The Infinity Saga has been and gone, so it’s time for the next part of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) – now officially dubbed The Multiverse Saga. Phase 4 kicks off this era, resetting the universe post-Thanos and introducing new faces and plots that will build to a climax further down the line.
The Marvel films and shows that are being released between 2021 and 2022 will make up Phase Four of the MCU. Phase 4 will conclude with the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in December of this year, whilst Phase Five 5 will kick off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in February 2023.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, the MCU’s head honcho Kevin Feige also outlined films throughout Phase Six, which will conclude with two major Avengers movies.
As so much has been announced, it can be hard to keep track of what exactly is on the way. This is especially true with all the delays due to the pandemic, which has had a massive effect on TV and film production and release dates.
Fortunately, we’ve done all the research for you and collated all the titles, information and release dates, and arranged them in chronological release order so you can plan out your cinema trips and TV binges for the next few years – though we have a separate guide to watching all the Marvel movies and TV so far in order too. Phase 4, assemble!
Spoiler warning for previous Marvel films & TV shows.
It may initially seem confusing to have a series that focuses around Wanda Maximoff and Vision, as the latter met his demise in Avengers: Infinity War. The premise of this show is that the pair are trying to live a suburban fifties lifestyle, but something much more sinister is bubbling beneath the surface.
Starring: Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell
Following the resolution of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes team up to take on new foes together. Sam is trying to deal with the responsibility of being given the shield from Steve Rogers, whilst Bucky is trying to make amends for his past mistakes. Their fight against a dangerous group of violent enhanced fighters leads them to Civil War villain, Baron Zemo.
Loki has become one of the most beloved characters of the MCU, swinging back-and-forth between being a hero and a villain throughout the Thor and Avengers films. In his debut series, we see more from the God of Mischief in a new timeline that was opened up in Avengers: Endgame.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh
Finally, Natasha Romanoff has a standalone film. In the MCU timeline, this film is set between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, following Black Widow as she is on the run for not obeying the Sokovia Accords and assisting Steve Rogers. The movie features the character Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (played by David Harbour), who has a history with Romanoff, and Yelena, who is played by the brilliant Florence Pugh.
Starring: Hayley Atwell, Jeffrey Wright, Samuel L. Jackson
The first animated title in the Phase 4 lineup, this anthology series explores alternative universes for each of the MCU films. For example, the debut episode tells the story of what would happen if Peggy Carter got the Super Soldier serum as opposed to Steve Rogers in Captain America, while another sees T’Challa (aka Black Panther) become Star-Lord.
The second season of What If…? has been confirmed, which is coming to Disney+ “soon”.
Starring: Simu Liu, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Awkwafina
Simu Liu shot for the stars and asked Marvel openly on Twitter to include Asian American hero Shang-Chi in the MCU, and ended up bagging the role for himself. Shang-Chi is known as ‘The Master of Kung-Fu’, and goes head-to-head with the REAL Mandarin (not Ben Kingsley’s version as seen in Iron Man 3) and the terrorist group, The Ten Rings.
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Kit Harington
A new area of Marvel Comics is explored through Eternals. This film follows a race of immortal aliens created by the Celestials, who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following Avengers: Endgame, a tragic turn of events brings them out of hiding to fight against an ancient enemy called the Deviants.
Jeremy Renner may not be getting his own standalone film, but he does have a full Disney Plus series. Clint Barton is joined by Marvel Comics character Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), who becomes the protégé of the current Hawkeye, and eventually, takes on the name of the sharpshooting Avenger. Find out more in our roundup of the Hawkeye series.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is the first film to really crack open the multiverse in the MCU. The end of Far From Home featured the shocking return of J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), who revealed Peter Parker’s identity to the rest of New York. The consequences that this has for Peter are enormous, especially for his family and friends. So, Peter makes a deal with Doctor Strange to try and revert things back to the way they were.
In doing so, the two mess with the multiverse and cause other characters from previous Spider-Man films to come into the MCU. This includes Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus, Willem Dafoe as The Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx as Electro.
Moon Knight tells the story of Steven Grant, a gift shop employee who struggles with blackouts. Steven soon learns that he has another personality that he shares his life with. This is a mercenary called Marc Spector, a man with many enemies. On top of all that, Steven also has mysterious powers that have been granted to him by the Egyptian God of the Moon, Khonshu.
The sequel to the 2016 film Doctor Strange surprisingly fits under the horror genre. Dr. Stephen Strange continues to investigate the workings of the Time Stone after the events of Endgame – but his plans are thrown into disarray when a friend-turned-foe ends up triggering events that unleash a new evil upon Earth.
Kamala Kahn (AKA Ms. Marvel) is a relatively recent addition to Marvel Comics, and also the first Pakistani American Muslim superhero. In the comics, she lives in New Jersey, idolises Captain Marvel and can alter her appearance at will. This series explores her origin story before she also pops up alongside Brie Larson in The Marvels.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Christian Bale, Chris Pratt
After Taika Waititi revamped the Thor films with Ragnarok and gave a new comedy angle to the Norse branch of the MCU, Thor is the first Marvel character to get a fourth film in this franchise. However, there’s a big twist, as Jane Foster returns, taking on the role of another Thor – Mighty Thor. We also see the return of the original Thor and the new King of Asgard, Valkyrie, as they team up to fight Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale.
Clearly, Baby Yoda was enough of a hit that Baby Groot is getting his own turn in the limelight. This series of animated shorts will see the little tree meet “several new and unusual characters”. As you may expect, Vin Diesel is back to voice the little guy.
Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Roth, Jameela Jamil
Bruce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters will star as She-Hulk. In the comics, Walters is an attorney for her full-time profession but struggles to balance her uncontrollable gamma-radiation powers that she’s inherited from her cousin. Excitingly, Mark Ruffalo will also appear in the series, as will Tim Roth – reprising his role as Abomination from that Edward Norton Hulk movie way back when.
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris
The first MCU Halloween special is coming to Disney+, and it is paying tribute to the classic black and white horror movies. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Jack Russell, the Werewolf in the short. He stars alongside Laura Donnelly – she is playing Elsa Bloodstone, the daughter of an immortal monster-hunter.
Despite the tragic death of lead Chadwick Boseman, Marvel is moving ahead with a new Black Panther film – though has confirmed that it won’t be recasting his character, T’Challa. Instead, the sequel will explore the rest of its Wakandan cast, and no doubt see someone else step into the now-iconic armour.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Disney+ release date: Holiday 2022
James Gunn is back to write and direct this seasonal special starring the Guardians. We don’t know which members of the cast will appear, but we do know that it will count as canon and tee up Guardians 3, making it essential watching for MCU fans.
What other Marvel projects are in the works?
Phase 5 will cover films and TV shows released between 2023 and 2024 – the order is as follows:
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania – Cinema release date: 17 February 2023
What If…?, Season Two – Disney+ release date: Early 2023
Secret Invasion – Disney+ release date: Spring 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 – Cinema release date: 5 May 2023
Echo – Disney+ release date: Summer 2023
Loki, Season Two – Disney+ release date: Summer 2023
The Marvels – Cinema release date: 28 July 2023
Ironheart – Disney+ release date: Fall 2023
X-Men ’97 – Disney+ release date: Fall 2023
Blade – Cinema release date: 3 November 2023
Agatha: Coven of Chaos – Disney+ release date: Winter 2023
Daredevil: Born Again – Disney+ release date: Spring 2024
Captain America: New World Order – Cinema release date: 3 May 2024
Thunderbolts – Cinema release date: 26 July 2024
Phase 6 will cover shows and films from 2024 onwards. There are currently only three films confirmed for this timeline, and they are:
Fantastic Four – Cinema release date: 8 November 2024
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty – Cinema release date: 2 May 2025
Avengers: The Secret Wars – Cinema release date: 7 November 2025
There are many gaps in that list, but we do know some projects that are in the works – both official and rumoured.
The animated series Spider-Man: Freshman Year is due to release in 2024, but we don’t know if this will fit into the Phase 5 or Phase 6 timeline – especially seeing as it is a prequel. In addition, there is another animated series – Marvel Zombies – which doesn’t yet have a release date.
Despite already being confirmed, Armor Wars starring Don Cheadle has not yet been given an official release date.
Ryan Reynolds is working with Marvel Studios on Deadpool 3 according to Collider, now that Disney has control of Fox. Allegedly the film will still be rated R, despite being under the Disney label. Pre-production is currently underway.
The Fox partnership means that X-Men movies will probably be in the works – something that is even more likely considering the introduction of mutants in Ms. Marvel.
Producer of Spider-Man, Amy Pascal, has confirmed to Fandango that Tom Holland will be back for another trilogy of films, set in the MCU. There are rumours that both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire could be making a return, after their appearance in No Way Home.
Ryan Coogler – the director of Black Panther – will also be directing a new series for Disney+ all about Wakanda (via io9). The series is part of a five-year television deal that the writer-director has signed with Disney. Nothing is yet known specifically about the plot. We may encounter brand new characters, or delve back into the past and meet a young T’Challa.
There is a confirmed sequel for Shang-Chi, with Destin Daniel Cretton returning to pen the script and direct. Cretton will also be developing original TV series for Disney. Doctor Strange andThor have both been confirmed to return in some capacity.
Hannah Cowton is a Senior Staff Writer at Tech Advisor and Macworld, working across entertainment, consumer technology and lifestyle. Her interests and specialities lie in streaming services, film and television reviews and rumours, gaming, wearables and smart home products. She's also the creator of The London Geek, a geek culture and lifestyle blog.