Marvel Studios kicked off Phase 4 of its cinematic universe by shifting gears and turning to Disney Plus with WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. But with Black Widow — the studio’s first theatrical release in two years — just over two months away, Marvel is ramping up anticipation for a loaded slate of projects on the horizon.
On Monday, May 3, Marvel Studios released a 3-minute trailer highlighting where the MCU has been and where it’s soon headed. And in the last minute of the trailer, fans were hit with an avalanche of new information.
Here’s everything we learned in the new Phase 4 trailer:
1. The ‘Black Panther’ Sequels Has a Title Now
Prior to the trailer, the sequel for Black Panther was simply being referred to as Black Panther 2. Now we know they it’ll be called Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a title which may reveal a bit about the theme of the film.
Perhaps the biggest question in the entire MCU right now is what Marvel Studios does with Wakanda following the tragic death of its lead actor, Chadwick Boseman. They have already ruled out the possibility of the character King T’Challa being recast, and the studios says it will not use a digital double of Boseman.
Another Black Panther star, Lupita Nyong’o told Yahoo that director Ryan Coogler reshaped the sequel in a way that is “so respectful of the loss.” The new title of the film Wakanda Forever indicates that legacy will be at the core of the story.
2. ‘Captain Marvel’ Will Be Followed By ‘The Marvels’
Like the Black Panther sequel, the next movie in the Captain Marvel franchise was previously referred to as just Captain Marvel 2.
In the case of The Marvels, the title hints even more about the plot. It tells us that Carol Danvers will share the spotlight with some new co-stars. According to Marvel, Danvers will be joined by Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan for a “cosmic adventure.”
Rambeau’s journey to obtaining superpowers was shown in WandaVision and Khan will be introduced in Ms. Marvel, a series scheduled to stream on Disney Plus later in 2021.
3. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania’ Is Set for February 2023
Dates were already known for the four films arriving in 2021: Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Eternals, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Marvel Studios also had release dates for the four films coming in 2022: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Marvels.
But the new trailer included the announcement of release dates for two 2023 releases: The third films of the Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantamania is now set to come out on February 17, 2023. Little is known about the film except that Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, was recast and will now be played by Kathryn Newton of Big Little Lies and Pokemon Detective Pikachu. Getting a bigger name actress for the role suggests Cassie Lang may be following her comic book path of becoming the hero, Stature, and possibly joining the Young Avengers.
4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is scheduled for May 5, 2023
When we last left the Guardians, they were leaving Earth following the battle with Thanos. They also added Thor to their ranks who had an awkward, frenemies dynamic with Peter Quill. Where they go in the future will likely be affected by Thor: Love and Thunder as well as The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, which is set to come out near the end of 2022.
The biggest question though is where things stand with Gamora.
Thanos sacrificed his adopted daughter to obtain the Soul Stone, something which “can’t be undone.” But perhaps it’s possible to undo it if a little time travel means she never got sacrificed in the first place? In Avengers: Endgame, a past version of Gamora who had never before met Quill, Drax, Rocket, or Groot betrayed Thanos and fought alongside the Avengers.
But her whereabouts following Iron Man’s battle-ending snap weren’t revealed. Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely say she survived the snap and they anticipate she’ll rejoin the Guardians in the future.
5. Finally There’s a First Look at ‘The Eternals’
A star-studded new chapter of the MCU is set to open in about six months, but Marvel Studios has been extremely quiet about The Eternals. Nothing was revealed about it in any credits scenes and there hasn’t even been so much as a poster to show Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Kit Harrington, or others in costume.
But Marvel finally offered a few crumbs about the highly anticipated movie directed by Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao.
The trailer showed just a few quick frames, which included some of the stunning landscapes and sunsets you’d expect from a Zhao film. The closest thing to an action shot was Jolie’s character, Thena, wielding an intricately designed, golden sword.
6. Is That a Fantastic Four Tease?
The trailer from Marvel Studios hyped the slate of movies coming in Phase 4, so a large numeric four appearing at the end of the trailer makes some sense. But the blue “4” inside of a circle seems far too similar to the Fantastic Four’s longtime logo to be coincidental.
In 2019, Disney closed a $71.3 billion deal to acquire large parts of 21st Century Fox, including the rights to several Marvel characters, including the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Later that year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced at Comic Con that a Fantastic Four film was coming to the MCU.
It’ll be another reboot of a franchise that has struggled to find much success outside the MCU. First, there was Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) which included eventual Captain America, Chris Evans, as Johnny Storm. Then there was Fantastic Four (2015) which saw the eventual Eric Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan, take over as Johnny Storm.
For now, all that is known about the MCU’s stab at the franchise is that Jon Watts, director of Spider-Man: Homecoming, is set to direct the film.
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