Marvel’s Phase IV Plans Revealed

Marvel’s long-range planning is impressive, but what about in 2019 when its Phase III movies are complete? Can we expect a full reboot of every property or is Marvel prepared to go even deeper into its catalog? How do you follow a film where the villain is an all-powerful god?

After publicly unveiling its full slate of Phase III movies last week, Marvel held a second secret unveiling of its Phase IV movies.

I can confirm here exclusively those Phase IV plans and they are spectacular. Because of the cash generated by each successive release, Marvel has been quietly negotiating for the 2019 return of its properties that it licensed to other studios: X-Men, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four.

First up is a Defenders/Spider-Man cross-over in 2020, which will be a Netflix exclusive. It’s a risk for sure releasing a major blockbuster outside of theaters, but Marvel is smartly anticipating the growth of the platform with a vision not normally possessed by movie studios.

Next in 2021 is a Fantastic Four-Silver Surfer-Guardians of the Galaxy-Incredible Hulk two-part movie coinciding with the relaunch of the Fantastic Four comic, with a year’s worth of issues being released simultaneously on Flag Day. I’m told that there will be a Hulk-Thing battle royale lasting 40 minutes.

2022 brings the first of the three X-Men-Avengers movies released four months apart, which will finally lead into the five-part X-Men-Spider-Man-Fantastic Four-Avengers-Guardians of the Galaxy ultimate cross-over.

Phew, that was a mouthful.

But Marvel was not done yet. As the small crowd began to disperse, Marvel President Kevin Feige cleared his throat, and DC President Diane Nelson burst through a false wall, flanked by Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, and an actor wearing a Joker mask. Yes, that’s right, Marvel has teamed up with DC for its Phase V movies, which will be a full merger of the Marvel and DC universes, with a slate of movies released over a 10-year period.

The applause was deafening. Several people fainted.

The lights then dimmed suddenly, and a screen lowered from the ceiling, as the following video began to play:

When the lights came up again, Patton Oswalt had appeared next to the actor wearing the Joker mask, who ripped it off to reveal … Mark Hamill.

All hell broke loose. Windows shattered. Mark Hamill then read off the release dates for the Phase VI Marvel-DC-Star Wars 17-part, 25-year cross-over debuting in 2040 and promised to freeze himself in carbonite so that he would be available to star in all of the movies.

When the hysteria finally died down, Feige revealed the last surprise of the evening, Phase VII, which will be a complete reboot of every Marvel property, except set in an alternate universe where Britain never lost the Revolutionary War.

Originally published at on November 8, 2014.

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