Marvel Phase 5: January 2023 update
Tom Power, entertainment reporter
A new year brings fresh MCU news and rumors. Subsequently, we’ve updated the relevant sections below with the latest official (and not so official) information about Marvel’s forthcoming slate, including plenty of tidbits on The Thunderbolts, Deadpool 3, and Agatha: Coven of Chaos.
Happy New Year! 2023 is here, which means Marvel Phase 5 is ready to usher in the latest batch of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) projects.
Marvel‘s next slate of movies and TV shows officially begins with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which arrives in theaters worldwide in February. Over the next 18 months, there’ll be no fewer than 15 films and Disney Plus series rolling off the production line, so it’s going to be a busy time for the studio and the MCU’s global fanbase.
We suspect, then, that you need a full rundown of every MCU Phase 5 movie and show that’s on the way. Below, we’ve compiled every piece of worthwhile news on some of the best superhero movies and best Disney Plus shows (potentially, anyway) set to hit the big and small screens soon. That includes each project’s release date, cast details, trailers, plot specifics, and more.
Without further ado, here’s everything we know about Marvel Phase 5.
Marvel Phase 5: every movie and TV show
Here’s the likely Marvel Phase 5 line-up:
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17, 2023)
- What If…? season 2 (TV show, early 2023)
- Secret Invasion (TV show, early 2023)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (May 5, 2023)
- Echo (TV show, mid-2023)
- Loki season 2 (TV show, mid-2023)
- The Marvels (July 28, 2023)
- Ironheart (TV show, late 2023)
- X-Men 97 (animated TV show, late 2023)
- Agatha: Coven of Chaos (TV show, late 2023/early 2024)
- Daredevil: Born Again (TV show, early 2024)
- Captain America: New World Order (May 3, 2024)
- Thunderbolts (July 26, 2024)
- Blade (September 6, 2024)
- Deadpool 3 (November 8, 2024)
- Spider-Man: Freshman Year (animated TV show, 2024)
- Marvel Zombies (animated TV show, 2024)
- Armor Wars (movie, TBA)
Marvel Phase 5 movies
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Release date: February 17, 2023
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania officially kickstarts Marvel Phase 5. Peyton Reed directs his third Ant-Man movie, which will be the most mature one yet.
The threequel sees the return of Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Hope van Dyne/Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), and Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton). Samuel L Jackson has revealed Nick Fury will appear, while Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo and David Dastmalchian’s Kurt are set to cameo.
Ant-Man 3 will also formally introduce us to the MCU’s next big bad, i.e. Kang the Conqueror. The time traveling genius will be played by Jonathan Majors, who portrayed one of Kang’s variants – He Who Remains – in Loki season 1. Legendary actor Bill Murray has teased he’s playing a bad guy called Krylar, while Corey Stoll, who played Yellowjacket in 2015’s Ant-Man, will feature as MODOK, another Marvel supervillain. The Good Place’s Willian Jackson Harper has been cast in an undisclosed role, too.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Release date: May 5, 2023
This flick will end the MCU trilogy James Gunn (now co-head of DC Studios) has helmed since 2014. It’s set after Thor: Love and Thunder and the Guardians’ Disney Plus Holiday special, and sees all previous members of the Guardians return to the fold.
Guardians 3 marks the final time we’ll see this ragtag band on the screen. Dave Bautista unlikely to return as Drax, while Gunn has hinted at some major character deaths in the threequel. The film’s first trailer teased Adam Warlock’s first MCU appearance, a multi-armed, gun-toting Groot, and baby Rocket.
Will Poulter will play Adam Warlock, who was teased in Guardians 2’s post-credits scene, Chukwudi Iwuji (Peacemaker) will play the villainous High Evolutionary, and Maria Bakalova (Borat 2, Bodies Bodies Bodies) reprises her role as Cosmo the Spacedog from the Guardians’ Holiday Special. Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad), and Nico Santos (Crazy Rich Asians) are also involved, but their roles haven’t been announced.
Release date: July 28, 2023
Technically a Captain Marvel sequel, this Nia DaCosta-directed film (one written by DaCosta, Megan McDonnell, Elissa Karasik, and Zeb Wells) will see a female superhero-only team up on the big screen for the first time. Well, if you discount the all-female ensemble in Avengers: Endgame.
Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers reunites with Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau, the daughter of Danvers’ best friend Maria (Lashana Lynch) from 2018’s Captain Marvel. The last time we saw Rambeau, aka Photon, was in WandaVision, so expect an awkward family-style reunion between the pair. Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel will also make her MCU movie debut after starring in her own TV show.
Zawe Ashton (Velvet Buzzsaw) will play the movie’s villain, Park Seo-joon (Parasite) will portray an as-yet-unnamed character, and Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury will also feature. A teaser was shown at D23 Expo 2022, but it’ll be some time before we see it.
Captain America: New World Order
Release date: May 3, 2024
A new Captain America film starring Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson is in development. Malcolm Spellman (Falcon and the Winter Soldier (FATWS)) is penning the script, while Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox) is on directorial duties.
Little is known about the plot, but Marvel producer Nate Moore suggests it’ll be an underdog-style flick (opens in new tab). Meanwhile, at D23 Expo 2022, Onah described it as a “paranoid thriller”.
Danny Ramirez and Carl Lumbly will reprise their roles as Joaquin Torress and Isaiah Bradley from FATWS. Tim Blake Nelson’s Samuel Sterns/The Leader makes his first MCU appearance since 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, while Shira Haas (Unorthodox) will play Israeli superheroine Sabra, who may provide another link to mutants existing in the MCU. New World Order could tie into Eternals and Deadpool 3, too, but we’ll refrain from spoiling how as they might be considered huge spoilers.
Meanwhile, there’s no word on whether Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers will cameo, though Evans has refuted such suggestions. Finally, legendary actor Harrison Ford will portray General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, the role held by William Hurt until his death in March 2022.
Release date: July 26, 2024
Billed as an anti-hero Avengers-style film, Marvel’s Thunderbolts is being helmed by Paper Towns director Jake Schreier.
Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastien Stan), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Red Guardian (David Harbour), US Agent (Wyatt Russell), Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko), and Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) are all part of the Thunderbolts’ line-up.
Anthony Mackie hasn’t ruled out Captain America cameo-ing, but Harrison Ford’s ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross will feature. Baron Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) could appear, too, plus rumors suggest Sentry will be the movie’s antagonist.
Plot details are sparse, but Stranger Things season 5 star Harbour says it’ll drop a metaphorical “bomb” (opens in new tab) on the MCU, introduce a “vital thing” (opens in new tab) to Marvel’s cinematic universe, and it’ll be infused with “lots of action and comedy” (opens in new tab).
Filming might begin in June 2023, but MCU insiders suggest the script is being rewritten, so that start date may be pushed back.
Release date: September 6, 2024
After his off-screen Eternals cameo, Blade is getting a solo MCU movie. Blade was hit by multiple development issues in 2022, with director Bassim Tariq departing and Beau DeMayo (The Witcher, Moon Knight) boarding to rewrite Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s script. Lovecraft Country’s Yann Demange is reportedly in the director’s chair now (opens in new tab) and filming will supposedly begin in July 2023.
Mahershala Ali will star as the titular vampire hunter. Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods, The Harder They Fall) has joined the cast, while Milan Ray (The Wonder Years) and Joshua Mikel (The Walking Dead) have also reportedly signed on.
According to a Marvel VFX supervisor, Blade may join forces with Kit Harington’s Black Knight, while Moon Knight star Oscar Isaac also wants a Midnight Sons team-up with Blade. Moon Knight producer Grant Curtis told TechRadar that the vigilante could turn up all over the MCU, so that’s certainly a possibility. With Blade undergoing rewrites, though, those story elements could be tweaked.
Release date: November 8, 2024
Deadpool 3 is officially in development – and, delightfully, Hugh Jackman is reprising his iconic role as Wolverine for the final time. Director Shawn Levy has teased Wolverine will have a massive role to play (opens in new tab), but Daredevil won’t make a surprise appearance.
Stefan Kapicic has seemingly revealed he’ll be back as Colossus (per Deadpool 3’s most popular Twitter fan account (opens in new tab)), while Zazie Beetz could be back as Domino (via DanielRPK (opens in new tab)). Marvel insiders suggest Deadpool 2’s Shatterstar (opens in new tab) (played by Shadow and Bone season 2‘s Lewis Tan), Fox’s defunct X-Men teams, and even Channing Tatum’s Gambit could appear as part of its multiverse-spanning plot. Other MCU leakers claim Loki season 2 will have a hand in Deadpool’s MCU arrival.
Principal photography will begin early this year in the UK. It’s unclear if Deadpool 3 will cap Marvel Phase 5 or open Phase 6. Once we know for sure, we’ll update this section accordingly.
Release date: TBA
Originally billed as a TV show, Armor Wars is being turned into a movie after Marvel producer Nate Moore revealed it was “cost prohibitive (opens in new tab)” to make as a Disney Plus series. Yassir Lester will write the script, with the film’s story picking up after Secret Invasion.
Armor Wars will follow Cheadle’s James Rhodes/War Machine as he pursues criminals who have acquired some old Tony Stark technology to use for nefarious means. The Department for Damage Control, seen in projects including She-Hulk, Ms Marvel, and Spider-Man’s MCU trilogy, are expected to show up.
Per Collider (opens in new tab), Cheadle says it’ll “take the [comic book] mythology, tip it on its head a little bit, and come up with different ways to tell the story”, adding it would act as a “rebirth” for Rhodey (per Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab)). Speaking to The Guardian (opens in new tab), Cheadle said Armor Wars is an open book as far as Rhodey is concerned as “there’s nothing that actually has been explored”.
Release date: TBA
File this one under “unlikely”, but there’s speculation a fourth Spider-Man MCU movie will be part of Marvel Phase 5 – and that it could be released in July 2024. Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman confirmed another live-action Spidey film will be released (opens in new tab), but hasn’t specified when. Elsewhere, The Cosmic Circus (opens in new tab) has reported it might not arrive until 2025, meaning it would be part of Marvel’s Phase 6 slate.
Tom Holland and Zendaya are expected to return as Peter Parker and MJ respectively. Miles Morales (another Spider-Man) could make his live-action debut, too, but Jon Watts – director on Spidey’s three other solo Marvel films – isn’t likely to helm it.
Marvel Phase 5 TV shows
What If…? season 2
Release date: early 2023
What If…? season 2 is expected to be the first Marvel Phase 5 TV show, although a release date still hasn’t been revealed. Marvel executive Brad Winderbaum has confirmed (opens in new tab) season 2 will dig into what makes The Watcher tick and show more of his humanity. Speaking to Deadline (opens in new tab), co-creator Bryan Andrews also says it’ll be “a little bit wilder” than its predecessor.
Scarlet Witch actor Elizabeth Olsen will reportedly lend her voice to her character’s animated version, despite not doing so in season 1, plus Cate Blanchett is back to voice Hela for a Thor: Ragnarok-set episode (opens in new tab). Other entries include the unused Gamora-Iron Man team-up, which was originally part of season 1, and a supposed Marvel 1602 set installment. Finally, a third season has already been greenlit.
Release date: early 2023
Secret Invasion will focus on the Skrulls, as seen in Captain Marvel, with Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos and Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury being the show’s leads. The show arrives in early 2023 and be the MCU’s first crossover event.
Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami), Olivia Colman (The Favorite), and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) are among the MCU’s newcomers. Martin Freeman’s Everett K. Ross, Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes/War Machine, and Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill will also feature.
Jackson has revealed we’ll see more of Fury’s life away from all the superhero stuff. Everything else is being kept under wraps, although Smulders has also teased the series will be much darker than we expect.
Kyle Bradstreet (Mr Robot) has penned the six-part series, but a unnamed writer was also reportedly been brought on board to improve the scripts. Meanwhile, Thomas Bezucha (Let Him Go) and Ali Selim (Condor) are on directorial duties.
Release date: mid-2023
Fresh from her supporting role in Hawkeye, Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez/Echo is getting her own show, which is helmed by Sydney Freeland (Navajo) and Catriona McKenzie (Gunaikurnai).
Zach McClarnon reprises his role as Lopez’s father from Hawkeye, while Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk and Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil are set to feature. Chaske Spencer (Wild Indian), Tantoo Cardinal (Killers of the Flower Moon), Dervery Jacobs (Reservation Dogs), Cody Lightning (Hey, Viktor!), and Graham Greene (1883), have officially been cast in undisclosed roles.
Despite its mid-2023 launch window, there’s confusion over when Echo will be released. Showrunner Marian Dayre has claimed Echo could be delayed until late 2023 (per The Cosmic Circus (opens in new tab)) due to production issues, Disney’s Japanese website (opens in new tab) suggests Echo might not arrive until 2024, and D23 magazine (opens in new tab) claims it’s still on course to arrive this year. We await official confirmation with bated breath.
Loki season 2
Release date: mid-2023
Loki season 2 is coming in Q2 2023. Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki, while Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Martino, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are all back as Agent Mobius, Sylvie, and Revanna Renslayer. Wunmi Mosaku’s Hunter B-15 could also return, plus Ke Huy Quan (Indiana Jones, Everything Everywhere All at Once) has joined the cast in an undisclosed role.
Season 1 head writer Michael Waldron is returning in an executive producing capacity. Eric Martin, a staff writer on three of season 1’s six entries, is the new head writer (per Deadline (opens in new tab)), while Moon Knight duo Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson have co-directed the series’ next entry.
Speaking at D23 Expo 2022, Kevin Feige revealed Loki season 2 “directly connects” to all three phases in the Multiverse Saga. A brief teaser was also shown to attendees, which hints at a far creepier, time-jumping installment. A few seconds of footage are also seen in Disney Plus’ 2023 release slate video (opens in new tab).
Release date: late 2023
Ironheart (opens in new tab) will star Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, who made her live-action debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The series has been written by Chinaka Hodge (Snowpiercer), with Angela Barnes (Killing It) and Samantha Bailey (Dear White People) on directing duties. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is also on board in an executive producer role.
In The Heights’ Anthony Ramos will play Parker Robbins, aka The Hood, who specializes in dark magic. Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury could make another MCU cameo appearance here. Meanwhile, there are serious rumors that Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Trial of the Chicago 7) will portray Mephisto, a previously rumored WandaVision villain.
Elden Ehrenreich (Star Wars), Lyric Ross (This Is Us), Manny Montana (Good Girls), Zoe Terakes (Nine Perfect Strangers), Chaim Girafi (Waterworld), Shakira Barrera (GLOW), Rashida Olayiwola (Insecure), Sonia Denis (BoJack Horseman), Paul Calderon (Bosch), Cree Summers (Cosmic Love) and newcomer Harper Anthony are all believed to have signed on in undisclosed roles.
Release date: late 2023
A revival of 1990s classic X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men 97 will pick up right after the final episode of its predecessor’s original 1990s run. Beau DeMayo serves as head writer, while JB Ballard (Moon Knight, Shameless) is on board as script coordinator. The Newton Brothers (Midnight Mass, The Forever Purge) will compose the show’s new music (opens in new tab). Most of the series’ original voice cast have signed on to reprise their iconic roles.
Magneto will apparently be the team’s new leader. Sunspot, Nightcrawler, Cable, and Bishop are among the team’s new members, but no other story details have been unveiled. Rogue fans will have “plenty to be stoked about (opens in new tab)“, though, according to DeMayo.
The Marvel Phase 5 series will consist of 10 episodes and a second season has already been greenlit. Given that X-Men: The Animated Series’ theme tune was used in Ms Marvel’s season finale, fingers crossed X-Men 97 is a pre-cursor for the mutants’ eventual live-action MCU debut.
Agatha: Coven of Chaos
Release date: late 2023/early 2024
Agatha: Coven of Chaos will see Kathryn Hahn reprise her role from WandaVision in this Marvel Phase 5 show. Hahn revealed filming was set to begin in November 2022 (opens in new tab), which is billed as a nine-episode series (opens in new tab), but MCU insiders have claimed it won’t properly start shooting until mid-January.
Park and Recreation’s Amy Poehler, Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham, Heartstopper’s Joe Locke, The White Lotus season 2‘s Audrey Plaza, Raising Dion’s Ali Ahn, Tuca & Bertie’s Sasheer Zamata, Last Christmas’ Patti LuPone and The Good Nurse‘s Maria Dizzia are all part of the cast. Plaza is thought to be the villain, with Locke reportedly playing a grown up Billy Maximoff, aka Wiccan. Sacha Baron Cohen’s villain could show up (opens in new tab), too.
Elsewhere, Emma Caulfield Ford and Debra Jo Rupp, who played Dottie and Sharon Davis in WandaVision, and Evan Peters’ Ralph Boener are expected to return. There’s also speculation Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda could figure, with Coven of Chaos apparently adapting the Children’s Crusade storyline from Marvel comics (opens in new tab). Coven of Chaos might also show us how the Darkhold was created.
WandaVision writers Peter Cameron, Cameron Squires, and Laura Donney are penning the scripts, as is The Marvels’ Megan McDonnell. Mary Livanos, WandaVision’s co-executive producer, will co-produce Coven of Chaos alongside Jac Schaeffer (opens in new tab), who served as head writer on Black Widow and WandaVision. Schaeffer will also direct (opens in new tab).
Daredevil: Born Again
Release date: early 2024
The Man Without Fear is finally getting an MCU TV series. It’ll comprise 18 episodes, production will begin in February 2023 and run through to December (opens in new tab), and star Charlie Cox doesn’t think it’ll be fully R-rated. Meanwhile, Matt Corman and Chris Ord (The Enemy Within, Covert Affairs) are helming the series.
Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio reprise their roles as Matt Murdock/Daredevil and Wilson Fisk/Kingpin – the duo having already made MCU cameos in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk, and Hawkeye respectively. Meanwhile, Michael Gandolfini (The Many Saints of Newark), Margarita Levieva (The Deuce), Colin Woodell (The Flight Attendant), and Sandrine Holt (American Gigolo) have reportedly signed on in major but undisclosed roles.
Alaqua Cox’s Echo and Tatiana Maslany’s She-Hulk could cameo, returning the favor after Daredevil appearaned in their shows. Ayelet Zurer, Elden Henson, and John Bernthal are rumored to be making the jump from Netflix’s Daredevil series to the MCU as Vanessa, Foggy Nelson, and The Punisher. Deborah Ann Woll, who played Karen Page in the Netflix show, says she hasn’t been contacted (opens in new tab) about appearing.
Bullseye – the secondary villain in Daredevil’s third season on Netflix – might also return, according to insiders, though it’s unclear if Wilson Bethel will reprise that role. Lastly, White Tiger (aka Ava Ayala), a Puerta Rican superhero, could make their live-action debut.
Spider-Man: Freshman Year
Release date: 2024
This animated series follows Peter Parker during his college days and celebrates his early comic book roots. Tom Holland isn’t expected to voice this version of the character, which isn’t surprising, given the show is apparently not canon (opens in new tab). However, Charlie Cox is part of the cast as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, which muddies the waters.
Harry Osborn, Amadeus Cho, and Runaways team member Nico Minuro are part of Peter’s friendship group. Norman Osborn will be Peter’s chief mentor, and there’ll be multiple villains, including Doc Ock, Chameleon, Scorpion, and Rhino.
Production has apparently wrapped on this Marvel Phase 5 project. A second season, titled Spider-Man: Sophomore Year, is thought to be in development, but apparent cost-cutting measures mean Sophomore Year – and Freshman Year itself – are in serious trouble and could even be canceled.
Release date: sometime in 2024
A spin-off show of What If…?, Marvel Zombies will make MCU history when it lands in 2024 as it’ll be Marvel’s first fully R-rated TV show.
The series will pick up after the events of What If…? season 1 episode 5 – aka What If… Zombies!? – and comprises four episodes, according to series’ creator Zeb Wells (opens in new tab). It’ll see the MCU’s newer heroes face off against the ever growing zombie superhero threat, with Shang-Chi, Ms Marvel, Kate Bishop, and Black Widow‘s Yelena Belova and Red Guardian among the dwindling superhero roster.
We’ll also see a zombified version of Ikaris. Given the Eternals are human-robot hybrids, though, it’ll be interesting to see what role Ikaris will play. Other zombified heroes will include Captain Marvel, Okoye, Ghost, Abomination, and Hawkeye.
Marvel Phase 6 movies and TV shows
Marvel Phase 5 is the primary focus of this guide, but the first three Phase 6 movies have been announced:
- Fantastic Four (February 14, 2025)
- Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (May 2, 2025)
- Avengers: Secret Wars (May 1, 2026)