Over the last two years, Marvel has rapidly expanded the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). From the Disney+ show Moon Knight to Spider-Man: No Way Home, which saw the return of both Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of the beloved web-slinger; there is something for literally everyone. However, with rapid franchise growth also comes some confusion, a feeling Phase 4 nurtured in many fans. Where the first three Phases were heavily focused on introducing and building the foundation of The Avengers, Phase 4 was a transitional period for the MCU. It was the first time Marvel had to move away from relying on fan favourites such as Iron Man and Captain America to carry the franchise. It was also a period of mourning the loss of Chadwick Boseman, who played Black Panther – a character initially set up to lead Phase 4. With all of the above in mind, whatever lays ahead for the MCU has remained a mystery; until now.
Marvel fans were spoilt during the the much-anticipated Marvel panel at San Diago Comic-Con 2022; an event Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel, took full advantage of. During the time Marvel was on stage, Kevin Feige wowed audiences by shedding light on the seemingly unconnected Phase 4 and exploring what the MCU’s future would look like from February 2023 until November 2025. During the panel, fans were assured Phase 5 and 6 would be dedicated to linking the dots created by the 12 Movies and TV Shows forming part of Phase 4 and pulling them all together, bringing some much-needed structure and clarity back to the MCU.
Some announcements during the panel were expected, such as the upcoming Black Panther movie and the She-Hulk Disney+ show marking the end of Phase 4. However, other announcements, such as two upcoming Avengers movies ending Phase 6, seemed to come out of the blue. With the above in mind, we have put together a comprehensive list of what fans should expect before the conclusion of Phase 4; as well as everything Phase 5 is confirmed to bring and information on the conclusion of Phase 6. Enjoy!
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Phase 4)
One of the best parts of Phase 4 of the MCU has been the on-screen introduction of many new and exciting characters from the comics. Over the last year, fans have gotten to know Marc Spector, otherwise known as Moon Knight, Kamala Khan as Microsoft Marvel, and Shang-Chi. Sticking to this new-founded tradition and no doubt going out with a bang, the final TV Show to form part of Phase 4 will be She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
First appearing back in 1980, Jennifer Walters as She-Hulk has been a staple in the comic-book universe. The character has been a member of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Heroes for Hire, the Defenders, Fantastic Force and even S.H.I.E.L.D. In the comics, Jennifer Walters is a well-known lawyer who, after a near-fatal injury, receives a blood transfusion from her cousin, Bruce Banner. This transfusion results in her acquiring a milder, yet still prevalent, version of Bruce’s Hulk condition. Much is still unknown about the upcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law TV Show, but the series will be led by Tatiana Maslany and is made up of of 9 episodes.
Premiering on Disney+ August 17th 2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Phase 4)
Black Panther was one of the biggest and best introductions into the MCU. Fans adore Wakanda, the characters and the story. Unfortunately, due to Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death from cancer, Black Panther could not lead Phase 4 as previously envisioned. However, even without the titular character, the universe was too great and too important for the future of the MCU to ignore. So to finish off Phase 4, Marvel chose Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
While much of the story has been kept under wraps, we know Marvel has chosen not to recast Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, and the movie will instead focus on other characters in Wakanda. During Comic-Con, fans got confirmation that Namor, the Sub-Mariner played by Tenoch Huerta, will be making his on-screen debut during the film.
Premiering November 11th 2022
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania (Phase 5)
Initially set to release in 2022, Marvel has announced how Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will mark the official start of Phase 5 of the MCU, and will premier in February of 2023. The first official sneak peek of the third Ant-Man film was shown to attendees during comic-con. It is said the movie will focus on Scott Lang and his family, more so than the rest of the MCU. Scott wrote a book about saving the world, something his family is already sick of hearing him talk about. However, when they all get sucked into the Quantum Realm and find themselves face to face with none other than Kang the Conquerer and another unknown character played by Bill Murray, they quickly become thankful for their own “hero”.
While fans will have to wait a little longer to see the trailer for themselves, the movie is confirmed to be staring Jonathan Majors, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Kathryn Newton, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfieffer, Bill Murray, and will be directed by Peyton Reed.
Premiering February 17th 2023
Secret Invasion (Phase 5)
Last year there were hints about Secret Invasion, a show set to star Samuel L. Jackson as his beloved character Nick Fury. The show was set to release on Disney+ sometime in 2022, but as the months passed and no new information came to light, the release date seemed less likely. Well, Marvel has now confirmed Secret Invasion will still be coming to Disney+; however, the release date is now set for 2023, and the show will be part of Marvel’s Phase 5.
Fans at SDCC 2022 were also treated to a Comic-Con exclusive teaser for the show. Secret Invasion will be a spy thriller and will revolve around the Skrulls attempting to invade and conquer Earth. Nick Fury, who has been avoiding Earth since the events of Endgame, will need to return and help save the planet from the invasion before they take over groups like the Fantastic Four and S.H.I.E.L.D., once and for all.
The story will be told over only six episodes and will star Emilia Clarke, Cobie Smulders, Olivia Coleman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Premiering on Disney+ Between March and June of 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Phase 5)
Guardians of the Galaxy always leaves audiences asking for more. Hitting the right balance between light-hearted comedy and intergalactic action, Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most visually exciting Marvel franchises. Therefore, it is little wonder that when the film’s director, James Gunn, took to the stage to reveal the first official teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it was a bitter-sweet moment for fans at home and in attendance. Fans at home were disappointed the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was only released to attendees of the convention, and both sets of fans were saddened by the news that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the final entry for this space faring gang.
In the footage shown at the event, Star-Lord meets a Gamora variant; only this variant has no idea who Star-Lord is. However, heartbreak is not the main plot of the movie. This time around, the movie focuses on Rocket and exploring his origin story.
Premiering May 5th 2023
Echo (Phase 5)
Last year’s Hawkeye Disney+ show was one of the most surprisingly sentimental entries available in the MCU. It showed a side of the bow-wielding superhero many unfamiliar with the comics had yet to see, and the series was also a historic milestone as it introduced Echo to the screen – the first deaf superhero in the MCU.
The Echo series is still shrouded in mystery, but judging from the comics and the set-up in Hawkeye, it promises to be one of the most exciting shows in Phase 5. During Hawkeye, Echo’s relationship and involvement with the notorious Kingpin was explored, so Echo is likely to appear in Kingpin’s other major franchise, Daredevil.
Premiering on Disney+ Between June and September of 2023
Loki Season 2 (Phase 5)
When Marvel started actively producing TV Shows on Disney+ as part of Phase 5, there were two significant shows for building the MCU’s future. From showing Wanda’s trauma and how it affected those around her to introducing Kang the Conquerer and splitting the timeline, WandaVision and Loki were the glue holding together a messy and imperfect Phase 4.
While WandaVision was only ever intended to be a single season, fans were delighted at the end of the first season of Loki to be greeted by the words “Loki Will Return”, and now we know when. During Marvel’s panel at Comic-Con 2022, the studio briefly touched on Loki’s return in 2023. However, aside from confirming the second season and giving an approximate release date, they remained tightlipped about the focus of the show. However, judging from the direction Phase 5 and 6 will take, it is likely Kang the Conqueror will return as a crucial part of the forthcoming season.
Premiering on Disney+ Between June and September of 2023
The Marvels (Phase 5)
Fans have known about The Marvels for quite some time now. Apart from sharing a release date for the film, Kevin Feige did not elaborate much on the film, and the information available a year ago is the same as it is today. The Marvels is a sequel to Captain Marvel and is a continuation of the Ms Marvel Disney+ show.
The movie will focus on the three versions of Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau and Microsoft Marvel; and Nick Fury will also make an appearance.
Premiering July 28th 2023
Blade (Phase 5)
On the same comic-con stage in 2019, Mahershala Ali announced he would soon be joining the MCU and taking on one of the most iconic characters: Blade. However, in the years since his announcement, fans have yet to see Mahershala Ali on screen, and the closest fans have come to see the Blade character take form, was during the end-credits scene for The Enternals.
At the end of The Eternals, fans briefly hear Blades voice, not much, but enough to get fans excited for the character once more. Also, in general, the ending of The Eternals hinted at a darker underbelly to the MUC that fans have not yet seen on screen – opening the door for characters like Blade and Black Knight to fit right in.
During the SDCC 2022 panel, Marvel did not have much more to offer regarding details for the upcoming film. However, they did announce that Bassam Tariq would direct the film alongside a set release date.
Premiering November 3rd 2023
Ironheart (Phase 5)
Some of the best announcements from Marvel’s panel at comic-con were not surrounding new additions to the MCU, but rather a confirmation of how existing movies and shows are now entering development. One of these shows is Ironheart. A personal favourite announcement from last year, Ironheart will follow the character of Riri Williams in her own Disney+ show after her on-screen debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Marvel has already announced that Ironheart will be fully animated, run for six episodes and follow the comics’ story. Looking ahead to Marvel’s plans for two additional Avengers films in Phase 6, one has to wonder if the introduction of characters like Kate Bishop from Hawkeye and Riri Williams as Ironheart will play a larger part for Marvel to reassemble The Avengers with some new blood.
Premiering on Disney+ Between September and December of 2023
Agatha: Coven of Chaos (Phase 5)
Previously announced as Agatha: House of Harkness, Agatha: Coven of Chaos will see Kathryn Hahn reprise her beloved role as Agatha from WandaVision. During WandaVision, fans were introduced to Agatha, Wanda’s somewhat quirky next-door neighbour who turned out to be a powerful witch who proceeded to steal the whole show in the process.
Marvel has remained mum when it comes to even the most minor details surrounding Agatha: Coven of Chaos. However, fans can only presume the show will delve into Agatha’s backstory and the events leading to her involvement with the Scarlet Witch. It might even explore some of the darker witchcraft showcased in Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness.
Premiering on Disney+ Between December and March of 2023 – 2024
Daredevil: Born Again (Phase 5)
Before Marvel started actively producing content tying into the greater MCU for Disney+, the studio was creating shows for some of their characters over on Netflix. From Jessica Jones to Luke Cage and even Iron Fist, many casual viewers found themselves enthralled by Marvel characters they had never heard of. Another of Netflix’s classics, perhaps the most well-received of the bunch, was Daredevil.
Fans of Charlie Cox’s Daredevil were heartbroken when Marvel announced their content would be moving to Disney+ and the collaboration with Netflix had come to an end. However, the endless love and support from fans has paid off, as Marvel announced Charlie Cox’s Daredevil would be picked up on Disney+ for an entirely new TV Show.
So far, Marvel has revealed the first season will be 18 episodes long, making it one of the longest Marvel TV shows to date, and that Kingpin, the character introduced on screen first in Netflix’s Daredevil, then again in Hawkeye and once more in the upcoming Echo, will be returning as the big bad for Daredevil: Born Again.
Premiering on Disney+ Between March and June of 2024
Captain America: New World Order (Phase 5)
The only thing known about Captain America: New World Order is how it will be the first movie to feature Anthony Mackie as Captain America. The movie will be set after the events of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, where Sam Wilson struggles with the decision to take over his friend’s mantle. Whenever a character picks up their superhero mantle for the first time, it is always a historic moment, and there is little doubt seeing Sam officially take on the role of Captain America will be one for the books.
As of right now, fans can only guess about the plot or who the big bad will be, but a good bet will be the Thunderbolts playing a significant role in making Sam Wilson’s life difficult.
Premiering May 3rd 2024
Thunderbolts (Phase 5)
Thunderbolts, set to launch in July 2024, will mark the end of Marvel’s Phase 5. While many new villains and villain teams have been introduced to the MCU over the years, none have been as obscure as the Thunderbolts, and yet, almost every member is known to viewers.
Over the last couple of years, viewers have slowly been watching as the Thunderbolts came together, member by member, during the end-credits scenes of different Marvel TV shows and movies. Directed by Jake Schreier, Thunderbolts will be the “street-level” villains for Phase 5.
In the comics, the Thunderbolts were first introduced as a team of heroes who popped up when The Avengers were declared dead; however, after a while, the curtain dropped, revealing themselves to be supervillains. Considering Phase 5 will take place in a world where Iron Man and Black Widow are both dead, Hawkeye and Captain America are both retired, and Hulk is distracted by family, it only makes sense for the Thunderbolts to start sniffing around.
It is already known how Valentina Allegra de Fontaine will lead the Thunderbolts. She was seen recruiting Yelena in the end credits of Black Widow, and potential members we have already met could include: Baron Zemo, and John Walker.
Premiering July 26th 2024
The Multiverse Saga Comes To An End (Phase 6)
For years now, Marvel has dubbed Phases 1-3 of Marvel as the “Infinity Saga”, which made sense as the films released during those first three Phases were explicitly designed to tie everything together and work up to the big inevitably: the Avengers facing Thanos. During his time on stage, Kevin Feige officially dubbed the subsequent phases, 4 through 6, as the “Multiverse Saga”. Feige also used this time to invite Jonathan Majors onstage and introduced him as the villain who wants to conquer the multiverse, Kang.
According to Feige, there is a reason why Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was chosen as the film to kick off Phase 5, and that reason is Kang the Conqueror – The Thanos of “Multiverse Saga”. Feige then shocked fans everywhere when he announced the three films that will start and end Phase 6 (with any more unannounced entires still to come):
Fantastic Four – Premiering November 28th 2024
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty – Premiering May 2nd 2025
Avengers: Secret Wars – Premiering November 7th 2025
While no further information was released on either of the three movies, a few presumptions can be made. For a start, we know the Russo Brothers will not direct either of the ‘Multiverse Saga’ Avengers movies. Rather, the The Kang Dynasty will fall to Shang-Chi director, Destin Cretton. There is also no word on who will be involved with the Fantastic Four film, or the subsequent Avengers: Secret Wars. Either way, it is sure an exciting and interesting time to be a Marvel fan.
In the comics, the Secret Wars storylines have historically been used whenever Marvel wants to hit the reset button, giving writers the chance to erase things they did not feel were working. Sometimes entire universes, storylines or characters would just be removed, so the question remains: is Marvel planning on hitting the reset button with Secret Wars, or are they just using it as a setup to further integrate the X-Men into the main MCU continuity? We will have to wait and see.
Marvel’s Phase 4 did wonders to expand the franchise thanks to the plethora of TV Shows and Spin-off movies. However, Marvel’s plans for Phase 5 and 6 seem to be pulling all loose threads together to create something more extensive, deeper and more intertwined than anyone could have imagined just a few short years ago.
Which Marvel title are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments below.