During Marvel’s SDCC presentation, Kevin Feige released the upcoming Phase 4 line up from 2020 to 2021 for all movies and TV shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Following this announcement, it was also revealed that Blade starring Mahershala Ali was also next down the pipeline for 2022. This begs the question, where are the two films that everyone expected to be announced in Black Panther 2 and Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 3?
Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 3
Marvel had initially secured another film release date for 2019 after Spider-Man: Far From Home that was supposedly slated for the next Guardians film. However, this was pushed back as a result of James Gunn’s firing from the project due to some jokes that he had posted on his Twitter account years ago. Despite his script being completed, the project struggled to find another director to meet the deadline and eventually brought Gunn back on to direct after a production delay. The issue, though, was that in his absence from Marvel he signed on to direct DC’s The Suicide Squad which will be going into production much sooner. This led to yet another pushback on the movie.
Now that there is a set director on the project, fans thought that we might get to see a Guardians team with Thor aboard The Penatar. While that may have been the plan originally, after the Avengers: Endgame ending, the fact that we are getting Thor: Love And Thunder beforehand possibly negates his involvement in Vol. 3. It is a safe bet that Thor 4 will begin with either the Guardians dropping Thor off or a throwaway line referring to his time with the Guardians. It seems to me that plans drastically shifted for these characters once Chris Hemsworth, Taika Waititi and Natalie Portman all agreed to return for another film. This may have all been done to capitalize on the steam of Thor’s storyline in Avengers: Endgame without waiting so long for Guardians to start production.
I am willing to bet that Guardians 3 is currently being retooled to reflect the changes of another Thor film and that they have pushed this final Guardians film back to 2022 and beyond as a result. It is going to be interesting to see what they will do with the characters now. It can be assumed that the film will cover both the search for new Gamora and the birth of Adam Warlock amongst Ayesha and The Sovereign.
Black Panther 2
The only officially reported news on the Black Panther sequel came at the end of last year when Ryan Coogler signed on to write and direct for the project. Obviously, the project will bring back the likes of Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke and Letitia Wright as the Wakandan warriors. However, what is unclear is the villain of the film. With both Klaue and Killmonger dead, rumors suggest that the long-time Marvel Comics villain Kraven The Hunter is being considered for the movie. Coogler had initially intended Kraven to be the first film’s villain and seems to still want the character to be involved.
Another popular theory on the internet suggests that Michael B. Jordan will be returning as Erik Killmonger. Killmonger died at the end of the first film, but that has not stopped the rumors that he may be brought back to life in some Wakandan flower ritual of some type. It mostly seems like wishful thinking to bring back one of the MCU’s most interesting baddies, but it’d be crazy nonetheless.
The last theory I can place here is one of my own. I haven’t looked it up to see whether or not people are saying this, but I believe that Daniel Kaluuya’s character W’Kabi would make for a perfect villain. He dishonored his nation, the true King and his wife by following Killmonger even when T’Challa had returned. Let’s say he has been in their jail all this time and has grown resentment for T’Challa. It would explain why he and his Rhinos were absent in the fight against Thanos. It would make for a villainous journey that we witnessed the birth of and will give us another opportunity to see some more amazing acting form Daniel Kaluuya.
You’d think they would want to fast track a sequel to one of their biggest cultural phenomenons in the MCU, but instead it looks like we won’t be getting Black Panther 2 until sometime after the start of 2022.