The Marvel Cinematic Universe did not end with Avengers: Endgame, but it did take a big break, and its return across 2021 and 2022 was understandably a little shaky.
Marvel’s grand design extends far into the future, but the novel coronavirus pandemic forced Disney to shift its plans and led to a rather chaotic Phase 4, with many shifting release dates as well as the first TV shows to be integrated into MCU continuity. At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Marvel Studios set to put this uncertain era behind it by officially closing the door on Phase 4 and laying out firm plans for Phases 5 and even 6, including setting release dates for many previously announced films and announcing two new Avengers movies. Further release shuffles have made the MCU release calendar stretch till the middle of 2026.
With this new gamut of release dates — and some new titles and first looks — the MCU machine keeps on churning. From the introduction of Blade and the Fantastic Four to the return of Daredevil in his first official MCU TV series, here’s every planned future Marvel Cinematic Universe movie and Disney Plus show.
Officially closing out Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes this sequel from original Black Panther director Ryan Coogler. After Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing, the role of T’Challa was not recast; instead, Wakanda Forever will focus on the expanded cast of characters introduced in the first film, including Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, and Martin Freeman as Shuri, Okoye, and Everett K. Ross, respectively. Tenoch Huerta joins as likely antagonist Namor, and we’ll also get a first glimpse of Dominique Thorne as Ironheart.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: December 2022
Move over, The Star Wars Holiday Special — there’s a new galaxy in town. And it’ll be filmed on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 exclusively for Disney Plus.
Scott Lang’s wacky adventures will inaugurate Phase 5 with a battle against the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), whom Marvel describes as “very important to Phase 5,” as well as M.O.D.O.K. But Scott will have some help, in the form of his now (thanks to the Snap) all grown-up daughter Cassie Lang, played by Big Little Lies’ Kathryn Newton. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer return, and none other than Bill Murray joins the cast.
This six-episode Disney Plus series, based on Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion event, stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull agent Talos as they deal with a, well, secret Skrull invasion on Earth. Conspiracy, intrigue, and spy-movie goings-on are the order of the day. Also appearing will be Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, and Olivia Colman and Emilia Clarke in undisclosed roles.
Director James Gunn returns to put a cap on his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, which, it’s now confirmed, will be the final outing for the team (in this form, anyway). According to a trailer shown to SDCC 2022 attendees, there’s a focus on Rocket, while the team will face a new threat from the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) and meet the mysterious Adam Warlock (Will Poulter).
Echo: Summer 2023
Charlie Cox’s Daredevil is getting around; after appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk, he’s going to crop up in this sequel of sorts to the Hawkeye series, before finally getting his own show back in 2024. Vincent D’Onofrio also appears as Kingpin. Echo is a Disney Plus series following Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, a deaf Native American woman with the power to perfectly copy another person’s movements.
A second helping of the televisual adventures of Tom Hiddleston’s trickster god was confirmed in the final episode of the first season. Everything Everywhere All At Once star Ke Huy Quan will join the multiverse escapade when it returns in summer 2023.
The sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel will be called The Marvels, since the Captain Marvel power family continues to grow. With Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), alias Ms. Marvel, and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) — the superhero known as Photon, who was introduced in WandaVision — joining Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, it’s shaping up to be an all-female team movie. The director is Nia DaCosta (Candyman), but beyond that, we don’t know much.
Ironheart: Fall 2023
After taking her bow in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) gets her own series. The character is a brilliant young engineer who makes her own power suit, much like Iron Man’s, after reverse-engineering some of Tony Stark’s tech. Facing off against Riri will be the Hood (Anthony Ramos), a more magic-based villain.
The great Kathryn Hahn returns to the role of Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch who served as the eventual antagonist of WandaVision, in this Disney Plus series. Wanda cruelly left her trapped in the role of a suburban normie at the end of the previous show, so she probably won’t be in the best mood at the start of this new adventure.
After warming us up with a string of cameos, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil is the first character from Marvel’s Netflix shows to make the jump to headlining his own, official MCU series on Disney Plus. Vincent D’Onofrio returns as his nemesis Wilson Fisk, alias Kingpin.
After assuming the mantle — or rather, shield — left by Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers in the Disney Plus show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie headlines his own Captain America movie for the first time in 2024. The script is by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman, and the director is Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox). Tim Blake Nelson will return to the MCU as the Leader, who was last seen in The Incredible Hulk (2008).
Marvel’s morally grey and more unconventionally heroic characters — including Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), and the Red Guardian (David Harbour) — will join forces in the Thunderbolts. In the comics, the team is essentially the Marvel Comics version of DC’s Suicide Squad, a group of villains pressed into working together for someone else’s cause on pain of death. Jake Schreier (Robot & Frank) is set to direct.
Originally slated for 2023, the new Blade movie has been pushed a year. Following Wesley Snipes’ incarnation of the vampire hunter will be no mean feat, but Marvel couldn’t have recruited a better actor to do it: the brilliant Mahershala Ali. The great Delroy Lindo will also make an appearance, while Bassam Tariq directs.
Untitled Deadpool Sequel: Nov. 8
Marvel Studios has promised to continue 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool franchise with star Ryan Reynolds in the lead. A new, R-rated Deadpool film is currently in development, with Free Guy’s Shawn Levy set to direct.
Phase 6 begins with the most hotly anticipated MCU debut this side of the X-Men. The fourth time is hopefully the charm for Marvel’s First Family, who have long suffered from lackluster cinematic adaptations. Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Jon Watts was originally set to direct, but after his departure, Wandavision and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia director Matt Shakman stepped into the rule. There is still no casting announcement. The movie has been delayed a couple of months and will now be a Valentine’s Day special.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty: May 2
In 2025, Marvel Studios will return to its most successful sub-franchise, and also to the strategy that saw it close out Phase 3 with a pair of Avengers movies, Infinity War and Endgame. The first new Avengers film has no director or cast yet, but going by its title, Jonathan Major’s Kang will play an important role.
Avengers: Secret Wars: May 1
Delayed to 2026, Avengers: Secret Wars will close out Phase 6 and end what Marvel is now calling the Multiverse Saga, the way Avengers: Endgame concluded the Infinity Saga. Again, there’s no cast or director attached yet, but the title refers to a cosmic comics crossover event about collapsing multiverses that could even herald a complete reboot of the MCU.
For the darker side of what happens when Iron Man tech falls into the wrong hands, Don Cheadle will return as War Machine in a film based on Marvel Comics’ Armor Wars. With filming set to begin in 2023, there’s no release date for the movie yet — but with a name like Armor Wars it seems like a safe bet that Dominique Thorne’s Ironheart will also be involved.
Untitled Wakanda series featuring Okoye
Danai Gurira has signed on for what is reportedly an origin story series for the leader of the Dora Milaje, Okoye.
A Shang-Chi sequel
A sequel to 2021’s Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings is in development at Marvel Studios, with little known about it so far, other than that Simu Liu will return in the title role.