Thor: Love & Thunder is sure to make a distinctive mark on the MCU, and likely each of the 11 Marvel movies currently announced to release after Thor: Love & Thunder, too. Staple MCU characters such as Captain America (the Steve Rogers version), Iron Man, and Black Widow were retired after the climactic ending of the Infinity Saga in Avengers: Endgame, leaving plenty of opportunities for Marvel to introduce a massive array of new characters and fresh stories – and making Thor all the more important in the current universe. While the Phase 4 projects in the MCU still feel quite disconnected and separate, Marvel have a huge slate of films and series’ planned which will surely bring the stories together in spectacular fashion, much like they did during previous phases.
Aside from 14 upcoming Disney+ series’ taking place in the MCU and two holiday specials, Marvel are set to release 11 feature film titles in the near future. Only four of these upcoming projects are linked to a definite release date after Thor: Love & Thunder – a problem set to be resolved both in late July at 2022’s San Diego Comic Con and September at the D23 Expo, where more MCU projects and more release dates are expected to be revealed. For now, though, there are several MCU films that are confirmed to be coming from MCU after the release of Thor: Love & Thunder, starting with the highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – November 11, 2022
After the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman in 2020, fans were left speculating about how Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would take shape without its lead. Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios decided not to recast T’Challa in the MCU, instead choosing to use the film as a legacy project for the actor. While most of the main cast from Black Panther were confirmed to be returning, Letitia Wright’s Shuri was singled out for being given a more substantial role in the sequel. New additions include Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, a.k.a. Ironheart, who is set to have her own Disney+ series, and Tenoch Huerta in an as-yet-undisclosed role that is rumored to be that of Namor the Sub-Mariner.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will certainly be an emotional watch for many after Boseman’s death. His absence in this film will be impossible to ignore. But more focus on other characters and a deeper exploration into Wakandan subcultures will help to flesh out the technologically advanced country, and the rumors of Namor’s appearance in the sequel are exciting for comic fans who’ve been waiting years to see the Atlantean in the MCU.
Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania – February 17, 2023
In the past, Ant-Man films have often been overshadowed, sandwiched between more hyped-up films such as Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War. But this time, it seems Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will take the spotlight as the MCU film many are eager to watch. The confirmation of Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror, a variant of He Who Remains from Loki, has made Marvel fans very excited for the future of the franchise.
As well as Majors, the rest of the main cast are confirmed to be returning, including Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Joining them is MCU newcomer Kathryn Newton as Scott Lang’s daughter Cassie, aged and recast (again) after the Blip. Aside from Kang’s true introduction into the MCU, Quantumania is set to explore the Quantum Realm even further, with Peyton Reed stating they were just “dipping [their] toes into it” in previous films.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 – May 5, 2023
Perhaps Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be the MCU instalment most affected by Thor: Love & Thunder. Thor and the Guardians left Earth together at the end of Avengers: Endgame and the Guardians have already made their appearance in recent trailers for the fourth Thor film. James Gunn returns in what is set to be the final film for some members of the Guardians team, with this set to be the final Guardians of the Galaxy film with its current roster of heroes.
The entire main cast is set to return in what is sure to be an explosive sequel. Joining them, Will Poulter has been confirmed to be taking on the role of Adam Warlock, a character whose introduction into the MCU will have ramifications for years to come. Before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is released, viewers can watch the Guardians in Thor: Love & Thunder and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special set to be released in December 2022.
The Marvels – July 28, 2023
The Marvels is set to bring Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel hero Carol Danvers together with like-minded, superpowered women. Teyonah Parris will star as an adult Monica Rambeau, who gained her powers by walking through the Westview Hex in WandaVision. Alongside the adult heroes, Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), the teen Djinn-descendant superhero introduced in Ms. Marvel will also have an important role in the film.
Not much information has yet been shared about the premise of The Marvels, with the storyline either following on from the 1990’s setting of Captain Marvel, or taking place in the present day. Viewers can be sure to see more action involving S.W.O.R.D., first featured in WandaVision. With the confirmed return of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, perhaps some more Skrull developments too ahead of Disney+ series Secret Invasion. Note: Marvel Have Already Started To Expand Into The New
After the 2019 finalization of Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, the rights to properties such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four were returned to Marvel, making audiences excited to finally see Marvel’s First Family interact with the established heroes. John Krasinski’s Reed Richards has already made an appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as a member of Earth-838’s Illuminati. However, his performance was met with a mixed reception, so it’s unsure whether Krasinski will be returning to play the Reed Richards in the MCU Fantastic Four.
Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Homecoming trilogy director was originally set to direct Fantastic Four for Marvel, but split with the project in April 2022 to take a break from directing superhero films. Very little is known about the MCU’s adaptation of the Fantastic Four. The film is not currently attached to a release date, but it could potentially fill the open slot in 2023’s slate.