Upcoming Marvel projects that will get you pumped

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe started, it had the advantage of being more simple and streamlined than the comics it was based on—making it easy for new audiences to become fans of characters like Iron Man and Captain America without having to get up to speed by reading through countless back issues.

With blockbuster success, however, comes great expansion: roughly a decade after it launched, the MCU now encompasses a seemingly endless array of movies and tie-in TV shows. In many ways, we're right back at square one; it can be very difficult for casual fans or diehard aficionados to keep track of what's happened—or what's coming next. Fortunately, you don't need Doctor Strange's Eye of Agamotto in order to see everything Marvel has planned: all you have to do is check out our handy guide to every MCU movie and TV series in development.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

The first Ant-Man movie offered more than a few surprises for comics fans and MCU junkies alike. The first: the decision to focus on the Scott Lang Ant-Man character rather than the more familiar Hank Pym, whom the movie portrayed as a Cold War era hero living out his golden years in fear of people misusing his technology. With the help of his daughter Hope and unlikely hero Scott Lang, Pym succeeds in saving the day one last time. What, exactly, will the sequel entail? Marvel has kept mum on the details, but we know a few things for sure.

Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), for starters, will don a cool prototype armor designed by Pym's wife Janet (who will be played by Michelle Pfeiffer), which means we'll see the Wasp make her long-awaited MCU debut. Speaking of Janet, it seems likely that the movie will follow up on the quest to find her and bring her home from the Quantum Realm. Finally, the movie's July 6, 2018 premiere date places it just over two months after Infinity War—and considering that the entire face of the MCU could be different by then, it may be up to Ant-Man and the Wasp to pick up where other heroes have fallen (and quite possibly died) in their fight against Thanos.

Daredevil Season 3

Daredevil kicked off Netflix's side of the MCU by blowing everyone away with a tight plot and perfect casting, including an unforgettable turn by Vincent D'onofrio as the Kingpin. Daredevil's second season kept up its predecessor's relentless pace while adding fan favorite characters like Elektra and Punisher to the mix, the latter proving so popular that he's now getting in his own series. Where, then, will Daredevil as a show be going in season three?

Well, the last time we saw Matt Murdock, he was recuperating from his showdown with the Hand, under the care of the enigmatic Sister Maggie. With that mysterious ending, many suspect season three will take a page or two from the famous Born Again story arc. But while details surrounding the plot are sparse, we do know the incredible Vincent D'Onofrio will be returning as Daredevil's number one nemesis: Wilson Fisk. Unfortunately, there's no release date yet, but chances are good we'll get to see Daredevil and the Kingpin throw down sometime in 2018.

Luke Cage Season 2

After his appearance in Jessica Jones, we knew Luke Cage (and his unbreakable body) were a big hit with audiences. The amazing first season of his solo show, however, proved this was a character perfectly capable of carrying an entire show on his broad shoulders. The season essentially juggled two storylines, with one set in the past (a series of flashbacks explaining how Cage got his powers and why he was on the run from his former life) and one set in the present (in which Cage handles becoming a public figure and taking on corrupt and powerful local figures like Cottonmouth and Mariah). Ultimately, the season ends with Cage in a pretty bad place, which sets up a lot of plot points that the second season may help unravel.

Having said that, we don't have a lot of info at the moment about the plot of season two, but we do know that Misty Knight will be showing up with a pretty cool bionic arm, and that Lucy Liu will be directing the premiere episode. But as for the actual story, well, all we know is that Luke Cage has a lot of cleaning up to do in Harlem once he gets out of jail, and we'll be waiting for another awesome adventure on June 22, 2018.

New Warriors

If you were to make a list of the Marvel characters and teams that were likely to get their own TV show, it would have been a long time before you got to the New Warriors. The squad's original comic, a '90s hit, has been reinvented from time to time, but the core idea has typically revolved around younger heroes banding together to take out threats they couldn't handle alone—a Junior Avengers kind of deal.

The original iteration of the team (including Night Thrasher, basically the answer to the question "what if Batman was young and used a skateboard to fight crime?") is one of the most '90s things ever, and it didn't seem like the likeliest fit for the modern MCU. Freeform thinks otherwise, however—they're bringing a live-action New Warriors TV show, complete with updated character stories (that skateboarding crime fighter is now a star YouTuber) and a new leader: breakout comics star Squirrel Girl (who will be played by This Is Us vet Milana Vayntrub).

Of course, these millennial superheroes are bound to hit a few snags in their crime fighting career, one of whom is a cranky bureaucrat. Keith David (The Thing, Platoon, The Flash) will play Ernest Vigman, "a caustic municipal employee who butts up against the hopeful energy of the new warriors." And if you haven't figured it out by now, New Warriors won't be taking itself very seriously. In fact, according to ScreenRant, Marvel and Freeform plan on making the show a straight-up comedy. Really, that just makes us even more excited for 2018, when we'll finally get to see Squirrel Girl having in-depth conversations with her best squirrelfriend Tippy-Toe.

Captain Marvel

The Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel has a long history in Marvel comics—and not always a happy one. She started out as Ms. Marvel, and spent a long period of time on the back burner, but in more recent years, Marvel made the decision to restore her to prominence, giving her a new image (less leggy and more military) and a new creative outlook courtesy of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick. During her run, DeConnick turned the Captain Marvel title into a cornerstone hit for the company, making the character a natural to provide the MCU with some much-needed female representation.

Brie Larson has signed on to star in Captain Marvel, which is set to be co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, and we've whipped up a little Photoshop magic to give you an idea of what she might look like in the role. While the movie will hit theaters on March 8, 2019, the film itself will be set during the early 1990s. And in addition to meeting Carol Danvers, we'll also be introduced to a much younger Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and this time, he'll have both of his eyes. Jude Law will also star as Mar-vell, the original Captain Marvel who teaches Danvers how to be a superhero. As for the bad guys, it's been revealed that Captain Marvel will be facing off against the Skrulls, a group of green-skinned shape-shifters that have been comic book bad guys since the 1960s.

Avengers 4

Speaking of movies whose details remain unclear, here's the sequel to Avengers: Infinity War. The fact that the movies are coming out one year apart means their stories should be very closely connected (especially in comparison to the typical two- or three-year gap between Marvel franchise installments). Considering that the MCU has gone out of its way to introduce newer squad members like Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon, and that contracts are soon expiring for veteran Avengers like Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr., it seems likely we'll see some of our favorite characters die or otherwise removed from the canvas, forcing a new generation of heroes to step up. Whether or not this comes to pass, it's a sure bet that the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same after May 3, 2019.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and it's almost time to say goodbye to Star-Lord and his merry band of misfits. According to writer-director James Gunn, the third installment in his popular series "will conclude the story of this iteration of the Guardians of the Galaxy." Not only that, Gunn says Vol. 3 will "help catapult both old and new Marvel characters into the next ten years and beyond," so perhaps we'll get a new version of the ragtag space team further down the line…although we'll be sad to see Groot and Rocket disappear for good.

Of course, the news surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 isn't all downbeat and depressing. Regarding the trilogy film's soundtrack, Gunn recently told fans on Twitter the he's narrowed his musical choices down to "181 songs," and the list "could get longer." However many songs actually make the cut, we're sure to end up with some pretty cool tunes. We can also look forward to seeing the return of Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki) and the arrival of Adam Warlock, one of the most anticipated characters in MCU history. (There's even official concept art for his incredibly creepy cocoon.)

However, we'll still have to wait a little while to watch the final adventures of Peter Quill and company. On July 17, 2017, Gunn wrote on Twitter that he was "working on the second draft of the treatment (story)," and on Facebook, he implied the film might hit theaters in 2020. But the wait will be well worth it, as Gunn promises Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will be "an epic conclusion of who the Guardians are and why they were brought together. I can't wait to tell that story to people."

Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel

With its charismatic star and John Hughes vibe, Spider-Man: Homecoming charmed audiences around the world and even pleased critics who aren't so fond of the MCU. And if you can't wait for Peter Parker to swing back into theaters, mark your calendar for July 5, 2019. There's very little information about the Spider-Man sequel at the moment, but we do know director Jon Watts is coming back, along with original screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. Naturally, Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Marisa Tomei will all return, and let's keep our fingers crossed that maybe this time we'll get to see the Scorpion in action.

The Punisher Season 2

Don't fear, Frank Castle fans. (Although if you're his enemy, you should probably run as fast you can.) The Punisher will be blasting his way back onto Netflix in the very near future. According to the official Punisher Twitter page, season two is coming soon, but that's really all the information out there at the moment. Obviously, Jon Bernthal will return as the veteran-turned-vigilante, but other than that, there are very few details about the upcoming season. It will be interesting to see where the show goes, as the Punisher has gotten his revenge. All we can do right now is hope that Ben Barnes returns as Jigsaw.

Marvel's Runaways Season 2

After finally standing up to their murderous moms and dads, the Runaways will get a chance to clear their names for a murder they didn't commit. The Hulu show has been renewed for a second season, which means we can expect more teen drama, superhero action, and ritual sacrifices. The original season focused on a group of super-powered teens who discovered their parents were really members of a criminal cult, and the critically praised show ran for ten episodes. Now, according to Collider, season two will get 13 episodes, which means we'll get to spend even more time with everybody's favorite Deinonychus.

Black Widow

For years, Marvel fans have been desperately hoping for a Black Widow film. After all, this red-headed assassin has been around the MCU for quite some time (six films counting Infinity War), and she's yet to headline her own film. But now it looks like we might finally get to see Scarlett Johansson land a leading superhero role.

According to Variety, while "the film has no greenlight," it seems the powers that be have tapped Jac Schaeffer to write a Black Widow screenplay. She's a scribe who's landed on the prestigious Black List and written two films that will star Anne Hathaway: an alien invasion comedy called The Shower and a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels called Nasty Women. While Marvel has yet to comment on the Variety report, it's nice to know we're getting closer to seeing Natasha Romanoff ninjutsu her way through her own blockbuster. Fingers crossed we'll get to see what happened back in Budapest.

Iron Fist Season 2

Its first season was among the most critically derided properties Marvel Studios has ever offered—but we still have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the second season of Netflix's Iron Fist, which just wrapped shooting in May 2018. For one, the character of Danny Rand has undergone a bit of rehab since his first solo outing, with many observers noting that Danny (Finn Jones) came off as markedly less annoying and more convincingly badass in team-up series The Defenders. For another, maligned Season 1 showrunner Scott Buck—who was also responsible for the mess that was Inhumans—has departed, and incoming boss Raven Metzner (Sleepy Hollow, Falling Skies) is a massive fan of the character, according to Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb.

On top of those promising developments, Simone Missick's Misty Knight will be in on the action this season, and Season 1 bright spots Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick), Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) are all returning. There's also the strong possibility that we may at least see a Heroes for Hire storyline teased this season, as it's been confirmed that Danny will make an appearance in the second season of Luke Cage—although when asked whether Power Man returns the favor for Danny's second outing, he gave a typically coy response. Of course, Marvel fans know that "I cannot say" has a pretty good chance of meaning, "Yes, but Marvel will kill me if I tell you," so here's hoping.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to perpetually be on the bubble at ABC, enduring the kind of budget cuts and schedule shufflings that normally spell bad news for a network series. It was even revealed late last year that ABC intended to cancel the series after the fourth season, but that it was saved by mandate from corporate parent Disney — yet despite steadily declining viewership, those fans that have stuck around will go to bat for the series' steadily improving quality.

The final episode of season five certainly felt like it could have been an appropriate end to the series, but in a (somewhat) surprise move, ABC picked up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a sixth season, amidst an absolute bloodbath of announced cancellations. There are, however, a couple of catches: the new season will come in at an abbreviated 13 episodes as opposed to the normal 22, and it won't debut until summer 2019 — after Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe concludes with Avengers 4 in May. Clark Gregg, whose beloved Agent Phil Coulson seemed to reach a definitive conclusion to his arc at the end of season five, is either unsure or unwilling to say whether the character will return, telling ScreenRant, "I know there is some interest in having me involved in… season six. I don't know in what form that will take."