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What We Know About The MCU Phase Four So Far

Victoria Newell

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Black Widow MCU Phase Four image
Marvel Studios

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.

Movies

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.

TV Shows

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.

The Villain?

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.

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Movie News

The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley

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Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.


The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.


The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.


The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.


So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.


Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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