2022 seems to be another colossal year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Or, we must say the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse (MCM), which has surfaced in Marvel Phase 4.
After laying quiescent for more than a year amid the pandemic, Marvel Studios made a resounding comeback in 2021 releasing nine titles in theaters and on the Disney Plus streaming platform. Among the titles released was the first billion-dollar grossing film of the pandemic era, “Spider-Man: No Way Home”; Marvel Studios’ first animated series, “What If…?”; and Marvel Studios’ first-ever nominees and winners at Emmys, “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
The theatrical releases “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Eternals” presented a fleet of new superheroes and novel myths into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Loki,” the Disney Plus series, unleashed the MCU multiverse for the first time, portending all kinds of storytelling trickeries.
Meanwhile, “Black Widow” and “Hawkeye” introduced two new characters; Yelena Belova (played by Florence Pugh) and Kate Bishop (played by Hailee Steinfeld), who have drawn their respective heroic names from the OG Avengers who actually invented them.
After a much happening year, one might expect Marvel to go on a respite, but the studio’s account keeps getting larger: Reportedly, there are at least 24 new titles in the making for 2022 and succeeding years. On the feature film front, Marvel plans to release sequels of “Doctor Strange” directed by Sam Raimi, “Thor” directed by Taika Waititi, “Black Panther” under the direction of Ryan Coogler, “Captain Marvel” under the direction of Nia DaCosta, “Guardians of the Galaxy” directed by James Gunn, and “Ant-Man” under the direction of Peyton Reed.
Moreover, the much-awaited reboot of “Blade” starring Mahershala Ali, and “Fantastic Four” directed by Jon Watts is also in the pipeline for 2022.
Disney Plus will offer adaptations of “Ms. Marvel” with neophyte Iman Vellani, “She-Hulk” featuring Mark Ruffalo and Tatiana Maslany, “Moon Knight” starring Ethan Hawkeye and Oscar Isaac, “Secret Invasion” featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Olivia Colman; a “WandaVision” offshoot featuring Kathryn Hahn, a “Hawkeye” adaptation featuring Alaqua Cox, and subsequent seasons of “Loki” and “What If…?”
There is also a slew of titles in the works, containing a series set in the Wakanda Kingdom, and a feature film follow-up of “Captain America” featuring Anthony Mackie.
Not just that, after the premiere of “What If…?” several animated titles are set to arrive on Disney Plus, including Marvel Studios’ first swipe at “X-Men” after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019.
According to Kevin Feige; Marvel’s chief creative officer and creative executives team at Marvel Studios, the MCU’s post-“Avengers: Endgame” tab represents the most belligerent creative expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since “The Avengers” in 2012 reformed what was thinkable with superhero storytelling.
Several of Marvel’s Phase 4 projects are given official launch dates, although some key titles are still in the gray areas.
Following is a list of confirmed launch dates for the MCU’s 2022 film and TV show calendar, as well as probable launch dates of other MCU titles.
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 6, 2022)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8, 2022)
- Ms. Marvel (summer 2022)
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (November 11, 2022)
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (December 2022)
- Moon Knight (expected 2022)
- She-Hulk (expected in 2022)
- Secret Invasion (expected in 2022)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (July 28, 2023)
- Fantastic Four (TBA)
- Blade (TBA)
- “X-Men ’97” (2023)
- “I Am Groot” (Undated)
- “Marvel Zombies” (Undated)
- “Spider-Man: Freshman Year” (Undated)
- “Agatha: House of Harkness” (Undated)
- “Armor Wars” (Undated)
- “Echo” (Undated)
- “Ironheart” (Undated)
- “Loki” Season 2 (Undated)
- “What If…?” Season 2 (Undated)
- “Captain America” Sequel (Undated)
- “Deadpool 3” (Undated)
- Untitled Wakanda Series (Undated)
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” (May 6, 2022) – Theaters
“Doctor Strange” sequel featuring Cumberbatch in the title role once again, is set to release on May 06, 2022. Sam Raimi, director of the original “Spider-Man” trilogy, marks his return to superhero cinema with this title. Other stars to reprise their roles from the original Doctor Strange include Benedict Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Rachel McAdams.
Karl Mordo, Ejiofor’s character, is taking a 360-degree turn in his role from one of Dr. Stephen Strange’s aides to one of his foes. Young artist Xochitl Gomez will star as America Chavez, who ultimately becomes the superhero Miss America; the first and foremost openly LGBTQ Latinx character to lead their own comics series.
MCU Tie-In: Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch continues the events from “WandaVision.” WandaVision and Spider-Man: No Way Home will each tie into the sequel of Doctor Strange.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” (July 8, 2022) – Theaters
Taika Waititi will return to MCU with the direction of the fourth “Thor” film, which he’s also co-writing with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (“Someone Great”). He’s also all set to reprise his motion-capture act as Thor’s alien friend Korg.
Tessa Thompson will make a comeback as Valkyrie, while Natalie Portman, after going missing from “Thor: Ragnarok,” will return as Jane Foster, who will become the headline of the plot when she takes up Thor’s hammer and converts into the Mighty Thor.
Jaimie Alexander, last seen in “The Dark World” and “Loki” is returning as Thor’s countryman, Sif. Whereas, Christian Bale, the Dark Knight himself, will feature as the villain, Gorr the God Butcher, whose main purpose of life is evident from his name.
MCU Tie-In: Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, last appeared in “Endgame” joking with Thor over who is at the helms of the Guardians of the Galaxy, will return in “Love and Thunder,” along with at least one fellow “Guardians” costar Karen Gillan as Nebula. Whether the rest of the “Guardians” cast will feature is still unclear.
“Ms. Marvel” (Feb. 17, 2023) – Theaters
Iman Vellani who is also known as Kamala khan lands the title role in the new Disney Plus show that is one of the most recent new characters introduced in the folds of Marvel Comics.
The 16 years old newcomer Kamala khan gets to perform as Marvel’s first-ever Muslim lead character. She is a huge fan of Marvel’s superheroes, but Captain Marvel is a fav. Kamala attains the power to alter her size and shape, enabling her to jab with a huge fist, among other things. Rish Shah Mohan Kapur and Matt Lintz will also feature.
Nia DaCosta the director of “Candyman” will take the direction responsibilities of the sequel to the $1.1 billion-grossing blockbuster “Captain Marvel,” featuring Brie Larson. However, the new title makes it clear that the story will not be just about Carol Danvers, instead, it will be a small-scale all-female tag-team adventure. Megan McDonnell from “WandaVision” has written the script.
MCU Tie-In: “Ms. Marvel” artist Iman Vellani will co-lead the plot as Kamala Khan, who venerates Captain Marvel. Teyonah Parris will feature as the grownup Monica Rambeau, who transmuted into a boosted superhero during the story of “WandaVision,” which concluded with an invitation by the Skrulls for Monica to set out in space.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Nov. 11, 2022) – Theaters
Kevin Feige has set his mind on not recasting the role of T’Challa after the demise of Chadwick Boseman. What is still vague though is what it means for this franchise. Fans are anticipating that T’Challa’s sister Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) would become the spearhead of Wakanda and take on the mission of the Black Panther, but the only imaginative element of this movie that’s been revealed so far is its title, which at least is an indication of Marvel’s commitment to this franchise.
MCU Tie-In: Dominique Thorne from “Judas and the Black Messiah” will instigate the role of Riri Williams before she performs in the Disney Plus series “Ironheart.”
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (Dec. 2022) – Disney Plus
James Gunn, the “Guardians” auteur is directing and writing this holiday special, which will be produced during the shooting of “Guardians Vol. 3.” The plot will star the main cast members and try to bridge the significant storytelling gap between 2017’s “Guardians Vol. 2” and “Vol. 3.”
This holiday special will debut in December 2022 before Vol. 3 hits theaters.
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“Moon Knight” (2022) – Disney Plus
Oscar Isaac features Marc Spector, whose dissociative identity disorder exhibits itself as different individual personalities. In the comics, this happens when Spector morphs into the quintessence of the Egyptian god of the moon; Khonshu. This will be Issac’s second swipe at an Egyptian-themed Marvel character after he featured as Apocalypse in “X-Men: Apocalypse.”
Nevertheless, Egyptian director Mohamed Diab who directed “Clash” and “Cairo 678” will also direct this series, along with Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead of “The Endless”. Ethan Hawke and May Calamawy will co-star.
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“She-Hulk” (2022) – Disney Plus
Tatiana Maslany will act as Jennifer Walters, a lawyer whose specialization involves cases related to superheroes. As depicted in the comics, Walters and Bruce Banner are cousins, and a blood transmission from Banner provides her Hulk-ing skills.
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Ginger Gonzaga, Jameela Jamil, and Josh Segarra will all co-star. Jessica Gao from “Rick and Morty” is writing the plot, while Kat Coiro from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and Anu Valia from “Never Have I Ever” will be directing the series.
MCU Tie-In: Unsurprisingly, Mark Ruffalo will feature as Banner; but it’s rather surprising that Tim Roth will feature as the Abomination, the villain from Marvel Studios’ infamous second film ever, “The Incredible Hulk” of 2008.
“Secret Invasion” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
The upcoming series stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Ben Mendelsohn as Talos. The “comic event series” will present shapeshifting Skrulls similar to Talos who have been penetrating Earth for several years.
MCU Tie-In: It is unclear, but Feige has teasingly revealed that this is the MCU’s most aspiring crossover affair since the “Avengers” titles.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” (May 5, 2023) – Theaters
The Guardians come back together with James Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in mid-2023, with Marvel’s mystery trailer insinuating that Fantastic Four will be coming subsequently. Back in late 2021, it was revealed that Will Poulter was fused with the cast as Warlock.
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” (July 27, 2023) –Theaters
The title for the third “Ant-Man” film denotes the minuscule Quantum Zone first discovered in “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and the storytelling method for all the time-traveling trickeries in “Endgame.”
Peyton Reed is returning as director once more, along with Evangeline Lilly, Paul Rudd, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Douglas. Kathryn Newton from “Big Little Lies” will feature as Cassie Lang, Scott Lang’s mature daughter. And Jonathan Majors from “Lovecraft Country” will star as villain Kang the Conqueror.
MCU Tie-In: Majors kicked off his MCU career with the Disney Plus series “Loki” in 2021 as a version of Kang known as He Who Remains, whose demise ignites the multiverse and signals Kang’s introduction. Fans would expect all those events to feature in “Quantum Mania” in some style.
“Fantastic Four” (Unscheduled) – Theaters
With the takeover of 20th Century Fox (now known as 20th Century Studios) by Disney, Marvel fans straightaway saw an imminent feature of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in MCU. These two classic Marvel franchises had previously existed outside the MCU realm. In December 2020, Feige revealed production on the latter, directed by Jon Watts, the filmmaker of “Spider-Man.”
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“Blade” (Unscheduled) – Theaters
Mahershala Ali hinted to Marvel Studios his desire to feature in the lead role of “Blade” reboot, while he was making the Marvel series for Netflix named “Luke Cage.” The Blade is a famous superhero franchise about the sword-wielding mixture of a human and vampire first led by Wesley Snipes.
The Blade superhero is also credited by critics for paving the way for the superhero cinema revival. Marvel knew it wasn’t an opportunity to be missed and said yes to Ali.
MCU Tie-In: Still unclear, but Ali ignited the speculations with an audio-only cameo in one of the post-credits scenes of “Eternals.”
“X-Men ’97” (2023) – Disney Plus
With the 20th Century Fox producing “X-Men” movies done and dusted following Disney’s purchase of the Fox studio, many fans believed Marvel Studios would remake the mutant superheroes in the form of live-action movies or TV shows.
Instead, Marvel has decided to resuscitate the inspiring Saturday morning “X-Men” animated series, which aired for five seasons from 1992 to 1997 and is broadly considered the reason behind Fox’s decision to make a live-action “X-Men” film. Beau DeMayo from “The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf” on Netflix will be the head writer. No voice artist has been revealed yet.
MCU Tie-In: Still unclear, but with the multiverse trending, “X-Men ’97” doesn’t necessarily have to link up with any of the MCU titles anyway.
“I Am Groot” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
The show I Am Groot will contain sequences of original shorts as Groot discovers the galaxy together with new and unfamiliar characters. What else we know is that the show is for Disney Plus. I am Groot. Up till now, Marvel hasn’t made any official announcements on in what manner or if “Guardians of the Galaxy” specialist James Gunn or Vin Diesel, Groot actor will be there in any involvement with the series. But in any way who cannot be excited for a show about a cute alien plant?
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“Marvel Zombies” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
The animated series is about a zombie apocalypse that is caused by the Avengers. Yes, you read it right, Avengers who are now turned into flesh-craving undead super-powered beings. And that is pretty much the whole thing you must know about this animated series. The title of the series originates from the 2005-2006 comic book written by “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman.
The art for the mini-series was by Sean Phillips. These comics’ stories were already merely adapted in one of the episodes of the first season of “What If…?” It is not clear yet if this series will just be a spin-off of that episode from “What If…?” or a whole new thing. But what we do know is “What If…?” director Bryan Andrews is also directing this show.
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“Spider-Man: Freshman Year” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
Marvel’s animated series Spider-Man: Freshman Year will be nothing like “What If…?” with a modern look. As the show will origins back to Peter Parker’s comic book and how Peter starts his journey to turn into a full-fledged Spider-Man. The head writer of the series is Jeff Trammel, who will also executive produce.
MCU Tie-In: Press resources hint that this title is unequivocally a part of the MCU, so it could eventually sensationalize the fundamental get-bitten-by-a-radioactive-spider foundation story that the Tom Holland version of Spider-Man entirely missed.
“Agatha: House of Harkness” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
According to the Verity news, we will see Kathryn Hahn in this “WandaVision” spin-off series that is about Agatha Harkness, the witch she played with perfection. As a part of the deal Jac Schaeffer, “WandaVision” head writer, had with Marvel Studios and 20th Television, she will write and executive produce the show. Looking at Hahn’s acting skills, the new show will be full of shady comedy.
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“Armor Wars” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
According to the comics, the Armor Wars follows the story of Tony Stark and portrays his fear when his Iron Man technology gets in the wrong hands. But the twist is Stark is dead now in the MCU so now Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes will take the lead in this edition as an alternative.
MCU Tie-In: Not clear.
“Echo” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
Variety first testified in March that Alaqua Cox will star in the “Hawkeye” spin-off series as Echo. The spin-off will follow the story of a deaf Native American superhero who can copy her rivals in a fight perfectly. The series would be the first individual superhero show about a Native American character. Etan Cohen and Emily Cohen are to write and executive produce the series.
MCU Tie-In: It remains unclear, although provided its tie-in with “Hawkeye,” it can be assumed that at least a slew of the characters from that show would feature in Echo. That includes her old chief, Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio), who first inflicted mayhem in “Daredevil” of Netflix, and given the fact that Matt Murdock, Daredevil’s alter-ego, nipped-in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” chances are he could also reappear in this series.
“Ironheart” (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
Dominique Thorne from “Judas and the Black Messiah” will play Riri Williams, who is an engineering genius who makes her own super-suit just like Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit according to the comics.
Screenwriter Chinaka Hodge will assist as head writer.
MCU Tie-In: Williams will make his first appearance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in 2022.
“Loki” Season 2 (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
The finale of “Loki,” season 1 ended with one big cliffhanger leaving the audience biting their fingers for what will come next and when. In the finale episode of “Loki,” the god of mischief (Tom Hiddleston) and his female companion, who is also his first true love — Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) comes face to face with the shady mastermind who made all of the Time Variance Authority, also known as He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors).
Upon their encounter HWR offers Loki and Sylvie an overview of the TVA, giving them a warning that killing him will only start over the multiverse war and he will restore him to life in his far more brutal life.
Loki takes the warning seriously, but Sylvie doesn’t believe any of it. She throws Loki back to the TVA before killing He Who Remains by piercing through his heart. Which causes the timeline to fracture into infinite branches. As the series ends, Loki finds out that Sylvie sent him to entirely another reality, the one in which his BFF Mobius (Owen Wilson) doesn’t even know him.
Marvel did announce straightaway that “Loki” will be back with a Season 2, but the show’s return date is still not confirmed.
MCU Tie-In: Unclear, other than Kang.
“What If…?” Season 2 (Unscheduled) – Disney Plus
Many major cliffhangers from the “What If…?” seasons were well resolved in the finale of “Loki” season 1, in which the alternative storylines within the Marvel Studios multiverse were explored. However, there are still two of them remaining. One, a discovery made by Captain Carter that the “Hydra Stomper” suit which was worn by Steve Rogers during WWII has been preserved till date, and someone was still inside it.
Two, the arrival of another Gamora wearing Thanos’ armor and teaming up with Tony Stark who is in a kind of cosmic Iron Man suit.
A.C. Bradley, the head writer, told Variety that the fans can hopefully see both storylines to continue in Season 2. Even though there haven’t been any official announcements by Marvel Studios, Director Bryan Andrews gave hints that season two could premiere at some time in 2022.
“I think everyone’s going to be surprised by the way Gamora gets that armor, and how her relationship with Tony evolves. Because they’re obviously good friends in that bit that we see [in the Season 1 finale].” Bradley revealed in a statement.
MCU Tie-In: Bradley has made it clear that the show occurs within the Marvel Studios tenet as part of the multiverse.
“Captain America” Sequel (Unscheduled) – Under Production for Theaters
The chief writer of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” Malcolm Spellman and assistant writer Dalan Musson are writing a script for a new “Captain America” film. There are no more specifications known at this time, but the film would probably be headlined by “FAWS” star Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson.
MCU Tie-In: Still unclear, but several notable plot fibrils were left drooping as the “FAWS” concluded. Those included Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) uncovering herself to be the notorious Power Broker right at the moment she’s forgiven and brought back into the U.S. government and dishonored former Captain America John Walker (played by Wyatt Russell) becoming rebranded as U.S. Agent, at the directive of the crepuscular executive Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine ( played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
“Deadpool 3” (Unscheduled) – Under Production for Theaters
With Fox’s “X-Men” movies officially ending after the two flops of “Dark Phoenix” and “The New Mutants” before the sale to Disney, the “Deadpool” sequel films remain the most financially successful “X-Men” movie. The two spin-offs of “Deadpool” movies earned $1.57 billion combined.
That pretty much explains why in January 2021 Feige confirmed to Collider that superstar Ryan Reynolds is “overseeing” a new script for “Deadpool 3”. The third installment will be set within the MCU and will be rated R. Given Reynolds’ schedule, Feige also specified that the earliest the film could be shot is in 2022.
MCU Tie-In: Unclear.
Untitled Wakanda Series (Unscheduled) – Under Production for Disney Plus
Disney announced in February 2021, that “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler is in progress to develop a series for Disney Plus which is set in the Kingdom of Wakanda. Wakanda is the imaginary African realm that is the home of Black Panther and his reigning royal family.
It is not confirmed yet if the Wakanda project has been ordered to be a full series but Coogler announced in a statement regarding the deal that it is not the only MCU-based series developing for Disney Plus.
“We are especially excited that we will be taking our first leap with Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and their partners at Marvel Studios where we will be working closely with them on select MCU shows for Disney+. We’re already in the mix on some projects that we can’t wait to share.” Coogler said.
MCU Tie-In: Unclear.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is literally a universe in itself, and there’s no doubt it’s home to several fan-favorite superheroes and titular characters. Marvel intends to quench the superhero thirst in 2022 and beyond with some exciting projects in the pipeline.
So, which upcoming Marvel title are you anticipating the most? Let us know in the comments section below!