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Scarlett Johansson, a member of the cast of "Avengers: End Game," appears at a hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Los Angeles.
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP
Black Widow will be back
THE ANSWERS YOU SEEK SHALL BE YOURS

What’s next for the marvel cinematic universe? Phase 4 revealed

By Amanda Shendruk

Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home weren’t simply another series of box-office-busting, butt-kicking superhero epics. They were also the end of a cinematic generation.

After those films steam-rolled through theaters, fans were left with only speculation about the future of the Marvel universe. But now—finally—there are answers.

Marvel took advantage of San Diego Comic Con to announce much of their future movie lineup, which also included five Disney-Plus series.

While this is the end for some long-running, popular characters, it’s just the beginning for other lesser-known ones, whom Marvel intends to promote in “Phase Four”—its five-year plan for its superhero film franchise. The release dates for eight films—three untitled—are now on the books.

Marvel’s Avengers movie franchise was born in 2008, when the company used a B-list character, Iron Man, to kick off what would become an epic, multi-billion-dollar superhero adventure. Acquired by Disney the following year, Marvel Studios rolled out its Avengers saga over the course of a decade, using three “phases” of story development across 22 movies. Each was linked by the infinity stones storyline—shiny gems with cataclysmic consequences.

Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home brought that saga to a close.

Now a new series of characters will take the spotlight, including Black Widow, a female Thor, and Shang-Chi.

No official announcements have been made regarding the 2022 movies beyond the holding dates; however, fans haven’t been left without clues as to which characters will be featured.

James Gunn has been secured as director (again) for a third Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and Spider-Man actor Tom Holland is contracted for another film following Far From Home. Fans can likely also look forward to a Black Panther sequel.