Very soon, MCU fans will experience the final installment in the third Phase of the comic book film franchise. Looking back it’s surreal to consider how far we’ve come. The first Phase of films featured a quaint six films: four solo movies, a sequel, and a big team up mega-film. Phase Two was also six movies deep and while the big three each got a sequel, there were also two new franchises, including one (Guardians of the Galaxy) that expanded the scope of the films into the wider, cosmic, realm.
It wasn’t until Phase Three kicked off, however, that the MCU went from a “big” franchise to “the” franchise of the modern movie era. Now, as Spider-Man: Far From Home approaches, the eleven-movie Phase of films nears its completion, leaving huge question marks about what’s coming next.
So…what is coming next?
Things will probably become clearer on this front near the end of the summer, but for now, here’s my guess on what’s coming down the line over the next five years…
WILD MOVIE SLATE PREDICTIONS!
Black Widow, May – Already announced and though the movie doesn’t seem big enough for a May premiere, there’s not really any alternative that’ll be ready to release; it’s possible Disney is planning on the MCU skipping the biggest movie month of the year next year.
The Eternals, November – The other movie that is known to be in development. It doesn’t seem big enough for a summer release, but a November drop feels right.
Black Panther 2, February – A no-brainer considering how huge the first one was.
Doctor Strange 2, May – It’s been too long a wait for the Sorcerer Supreme’s proper sequel film but after his huge role in Infinity War and critical part to play in Endgame, it’s finally time to release the next installment.
Spider-Man 3, July – This is a Sony decision but considering how Far From Home dropped only two years after Homecoming, it’s safe to say they will want the next sequel to release two years later as well.
Nova, November – This is a long-expected film that would fit nicely as a late-year release.
Captain Marvel 2, February – As with Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel did too well at the box office in February of this year not to see another February release three years later.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, May – This should have released in 2020 and had it, that year would look a lot less lean. Things happened and the film was delayed and delayed. Finally, it’s back on track but it’ll be a bit of a wait to see James Gunn complete the hat trick.
Ant-Man & The Wasp 3, July – This franchise has never been a huge money maker but both films have been important cogs in the MCU machine and crowd-pleasers nonetheless. A threequel ought to happen if only to finish the trilogy.
Shang-Chi, November – An important character for Disney’s global brand. 2022 might be a year later than it ends up releasing but it’s hard to see it coming before Nova, which has been in development longer.
Namor, February – This one is pure speculation based on the idea that he might be a side-character in the next Black Panther film. Universal Studios has some degree of control over the rights so this one might be completely off the radar; we’ll see.
Fantastic Four, May – This is the latest I can imagine a F4 movie taking to arrive. I have such high hopes for this movie I refuse to accept anything other than a big May release and a billion dollars earned.
Spider-Man 4, July – The optimist in me says Disney and Sony will continue working together with the Spider-Man character, meaning a fourth film in the franchise would be a certainty.
Thor: Valkyrie, November – I expect Thor himself to pal around with the Guardians in their movie, leaving Valkyrie to take the lead in her own film.
Black Panther 3, February – 2024 will be three years after Black Panther 2. That’s all the reason I need to predict this.
Avengers, May – Five years will have passed since Endgame; that’s more than enough time to reset the table and build to a new mega-team-up film.
X-Men, July – I fully expect this franchise to get the bigger hiatus compared to Fantastic Four, and I wouldn’t be surprised if five years is considered too short an amount of time by Disney to wash the stink off the Fox Franchise. We may get a Doctor Strange threequel instead and push X-Men to 2025.
Adam Warlock/Nova, November – Assuming Adam makes his appearance in GOTG Vol. 3, it makes sense to see him in a solo movie soon after. A team-up with Nova is presented here as a way to service two franchise needs with one movie.
OTHER, RANDOM PREDICTIONS!
Everyone and their brother seems to want John Krasinski and Emily Blunt for Reed Richards and Sue Storm, and while I am perfectly okay with that, I’m more interested in who writes and directs the movie. Personally, I’d love to see Taika Waititi jump from Thor to the First Family as his offbeat humor and epic action style would work perfectly.
Likewise, everyone seems to agree that Norman Osborn is the perfect next guy up to be the big bad of the MCU, replacing Thanos. And while I’m good with that, I’m more intrigued to see how Dr. Doom is incorporated. Osborn is a great puppet-master, but the Green Goblin is almost exclusively a Spider-Man baddie. Doom, on the other hand, can tussle with the Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and the whole Avengers squad. He’s far more versatile and with the right casting and writing, can be a villain to make you forget all about Thanos.
Finally, with the X-Men, I think it would be a mistake to try and cast a half-dozen all-stars and use them only in a trio of films and maybe an Avengers movie or two. The franchise is big enough to be bigger than the Avengers and Disney/Marvel need to treat them that way. Cast an Xavier and use him as the overarching hero—the Nick Fury type to oversee the team—and then use different line-ups in different movies, culminating in a big X-Men team up movie. Make a second Avengers franchise, in other words, and make twice the profit!
Those are my speculations, theories, wants, and wishes for the next several years of MCU films. What about you? Leave your predictions in the comments below!