By Eliana Dockterman
Updated: September 19, 2018 5:53 PM ET | Originally published: April 17, 2018

Warning: This post contains spoilers for all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

The superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have taken over 2018. Together, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 account for about one-third of the total movie box office this year.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, which hit theaters on July 6, continued that trend, bringing in $76 million at the domestic box office on its opening weekend. Infinity War’s shocking end will likely drove fans hoping to suss out clues about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline to the Ant-Man sequel, which takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. But though the movie did answer where Ant-Man was during Infinity War, it offered little information about how Infinity War’s cliffhanger might resolve. The future of the Avengers team remains a mystery although fans will likely get a hint in the upcoming Marvel movie Captain Marvel, out March 18, 2019.

Given recent studio shakeups, a lot could change in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We could see X-Men fighting the Avengers or Fantastic Four villains invading upcoming Marvel movies.

A little over a decade ago, Disney bought Marvel Studios. At the time of Disney’s purchase, Marvel Studios was struggling and had already sold off the rights to its most popular characters: They dealt Spider-Man to Sony and the X-Men and Fantastic Four to Fox. Disney was left to build a franchise out of lesser-known characters like Iron Man and Thor.

Over the course of 10 years, they built the most bankable film franchise in the world by building an interlocking universe of characters, teasing future movies with post-credit scenes and experimenting with different genres to shake up the superhero formula. They did this over the course of several “phases:” Phase One ended with The Avengers, and Phase Two with Ant-Man. Phase Three will end in 2019 with the release of the yet-unnamed Avengers 4.

Disney was so successful, that they are now able to buy back those fan favorite Marvel characters owned by other studios. Last year, Sony and Disney teamed up to make Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sony will continue to make other movies about characters in the so-called Spiderverse, like Venom, but will allow Disney to use Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in upcoming Marvel movies like Avengers: Infinity War. Neither studio has confirmed how much crossover there will be between the two universes.

Meanwhile, Disney and Fox have announced that they are merging. Disney will likely try to incorporate Fox’s X-Men and Fantastic Four characters into the Avengers reality and recreate popular storylines from the comics, like fights between Wolverine and Captain America or a romance between Black Panther and Storm.

We’ve outlined all the upcoming Marvel movies, and even teased a few sequels and spinoffs that are still in the works. Here’s a list of upcoming Marvel movies in order:

Venom (Oct. 5, 2018)

Universe: Spiderverse

Even though Sony and Disney teamed up to release Spider-Man: Homecoming last summer, Sony will independently produce a series of films based on characters from the Spider-Man comic books in a separate universe. Venom will be the first.

A recently released teaser trailer revealed little about the plot. But we do know Tom Hardy will play Venom, a man who has been infected by an alien parasite and turns into a dark version of Spider-Man. Sony and Disney executives have said Spider-Man actor Tom Holland will not appear in Venom, though it’s hard to imagine a movie that tells Venom’s origin story without introducing his foe, Spider-Man. Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer is directing.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (Dec. 14, 2018)

Universe: Spiderverse

On the big screen, Peter Parker has always been Spider-Man. But in the comic books, several people have swung from rooftop to rooftop in the Spidey suit, including Miles Morales. When Disney and Sony announced they were rebooting the Spider-Man franchise after the lackluster Andrew Garfield films, many fans lobbied for a Miles Morales movie. The studios cast Tom Holland as another Peter Parker instead, but they hinted in Spider-Man: Homecoming that Miles may be added to one of Disney’s upcoming live-action movies.

Lego Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are developing an animated film featuring Morales—and several other Spideys—for Sony. Dope’s Shameik Moore stars as the Brooklyn teen-turned-superhero. Mahershala Ali and Liev Schreiber will also lend their voices to the movie.

Silver and Black (Feb. 8, 2019)

Universe: Spiderverse

Sony is wasting no time in expanding the Spiderverse. They’ve recruited Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, Beyond the Lights) to make a movie about Silver Sable and Black Cat. Plot details are scarce, but Silver Sable, the head of an elite squad, will likely be hunting down the talented burglar Black Cat—until they join forces. Prince-Bythewood has cited buddy movies like Thelma & Louise as her inspiration for the film.

Dark Phoenix (Feb. 14, 2019)

Universe: X-Men

Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) in 'X-Men: Apocalypse.' 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Game of ThronesSophie Turner took over from Famke Janssen as the younger version of the formidable mutant Jean Grey in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. Next year, she’ll star in her own movie about Jean Grey’s evolution from superhero into supervillain. The story will be set in the 1990s, and Jean will have to contend with the dark forces in her own mind.

Fox tried to bring the beloved Dark Phoenix saga to the screen in the much-maligned X-Men: The Last Stand. Simon Kinsburg wrote that film, but has since criticized the studio for relegating the Dark Phoenix story to a subplot. Now, he’ll return as director of Dark Phoenix to make the movie he always envisioned. Jennifer Lawrence will return as Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and James McAvoy as Professor X. Jessica Chastain will play a mysterious villain.

Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019)

Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Brie Larson (L) and Captain Marvel (R). Alberto E. Rodriguez—Getty Images.

Brie Larson will star as Captain Marvel, the first woman to get her own film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The upcoming Marvel movie, set in the 1990s, will trace Carol Danvers’ evolution from fighter pilot to flying superhero who can shoot beams out of her hands.

Captain Marvel has teamed up with both the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comic books, and it’s rumored that some of the Guardians characters will appear in her solo movie. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have confirmed that some familiar faces, like Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser, will also appear in the film.

Larson revealed the movie’s trailer on Good Morning America in mid-September. The short clip highlights the movie’s 90s setting (remember Blockbuster?) and offers fans a quick look at youthful versions of Jackson and Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson.

Avengers 4 (May 3, 2019)

Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe


The fourth and yet-unnamed Avengers movie will complete “Phase Three” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie will have to resolve Infinity War’s cliffhanger ending.

Ever since he first appeared in a Guardians of the Galaxy post-credit scene, Thanos (Josh Brolin) has been after the six Infinity Stones, powerful gems that could allow him to destroy the universe. Marvel fans will recall these gems from previous Marvel movies, like the Time Stone in Doctor Strange or the Power Stone in Guardians of the Galaxy. In Infinity War, he got his hands on all six stones—with dire consequences. Now the Avengers team must figure out what to do next.

Expect few of the original squad to survive this next film. Several of the stars’ contracts will expire with that movie, including Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye).

Evans has been open about wanting to leave the franchise, though Hemsworth has also said he won’t play Thor again after Avengers 4. Johansson will presumably survive the film since Disney has finally hired someone to write a standalone Black Widow movie. Still, fans have speculated that one or more heroes will meet their end in the upcoming Infinity War sequel.

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed as much. “Certainly as we get to Infinity War there is a sense of a climax if not a conclusion to, by the time we’re at untitled Avengers 4, the 22 movies that will have encompassed the first three phases of the MCU,” he told Collider. “And what happens after that will be very different. I don’t know if it’s Phase 4, it might be a new thing.”

The Russo brothers, for their part, have kept the details of Avengers 4 entirely under wraps. But note that both Ant-Man and the Wasp and Captain Marvel are set before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, which means the 2019 sequel to Infinity War can pick up at the exact moment the previous film ended or shortly thereafter.

Whether or not fans must say goodbye to Cap and Thor, Marvel certainly has plenty of new characters to play with, including Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel and the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters if they decide to incorporate them into the universe. The studio could also promote some of the sidekick characters to lead roles: Anthony Mackie’s Falcon could become Cap or Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie could replace Thor.

Gambit (June 7, 2019)

Universe: X-Men

Getty Images; Marvel

Channing Tatum has been trying to get a Gambit movie made for years. The Magic Mike actor plans to star as the New Orleans-based thief with the ability to charge inanimate objects (like playing cards) with explosive power.

The movie was initially supposed to start production in 2015, but Fox placed it on the back burner after two different directors dropped out. Tatum has said he wanted to do something edgier and more original with the character. Recent superhero movies like Logan and Deadpool, which experimented with genre, have opened up the door for Gambit to take big risks.

The studio has yet to announce a new director for the upcoming movie after Gore Verbinski dropped out in January. Fox has subsequently pushed the movie’s release date.

Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 (July 5, 2019)

Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming
Chuck Zlotnick—Sony Pictures Entertainment

Spider-Man will definitely survive the Infinity War movies because he’s contractually obligated to star in another two more Spider-Man films. Tom Holland will return as geeky teen Peter Parker and Zendaya will also appear as Mary Jane. They will face off against classic Spidey villain Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal (who once auditioned to play the web slinger himself but lost out to Tobey Maguire).

Though Robert Downey Jr. played a major role in the first film as Spider-Man’s mentor, Holland has confirmed that Iron Man won’t appear in Homecoming 2.

The New Mutants (Aug. 2, 2019)

Universe: X-Men

Fox has slowly been building a cohort of young actors to take over the X-Men movies when actors like James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence inevitably exit the franchise. (They are already the second group of actors to play the X-Men. Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry were among the first group.)

They introduced new actors to play younger versions of the characters from the original X-Men movies like Sophie Turner as Jean Grey and Alexandra Shipp as Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse. But they also are pulling characters from the comics and giving them big screen debuts, like Dafne Keen as X-23 in Logan.

The New Mutants is no exception: The movie adds a slew of new actors into the franchise, including Split’s Anya Taylor-Joy, Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton and 13 Reasons Why’s Henry Zaga. And like Deadpool and Logan before it, the movie will test the bounds of genre in superhero filmmaking, this time with a horror spin.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2020)

Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

©Marvel Studios

James Gunn, who directed the first two Guardians films, has already promised a third movie, due out sometime in 2020. Currently, the Guardians team is in shambles. But they will have to unite—or at least some of them will—for their third and final film together.

Gunn has also hinted that a Guardians spinoff could be in the works. In a post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, ravagers played by Sylvester Stallone, Michelle Yeoh and others talk about reuniting a fractured team of heroes. The Ravagers could get their own movie.

Black Panther 2 (TBD)

Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has already confirmed that Black Panther 2 is definitely happening and that he hopes director Ryan Coogler will stay on for the sequel. Presumably, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and the rest of the first film’s stars will likely sign on for a second movie.

Feige also teased possible spinoff films for some of Black Panther’s standouts, including Black Panther’s genius younger sister Shuri (Letita Wright) and badass warrior Okoye (Danai Gurira). “I think Shuri’s astounding, and you’ll see much more of her in our universe,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Okoye, I think I’d watch three action films just Okoye.”

Black Widow Movie (TBD)

Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scarlett Johansson in 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron'
Jay Maidment—Marvel/Walt Disney/Shutterstock

Black Widow may be getting a long-overdue solo movie. Scarlett Johansson has appeared in six Marvel movies, beginning with Iron Man 2 in 2010, but she has never gotten to play the lead.

In January 2018 Marvel hired Jac Schaeffer to write a script, though the studio hasn’t confirmed the movie is definitely happening. Still, Chris Evans has dropped hints that a solo Black Widow movie is underway at Marvel. And Black Widow actor Scarlett Johansson—who has already built up a formidable action resume outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe—seems keen to do the film. In March 2018, Johansson told ET that she was game: “I think that there’s definitely an opportunity to explore Widow as a woman who has come into her own and is making independent and active choices for herself, probably for once in her life. She hasn’t always had that possibility.”

Doctor Strange 2 (TBD)

Universe: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Marvel has not officially confirmed an upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. But C. Robert Cargill, who wrote the first film, and director Scott Derrickson recently revealed at a screening that they already have a concept and villain for the second movie. If their idea is green lit, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will likely fight Nightmare, the ruler of the Dream Dimension. They also hinted that Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) would play a major role in the story.

Logan Spinoff (TBD)

Universe: X-Men

Dafne Keen in 'Logan'

Logan surprised just about everyone: The dark and poignant superhero movie set in 2029 earned critical praise and an Oscar nomination for best screenplay. It’s no wonder, then, that Fox is working on a script that would center on Laura, the little girl Logan shepherds across the country in that movie.

Laura could essentially pick up Wolverine’s mantel in future films. She, and the other young mutants who are the victim of experimentation in Logan, could represent a new, much more diverse future for the X-Men and superhero movies in general.

Ms. Marvel (TBD)

Ms. Marvel Comics
Marvel Studios.

Fan favorite Ms. Marvel—Marvel’s first Muslim superhero—is making her way to the big screen, according to Marvel head Feige. Kamala Khan, a shapeshifting teenager inspired to fight crime by Captain Marvel, made her debut in the comic books in 2014.

Though Fiege didn’t confirm how or when Ms. Marvel will make her debut, a solo movie about a female, Muslim-American superhero would be a massive step forward in the still very white, very white Marvel universe. Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel could likely play a mentor role in Ms. Marvel’s movie, much like Iron Man dropped in on Spider-Man in Homecoming.


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