A few months ago, after Disney’s acquisition of Fox was finalized, I posted a conglomerated calendar of all their announced films through 2027! At the time, Marvel Studios hadn’t named any movies after Avengers: Endgame, but had claimed dates. That all changed yesterday, as Marvel Studios visited Hall H to announce Phase 4, including MCU projects for both film and television! And…better than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., some of those MCU-TV shows will actively crossover with MCU movies!
- I wondered, How will Marvel fill up the 2020 dates so quickly, with no news of productions after Avengers: Endgame? Answer: Black Widow, which is mostly action-adventure, and The Eternals, which seems, to me, a cross between the sword-and-sorcery style of Thor and The Inhumans, with special effects that can be produced quickly by numerous effects houses.
- Marvel’s scheduling formula continues. There’s an ethnic character introduced in February/March (Shang-Chi), a sequel that starts the blockbuster season in May (Black Widow, Doctor Strange), and a known quantity in November. (Eternals isn’t, probably because of scheduling, but I think people will still be hungry to see it. Thor will be interesting, given the new character.)
- Sony has some say in all this, with Spider-Man. Nothing announced yet.
- Marvel has not named any films scheduled for 2022. My predictions:
- Another Guardians of the Galaxy movie, possibly introducing us to the “Cosmic Marvel” characters of Warlock, Silver Surfer, more Elders of the Universe, perhaps even U.S. Archer! This group is “space Avengers,” and I wouldn’t be surprised if Marvel leapfrogs Avengers and Guardians on the schedule just like they’re doing with Star Wars and Avatar.
- It’s too early for another Big Bad, but expect them in the credit cookies. Consider how long it took Thanos to appear. By the time they do, it will probably be another big epic like Secret Wars (if the MCU stops killing off villains). Between 2021 and then, expect some MCU movies with mutants and the Fantastic Four.
- May 2022 will feature a new Avengers movie, with a more fluid membership. The problem, of course, is what huge crisis must they face?
- Ant-Man will most likely be the November 2022 feature. Here’s hoping he explores the Microverse. (Hasbro’s Micronauts movie is scheduled for June 4, 2021.)
- Black Panther? Captain Marvel? Lots of lucrative sequels that need to be placed in the schedule somewhere… Kevin Feige briefly mentioned these at the end of Saturday’s Hall H presentation, along with “mutants” — but no word on when those will come down the pipeline.
- Will Marvel create a multi-film event that runs through a single year? Marvel could easily schedule a February-May-July-November string of movies, with the July film being a side-bar as people wait for the climax in November. Start the story with a new character on Earth, cliffhang it so it goes global in May with lots of heroes, then cliffhang it again so that the conclusion in November is galactic.
Or better yet… Just do that for Phase 4 completely, but make stuff even more intertwined. Toss in foreshadowing like they do easter eggs! Bystander #3 becomes Deus Ex Machina four years later! Think of the money to be made with a Phase 4 marathon, as you HAVE to watch all the films to really get the payoff for Avengers: Cashgrab!
- D23 Expo, Disney’s own “Comic-Con,” takes place August 23rd. Will Marvel announce more there? Unlikely, but they might have some sneak peeks. I suspect we’ll see more Disney/Pixar/Fox announcements there, filling in more of the blanks in the calendar below.
Speaking of which… Here’s the updated schedule!
Dates, Titles, and Everything Else: Subject to Change