When most people think of Marvel movies, they think of the MCU, the MCU does not account for all of the upcoming Marvel films. Sony Pictures Entertainment retains some rights to Marvel characters, and while they have an ongoing partnership with Marvel and Disney at this time, it is unclear how their films will integrate into the MCU. However, new Marvel information on movies from both studios is released virtually weekly.
The San Diego Comic-Con International 2022 was significant for a slew of new Marvel and Disney announcements, including release dates for movies like the MCU Blade revival and Captain America: New World Order. They also announced that the MCU Phase 5 will begin after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Kevin Feige said that the MCU is presently in The Multiverse Saga, with Kang the Conqueror serving as the primary enemy in Phase 5. Both Marvel Studios and Sony are now collaborating with directors that bring distinct tones and styles while also giving them more creative freedom. This has resulted in a broader spectrum of atmospheres in previous productions, and prospective Marvel films appear to follow suit.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will be released on November 25th, 2022, just in time for the Christmas season on Earth. While the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special teaser isn’t exactly high on the list of Marvel release dates prioritized by most Marvel viewers, it does promise a lighthearted break between the severe events brought on by the Multiverse Saga. When Kraglin (Sean Gunn) realizes it’s Christmas on Earth, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) begin on a quest like no other prominent MCU character has before: trying to make Star-Lord (Christ Pratt) happy on Christmas because he’s upset about Gamora (Zoe Saldana).
The cast of the Holiday Special includes Star-Lord/Peter Quill, Mantis, Drax, Kraglin, Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a slightly more mature Groot (Vin Diesel), Nebula (Karen Gilan), Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova), Kevin Bacon’s MCU debut as himself, as the trailer reveals Drax and Mantis will attempt to kidnap Kevin Bacon as part of Star- Lord’s Christmas surprise.
The Kraven The Hunter
The Kraven the Hunter film will be the following non-MCU Marvel release. Another film centered on a Spider-Man villain will be released as part of the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, following Venom and Morbius. If Kraven will appear in Sony’s much-awaited Sinister Six film has not yet been announced. Kraven, though, was a crucial part of the villainous group, so it is likely. In 2018, the concept for the solo film was initially mentioned. By 2020, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway had revised Richard Wenk’s original draught. J.C. Chandor soon after began negotiations to helm the movie. In the months that followed, little nothing was said concerning potential developments.
However, the production made a big step forward in May 2021 when Aaron Taylor-Johnson was cast as Kraven. There have been numerous teaser trailers and first-look footage segments released since then. The film’s prospective place in Sony’s Spider-Man realms and the larger MCU’s multiverse has been questioned, especially given Aaron Taylor-earlier Johnson’s MCU role as Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be released in 2023, and excitement for the long-awaited third installment is already mounting. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) were confirmed for the third trip following Ant-Man and The Wasp. Among the most notable Marvel news from SDCC 2022 is that Ant-Man 3 will be the first film in the MCU’s Phase 5. Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Janet van Dyne will join the pair once more. Even though Emma Fuhrmann played Cassie Lang in Avengers: Endgame, Kathryn Newton will take up the role. Peyton Reed directed once more, this time from a script written by Rick and Morty’s Jeff Loveness.
Even though filming completed in 2021, the film will be released in early 2023, a result of pandemic-related scheduling modifications. The renowned Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors), seen in the Ant-Man 3 trailer donning his comic book-accurate armor of metallic purple and green, will make his big-screen debut in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
The Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania teaser shows the futuristic city and massive army erected by Kang the Conqueror, as well as a lengthier glimpse within the Quantum Realm. The plot of the film has also been disclosed in broad strokes. Cassie Lang, a whose updated version made her onscreen debut in the teaser, constructs a device to send a signal to the Quantum Realm, enabling Cassie, Scott, Hope, Janet, and Hank to be dragged into the realm in an attempt to maybe contact or help other souls lost.
Finally, the Ant-Man 3 trailer shows Kang offering Scott a contract, the contents of which are unknown. Furthermore, while the trailer does not contain MODOK, who is confirmed to be a villain in the film, it does have the first onscreen appearance of Bill Murray’s MCU character.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has had a difficult production history, so Marvel updates have been spotty for years. Not the least of these setbacks was Disney’s decision to fire filmmaker James Gunn after obscene comments he had previously made on Twitter surfaced. The decision to rehire Gunn was taken after heated support from both fans and coworkers, but not before Warner Bros. had snatched him up to helm The Suicide Squad. Gunn quickly transitioned to a Peacemaker TV spinoff after that.
Due to this and other Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 delays, filming did not begin until the late months of 2021. The premise of Guardians 3 is unknown, however, it will have a closer look at Rocket Raccoon’s history as well as Peter Quill coping with a version of Gamora who doesn’t remember him. The complete cast, however, has been confirmed to return following cameo appearances by the Guardians in Thor: Love and Thunder. Will Poulter will play Adam Warlock after the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 post-credits teases in 2017, and Chukwudi Iwuji will play the High Evolutionary, an intriguing villain from Marvel Comics.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the next scheduled Spider-Man film, is set to be released in 2023. This follow-up to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has taken longer than expected to arrive. It took several years to animate in addition to developing the story. Fans aren’t too concerned because Sony has taken its time, particularly with the aesthetics. The animation of Miles Morales’ debut film contributed to it becoming one of the most beloved superhero films of all time. Sony Pictures revealed plans for a sequel just before Into the Spider-Verse hit theatres. While plot details are scant, the trailers show that Gwen Stacy returns to Miles Morales’ world to entice him into yet another Spider-Verse-spanning adventure.
This time, Miles will travel to numerous parallel universes, and Spider-Man 2099 (Oscar Isaac) appears to play an important part. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was set to be released in 2022, but Sony has now pushed it back to the summer of 2023, giving the animators ample time to ensure that the sequel lives up to the reputation of its predecessor. Into the Spider-Verse 2 is already looking promising, with the addition of Japanese Spider-Man.
The Marvels is unique among planned Marvel films in that it is a sequel to both an MCU film and a Disney+ series (while also heavily featuring a character who became a powered hero in WandaVision). Captain Marvel’s first expedition was a great success, albeit not as big as Avengers: Endgame. As a result, it’s hardly surprising that Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers will be back for a sequel in the summer of 2023. Carol will team up alongside a grown-up Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan in the sequel, which has been renamed The Marvels (Iman Vellani).
The latter made her Disney+ début in the Ms. Marvel series. The Ms.Marvel post-credits scene, in which Carol and Kamala Khan switched places, set the tone for The Marvels. Monica Rambeau debuted her abilities in WandaVision, and in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, an alternate version of her mother Maria was Captain Marvel of Earth-838. The trio will face up against Zawe Ashton’s unknown foe. Nia DaCosta has signed on to direct, with Megan McDonnell of WandaVision officially authoring the script.
Captain America: New World Order
The premiere date for Captain America: New World Order, which will see Sam Wilson take up the mantle on the big screen, has been set for May 3, 2024. The next Captain America film will most certainly follow Falcon and the Winter Soldier, while also drawing on events from other projects in the interwoven Marvel Cinematic Universe. Anthony Mackie will reprise his role as Sam Wilson, and the film will be directed by Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox). Captain America: New World Order is a watershed moment for Sam Wilson’s character since it will be his first standalone film as the MCU’s new Captain America.
That said, arguably the most exciting news about the fourth Captain America film is that Harrison Ford will make his MCU debut as General “Thunderbolt” Ross, replacing the great William Hurt, who died in 2022 after playing the character since MCU Phase 1. There hasn’t been anything else released regarding “Thunderbolt” Ross’ participation in Captain America: New World Order, but the announcement that Indiana Jones/Han Solo will start up where William Hurt left off has reignited suspicions of Red Hulk finally making his MCU debut.
Meanwhile, a Captain America: New World Order development that has largely gone unnoticed is the reappearance of The Incredible Hulk’s Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson). Samuel Sterns’ transformation into The Leader was hinted at in MCU Phase when Bruce Banner’s (Edward Norton) blood pours onto Sterns’ wounds and appears to give him the character’s green skin tone and larger head. Along with Ross and MODOK, the comic-book Leader is a member of the supervillain organization Intelligencia, which is responsible for transforming Ross into the Red Hulk.
With She-Intelligencia Hulk’s playing a significant role in the series, The Leader’s reappearance is not only intriguing in and of itself but also more proof that Red Hulk is heading to the MCU. Captain America: New World Order is immediately followed by Thunderbolts in the MCU roster, while General Ross as Red Hulk headed one of the numerous iterations of the aforementioned antihero team in Marvel Comics.
On July 26th, 2024, Thunderbolts, which some have suggested could be the MCU’s Suicide Squad, will make its premiere. The release date for Thunderbolts has been a topic of discussion online for some time, and Kevin Feige finally gave it away during the MCU SDCC 2022 panel. The cast and character roster for Thunderbolts were unveiled during Disney’s D23 later that year. Throughout Phase 4, a figure named Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has been unethically recruiting others.
Val’s mystery acts had the biggest possibility of being tied to Marvel’s Thunderbolts roster – and sure enough, the team that Val has been recruiting is the MCU’s band of anti-heroes. Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), US Agent/John Walker (Wyatt Russell), Taskmaster/Antonia Dreykov (Olga Kurylenko), Red Guardian/Alexi Shostakov (David Harbour), and Ghost/Ava Starr are confirmed members (Hannah John-Kamen).
The MCU Blade was originally scheduled to be released in 2023, but it was pushed back to 2024 after initial director Bassam Tariq stepped down and development was halted. Stacy Osei-Kuffour wrote the script for the Blade revival, and Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali has been cast as the titular vampiric/vampire-slaying hero. After Easter eggs indicated his existence in Loki, the MCU dropped a lot of signs that Blade was not far away, and Mahershala Ali’s Blade was eventually confirmed to be the voice speaking to Kit Harrington’s Dane Whitman/Black Knight in Eternals.
Beyond Wesley Snipes’ absence and the fact that the film will narratively fit closely with The Eternals in the larger MCU canon, comparable to the cosmic space-opera relationship between Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy, not much is known about the MCU’s Blade revival. It will almost certainly include vampires, given vampire slaying is Blade’s specialty.
Deadpool’s new owners, Disney, have stated that the next time he can appear in his film, it will be as part of the MCU. Deadpool 3 will be released on November 22nd, and Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role as the Merc With A Mouth. Not only that, but Reynolds has announced that Hugh Jackman will reprise his role as Wolverine/Logan in Deadpool 3, ushering in the notorious Weapon-X survivors, both with their iconic fan-favorite Fox universe looks.
Deadpool 3 is the first confirmed X-Men film in the works since Disney bought Fox. The inclusion of Deadpool 3 in the MCU Phase 5 was a surprise to many fans, who assumed that seeing Wade in the MCU so soon after the Disney/Fox merger was wishful thinking (never mind the internet-breaking Wolverine reveal). Deadpool 3 was supposed to be released in September of the same year, but it was delayed along with several other late Phase 5/Phase 6 projects, most likely due to production difficulties with Blade.
Fantastic Four, which was originally slated to be the last MCU film in 2024, will now arrive in theatres in February 2025. The Fantastic Four is one of the most eagerly anticipated MCU additions, yet it is unknown if John Krasinski will portray Reed Richards from Earth-616. Matt Shakman’s appointment as director was announced by Kevin Feige at D23, although the cast hadn’t been revealed yet. Originally scheduled to serve as director, Jon Watts left production in 2022. (as first reported by Deadline).
There hasn’t been any substantial MCU Fantastic Four news since the release date announcement at SDCC 2022, despite high hopes that D23 would provide more concrete information regarding the reboot. Fans are nevertheless anticipating the arrival of Marvel’s First Family in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (along with the arrival of their arch-enemy, Dr. Doom), and even in the absence of any further information, this film still has the potential to be a pivotal one for the MCU.
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
The new Avengers film will be released in 2025. Avengers: The Kang Dynasty will be the sixth and final installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s universe saga. The Kang Dynasty, like Infinity War before it, will most likely be the first half of a two-movie crossover event (the second half being Avengers: Secret Wars). At this point, very little is known about Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, other than that it will star Kang the Conqueror as the MCU’s Thanos successor. Jonathan Majors will very certainly continue to play MCU Kang after first portraying one of his versions, He Who Remains, in Loki season 1.
Avengers: Secret Wars
The release date for the second new Avengers film has been planned for May 2026. Over a year after Fantastic Four, Avengers: Secret Wars will bring phase six to a close with a long-awaited multiverse-spanning film that will certainly dwarf Endgame in scope. It will most likely draw inspiration from both Secret Wars (1984) and Secret Wars (2015) to give the Secret Wars Battleworld concept its distinct twist. There is no announcement on the cast, as expected, but there are already plenty of safe and not-so-safe guesses on who could appear in the MCU Secret Wars adaptation when Avengers: Secret Wars is published in 2026.
Venom fans have been waiting for the sequel to Venom: Let There Be Carnage since his brief stint in the MCU did a terrible disservice to his character. Although no release date for Venom 3 has been revealed, work has begun. Tom Hardy will continue to play Eddie Brock and the titular Symbiote, and Sony has a lot of antagonists in mind for the Lethal Protector in Venom 3. While it appears that a Tom Hardy vs. Tom Holland matchup is unlikely, there’s no reason Sony couldn’t include Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man in their on-screen Venom canon.
Tom Holland’s upcoming Spider-Man Trilogy
While many were concerned that Spider-Man: No Way Home would be Tom Holland’s final MCU solo film, it has now been announced that he has signed on with Disney and Marvel for a second trilogy. There are no other specifics at this time, and because it hasn’t been revealed as part of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga roster, it’s expected to arrive beyond 2025. Spider-Man: Homecoming, on the other hand, was a late addition to the stated MCU projects due to the need to work out details with Sony. The first new Tom Holland Spider-Man 4 may be announced late in Phase 5 or 6. If it is, it is a far better-kept secret than Andrew Garfield and Tony Maguire’s appearance in No Way Home.
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