Spider Man: Homecoming. In the film we will be catching up with Peter Parker, Ned, MJ and the rest of the gang as they embark on a school trip around Europe. Far From Home was filmed in several iconic European cities such as Venice, Prague and London. Like any other superhero movie, we don’t expect Peter’s trip to go smoothly. The film will introduce us to the cinematic incarnation of the infamous comic book villan Mysterio, played by the incredible Jake Gyllenhaal. Alongside Peter and Mysterio we can expect to see multiple elemental monsters join in on the action. Helping Peter fight these threats will be S.H.E.I.L.D Agents Nick Fury and Maria Hill. Judging by the trailer we can also expect beloved characters Aunt May and Happy Hogan to return with a potential romance brewing. This is the only Phase Four film that has a confirmed release date and is sure to be a must watch during this summer’s blockbuster season. Check out the trailer above.
Black Widow Solo Film
A Black Widow solo film has been rumored to be in the works for many years. In Phase Four we can finally expect the only female member of the original six Avengers to get her own feature film with Cate Shortland signed on to direct. It will be the second female led movie in the MCU. It is currently unclear whether this film will explore Nastasha’s past and her training to become a Russian assassin or will be set following the events of Avengers: Endgame. There has been many rumors about the cast of this film. Scarlett Johansson will reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff and rising British star Florence Pugh has been casted as well as Stranger Things star David Harbour. However, many other actresses names have been thrown in the mix to play new characters. This list includes Rachel Weisz, Emma Watson and Camilla Mendes, all rumored to be eyed by Marvel to play the film’s antagonist. We can expect this film to be one of the earlier releases in Phase Four, rumored to be set for release in either late 2020 or early 2021.
There is a possibility that The Eternals could become the MCU’s next big leading team. Despite looking human, the eternals are thought to be powerful and immortal cosmic beings created by celestials. Some of their qualities include being resistant to age and being able to heal their own wounds. They have the ability to develop a variety of super hero powers such as flight, super strength and telepathy. As of right now, there is no information on which characters from this comic book series will make their on screen debut. There are rumors that the team will be lead by the character Hercules. It has Chloe Zhao signed on to direct and the only actress signed on to the project is Angelina Jolie who will be playing the role of Sersi. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani is also in talks to join the project. The film is currently in pre-production with no word yet of when this film is to enter production or be released.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3
The preliminary release date for the third installment of The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise was pushed back when director James Gunn was fired in summer of 2018. However, Gunn was rehired in March 2019 and filming will commence when Gunn finishes directing the Suicide Squad Sequel. Production will go ahead using Gunn’s original script that he finished in early 2018. We can expect the same charm and charisma in what we think will be the final installment of a trilogy, featuring more iconic music from the 70s weaved into the narrative. We also anticipate the return of space’s greatest team of misfits. However, depending on how the events of Avengers: Endgame pan out, we may not see all members return to the team. We speculate that the characters that perished in Thanos’s snap will somehow reappear, but we do not know the fate of the only surviving Guardians; Rocket and Nebula as well as Gamora who was sacrificed on Vormir. Could this film revolve around Star Lord dealing with the loss of his mother, father and now his partner?
Black Panther Sequel
After the cultural and financial success of Black Panther, it will come as no surprise that there is already a sequel in the pipeline. If the original leaders of the Avenger team; Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are to see the end of their character arcs in Avengers: Endgame, it is expected that T’challa/Black Panther will become one of the new team leaders. Ryan Coogler is expected to return on this project after the praise he received for making Black Panther the cultural phenomenon that we know it as today. We do not have much more information on this project at this point in time, however we can presume the sequel will once again focus on Wakanda and how it has been affected by revealing the richness of their resources to the rest of the world or even perhaps how they have coped with the destruction that took place in Avengers:Infinity War (2018).
Doctor Strange Sequel
The sequel to Doctor Strange is perhaps the film currently surrounded by the most mystery within Phase Four. We can expect Benedict Cumberbatch to reprise the titular role as Sorcerer Supreme and Benedict Wong to reprise the role of Wong if he survives Endgame. There is also the potential for Tilda Swinton to make another appearance as the spirit of the Ancient One. We could speculate that maybe the narrative could revolve around Strange’s powers or lack of them if the Time Stone is to be destroyed in Avengers: Endgame. Although not offically confirmed by marvel, it is likely that the director of the first film Scott Derrickson will return for the sequel. However, there have been no casting rumors for new characters or even idea of who the film’s antagonist could be. It will be a while until we find out any specific information on what is to take place in the narrative of this film.
Captain Marvel Sequel
Set to cross 1 Billion US Dollars at the Global Box Office this week, Captain Marvel has been nothing short of a box office hit that had so many references to the wider MCU. Much like T’Challa, Carol Danvers is expected to become one of the new team leaders for the Avengers. With the first installment of the franchise still in cinemas, it is still very early and a sequel has not been officially announced, but we can assume after it’s success that Carol will be returning as a critical character in Phase Four after making her second appearance in Avengers: Endgame. There is speculation that when the Captain Marvel sequel enters production it could be another MCU prequel, exploring Carol’s life in two decades between Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame.
Shang-Chi will become Marvel’s first Asian lead with a solo movie in Phase Four. He is the Master of Kung-Fu and has the ability to master several types of combat and in the more recent comic runs he has started to develop powers such as making multiple replications of himself. Marvel will stick to Shang-Chi’s Kung-Fu roots, but perhaps they will also update the character with some new abilities on screen. Chinese-American writer Dave Callaham is attached to the project. He previously wrote the screenplay for Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) and will be writing the screenplay for the sequel to the hi animation Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018). The film has not even entered casting yet, but it is safe to assume that Marvel will want to explore both the character and his culture in depth after the success of Black Panther exploring African culture.
Potential Solo or Crossover films introducing characters previously owned by Fox
As of March 2019, Fox is officially owned by Disney. This has given Marvel Studios the rights to characters such as The X-Men, The Fantastic Four and Deadpool whose films have been produced by Fox in previous years. Now that the deal is official, there is potential for these characters to be integrated into the MCU, potentially as soon as Phase Four. It is thought that if these characters are to be introduced they are all to be re-casted with the exception of Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool.
Potential Introduction to new comic book characters
Despite having a general idea of the films we will be seeing in Phase Four, there is definitely the possibility Marvel surprising us with new solo films being announced as part of the next timeline. Teased in one of the 5 post credits in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. (2017), Adam Warlock is due to make an appearance in the MCU, either in his own solo film or the third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy. Seen as a child in Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau would be an adult during the current events of the MCU. Perhaps we can expect an appearance off her under her comic book superhero allias ‘Photon’ in Phase Four. Marvel Studios is known for making less known comic book characters into household names, so it would be no surprise if they were to introduce more lesser known characters into the future of the MCU.