MCU

Breaking Down Marvel’s MCU Phase 5 Films and TV Shows, Part 2

Let’s dive right back into the rest of the projects slated for Phase 5 of the MCU.

The Marvels

Release Date: July 28, 2023

Brie Larson will return to her role as Captain Marvel joined by Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani). Khan, who is a die-hard Captain Marvel fan, suddenly gains the power to harness energy much like her hero. You can watch her story in the Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel.” This film will serve as both a continuation of that series and a sequel to “Captain Marvel.”

I personally always wonder what Captain Marvel is doing when she is not aiding Nick Fury. She is credited as one of the MCU’s most powerful warriors and yet was nearly absent during one of the largest battles in the MCU. “Endgame” writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus told Vanity Fair that “it is a tough balance to strike when you have a character that powerful who you’re going to bring in, and you don’t want it to seem like, well we just brought in this person who can clean the house that we couldn’t clean in the previous movie.” This is understandable. No one likes a knockout. Seeing our beloved heroes struggle against all odds and even time is a much more compelling end to the Avengers. However, Captain Marvel has so much potential to not only elevate her character, but our understanding of the MCU cosmos.

Again, we see another Avenger fan-turned-hero through guidance and mentorship. All of this, I suspect, will lead up to the formation of the Young Avengers somewhere down the line. But for now, we are still in the phase of grooming these would-be defenders of the galaxy.

Blade

Release Date: November 3, 2023

This film will be a remake of the 1998 film of the same name. At the time, Wesley Snipes played the vampire slayer. This movie is actually credited with saving the comic book film industry. “Batman & Robin” flopped royally and marked a downturn for the genre. That is, until Snipes donned the dark sunglasses and trench coat of “Blade.” Critics were harsh on the movie but its cult-like following showed the potential in taking the source material seriously.

In 2023, we will see Blade on the big screen once again, but this time played by Mahershala Ali. Much like how Marvel presented solo movies to preface the Avengers, I believe that they are doing the same thing in introducing mutants and then revealing an X-Men film or series. This is not confirmed, but a fan can dream, right?

Ironheart

Release Date: Fall 2023

Following her introduction in “Wakanda Forever,” Dominique Thorne will return as Ri Ri Williams in her own Disney+ series. This series will most likely follow the next step in Williams’s evolution as Iron heart. Not much is known about what the series will entail, but she is another highly anticipated character for the MCU. In the comics, Williams creates a Tony Stark AI (Artificial Intelligence) that operates much like Stark’s JARVIS technology. Does this mean that we could see a version of Tony Stark return to the MCU as some posthumous AI figure?

I love how Marvel is heavily leaning into the TV show medium rather than film for this next phase. It is hard to sell fans on the idea of a Marvel post-Avengers. Instead of one-off action-packed films, we get a chance to fully interact with these characters and give them a fair shot.

Agatha: Coven of Chaos

Release Date: Winter 2023

This is another series that will speak directly to the aftermath of the Phase 4 Disney+ series. “Wanda Vision” introduced Agatha (Kathryn Hahn) as a witch corrupted by the Scarlet Witch. “Wanda Vision” and “Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness” revealed the power of the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) following her breakdown in “Infinity War.”

Continuing to showcase these events caused by the Scarlet Witch also lends itself to one of the many arguments the MCU makes about its own heroes: are they above reproach? We will most likely see Agatha regain her memories and, if the title has any merit, chaos will follow.

Daredevil: Born Again

Release Date: Summer 2024

Marvel hit gold with their Netflix series “Daredevil” in 2015. If you have not seen it, I highly suggest you do. Charlie Cox captures the dark complexities of Matt Murdock to a T, and the cinematography is thrilling. I take it that this is another way of Marvel formally acquainting its stand-alone characters with the greater MCU. For a long time, Marvel did not have a central location to distribute its content. Now, under the ownership of Disney, as many characters as possible are making their way to the platform to join the MCU.

We may see this take on a similar feel to the Netflix version. Or maybe this could be a variant of “Daredevil,” further pushing the multiverse theory.

Captain America: New World Order

Release Date: May 3, 2024

At the end of “Endgame,” Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) passes on his vibranium shield to his trusted partner and friend, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). We see how this plays out in the Disney+ series, “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.” Wilson, formerly known as The Falcon, must now don the stars and stripes as the new Captain America. The show represents massive character development, and again, the idea of standing on our own without Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

This transition of power also raises complex sociopolitical questions that are not foreign to Marvel projects. How can Wilson, a Black man, represent a country that has time and time again not represent those who look like him? The Captain America films shed deeper light on the corruption that plagues the world’s governments. This film may find Wilson uncovering his own definition of what being Captain America means. New World Order to me definitely means that we are going to learn about some more secret societies. Maybe a multiversal coalition? I’m just spitballing here.

Thunderbolts

Release Date: July 26, 2024

Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) first appeared in “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” where she recruited John Walker. What’s better than a superhero movie? An anti-hero movie. I do not know what it is about watching bad people that feels so good. This film seems to be Marvel’s foil to “The Avengers.” In a fashion similar to “Suicide Squad,” Fontaine seeks to assemble former villains to create a new team of heroes. We may also see Baron Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), the evil mastermind behind “Captain America: Civil War,” return.

This movie will serve as the ending to Phase 5. Much like “Loki,” this film will call into question our judgment of these villains. For example, Zemo was the antagonist of “Civil War,” yet he was only spurred to action when the destruction caused by the Avengers murdered his family. We are constantly reminded that while we may root for the brightly colored fighters, they are not without blood on their hands as well. It is rare that we see villains given a spotlight. These once moral outcasts will get a shot at redemption on the big screen.

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