If you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—if you’ve stuck around all the way to this point—it’s fair to assume one thing: you probably want more. After The Infinity Saga—the first 22 movies in the franchise—came to a conclusion in Avengers: Endgame, the next era of Marvel storytelling took a slight delay after the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home because of the whole Covid-19 thing. But Marvel Studios got things back on track with several films and Disney+ series releasing in 2021, and 2022 has kept the momentum going.
After last year saw the release of highly-acclaimed series like WandaVision, Loki, and Hawkeye, and massive blockbuster movies like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Spider-Man: No Way Home, 2022 is continuing to keep the pace up with the release of shows like Ms. Marvel and movies like Thor: Love and Thunder. And as always with Marvel Studios, that’s basically just the beginning.
The current era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is referred to as “Phase 4,” and while the seeds of the overarching story are still being slowly planted and plotted, it’s clear that the multiverse is playing a big part of things, and it’s also clear that the Disney+ series will be 100% essential to the future of the franchise. After seeing how directly WandaVision led into Multiverse of Madness, and how clearly Ms. Marvel is leading into The Marvels, it’s clear that Marvel’s television arm is just as essential as its film arm.
We also know that Marvel Studios, and its fearless leader and President Kevin Feige, are extremely meticulous. There are the movies and shows we know about, that have been publicly announced, and then there are the movies and shows they’re working on, that will exist in the shadows and rumors only. One example: we all know the X-Men are coming to the MCU sooner or later. How, is anyone’s guess. But not a single mutant-centered project has yet been announced.
Anyway, that’s enough speculation. Here’s the complete list of upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and TV shows—that we know of.
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Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 11, 2022)
Obviously, the plans for the Black Panther (2018) sequel had to change when its titular star, Chadwick Boseman, died last year after a battle with colon cancer. We don’t know much about this Black Panther sequel, but Boseman’s role as T’Challa will not be recast, and previous cast members Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Angela Basset will all be returning. Wright’s Shuri, the sister of T’Challa, could be considered the favorite to become the franchise’s new lead; in the Marvel Comics, at one point Shuri herself takes on the Black Panther mantle. This could also serve as something of a backdoor pilot into Ryan Coogler’s upcoming Disney+ series set in Wakanda. Emmy winner Michaela Coel (for the excellent I May Destroy You) is also part of the cast in an undisclosed role; not to speculate too much, but, could this be one of our first X-Men? Coel is a fantastic performer and would make a great Storm. Just spitballing here.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17, 2023)
Quantumania just recently switched release dates with The Marvels, which is A-OK with us—that just means we get to see our new friend Kang the Conquereror (Jonathan Majors) that much sooner. We don’t know a ton about this movie just yet, other than the fact that it will follow the events of Endgame. Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Peña will all return, and Kathryn Newton will now play Cassie Lang, Ant-Man’s daughter. Kang a Nexus being already introduced (kind of) in Loki, could be key to the MCU multiverse. We may still be seeing more of him after this.
Could Kang be the next Thanos-level villain It’s certainly possible. One other thing to note? Bill Murray will be in this movie as “a bad guy.” That’s fun.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
This one has a bit of a trip behind it. You might recall that Guardians writer/director James Gunn was fired from his job with the franchise in 2018 following controversial and “edgy” old jokes resurfacing. While at that time a new Guardians movie was his priority, after his firing he was hired by Warner Bros. to make The Suicide Squad and a spin-off series Peacemaker. So by the time Disney got itself together and rehired Gunn to return to the Guardians helm, he had already needed to prioritize those other two projects, so Guardians was pushed off a bit. And in some bittersweet news, Gunn has made it clear that this will be the final project for this Guardians team.
Guardians Vol. 3 has been planned to film back to back in coordination with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is set to debut in December 2022 on Disney+ (set between the events of Love and Thunder and Guardians 3), while this film will follow in 2023.
The official release date—May 5, 2023—was released in a video from Marvel Studios.
The Marvels (July 28, 2023)
Brie Larson will return again as Carol Danvers, this time directed by Nia DaCosta (2021’s Candyman film, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). The movie will also tie in a pair of characters launched by Disney+ series in Monica Rambeau (played here by Teyonah Parris, who played her adult version in WandaVision) and Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel (who will debut in a titular Disney+ series, debuting in June 2022) We don’t know much else. Maybe we get Nick Fury and Talos again?
One thing we do know? We’re switching the title up; Captain Marvel 2 is no more. Instead, this sequel will be called The Marvels, likely because we’ll be seeing a team-up of Captain Marvel, Kamala Khan (aka the aforementioned Ms. Marvel), and Monica, who we previously thought was going by Photon, but now seems like may be the superhero Blue Marvel.
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Here’s what we know about the MCU’s Fantastic Four movie: it will exist. Kevin Feige officially announced the movie in December 2020, with only one important piece of information: Jon Watts, who’s directed all three MCU Spider-Man installments, was planned to be directing. However, he’s since dropped out. So, now we have a Fantastic Four movie in the works, but no idea about a director or the cast, outside of one movie’s cameo which may or may not mean anything for the future. We are assuming we’ll know more in the near future, but for now this one is still something of a blank page.
Marvel’s big announcement at the end of San Diego Comic Con 2019 was that—eventually—Blade, the Vampire hunter, would be joining the MCU. And he would be played by two-time Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali. A very very big deal, and truly incredible casting.
Now, the movie is likely still a ways away—but it is coming. Marvel hired Watchmen writer Stacy Osei-Kuffour to write the script, and Bassam Tariq to direct, while some casting has already begun. Delroy Lindo is in the movie in the role that we must assume is the MCU version of the mentor character Kris Kristofferson played in the ’90s Blade, and Aaron Pierre (Old, The Underground Railroad) has also joined the cast in what Deadline has referred to as a “coveted role.” Could he be the MCU’s Dracula? Blade’s gonna need a rival, right?
We haven’t gotten official word from Marvel or head honcho Kevin Feige about a Thunderbolts movie just yet, but it was reported to be in the works by Variety, with director Jake Schreier—who’s done some interesting work on both TV and in film—on board.
This project just makes sense; Thunderbolts is basically Marvel’s version of the Suicide Squad; villains who pose as heroes or do the sort of morally gray missions that heroes don’t want to. We know from her two appearances so far that Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is putting together a rugged team that will get into that gray area; we can expect John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), and Zemo (Daniel Brühl) to be a part of the team, with Abomination (Tim Roth), and, hell, maybe even Hercules (Brett Goldstein) too. Nothing’s off limits here.
Captain America 4
Another movie we know is in the works but that we haven’t gotten official word on just yet is the forthcoming Captain America 4, which will follow Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) as the new Captain America. The movie will be directed by Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox, Luce), and that’s about all we know as of now. Perhaps this could be a place for characters like Val and Walker to return? It would also seem like a natural landing spot for Bucky (Sebastian Stan) for obvious reasons. We don’t know—but hopefully more information will come soon.
Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe TV Series
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (August 17, 2022)
She-Hulk is one of the most exciting upcoming Disney+ series on this entire list. Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black, Perry Mason) will play the titular character, a cousin of Bruce Banner who takes the serum and gains a milder version of Banner’s Hulk condition. Speaking of Banner—Mark Ruffalo will return for all 10 episodes of the series. Excellent news. She-Hulk will also mark the return of a character we haven’t seen in more than a decade: Emil Blonsky/The Abomination, the villain from The Incredible Hulk, who will once again be played by Tim Roth (who did already briefly return in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings). The show’s villain will be Titania, played by Jameela Jamil, and Ginger Gonzaga and Hamilton star Renée Elise Goldsberry will also be part of the cast.
Our only hope is that we get a little bit more time and care on the show’s CGI, which did not look particularly good in the first trailer. Fingers crossed. The show’s head writer will be Rick and Morty‘s Jessica Gao.
Secret Invasion (2022)
Secret Invasion was one of the biggest Marvel Comic event arcs (which you can catch up on here), focused on a world-spanning event that took place once the Skrulls slowly but surely infiltrated many of the world’s powerful organizations. The MCU take on this whole thing will have to be somewhat different, considering Captain Marvel has established the Skrulls as good guys. The scale will also be brought in a little bit; this won’t be a full Avengers-level team up, instead focusing in on two characters who have shown some great chemistry together in the past: Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn).
Some other casting for the series has made news lately, including Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke, Kingsley Ben-Adir as a “lead villain”, and Christopher McDonald (best known as Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore, and recently in Hacks).
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)
As referenced above in our breakdown of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The Holiday Special will be filmed back-to-back with the next feature film (scheduled for 2023 release), and will serve to bridge the gap between Vol 2 (or, perhaps, Endgame) and Vol. 3.
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The Ironheart Disney+ series will adapt a fun Marvel Comics storyline of the past years, which sees Riri Williams, a tech genius from Chicago, taking over Iron Man’s mantle. Dominique Thorne, who is 2/2 in great movies so far in her career (With Judas and the Black Messiah and If Beale Street Could Talk on her resume), will play Riri. We’d venture to guess that other old Iron Man friends—James Rhodes? Justin Hammer?—could show up. Riri will be making her MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, so we’ll get a taste of this character before the series really fleshes her out.
Chinaka Hodge—a poet and educator who has written on Snowpiercer—will be the show’s head writer.
Armor Wars (2023?)
Speaking of our old pal Mr. Rhodes, Don Cheadle will return to play Tony Stark’s best friend and fellow suited-up superhero in Armor Wars, which will bring one of the most famous Iron Man comic arcs of the ’80s to Disney+. The series will explore what happens when Stark’s advanced technology gets into the wrong hands. Sounds like a great chance to bring back Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer—and it would be about damn time. Great villain.
The show is set to start filming in 2022, with Yassir Lester (who also worked with Don Cheadle on Black Monday) as the head writer.
Untitled Halloween Special (October 2022)
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We don’t know a ton about the Untitled Marvel Studios Halloween Special, set to debut on Disney+ this coming October. But we do know that it will star Gael Garcia Bernal, a tremendous actor who last appeared as Arthur Leander in HBO Max’s Station Eleven—so he’s got a hot streak going on TV right now. The details and roles are murky, but Bernal is believed to be playing Werewolf by Night, a Marvel Comics Superhero (slash Werewolf) who has two iterations: Jack Russell and Jake Gomez. We don’t know which version of the character he might be. The special is also being directed by Michael Giacchino, typically a film and television music composer, which has brought on some speculation that the series could involve music with the Werewolf transformations.
Wakanda Series (TBD)
We don’t know a ton about this one just yet. But it will come from Ryan Coogler, Danai Guria (who plays Okoye) will be involved, and it should fit in neatly with his two Black Panther movies, of course.
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