Marvel Studios Producer Teases Phase 4 Plans; Promises ‘Avengers 4’ Will Introduce New Heroes
After next year’s Avengers 4, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is free to go off into multiple unexpected directions. But, as it turns out, it will serve as a definite “goodbye” to many of the characters we’ve already met – while also setting the groundwork for new superheroes to make their first appearances.
Speaking with ScreenRant, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore stated that while Avengers 4 is a farewell to many of the characters we’ve known since the beginning, it also introduces some new characters that we’ll be seeing more of in subsequent movies:
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to bid a fond farewell to characters that we’ve come to know for a while, but to also then introduce characters who are going to feel completely new and hopefully surprising to both our core fans and fans of our movies who aren’t as well-versed in publishing. There are great ideas out there that we’ve talked about internally that I think and I hope will be surprising and refreshing to audiences while we still continue to explore characters we’ve come to love. The new ones always feel really exciting because they can be anything. We’re at the point now where we’re blue-skying, what are the best stories to tell, and in that blue sky there are ideas that I think all of us get really excited to share with people.”
Stan Lee previously stated that Avengers 4 will have new characters, so perhaps it’s not too surprising to hear that some of the characters that we’ll meet are going to end up with their own franchises in the near-future, or that they’ll appear as supporting characters in continuing franchises.
For a refresher, the following movies are currently on Marvel’s official schedule between now and the end of 2019:
- Ant-Man & The Wasp – July 6, 2018.
- Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019.
- Avenger 4 – May 3, 2019.
- Spider-Man 2 – July 5, 2019.
Avengers 4, of course, being the last film of Phase 3, and Spider-Man 2 being the first film of Phase 4 or whatever they end up calling it. It’s currently understood that Spider-Man 2 is the only new Marvel Studios project that will be filming for the remainder of 2018. And based on some recent announcements regarding creative teams on two films that Marvel hasn’t officially announced, plus Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (which Marvel has announced, but hasn’t officially dated yet), I think we can expect 2020 to look something like this:
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – May 1, 2020.
- Black Widow – July 31, 2020.
- The Eternals – November 6, 2020.
Both Spider-Man 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are being described as hugely important for their respective corners of the MCU; Spider-Man being explicitly stated as being as important to the Earth-based narratives as Captain America: Civil War was to Phase 3 (it set the stage for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther, Ant-Man & The Wasp, and the two Avengers movies), and Guardians of the Galaxy being described as setting the stage for a decade of Marvel Cosmic stories (which would make a lot of sense if Adam Warlock does play a role in the story, as has previously been hinted).
Reading the tea leaves suggests that Marvel will be peppering sequels and new IPs into the setting in roughly equal measure. Among the casts of characters that Marvel are rumored to be interested in are the likes of Power Pack, Nova, Blade, Moon Knight, and Namor The Sub-Mariner; more recently, word is that Ms. Marvel will be part of the lineup of new characters (likely in a sequel to Captain Marvel). What will become of the other six scheduled spots for 2021 (May 7, July 30, and November 5) and 2022 (February 18, May 6, and July 29) remains to be seen, and if the comment about them planning 20 movies or so in advance are true, then there’s probably some work underway on the films they’ll release between now and 2028. (My guess: we’ll see Spider-Man 3, Black Panther 2, Doctor Strange 2, Captain Marvel 2, Ant-Man 3, and either another new IP or a fourth installment in an existing IP among those releases.)
It also remains to be seen whether or not Marvel ups their ante to four (or more) movies per year as they hinted that they might at CinemaCon. Perhaps 2021 and 2022 are the first years that having four or more Marvel releases becomes feasible for the company, and said years would likely be the point in which they could get around to integrating content from the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises into the setting provided that the Fox acquisition is approved. Suffice to say, watching the MCU continue to grow will be interesting, and I suspect that SDCC 2019 – which is presumably where they’ll officially reveal what their plans are going forward – will be quite exciting indeed.
Grant Davis is a freelance writer who has covered entertainment news for more than four years. His articles have frequently appeared in Star Wars News Net as well as as other entertainment-related websites. As someone who grew up on Star Wars and comic book movies, he’s completely thrilled with the current era of genre entertainment.