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Shang-Chi, Loki, Black Widow: Which Marvel movies and TV shows are coming in 2021

Black Widow will be the first post-Endgame movie, opening this summer, followed by Shang-Chi in September. Here's what to know about every upcoming MCU property in theaters and on Disney Plus.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most successful film franchise of all time, having grossed more than $18 billion worldwide -- $4 billion in 2018 alone -- and for a brief moment Endgame owned the title of highest-grossing movie of all time before passing the crown right back to Avatar. With Marvel Studios announcing its incredible Phase 4 plans at Comic-Con 2019 and expanding on them at its D23 fan expo the same year, the franchise has shown no signs of slowing down. 

Then the 2020 coronavirus pandemic changed everything. The well-timed launch of the Disney Plus streaming service, landing shortly before lockdown, has now changed the order in which we've seen the planned MCU properties release, but hasn't made them any less enjoyable. WandaVision was an undeniable hit earlier this year, and 2021 has more new MCU shows planned for release than Marvel Studios films.

On Monday, Marvel Studios gave the world a gift for Shang-Chi star Simu Liu's birthday: The first trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. If the trailer has you as hyped as many for the fall film, read on for more about Marvel's Phase 4 offerings coming this year and beyond.

Ahead is *mostly* just confirmed news, but in some cases we did speculate because some things are too intriguing to ignore. You have been warned.

Marvel Studios

Movies

Disney's latest release date updates suggest we may be getting even more MCU movies in 2022 and 2023, but the list just matches dates with the description "Untitled Marvel Film," so who knows if these will be MCU, X-Men or Fantastic Four movies -- or all of them together (!??!!). Here's what we do know:

black-widow-mcu-phase-4

Pushed to summer and now set for release both in theaters and on Disney Plus with Premier Access (that means extra $$ on top of a subscription).

Jay Maidment/Marvel Studios

Black Widow 

  • Director: Cate Shortland
  • Writer: Jac Schaeffer (yes, the same Schaeffer who was showrunner of WandaVision)
  • Release date: July 9, in theaters and Disney Plus Premier Access
  • Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle
  • What we know: Very little, despite an almost two-year wait. In 2019, SDCC attendees were treated to an epic fight scene between ScarJo and Pugh where we learned the two are "sisters." Entertainment Tonight also learned some key Black Widow details after that year's epic Marvel panel. As the film introduces more than one Black Widow, there's potential for any of them to take over the mantle from ScarJo. Since then we've had a new trailer drop, but it just confirms how little we know, even while giving us a more in-depth look at the film's (presumed) villain, Taskmaster
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The first Shang-Chi trailer has arrived and it is P A C K E D. 

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by CNET

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

  • Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
  • Writer: Dave Callaham
  • Release date: Sept. 3
  • Starring: Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as Wenwu/Mandarin, and Awkwafina as Katy, BFF extraordinaire 
  • What we know: Not a whole lot, except the villain will be The Mandarin (and not the same one as Ben Kingsley's imposter in Iron Man 3). December's Disney Plus investor event was mostly focused on TV shows, but we did get a more comprehensive cast list. The first trailer gave us a look at Shang-Chi's past, his ever-loyal BFF Katy and the real, true, scary AF Mandarin -- it was just a "teaser" trailer though, and like most Marvel trailers didn't reveal much about the plot. 
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November, hopefully. 

Marvel

Eternals

  • Director: Chloe Zhao
  • Writers: Matthew and Ryan Firpo
  • Release date: Nov. 5
  • Starring: Angelina Jolie (playing Thena), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Kumail Nanjiani (Kingo), Lauren Ridloff (Makkari), Brian Tyree Henry (Phastos), Salma Hayek (Ajak), Lia McHugh (Sprite), Don Lee (Gilgamesh) and Kit Harrington (Dane Whitman)
  • What we know: Some of the roles have been gender-swapped, like Hayek as Ajak, who was originally the male leader of the Eternals. We also know from the official synopsis that our Eternals are ancient aliens who've been on Earth for ... well, a bit, and following the events of Endgame they're forced to "reunite against mankind's most ancient enemy, The Deviants.
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The title is officially official, the cast list ... less so. 

Marvel Studios

Spider-Man: No Way Home

  • Director: Jon Watts
  • Writers: Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers
  • Release date: Dec. 17
  • Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya return with Jacob Batalon. We also know Cumberbatch will join as Doctor Strange and Jamie Foxx has confirmed he'll appear as Electro (yes, again). There are loads of rumors Sony's OG Spideys Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will reprise their roles as part of a storyline about the multiverse, but nothing has been confirmed yet. 
  • What we know: Rumors suggest it will build upon the idea of the multiverse as teased in Far From Home -- for one, because we know it'll directly feed the next Marvel Studios film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Second, reports say past Spideys may be turning up again. However, No Way Home wrapped filming at the end of March without confirmation of multiple Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?). 
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March 2022

Marvel

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

  • Director: Sam Raimi
  • Writer: Michael Waldron, showrunner on the upcoming Loki series 
  • Release date: March 25, 2022
  • Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor are all returning from the first Strange film, along with Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch and MCU newcomer Xochitl Gomez (The Baby-sitter's Club) as America Chavez (aka Miss America)
  • What we know: Spider-Man: No Way Home and the events of WandaVision on Disney Plus will lead directly into this sequel in a way we can only imagine will be epic. (Yes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has previously featured characters from the films, including Lady Sif, but those plot points have never affected the MCU films. This is definitely a departure we're excited to see.) On stage at SDCC in 2019, Feige said just because Quentin Beck (from Spider-Man: Far From Home) lied about the multiverse, it doesn't mean there isn't one. Previously attached director Scott Derrickson had mentioned he wanted a gothic horror tone and had dreams of making the "first scary MCU film." Since his departure and the subsequent announcement of Raimi and Waldron taking over, we're not sure what direction the film will take. In addition to his work on Loki, Waldron has written for Rick & Morty (fourth season episode The Old Man and the Seat), so the idea of a multiverse is nothing new to him.
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Bale the (God) Butcher

Marvel

Thor Love & Thunder

  • Director: Taika Waititi
  • Writer: Taika Waititi
  • Release date: May 6, 2022
  • Starring: Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson return, (re-)joined by Natalie Portman as The Mighty Thor. Christian Bale joins as Gorr the God Butcher
  • What we know: Filming began in Australia earlier this year. Thor's hammer Mjolnir will be handed to Portman's character, but we have no clues as to how that power shift will happen. Thompson also confirmed Valkryie's sexuality on stage at SDCC 2019, saying she needs to find her queen. As with Thor: Ragnarok, expectations are high for Hollywood cameos (Russell Crowe!), and some have already been pictured on set (Matt Damon, Melissa McCarthy). 
Black Panther 2

Ryan Coogler and Kevin Feige on stage at D23 in 2019.

Marvel Studios

Black Panther sequel

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Marvel

Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania

  • Director: Peyton Reed
  • Writer: Peyton Reed
  • Release date: Purely speculating, we'd guess it'll take one of Disney's 2022 slots
  • Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer return; Kathryn Newton will join as Cassie Lang, and Jonathan Majors will play Kang the Conqueror.

Captain Marvel 2

  • Director: Nia DaCosta
  • Writer: Megan McDonnell, who was a writer for WandaVision 
  • Release date: Nov. 11, 2022 (Veteran's Day in the US) 
  • Starring: Brie Larson returns, will be joined by Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau, from WandaVision) and Iman Vellani (Ms. Marvel)
  • Status: We know Larson has begun training in her at-home gym, but that's about it!
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He's (gonna be) back.

Marvel

Blade

  • Director: Unknown
  • Writer: Stacy Osei-Kuffour, a writer on HBO's Watchmen limited series and Marvel's first Black female writer 
  • Release date: Hopefully it'll take the currently Untitled Marvel October 2022 slot, but maybe that's asking for too much 
  • Starring: Academy-Award winner Mahershala Ali as half-mortal, half-immortal vampire Blade. 
  • What we know: We know Ali got the job with some serious BDE, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 

  • Director: James Gunn
  • Writer: James Gunn
  • Release date: 2023 (presumably after the GOTG Holiday Special in winter 2022)  
  • Starring: Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana are all expected to return
  • Status: Gunn, who has been at work on The Suicide Squad for WarnerMedia's DCEU, has confirmed filming will begin this year on GOTG3. And the director has been hyping the project steadily on Twitter.


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Disney Plus

Fantastic Four

We also know the MCU will introduce the Fantastic Four in the coming years, helmed by director Jon Watts (who has guided the MCU's Spider-Man trilogy as well), but that's all we know. Bet on this coming in 2023, at the earliest

Disney Plus TV shows

WandaVision unexpectedly became the first Disney Plus Marvel show to premiere, catapulting fans into a sitcom with surprising depth. And the final of episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hits the streaming service this Friday at midnight PT.

We know many of the streamer's shows will be integral parts of future MCU canon, feeding characters (and maybe plotlines) into the films, as Marvel's Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige first confirmed at SDCC 2019. These Disney Plus series are overseen by Feige and apparently they have bigger budgets than what's typically allocated for "traditional" television shows.

As the MCU grows, it's important to note that earlier shows like the Netflix series and ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were produced by Marvel TV, under Jeph Loeb, then executive vice president and head of television. But they were never explicitly referenced by the movies, which is what really separates this new era of Disney Plus Marvel series (Loeb reportedly left Marvel Television at the end of 2019).

The year is already packed and Disney isn't done by a long shot. Here's what's still to come on the small screen.

Loki

  • Showrunner: Michael Waldron
  • Director: Kate Herron, who helmed episodes of the Netflix series Sex Education
  • Release date: June 11
  • Starring: Tom Hiddleston returns, joined by Owen Wilson (we presume as Mobius M. Mobius), Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sophia Di Martino, Wunmi Mosaku and Richard E. Grant
  • What we know: The show will focus on The Avengers' 2012 version of Loki, directly after the timey-wimey events of Endgame. That means we likely have some pre-redemption, wildly selfish escapades coming our way. And if that sounds confusing, don't fear: The "crime thriller" series, as Feige teasingly described it, will be equally confusing for Loki. Given the latest trailer prominently features the TVA, or Time Variance Authority, throughout, we can be pretty certain the series will revolve around the bureaucratic agency -- and would guess Loki will be running some very interesting errands for them (including playing the role of real-life mystery man D.B. Cooper, as seen in the first trailer?). 

What If…?

  • Release date: Summer 2021
  • Starring: Jeffery Wright will be The Watcher and a lot of MCU stars will voice alternate versions of their famous characters, including Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick Boseman and Chris Evans
  • What we know: The animated series will look at "new realities" rethinking the events seen in the MCU, such as Peggy Carter becoming a super soldier instead of Steve Rogers.

Ms. Marvel 

  • Showrunner: British writer Bisha K. Ali
  • Directors: Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
  • Expected release date: "Late" 2021
  • Starring: Iman Vellani as the title character, joined by Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Naki, Azher Usman, Travina Springer and Nimra Bucha
  • What we know: The show will focus on 16-year-old Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American girl living in Jersey City who's a "great student, avid gamer, and voracious fan-fic scribe." We also know she'll get powers and will make her way to the big screen in Captain Marvel 2. Feige confirmed as much to THR recently: "Some characters we've announced like She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight you will meet for the first time on a Disney Plus show and then they'll go into the movies but the MCU will now go back and forth."
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"Late" 2021

Marvel

Hawkeye

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Marvel

She-Hulk

  • Head writer: Rick & Morty vet Jessica Gao
  • Expected release date: All signs point to 2022 at the earliest
  • Starring: After serious denials, Tatiana Maslany was confirmed as the show star. We also know Mark Ruffalo with join as Bruce Banner/Hulk and Tim Roth will appear again as Abomination (first seen in 2008's The Incredible Hulk). 
  • What we know: She-Hulk will be directed by Kat Coiro and Anu Valia, and will focus on Jennifer Waters. The inclusion of Roth also means the most missable MCU film ever might just become a must-watch before this series drops (lol, no jk).
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Marvel

Moon Knight

  • Showrunner: The Umbrella Academy's Jeremy Slater
  • Expected release date: "Soon," says Disney -- but more likely mid-2022
  • Starring: Oscar Isaac stars as Marc Spector, joined by Ethan Hawke 
  • What we know: The official description is that the series "centers on the character Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight, a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. These multiple identities who live inside him are distinct characters in the series and will appear against a backdrop of Egyptian iconography." It will be directed by Mohamed Diab, an Egyptian writer and director.

And more to come about these Disney Plus series...

  • Secret Invasion: Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury teams up again with Ben Mendelsohn's Talos in a show focusing on shape-shifting Skrulls on Earth. Since debuting in Captain Marvel, Skrulls have slowly crept into other MCU projects including the end scenes of Far From Home and WandaVision.
  • Ironheart: Riri Williams is getting her moment! Dominique Thorne will play the young genius and successor to Tony Starks' Iron Man technology in the new series, which Feige confirmed will cross over with the larger MCU films.
  • Armor Wars: Don Cheadle returns as War Machine facing consequences of "Tony Stark's worst nightmare," as Feige put it.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: Arriving winter 2022 ahead of the third ensemble film, this James Gunn special isn't a series, just a one-off.
  • I Am Groot: An animated series of shorts featuring the beloved character.