Finding it hard to keep track of the ever-evolving line-up of Marvel films and TV shows announced by the comic book juggernaut? Same.
After pressing pause on their Phase 4 plans during the pandemic (2020 was the first year without a new Marvel launch since 2009), the studio is now ploughing ahead with a brand new crop of projects, fresh from the success of superhero sit-com hybrid WandaVision.
Their upcoming slate features everything from long-awaited spin-off Black Widow to an emotional return to Wakanda for the Black Panther sequel to series focusing on lesser known Marvel characters like Moon Knight and She-Hulk. Here’s what’s in store…
Loki (June 11, 2021, Disney+)
Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as the mischievous Asgardian Loki (or rather, an alternate version of Loki) in this six-episode series. It’ll be part of Phase Four of the MCU, with Owen Wilson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Wunmi Mosaku also popping up.
Black Widow (July 9, 2021, in cinemas and Disney+ premium access)
Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff finally gets her spin-off movie. This long-delayed prequel (it was originally meant to premiere in May 2020, but got pushed back three times thanks to the pandemic) sees Natasha return to Russia to tackle a conspiracy with links to her past as a Soviet operative. Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour will make their Marvel debuts.
What If...? (mid 2021, Disney+)
What would happen if pivotal moments within the MCU had gone differently? That’s the premise at the heart of this 10-episode animated series, narrated by Jeffrey Wright as the Watcher.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (September 3, 2021, in cinemas)
Set to make history as the first Marvel film with an Asian lead, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stars Simu Liu as the title character. A martial arts expert who was trained up to be an assassin for the Ten Rings organisation, Shang-Chi has ditched the life of crime for a quiet existence in San Francisco - until figures from his past come knocking. Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh and Tony Leung also star.
Ms Marvel (late 2021, Disney+)
An exciting moment for Marvel, as they introduce their first-ever Muslim lead character in the form of Ms Marvel, AKA Kamala Khan, a shape-shifting teenager with a passion for superheroes. Iman Vellani stars.
Hawkeye (late 2021, Disney+)
Remember the original Avenger whose superpower is… archery? Jeremy Renner is back for a Disney+ spin-off, but this time his character is handing over the Hawkeye mantle to a new generation, training up his protégée Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld). Florence Pugh is set to make an appearance as her Black Widow character, Yelena Romanoff (aka Black Widow’s sister).
Eternals (November 5, 2021, in cinemas)
Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao takes the reins of this star-studded film — the ensemble cast features Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani and Salma Hayek, to name a few — which follows the Eternals as they reunite after millennia to protect Earth.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17, 2021, in cinemas)
Tom Holland’s friendly neighbourhood web-slinger is back for a third outing - and this time, there’ll be a whole host of characters from previous iterations of the Spidey franchise, including Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2 (Alfred Molina) and Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Jamie Foxx). There’s even been speculation that former Spider-Man Andrew Garfield might be getting suited up for a cameo too. Holland’s cast-mates Zendaya and Marisa Tomei are also back on board.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022, in cinemas)
Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Doctor Strange for this Sam Raimi-directed film, set to follow on from the events of the smash Disney+ hit Wandavision. Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor also star.
Thor: Love and Thunder (May 6, 2022, in cinemas)
Thor: Ragnarok was much more fun than its slightly ponderous predecessors, so thank goodness director Taika Waititi is back on board for the fourth instalment. Chris Hemsworth’s hammer-wielding hero will be joined by returning star Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, while Christian Bale will play the villainous Gorr the God Butcher.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (July 8, 2022, in cinemas)
Ryan Coogler returns as writer and director of the Black Panther sequel, although Marvel has confirmed that it won’t be recasting T’Challa after the passing of Chadwick Boseman. What that means for the story remains to be seen, but expect the film to have a seismic cultural impact, as did its predecessor.
The Marvels (November 11, 2022, in cinemas)
The sequel to 2019 hit Captain Marvel will see Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers team up with fellow supers Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel (played by Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau (played by Teyonah Parris), who recently made an appearance in Disney+ series WandaVision. It’ll be directed by Candyman’s Nia DaCosta.
She-Hulk (2022, Disney+)
Proving that being a massive green muscle-fiend is a family affair, this film will follow Jennifer Walters (played by Tatiana Maslany), a lawyer who specialises in superhero cases and, after getting a blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner AKA Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), gains her own special powers (in both senses of the word).
Moon Knight (2022, Disney+)
Swapping one massive franchise juggernaut (Star Wars) for another, Oscar Isaac is set to star as Moon Knight aka Marc Spector, a former CIA operative who takes on multiple personalities after he becomes the earthly avatar of an Egyptian moon god. Ethan Hawke is slated to appear in a yet-to-be-confirmed role, too.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Late 2022, Disney+)
Nothing says “Merry Christmas!” like a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special, right? Whether this one-off TV installment will feature Star-Lord beneath the mistletoe remains to be seen, but it looks set to tee up the third film in the main Guardians franchise.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Feb 17, 2023, in cinemas)
Scaled-down superhero Ant-Man returns for a third outing, and though plot details are sketchy so far, we do know that Paul Rudd is back as the tiniest Avenger, joined once again by Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer and Michael Douglas, plus Da 5 Bloods star Jonathan Majors will play the villainous Kang the Conqueror.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023, in cinemas)
Little is known about this one, apart from that James Gunn will be in the directors’ chair, and that the main cast — Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and the gang — are expected to return to the screen.