Marvel’s MCU Phase 4 kicks off in May with the Black Widow standalone movie we’ve always wanted to see. The film is a prequel, given that Natasha died in Endgame and isn’t expected to see a resurrection since reviving her would severely damage Endgame’s legacy. In fact, we’ve already told you that Phase 4 will be peppered with prequel stories, as we get closer to the present day in the Avengers timeline, which is 2023. Phase 4 includes six standalone films and several Disney+ TV series, and all of the action will be connected. Of all of these titles though, three movies are most critical for the buildup to Marvel’s next massive crossover like Endgame, and one of them just lost its director.
Eternals will unveil a new type of superhero this November, and they will have a big impact on the MCU going forward. Spider-Man 3, out in July 2021, will show us a Spider-Man whose identity is known to the world, a first for Spider-Man movies, and it’ll potentially set up events that will help Marvel get rid of Peter Parker in the event a new Disney-Sony deal would fail.
But the most important film of Phase 4 might be Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, at least according to what we know about it so far. For starters, Marvel confirmed that both WandaVision and Loki will be tied to the film. These are Disney+ TV series featuring the same characters that we’ve already grown to love in previous Marvel films — Wanda, Vision, and Loki. The latter is all the more exciting, as we’re looking at an alternate version of Loki who escaped with the Tesseract in Endgame.
On top of that, Marvel already confirmed that Doctor Strange 2 will introduce a Marvel hero who we don’t expect and can’t predict, as Feige said recently. If that’s not enough to make you want to watch Strange 2, there are also rumors that say the film will feature the MCU’s first appearances by X-Men, including Wolverine and Deadpool.
Sadly, the director who delivered the first film, Scott Derrickson, won’t be at the helm for the sequel. Variety first reported the news, and Marvel confirmed in a statement that Derrickson is out due to “creative differences.” It’s unclear what happened:
Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ due to creative differences. We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU.
We have no idea what those creative differences might be, but the director took to Twitter to say that he’ll remain on the project as an executive producer.
Marvel and I have mutually agreed to part ways on Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness due to creative differences. I am thankful for our collaboration and will remain on as EP.
— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) January 10, 2020
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to premiere on May 7th, 2021, and it should start shooting this coming May. This will give Marvel plenty of time to find a replacement, although it’s too early to speculate on who that might be.