Marvel has announced the release dates for the MCU slate through to 2022, so it's time to look at the evidence and the company's history to predict which movies will make up Phase 4.Yesterday, Disney announced their release slate of upcoming films, putting dozens of movies on the docket for the coming years. Amongst them, six new Marvel films were given release dates - though naturally no titles were revealed. Though Marvel has been keen to get the word out about upcoming MCU movies in the past, the secretive nature of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 means Phase 4 is mostly a big question mark.RELATED: Avengers 4 Can Fix Marvel's Broken TimelineWe know what's coming up through 2019, and that Phase 4 will kick off with Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 (the official title hasn't been unveiled yet). Beyond that, however, the next batch of Marvel films is largely up in the air. We've done our best predicting the future of the MCU before, but recent developments and the confirmation of these new release dates have given us a much better idea about what's coming for Marvel Studios in 2020, 2021, and 2022.This Page: Marvel's 2020 Films

May 1, 2020: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Marvel has had their 2020 dates on the books for awhile, and the first film following the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel is pretty much a sure thing. We heard in 2017 from James Gunn that his next Marvel film would arrive in three years, meaning Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will debut in 2020. Given that Guardians 2 had great success with an early-May release, it only fits for the follow-up to nab Marvel's locked May 1 date; Gunn's series has come to rival The Avengers, so it's definitely earned that prime early Summer slot.

What's more, it's the only film outside of the Spider-Man series that's been confirmed and is being actively worked on. Gunn has already finished a script draft and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will film in early 2019 according to the latest production rumors.

August 7, 2020: Black Widow

Past the next Guardians of the Galaxy, we're mostly in speculation territory. Still, there's plenty of evidence to suggest the Black Widow solo movie will come in 2020. Kevin Feige has been keen to introduce one new IP each year, and the only solo film we've even heard an inkling of is Black Widow. The movie has been rumored for years, and fans have been begging Marvel to make it - something they're finally doing, with a script in development.

Even before it was announced a film was in the works, many fans theorized Widow will help lead Phase 4. Marvel is finally ready to start putting their female heroes in the lead, with Ant-Man & The Wasp this year and Captain Marvel in 2019. By placing Black Widow in 2020, it starts a new trend of a female-led film every year from the studio. And as the August slot was where Guardians of the Galaxy originally launched, it seems like the perfect place to kickstart a new franchise.

Read More: What The Black Widow Movie Should Be About

November 6, 2020: Doctor Strange 2

The other reason August is likely for Black Widow is that November 6 seems destined to bring us Doctor Strange 2. The first film was a critical and financial success and there hasn't really been a doubt that the Benedict Cumberbatch film would get its own trilogy. Post-Phase 3, Marvel's going to want new franchises to replace Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, and continuing the adventures of the Sorcerer Supreme is a no-brainer.

By 2020, it will have been 4 years since the last film and, while Doctor Strange will have popped up several times in the MCU in the interim, waiting much longer seems unlikely. Additionally, the first movie was released in November. Marvel has stuck to this month for the Thor franchise, so there's a good chance so will Doctor Strange. And while Doctor Strange 2 isn't guaranteed for Phase 4, the film seems poised to arrive before long.

May 6, 2021: Black Panther 2

When it comes to 2021, it seems fairly likely that the big May slot will be filled by Black Panther 2. Still in theaters, Black Panther is dominating at the box office as it heads towards $1 billion worldwide. When (not if) it does, it'd be the first non-Avengers movie or non-sequel from Marvel Studios to hit that milestone. The movie has been nothing short of a cultural phenomenon and Marvel will be keen to expand the franchise.

Though there's always the chance they'll want it to come out as early as 2020, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is pretty much guaranteed to come in May and it would be strange for a big franchise like Black Panther to take the August or November spot. With T'Challa showing up in Avengers 3 and Avengers 4 over the next two years, it makes sense that Marvel would feel safe to wait until 2021 and kick their summer off with what's sure to be one of their biggest sequels ever.

RELATED: Villains Marvel Should Use In Black Panther 2

July 30, 2021: Spider-Man: Homecoming 3

The July 2021 date is one of our surest bets as the Sony-produced Spider-Man franchise is set to be a trilogy that arrives every two years. Spider-Man: Homecoming came in July of 2017 and the sequel will arrive in the same month next year. As such, it would be a shock for anything to take the space.

The only suggestion against it is that Sony bears the burden of distributing and promoting all Spider-Man films as they'll receive all the profits, meaning this technically won't class a Disney release. However, given the date synchronicity and the May, July, and November releases already secured, that doesn't seem to matter.

November 5, 2021: A-Force

With November 2021, we're firmly in unknown territory. Frankly, just about anything could land in this spot: it's possible Doctor Strange 2 doesn't arrive until 2021, or that Thor 4 comes (although Chris Hemsworth may not return and we've yet to see Marvel do four films in one franchise outside of The Avengers). But we think Marvel have something else up their sleeve.

As already pointed out, Feige is keen to introduce a new property each year. With it seeming like Black Panther and Spider-Man sequels will arrive in 2021, then the November slot would be a great place to introduce a new franchise (like Marvel did with Doctor Strange). Add to this the suspected female-led film each year and all the talk of a Marvel female hero team-up movie, then the clues point in a very specific direction.

Read More: Black Panther's Women Are More Proof Marvel Should Make A-Force

By the time 2021 arrive, Marvel will have a ton of super-women, many of whom won't have their own film series. The potential for a massive cultural event is there and Marvel has more than enough interesting characters to make it work. They also already have comic book precedent in A-Force.

As part of Marvel's Secret Wars, A-Force was launched in 2015 as a book focusing on some of the biggest female heroes Marvel had. The idea was expanded in a solo book after that and featured heavy-hitters like She-Hulk, Captain Marvel, Dazzler, and Sister Grimm. The latter character is on Runaways and Dazzler is a mutant, but Captain Marvel is about to debut in the MCU. She-Hulk, meanwhile, is a character fans have been demanding for years. And with the pending Fox buyout, who knows what's possible. Add in Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Wasp, Gamora, Valkyrie, and the Dora Milaje (just to name a few), and it seems a no-brainer that Marvel should make an A-Force movie. 2021 also looks to be devoid of a big team-up or ensemble film, so kicking off the A-Force franchise could be the perfect way to close out the year.

February 18, 2022: Infinity Watch

Like the A-Force film, we're going out on a limb and assuming fresh content will be coming in 2022. This time, it seems likely it will arrive in February as the non-summer dates seem to be where Marvel tests new properties. We don't know where Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will go after 2020, but he's clearly got a big future with Marvel. It's said Gunn is working on growing the cosmic MCU, with the next film introducing new characters and concepts that will fuel Phase 4 and beyond. Therefore, it's safe to assume something outside of Guardians of the Galaxy will develop, likely before a fourth film in that franchise with a new crew arrives.

In looking at all of the cosmic options Marvel could choose from, Infinity Watch looks particularly enticing. Fans are anxious to see Adam Warlock join the MCU and he soon will, but it's doubtful he'll carry his own franchise. Something like the Nova Corps could also take charge, but Marvel seems to be keen on ensembles involving a blend of characters; Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers have both proven this, and even solo movies like Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok have done the same.

Related: Guardians of the Galaxy Characters Mark Hamill Would Be Perfect For

In the comics, The Infinity Gauntlet and The Infinity War were followed by The Infinity Watch, which saw Adam Warlock teaming up with Drax, Gamora, Moondragon, Pip, and other cosmic heroes to protect the galaxy from the biggest threats. What better way than to merge the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 with the ragtag space romp of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise than by pulling together some of Marvel's fiercest and wackiest warriors.

The team could be a rotating one allowing anyone to show up. From the comics, Drax and Gamora already exist, Warlock is on his way and we think Mark Hamill could play Pip in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Meanwhile, Moondragon is Drax's daughter that we keep hearing so much about, so it's only a matter of time before she appears.

Both Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Avengers 4 promise to open up the intergalactic side of the MCU in some big ways. In order for Marvel to keep its Earth-based films grounded in Phase 4, it makes sense for all the cosmic calamity to center around a new team and a new franchise. Plus, Infinity Watch is too good of a name not to use for a movie.

May 6, 2022: Captain Marvel 2

With Captain Marvel debuting next year, there's a high chance she'll get a sequel by 2022 or 2023. And if it were a hit, we could see Marvel bumping the franchise up to the May slot like Guardians of the Galaxy and potentially Black Panther. This could be swapped with Infinity Watch, but the pattern holds that something new will arrive in February and a sequel will come in May. And out of all the sequels Marvel is likely to make that we haven't already accounted for, Captain Marvel seems the safest bet. Between Wonder Woman and Black Panther, it's clear audiences want more diverse heroes. There's no reason to believe Captain Marvel won't be a huge hit, and the character could easily pop up in A-Force and even Infinity Watch before getting another solo film.

RELATED: Could a Young Everett Ross Appear in Captain Marvel?

There's a chance something like another Avengers movie will come in this slot, but Marvel is going to want a break from that franchise after the team faces Thanos. There's really no way to go much bigger than that and the MCU is moving towards more mini-Avengers films anyway; Captain Marvel is already set to introduce a number of big heroes and villains from the comics, like Monica Rambeau, so Captain Marvel 2 could be packed with cosmic powerhouses.

July 27, 2022: Ant-Man 3

By the time 2022 rolls around, it will have been 4 years since Ant-Man & The Wasp, both in real life and amidst Marvel's confusing timeline. Given that, it's hard to imagine the series not getting a conclusion to its trilogy. It's possible the franchise will only span two films before the heroes abscond to other movies, but Marvel likes to wrap a series up with a trilogy. The July date is also a comfortable one for Scott Lang. What's more, with two cosmic movies potentially coming in 2022, the relatively grounded Ant-Man sequel could be just the sort of smaller film the MCU needs. The bigger question is what exactly they'd call the movie, as Ant-Man & The Wasp 2 and Ant-Man 3 both seem unlikely - and adding a subtitle would just be a mouthful.


As we've said, there's plenty of other sequels and franchises that could arrive. And there's really no telling what the Fox deal could mean in terms of the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool joining the MCU. But based on what we know Marvel is working on, the history of the studio, and some educated guesswork, this is how Phase 4 is currently shaping up.

MORE: Every Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie Released So Far

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