As marvel studios get into the thick of things with their Phase 4 slate, there has been a tirade of new information and rumours concerning what fans can expect as the universe expands. From futuristic super villains to timeline jumping variants, the MCU is attempting to begin a cosmic journey that is audacious and exciting. At the helm of affairs is Marvel CEO, Kevin Feige, and he sat down recently with Rotten Tomatoes to discuss the future of the MCU as well as specific details of some upcoming titles.
From a cramped Phase Four schedule to the future of streaming limited series, Marvel’s President gave an extended preview of what fans can expect to look out for in the coming months. For starters, it has been revealed that the movie schedule for MCU Phase Four will be only two years long, as opposed to the previous phases that have been either three or four years long. Although the coronavirus paused everything for close to a year, Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, launched in 2019 and facilitated Marvel’s plan to adopt limited series. Streaming limited series would cleverly help the MCU develop important story arcs that they might not have time to touch in the movies.
Feige spoke about the contract disagreement between Sony and Disney over the Tom Holland Spiderman movies in 2019. Describing it as “an emotional few months” for everyone involved, he admitted he was glad they could reach a solution that didn’t involve Spiderman leaving the MCU. “There was a time when it looked like Marvel Studios would not be involved in Spider-Man movies going forward for Sony,” Feige said.
It was only a few months, but it was an emotional few months for, I think, all of us on all sides – and a very public few months, for whatever reason.
“Luckily, Tom Rothman and Bob Iger and Alan Horn and Alan Bergman and Tom Holland himself all realized, ‘Wouldn’t it just be more fun if we just kept doing it? Let’s not get business or politics in the way.’ Because the deal always started with Amy Pascal and I had nothing to do with numbers or contracts or politics. It had to do with the story and a love of Spider-Man and Peter Parker and the Marvel universe. And it thankfully has continued like that. And that’s where we find ourselves now.” He added.
Venom’s MCU Future
When quizzed about another Sony-owned character, Venom, joining the MCU, Feige admitted that all the cards were on the table. “I don’t want to obviously talk about rumours or speculation on what could happen and what couldn’t happen as it relates to any characters that Marvel Studios hasn’t brought to the screen yet.”
He continued: “But I will say what I’ve always said, which is having been with Marvel for 20 years I wouldn’t dismiss anything. I wouldn’t rule anything out completely; when and how and where remains to be seen. Any rumour that you read online could happen anytime between tomorrow and never.”
The 2018 Tom Hardy masterpiece already has a sequel on the way, and with other Sony titles like Spiderman and The Fantastic Four firmly in MCU plots, an MCU future for Venom shouldn’t be ruled out.
Other Upcoming MCU Projects
Feige also spoke about other upcoming MCU titles, highlighting each show’s uniqueness to, not just the MCU timeline, but to each producer as well.
Ryan Coogler’s vision for Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever has been called “very special” by the Marvel CEO. After the passing of Boseman in Mid 2020, Feige announced the executive decision to not recast the role of T’challa in honour of the late Chadwick. And in this new interview, he reiterated how important it was for the sequel to amplify the current state of the MCU while paying tribute to a fallen king.
The Sam Raimi directed Dr Strange sequel; Multiverse of Madness and Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals are also upcoming titles developing under Kevin Fiege’s watchful eye. While Raimi has Marvel experience, having worked on the ‘Tobey Maguire’ Spiderman movies, Chloe Zhao puts her mark on a Marvel title for the first time. And in Kevin Feige’s opinion, there couldn’t be anyone more suited.
He said; “But when we were working on Eternals, our producer Nate Moore was coming up with this pitch to really embrace one of Jack Kirby’s greatest creations for Marvel – amongst all of his great creations, but The Eternals, this race of immortal beings who’ve been on Earth for millennia, is one of his best. And he asked Chloé to come in and meet and they really just clicked on this notion of a history of humanity and what it means to be human and the viewpoint of that through these characters, The Eternals. And she came in with a pitch that got into visuals, which was beautiful, but more importantly, into these characters.”
“These are 10 new characters [coming] into the world, which is a very difficult thing to do, and she embraced that challenge and had a unique viewpoint for every single one of them. And I’m happy to say that from that initial pitch and meeting to near-final version of the film, where we are now, she has both won a handful of Academy Awards in between and delivered on her promise of what The Eternals could be.”
The Eternals releases on November 5, 2021; a little while after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and will be followed by Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17. Next year, the studio kicks off with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on March 25, 2022, Thor: Love and Thunder on May 6, 2022, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on July 8, 2022, and The Marvels on November 11, 2022. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is scheduled for a February 17, 2023 release date and then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on May 5, 2023.
Upcoming Limited Series
With the Loki series already concluded, Marvel has announced its schedule of upcoming limited series slated to stream on the Disney+ streaming service. The next title “What If…?” starts on August 11, followed by Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye later this year. Other limited series currently in development include Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Secret Invasion, Ironheart, Armor Wars, and the Untitled Wakanda series. A Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is also currently being developed for the 2022 holiday season.