It’s felt like a lifetime since the last Marvel release, and fans are itching to get back into those theatre seats. But 2021 is scheduled to be overloaded with Marvel releases, and Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is on the horizon.
Phase Four is setting the table for the next decade of MCU releases. But what will the dishes be this time around? And how will it differ from the last Marvel arc?
There’s something exciting cooking in the MCU. Whispers about the multiverse, the idea of alternate realities with slight to drastic changes, being a central theme. This concept is harbouring some exhilarating new ideas for the MCU in Phase Four.
So let’s dive in and explore everything we know about Marvel’s Phase Four.
Because of COVID-19, all release dates have been pushed back. These are the updated dates as things stand.
Black Widow – 7 May 2021
Through trailers, we can see a story that does delve into Black Widow’s past and family, during the time between Civil War and Infinity War.
Scarlett Johansson is reprising her role as Black Widow. New additions to the MCU include David Harbour as Alexi, Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, O-T Fagbenle as Mason, and Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff/Iron Maiden.
There is one particularly exciting rumour that Robert Downey Jr may make an appearance as Tony Stark/Iron Man in this film as well. But that is a rumour we’ll have to wait till we sit down in theatres to learn the truth of. The film is directed by Cate Shortland.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – 9 July 2021
There’s a new face in the MCU, with Shang-Chi as the first Asian-led superhero movie.
The movie is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, and very little is known about the details of this flick. Only three main cast members have been announced. The first is Simu Liu playing the main character Shang-Chi, a master of Kung-Fu.
Remember the Mandarin fake-out in Iron Man 3? Well the real Mandarin is going to make an appearance in Shang-Chi, played by Tony Leung. Awkwafina has also been announced as a cast-member, but there is no news on who she will play.
This is also the first Marvel release set after Avengers Endgame.
Eternals – 5 November 2021
The Eternals cast is absolutely stacked. This is a long list, so buckle in. Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, and Kit Harington as the Black Knight.
Safe to say that the ambitious Eternals will introduce a wide breadth of new superheroes. But what are Eternals anyway? They are a group of humanoids that look exactly like humans but have been granted super-powers by the Celestials. (A race mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy).
What sets them apart from other groups of super-heroes like the X-Men or the Guardians of the Galaxy is that the Eternals can combine their powers. They can merge themselves into the Uni-Mind, and the Uni-Mind can use any of the powers of the Eternals it’s composed of.
The powerful group were sent by the Celestials to protect Earth from the Deviants. The Deviants are an accidental creation, created by the Celestials when they were creating the Eternals.
The director, Chloe Zhao, has expressed her long-awaited excitement over making this movie. She said at SDCC that the Eternals is “about this incredible group of immortals but, through their journey, we get to explore what it means to be human“.
We can expect a trailer after the Black Widow release.
Spider-Man 3 – 17 December 2021
There are some extremely exciting rumours about the casting in the third MCU Spider-Man instalment. The original cast is returning, including Tom Holland as Peter Parker and Zendaya as MJ. But…Jamie Foxx will also be reprising his role as Electro- the role he played in the Sony Andrew Garfield Spider-Man run. The door to the multiverse has already been opened through off-hand mentions by Doctor Strange, and Benedict Cumberbatch will appear. Having an actor reprise a role he played at a different studio may suggest that the multiverse is being pulled into Peter Parker’s world. This isn’t far off to assume, it happens all the time in the comics.
We’ve already seen Peter Parker deal with the multiverse in Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse. (Although Spider-Verse is not connected to the MCU) Now there are strong whispers that Toby McGuire and Andrew Garfield will return as their versions of Spider-Man. Sony is denying these reports, but that hasn’t stopped fans from absolutely buzzing about the possibilities. Only time will tell if we get all three iconic Spider-Men in one movie.
Thor: Love and Thunder – 11 February 2022
Now Phase Four has been riddled with exciting casting reports and announcements, but Thor: Love and Thunder arguably has the best one. Natalie Portman will be playing Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor.
Taika Waititi will return as director after his success with Ragnarok. Chris Hemsworth will also return as the God of Thunder, as well as Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (appointed queen of New Asgard). Ex Bat-Man actor Christian Bale has also signed on to play the villain (who’s name has not been released yet).
Very little is known about the plot of Love and Thunder. But, there are many reports that it’s absolutely insane coming from both Waititi and Hemsworth. Regardless of plot, Portman as a female-Thor is exhilarating.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – 25 March 2022
And this is where Phase Four ends for the MCU.
Scott Derrickson, a director known mostly for his work in horror, has departed from the project already. Writer C. Robert Cargill left with him, due to creative differences. There have been ideas tossed around that due to the magnitude of the MCU, the universe would dabble in different genres.
There were some whispers that this Doctor Strange movie might take a darker turn into horror. Perhaps Derrikson left because it wasn’t quite scary enough. Benedict Cumberbatch, returning as Doctor Strange, did tell San Diego Comic-Con that there will be “a twist of horror that will really have people gripped… We’re going back to try and destroy [Doctor Strange] a bit”.
Elizabeth Olsen is rumoured to make an appearance as Scarlet Witch, with some reports tying America Chavez to the project. No new director has been hired yet, but writer Sam Raimi is attached to the project.
All TV Shows will be airing on Disney Plus and will be connected to the larger MCU plot-line.
WandaVision – 2020
WandaVision will follow Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany as Vision in a sit-com style tv show.
While little is known about the plot, some speculate that Wanda will use her powers to create an alternate/dream reality for herself and Vision. As to how Vision comes back to life after his death in Infinity War, not even Paul Bettany knows.
The trailer shows that Monica Rambeau will return to the MCU from Captain Marvel, only this time she’s all grown up and played by Teyonah Parris.
While the official release date is TBC, it will be released in 2020.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – 2021
The anticipated buddy TV show has been pushed back to a 2021 release date and is still filming.
It features Anthony Mackie as the newly appointed Captain America/Falcon and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier. Not a lot is revealed about the details of this show. The teaser suggests that Falcon isn’t instantly recognised by authorities as the new Cap.
We do know that it will likely be quite lighthearted with the two widely different characters ticking each other off.
What If…? – Summer 2021
What If…? is an animated anthology of different scenes in the MCU but showing if they ended a little… differently.
Several original MCU cast members will return to lend their voices, and Jeffery Wright will be voicing The Watcher. The Watcher is a sort of narrator for these alternate events/endings. That’s about all we know about this series, and that’s all there really is to know. It will simply be answering the question, what if this happened differently?
Hawkeye – Fall 2021
Not a lot is known about this series either.
Jeremy Renner will reprise his role as Hawkeye, and a large portion of that is him training Kate Bishop to be the next Hawkeye. No one has been announced in the Bishop role yet. But Hailee Steinfeld has been having several conversations with Marvel and is rumoured to take the role.
Hawkeye will also explore/explain more about Clint’s role as Ronin between Infinity War and Endgame.
Loki – Date TBC
This all-time-fan-favourite just can’t stay dead.
Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as the mischievous Loki in the MCU during Phase Four. The show will follow his antics after he took the Tesseract during the time-travel events in Endgame.
Little is known about the show, but during a shot that aired during the Super Bowl, Loki was shown donning a time travel suit.
Hiddleston also said that Loki will go up against “more formidable opponents” and that the show will answer how/if he’s alive and what he did with the Tesseract.
Some leaked photos also show Lady Loki and Hiddleston in a detective suit. While we know next to nothing about the show, we can be sure that it will be interesting.
Wrapping with six movies and four TV shows over the span of two years, Phase Four is sure to bring a lot of new characters and challenges to the table. But who’s going to be the major big bad villain in the future for our Avengers? Remembering that Thanos was barely a whisper in Phase One of the MCU, it’s unlikely that question will be answered immediately, or even soon.
There are theories, of course. A Fantastic Four movie is in the early stages of production, and will likely be released as part of Phase 5. This opens the door for both the introduction of Doctor Doom, Galactus, and Kang. A lot of fans think that Galactus is too similar to Thanos. Doctor Doom may be too small a villain as well. Kang, however, seems perfect. He’s a time-travelling bad guy, and the events of Endgame may have perfectly set him up.
Most fan-theories about the next Marvel villain hinge on the Fantastic Four movie. It’s a safe bet to assume that the return of that dysfunctional family will be an important instalment to the MCU (if done well for once).
All in all, we may not get all the answers we want in Phase Four. But we do know that Phase Four will be important for setting up the next decade of Marvel movies.
Thanks for reading our article on what we know so far about the MCU Phase Four. Did we miss any you know of? If so, let us know in the comments below.
More of our MCU articles HERE.
Read IMDB information on the first of the Phase Four offering WandaVision HERE.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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