Entertainment MCU Phase 4: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and more
MCU Phase 4: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and more
It’s nearly time to wave goodbye to MCU Phase 4. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s current slate of movies and TV shows only has two projects left to release – and one of those arrives on November 11.
That’s right, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will land in theaters imminently. And we think a lot of people will enjoy it (and shed plenty of tears) when it launches worldwide. In our Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review, we called it a “beautifully poignant celebration of Chadwick Boseman’s life” and a “rare superhero movie masterpiece”. Once it’s released, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will be the only MCU Phase 4 production left to watch before Marvel‘s next phase begins.
To prepare you for the end, we’ve compiled everything we know about this duo. You’ll also find reviews for every Marvel Phase 4 entry below, though, as well as key information on every Marvel Phase 5 and Phase 6 film and TV series.
Here, then, is everything you need to know about MCU Phase 4 before its final curtain call.
MCU Phase 4 release dates
There are only two MCU Phase 4 projects left before Marvel’s current slate ends. The next one is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which arrives in mid-November. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special rounds out Marvel’s Phase 4 slate on November 25.
As for the MCU Phase 4 films and shows that have been released, check out our spoiler-free reviews of each Marvel movie and TV series:
Upcoming MCU Phase 4 films and TV shows
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release date: November 11
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will continue the character’s MCU journey will continue without the iconic Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in August 2020 after a four-year battle with cancer. Given his iconic performance, Marvel chose not to recast T’Challa in honor of Boseman.
Lupita Nyongo’s Nakia, Letitia Wright’s Shuri, Angela Bassett’s Queen Ramonda, Danai Gurira’s Okoye, Winston Duke’s M’Baku, Martin Freeman’s Everett K Ross, and Florenca Kasumba’s Ayo all return from the first film.
I May Destroy You’s Michaela Coel has been cast as Aneka, another member of the Dora Milaje, while Narcos: Mexico’s Tenich Huerta is the film’s primary antagonist Namor, an ocean-dwelling mutant with has an extensive comic book history with Wakanda and Black Panther. Key Talokanil bodyguards and advisors, such as Alex Livinalli’s Attuma and Mabel Cadena’s Namora, will also appear.
Wakanda Forever will also introduce a live-action version of Ironheart, aka Riri Williams, a genius inventor and MIT student who creates her own Iron Man-style armor suit, Expect Tony Stark’s MCU successor to play a big role in this MCU Phase 4 project before she gets her own TV series in Phase 5.
Black Panther 2 could set up other MCU projects, including a standalone Namor production (though Livinalli and Cabena don’t know anything about those Namor spin-off rumors). Alternatively, read our exclusive chat with the film’s case about how it tackles trauma through its physical and emotional battles or check out our Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ending and post-credits scene explained article.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Release date: November 25
A Holiday Special that’ll be under 40 minutes long (according to director James Gunn (opens in new tab)), this MCU Phase 4 project will likely evoke the notoriously bad Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978, of which Gunn is a fan.
Its first teaser arrived on October 25, one month before release, and confirmed what its story will entail. Basically, Star-Lord is sad because the Gamora he knew is dead and the one who’s now alive in the MCU (thanks to Endgame’s events) doesn’t know who he is. So Drax and Mantis decide to kidnap his favorite actor – Kevin Bacon – to cheer him up. Expect plenty of slapstick moments and other comedy-imbued events to play out.
The main Guardians cast will all feature, it sounds like it’s going to be canon – it’s set before the third Guardians movie and after Thor 4 – and Gunn has called it the “greatest thing I’ve ever done (opens in new tab). Oh, and Gunn says (opens in new tab) it’ll have a mixed tape of songs to rival previous Guardians movies. High-fives all round.
There are rumors of wild cameos, including speculation that Mark Hamill could appear as Santa Clause (opens in new tab). Cosmo the Dog, a sentient canine, will also make their MCU debut before featuring in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3.
Gunn has confirmed it’ll be the epilogue to MCU Phase 4 (opens in new tab), so don’t expect the Guardians Holiday Special to kickstart Phase 5. And speaking of…
Marvel Phase 5 and beyond
Marvel revealed its entire slate of Phase 5 movies and TV shows at Comic-Con 2022, as well as confirming the first three (or four, depending on where Deadpool 3 fits in) projects that’ll make up Phase 6.
Check out every confirmed Phase 5 and Phase 6project below:
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17, 2023)
- What If…? season 2 (TV show, early 2023)
- Secret Invasion (TV show, spring 2023)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (May 5, 2023)
- Echo (TV show, mid-2023)
- Loki season 2 (TV show, summer 2023)
- The Marvels (July 28, 2023)
- Ironheart (TV show, late 2023)
- X-Men ’97 (animated TV show, late 2023)
- Agatha: Coven of Chaos (TV show, late 2023/early 2024)
- Daredevil: Born Again (TV show, early 2024)
- Captain America: New World Order (May 3, 2024)
- Thunderbolts (July 26, 2024)
- Blade (September 6, 2024)
- Deadpool 3 (Phase 5 or Phase 6 movie, November 8, 2024)
- Spider-Man: Freshman Year (animated TV show, 2024)
- Marvel Zombies (animated TV show, 2024)
- Fantastic Four (Phase 6 movie, February 14, 2025)
- Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (Phase 6 movie, May 2, 2025)
- Avengers: Secret Wars (Phase 6 movie, May 1, 2026)
For more Marvel-based content, read our Marvel movies in order guide. Alternatively, find out where we ranked every MCU film to date and which Marvel villains we think are the best (and worst) ones in the MCU so far.