Photo: MCU Phase 5 and 6
The San Diego Comic Con was back in person this year, after a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19. One of the top headlines for Comic Con was Marvel Studios. Marvel has been a constant subject in the media, especially as they’ve expanded their cinematic universe throughout the years. Back during Comic Con 2019, Marvel announced various new series coming to Disney Plus, and a handful of movies, all of which make up Phase Four (as the universe has organized its projects into phases). Since that time, nearly every project announced has been made. And so for this Comic Con, Marvel has announced their current slate for Phase Five and Phase Six.
Declaring itself as a part of “The Multiverse Saga,” there are so, so many new titles in the works, and they are all set to be released between now and 2025. The majority of these new titles have been expected, but that doesn’t diminish the excitement for them. Other projects were pure speculation, and have now been confirmed. It’s a stacked amount of movies and television. So let’s take a look at what these next few years have in store for superhero fans…
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Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy and She Hulk
Highly Anticipated Works of the MCU Phase 5 and 6
It’s no surprise that these announcements contain sequels and character spin-offs. Phase Four will wrap with the release of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ the awaited sequel to ‘Black Panther,’ in November of this year. The third Ant-Man film, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania’ will kick off Phase Five, and we will see the second season of ‘Loki.’ There’ll be a new team-up film ‘The Marvels,’ which will band together Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel, Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau, and the newly introduced Kamala Khan, played by Iman Vellani. All of these works will be released in 2023. The following year, we will see the exciting return of Charlie Cox’ Daredevil with a new Disney Plus show, ‘Daredevil: Born Again.’ The character previously found popularity in his own Netflix series, a series that wasn’t initially seen as canon in the MCU. Now he’s back! Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson was last seen in his own Disney Plus series about a year ago, and he will be returning for a new Captain America film. It’s fantastic to see so many deserving characters and actors get their time in the spotlight. There are many other titles within Phase Five to get excited for, these are just some of the highlights.
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Ending this phase will be the ‘Thunderbolts,’ which has been described as the MCU version of the ‘Suicide Squad,’ meaning it will center on former villains and anti-heroes – and who doesn’t love taking some time with the bad guys? There’s no confirmation on which characters we will see returning for this film yet, however, fans have been speculating the return of many, from Yelena Bolova (Florence Pugh), who stole the show in ‘Black Widow,’ to Ghost/Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen) the former villain from ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.’ And perhaps the most anticipated announcement was a new ‘Fantastic Four’ movie, hitting theaters in November 2024. This new movie will be the start of Phase Six. Fans have taken to the internet to place their casting picks for these iconic characters. Considering there have been multiple film adaptations (some of which failed) for the Fantastic Four, it’ll definitely be interesting to see the MCU’s take, and if it holds up to expectations.
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The Avengers are Back!
One of the recent difficulties with the MCU is: where is it all going? The beginnings of the universe seemed very clear with their solo films culminating in the groundbreaking ‘Avengers’ movie and its subsequent sequels. The characters from all their separate storylines banding together in one film were legendary, and seemed to reach its peak with ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ Now, there have been so many projects, it has been nearly impossible to see where it’s all going and what it’s adding up to. And it looks like there are more team-ups on the horizon!
Phase Six will give us two new Avengers’ films, both in 2025. ‘Avengers: The Kang Dynasty’ will hit theaters in May 2025, and ‘Avengers: Secret Wars’ will follow in that November. It’s insane to think that we will be getting TWO massive MCU films in just the span of that year. When you think about it, 2025 isn’t even that far away. Considering how many new characters have been introduced these past few years, and how many Avenger veterans are left standing, we can only predict how packed these films will be. There are so many more questions these announcements prompt, but for now, they give the universe a clearer path and reignite excitement for everyone.
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Bigger isn’t Always Better
Now all this excitement isn’t devoid of criticisms. The current surge in Marvel projects has been leaving many feeling like they have expanded too much, making it difficult for fans to keep up with everything, and stopping each project from reaching its fullest potential. Seeing all these new releases lined up is certainly intimidating, and the sheer amount of projects doesn’t help soothe the fears that the MCU is getting too big. Hollywood’s mindset at the moment centers on building franchises and reboots and spin-offs, and it doesn’t always work out the best from the audience’s perspective. We’re all too familiar with the notion that sometimes, less is more.
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The new round-up is a valid source of celebration and excitement. There seems to be something for everyone through the expansive amount of characters, and the corresponding tones their stories will have. Hopefully, the studio can push past the criticisms, while listening to what could improve, and each project can find its place in the wide world of the superhero genre. Marvel has been dominating the entertainment world for quite some time, and they have earned all the reputation they have. I know I’ll be waiting to see how these new phases turn out, as both a fangirl and a critic. Phase Five and Six, here we come!
By Rachel Beltowski
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Rachel Beltowski is a screenwriter and film critic, with a passion for character-driven stories and thought-provoking themes. From adventure to horror, Rachel enjoys stories which take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster and allow for personal expression that would otherwise go silent. Rachel was drawn to The Hollywood Insider’s dedication to individual perspectives and positive world impacts. The Hollywood Insider has provided a foundation for Rachel to share her insights and leap into the center of the entertainment industry. Rachel hopes to bring a fresh voice into the world of film and television, and share her love of stories with others.