marvel cinematic universe

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Is Coming (Part 1)

We’re now 3 movies deep into phase 3 in the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU). We’ve seen some of the most obscure comic book heroes come to life on the big screen, and fell in love with an adorable baby talking tree. Nothing seems to be slowing down the unstoppable Marvel train. Just this year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released and has already grossed more than $800 million worldwide. That’s only the first movie of three this year that’s been released. Audiences are still eager to see the newest incarnation of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming in a couple weeks.

Since 2008, the entire MCU has been leading up to culminate in a big-budget epic called Avengers: Infinity War, a two-part cinematic saga set to release in the summers of 2018 and 2019. The release of the untitled Avengers 4 film in 2019 is unofficially said to be the end of phase 3. Naturally, enthusiastic fanboys such as myself, are already pondering about the lineup of superheroes in a phase 4. With new superheroes debuting to the big screen every year, what will the film slate look like in 2020 and beyond?

Marvel currently has placeholder dates for films on the following dates:

  • May 1, 2020
  • August 7, 2020
  • November 6, 2020

In addition to those dates, Sony has already scheduled a sequel for Spider-Man: Homecoming for July 5, 2019. Working from there, and looking at the history of MCU, we can predict what phase 4 could probably look like.

July 5, 2019 – Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel

We assume that Sony and Marvel had an amicable relationship working on the first Spider-Man film together, as they have already scheduled a sequel before the first one has been released. Tom Holland will (probably) return as the titular web-slinger and face off against another baddie (personally, hoping for a big-screen adaptation of Kraven).

As for the rest of the cast, I think we can expect another Avenger to appear alongside Spidey. After all, this the first film after the culmination of the Infinity War saga, and the Avengers will likely be traumatized after the events. The most likely Avenger to appear here will probably be Iron Man, unless he bites the dust facing off against Thanos.

May 1, 2020 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Did you know James Gunn has already finished writing the treatment for Guardians 3? Guardians Vol. 3 for the May 2020 date has already been all but confirmed, as it’s the one that fits with their history of scheduling. Traditionally, Marvel dates their biggest franchise in the May slot, and guess which film just grossed $800 million worldwide? (hint: re-read the first paragraph of this post)

Since the Guardians have already met the Avengers by this point, we shouldn’t be surprised if Doctor Strange or Thor were to appear in this film.

August 7, 2020 – Black Panther sequel

Whaaat? We’re not even 6 months away from Black Panther’s release in February 2018, and you’re already predicting a sequel? A Black Panther sequel definitely fits in with this date, and is 2 years after the first one. That’s in line with what Marvel did with the Captain America and Thor films. Marvel has given the August date only once before: in August 2014 to the first Guardians of the Galaxy. That late summer slot is reserved for their upcoming movies that have box office potential, but not as a surefire hit as their May date. While a hypothetical Black Panther 2 has a possibility to be a billion-dollar grosser, it’s not as guaranteed as a Guardians 3 in May 2020.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that Black Panther’s outing next year could be a train-wreck at the box office. In that (semi-unrealistic) scenario, we would have to see how their other films fare, but for now let’s leave Black Panther 2 here.

That’s it for part one of this post. Click here for part 2 of the predicted slate of phase 4 of the MCU.

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