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.

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.

New Warriors

The New Warriors are Marvel's quirkiest superhero team this side of the Great Lakes Avengers, including characters such as Night Thrasher (a kind of teen skateboarding Batman), Speedball (who is more like a human Superball), and Squirrel Girl, the most underpowered hero to ever roundly beat the crap out of Marvel's most seemingly invincible villains. The project was ordered to series and produced by Freeform, home of the wildly successful Cloak and Dagger — but in November 2017, it was announced that the network had unexpectedly declined to air the series and would shop it around to suitors. While it has yet to find a home, it's still expected to debut in 2018, and ABC seems like as likely a landing spot as any.

According to comics scribe Fabian Nicieza (who served as an unofficial consultant), the series promises to be Marvel's first straight-up comedy, with a documentary feel inspired by Nicieza's run on the comics. The team's most formidable announced nemesis is grumpy municipal employee Ernest Vigman, who will be portrayed by beloved character actor Keith David; the team itself will include Night Thrasher (Jeremy Tardy, Bone Tomahawk), Speedball (Calum Worthy, American Vandal), Debrii (Kate Comer, Hello, My Name is Doris), Microbe (Matthew Moy, 2 Broke Girls) and the unbeatable Squirrel Girl, who will be played by former AT&T girl and This Is Us actress Milana Vayntrub. New Warriors seems like a breath of comedic fresh air for Marvel Television and a near-guaranteed hit, so it should be picked up any time now.

Captain Marvel

She didn't show up in Infinity War, but we've now had our first real look at Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. The first Captain Marvel trailer gives viewers a crash course in what they can expect from this upcoming MCU installment. We already knew that the movie is set in the 1990s (Kevin Feige made it clear that they intended to pay homage to the big action movies of that decade), and the trailer drills that point home by crashing Danvers through the roof of a Blockbuster Video store, right into the Action section.

We also get glimpses of Captain Marvel's origin story (in this version she seems to get her powers after a crashed Kree ship explodes in her face), which she appears to have completely forgotten, convenient amnesia style. Uncovering the truth about her past life on earth will be central to the plot, as will her relationship with Jude Law's character. He's heavily rumored to be playing Mar-Vell, though he continues to dodge the question in interviews. "Yes, it's been reported I'm playing Mar-Vell," he told Entertainment Weekly. "I'm not going to confirm or deny that."

As expected, Samuel Jackson (who narrates the trailer) will also play an integral part. A younger, two-eyed Nick Fury appears to have been tasked with tracking down the "renegade soldier" Danvers after her arrival on earth, and the digital de-aging (used on both Jackson and Agent Coulson actor Clark Gregg) looks fantastic. We'll see more when Captain Marvel lands in theaters on March 8, 2019.

Avengers 4

The climax of Avengers: Infinity War was more traumatizing than anything Marvel fans have had to deal with thus far, as Thanos' fabled finger snap wiped out half of all life in the universe (yes, including cats and dogs) and fan favorites like Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Black Panther were seen crumbling to dust. The Russo Brothers have gone out of their way to caution us that some of these characters might indeed be gone for good — which doesn't exactly line up with the fact that all three of the characters previously mentioned have been all but confirmed for Avengers 4 by way of set photos and various leaks. 

These same set photos have also allowed fans to begin to parse out the film's plot, which seems almost certain to involve Ant-Man (last seen stuck in the Quantum Realm at the conclusion of Ant-Man and the Wasp) accompanying the Avengers on a trip back in time — specifically, to the climactic Battle of New York from The Avengers — in order to undo what has been done. Whether this involves the use of Tony Stark's B.A.R.F. technology from Captain America: Civil War or actual time travel (possibly via the Quantum Realm) remains to be seen, but it's likely that the remaining Avengers will be in search of that one timeline — out of the 14 billion viewed by Strange in Infinity War — in which Thanos is defeated. Phase three of the MCU wraps up with the as-yet untitled Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

In early 2018, writer/director James Gunn confirmed that the third installment of the ridiculously successful Guardians of the Galaxy franchise would be on its way in 2020, and a few months later, he announced via Twitter that a script had been completed. But then, an unexpected turn of events: amid a kerfuffle over some years-old, admittedly highly inappropriate tweets made by Gunn, Disney decided to part ways with the director. It was heartbreaking news for fans, not to mention the cast, who uniformly stood behind Gunn in a joint public statement. For a moment, it even looked like Disney might reverse course, until it looked like they wouldn't again — and then finally, it was reported that the House of Mouse will probably be using Gunn's script, but would not bring him back as director.

If there's a silver lining here, it's that this means Guardians 3 will likely retain its cast — Dave Bautista, one of Gunn's most vocal supporters, stated flatly that he would quit if Gunn's script wasn't used. But unfortunately, Disney's quest for a new director has necessitated that production be suspended on the film. There's still a chance that we'll see the Guardians again in 2020, and also that Disney will come to its senses; Gunn apologized for his tweets, saying that he was a different person then — plus, it can be argued that Disney knew what they were getting into when they hired the man who co-wrote Tromeo and Juliet.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

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 (aside from its title) 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

The Hulu series Marvel's Runaways focuses on a group of superpowered teens who discover that their parents are members of the Pride, an evil organization bent on unearthing an ancient, supernatural power. While its first season was a success, it was criticized in some quarters for its languid pacing and seeming reluctance to get to the meat of the story — problems which, according to co-creator Josh Schwartz, will be remedied in season 2.

At the conclusion of the first season, the kids (finally) find themselves on the run, framed for a murder they didn't commit. Speaking with USA Today, Schwartz said that the second season will "accelerate. We are now running with our kids… there's a greater sense of tension and momentum in keeping with where we are in this part of the story." He also revealed that the new season won't focus quite as heavily on the Pride: "Given the circumstances of all these kids being on the run, you absolutely will see a shift," he said. "The parents are obviously an incredibly important part of the story. We spent a lot of time last year getting to know them and investing in them, but the shift in focus definitely is more toward the kids." Schwartz also teased that we're going to see a lot more super-powered action than in season 1, which is always a welcome development. Runaways season 2 is expected to drop on Hulu sometime in late 2018 or early 2019.

Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow has popped up in no fewer than six MCU films, and has the kind of shady past that would be ripe for exploration, should Marvel choose to go that route; although a Black Widow solo flick has been rumored for years, it's finally been confirmed that we're actually going to get one.

The film got the green light in mid-2018, and Marvel has already begun filling out its team. Writer Jac Schaeffer (the scribe behind the forthcoming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake Nasty Women) was hired before the project was even greenlit, and after meeting with over 70 potential directors, the studio finally settled on Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland. Shortland's filmography is not exactly extensive; she's perhaps best known for 2012's Lore, a little-seen but critically acclaimed historical drama. But if there's one thing we know about Marvel, it's that their out-of-left-field directorial choices nearly always turn out to be blindingly brilliant in hindsight. We can be assured that the project is in good hands; now, all fans can reasonably ask is that Schaeffer and Shortland clue us in as to what happened in Budapest. Whatever it was, Hawkeye remembers it very differently.

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."

Doctor Strange 2

With 2016's Doctor Strange a smash hit and the character playing such a crucial role in the conflict with Thanos, it seemed like a no-brainer that the Sorcerer Supreme — despite the whole crumbling-to-dust thing — would be playing a major role in the MCU in Phase 4. An unconfirmed report citing an anonymous source from the Mirror (not always a bastion of journalistic accuracy) states that Benedict Cumberbatch has received a huge pay bump to star in the sequel, which may start shooting as soon as 2019 — but whether or not this is correct, the eventuality of Doctor Strange 2 has been confirmed not only by Cumberbatch, but by Kevin Feige as well.

When asked about continuing in the role by Deadline, Cumberbatch didn't mince words: "Just try to stop me," he said. "That's all kind of lined up as far as I'm aware, but who knows? I mean, you know, the problem is, how does he get out of where he's at. But that's the only thing." And while doing press for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Feige had this to say to CinemaBlend: "Strange, you know, whenever we do another Strange one, which we will do, it will be a number of years from the first." Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson even jumped in on Twitter with a cryptic tweet seemingly confirming his involvement as well — but of course, we're not likely to get many more details until after Phase Three is complete.

Black Panther 2

While a second solo vehicle for the Sorcerer Supreme hasn't been officially confirmed, Marvel isn't playing nearly as coy about King T'Challa's second solo outing. It doesn't have an official title or release date, but Black Panther 2 has been officially confirmed by the studio — not exactly a huge surprise, as the original became one of the highest-grossing films of all time and Marvel's first to receive serious Oscar consideration. Not only is the sequel officially happening, but Feige revealed to Entertainment Weekly that the concept is already coming together nicely: "We absolutely will do that. One of the favorite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two. There have been plenty of those conversations as we were putting together the first Black Panther. We have ideas and a pretty solid direction on where we want to head with the second one."

Although not confirmed, most of the first film's principals are expected to return, including Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, and writer/director Ryan Coogler. It's even been rumored that Michael B. Jordan's Erik Killmonger could return in some capacity, despite being left in no condition to do so at the end of Black Panther. In light of the megabucks that film made, we're likely to get additional details on this highly-anticipated sequel sooner rather than later.