marvel cinematic universe phase 4
[Photos via Sony, Disney, Disney+, Warner Bros.]

As Marvel Phase 4 nears with Black Widow’s release, fans are excited to see what comes next in the MCU. Though information has been circulating since January, we now have more answers about Phase 4 than we did before.

Here are 10 things we know about the movies and shows, from casting to plots and release dates.

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Black Widow has a new release date and timeline

Although Black Widow—which stars Scarlett Johannson in the titular role—was supposed to drop on May 1, the release date was pushed back due to the coronavirus. Now, fans can catch some of Natasha Romanoff’s backstory on Nov. 6. However, Tech Radar reports U.K. fans will get access to the film a whole week earlier on Oct. 28. The film also stars The Favourite’s Rachel Weisz, Midsommar’s Florence Pugh and Stranger ThingsDavid Harbour. The latter confirmed that the film takes place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War

Evan Peters has a mystery role in WandaVision

The Disney+ series has added American Horror Story’s Evan Peters to the show in an apparent “key role.” Though Peters’ character hasn’t been announced, there’s speculation that he may step back into the shoes of Pietro Maximoff, a.k.a. Quicksilver and Wanda’s twin brother, whom he played in the X-Men film by Fox. This would be an interesting development, given that MCU’s Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) was killed off in Avengers: Age of Ultron. WandaVision is set to drop in December.

Spider-Man is part of Phase 4

Fans of the Spider-Man films can rejoice now, because it’s been confirmed that Spider-Man 3 (which had been in jeopardy because of the break between Sony and Marvel) will be a part of Phase 4. The latest Spidey film will be released in November 2021. Both of the previous leads—Tom Holland and Zendaya—will reprise their roles as Peter Parker and MJ, respectively. Though the exact plot of the film has not been released, Holland stated that the film will be “absolutely insane.”

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Deadpool’s fate in the MCU is still unclear

Rumors of Deadpool crossing over to the MCU have been circulating for a while now. Fans are divided on whether or not everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed mercenary should be added under the Disney umbrella. While Ryan Reynolds teased production in late 2019, there’s been no further indication that it’s even on Marvel’s radar. As of May, Deadpool comic book co-creator Rob Liefield says that a third film isn’t currently in Marvel’s production plans

Christian Bale is joining the Thor series as a villain

The fourth film in the series, Thor: Love and Thunder, will once again be directed by Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi. This time, Waititi will also pen the script, which he says is “more bombastic.” In addition to Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster stepping into Mighty Thor’s shoes, Batman actor Christian Bale has also joined the film as a villain. Though Bale’s character hasn’t been announced, many are speculating it could be Gorr the God Butcher. Gorr, who’s an alien with a hatred of gods, is the main villain in the Thor: God Of Thunder comics. Thor: Love And Thunder is set to release February 11, 2022.

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It’s Doctor Strange 2, not Thor: Love and Thunder, that ends Phase 4

After pushing Black Widow’s release back six months, Marvel had to postpone the release dates of the other films. The fourth film in the Thor series was supposed to be the final film in Phase 4 However, it’s now been announced that it will be Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Not much is known about the sequel, but Elizabeth Olsen will star as the Scarlet Witch as the film also ties in with two Disney+ shows, WandaVision and Loki. The second Doctor Strange film will be released March 25, 2022.

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier is out in August

This Disney+ series sees Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as Sam Wilson/The Falcon and Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier, respectively. Set to release in August, the series’ six episodes sees Sam and Bucky team up after Sam was given Captain America’s shield in Avengers: Endgame. Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), who last appeared in Captain America: Civil War, are also returning

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The Eternals features Marvel’s first queer super couple

The Eternals follows the powerful and ancient aliens who are sent to earth to guard against their enemies, The Deviants. The film has a lot of big names attached including Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, Kumail Nanjiani and more. The film will also include the MCU’s first queer couple—the Eternal Phastos (Brian Tyree Henry) and his spouse (Haaz Sleiman). The pair will reportedly also share the MCU’s first on-screen same-sex kiss. The Eternals will hit theaters February 12, 2021.

Owen Wilson will star in The Loki TV show

The first set photos and footage of the Loki TV show feature the trickster god in the captivity of an organization called the Time Variance Authority. In addition to Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki, the show also features Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, and—to the excitement of Zoolander fans everywhere—Owen Wilson. It’s unclear who Wilson will play, but fans speculate it’s likely someone who works at Time Variance Authority.

Chiwetel Ejiofor will reprise his role as Baron Mordo in Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings follows Shang-Chi, a kung fu spy who confronts the Mandarin, the owner of a magical orphanage. Shang-Chi will likely be given the chance to fight in a tournament in which the winner receives 10 magical rings. In addition to the announcement that Awkwafina has joined the cast as Mandarin’s daughter, Fah Lo Suee, rumors have also circulated that Chiwetel Ejiofor will reprise his role from Doctor Strange, Baron Mordo. Whether he joins the tournament hasn’t been announced, but it’s likely he’ll try to get his hands on the rings.