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Marvel announces Phase 4 release dates, Black Panther gets perfect new title

Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther Pic credit: Marvel

Phase 4 of the MCU is about to kick into high gear.

Marvel Studios surprised fans with a new “sizzle trailer” that provides the new titles and dates for the sequels to Black Panther and Captain Marvel and the first footage for The Eternals.

On top of all that, the trailer ends with the hints the First Family of Marvel Comics is finally returning to the big screen. 

The Trailer

The trailer begins with highlights of past MCU movies, emphasizing how Avengers: Endgame was the end of an era with Iron Man and Black Widow dying and Steve Rogers retiring. 

While WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier have kicked up Phase 4 on TV, the movies have been held off due to the coronavirus pandemic. Meant to open almost exactly a year ago, Black Widow will now debut in both theaters and Disney+ on July 9. 

It will be followed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is set for theaters only on September 3. 

The trailer then shows the first-ever footage of The Eternals, due November 5. The brief footage includes Angelina Jolie’s sword-wielding Thena and Gemma Chan’s Sersi, intoning “we’re the ones who changed everything.”

The film got a new boost when director Chloe Zhao made history winning the Academy Award for Best Director in April for Nomadland. 

The trailer then moves into “what’s to come,” which includes showing the titles of Spider-Man: No Way Home (December 17), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022), and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17, 2023).

However, the bigger news was the new dates and titles for some other properties.

New Names/Dates for Thor, Black Panther, Captain Marvel sequels

First, Thor: Love & Thunder is moving from February 11, 2022, to May 6, perhaps to take more advantage of the summer movie season or delays in production.

Bigger is that at last Black Panther 2 has a new title: Wakanda Forever. The film will obviously have to move on without star Chadwick Boseman, who shockingly passed away from cancer last August. While details are tight, Marvel has announced they will not recast the role, and thus, the film will likely focus on Shuri. It is due for release July 8, 2022.

Also getting an intriguing title is Captain Marvel 2, which is now named The Marvels and debuting November 11, 2022.

Notably, the font for the “S” at the end resembles the costume symbol of Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel, who is getting her own Disney+ show. This appears to prove Kamala will team up with Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers with the possibility of Monica Rambeau (who had gone by Captain Marvel herself once) also involved. 

Guardians of the Galaxy vol 3 now has a new font and a date of May 5, 2023. The trailer ends with the familiar logo of the Fantastic Four, indicating the iconic comic will be entering the MCU. 

Plans ahead

Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson and Black Widow cast Pic credit: Marvel

The new dates and titles are intriguing as, like other studios, Disney is attempting to overcome the huge blow to theaters caused in 2020.

The decision to release Black Widow as a “premier access” film on Disney+ on the same day as its theatrical release has created controversy. Still, it appears Marvel intends for the rest of the slate to be theatrical releases only.

While there are risks on some properties such as Shang-Chi and Eternals, the new titles for Black Panther and Captain Marvel show the studio has major plans for the characters involved. 

Moving Thor: Love & Thunder from February to May indicates Marvel expects it to be a big hit and kick off next summer’s movie season in classic style (as well as space its release further from Doctor Strange in Multiverse). 

There’s also how Marvel has just announced a fourth Captain America film which could be the kick-off for Phase 5. 

After a year with no MCU movies in theaters, it looks like Marvel is making up for lost time with this thrilling set of films ready to bring fans back into theaters.

Michael Weyer


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