MCU 2022: all the Marvel films and shows expected in the new year

From the Jared Leto-starring 'Morbius' to 'Moon Knight', here are the titles releasing soon

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If you thought the Marvel Cinematic Universe would fizzle out after 2019’s intergalactic epic Avengers: Endgame, think again.

The MCU is bigger than ever, with some major movies and TV shows in the works for 2022.

Here is what to expect:

'Morbius' (April 1)

Sony, the Hollywood studio that owns the rights to Spider-Man, has already given us three Spidey films, starring Tom Holland, and two Venom spin-offs, with the eponymous villain played by Tom Hardy.

That web looks to be tightening ever closer, with Venom popping up in the post-credits sequence of the recent mega-hit Spider-Man: No Way Home. And now this shared universe is getting even more complex with Morbius.

Jared Leto plays Michael Morbius, a scientist suffering from a rare blood disease who cures himself with a form of vampirism, giving him superhuman abilities – including increased strength and speed. Glimpsed in the trailer is Michael Keaton, who featured as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming and here tells Morbius: “You and I should stay in touch.” Intriguing.

'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' (May 6)

Since his first solo outing in 2016, time-bending mystic Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has become a huge fixture in the MCU – not least in Spider-Man: No Way Home, when he caused a serious fissure in the space-time continuum.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows straight on from this cosmic calamity. Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff, fresh from her own mistakes made in Marvel TV series WandaVision, returns, although the trailer hints at something even more exciting, as Strange must battle against an evil version of himself.

At the helm is veteran visionary director Sam Raimi; the man who almost single-handedly launched the modern-day superhero movie with 2002’s Spider-Man is finally back where he belongs.

'Thor: Love and Thunder' (July 8)

Without question, New Zealand director Taika Waititi brought his own idiosyncratic humour to 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, the third solo outing for Chris Hemsworth’s Asgard warrior. So hopes are naturally high for Thor: Love and Thunder, with Waititi again in charge.

In this latest instalment, Natalie Portman returns as Thor’s romantic interest Jane Foster – with the storyline said to be adapting elements from Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor comic book, in which the astrophysicist takes on Thor’s powers.

With various Guardians of the Galaxy characters also back, this marks Christian Bale’s first entry into the MCU, with the Oscar-winning actor cast as Gorr the God Butcher, a virtually immortal villain with a serious axe to grind.

'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' – Part One (October 7)

Way before Dr Strange dug into the multiverse, Sony’s stunning animated Spider-Man adventure introduced the idea. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was released in 2018, brought us New York kid Miles Morales, meeting several Spideys from different dimensions (including the porcine Spider-Ham).

Continuing Miles’s adventures, Across the Spider-Verse is the first of a two-parter that will expand that notion even further.

So far, it’s been confirmed that Takuya Yamashiro will play "Japanese Spider-Man", who appeared in the 1978 live-action Spider-Man series. With original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, remaining on board as writers, among the new co-directors is playwright Kemp Powers, who previously helped usher Pixar’s brilliant Soul to screens.

'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' (November 22)

The first Black Panther is the MCU’s highest-grossing solo character outing to date, beaten at the box office only by the four Avengers movies. More than that, it was a cultural touchstone – from depicting the first superhero of African descent on the big screen to being the first superhero movie nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

Since the death of Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa, ruler of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, the sequel has understandably changed shape, with Marvel choosing not to recast his role. Instead, it will focus more on the supporting characters, including T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and former love Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). With writer-director Ryan Coogler once again at the helm, you can expect this to be huge.

'Ms Marvel' (Summer 2022)

Just as Black Panther felt significant, so does Ms Marvel. In this coming six-episode TV show on streaming service Disney+, Canadian newcomer Iman Vellani plays Kamala Khan – aka Ms Marvel – the first Muslim superhero.

The Pakistani-American from Jersey City, aged 16, is an avid gamer and Avengers fangirl who particularly loves Captain Marvel. In the film, Khan is unable to fit in, but that changes when she acquires her own powers – destined to integrate her right into the MCU (ahead of her big-screen appearance in 2023’s The Marvels, alongside Brie Larson, who will reprise her role as Captain Marvel).

Behind the show is an impressively diverse creative team, including Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the Belgian-Moroccan co-directors of Bad Boys for Life.

'Moon Knight' (TBC)

Arriving this year on Disney+ is Moon Knight, based on the titular character who first appeared in Marvel comics back in 1975. The show itself has significant connections to the Mena region, with Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab directing four of the six episodes – partly filmed in Jordan – and Egyptian actress May Calamawy co-starring.

In the lead is Star Wars regular Oscar Isaac, who plays Marc Spector, a former US marine and CIA agent granted special powers from the Egyptian moon god Khonshu.

As Diab told The National earlier this year: “It’s one of the most interesting comics [in the Marvel universe] because it’s about someone who has DID – dissociative personality disorder. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder … just imagine Oscar Isaac doing that. He is killing it!”

She-Hulk (TBC)

Marvel boss Kevin Feige has described this coming Disney+ show as a “half-hour legal comedy”, with these 10 episodes marking the first appearance of Jennifer Walters in the MCU. She first appeared in the Marvel comics back in 1980, being turned into a milder version of the rage-fuelled Hulk after receiving a blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner.

Playing her here will be Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, and Mark Ruffalo – who has been Banner/Hulk ever since 2012’s The Avengers – will also star. Intriguingly, Tim Roth will also appear in his role as Abomination, the villain from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, an early MCU misfire, which had Edward Norton in the title role.

Updated: January 04, 2022, 1:45 PM
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