When people think of Marvel Movies, they usually think about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (unsurprising as it has now become the largest movie franchise ever and regularly dominates the international box office); however, the MCU does not account for all of the many Marvel movies that will release in the next few years. Some of the rights to Marvel movies still lie with Sony Pictures Entertainment, and while they have an ongoing relationship with Marvel and Disney at this point, it is unclear exactly how their movies will tie into the MCU.
Critics have been voicing concerns about the MCU's success and questioning the longevity of franchises based on DC or Marvel comics, suggesting that superhero movies might simply be a passing fad. However, releases based on Marvel's comics show no signs of slowing down and DC is continuing to step up their own productions. While the pandemic caused several delays for Marvel and the MCU throughout 2020 and early 2021, they are not back at full force with 2022 already scheduled to be a heavy year for Marvel releases. Beyond the scheduled releases, there are even more spin-offs, reboots, and many more sequels planned for the not-too-distant future. When the pandemic is under better control in the future, Disney can be trusted to continue to heighten the development of their Marvel properties alongside other studios who have managed to hold on to the rights to some Marvel properties.
The Avengers in The Infinity Saga proved such a massive success that they have come to redefine the expectations and nature of movies going forward. The concept of a superhero movie is no longer seen as an inherent risk in the way that it was a couple of decades ago. This has allowed studios to take bigger perceived risks and lean into adapting more obscure comic properties for TV and film. Crucially, the greater certainty of success has finally led studios to be more willing to front their casts with characters who are not portrayed by cisgender straight men. Most notably, this has helped to lead to both Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings and Eternals, the latter of which might finally challenge Disney's longstanding LGBTQ+ problem. The studios behind the Marvel properties are also now working with directors who have distinctive tones and styles and allowing them more creative control that leads to a wider range of atmospheres for Marvel movies. The cinematic superhero genre is proving itself to be constantly evolving, and Marvel movies are leading the charge. Here's every Marvel movie releasing from 2021 to 2023.
Morbius - January 28, 2022
After reprising his role as The Joker in Zack Snyder's Justice League, Jared Leto is returning to the world of comic books in a role that should offer him a bit more screen time. Sony's Morbius movie has finished filming and, after several delays, will drop at the start of the new year. Jared Leto plays Michael Morbius, a doctor who tries to cure himself of a rare blood disease but in the process imbues himself with vampire-like traits, including a lust for human blood. Morbius is directed by Daniel Espinosa and will also star Doctor Who alum Matt Smith as the villainous Loxias Crown. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Tyrese Gibson, and Michael Keaton, seemingly reprising Adrian Toomes (a.k.a. Vulture). Keaton's presence in the film suggests that Morbius, like Venom: Let There Be Carnage, is actually part of the MCU through a collaboration between Marvel Studios and Sony.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - May 6, 2022
Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War earned him widespread acclaim, which is partly why Marvel Studios Phase 4 set up Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. With Sam Raimi signed on to direct from a script by Jade Bartlett and Loki's Michael Waldron, Doctor Strange's second solo adventure won't see him entirely alone. Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) will play a large role in the story, paying off some of the setups from WandaVision; however, the bulk of the narrative is still being kept under wraps. While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was originally planned to be a horror movie, it seems unlikely that this is the case as Scott Derickson left the production when it became clear that he couldn't make it the horror that he wanted, and What If...? explored a horror take on Doctor Strange already in one of their episodes.
Benedict Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams will return, like Wong, Baron Mordo, and Christine Palmer, respectively. They'll be joined by MCU newcomer Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez. The story will presumably be heavily influenced by the events of WandaVision, Loki, and Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Thor: Love and Thunder - July 8, 2022
With Thor: Love and Thunder, the Asgardian warrior becomes the first MCU hero to get a fourth solo movie. Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi returns to write (alongside Jennifer Kaytin Robinson) and direct the proceedings. Love and Thunder will mark the return of Natalie Portman's Jane Foster to the MCU. Jane will become a female version of Thor, while new Asgardian king Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) will be on the hunt for her queen. With several other familiar faces set to flit in and out of the story, Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) will serve as the central source of conflict.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - November 11, 2022
Ryan Coogler's Black Panther quickly became one of the biggest Marvel movies of all time, and while its international gross wasn't on the same level as Avengers: Infinity War (which no one expected it would be), there's no denying that it was an astounding success - critically and commercially - for Marvel Studios. So, it's no wonder that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to happen, with Coogler back in the director's chair. After Chadwick Boseman's tragic passing, there are no plans to recast the role, and the production team has confirmed that they will not be using CGI to add Boseman's likeness to the movie. Instead, the sequel is set to focus on other aspects of Wakanda, its people, and its culture. As usual, story details are scarce this far out from its summer 2022 release. However, Namor the Sub-Mariner will reportedly join the MCU in the Black Panther sequel.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 - October 7, 2022
In addition to developing the story, it took several years to create the animation style that's seen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was released in December 2018 and quickly became one of the most beloved superhero movies ever released. Shortly before Into the Spider-Verse hit theaters, Sony Pictures confirmed plans to produce a sequel. While story details are scarce, Into the Spider-Verse set up two sequels that allow for Miles Morales' story to branch off in multiple directions. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 has officially webbed up a 2022 release date and will include the addition of Japanese Spider-Man.
The Marvels - February 17, 2023
While not a hit quite as big as the likes of Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel's first adventure was still a massive success. As such, it's no surprise that Brie Larson's Carol Danvers is set to return for a sequel towards the end of 2022. As usual for Marvel, almost nothing is known about Captain Marvel 2's plot this far out from release. It will, however, take place in the modern-day. Equally, now officially retitled as The Marvels, the sequel will see Carol join forces with a now grown-up Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). The latter will make her debut in the Ms. Marvel Disney+ series, and together they will square off with Zawe Ashton's mystery villain. Nia DaCosta has signed on to direct, with WandaVision's Megan McDonnell officially penning the script.
Kraven The Hunter - January 13, 2023
Following in the footsteps of Venom and Morbius, the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters will continue with Kraven the Hunter. The idea for the solo movie was first broached in 2018. By 2020, it had a script written by Richard Wenk and then re-written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Soon after, J.C. Chandor entered talks to direct the film - however, it's worth noting that little was heard about potential developments in the months that followed. Production took a huge leap forward in May 2021, however, when Aaron Taylor-Johnson landed Kraven's titular role. Set for an early 2023 release, the move sparked endless questions about the film's potential place in MCU's multiverse, given his previous turn as Pietro Maximoff (a.k.a. Quicksilver).
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 - May 5, 2023
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has already had a rocky road to production, with director James Gunn being fired by Disney after offensive jokes he made on Twitter years earlier resurfaced. After both fans and colleagues came out fiercely in support of Gunn, the decision was ultimately made to rehire him - though not before he'd already been snapped up by Warner Bros. to direct The Suicide Squad. Gunn moved swiftly from that to a Peacemaker TV spinoff centered on John Cena's Peacemaker. As a result, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 reportedly won't start filming until 2021's final months, at the earliest. Therefore, it'll be a while before we see the team back in action and any story details are revealed. However, the full cast is confirmed to be returning, following on from cameo appearances in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania - July 28, 2023
Following on from Ant-Man and The Wasp, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) was confirmed for a third outing. The duo will once again be joined by Michael Douglas' Hank Pym and Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet van Dyne. Despite being played by Emma Fuhrmann in Avengers: Endgame, the character of Cassie Lang will be assumed by Kathryn Newton. With an early 2023 release date confirmed, filming has already begun in England. Peyton Reed once again took on directorial duties, working from a script penned by Rick and Morty's Jeff Loveness. The shrinking superheroes will face their biggest challenge yet, with the iconic Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors) making his MCU debut.
2023 Unassigned MCU Release Date
Marvel has one unassigned MCU release date left in 2023 after their October 2021 schedule reshuffle. That date is November 3, 2023. There are several options for movies that might fill this slot when announced. The less likely options are Captain America 4, Deadpool 3, or even the planned mutant film. However, the two most likely candidates are Blade and the MCU's reboot of Fantastic Four.
Blade has a script written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour, and the Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali is attached to play the vampiric-vampire-slaying titular hero. The MCU is dropping a lot of hints that Blade is not too far off after Easter eggs hinted at his existence in Loki, and he was then Mahershala Ali's Blade was confirmed to be the voice speaking to Kit Harrington's Dane Whitman/Black Knight in Eternals.
The upcoming Fantastic Four reboot follows on from two poorly received iterations of the franchise in recent history, one with Fantastic Four and then Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2005 and 2007, respectively, and then a reboot in 2015. But Kevin Feige announced in 2019 that the group would be entering the MCU. There's hope that this iteration might break the curse as it is being led by Jon Watts, the director who has run the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies, another franchise that was adapted in the early 2000s and then had a critically-panned reboot in the 2010s.
Spider-Women - Release Date TBD
Intended as a spin-off film from the original Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Spider-Women aims to be an all-female Spider-Man film. The movie will see Gwen Stacy's Spider-Gwen return at the forefront. The characters of Jessica Drew (AKA Spider-Woman) and Cindy Moon (AKA Silk) are also planned for the film. Bek Smith is attached to write the screenplay and there are reportedly talks ongoing to have Lauren Montgomery direct Spider-Women.
Madame Web - Release Date TBD
A part of Sony Pictures' Universe of Marvel Characters, Madame Web has been in development since 2019. Cassandra Webb, a mutant and an ally of Spider-Man, is a clairvoyant who is blind and paralyzed and relies on a web-shaped life support system to survive. Sony rehired the writers from Morbius, Matt Sazama, and Burk Sharpless, putting a lot of pressure on the Leto-fronted project to succeed. S.J. Clarkson, who worked on Jessica Jones and The Defenders, is attached to direct, but further progress is halted until they find the right actress for the role. Madame Web will be Sony Pictures' first Marvel property adaptation with a female lead.
Jackpot - Release Date TBD
First announced to be under consideration by Sony in 2018, Jackpot was revealed in 2020 to have been fully under development since that time. Marc Guggenheim, who worked on the original comic books as well as TV shows like Supergirl and Arrow and movies like Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Green Lantern, is working on the screenplay. Jackpot is a moniker used by two people in the Marvel comics universe. First to use the title was Sara Ehret, who is given superpowers when exposed to a gene therapy experiment from an Oscorp subsidiary. Later, Alana Jobson buys the title from Ehret and uses enhancement drugs to mimic her powers before becoming an ally of Spider-Man.
Spider-Man Sequel Trilogy
Continuing the focus on Spider-Man and his cohort, it has been confirmed that Tom Holland will return as Spider-Man not just for future Avengers projects but in an additional trilogy of standalone Spider-Man Movies. Some thought that Spider-Man: No Way Home might end up being Holland's last solo outing as the web-slinger, but this news proves otherwise. While both Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans' Steve Rogers/Captain America each only got three solo outings before stepping away from the MCU, Tom Holland's Peter Parker is now set to smash that record entirely. This will presumably lead to further collaborations with Sony and the introduction of some of the other characters that have picked up "spider" mantles over the years. Little is known of the plot or release schedule for these movies and the MCU and Sony Spider-Man Villain Universe are both likely to see some big changes before Tom Holland swings back onto the big screen for his next solo movie.
While its development has had a question mark over it for some time, Sony still seems to be also planning on making a Sinister Six movie in the future, with many of their currently planned films building towards that. There are likely more Marvel movies in development that will be released at a later date, but, for now, fans have a lot to look forward to.
- Morbius (2022)Release date: Apr 01, 2022
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 (2022)Release date: Oct 07, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Kraven the Hunter (2023)Release date: Jan 13, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023