With the release of Avengers: Endgame earlier this year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was plunged into an epic and uncharted territory. Now that the "Infinity Saga" has officially been brought to a close, the franchise is expected to explore iconic characters and new favorites in the years to come. Not only does Marvel have quite a lot of blockbusters on its plate, but it has a slew of new limited series set to debut on the Disney+ streaming service.
While the next few years certainly look bright for Marvel fans, 2021 is aiming to bring a heap of new content to the epic franchise, both in terms of movies and TV shows. So, here are all of the movies and TV shows (at the time of this writing) that Marvel has confirmed to be released in 2021.
First on the dock is Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, an epic that is set to explore Marvel's master of kung-fu. The film is helmed by Short Term 12 and Just Mercy director Destin Daniel Cretton, with Kim's Convenience star Simu Liu starring in the titular role.
“He’s awesome,” Cretton explained in a recent interview. “There’s just an undefined thing that when somebody pops, everybody’s in agreement, and they’re just really excited.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will also star Tony Chiu-Wai Leung as The Mandarian, and Awkwafina in a currently-unknown role.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be released on February 12, 2021.
The year's first Disney+ original series will be WandaVision, a saga centered around the ever-evolving romance of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). The series is already being billed as a mixture between a classic sitcom and a Marvel blockbuster, with unique repercussions on the titular couple.
“It’s gonna be whacky, and wild, and something unlike any other Marvel film yet,” Olsen said in a recent interview.
“I think the reason that [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] was really interested in doing it was to really push the boundaries." Bettany added. "And what we’re about to do is really avant-garde, really experimental, and really just crazy and messed up. And then it just becomes a huge action movie at the end. So I think you’re all gonna love it.”
The series is showrun by Black Widow writer Jac Schaeffer, and will also feature Kat Dennings and Randall Park reprising their roles as Darcy Lewis and Jimmy Woo. Teyonah Parris will portray the adult version of Monica Rambeau, with Kathryn Hahn cast as the "nosy neighbor".
WandaVision will be released in the spring of 2021.
The spring of 2021 is also set to bring another long-awaited Disney+ series, centered around Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston). The Loki series is expected to follow the God of Mischief's further adventures, even after he died in Infinity War, and subsequently created a new timeline by stealing the Tesseract in Endgame.
“I can tell you this, actually." Hiddleston revealed in a recent interview. "In the years since Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which came out this spring, two questions I have been asked [are] ‘Is Loki really dead?’ And ‘What is Loki doing with that cube?’ It’s always the cube, somehow. And this series will answer both of those questions.”
Loki will be showrun by Community and Rick and Morty alum Michael Waldron. No other cast members have been announced at this time.
Loki will be released in the spring of 2021.
The second MCU film of the year will be Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a long-awaited sequel centered around Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme. The film has been dubbed as the MCU's "first horror movie", and will be closely tied to the events of WandaVision, as Olsen reprises her role as Scarlet Witch in the film.
“I’m really excited,” Olsen recently said about working closely with Benedict Cumberbatch. “I’ve never really got to work with him except for one shot where he was landing, and I was shooting something, and that was it. And we did that for like six hours one day together.”
Also slated to return in Multiverse of Madness are Wong (Benedict Wong) and Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Nightmare is expected to serve as the film's villain.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released on May 7, 2021.
A few days ago, another Marvel blockbuster got added to the franchise's 2021 roster, with a third Tom Holland-led Spider-Man film officially in the works. This comes after over a month of public fallout from fans, after it seemed as if Marvel and Sony's partnership over Spider-Man had been turned to dust.
"I am thrilled that Spidey's journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said shortly after the film was announced. "Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold."
At the moment, there are next-to-no details about the film itself, other than that Holland is set to return. Jon Watts, who directed Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, is reportedly nearing a deal to helm the third film.
Spider-Man 3 will be released on July 16, 2021.
The summer of 2021 is expected to bring a whole new side of the MCU, through Disney+'s What If...? animated series. The series, which is based on the comics of the same name, will explore alternate versions of major events in MCU continuity. A trailer for the show was shown at last month's D23 Expo, and teased scenarios such as Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as "Captain Britain", and T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) leading the Guardians of the Galaxy.
What If...? will be narrated by The Watcher, who will be voiced by Westworld's Jeffrey Wright. The series will be showrun by Arrow and 3Below alum AC Bradley. Other returning characters will include Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Thanos (Josh Brolin), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Dum Dum Duggan (Neal McDonough), Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), Kraglin (Sean Gunn), Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Kurt (David Dastmalchian), Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), Korg (Taika Waititi), Arnim Zola (Toby Jones), Korath (Djimon Hounsou), Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), Yondu (Michael Rooker), and Taserface (Chris Sullivan)
What If...? will be released in the summer of 2021.
If that wasn't enough, 2021 will also make the long-awaited Hawkeye solo series a reality. The series is expected to follow the adventures of ace archers Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), as well as explore the stretch of time Clint spent as Ronin between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
“With Endgame, I think with any ending, it creates a new beginning for a lot of things. Marvel has a lot of plans for a lot of things. So it was exciting,” Renner said during a convention appearance. “But to sum up 21 films is very difficult, but I think it satiates a lot of the fans. I’m only here because of the fans, as we all are. Hopefully I feel like we satiate a lot of people, and a lot of people had to go, but then I think it creates new beginnings for other things.”
Hawkeye will be released in the fall of 2021.
And finally, Marvel's 2021 roster will include Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth film in the God of Thunder's ever-evolving storyline. In addition to Chris Hemsworth returning as Thor Odinson, Natalie Portman is set to reprise her role as Jane Foster, as she takes on the mantle of Mighty Thor.
“[Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi] would flip through and read that run while he was doing Ragnarok." Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently revealed in an interview. "And I think when he agreed to come back and do another Thor, he was like, ‘How do we–?’ This is a very big movie that’ll be folding in a lot of elements. That is a hugely important part of it. He pitched it to us, and we were totally in. We loved it. We’d been in touch with Natalie. She’s part of the MCU family and we put she and Taika together. It took one meeting and she agreed to do it."
Love and Thunder will also see the return of Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, who will be searching the galaxy for a queen to rule alongside her in New Asgard.
Thor: Love and Thunder will be released on November 5, 2021.