Marvel’s Phase 4 Plows Ahead Into 2021

On May 3, Marvel released a new trailer formally announcing Phase Four of their cinematic universe. The video was filled with classic Marvel scenes from past films, a Stan Lee voiceover and an audience reaction from “Endgame.” Instantly, it evoked nostalgia from fans around the world, reminding us of the many reasons we love the MCU. The trailer also served to tempt audiences back into movie theaters, with its final minutes featuring Marvel titles and release dates for the next two years. Those who are begging for more content and answers after the two series on Disney+ are soon to be satisfied.

Marvel Studios

First in line to release is “Black Widow” on July 9. Directed by Cate Shortland, the film will dive deep into Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) history, exploring the different forces that created our favorite super spy. The film will also welcome “Stranger Things” star David Harbour into the MCU as Red Guardian, along with Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz as new additions. The film’s trailer is captivating and epic, revealing the Taskmaster, one of Marvel’s most infamous anti-heroes, to be the main antagonist. “Black Widow” will certainly be a must-watch, even if it is a prequel for a character that’s currently dead.

Next up, we have “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” releasing on Sept. 3. This will be Marvel’s twenty-fifth film overall and notably their first film with an Asian lead. The film shows Shang-Chi, played by Simu Liu, as he gets drawn into the Ten Rings organization and is forced to confront his traumatic past. The trailer reveals much of the film’s anticipated beauty in terms of cinematography, coloring, and fight choreography. Shang-Chi will hopefully be our first look at the new Avengers squad Marvel will be piecing together over the coming years. 

Marvel Studios

The last two films we will see in 2021 are “Eternals” and the highly anticipated “Spiderman No Way Home.” The first introduces top-notch stars like Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington, and Kumail Nanjiani into the MCU, filling the roles of the Eternals. The Eternals are an ancient race of heroes hidden here on Earth that are stirred to action by the 2019 events of “Endgame.” The film is also directed by Chloé Zhao, the Academy-Award-winning creator of “Nomadland.” “No Way Home,” on the other hand, will continue to follow the well-known and beloved Peter Parker (Tom Holland). While information is still sparse on this film, it has been revealed that Alfred Molina will return to reprise his role of Doctor Octopus from the original 2004 Spider-Man series. This majorly points toward the potential of an MCU Multiverse, which many fans were expecting to come from Evan Peters’ cameo in “WandaVision.”

Not included in the video is the “Loki” television series set to premiere Jun. 9. This show will follow Loki from the past, who escapes in “Endgame” after being defeated by the original Avengers. This clever revival of Tom Hiddleston’s character has fans anxiously awaiting for what’s expected to be the best Marvel series yet. Personally, I can’t wait to see how this series sets the stage for the upcoming films. 

Below is a list of all the upcoming Marvel films along with their release dates heading all the way into 2023. They will be available to watch in theaters.

“Black Widow” – July 9, 2021

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” – Sept. 3, 2021

“Eternals” – Nov. 5, 2021

“Spiderman No Way Home” – Dec. 17, 2021

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” – March 25, 2022

“Thor Love and Thunder” – May 6, 2022

“Black Panther Wakanda Forever” – July 8, 2022

“The Marvels” – Nov. 11, 2022

“Antman and the Wasp Quantum Mania” – Feb. 17, 2023

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” – May 5, 2023

“Fantastic Four” – TBD

By Erik Mathews

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