Marvel: Keep up with all the upcoming movies hitting theaters in 2021
We’re all dying for new theatrical MCU content. Sure, the TV shows are cool, but there’s a special kind of satisfaction that comes from experiencing a story beginning-to-end in just two hours. Weekly installments and cliffhangers have their place, but you also need feature films to have a balanced entertainment diet. Thankfully, the upcoming Marvel movies this year should take care of that!
Wait, didn’t Black Widow die in Avengers: Endgame? (It’s been two years and you had a whole pandemic to catch up with it – spoilers are okay by now.) Well, the first of the upcoming Marvel movies is meant to be a prequel. Set sometime after Captain America: Civil War, the second-ever female-led MCU film will allow Scarlett Johansson to “pass the torch” to a new Black Widow.
Enter Florence Pugh, who will be playing Yelena Belova – that new Black Widow. Remember those brief Age of Ultron flashbacks to Natasha’s training? Yelena has that background as well. The movie will take our Black Widow back to that world to confront her pre-Avengers history. It’s a trip to the past that’s been a long time coming for MCU fans everywhere.
Guiding us in Scarlett Johansson’s MCU farewell tour is director Cate Shortland, working with a script from Eric Pearson, based on a story by Jac Schaeffer & Ned Benson (teamwork!). Joining Johansson in her final Marvel adventure are David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and O-T Fagbenle. And you, of course – when the movie opens on July 9th.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Once upon a time, September was like a new-release graveyard. A month where new movies went to die. Not anymore! September 3rd will see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hit our screens. The film is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a screenplay he wrote with David Callaham and Andrew Lanham.
Unlike Black Widow, however, the second of the upcoming Marvel movies has very tenuous ties with the MCU we’ve experienced so far. Iron Man 3 paid some lip service to The Ten Rings and The Mandarin, but, honestly, most people have already forced themselves to forget Iron Man 3. Shang-Chi might as well be starting from scratch.
What this means is that unless they’re familiar with the Master of Kung-Fu comics, audiences will be coming into this film fresh only knowing that it stars the guy from Kim’s Convenience (Sim Liu, awakening mad thirst all over the world) and that its trailer was pretty awesome. Oh, and Awkwafina is in it too, being funny. At any rate, it looks like we’re in for a bad@ss kung-fu flick – Marvel style.
You just know all future marketing materials for Eternals – which opens November 5th – will make sure to mention director Chloé Zhao just won the Oscar for directing Nomadland (a film which also took the award for Best Picture of 2021). That oughtta catch some people’s attention, if the stacked cast hasn’t already: Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington . . . and the list goes on.
Now, Game of Thrones fans are already freaking out because, yes, that’s a Stark boys reunion right there. But there’s more to Eternals than that. Zhao’s movie – written by Kaz & Ryan Firpo – will feature the MCU’s most diverse cast yet (also including Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Gemma Chan, and Barry KeoGhan) , and will give us the studio’s first depiction of an LGBTQ superhero.
So, who are the Eternals? Again, unless you’re familiar with the comics, this is another one of those upcoming Marvel movies where you’ll go in blind, since the characters haven’t been referenced before. All we know is they’re an immortal alien race who are forced into action after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Sounds like a good starting point to us!
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Now, this Peter Parker guy, we know him. And if rumors are to be believed, for his third movie, he’s bringing along a bunch of other characters we also know very well, including previous incarnations of Peter Parker. Every bit of information we’ve gathered about No Way Home so far seems to indicate Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will go on a trip around the Marvel multiverse, and we couldn’t be more pumped about it.
With December 17th as its release date, Spider-Man: No Way Home is Marvel’s big Christmas 2021 release. Will it fulfill the borderline unrealistic expectations we’ve placed on it over the past few months? Will it bring Daredevil into the MCU proper? Will it give us a Spider-team-up with Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield? Will it provide closure to Sam Raimi’s Spidey trilogy?
All the upcoming Marvel movies have the potential to be game-changers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but No Way Home seems to be the one that could really turn the MCU on its head. We saw an animated version of the multiverse work wonderfully in Into the Spider-verse, so the question is: can director Jon Watts and writers Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers pull it off as live-action?
Which of the upcoming Marvel movies are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!