Photo Credit: Disney/Marvel Studios
After seeing the reveal of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Four at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 over the weekend, one would be forgiven for thinking that this was just part of the slate, considering it only spans a year and a half — from Black Widow in May 2020 to Thor: Love and Thunder in November 2021. But Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed that everything announced at Comic-Con is in fact the entirety of MCU's Phase 4, which is both interesting and understandable once you think about it for a few minutes.
“It is the complete Phase Four the way I announced the complete Phase Three five years ago,” Feige told Collider at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 on Saturday. “Things can move, things can change as they did if you go back and look at what we talked about five years ago for Phase Three, but we've been working on this for quite a while and it's pretty set. But there are always changes possible.”
At first glance, Marvel's Phase 4 would appear to be light, with just five films announced: Black Widow, The Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder. But Phase 4 is unique in that it'll be the first time that its big-screen stars will cross over to the small screen in five Disney+ series: The Falcon and the Winter Solider, WandaVision, Loki, What If...?, and Hawkeye.
If you excuse the non-canon animated series What If...?, that's still nine titles packed in a year and a half, which is the densest run for the MCU yet. We haven't had more than three Marvel Studios releases in a year yet. In 2021, there will be potentially seven, thanks to Marvel's parent company Disney's wish to become a big streaming player. We've had Marvel TV series in the past, sure, but all these shows will be much more deeply woven into the frame of the MCU than ever before.
And since the Comic-Con 2019 slate is the full Phase 4, that means the Blade reboot announced with Mahershala Ali will naturally come later — either as part of Phase 5 or later, who knows. Marvel's Phase 5 will also possibly include Black Panther 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Captain Marvel 2, Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel, and a new take on Fantastic Four and the X-Men.
Of course, as Feige noted, changes are always possible just as they happened with Phase 3. Marvel didn't have a deal with Sony Pictures for Spider-Man at the beginning in 2014, and they also had this film called Inhumans on the slate, which went on to be a disaster as a TV series. It's entirely possible that Marvel might extend Phase 4 at a later date and add something we weren't expecting.
For now though, there's also no Avengers-style get-together film for Phase 4, which makes it the first MCU chapter not to have one of those since the beginning. Feige also touched upon that at Comic-Con.
“We had a movie this year called Avengers: Endgame, and it is very much an ending, as you saw, to so many of those characters,” Feige told IGN. “So Phase 4 is about beginnings, and Phase 4 is about learning new things about characters you already think you know like Black Widow, meeting incredible new characters like The Eternals and Shang-Chi, going on new adventures with Doctor Strange and Thor, and these Disney+ shows, which I promise will be spectacular and not what anybody's expecting.”