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Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Four

The pandemic-delayed continuation of the MCU is underway.

By Saelanna Tue 30 Mar, 2021 12:54 PM - Last Updated: Wed 31 Mar, 2021 1:00 PM
Ever since the 2008 release of Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone from strength to strength. With six of the MCU films falling in the top 20 highest-grossing movies of all time, it is hardly surprising that there is plenty of new material on its way for the Post-Infinity Saga; eleven films and thirteen television series are heading our way over the course of the next few years. Here is a summary of what 2021 has to offer us.

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as
Wanda and Vision in Wandavision.

We have already seen Wanda Maximoff and Vision living their idyllic suburban life, trying to conceal their powers. We saw some memorable appearances from characters that, until now, have been fairly minor in the MCU: Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau (from ‘Captain Marvel’), Randall Park as Jimmy Woo (from ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’) and [my personal favourite] Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis (from the first two Thor films). This is our first tie in to ‘Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness’ where we will be seeing Wanda again.

March 2021 – The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Following on from Steve Rogers giving Sam Wilson his shield, effectively passing the baton of Captain America on to the next generation, this series brings Falcon and Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, together for a worldwide adventure that puts their abilities to the test. We will also see the return of Daniel Brühl as Helmut Zero with images released showing him wearing the iconic purple mask from the comics. Emily VanCamp also returns as Sharon Carter (or Agent 13).

7th May 2021 – Black Widow
Set during the immediate aftermath of ‘Captain America: Civil War’, Natasha Romanoff finds herself alone in the world and forced to confront a dangerous conspiracy. She must deal with her history as a spy, as glimpsed in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, and the broken relationships she left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. The fabulous William Hurt reprises his role as Thaddeus Ross from ‘The Incredible Hulk’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.

June 2021 – Loki
Tom Hiddleston as Loki.
During the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’, we see Loki get his hands on the Tesseract and making his escape using its power. Tom Hiddleston reprises his iconic portrayal of the God of Mischief as he is brought to the mysterious Time Variance Authority and travels through time, altering human history and ending up in his own crime thriller. This is our second tie into the Doctor Strange film; another season has already been confirmed as being in development.

9th July 2021 – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
The titular Shang-Chi must confront The Mandarin and the mysterious Ten Rings organisation. Ten Rings are the terrorist organisation that kidnaps Tony Stark in Iron Man, prompting the creation of the prototype Iron Man suit and [arguably] kicking off the entire franchise. We met Tony Slattery (the sublime Sir Ben Kingsley) the actor who portrayed the ‘fake’ Mandarin in Iron Man 3, now we get to meet the real Mandarin (played by Tony Leung in his Hollywood debut). Star Trek alumni Michelle Yeoh and Rosalind Chao also have notable mentions in the cast list with this being Yeoh’s second Marvel role after playing Aleta Ogord in GotG Vol. 2.

The MCU's Peggy Carter.
Summer 2021 – What If…?
Join the all-seeing Watcher as he reveals alternate versions of key events in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this animated series. With several actors from the live-action films/series set to reprise their roles, including Hayley Atwell in a story that explores what might have happened if Peggy Carter had been given the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers.

5th November 2021 – The Eternals
The Eternals are a race of immortal aliens sent to Earth 7000 years ago by the Celestials to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, a race known as the Deviants. Disney has spared no expense bringing some of Hollywood’s biggest names into the MCU in this movie, including Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, alongside Game of Thrones alumni Richard Madden and Kit Harrington. ‘Eternals’ will also feature the MCU’s first deaf superhero, an Eternal, called Makkari, played by deaf actress Lauren Ridloff (‘The Walking Dead’).

17th December 2021 – Spider-Man: No Way Home
Plot details have been a closely guarded secret for the third MCU Spider-Man instalment; it features Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, and the story is our third direct tie in to ‘Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness’. In ‘No Way Home’, Strange is taking on the mentor role for Parker that was filled by Tony Stark in ‘Homecoming’ and Nick Fury in ‘Far From Home’. The appearances of several actors from the pre-MCU, Sony-produced Spider-Man films also reinforces the multiverse aspects of the story. There is also confirmed to be a fourth MCU Spider-Man film in development.

Late 2021 – Hawkeye
This series is set to explore more of Clint Barton’s time as the ruthless Ronin, which we only saw a glimpse of in ‘Avengers: Endgame’. We will also see the introduction of Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, and the series explores how she becomes the next Hawkeye. Florence Pugh will reprise her role as Yelena Belova from ‘Black Widow’.

Late 2021 – Ms. Marvel
Making history as Marvel’s first female Muslim superhero in the comics, and now onscreen in her own series, Kamala Khan / Ms Marvel is our final offering currently scheduled for release during 2021. She is a 16-year-old Muslim Pakistani-American from Jersey City who writes superhero fan fiction, particularly of Captain Marvel, and gains shape-shifting powers after going through terragenesis. This series will set up Captain Marvel 2, due out in 2022, and Iman Vellani will reprise her role as Khan in that title.

Going forward, Disney has projects in various stages of development for the MCU that currently stretch well into 2023. Titles that make up the rest of Phase 4 and the start of Phase 5 include Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the third Ant-Man film to mention just a few. So even with the end of the epic Infinity Saga, the ongoing franchise still has plenty of life left in it.

Any of your favorites making an appearance in Phase 4? Let us know in the comments below.

WRITTEN BY: Saelanna


* This article includes a correction to Michelle Yeoh's inclusion.
Tue 30 Mar, 2021 1:00 PM
Looks like a lot of great content is coming! Thanks for the detailed article Smile I didn't know about half of these.
Wed 31 Mar, 2021 12:51 PM
There's a lot to look forward to and it'll be interesting to see how it shapes up now the bulk of the original avengers are stepped back from the centre stage.

One thing I spotted in there though and please don't shoot me - Melinda May in Agents of Shield was played by Ming-Na Wen, known for her role in ER and Mulan prior to that point, Michelle Yeoh's cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is the only time she's appeared in the MCU to date.
Wed 31 Mar, 2021 1:01 PM
There's a lot to look forward to and it'll be interesting to see how it shapes up now the bulk of the original avengers are stepped back from the centre stage.
Thank you Petrarch. My mistake.
Wed 07 Apr, 2021 3:34 AM
thank you for reminding me of, and prompring me to aquire, the falcon and the winter soldier's releases. The Marvel universe is (for me) source of some filler material to hold me over during a period without fresh Star Trek and Star Wars series/movies. I had almost finished consuming even the fresh novels so i could do with some Marvel filler about now! Awesome article by the way, with way more information than i even wanted about the upcoming Marvel future! I asume Marvel fans will love it and fill their google calenders with the information you've so conveniently and beautifully compiled!