Once Avengers: Endgame hits theaters on April 26, The Infinity Saga is over, and it's on to Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Once Thanos is defeated, what comes next? After Endgame, there will have been 22 movies in the MCU--many of which you can watch on streaming services--but we honestly don't know where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going next.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is keeping a tight lid on the future of the MCU. "As we've been doing for years, we aren't going to announce anything post Avengers: Endgame or Spider-Man [Far From Home] until post Endgame and Spider-Man," Feige told ComicBook.com. So, as of this writing, we'll have to wait a few more months to know confirmed details about what's to come from the MCU. However, there are a couple of hints as to what's coming down the line, and it's going to be a whole new direction for this universe and probably a lot of rebuilding.
Take a look at Marvel's calendar for 2020 and beyond. There are a lot of theatrical dates with nothing attached to them:
- May 1, 2020
- July 31, 2020
- November 6, 2020
- February 12, 2021
- May 7, 2021
- November 5, 2021
- February 18, 2022
- May 6, 2022
- July 29, 2022
Piecing together all the information available, let's figure out what's next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Endgame comes out--or at least theorize a bit. Keep in mind, we're not discussing any of the X-Men movies or Spider-Man spinoffs--like Venom--as they are not a part of the MCU.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Release Date: July 5, 2019
The Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel is the only movie in the MCU with a set release date. After the first trailer dropped, we all realized that both Peter Parker and Nick Fury would survive Endgame. However, Tony Stark--who was Parker's mentor in Homecoming--is nowhere to be found.
Jake Gyllenhall will be playing Mysterio, who is traditionally a villain in the comic books. However, in the trailer, it looks as though he'll be teaming up with Spider-Man in Europe. Obviously, we have plenty of theories about what happens in Far From Home, and a few of them are pretty out there.
Ever since The Avengers, fans of the MCU have been waiting and waiting and waiting for a solo Black Widow movie, and it's finally starting to come together, but it has been a bit of a bumpy road with not much to report on.
Back in July 2018, Marvel approached more than 60 female directors to helm the project, and Cate Shortland was tapped to direct. Ned Branson was brought on to write the film, and it's been in pre-production ever since. There have also been reports that the movie is about to go into production. HN Entertainment has stated that Black Widow will allegedly begin production in the UK in March, but we haven't heard much else yet. Seeing as though this movie could be ready to start shooting, it may be the first Marvel film of 2020.
Our guess for release date: May 1, 2020
Black Panther 2
At the 2019 Academy Awards, Black Panther won three Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. The movie made $1.3 billion dollars worldwide. Obviously, it was a huge hit and a cultural phenomenon.
Of course, that means a sequel should be coming our way. The only things we know are that Ryan Coogler will return to write and direct the next installment of the franchise. Additionally, it will go into production in late 2019 or early 2020. That being said, we're thinking it will have a summer release at earliest.
Our guess for release date: July 31, 2020
Marvel is moving forward with Shang-Chi, its first feature film with an Asian lead. Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, The Expendables) will be writing the upcoming movie, which will follow the titular comic book character. Most recently, Destin Daniel Cretton has been tapped to direct.
Shang-Chi is a martial arts expert with no superpowers, but he's really good at defending himself and beating people up. His training has given him the abilities to dodge bullets, focus in on sounds, and have keen reflexes. He's a mortal human who has spent his life training in his craft. Sure, in the past few years he gained the ability to duplicate himself, but the movie will more than likely ignore that.
Our guess for release date: November 6, 2020
Doctor Strange 2
Things are slowly coming together for Doctor Strange 2. Director and writer Scott Derrickson will return to helm the film, but there is still a search going for a script writer. Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong will be returning to play Dr. Strange and Wong respectively.
There are no other firm details, but it is believed that the movie will begin production in spring 2020 with a May 2021 release date.
Our guess for release date: May 7, 2021
It's a year since The Eternals was teased. Back in April 2018, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige spoke about the upcoming film with The Wrap. "Eternals is one of many many many things that we are actively beginning to have creative discussions about to see if we believe in them enough to put them on a slate," Feige explained. He again teased The Eternals at a press day for Captain Marvel, saying he wanted to introduce an ensemble team to the MCU, like Guardians of the Galaxy, but not tonally.
So who, or what, are The Eternals? Out of the legendary mind of Jack Kirby, The Eternals are an evolutionary offshoot of humans. The Celestials--the oldest beings in the Marvel Universe--came to Earth and altered some human genes, a million years ago. These superhumans are not immortal, but they live long lifespans and have incredible superpowers. That's the short and sweet of it, but it goes a lot further than that because Kirby's science fiction work is incredibly complex. This one is still in the earliest phases of pre-production so don't expect it any time soon.
Our guess for release date: November 5, 2021
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The third movie in Marvel's cosmic franchise has been through some trying times. Director and writer James Gunn was fired from the movie, and recently, was rehired by Disney. Gunn took to Twitter to say he was grateful for all the support.
As of August 2018, the movie was on hold indefinitely, but with Gunn returning, that will change. However, considering Gunn is writing and directing Suicide Squad 2 for 2021, we don't expect to see Marvel's cosmic team returning to theaters any time soon.
Our guess for release date: May 6, 2022
Kamala Khan is better known as Ms. Marvel, an Inhuman superhero who idolizes Captain Marvel. Back in May 2018, Kevin Feige stated that there is a plan for a Ms. Marvel movie, but they wanted to introduce Captain Marvel first.
Khan made her debut in 2013 at Marvel Comics and found a legion of fans who loved the character who "embiggens" as her super-power (she can stretch, grow and shrink, and even shapeshift). That's all we know. At this point in time, it's unknown as to whether this is actually in pre-production or not.
Our guess for release date: February 18, 2022
Captain Marvel 2
After one week in the theaters, Captain Marvel amassed $569 million dollars worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It's not slowing down and will continue to make money right up until Avengers: Endgame hits theaters. However, a sequel for this movie is not out of the question. The only MCU movie to not get a sequel--or have one in the works--was The Incredible Hulk because that was a box office flop.
There is no confirmation or even a hint that Captain Marvel 2 will happen, but why introduce this huge character and only give her one movie?
Our guess for release date: July 29, 2022
February 12, 2021
This was the only date from Marvel's list we couldn't figure out what fit here. Could it be Ant-Man And The Wasp 2, Nova, or a new Blade movie? Maybe, just maybe, we can finally get a proper Fantastic Four movie. Considering it's less than two years away, this date is probably reserved for something already on this list, and one of the movies we just mentioned will pop up in 2022.
Is this too soon for another Avengers movie? We'll find out more after the release of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.