Everything we know about Marvel’s Phase 4, which is all about the superhero women

Today’s superhero movies definitely aren’t your grandparents’ superhero movies. Thanks to recent Marvel blockbusters like Captain Marvel and Black Panther, the genre is gradually becoming more and more diverse. Of course, there’s still a long way to go in terms of representation, but with the recent announcement of Marvel’s Phase 4, it looks like female superheroes are finally getting their time to shine.

During Marvel’s July 20th panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the company unveiled its plans for the next slate of movies and TV shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The newly announced projects include several woman-led movies and TV shows—and we couldn’t be more excited.

According to the Marvel website, a standalone Black Widow movie will hit theaters on May 1st, 2020, kicking off the Phase 4 offerings. Rumors of a movie centering on Natasha Romanoff have been circulating for years, so it’s a huge deal for this to finally be confirmed. Black Widow will be directed by Cate Shortland and stars Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz.

Marvel also announced a film adaptation of The Eternals premiering on November 6th, 2020, with a cast that includes Angelina Jolie as Thena, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Richard Madden as Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari. Chloé Zhao (The Rider) will direct the movie. Other woman-centric projects in the lineup include 2021’s Thor: Love and Thunder (starring Natalie Portman as Thor) and the TV series WandaVision, which focuses on the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and will be available on Disney+ in spring 2021.

As if this news weren’t exciting enough, Entertainment Weekly reports that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie will be the MCU’s first openly LGBTQ superhero.

Valkyrie is bisexual in the comics. During the Comic-Con panel, Thompson said that her character, who became the ruler of Asgard in Avengers: Endgame, will be looking for her queen.

"First of all, as new King [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen, so that will be her first order of business," Thompson said. "She has some ideas. Keep you posted."

Marvel’s Phase 4 is also full of racially diverse films. Moonlight and True Detective actor Mahershala Ali will star in a new Blade movie, and Marvel also announced Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings, starring Simu Liu in the titular role, Tony Leung as the Mandarin, and Awkwafina in an undisclosed role. That film will hit theaters on February 12th, 2021.

Of course, there will also be some familiar faces in Phase 4. Hawkeye and Loki will be getting solo series on Disney+, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will also be coming to the streaming service. Benedict Cumberbatch will also star in a new Doctor Strange movie, debuting May 7th, 2021.

With so many exciting, diverse projects in the works, Marvel has given us a lot to look forward to. Which project are you most excited about?

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