Upcoming Marvel Films and Shows From 'Echo' to 'Thor: Love and Thunder'
By ETonline Editors
While Avengers: Endgame marked the end of several stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was not the end of the MCU. In fact, the ever-expanding world which will continue on in new and exciting directions as it explores the lives familiar faces and introduces new heroes both on film and television.
In 2022, it followed those projects with the highly anticipated releases of Moon Knight and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which has only opened the door for more unexpected stories to come. Those two hits are set to be joined by the theatrical debuts of Thor: Love and Thunder and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk both slated to hit Disney+.
On the horizon is even more, with the return of some popular Avengers on the big screen while many others, including Maya Lopez as Echo, are introduced via their own streaming series on Disney+. Below is a breakdown of everything we know about Phase 4 and beyond.
Ms. Marvel (June 8, 2022 on Disney+)
Ms. Marvel will introduce the MCU's first Muslim superhero: Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager living in Jersey City and a polymorph capable of changing size and shape. She assumes the mantle of Ms. Marvel, which was a title that belonged to Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson in Captain Marvel) in the comics.
Newcomer Iman Vellani, who stars as Kamala, will follow Ms. Marvel with her first big screen appearance in The Marvels.
Directed by: Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy | Head writer: Bisha K. Ali Starring: Iman Vellani, Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Naki, Azher Usman, Travina Springer and Nimra Bucha
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (August 17, 2022 on Disney+)
"Bruce Banner is no longer the only Hulk in the MCU," Feige revealed when he announced that She-Hulk would be coming to the MCU. A fan-favorite character first introduced in the '80s, Jennifer Walters is "a Hulk, she's a lawyer and she's going to star in a show unlike anything we've done before."
The nine-episode series will follow the titular hero as she navigates "the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk," Disney and Marvel said in their press release about the series.
The half-hour legal comedy will star Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer, with Mark Ruffalo returning as The Hulk and Tim Roth as Abomination, a character first introduced in one of the MCU's first films, 2008's The Incredible Hulk. Jameela Jamil, meanwhile, joins the MCU as the villainous Titania.
Directed by: Kat Coiro and Anu Valia | Head writer: Jessica Gao Starring: Tatiana Maslany, Jameela Jamil, Ginger Gonzaga, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Tim Roth and Mark Ruffalo
We haven't seen the last of Baby Groot. Though everyone's favorite talking tree is growing up before our very eyes in the MCU proper, this series of short films will showcase a younger Groot alongside feature several "new and unusual" Marvel characters. According to Disney+, the series will be a collection of five original shorts as the mischievous toddler takes center stage, exploring his glory days growing up -- and getting into trouble -- among the stars.
Vin Diesel, who is the voice of Groot in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, reprises his role as Baby Groot.
Directed by: Kirsten Lepore
Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (December 2022 on Disney+)
Move over Life Day, the MCU is getting its very own yuletide one-off courtesy of -- who else -- James "Long Elf" Gunn, who will write and direct an "irreverent" live-action special set after the events of Thor: Love and Thunder and before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
"Even seeing this here makes me laugh. One of my favorite stories ever, which I have bugged [Feige] endlessly about over the years. I can’t believe we’re actually doing this. And, yes, I unironically loved the Star Wars Holiday Special as a kid," Gunn tweeted following the announcement. "The story is as crazy & fun as can be, & it’s live-action & in the MCU. OH MAN I WISH I COULD TELL YOU MORE!"
Directed by: James Gunn Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper
Echo (2023 on Disney+)
After first being introduced in Hawkeye, Alaqua Cox will return as Maya Lopez, the Native American deaf amputee gang leader and fierce fighter, and the star of her own series.
According to Marvel Studios, the Disney+ series will depict Echo’s origin story as Lopez’s ruthless behavior in New York catches up to her and she’s forced to “face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward.”
Directed by: Sydney Freeland and Catriona McKenzie Starring: Alaqua Cox, Chaske Spencer, Tantoo Cardinal, Devery Jacobs, Cody Lightning, Graham Greene and Zahn McClarnon
The animated series from Marvel Studios explores new stories in the iconic ‘90s timeline of the original series.
Head writer: Beau DeMayo
Agatha: House of Harkness (TBA on Disney+)
Everyone's favorite nosy neighbor Agnes-turned-powerful-witch Agatha is set to get her own WandaVision spinoff called Agatha: House of Harkness, which will be centered around Kathryn Hahn's deliciously evil character. According to Variety, the series will be a dark comedy with WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer at the helm as the show's writer and executive producer.
When ET caught up with the Emmy-nominated actress, she played coy about the series. "Anything can happen," she said at the time about the rumors. "All I can say is, I love Agatha and, as we know, anything can happen in Marvel. So who knows."
Head writer: Jac Schaeffer Starring: Kathryn Hahn
Armor Wars (TBA on Disney+)
Don Cheadle's War Machine (aka James Rhodes) is getting his own series, which is said to explore Tony Stark's worst fear: What happens when his technology falls into the wrong hands.
Starring: Don Cheadle
Ironheart (TBA on Disney+)
Dominique Thorne (If Beale Street Could Talk) will play the titular genius Riri Williams, inventor of the most high-tech supersuit since Iron Man, in a series penned by Snowpiercer writer Chinaka Hodge.
Head writer: Chinaka Hodge Starring: Dominique Thorne
With production reportedly starting in June 2022, just one year after the series debuted on Disney+, Hiddleston is eager to dive back into the world of the character he’s played since first appearing in 2011’s Thor. “We’ll certainly be going in the summer,” he said, adding that he’s “excited to get the band back together.”
Creator Michael Waldron, meanwhile, teased what’s in store for the upcoming season, which he has previously dubbed as “emotional.” “Without getting too specific, it’s just a continued evolution of the character. That’s what was always important to Tom and that’s what was important to me,” he said when asked to elaborate on the emotional element of the new episodes. “If we’re going to continue [the first season story] in a second season, we have to cover new emotional ground.”
The animated series from Marvel Studios reimagines the Marvel Universe as a new generation of heroes battle against an ever-spreading zombie scourge.
Directed by: Bryan Andrews
Secret Invasion (TBA on Disney+)
Marvel Studios will tackle "arguably the biggest crossover comic event" since Civil War in a Secret Invasion series, fronted by Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as the Skrull Talos. The comic book run on which the series is based concerns a sect of Skrulls who have infiltrated every aspect of life on Earth. Basically, anyone could be a Skrull. Cue the paranoia.
To bring one of Marvel's most lauded comic stories to the screen, the series has tapped what is shaping up to be one of the MCU's most lauded casts: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke and Killian Scott are all set to be a part of Secret Invasion.
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke and Killian Scott
Spider-Man: Freshman Year (TBA on Disney+)
This last installment in the Spider-Man franchise follows Peter Parker on his way to becoming the titular hero in the MCU, with a journey unlike we've ever seen and a style that celebrates the character’s early comic book roots.
Head writer: Jeff Trammel
What If...?, Season 2 (TBA on Disney+)
The second season of the fan-favorite animated series will see the return of The Watcher (Jeffery Wright) as the series meet new heroes and explore more strange new worlds in the MCU’s ever-expanding Multiverse. Like season 1, many MCU actors are expected to reprise their roles "in very different forms."
Directed by: Bryan Andrews | Head writer: AC Bradley Starring: Jeffrey Wright
Trilogies, be damned! After rebranding the god of thunder for Thor: Ragnarok, Chris Hemsworth's Thor is returning for a fourquel, titled Thor: Love and Thunder, along with director Taika Waititi and the new King of Asgard herself, Tessa Thompson. (Confirming Valkyrie is indeed queer, Thompson revealed that her first order of business as king will be finding a queen.)
Last we saw Thor, he was boarding a ship with the Asgardians of the Galaxy, leaving many to predict he might pop up in the third Guardians of the Galaxy. Instead, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) will pop up here, in an adaptation of Jason Aaron's The Mighty Thor. "It's full of emotion and love and thunder and it introduces for the first time female Thor," Waititi said.
Like in the comics, that female Thor -- called Mighty Thor -- is none other than Jane Foster, and Natalie Portman is indeed returning to franchise for Love and Thunder. Christian Bale, meanwhile, joins the cast as the villain Gorr the God Butcher, with Russell Crowe appearing as Zeus.
Directed by: Taika Waititi Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Taika Waititi, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Sean Gunn, Matt Damon, Sam Neill, Luke Hemsworth and Melissa McCarthy
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 11, 2022)
We've known a Black Panther sequel was in the works with Ryan Coogler returning to write and direct. On Aug. 28, 2021, star Chadwick Boseman passed away at age 43, with Marvel Studios vowing not to recast the character of T'Challa. Instead, Wakanda Forever, as the sequel is subtitled, will "continue to explore the incomparable world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film."
"There have been about five incarnations of the script and I hear another one's coming," Queen Ramonda herself, Angela Bassett updated ET. "Thankfully, Ryan and Joe Robert Cole, they're such masterful storytellers that they've found a way into this world and hopefully it will be satisfying, I think, for the fans and it will be honorable of our Chad."
Directed by: Ryan Coogler Starring: Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Winston Duke, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman and Michaela Coel
Paul Rudd's Scott Lang and the entire Pym/Van Dyne family are back for a Peyton Reed-directed threequel, which has an official subtitle (Quantumania), a newly recast daughter (Kathryn Newton will take over as Cassie Lang) and a new villain in Jonathan Majors' Kang the Conquerer. All aboard for a trip back into the Quantum Realm.
"All I can say is that I'm excited to be a part of the Marvel Universe," Newton teased to ET. "It's a dream come true, and I'm going to do my best to be the best superhero of all time."
Directed by: Peyton Reed Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton and Jonathan Majors
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
Guardians 3 was originally meant to kick off Phase 4, but when James Gunn was fired from the franchise in 2018, the threequel was put on hold. That is, until Disney reinstated the director in March, putting the production back on track but with a postponed release date. (Gunn will first write and direct The Suicide Squad for Warner Bros.)
The entire gang -- Peter Quill, Drax, Gamora, Groot, Mantis, Nebula and Rocket Raccoon -- is expected to return, though what their continued adventures will entail is to be determined: Will it center on the hunt for Gamora following the events of Endgame? And will Guardians 3 introduce Adam Warlock, as teased in the post-credits scene of Guardians 2? If so, we need to know who's playing him immediately.
Directed by: James Gunn Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper
The Marvels (July 28, 2023)
When your movie makes a billion dollars at the box office, you make another one. Captain Marvel 2, which will see Candyman director Nia DaCosta assume directing duties, is leaving the '90s behind, as Vellani's Ms. Marvel and Parris' grown-up Monica Rambeau will both co-star alongside Larson in The Marvels.
Directed by: Nia DaCosta Starring: Brie Larson, Iman Vellani and Teyonah Parris
Fantastic Four (TBA)
Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox returned the screen rights to Marvel Comics' most well-known superheroes to Marvel Studios, which means the Fantastic Four, aka Marvel's First Family, are now fair game to be introduced into the MCU. During 2020's Disney Investor Day, Feige made it official: A Fantastic Four film is happening, directed by Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home helmer Jon Watts. Might we see the characters pop up even sooner in his next Spidey film?
Directed by: Jon Watts
Mahershala Ali will play Blade within the MCU. ("But he was in Luke Cage!," you scream into the void about the fact that Ali played Cottonmouth on season one of the Netflix series, which purported to take place within the MCU. Turns out it was all less connected than we'd been told, and Daredevil was never going to be in Infinity War.)
For those who never saw the Wesley Snipes trilogy of films, Eric Brooks, aka Blade, is a half-human/half-vampire Daywalker on a quest to rid the world of bloodsucking fiends. How the MCU plans to introduce literal vampires into a largely science-based universe remains to be seen, but we do know one foe from the comics he won't be facing any time soon: Morbius the Living Vampire, who is part of Sony's Marvel-verse and will be played by Jared Leto in a 2020 film.
During 2020's Disney Investor Day, Feige confirmed the movie is still in the works and further announcements would be coming "very, very soon."
Starring: Mahershala Ali
Deadpool 3 (TBA)
The Merc with a Mouth is officially coming to the MCU. Though Deadpool 1 and 2 were made under Fox's watch, Feige confirmed that Marvel Studios is working on a third installment that will be set within their cinematic universe. Whether this will involve some multiverse hopping from Wade Wilson is to be seen, but him breaking the fourth wall for a joke about Josh Brolin playing both Cable and Thanos is all but guaranteed.
Ryan Reynolds will oversee the script, which is being penned by sisters and Bob's Burgers writers Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux, with Deadpool 3 set to be Marvel's first R-rated film.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Captain America 4 (TBA)
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier ends with Sam Wilson officially picking up the star-spangled shield and an updated title card that acknowledges his new moniker: Captain America and the Winter Soldier. Following the finale, Anthony Mackie it was reported he would next front his own Captain America movie, to be scripted be FAWS duo Malcolm Spellman and staff writer Dalan Musson.
For his part, Mackie says, "They always have some kind of plan. But there's, like, 30 million projects in production right now, so I just wait for the phone call from Kevin [Feige] and Nate [Moore] to tell me what I'm doing," while Spellman says, "When Kevin says it, then it is."
Starring: Anthony Mackie
Disney's Fox acquisition also made it possible for the X-Men to join Marvel Studio's sandbox. And during Comic-Con 2019, Feige confirmed they will be, eventually, though that was as much as he was willing to say about when, where and how we'll see the likes of Wolverine and Deadpool and Mystique rub elbows with the Avengers. Asked by ET if he has future plans to discuss introducing mutants into the MCU, Feige simply said, "Yes."