In Part 1, we gave a quick overview of all the Phase 4 projects so far. In Part 2, we’ll go over Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Marvel Studios has a lot of projects in the works. Secret Invasion, She-Hulk, and Blade, to name a few. We’re nearing the end of the year, and our team thought it would be good to give our take on all the Phase 4 projects left in 2021.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, has been a hit with test audiences. People are praising Simu Liu for his jaw-dropping performance as the first Asian superhero in the MCU, and the supporting cast, consisting of Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Ronny Chieng, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, and Florian Munteanu. It releases September 3rd, exclusively in theaters, and it seems that they will stick to a theaters-only model.
The film is set in present-day San Francisco. It’s not clear if the film is pre or post-Endgame, but it’s set after The Incredible Hulk, and presumably after Avengers: Infinity War, as Abomination and Wong appear in the film. Shang-Chi is trying to live a normal life, away from his father’s villainous organization, when he gets drawn back in, and sucks Awkwafina’s Katy into the mess.
What We’d Like To See + Notes
It’s unknown what impacts this film will have on the wider MCU. There are now options for how to make an origin story, a 2.5 hour way, or a 6 hour way. As a result, many origin stories have been shifted to Disney+. For some reason, Shang-Chi seems to be exempt. The only other 2 upcoming origin stories that are not TV series are Eternals and Fantastic Four, but as these are both team origins, that may have been the factor in deciding to make these stories in the movie format, not a show.
Things we’d like to see included in this film are stunning action sequences, which we’re sure to get. We’d also like to see serious character development of both Shang-Chi and Katy in this film. The last thing we’d like to see are ties to the MCU, and hopefully some spoiler-filled post-credit scenes! Fans love easter eggs every time they pop up somewhere, and as we saw in Black Widow, post-credit scenes still can be good in the post-Endgame era/Multiverse saga.
Not much is known about the plot of Ms. Marvel, as Marvel Studios has been very secretive about this series, as well as Hawkeye. An odd thing to note is that TV series seem to be subject to less leaks than feature films. It’s unknown as to why, but certainly less set photos have come out of Ms. Marvel than Spider-Man: No Way Home. Ms. Marvel herself is played by none other than the talented Iman Vellani. Nothing is known about the villain, but some have speculated that The Inventor will play that role. In the comics, The Inventor was Ms. Marvel’s original villain, taking teenagers and brainwashing them to do his bidding. The Inventor also goes by the alias “Birdman” because, well, he has a bird’s head on a human’s body.
Production & Release
The series started production in November 2020, and concluded in May-June 2021. Hawkeye received a November 24th premiere date on Disney+. As a result, there has been recent controversy as to the release date of the series. Some have said that this means that Ms. Marvel will be delayed to Early 2022. After, others defended recent comments made by Victoria Alonso, that Ms. Marvel will premiere before the end of 2021. The only time slot where the show could fit in is a short, 6-week gap between the finale of What If…? (October 6), and the premiere of Hawkeye. That slot would be October 13 to November 17, giving the show just enough time to air. It’s unlikely, but possible.
Questions, Theories, & Leaks
Main questions surrounding this show, are mainly, will Kamala Khan be an Inhuman, as in the comics, or will Marvel Studios adapt her to live-action by giving her man-made powers? Recent leaks have said that Kamala will be wearing bracelets, and when she puts on those bracelets for the first time, they will infuse her with energy-based powers.
This reinforces a theory recently made by professional YouTuber and film critic Grace Randolph, that when Monica Rambeau (Spectrum), Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) all meet up in The Marvels, they can sync their powers together.
A report from IMDB suggests that Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson), will make an appearance in 2 episodes of Ms. Marvel. If this is true, it could be how we see Kamala and Carol first meet in the MCU, and if true, would lead directly into either The Marvels or Secret Invasion, as another recent report on IMDB claims that both Iman Vellani and Brie Larson will appear as their characters in Secret Invasion, both for 6 episodes. That show will lead directly into The Marvels.
This film and Spider-Man: No Way Home have the most Twitter fan pages out of all the upcoming MCU projects. Eternals, directed by Oscar winning-director Chloe Zhao, releases November 5th, 2021. There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding this film.
Questions, Theories, & Leaks
One month ago, one of our writers posted an exclusive about the true villain of Eternals. Our sources have said that Ikarus would be a traitor, and Sersi would discover that. Our sources told us that Ajak had decided to save Earth. As a result, Ikarus kills her. If this turns out to be true, it could make for a very interesting dilemma with the remaining members of the Eternals. Sprite, Phastos, Thena, Druig, Kingo, Makkari, and Gilgamesh would all have to pick sides. It also raises questions as to how the Deviants and Celestials fit into the film.
It’s too far for any box office projections of any kind to be graphed, and there have been rumors that Eternals will shift to a day-and-date format with a simultaneous release in theaters and on Disney+ with their Premier Access service. However, if the Delta variant does begin to fade a little by November, and Disney chooses to keep Eternals theaters-exlcusive, we could expect a $100M opening weekend. But at this point, it’s a waiting game.
Hawkeye. Kate Bishop, Clint Barton, Yelena Belova, Maya Lopez, and more. The cast of Hawkeye is stacked, with Hailee Steinfeld, Jeremy Renner, Florence Pugh, Vera Farmiga, Alaqua Cox, Fra Fee, and more. The series is set to premiere on November 24, and is expected to run until December 29.
Notes, Leaks, Questions
Leaks from the set of Hawkeye and on Reddit claim that Madame Masque will be the main villain of season 1, and that Vincent D’Onofrio will reprise his MCU role as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin. Note that there are only 6 episodes, yet so much story to cover. This show will have a spinoff, with Maya Lopez getting her own series, Echo. The series has been fast-tracked, with a January 2022 production start. Main questions include how the series will connect to the wider MCU, and what happens to Clint Barton going forward.
Production & Marketing
There hasn’t been any marketing concerning this series besides a tweet announcing the release date from Entertainment Weekly, and the first look photo (shown above). Given that the series is only about 3 months away from it’s premiere date, we should be seeing a trailer soon. The series started production in December 2020, and ended in May 2021.
All in all, it looks to be a very enjoyable series. We’ll see what happens when Hawkeye premieres on November 24, 2021.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Perhaps the hardest project to preview, Spider-Man: No Way Home. It seems like the entire script has leaked, with everything we know. Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Green Goblin, Sandman, Mysterio, Doc Ock, and more are all rumored to appear in the highly-anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home. That’s all I’m going to say. Enjoy No Way Home on December 17, 2021.