These MCU Phase 4 Films Will Most Impact the Future

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will segue out of Avengers: Endgame, and transition into a landscape characterized by the presence of the multiverse and the eventual introduction of various new heroes. However, the Phase — unlike prior ones — will be divided into Disney+ originals and cinematic installments. 

Marvel Studios MCU
Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War Screening | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Avengers: Infinity War

Phase 4 will consist of the following movies — Black Widow, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Thor: Love and Thunder, and The Eternals. As for shows, Loki will receive his moment in the spotlight, as WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, What If…?, and Hawkeye are also set to arrive on the streaming platform (among others). 

While all these movies and TV shows are bound to satisfy, certain films will likely sculpt the future of the MCU more than others. Certain upcoming movies will — based on information already available — influence the landscape to the greatest extent. Below, find the three movies most likely to impact the Marvel landscape moving forward. 

3. ‘Black Widow’ 

While Black Widow will be a prequel, taking place between the events of Civil War and Infinity War, Marvel Studios definitely has a few tricks up its sleeve to ensure the film impacts the current timeline. If the movie doesn’t influence a post-Avengers: Endgame landscape, it would fall into the “too little too late” realm. And, current reports suggest that General Ross’s presence, and Yelena Belova’s character will continue on in the franchise. 

While Scarlett Johansson may bid farewell to the MCU, General Ross may use this movie to catalyze the formation of his infamous Thunderbolts team. And, Yelena Belova may become part of it — as the next Black Widow, as she is another character to own the title in the comics. If a Thunderbolts allusion is present, a Phase 5 movie focusing on the motley crew of heroes and villains will be inevitable. 

2. ‘Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder will likely be Chris Hemsworth’s final appearance as the God of Thunder, assuming he passes the hammer (literally and metaphorically) to Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. 

With Jane Foster set to become the next Thor, the MCU will move one step closer to the alleged A-Force movie believed to be on the horizon. The A-Force is an all-female Avengers team led by Captain Marvel, and the team will likely include Jane Foster, Valkyrie, She-Hulk (receiving a Disney show), the Wasp, and more. 

Thor: Love and Thunder will be both heart-wrenching, as fans bid Hemsworth farewell, yet also narratively substantial, as it will provide the foundation for another hero to take center stage, possibly catalyzing a new Thor franchise with a female at the center. 

1. ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ 

Marvel President Kevin Feige has already explained that the second Doctor Strange installment will heavily impact the Marvel landscape, as it’s destined to have long-lasting repercussions and shape the “evolution of the MCU.” 

Not only will Doctor Strange 2 initiate the dialogue between the silver screen and the small screen (via its connection to WandaVision), it will also set up the possibility for multiple parallel universes with multiple timelines, connecting and separating throughout the saga. And, if recent rumors surrounding the film turn out to be credible, the movie may introduce The Illuminati, bringing Professor X and Reed Richards into the soiree, and setting up the X-Men and the Fantastic Four for a later introduction.