With an unbroken string of box office hits dating back to 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel Studios has positioned itself as the most prolific film franchise in Hollywood. The ongoing, interconnected saga was interrupted in 2020, but Marvel and parent company Disney plan to move full speed ahead beginning with this summer’s Black Widow.
For more on Marvel’s announced slate through 2023, as well as Marvel productions due out from Sony, keep reading.
The first theatrical Marvel release since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame and the Sony-produced Spider-Man: Far From Home sees Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in a prequel focused on her pre-Avengers exploits. A recent trailer (above) garnered more than 70 million views in just 24 hours, signaling a big appetite for a new Marvel adventure. Though it will reportedly mark Johansson’s final appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), you can never be too sure. The film will also bow on Disney+ the same day, though subscribers will have to pay a $30 premium to view it.
Marvel’s first Asian-led superhero adventure follows Black Widow but veers in a completely different direction. In Shang-Chi (pronounced song-chi), the title character (Simu Liu) spends his adolescence training to become an expert assassin. After settling into a normal life, his history—and skills—come rushing back. Awkwafina and Tony Leung co-star; Leung may or may not be the Mandarin, an iconic Marvel villain who was impersonated by Ben Kingsley’s comedic character Trevor Slattery in 2013’s Iron Man 3.
While not technically a Marvel Studios production, the Sony-produced Venom (2018) managed to continue the Spider-Man cinematic mythology to generally positive reviews. As journalist Eddie Brock, Tom Hardy struggles to contain his dark side—an alien symbiote with an appetite for mischief and human flesh. In the sequel, Brock runs up against Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), another symbiote host who also happens to be a maniacal killer. Andy Serkis, the actor best known for his motion-capture work on The Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes films, directs.
By the time she stepped on stage in April to accept the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director for her work on 2020’s Nomadland, Chloé Zhao had already finished shooting Eternals, a new Marvel team-up movie. Based on the Jack Kirby comic, Eternals centers on a race of immortal beings who assemble to protect Earth from the cosmic threat of the Deviants. Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Brian Tyree Henry, and a newly buff Kumail Nanjiani co-star. Marvel released a brief glimpse of the film in a recent compilation reel (above).
Tom Holland’s third standalone outing as Peter Parker, the spectacular Spider-Man, might be the most rumor-heavy Marvel film due for release this year. Speculation that the film—which is being distributed by Sony—will tie into previous Spider-Man iterations, the Netflix Marvel shows, and more is running rampant. We do know that Alfred Molina will reprise his role as Doctor Octopus from Sam Raimi’s 2004 sequel Spider-Man 2 and that the film will address the cliffhanger ending of 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in which Peter’s secret identity was revealed to the universe—this universe, anyway.
Another not-quite-Marvel film, Sony’s Morbius features a longtime Spider-Man villain. The film stars Jared Leto as Dr. Michael Morbius, a biochemist whose self-experimentation turns him into a superhuman vampire. Matt Smith (Doctor Who) and Tyrese Gibson co-star.
Marking one of the longest periods between Marvel sequels, Multiverse of Madness continues the story of Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) that began in 2016’s Doctor Strange. It may not feel like so much time has passed, since the events in the sequel are said to be directly tied to the recent Disney+ series WandaVision and the formidable reality-bending powers of Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch. Sam Raimi, who directed Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy, is behind the camera.
The newest installment of Chris Hemsworth’s thunder god franchise is directed by Taika Waititi, who shaped 2018’s seriocomic Thor: Ragnarok. This time, Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster—long absent from the MCU—is expected to pick up Mjolnir. Christian Bale and Russell Crowe co-star.
Not much is known about this sequel to one of Marvel’s highest-grossing movies, though producer Kevin Feige has said there are no plans to recast the role of T’Challa following the death of actor Chadwick Boseman in 2020. Ryan Coogler (Creed) will return to direct.
The sequel to the hugely successful 2018 animated film, Spider-Verse 2 will continue the story of Miles Morales, one Spider-Man among many in a sprawling multiverse. Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson will co-direct the film.
Brie Larson will return as Captain Marvel in this sequel to the 2018 film, this time accompanied by an adult Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), who is getting her own show on Disney+. Nia DaCosta (2021’s Candyman) directs.
Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lily return for the continuing adventures of the tiny titans in this second Ant-Man sequel. Scott Lang (Rudd) may see a new superhero in daughter Cassie (Kathryn Newton) while facing off against rumored villain Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).
Chris Pratt’s motley crew of space adventurers returns for a third outing, though it might be the last time we see Drax the Destroyer. Actor Dave Bautista has indicated he’ll be bowing out of the role after this film.
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