Monday, July 22, 2019

Monday's Headlines | Marvel Studios Recap SDCC2019

Over the weekend, Marvel Studios publicly announced its plans for ‘Phase 4’ – yes, that’s officially what the post-Avengers: Endgame slate is called – and what isn’t planned for release by 2021 is almost as surprising as what is on the horizon.

Along with a slate of ten sequels, new properties, and even in-continuity MCU tie-in shows on the Disney+ streaming service, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige threw out a tease for several still unscheduled sequels – and two brand new MCU franchises - that also need dates.

Fortunately, the studio has a whole year (2022) of reserved dates with no movies attached as well – even after placing this weekend’s announcements on all the 2020 and 2021 dates. And at this stage let's face it, in 2023 and beyond, Marvel Studios can take any date it likes and anyone and everyone else will go running, even if previously reserved.

Marvel’s announced slate - Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi, Doctor Strange 2 and Thor: Love and Thunder takes us through 2021 – so the first year that remains a cipher is 2022. Marvel’s got unspecified flags planted in three 2022 dates – February 18, May 6, and July 29.

Black Panther 2
This year might be pretty easy to nail down on its face – we’re gonna go ahead and assume Black Panther 2 will land on February 17, 2022, capitalizing on Marvel’s tendency to release sequels in similar timeframes as their predecessors.And by 2022, it’ll be four full years since the release of the mega-hit Black Panther – meaning the ‘Wakanda Forever’ crowd will be champing at the bit to get back to T’Challa and the royal family.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
From there, it’s an easy assumption Marvel will land Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (now with 100% more James Gunn) on May 6, 2022. Yes, that’s just a year out from Gunn’s currently in production DC film The Suicide Squad, but remember that GotG3 already has a script, a director, and most of a cast. That means it’s got a leg up in pre-production that will likely allow Gunn – who confirmed on Twitter that GotG3 was pushed from Phase 4 by his work on The Suicide Squad – to slide right into the third leg of his cosmic movie franchise. And it'll be a full five years since 2017's Vol 2, so this one also feels like a lock.


And finally, with three dates for 2022, Marvel will likely launch a fresh franchise alongside those aforementioned sequels – and in this case, we’re betting the Mahershala Ali-led Blade reboot announced during the Hall H panel will bow on July 29, 2022. We make this prediction with the assumption that the potential bloodbath is further along than the other teased new franchise (which rhymes with Shmantastic Shmour – more on that shortly). And you don't sign a rising star like Ali and make him sit around for too long.

2023 is a little further out for Marvel Studios – but given the now 5-year gap precedent a 2022 release for Guardians Vol. 3 would set, we’re looking to get a handle on how Marvel can squeeze in the movies we know are on their way – and where the future might lead in terms of unannounced projects.

Captain Marvel 2
A sequel to the over $1 billion-dollar worldwide hit was confirmed by Feige as being in development but without a release date announced.  Since that electrifying Nick Fury in space teaser from the post-credits sequence of Spider-Man: Far From Home will likely pay off in Captain Marvel 2, we're calculating Marvel isn't going to let more than four years go by before they pick on that game-changing plot thread. Keeping that in mind, Captain Marvel 2 is likely a shoo-in for an eventual Spring 2023 bow, again keeping it in its original release quarter.

Fantastic Four
Yep – we’re gonna call this now. We’re betting – based on what we know today in 2019 – that the Fantastic Four will make their MCU debut in May 2023. For one thing, that window leaves plenty of time for development, casting, and yes, introducing the team before they get their own movie (as for where and how that could happen, well… there are clues, but we’ve got to mind carts and horses here). That would make Fantastic Four 2023’s big new franchise – and put the arrival of the first of the ‘Fox characters’ in the MCU right in line with Feige’s publicly stated estimations. And of course, that would put the Baxter Building in the MCU New York’s skyline just in time for…

Spider-Man 3
Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man movies drop in July – it’s just that simple. Spider-Man is a perennial summer favorite, and we’re betting that the sure to be hotly anticipated third MCU Spidey film will follow suit. Yes, we’re including this here even though Feige (somewhat conspicuously, given Spider-Man: Far From Home’s other shocking post-credits sequence ) didn’t shout the film out in his rundown of still-to-be-scheduled films at Comic-Con. But the reasons to consider it a likely 2023 release are simple. First off, Marvel’s not just gonna drop Peter Parker’s unmasking as a plot point. It’s GOT to be explored – and Far From Home is even more popular than its predecessor. Second, Tom Holland is only gonna sport that babyface so long. Four years is a long time when you’re in your early 20s - and Peter Parker is technically still in high school. This movie’s gotta come out sooner rather than later.

And beyond?
We’re not even getting into the things we KNOW are coming that haven’t been announced yet here. Feige teased ‘mutants’ in the MCU (not X-Men… hmmm?) but didn’t give a timeframe. And there’s little doubt Deadpool will show up again somewhere – we’re still counting on him joining the MCU, by the way.