Black Widow, Eternals, Thor & More: Marvel Announces Phase 4
Avengers: Endgame may have closed a chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the blockbuster factory is not slowing down and only expanding in scope and diversity.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige led a marathon presentation at San Diego Comic-Con Saturday night 20 July, announcing plans for the first two years of "Phase Four," which will include Natalie Portman taking up the hammer as Thor, making Angelina Jolie an immortal for The Eternals and rebooting Blade with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali.
The stars assembled in the San Diego Convention Center's Hall H as Feige ticked through the release calendar for 2020 and 2021 movie by movie, giving official cast lists, release dates, titles and logos for everything from Black Widow, the long-awaited Doctor Strange sequel, Thor 4 to Shang-Chi to The Eternals.
Here’s what the schedule for the next two years looks like.
- May 1, 2020 -- Black Widow
- Fall 2020 -- Falcon and Winter Soldier
- November 6, 2020 -- The Eternals
- February 12, 2021 -- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings
- Spring 2021 -- WandaVision
- May 7, 2021 -- Doctor Strange 2: In The Multiverse of Madness
- Spring 2021 -- Loki
- Summer 2021 -- "What If?" animated series
- Fall 2021 -- Hawkeye
- November 5, 2021 -- Thor: Love and Thunder
Angelina said she's going to work "10 times harder" than she has on any of her other action roles because she knows what it means to "be part of the MCU" and "part of this family."
Jolie, who is playing the character Thena, was joined by her The Eternals cast mates including Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden, comedian Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek and Brian Tyree Henry, as well as director Chloé Zhao.
It's set for release on 6 November, 2020, after Black Widow kicks things off on 1 May with Scarlett Johansson, as well as Stranger Things breakout David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh. Audiences got a look at some early footage from the Cate Shortland-directed film showing Johansson and Pugh in some Bourne Identity-style hand-to-hand combat.
Marvel also revealed that newcomer Simu Liu will be playing the lead role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and coming to theaters on 12 February, 2021. He'll star alongside Awkwafina and Chinese actor Tony Leung, who is playing The Mandarin.
The third film of 2021, after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which director Scott Derrickson said will be Marvel's "first horror movie," is perhaps the most anticipated, however: Thor 4.
Natalie, who played Jane in the first two Thor films, will be re-emerging as the female Thor. She ran out on stage to thunderous applause and accepted the hammer from a kneeling Taika Waititi.
Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will also be returning for the Waititi-directed Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set for release on Nov. 2, 2021.
Feige brought out some familiar MCU stars from Tom Hiddleston and Sebastian Stan to Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner to tease some of the upcoming Disney+ "event series" including Hawkeye, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki and the animated series What If...?
Fans were excited to learn that the little girl in Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, will be joining WandaVision as a grown woman played by MCU newcomer Teyonah Parris.
Even though the presentation hardly took a breather, there were still a number of upcoming films, some rumoured and some confirmed, that they couldn't get to including Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and even, Feige teased, Fantastic Four and Mutants.
"But all that stuff is rumored," he said with a smile.
He closed out the presentation dropping the Blade reboot news and Mahershala's casting. Wesley Snipes played the character in the 1998 film. No other details were revealed about the project.
With over $22.3 billion in combined worldwide earnings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is by far the most successful franchise of all time.
With the recent partnership with Sony on Spider-Man and Disney’s acquisition of Fox, all the missing pieces (including X-Men, Deadpool and The Fantastic Four) have now come together under the Marvel Studios banner.
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