The next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be bigger than anything Marvel has done so far, and that’s because it now has the luxury of providing more context for the main stories with the help of TV series that will stream exclusively on Disney+. We’re getting eight TV series and six regular movies, which means we’re in for a serious upgrade when it comes to MCU adventures. The previous phases had a rather strict schedule of three movies per year, and we only had two TV series that tied into them, including Agent Carter and Agents of SHIELD, which had little impact on the overall Infinity Saga impact. The movies, however, will continue to play a massive role in the overall plot going forward. MCU Phase 4 will kick off with Black Widow in May, and we’ve come to learn many details about some other upcoming movies thanks to a series of leaks from insiders — and thanks to Marvel’s own revelations. Now, a new rumor now tells us that the most mysterious MCU Phase 4 film of all might be even more important than we thought.
Black Widow isn’t just a prequel, as it’s supposed to set the stage for bigger things that will be detailed in the upcoming TV series and movies — specifically, the formation of the Thunderbolts. The Eternals that launches in November will then introduce a bunch of superheroes who preceded the Avengers, including two heroes who might join the Avengers’ ranks in the coming years. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (May 2021), meanwhile, appears to be the most exciting film of Phase 4, at least given what we know so far, because it’s rumored to deliver a huge plot twist that we didn’t necessarily see coming — Wanda is supposed to be the big villain of the film. The untitled Spider-Man 3 (July 2021) will tell us how Peter Parker deals with the world knowing he’s Spider-Man, and how he’ll deal with his murder charges. And Thor 4 (November 2021) will show us the transition from Thor to Natalie Portman.
Then there’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will be released next February, just before Doctor Strange 2. This is the most mysterious MCU Phase 4 film to date, as we have almost no information about it. Simu Liu will play Shang-Chi, with Tony Chiu-Wai Leung starring as The Mandarin. You know, the actual Mandarin, not the joker we saw in Iron Man 3. But how will it all contribute to the overall MCU story, other than giving us the real Mandarin?
We may already have one answer that comes from an insider who has shared plenty of MCU details in the past. “I have learned there is a character in Shang Chi who’s a mutant in the comics. Wiz Kid. No idea if he’ll be a mutant in the film though,” Daniel Richtman said on Twitter, adding that he saw Wiz Kid on a grid a month ago, but didn’t make the connection initially.
That’s definitely an exciting revelation about Shang-Chi, and if Wiz Kid is in it, he or she must be a mutant. In the comics, Wiz Kid is a dyslexic boy genius named Takashi Matsuya, and his power is his mind. It doesn’t really matter what Wiz Kid does, what we care most is the fact that he’s a mutant.
Kevin Feige teased last July that the mutants are coming to the MCU now that Disney bought Fox, without making any X-Men announcements. At the time, we didn’t think we would see the X-Men in the MCU sooner than Phase 5, but Marvel may add mutants to several movies and TV shows before then to somewhat establish their origin in the MCU well before the X-Men franchise is rebooted. And Shang-Chi might be one of the upcoming MCU titles to feature mutants. It’s unclear if Wiz Kid will be the first mutant to show up in the MCU, however.
That said, we’ve got two full films and two TV series to get through before Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters. And WandaVision is one of them, a series that could also feature mutants, according to some recent reports.