Perhaps one of the most unusual parts of 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic for some people was the absence of any new Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) release.
It almost feels like a decade since Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel were released, at least for me. But sadly for Marvel fans, it’s only been roughly a year and a half since the last Marvel movie hit theaters, which was Spider-Man: Far From Home back in July of 2019.
Fortunately, 2021 has dawned upon us and we have thankfully been given the gift of WandaVision to satiate our appetite for the moment being, which debuted on Disney+ last week on January 15.
Other than that, there were plenty of other movies and shows on the ‘CVS receipt’ that is the Marvel phase four schedule, a couple of which were originally set to release in 2020 but were pushed back due to COVID-19.
Without further introduction, let’s take a look at the movies and series’ anticipated for their release in 2021:
Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19)
This one is going to be exciting for a lot of fans. Not just because of the characters in it, but because it’s going to be a series on Disney+, so there’s plenty to look forward to.
As we saw on several occasions on screen in the MCU in recent years, Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) and Sam Wilson (Falcon) have great chemistry together and are two of Cap’s closest butt-buddies, so they must make a great duo.
The series will take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame so I would be surprised to see a Chris Evans-Captian America cameo.
Black Widow (May 7)
Personally, I think Black Widow will be (and should be) the most anticipated of all 2021 Marvel releases. Aside from the fact that the goddess herself, Scarlett Johansson is running the show, it will be nice to see her have a stand-alone film considering she was killed off in Avengers: Endgame (sorry for the spoiler, you should have seen it already).
Supposedly the movie is set to take place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, so it will be interesting to see where the writers take Black Widow’s storyline.
Loki (May, TBD)
Ahhh yes, Loki. Everyone’s favorite villain…sort of. The god of mischief always plays both sides and will return to the digital screen this year in his own series on Disney+.
Taking place after the famous Tony Stark ‘snap’ at the end of Avengers: Endgame, Loki will likely take lots of twists and turns since Loki was killed off in Infinity War, and things may get a little wonky when dealing with intergalactic forces.
Shang-Chi: And the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9)
I can’t say I’ve heard much about this one other than that its going to be a series on Disney+ and the title hints at what hardcore-comic fans have been looking for since the first Iron Man hit the screens in 2008.
The Mandarin and the concept of the ten rings are a major part of the comics, particularly in the Iron Man storyline. Whether or not the story resonates with the casual fan will be discovered this summer, but I am excited for the new can of worms that Kevin Feige and Marvel have opened.
What If…? (Summer, TBD)
This one caught my eye because it appears to be the most unique of the bunch, which is saying a lot. Supposedly, What If…? will be an animated series that dives deeper into the endless alternative possibilities and outcomes of the MCU, and how things could have played out differently.
Hawkeye (Late 2021, TBD)
Hopefully, Marvel didn’t wait too long for this one. Jeremy Renner, the actor who plays Hawkeye in the MCU is 50 years old this year, and I would be surprised if they didn’t explore the skills of his daughter, who is rumored to have just as good of aim as he does.
But everyone likes Hawkeye in the MCU, and the series will be on my heavily anticipated list since he probably has the least screentime out of all six Avengers in the MCU.
Ms. Marvel (Late 2021, TBD)
I’ve heard the least about this one, but after my extensive google research, I found that the Disney+ series stars a crazed teen fan of Captain Marvel, who ends up harnessing the power of her favorite hero.
Other than that, I have read that it is supposed to take place as a setup and prequel to Captain Marvel 2, so we’ll see how the stories connect.
The Eternals (November 5)
In the comics, the Eternals are a group of humanoids that actually play a huge part in the Marvel universe. In the movie they’re making, there will be a star-studded cast with household names such as:
Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Gemma Chan, and Barry Keoghan.
Essentially, they are the intergalactic protectors of the earth so I assume the movie will have a lot to juggle with both backstories and action. But I have faith in Marvel.
Spider-Man 3 (December 17)
Last but not least, we have Tom Holland back again for a third installment of Spider-Man.
Last movie, we got a teaser of the old J. Jonah. Jameson at the end so it would be nice to see J.K. Simmons back in the Marvel universe. In my opinion, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is the most true to the Peter Parker in the comics, so I would not be surprised if this one is another box-office banger.
If all else fails in the other releases of this year, Spider-Man should end 2021 on a positive note, unless Marvel Studios somehow alienates every kid’s favorite superhero.