Marvel's MCU 2022 and 2023 Phase 5 is Becoming More Clear

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is showing no signs of slowing down on the heels of Avengers: Endgame. The first post-Endgame film set the stage for a massive story to continue for one character after Spider-Man: Far From Home but beyond that everything has been very dark. San Diego Comic-Con unveiled the massive slate headed to theaters and Disney+ shows but that only included Phase 4, with Phase 5 expected to launch in 2022 but only a handful of titles being sure things. Both movies and TV shows have been confirmed but the order of release and other titles remain in question.

The only movie which Marvel Studios has announced is Black Panther II, which returns Ryan Coogler as a director and is set for release on May 6, 2022. Disney+ is also going to get She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel shows in 2022, as revealed by Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige as the D23 Expo over the summer.

Reports have also revealed other titles are coming, although Marvel Studios has not officially commented on them. Ant-Man 3 is now expected for 2022. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and a Captain Marvel sequel are also somewhere in the pipeline. Mahershala Ali's Blade is also going to have to fit in somewhere.

So, how does it all shake out, given Marvel's upcoming release dates? At the time of publishing, Marvel Studios has its flag planted on February 18 and July 29 in 2022. Dates in 2023 have not yet been revealed but Marvel Studios should be expected to make three movies that year, if they don't up to four for the first time (there will be four MCU movies in 2021, but Spider-Man 3 is technically a Sony release date).

Ant-Man 3 will likely be slotted for July in 2022. The franchise has historically released its first two movies in June and July, respectively. February 2022 may be where the Blade movie lands as the studio has shown its confidence in releasing first-time outings for new characters during that month, as Black Panther and Shang-Chi will both have had February debuts. If not Blade, there's a chance the Fantastic Four get their due in the MCU in February of 2022.

2023 will almost certainly see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 landing on the first Friday in May. An MCU film will likely come before and after the movie, which is where the Captain Marvel sequel (probably before GotG Vol. 3) and a sequel to an early Phase 4 movie or the introduction of the X-Men could come into play (probably after GotG Vol. 3).

Here's the final prediction for Marvel's movies based on current release date:

  • February 2022: Blade (or Fantastic Four)
  • May 2022: Black Panther 2
  • July 2022: Ant-Man 3
  • Early 2023: Captain Marvel 2
  • May 2023: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  • Late 2023: Phase 4 sequel or character(s) formerly owned by Fox
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Of course, Marvel Studios could ultimately change their dates or add some to the roster, providing the opportunity to move Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 into a November of 2022. The previous Guardians films came out in August and May, respectively, before the characters last appeared in Avengers: Endgame. The impatience of the franchise's fans might be supplemented with an appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder, as the Guardians characters were last seen aboard a ship with Thor.

A change in the release dates doesn't seem unlikely, as Marvel Studios is reportedly considering a late 2021 release date if Peyton Reed's film moves along fast enough. This would give Blade and Fantastic Four plenty of room to both arrive in 2022 and would mean we should expect a fourth movie in the colder late months of that year.

How do you think 2022 and 2023 will shake out for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Instagram and Twitter!