CONFIRMED MARVEL PHASE FIVE MOVIES
1. Black Panther 2 (6th May 2022)
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, African superhero Black Panther broke new ground for Marvel upon his debut in 1966. The character was the first representation of a black superhero in comic book lore, a noble prince (named T'Challa) living in the vibranium-rich country of Wakanda.
The pressure was on the 2018 movie adaptation to get everything right – after all, Black Panther has been embraced as a progressive pop culture symbol, not just a comic book figure. Fortunately, in the assured hands of Fruitvale Station and Creed director Ryan Coogler, Black Panther emerged as a stirring, spirited tribute to Lee and Kirby's creation.
Anchored by Chadwick Boseman's noble performance as the title character (but stolen by Michael B. Jordan as insurgent villain Killmonger), this was a Marvel movie with brains and brawn. Both Coogler and Boseman are set to return for Black Panther 2, although story details are being concealed from view – not unlike the way Wakanda treats itself.
Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira and Martin Freeman will all be back, playing Shuri, Okoye and Everett Ross, respectively. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has indicated that there are "ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one".
Coogler says that he wants to "focus on trying to make something that has some type of meaning". Fingers crossed that our return to T'Challa's kingdom will live up to our lofty expectations.
2. Captain Marvel 2 (8th July 2022)
Released in 2019, Captain Marvel unleashed Oscar-winner Brie Larson as the eponymous Marvel superhero. The movie acts as a jigsaw, re-constructing Captain Marvel's memory as she recalls her human life as pilot Carol Danvers. And because the film is set in 1995, it allows de-ageing CGI to reach new heights with its depiction of the younger Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the movie eventually soared to grosses of more than $1 billion worldwide. It remains to be seen how Captain Marvel 2 will continue Carol's journey – the last we saw of her, she assisted in the fight against Thanos (Josh Brolin) during the climax of Avengers: Endgame. This was, of course, made possible by the all-encompassing powers that we saw her achieve at the end of the solo Captain Marvel movie.
In Avengers: Endgame, Carol alludes to having been away from Earth, assisting other planets who don't have an Avengers initiative to save the day. Might we see some of those adventures in the sequel? One thing is likely: a continuation of the Skrulls' storyline, the shape-shifting aliens initially established as the villains in Captain Marvel, before later being revealed as the victims of the insidious Kree regime, to which Captain Marvel herself once belonged.
Although Boden and Fleck aren't expected to return, as of January 2020, WandaVision writer Megan McDonnell has been drafted in to write a script treatment.
3. Blade (release date TBC)
The Black Panther movie wasn't the first big-screen comic book blockbuster to showcase a black superhero. Back in 1998, actor Wesley Snipes portrayed maverick vampire-hunter Blade in the gnarly and blood-soaked Marvel movie of the same name. Preceding all thoughts of a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the first Blade film is far tougher and nastier than many of its successors, a facet that landed it with an 18 certificate in the UK.
The current wave of comic book epics owes itself to Blade, which arrived to tear up the big screen even before the first X-Men film. Snipes' stylish title character, who mixes martial arts, weaponry and swishy trench coats, appeared in two more films in 2002 and 2005, before being put on ice. The first of those was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and was good, gory fun. The last film, Blade: Trinity, was critically mauled, and dogged by reports of Snipes' bizarre on-set behaviour.
Very soon, Blade is returning to reassert his dominance, as played by Mahershala Ali. The actor has swiftly ascended the Hollywood ranks to nab Oscars for his roles in Moonlight and Green Book, and the prospect of him playing Marvel's 'day-walker' is enormously exciting.
The news was made public at Comic-Con 2019, attended by Ali and Kevin Feige. No writer or director has been assigned yet, so watch this space.
4. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 (release date TBC)
The third Guardians movie has had a bumpy journey en route to the big screen. Initially, writer-director James Gunn was set to round off the pop-infused, candy-coloured nirvana that had made the first two Guardians movies such a joy. But tweets dredged up from the filmmaker's past led to his sacking from the project, to the anger of the film's actors, including Dave Bautista.
In the aftermath, Gunn agreed to helm the Suicide Squad reboot for Warner Bros, which is due for release in 2021. Subsequently, he's been reinstated as the director of Guardians Vol. 3, although all the disruption has bumped the release date back. It's now expected that we'll get the movie in 2022 at the earliest, although Gunn has tweeted that, as per his plans pre-coronavirus, he's still on course to shoot the movie this year.
Right now the plans with Vol 3 are also exactly the same as they were before coronavirus. https://t.co/cVHe31gtPQ— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) April 12, 2020
Whatever happens, we can't wait to be re-acquainted with Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and the gang. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, the Guardians took off into space with Thor (Chris Hemsworth), so we might expect some overlap with the different Marvel properties. Gunn has even released Meredith Quill's complete Awesome Mix to tide us over until more news comes in.
5. Ant-Man 3 (release date TBC)
Both Ant-Man movies have proved critical and commercial success stories, plunging us into the world of miniature thief-turned-superhero Scott Lang (the ever-likeable Paul Rudd).
In 2019, sequel Ant-Man And The Wasp introduced the notion of the Quantum Realm, an area in which any human conception of time ceases to exist. It was into this realm that Scott disappeared, before re-emerging five years later in Avengers: Endgame. Many correctly predicted that the Quantum Realm would have a bearing on the storyline of Endgame, and indeed it did, as our superhero collective splintered the space-time continuum to reclaim the infinity stones.
While Scott and his quantum knowledge proved to be unexpected saviours in Endgame, it remains to be seen where his own story will go in Ant-Man 3. We've already seen his brief reunion with his grown-up daughter Cassie, so maybe a third movie will explore how he's coming to terms with that loss of five years. We're also curious as to how Scott's allies Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), both of whom were present at the funeral of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Endgame, will play their part.
Director Peyton Reed is set to return, and based on the previous two movies, we can expect a zippy, humorous, palate-cleanser of a movie.
MOVIES THAT MIGHT FALL INTO MARVEL PHASE FIVE
The X-Men movies previously fell under the jurisdiction of 20th Century Fox. However, given that Fox has now been absorbed into Disney, the Marvel ensemble can now officially fall under the umbrella of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What this means in terms of the cast or storylines is anyone's guess at this stage. Hugh Jackman resolved his powerful character arc as Wolverine in 2017's acclaimed Logan, a fitting end to a journey he began in 2000's X-Men. The Dark Phoenix saga has already been tackled twice, and the franchise underwent its own, youth-oriented reboot in 2011's X-Men: First Class. That film was directed by Matthew Vaughn, introducing James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the younger Charles Xavier and Magneto. The two characters were portrayed as older men by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
In 2019, Kevin Feige warned that it would be "a while" before the X-Men joined the MCU. "It’s all just beginning and the five-year plan that we’ve been working on, we were working on before any of that was set. So really it’s much more, for us, less about specifics of when and where [the X-Men will appear] right now and more just the comfort factor and how nice it is that they’re home. That they’re all back. But it will be a very long time."
2. Fantastic Four
Like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four fell under the ownership of 20th Century Fox. But with the Disney-Fox merger, Marvel's original superhero family can now, finally, be absorbed into the MCU where, hopefully, the franchise will do proper justice to the ensemble.
The Fantastic Four have been treated to a series of movies in the past. The most famous of these arrived in 2005 and 2007, and included a pre-MCU Chris Evans as the Human Torch. Those films were dismissed as campy nonsense, but were much better received than director Josh Trank's 2015 reboot, a notoriously troubled production that sank without a trace.
Feige confirmed the presence of Fantastic Four in the MCU at the 2019 Comic-Con. "I'm extremely excited about those characters, and about bringing Marvel's first family up to the sort of platform and level they deserve."
Whether that means the new movie will arrive as part of Phase Five remains to be seen.
3. Deadpool 3
One Marvel character who did enjoy huge success under Fox's guidance was Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds stars as the sweary, fourth-wall-breaking antihero, attaining maverick status in a comic book franchise that's proud of breaking all the rules. This includes a hilarious, self-referential gag in 2018's Deadpool 2 in which Reynolds executes himself – the punishment for choosing DC's 2011 flop Green Lantern as a comic book project.
Given Deadpool's enjoyably violent excesses, it remains to be seen what will happen now that Disney have taken charge of the character. Original screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese say that any potential Deadpool threequel will be loyal to the spirit of what's come before.
"The promise [from Disney] is that there will be more Deadpool," Reese says. "He will live in the R-rated universe that we’ve created, and hopefully, we’ll be allowed to play a little bit in the MCU sandbox as well and incorporate him into that. We’ve just got to land on the right idea and once we do, I think we’ll be off to the races. We wake up thinking about Deadpool and we go to sleep thinking about Deadpool, so there will be another Deadpool and we just have to make it the right way."
In December 2019, Variety quoted Reynolds as saying that a Marvel Deadpool 3 movie is on the cards. "We’re working on it right now with the whole team," Reynolds explained. "We’re over at Marvel, which is the big leagues all of a sudden. It’s kind of crazy."
Which Marvel Phase Five movie are you most excited about seeing? Let us know @Cineworld.