Despite all the madness currently engulfing the world, we've still got a thrilling slate of Marvel movies to look forward to in the coming months and years.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is about to enter its Phase 4 stage, so stay on top of what's coming with our blog list of the upcoming films in order of release.
1. Black Widow
What is the story of Black Widow?
In between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers team member Natasha Romanoff takes a journey back into her past. She returns to Soviet Russia to confront her own history, the history that turned her into a feared and deadly assassin.
She then comes face to face with the deadly Taskmaster, who can imitate the abilities of all those around him. Taskmaster is training a squadron of assassins within the mysterious 'Red Room', with which Natasha is familiar. She must team up with her extended family to take Taskmaster down. The director is Cate Shortland, who helmed claustrophobic thriller Berlin Syndrome, starring Teresa Palmer.
Who stars in Black Widow?
Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, in an origin story that takes us back to the time before her death in Avengers: Endgame.
Johansson is joined by Little Women Oscar nominee Florence Pugh as Natasha's 'sister' Yelena Belova, while The Favourite's Rachel Weisz plays operative Melina Vostokoff. And Stranger Things' David Harbour portrays the Russian equivalent of Captain America, Alexei Shostakov aka Red Guardian.
When is Black Widow released in cinemas?
Update: Initially set for release on 6th November, it's now been confirmed that Black Widow will arrive on 28th October.
What is the story of Eternals?
The exact plot is to be confirmed, but Eternals will centre on the eponymous beings, a group of all-powerful, humanoid aliens created by an ancient race known as the Celestials.
According to a Collider article, the movie will span over 7,000 years, and introduce the war between the Eternals and their enemies, the Deviants. The film is directed by Chloe Zhao, who scored a major critical hit in 2018 with moving indie drama The Rider.
Who stars in Eternals?
Maleficent's Angelina Jolie portrays Thena, a warrior member of the Eternals. She's joined by The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Humans' Gemma Chan as Sersi, Widows' Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Frida's Salma Hayek as Ajak and Dunkirk's Barry Keoghan as Druig.
Meanwhile, Game Of Thrones' Kit Harington plays human character Dane Whitman.
When is Eternals released in cinemas?
Eternals is released on the 12th of February 2021.
What is the story of Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings?
Again unknown, but Shang-Chi will make MCU history by being the first movie in the series to be centred on an Asian character. The titular Shang-Chi is a revered martial artist, proficient in numerous fighting styles and also adept with weaponry.
The film will re-introduce the character of the dreaded Mandarin, previously portrayed (to controversial effect) by Ben Kingsley in 2013's Iron Man 3.
Who stars in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings?
Canadian-Chinese actor and stuntman Simu Liu portrays Shang-Chi. Noted performer Tony Leung, famous for Wong Kar-wai's atmospheric In The Mood For Love, will play The Mandarin.
When is Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings released in cinemas?
Shang-Chi is released on the 7th of May 2021.
4. Untitled Tom Holland Spider-Man threequel
What is the story of Spider-Man 3?
Unclear at this stage. Tom Holland will return as Peter Parker in his third Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) solo movie, and director Jon Watts is back behind the camera. It's set to continue the shock developments of 2019 blockbuster Far From Home, in which Spidey's identity was exposed to the wider world.
But questions are being raised about how the movie might connect to Sony Marvel Universe properties Morbius (the trailer for which clearly shows Spider-Man), and Venom 2, both now rescheduled for 2021.
Who stars in Spider-Man 3?
Only Tom Holland and Zendaya are confirmed to be returning at the moment.
When is Spider-Man 3 released in cinemas?
This is the critical question. The latest collaboration between franchise owners Sony and MCU distributors Disney was meant to hit us on the 16th of July 2021. But with the rapid re-arranging of the release schedule, most pertinently Marvel's entire MCU Phase Four slate, it remains to be seen if Spider-Man will stick the landing, or perhaps move back a year. If so, that would place him in the middle of MCU Phase Five.
Holland said he's unsure if shooting will go ahead in summer 2020 or not. He told Jimmy Kimmel: "I was in Berlin making a film called Uncharted with Mark Wahlberg and we were all ready to go, we went to set for day one shooting and then we got shut down and we all got sent home. So whether we shoot that movie first or we shoot Spider-Man first I am unclear.
"But both movies are being made and they're both really strong and the scripts are fantastic, so whatever happens happens, but I'm ready to play both. I mean, I've played Spider-Man enough now, I can play him tomorrow, so it's ready to go."
UPDATE: It's been confirmed that Spider-Man 3 will now arrive on the 5th of November 2021, reports Deadline.
What is the story of Thor: Love And Thunder?
We only know the most general details, namely, that Jane Foster from the first two Thor movies will return to lift hammer Mjolnir. She will, effectively, become the new incarnation of Thor, who has himself taken off across the galaxy with the Guardians. Meanwhile, the new King of Asgard, Valkyrie, will be searching for a Queen to rule by her side.
Taika Waititi is back as director, having galvanised the Thor character with 2017's riotously entertaining Thor: Ragnarok.
Who stars in Thor: Love And Thunder?
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, alongside Natalie Portman as Jane and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. In March, Thompson confirmed that former Batman Christian Bale will be playing the film's villain.
Hemsworth has praised the film's script: "One of the best scripts I’ve read in years. It’s Taika at his most extreme, and at his best. If the version I read is the one we get running with, it’s going to be pretty insane."
When is Thor: Love And Thunder released in cinemas?
UPDATE: Originally scheduled for the 18th of February 2022, Deadline reports that Thor: Love And Thunder will now arrive on the 11th of February 2022.
What is the story of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?
The storyline is cloaked in mystery, but it has recently been confirmed that Evil Dead and Spider-Man helmer Sam Raimi will be directing the movie. He takes over from the first film's Scott Derrickson, who departed over "creative differences".
The movie is being billed as the first proper horror movie in the MCU, so that would appear to be in Raimi's ballpark. We can surely expect to see many more of the weird, wondrous and terrifying dimensions teased in the first Doctor Strange movie.
Who stars in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?
Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role as the Sorcerer Supreme, an arrogant neurosurgeon turned superhero. Strange foresaw the impossible odds of defeating Thanos (Josh Brolin) at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, crumbling into dust in front of Iron Man's (Robert Downey Jr.) eyes.
However, Strange and the rest of the Avengers were triumphantly resurrected for the final battle in Avengers: Endgame.
When is Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness released in cinemas?
UPDATE: Originally scheduled for 5th of November 2021, Deadline reports that Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness will now arrive on 25th of March 2022.
Which Marvel Phase 4 movie are you most excited about seeing? Let us know @Cineworld.