Let’s be frank, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a bit of a mess right now. Not in the real world, of course, with its immense commercial success and recent Oscar wins, but the fictional world itself. With half of all life wiped from existence and other heroes MIA, the future of the superhero-filled landscape is uncertain, to say the least.
All this mystery translates to fans in the form of a release scheduled surrounded by intrigue, with no MCU releases officially announced past this year’s Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Well, we can all breathe a little easier, as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has hinted that the announcement of the fourth phase of movies will be made soon after these releases.
Speaking on the current Captain Marvel press junket, Feige was sequentially pressed on the arrival of the Fantastic Four and X-Men to his beloved universe, should the Disney/Fox merger become official. Addressing worries that this would lead to a saturation of Marvel features in a given year, Feige calmed fans by drawing comparisons to other successful banner years for the studio:
“We’ve always said there are no mandates to make any more than two films a year, but, as we’ve seen the last couple years, when it naturally happens, and when there are ideas and when there are teams ready to go, we’re not going to hold something back.”
Phase 4 looks to be Marvel’s most varied to date, with solo outings, movies featuring more outlandish pairings of heroes and the large scale ensemble titles we all know the studio are capable of producing.
The studio also seems to have learned from past mistakes, where they announced a decade’s worth of films for phase three all at once, only for cuts and additions to be made following unexpected hits or behind the scenes changes:
“I don’t think we’ll be announcing five or six years, but we know sort of where we want to head in the next five or six years.”
We already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the announcement, with rumors and casting news all but confirming projects such as Doctor Strange 2, Black Widow, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, Black Panther 2 and The Eternals, but these will become all the more tangible once we have a definitive release schedule for them.
My fingers are still crossed for a solo Howard the Duck outing, personally.