Marvel Studios internally debated announcing the MCU’s Phase 5 lineup at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. With Phase 3 now in the rearview mirror following the premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home earlier this month, Marvel and their legions of fans are now fully turning their attention to what the future holds. During their highly-anticipated Hall H panel at this year’s Comic-Con, Marvel brought the house down by unveiling the complete Phase 4 slate, consisting of five new feature films and five series for the Disney+ streaming service. All of these projects will be released between 2020-2021.
As exciting as all of this was (and there was a lot to unpack once the dust settled), many were quick to notice that Phase 4 didn’t include everything that Marvel has come through the pipeline. The studio has three dates set aside for mystery films in 2022, and plenty of other things in development. This was seen as a conscious attempt by Marvel to take things slower than before, after their initial Phase 3 announcement in 2014 drastically changed. However, though it isn’t public knowledge, Kevin Feige and company do indeed know what’s on deck for Phase 5.
Speaking with MTV at Comic-Con, Feige was asked if Phase 4 plants the seeds for the next epic crossover event in the MCU, similar to how Thanos was teased throughout the Infinity Saga. Feige confirmed it would, and then revealed Marvel knows their Phase 5 lineup:
“We debated what we should announce today. Should we announce 4 and 5? We’ve planned them out, we’ve got five years down the road. And I was like, I think 11 projects in 2 years is plenty. Having not mentioned anything for two or three years.”
The 11 projects Marvel unveiled in Hall H (which includes the new Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali) was threatening to become sensory overload for those following the panel, so it was probably smart for the studio to demonstrate some restraint. Publicly, this allows fans to keep their attention focused solely on Phase 4 without looking too far ahead to the next Avengers level cinematic event. A case can be made the presence of Infinity War and Endgame overshadowed everything else in Phase 3. Marvel doesn’t want that to happen here since they’ll be pushing the Disney+ shows and newcomers to the franchise like the Eternals and Shang-Chi. Additionally, there’s no rush to reassemble Earth’s Mightiest after Endgame, since Phase 4 is partially about new beginnings. Marvel wants to take their time establishing the next generation of superheroes, which will be a combination of characters fans know and fresh faces.
Feige’s already stated Blade will be a Phase 5 movie, and he may have teased other films during the Hall H panel. He mentioned the likes of Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 are all in development. Additionally, there’s a third solo Spider-Man movie coming, so fans have some basic idea of what’s on the horizon in Phase 5. What’s unknown are the release dates, but that’ll all be revealed in due time. For now, MCU die-hards will have to “settle” for catching five movies and five TV shows in the next two years.
KEY RELEASE DATES:
Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021