2020 certainly threw a spanner into a lot of people’s plans, and amongst everything else, last year was also the first year since 2009 that we hadn’t been treated to any new content from Marvel Studios. 2021, however, is ready to make up for that in spades, so get your calendar out and save the following dates, as the MCU is coming back in a massive way, with an action-packed year of superheroics!
WandaVision (January 15)
Thankfully we won’t need to wait long for our first taste of MCU goodness, as the MCU’s first official TV series, WandaVision, is set to premiere on Disney+ on January 15. Marking the start of the MCU’s Phase 4, this six-episode series will see Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany return as Scarlet Witch and Vision, and will follow the love-struck couple as they move through several decades worth of television tropes. Following on from the events of Avengers: Endgame, however, it’s clear that not everything is at it seems.
This series is also intended to directly lead into the events of 2022’s Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19)
Originally planned to be the first Disney+ series in Phase 4 with a 2020 release, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier now takes the second slot in the MCU’s 2021 release calendar. Like WandaVision, this series will also consist of six episodes and will see Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. From the outset, it would seem that Steve Roger’s plan to have Sam assume the mantle of Captain America doesn’t go exactly as planned, and the US Government has a completely different candidate in mind in the form of Wyatt Russell’s militaristic John Walker.
To make matters even more complicated, two of Cap’s previous villains make a return: Captain America: Civil War’s Helmut Zemo and Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s Georges Batroc. With all of these problems, it’s a good thing Emily Van Camp is also coming back as former SHIELD Agent, Sharon Carter!
Black Widow (May 7)
Another MCU release that was originally planned for last year, Marvel fans will finally get to see Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff lead her own solo film, 11 years after her MCU debut in Iron Man 2. Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, this film will see Romanoff confront her past as she faces down the villainous Taskmaster alongside David Harbour’s Red Guardian and two fellow Red Room graduates, Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova and Rachel Weisz’s Melina Vostokoff.
William Hurt is also set to reprise the role of Thaddeus Ross, and it’s even rumoured Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark will make an appearance via the inclusions of never-before-seen deleted scenes that were originally filmed for Civil War.
Black Widow isn’t the only MCU treat planned for May, and Marvel fans will also get to enjoy the third MCU Disney+ series Loki, featuring everyone’s favourite trickster god. In the events of Avengers: Endgame, we witnessed an alternate version of Loki abscond with the Tesseract directly after the Battle of New York, and this series will pick up straight from there.
This series finds Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief travelling through key events in human history, making trouble as only he can, and coming face-to-face with the mysterious Time Variance Authority.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9)
A Marvel production made close to home, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will see Simu Liu tackle the role of martial arts superhero Shang-Chi as he confronts the clandestine Ten Rings organisation, first hinted at in the events of 2008’s Iron Man. What’s more, this film will also see the revelation of the true Mandarin, played by Tony Leung, who was first impersonated by Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery in Iron Man 3.
Messed around with some legendarily talented friends in Sydney last year 👀
Joseph Le – camera/choreo
Vi-Dan Tran – where’d he come from
Zac Wang – dude from Karate Kid
Chris Cowan – just kinda there pic.twitter.com/EQIFuPH3FP
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) December 21, 2020
What If…? (Mid 2021)
An exact release date for the MCU’s first animated anthology is yet to be confirmed, but we do know it is intended to strike Disney+ midway through the year. Featuring the return of multiple MCU actors who’ll lend their voices to the project, this series is based on the What If comic series which explores what would have happened in the MCU if certain events had played out differently, such as what if Peggy Carter was the one to be given the super-soldier serum in WWII.
Eternals (Nov 5)
The Eternals are a race of immortals, created by the Celestials, who have been secretly been living on Earth for over 7000 years. However, when tragedy strikes the group reunite to protect humanity from their evil counterparts, the Deviants. Starring Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and Kit Harrington, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, this is definitely one to watch out for!
Ms. Marvel (Late 2021)
Previously expected in 2022, Marvel has not yet given an exact date but are now eyeing a late 2021 release for this next Disney+ series, focused on teenage superhero Kamala Kahn a.k.a. Ms. Marvel. Played by newcomer Iman Vellani, Kamala is a Pakistani-American girl who is obsessed with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel when she gains her own shape-shifting powers.
Hawkeye (Late 2021)
Another Disney+ series without an exact release date, but also expected for the end of this year, Jeremy Renner is set to reprise his role as Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye as he prepares to pass the torch on to a new apprentice, Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld. Also expected to make an appearance is Florence Plugh in her role of Yelena Belova from the Black Widow movie.
Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (December 17)
Finishing off the year, if reports are to be believed, the MCU is bringing back not one, but three webslingers in a live-action Spidey-verse extravaganza, which will see Tom Holland’s Peter Parker meeting his Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire counterparts from previous iterations of the franchise. Moreover, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, JK Simmon’s J. Jonah Jameson, Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy are also all rumoured to be making an appearance alongside Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange (who will no doubt be the one trying to make sense of all this multi-universal malarkey before his own 2022 film), as well as Zendaya’s MJ.